Monday, August 15, 2011

Blueberry Banana Bread

Last month, I hosted a Pampered Chef party at my house.  We had alot of fun, with good friends and good  food!  The consultant made a really yummy mango salsa to start with, and then she showed us how to dress up chicken breasts with Pampered Chef spices.  I made this delicious Blueberry Banana Bread (in my Pampered Chef stoneware loaf pan), and my Roasted Beet and Pear Salad.  Everybody had a great time, and I got many requests for the bread recipe, so I thought I would share it with you all too! :)

I also wanted to thank everybody who came to the party, and everybody who ordered even if they couldn't make it.  Because of you guys, and the awesome hostess bonus that Pampered Chef offered in July, I got a whopping $440 worth of free products!!!  I also bought a couple of the bigger items at a discounted price, so I ended up with almost a whole new kitchen! :)  Here's a picture of all the stuff I got.  So thanks again!

Now for the bread recipe.  I have tried several banana bread recipes...some good and some not so good. :)  But this one is the best one I have made.  It's always gone in just a day or two!  It's delicious warm or cold, plain or slathered with butter! (That's the way I like it! :D)

Blueberry Banana Bread

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 medium bananas, mashed
1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350°. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.  In another bowl, cream the shortening and sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla; mix well.  Stir in the bananas.  Slowly add the dry ingredients, and mix until just evenly moistened.  Gently fold in the blueberries.  Pour into a greased loaf pan.  Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Remove to wire rack to cool.  Slice, slather with butter, and devour! ;)

P.S.  This is also a really fun recipe to make with your kids!  Chance loves to help me make this...and eat it! :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Watermelon Mint Lime Slushy / How to Cut Up a Watermelon

Well, sorry for my long absence!  I know some of you have been faithfully checking this blog, and I want to let you know I appreciate it!  We aren't going to have internet at our house in the near future, so I don't know how often I will blog, but I will try to get some posts up every once in a while! :)

Here's a yummy drink recipe for that it's half over. :P  We've been enjoying lots of fresh watermelon the last month or so! When it's cheap and in season, why not have it all the time?  Someone once told me that watermelon was expensive, but pound for pound, it is some of the cheapest produce you can buy. :)
Before I share the drink recipe, I'm going to quickly show you how I cube a watermelon.  Most of you probably already know this, but when I saw it the first time, it was like a lightbulb turning on in my head.  It's super easy to cut a watermelon this way!
First, cut the melon in half.  Then place one half, cut side down on a cutting board.  Now take your knife, and cut then end off, just enough to get all the rind off.

Then start to cut the rind off the sides, kind of sliding your knife down in a curving motion.

When you have all the rind cut off, trim all the white and light pink off.  As you can see, I didn't do the best job of this...I had a little boy demanding my attention when I was trying to cut this up and take pictures!   Then cut the watermelon into approximately one inch slices.  I fanned them out a little so you could see what I was doing, but I usually just leave them stacked.

So, line them all up, and start slicing down in one inch strips.  I know the watermelon looks alot pinker in these pictures...I had to switch cameras in the middle of it all!

Then, turn the watermelon a quarter turn, and repeat.  And you have cubed watermelon!

One of the things I like to make with watermelon is this refreshing slushy!  This is another of those recipes that I don't have exact amounts for, because I usually just thow everything in my juicer!

Watermelon Mint Lime Slushy

About 1/4 of a medium seedless watermelon
1 lime
1 small bunch fresh mint leaves
Sugar, to taste
Ice cubes

Cut the watermelon in chunks, and feed into your juicer, alternating with lime (rind and all) and mint.  Pour the juice into your blender and add sugar if desired. (depending on how sweet your watermelon is!)  Add ice cubes, and blend until slushy consistancy.  Pour into glasses, top with a mint spring and enjoy!