My Goodness Gracious--
I think I found the "perfect" bread recipe!!
Now how about that for a title and a teaser? But, I think it's true!!
Let me first set the stage, though...
I have really been trying lately to be better about preparing dinner at the house. I LOVE to cook and I especially love to bake, but all of you who are mothers know how hard it is sometimes to even find the time to eat--not to mention actually finding the time to prepare for and cook a meal. So, a lot of times we resort to frozen pizzas or take-out food. But I have consciously been trying to cook dinner at home for all of us lately; so that we can save money and we can eat together.
I did pretty well this week. Aside from Tuesday night when Gary and I went separate ways with assorted kids (Gary had Delaney and Sydney at D's pitching practice; McKenna and I went to my class at the scrapbook store) and Gary got Little Caesar's for the kids and McKenna and I did the McDonald's thing, I have cooked each night this week. Granted, one night was hot dogs and another night was Hamburger Helper, but I was making an attempt . . .
Well, last night I decided it was time to cook FOR REAL. And it all turned out so great that it reminded me of how much I actually love the cooking and baking process.
I love EASY recipes that are full of comfort and happiness. You know? Those foods that just make you moan a little bit when you bite into them because they're just full of flavor and goodness?
Well, last night I would definite label my food choices Moan-worthy! (LOL)
I made a VERY easy fettucini alfredo that I love to cook--shoot, anything with fresh parmesan cheese and cream in it has to be good! I served it alongside a Fried Italian Chicken that I pretty much made up on the spot. A salad went with it; it had feta cheese on top, so of course I was incredibly happy with it! And then the piece d' resistance was the YUMMIEST bread I have ever put into my mouth. (Well, it really was more of a cake, but it's officially called Chocolate Banana Bread so I'm calling it a bread.)
Here are the recipes in case you want to try any of them:
Easy Breezy Fettucini Alfredo
Boil package of fettucini noodles according to directions.
After you've drained the noodles and let cool off for several minutes, add a few tablespoons of butter, 1 small carton of heavy whipping cream, and two cups of fresh grated parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.
The easiest thing you can imagine, but the butter and cream and cheese make it very rich-tasting! Kids will love this too!
Italian Fried Chicken
In a bowl, combine two cups of packaged Italian Bread Crumbs and 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese. Dip chicken breasts or chicken strips (or other pieces) into milk, then coat with the bread crumb mixture. Lay on a plate, and shake bottled Italian dressing on top. Let sit for a few minutes to allow dressing to soak in, then fry in oil as if you were frying "regular" fried chicken. As Rachael Ray would say, "Yum-o"!
And now . . . for that bread recipe . . .
This recipe actually came from one of my favorite food blogs--Something So Clever. I saw her recipe a week or so ago and, as soon as I saw it, I knew I'd have to try it out. And boy, it did not disappoint whatsoever!!
Honest to God, it is SO divine that you will just sit there and moan over it. It is THAT good!! (Trust me: Gary and McKenna and my niece Lori and I all pretty much felt the same way about it! In fact, I'm ready for morning to get here very quickly because I am SO having THAT for breakfast!)
(This picture doesn't even really do it justice. I'm not a food photographer! LOL Just trust me here. ..)
Chocolate Banana Bread
3 very ripe bananas
2 tbsp. soft butter
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup white chocolate chips and/or coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts (I actually don't like nuts in my banana nut bread--ha!!--so I decided to go just with the chocolate chips. And I actually combined about a fourth cup of semi-sweet chips and filled the rest of the cup up with the white chocolate chips)
Mash bananas in a bowl and add rest of ingredients. Stir just until blended. (It might seem like it's not liquidy enough, but the bananas will add all the moisture needed. Just mix well with a fork and it will be fine!)
Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out dry--or you hit a chocolate chip! (I actually cooked mine about 10 minutes longer, but you can tell by testing it with the toothpick.) Cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from pan and cutting into slices.
Like I said before . . . absolutely DIVINE!!
Now that I have posted these recipes, I have a question for you: Have you tried any new recipes lately? Or do you have any "tried and true" recipes that everyone in your family likes (or that just simply makes you moan?). I would LOVE for some of you to share those with us. I always love trying new dishes, and that would be so fun to learn some from you guys and gals!!
So post them in my comments section, or let us know that you're posting them on your blog!
Today is my mother-in-law's birthday, so . . . HAPPY BIRTHDAY CLARA!!! Clara is a wonderful mother-in-law who absolutely raised a wonderful son; I think all of us with great husbands need to acknowledge that our mil are a big part of that!
Clara also had foot surgery just two days ago and is not feeling very well. So I hope she has a good birthday, even if she doesn't feel great. (We will absolutely get around to celebrating when you get better!!)
Coming Up . . .
I'm so looking forward to the weekend. Tonight I will be going to a Bunko tournament benefitting Delaney's travel softball team (the Birmingham Thunderbolts); and then Saturday the girls and I will be going out to lunch with my parents and my brother's family to celebrate Mom and Dad's anniversary
(and speaking of GREAT food... we are going to one of my favorite restaurants EVER. The Cypress Inn is right on the river and the food is to die for!! The best muffins and rolls, spinach salad with a hot bacon vinagrette, fried catfish that is SO good, peanut butter pie . . . boy, I gotta stop here before I make myself dream of this food! So, I can't wait for that!) Saturday night, several of my girlfriends wanted to go out but I will have to see how busy I am (and if Gary has had enough of the kids! LOL)
(And oh, totallly off topic but . . I seriously want to spruce up the look of my blog and I really want a banner up top. But I can't figure out for the life of me how to do it. If you have any insight into how to make a blog and then how to get it put into place, please email me with any suggestions! Thanks!!)
So, it should be an eventful and fun weekend!
I hope that all of you have a wonderful weekend as well. As always--fill it with family, friends, fun, and some GOOD FOOD!!!