Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Banana Nut Muffins


3 Ripe Bananas (the riper, the moister the bread!)

2 Eggs

1.5 cups Flour

4 oz. Butter (room temperature)

1/2 cup Chopped Pecans or Walnuts

1.5 cups Sugar

1 tsp. Baking Soda (or Dry Yeast)

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract (optional)

Pinch of Salt

Additional Butter for baking dish

How to make muffins:

Preheat oven to 375°F

1. Sift flour and baking soda together and reserve.

2. In another bowl, stir sugar, eggs, vanilla, and butter until homogenous. Incorporate flour, and stir until smooth.

3. Mush bananas with a fork and stir into batter. Then add nuts and stir well.
4. Butter muffin pan and pour in batter.

Bake for about 55 minutes. The banana nut muffins are done when the tip of a knife comes out clean and dry.

5. Let cool off for about ten minutes and then remove from muffin pan.

You can serve this warm (with butter mmmm) or room temperature.Voilà! Bon Appétit!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Tropical Milkshakes (Mango, Papaya & Strawberry)

What you need:

1/2 bag of frozen fruit (you may use fresh fruit also) of your choice
3 scoops of vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup of milk


Pour 1/2 bag of frozen fruit (or subsitute) in blender. Add milk. Add vanilla ice cream.

And blend for about 30 seconds (depending on the power/speed of your blender).
Stir and repeat. Note: you may need to use some sweetener of some sort to make your milkshake a little sweeter. You may add sugar (raw or processed), honey, stevia, agave nector, splenda, etc.

Voila! Enjoy your tropical milkshake!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Perfect Green Beans :) (Thanksgiving Day hit)

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving holiday! Mr. Berry and myself had a relaxing day with my mom, dad and brother. After dinner, while dad and MB were watching football, mom, my brother and I had fun putting up the Christmas tree and eyeing the insane Black Friday ads.

I didn't do much this year; I was delegated the 'green stuff' and the 'dessert'. I had it easy- (I think it's because my mom didn't want me doing much, since I'm now 7 months pregnant :)

Luckily a local grocery store had greenbeans on sale for .77 cents a pound...so I grabbed them and decided to make them my 'green veggie of choice'.

Try this, and you're sure to have perfect and tasty green beans, whether they be for a holiday dinner or a just your normal family dinner during the week. What's your favorite holiday green veggie? Comment here:

What you need:

1 tbsp olive oil (doesn't have to be extra virgin)

1 tbsp butter

2 tsp fresh cracked pepper

1 tsp salt

1/2 lb of fresh green beans (about 2 handfuls), rinsed with stems removed

1 medium sized pot of boiling water

1 medium sized bowl of ice water (for ice bath)

1/4 c of cooking Sherry wine

1 tsp of galic and shallot mixture (8 garlic gloves to two shallots, minced)


Rinse green beans and remove stems if you have not done so already.

Place beans in hot boiling pot of water.

Let boil in pot covered with lid for no longer than five minutes. While beans are boiling, prepare you saute pan. Add olive oil. Heat on medium heat (if gas range, and on medium high heat for electric range).

After olive oil is heated, add butter.

Remove beans from boiling water and add immediately to ice bath.

Keep in ice bath until you are ready to saute them. The ice bath helps the beans keep a bright vibrant green color. Once saute pan is hot and butter is melted, add green beans and the tsp of garlic/shallot puree.

Saute beans for a couple of minutes, then add the Sherry.

I used Osborne Sherry, but you can use one of your choice.

Let wine reduce for a two minutes or so.

Remove from pan, and add fresh pepper and salt to taste.

Serve and Enjoy!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

KA's Crockpot Chicken Tacos

Thanks to one of my friends I got this recipe from, this was a big hit, and very easy to do! Just set it aaaaannnnd forget it! (homage to the Ronco rotisierre infomercial for those who didn't catch that.) Anywho, try it and you'll love it. Please comment here.

All you need:

3 chicken breasts (you may use frozen)
1 package of chicken taco seasoning
1 can of Rotel diced tomatoes and chiles (or pico de gallo)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup of olive oil
20 or so corn tortillas (I prefer yellow corn, not sure why...but you can use white.
3 tbsp. canola oil


Set crockpot on low. (Don't laugh, I love my 'old skool' hand-me-down crockpot better than I do my brand new one. For some reason I think the old one cooks the food better.)

Add Taco Seasoning. I used McCormick's but any brand will do.

Put chicken breasts on top of the taco seasoning. Add the Rotel, water and oil.

Leave in crockpot for 6-8 hours. Around the sixth hour, turn up heat to high.

This step is optional: Pour contents of crockpot in a a deep skillet (including liquid.)
Push chicken pieces to the sides of the pan, leaving a 'hole filled with sauce'.
Add two tablespoons of flour or cornstarch to the 'hole' for thickening the sauce.

As the sauce thickens, use two forks to shred chicken.

Turn the heat to a low setting and begin to prepare tortillas. In a omlette pan (8" skillet), heat up three tablespoons of canola oil on a medium high setting. Place tortilla in pan. Once you see the tortilla bubbling up in the middle, flip. After about twenty seconds, remove tortilla from pan and place on a folded paper towel to drain excess oil. Repeat until you have the desired number of taco shells.

Add your toppings (I used colby-jack shredded cheese and shredded iceburg lettuce.)

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Oven-Fried Wings for Football Sunday

It was a rainy and lazy Football Sunday today. Instead of going out to our favorite wing spot, I decided to create our own wing bar at home. It was pretty easy, and they turned out great! My mother gave me the idea.

What's your favorite game day finger food or snack? Comment here!

Let's get wingin'! Here's what you need:

  • 5-6 lbs of chicken pieces (I chose to use drumettes, because it's my favorite 'wing part')
  • 2 tbs. canola oil
  • Seasoned chicken fry mix (I used McCormick's brand, you can also use Bisquick)
  • Cajun seasoning (or a combo of garlic salt, red pepper, and paprika)
  • Shallow cookie sheet or baking pan
  • large bowl
  • clean, unused produce bag (I usually grab a couple of extras while grocery shopping for this purpose :)


Preheat oven to 400ºF.

1. Gather ingredients. Rinse chicken pieces in cool water and place in large bowl (do not pat dry). Coat cookie sheet with the canola oil. Season chicken with coarse ground pepper and seasoned salt.

2. Pour seasoned chicken fry mix (or substitute) in produce bag. Add 4-5 tbsp. of cajun seasong to bag and mix well. If using the garlic salt, pepper, and paprika mixture, use 2 tbsp each. Add a few chicken pieces at a time to the bag, lightly shake bag to evenly coat chicken.

3. After chicken is evenly coated, place on the cookie sheet. Repeat until all chicken pieces are coated and place on sheet.

4. Place pan in oven and set timer for 25 minutes.

5. After 25 minutes, take pan out and carefully flip chicken over (browned side up). Set timer for an additional 20 minutes and place pan back into oven.

6. Remove pan from oven. Use tongs to place chicken on a serving dish.

7. Pair chicken with baby carrot sticks and celery or use another finger food and dipping sauce or dressing of your liking.

8. Enjoy the game!!! (and your wings!)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Chicken Lettuce Wraps-- (like P.F Changs)

I love these as a quick lunch, snack or appetizer. Definitely not the same as P.F. Chang's', but a close second, in my opinion. Give them a try and I'm sure you'll really enjoy them.

Do you have a lettuce wrap recipe that you want to share? Please comment here

Okay, so let's get started!!


3 tablespoons canola oil
4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup water chestnut (canned is fine)
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1/2 red bell pepper
3 tablespoons chopped onions
1 teaspoon minced garlic
10 crisp leaves of romaine or bib lettuce (rinsed and patted dry)

Dipping Sauce:

1/4 cup sugar (or sugar substitute of your choice)
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons water

Dipping Sauce "KICK" add-in:

1 tablespoon hot mustard
1-2 teaspoon garlic and red chile paste

Stir-fry sauce:

4 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar


1. Start with making the dipping sauce. Dissolve 1/4 c. sugar in 1/2 c. water.

(Note: The mixture in the photo below looks dark because I used raw sugar. Also, if you would
like a thicker dipping sauce, add less water.)

2. Gather all the other ingredients you will need.

3. To the sugar/water mixture, Add 2 tbsp. soy sauce.

4. Add 1 tbsp. of lemon juice. (You may use a freshly squeezed lemon. I chose to use bottled lemon juice, since I had it on hand in the fridge.)

5. Add 2 tbsp. each of both rice wine vinegar and ketchup.

6. Add a dash of sesame oil (approx 1/8 tsp.) Mix well and store in fridge for later use.

7. Next, we make the dipping sauce "kick" add-in.
You will need the hot mustard and chili paste for this.

8. Mix in the 1 tbsp. hot mustard and 2 tsp. chili paste in a bowl and set in fridge for later use.

Note: Eventually when your lettuce wraps are served, you will mix the dipping sauce and the 'kick' add-in together for the desired flavor you want. Some may like their dipping sauce hotter/spicier than others, so it's best to keep them separate and allow your guests to mix their add- in for their own desired flavor.

9. Now for the filling for the lettuce wraps: Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and saute them in the 3 tbsp. of canola oil on medium to high heat. 5 minutes on each side until done.

10. When done, remove chicken from pan.

Note: Keep pan heated for stir fry. Also keep any residual oil in pan.

11. Hand shred chicken into smaller pieces as shown below.

12. Now, add veggies!

13. Chop water chestnuts, carrots, garlic and onion in small pieces. I cheated this time and used my food processor...lol. You may do the same.

14. Coarsely chop red bell pepper. Add to other veggies.

15. Add ingredients for the stir fry sauce. (Soy sauce, brown sugar and rice wine vinegar.)
Wisk stir fry sauce together and set aside. Make sure brown sugar is fully dissolved.

16. Add shredded chicken, red bell pepper, onions, carrots and water chestnut to hot pan.

17. Add stir-fry sauce to the pan and saute the mixture for a few minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.

18. Gather lettuce leaves and place about a spoonful of stir-fry mixture in the middle of each lettuce leaf.

19. Remove dipping sauce container from fridge. Add desired amount of the "kick" mixture to the dipping sauce. I suggest adding in a teaspoon at a time until you get the flavor you want. For me, two teaspoons of "kick" was all I could handle. Place in a small dipping container.

If you choose to, you may also pour dipping sauce over your lettuce wraps if you prefer not to 'dip' them in the sauce.

20. Enjoy!!!!

For what it's worth, Mr. Berry gives these lettuce wraps a "two sauce- filled thumbs up!" :)