Friday, December 19, 2008

Banana Bread

2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups salted butter (softened)
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar (packed)
2 large eggs
3 cups ripe bananas (7 medium), mashed
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 2 9x5" loaf pans. In a medium bowl, combine flour, soda and salt with wire whisk and set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with electric mixer. Add eggs, bananas and vanilla. Beat at medium speed until thick. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add flour mixture. Add chocolate chips. Blend at low speed until combined. Do not over mix. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake on center rack of oven for 60-70 minutes. Toothpick inserted into center should come out clean and bread should pull away from sides. Cook in pan for 10 minutes. Turn pans on side and cool to room temperature before removing and slicing.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Easy Honey Wheat Bread

Recipe from

1 loaf

1 cup warm water (110-115 degrees F)
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (see additional notes for a 100% whole wheat version)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons instant active dry yeast

1. *Combine first 6 ingredients in a large mixing bowl; stir.

2. Add flours and yeast, and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10-15 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover with a clean towel and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes.

3. Punch dough down; knead for a few minutes until smooth and then form into a loaf. Place in greased loaf pan and cover. Let rise in a warm place until almost doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. If loaf starts browning too soon, lightly lay a piece of foil on top of the loaf to prevent too much darkening.

5. Remove bread from oven and allow to rest in pan for a few minutes. Remove to a wire rack and cover with a cloth. Slice and enjoy while still warm! Leftover bread can be stored in an airtight bag or frozen until needed.

*If you have a bread maker, you can use the dough setting to knead it for you. Just put ingredients in according to order listed.

This recipe also makes very delicious 100% whole wheat bread. The bread in this picture was made with Prairie Gold hard white wheat.

If you would like your whole wheat bread to have a softer and better texture, you can add these dough conditioning ingredients to this recipe:

  • 3 tablespoons vital wheat gluten (replace 3 tablespoons of the flour called for in the recipe with this)
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy lecithin (we use granules of lecithin, and add it to the water at the beginning)
  • a pinch of citric acid (use sparingly!!)
  • a sprinkling of ginger

You could also purchase pre-mixed dough conditioners, which contain some of these ingredients but are more costly. We found our citric acid, soy lecithin, and wheat gluten at a bulk foods store. A little goes a long way!

Mashed Potatoes like Mom's

No one makes mashed potatoes like my mom! I'm getting close though. I love them. I don't really use a recipe, but this is what I can come up with after making a large batch last night.

4-8 medium sized Burbank Russett Potatoes (yes, the type is VERY important to you non-Idahoans!!!)
3/4 cup butter
1/3 cup milk
1 Tablespoon salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Peel, cut and boil potatoes until fork-tender. In mixer, mix potatoes with butter and milk until no lumps or very few. Salt and pepper to taste. I like to make them taste good enough that no ones needs to add their own salt or pepper and you could eat them without gravy if you wanted!!


Recipe from The Essential Mormon Cookbook

Campbell's Green Bean Casserole

1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon soy sauce
Dash ground black pepper
4 cups cooked cut green beans
1 1/3 cups French Fried Onions

Mix soup, milk, soy, black pepper, beans and 2/3 cup onions in 1 1/2-qt. casserole. Bake at 350°F. for 25 min. or until hot. Stir. Sprinkle with remaining onions. Bake 5 min.

TIP: Use 1 bag (16 to 20 oz.) frozen green beans, 2 pkg. (9 oz. each) frozen green beans, 2 cans (about 16 oz. each) green beans or about 1 1/2 lb. fresh green beans for this recipe.

Asian Salmon

Recipe from

1 side of fresh salmon, boned, but skin on-cut into 6 servings (about 3 pounds)

For the marinade:
2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
6 Tablespoons Olive Oil
½ tsp minced garlic

Light BBQ and brush grilling rack with oil to keep fish from sticking. (I use tin foil)

While grill is heating, prepare marinade by whisking ingredients together. Drizzle half of the marinade onto the salmon (skin side down) and allow to sit for 10 minutes.

Place salmon skin-side down on the hot grill; discard the marinade the fish was sitting in. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish. Turn carefully with a wide spatula and grill for another 4 to 5 minutes. The salmon will be slightly raw in the center, but don’t worry, it will keep cooking as it sits.

Transfer fish to a flat plate, skin side down, and spoon the reserved marinade on top. Allow the fish to rest for 10 minutes. Remove skin and serve warm, at room temperature or chilled.

***I actually baked my salmon on 350 degrees for 40 minutes. I probably should have only done it for 30 minutes, but it was fine.***