Banana Bread

IMG_7957

I found this recipe for banana bread on Facebook.

I loved that it used honey in place of sugar and apple sauce in place of oil.  It also used the whole wheat flour that I’ve been trying to use for baking instead of the regular flour.  This is the first time I’ve had banana bread made with wheat flour and I’ll say that it’s very good.

If you’re a banana bread fan and want to try to make it a different way, give this a try!

I was on my lunch break today when I was making this and my mom had never heard of making bread with apple sauce or honey.  I’ll have to call her tomorrow and let her know she should make this!!  Eat it fresh out of the oven and it’s really good.  I didn’t have any butter on it either!!  Trying to eat good can be hard sometimes but you don’t have to sacrifice either.  (even though I didn’t go to Zantigo this Sunday after church!!)

IMG_7960

Just having the kids walk in the door and ask what smelled so good was worth it today!!  Puts a nice smile on your face.

Enjoy!!

Banana Bread
Recipe Type: Banana Bread
Author: Patricia
Ingredients
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 mashed overripe bananas
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together applesauce and honey. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
  2. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

I set my timer for 60 minutes and I could smell it in my office before it went off…It took a little less than the time stated.  So make sure you set your timer if you’re away from the kitchen!!

Enjoy!

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking 😉

Source

Facebook – Mary Stone (someone posted it on their page and I shared)

Whole Wheat Tortilla Shells

IMG_7883

Every Tuesday at our house is Taco Tuesday.  No pun intended for Taco John’s!!!!

I’ve been really trying to cut out processed foods as much as I can.  Yes, I still make my weekly trip to Zantigo after church but that sure doesn’t count!!!  I may have to go there a bit less, but I can’t cut out everything.

On Facebook I found a site that is called “100 Days of Real Food”.  Which is where I happen to find this awesome recipe!  I’ve made the refried beans as well and they are so good.   You may not be a label reader but I have been.  And I’m not sure if it was this site that I read this or if I saw it elsewhere, but it said that if there are 5 ingredients that you cannot pronounce then you shouldn’t eat it!  I feel that way about food and products that I use on a daily basis now.

This recipe has only 4 ingredients in it.  AND I know how to pronounce them and I know what they are!

I was a bit concerned if the grandkids were going to like the texture and taste of the wheat but I gave it a try anyways.  Khali isn’t a fan of eating any shell that I give her on taco night.  She wants the cheese only.  Just give me the cheese and the black olives.  Caleb didn’t care for it but ate it anyways.  And Brooklyn ate it and liked it just like me!

IMG_7874

Here is my dog, Clyde.  He thinks that by some chance he’s going to be eating that dough.  He was sadly wrong.  Sorry buddy.

I don’t have a tortilla press but I sure wished I did.  I have made these twice now and I had a hard time getting them to form into a circle.  Last night, by the advise of my friend, Heidi, I place the dough between two pieces of parchment paper and used a pan to flatten them.  That gave them the shape, then I rolled just a bit to thin them out.

IMG_7879

After you get the dough formed into the log you want to cut them into 12 pieces.

IMG_7881

Flatten them out a bit and let them sit for about an hour.  I have to make sure that dog of mine is kept from anything sitting out.  He sees it, he’ll find a way to make it into his mouth.

I was really surprised at how good these were.  They had great flavor (I did add a bit of garlic salt to the dough the 2nd time I made this).    I love tacos.  And usually I have mine with hard shells but as I said I’m trying to do a little bit better with knowing what is in the food I’m putting in the family’s belly.  I made the taco seasoning as well.  But maybe I’ll give hard shells a try!!!!!

Whole Wheat Tortilla Shells
Recipe Type: Tacos
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Patricia
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups whole-wheat flour (I used King Arthur’s white whole-wheat flour)
  • ½ cup oil (I used avocado oil)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm water (heat in the microwave for 1 min)
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer set with a dough hook, pour in the flour, oil and salt. Beat with the paddle until crumbly, about 3 to 5 minutes. Scrape the sides as needed. If your hand-held mixer comes with dough hooks those can be used as well.
  2. With the mixer running, gradually add the warm water and continue mixing until the dough is smooth, about 3 minutes.
  3. Take out the dough and divide it into 12 equal sized pieces. I do this by making the dough into a big log shape that is about 8 – 10 inches long. Then I cut it in the middle. Then I cut each of those pieces in the middle and so on until you have 12 pieces.
  4. Using the palms of your hand roll each piece into a round ball and flatten it out on a baking tray or board. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes or up to one hour.
  5. Heat a cast iron skillet, griddle or 12-inch skillet over med-high heat. The pan should be fairly hot before you begin cooking the tortillas.
  6. On a lightly floured board or counter top, use a rolling pin to turn each ball into a 8 to 10 inch flat circle (measure against your recipe if printed on a 8.5X11 sheet of paper). Be careful not to use more than a teaspoon or two of flour when rolling out each ball into a tortilla because too much excess flour will burn in the pan.
  7. Grease the pan with a touch of oil (or ghee) and then carefully transfer each tortilla, one at a time, to the pan and cook until puffy and slightly brown, about 30 to 45 seconds per side. Set aside on a plate to cool slightly. Eat within an hour, refrigerate or freeze.

Back to the shells at hand… These are pretty good and better for you.  I recommend you go to the site that I got this recipe and take a look around.  I’ve done the refried beans as well, as I’ve said.  Those are amazing with the tacos.

Enjoy!!

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking 😉

Source

100 Days of Real Food

Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes

IMG_7717

It has been a long time since I’ve been on here.  Too much going on in life.  Nothing more I can say.  I have things to blog and then I haven’t.  Now the holidays are coming and…where has the time gone?

Speaking of holiday’s.  This would be the perfect Christmas (for those that celebrate it) breakfast.  We had it for dinner tonight!  We love to have these types of foods for dinner.

The kids enjoyed it as well.

IMG_7715Khali just dips her fingers in the syrup and leaves the pancake on the plate (she later did eat it though!!).

IMG_7714Caleb really doesn’t like to have his picture taken so he’s acting like he can’t see me taking this.  But he’s eating here too!!!!

IMG_7716Brooklyn ate her pancakes and came back for seconds, but she’s more concerned about having her picture taken.

The reason for these pancakes?

Well, I’ve been trying to remove as much processed foods from our diet as possible.  It’s not an easy task by any means, but I’m working on it.
I found a great website that has a ton of recipes – which is where this came from.  I shopped for the week and I’ll have to say that I didn’t spend any more money than I would have for foods that aren’t as good for you.

I haven’t been as good lately with making the healthiest dinners lately.  As I’ve said, life has been pretty busy.  But it’s time to pay attention to the food we’re putting in our bodies.  Moderation is the key, yes.  But we’re trying!!!

This week I made home made refried beans as well.  I ate those twice for lunch.  GREAT.

Check out the website and let me know what you think.

I did add some cinnamon to this recipe to add a bit more flavor.  To me, I could really taste the flour too much.  After adding a bit, it was fabulous.

We’ll have these again.

Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Pancakes
Author: Patricia
Ingredients
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour (I use King Arthur’s organic white whole-wheat flour)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 ¾ cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted + butter for frying
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 100% pure maple syrup for serving – I didn’t have 100% pure maple syrup so I tried to use a little of what we had.
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Make a well (hole) in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the honey, eggs, milk, and 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Whisk together thoroughly, but do not overmix.
  3. Gently fold the mashed bananas into the batter with a spatula.
  4. Heat a griddle or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Swirl enough butter around the pan until it is well coated. Add pancake batter using a soup ladle.
  5. When the pancakes have begun brown on the bottom, flip them over to cook the other side.
  6. Serve with warm maple syrup and a side of fruit. And don’t forget to freeze the leftovers for another day!

Have a great rest of the week.  Try this for breakfast this weekend!!

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

100 Days of Real Food

Cheese, Garlic and Herb Swirl Bread

I’ve been eating a lot of sandwiches lately. I mix up the toppings to try to keep it interesting: Turkey or ham, tomatoes or onions… But I almost always use a little wedge of spreadable cheese. First, because I love cheese and I think a sandwich just isn’t the same without it. And second, because this little cheese wedge is only 35 calories and also lets me skip the butter/mayo I would want to spread on my bread.

I got to thinking, since I like this spread cheese so much on my sandwiches, what about baking it into my bread…? I didn’t think the flavor would come through well if I just mixed it into the dough, so I decided to make a simple dough and make a swirl bread instead.

So I found a recipe on Taste of Home and decided to adapt the fillings to see if it would work. The bread is moist with a crisp crust, and the filling remained pretty well intact. The flavor of the cheese is noticeable, but not as much as when you spread it on a slice of bread. A slice does come apart a bit when I cut it, so I think this would be a little difficult to make a sandwich with. It would go great with some soup or pasta to dip it in!

Here’s what I used:

3 pkg (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast

2-1/2 cups warm water (110° to 115°), divided

1 tsp sugar

3-1/4 cups whole wheat flour

1 tbsp salt

2-3/4 to 3-1/2 cups bread flour

1 6.5 oz tub garlic and herb spreadable cheese (I used Alouette light garlic and herbs)

1 egg, beaten

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in 3/4 cup warm water. Add sugar; let stand for 5 minutes. Add the whole wheat flour, salt and remaining water; beat until smooth. Stir in enough bread flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).

Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a bowl coated with cooking spray; turn once to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down and turn onto a floured surface; divide in half. Roll each piece into a 14-in. x 9-in. rectangle. Brush with some of the egg; refrigerate rest of egg. Spread half of the cheese over each dough to within 1/2 in. of edges. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a short side; pinch seams to seal and tuck ends under. Place seam side down in two 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Cover; let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Brush with reserved egg. Bake at 375° for 40-50 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pans to wire racks. Makes 2 loaves (12 slices each).

My loaves both turned out pretty well, just a little split in the top of each one where the dough was rolled a little too thin. I will make this one again for a side dish, but am still looking for different recipes to play with for sandwiches. Do you have a favorite sandwich bread?

– Jodi

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

I’ve been making homemade pizza lately because it’s one of the things I’ve been craving, but it’s much healthier to make it myself. I’ve been playing with different dough recipes and so far this one’s my favorite.
It makes a thin crust that is crisp on the outside, but still has some chewy on the inside. The whole wheat flour gives the dough more flavor than a white pizza dough.  It uses a quick rise yeast, so I can pull it together last minute. But if you like, you can make the dough ahead and store in a plastic bag coated with cooking spray in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before using.



3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 package quick-rising yeast
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
1/2-2/3 cup hot water (120-130°F)
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
(Makes 12 oz of dough)


Combine flours, yeast, salt and sugar in a food processor or stand mixer; mix to combine. Combine hot water and oil in a measuring cup. With the mixer running, gradually pour in enough of the hot liquid until the mixture forms a sticky ball. The dough should be pretty soft. If it seems dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons warm water; if it’s too sticky, add 1 to 2 tablespoons flour. Mix until the dough forms a ball, then mix for 1 minute to knead.


Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Coat a sheet of plastic wrap with cooking spray and place it, sprayed-side down, over the dough. Let the dough rest for 10 to 20 minutes before rolling.


Place a pizza stone or inverted baking sheet on the lowest oven rack; preheat oven to 500°F or highest setting. Roll (about a 13-inch circle) and top the pizza as desired and bake the pizza until the bottom is crisp and golden, 10 to 14 minutes.

I’ve also been playing with different toppings. My new favorite thing to put on my pizza is caramelized onion. Regular chopped onion is good too, but that extra sweetness and tenderness they get when you brown them first just makes it so much better! For this one I put:
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 sliced tomato
a handful of fresh chopped basil
1 thinly sliced onion sauteed with
2 cloves garlic
1/3 small can of black olives
fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
shredded parmesan cheese




Now that I found a dough that I like I think I will have to play with it a bit, maybe add some herbs or garlic to the crust. And of course try some different toppings! What do you like on your pizza?


– Jodi