Showing posts with label Rain. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rain. Show all posts

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Cream Cheese Filled Banana Bread

By the time I get to catch up posting again...I will be going back to Cleveland for another visit to check on my sister; who is not improving with her mental and physical health...sad to say! In the meantime, I have not spent any time on my blog for one month. I do have several photos of things I have made that I would love to share with you and this amazing Banana Bread with Cream Cheese filling is one of them!
Now that I have joined Weight Watchers again, for the 'upteenth time'...in my opinion, this time is the best time joining and still losing the desired weight is beyond my 'wild' expectation. It is so easy to track the points and stay within the 'portion control' is so important. The extra point allowance of (49) is used at your own convenience, which I chose for Saturday and Sunday. That's when I can bake and cook to my 'heart's content' and I love it.
We all love a good homemade banana bread and my daughter and I make a loaf every week makes a loaf with the leftover ripe bananas. Actually I just make the special ones every now-and-then when a new recipe catches my eye! Since I'm a Pinterest addict, I save quite a few interesting and new recipes...although this may not be so new, but 'new to me'!

Cream Cheese Filled Banana Bread
Ingredients
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 mashed ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 4 TB sour cream
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 TB Sugar
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
Cream Cheese Mixture :
  • 8-10 ounce cream cheese, softened
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TB flour
Instructions
  1. Mix sugar, butter & eggs. Dissolve baking soda in sour cream, add bananas, salt and 2 cups flour. Mix all together.
  2. Divide ½ of this mixture into 2 floured loaf pans.
  3. Combine cream cheese ingredients and spread over mixture in pans. Spread remaining banana batter on top.
  4. Sprinkle top with 1 TB sugar mixed w. ½ teaspoon cinnamon before baking.
  5. Bake at 350 for 50 min. Cool and serve. 

Been having much needed rain here in Palm Beach...just wanted to share this beautiful photo with you that I snapped at the 'spare of the moment' with my Smart Phone...also, all the previous photos have been taken with my cell phone since most of the time I'm not prepared to take photos and do not have my camera 'on hand'.
Wishing you all a beautiful Sunday...although in most parts of the globe Sunday has ended, so have a beautiful and pleasant week, to all my friends!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Nectarine and Almond Tart


As you know, we're still enjoying our summer months here in South Florida, with temperatures still in the upper 80's degrees...but meanwhile, in South Dakota, they got their early 'first snow'...so bizarre!
We are still able to buy peaches and nectarines in our supermarkets, and produce markets, and enjoying the last of the summer's fruits. I decided to make an easy tart with the nectarines, using puff
pastry...which is so versatile and so quick; the possibilities are 'endless'.
Here's a little 'hint' when making tarts, galettes, open faced pies, or even on cakes, featuring your favorite fruits, or berries...always brush them with a nice glaze that you make yourself, from heating up preserves that compliment the fruit, and straining them before brushing them on the fruits. You have to work fast, or the glaze will harden and then you have to start all over by heating it to a boil!
When I made the guava pastries is how I got inspired to want to keep a package of puff pastry in my freezer which would be handy at the last minute's notice...and sure enough it was. You just take one of the pastry rolls (of 2) out, about 30 minutes before starting, and it will thaw out perfect just on your counter. I will walk you through...step-by-step to demonstrate how I made this delicious...just not so 'pretty layers' which should have been standing like 'perfect little soldiers'!
Very little sugar is used to sweeten this yummy pastry; the hardest part is slicing them evenly, and lining them...slightly overlapping. I had to discard some of the slices, at least half of them which were turning brown inside...sigh!
So here's my version of this easy, and fast recipe. (The almond filling was adapted by another source)

Nectarine and Almond Tart
recipe by; Elisabeth

8 medium nectarines
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened (not melted)
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 sheet frozen puff pastry thawed
1/4 cup peach, or apricot preserves, heated to a boil, and strained







Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.











Cut nectarines in half, remove pit, and slice them
into 1/4 in. to 1/2 in. slices. In a food processor.
( a small is OK to use.)




Pulse almonds, flour, and sugar.









Pulse a few times making sure to finely grind.




















 
Add the 4 Tbsp softened butter, the 1 large egg, and the vanilla. Process until it forms into a smooth thick creamy paste.
 
Unfold pastry to parchment lined baking sheet.
Spread almond mixture, leaving 1/2 inch border.
 
Line the fruit slices closely, by overlapping them. (I didn't have enough slices, so I lined them as closely as possible.)
 
Bake at 400 degrees F. for 20 minutes, and lower the temperature to 350 degrees for another 15 more minutes, to keep from burning.
 
 
 
 
 
Pastry should be golden, puffed, and fruit, tender.
 
 
 
 
Brush the fruit with the strained preserves, while it's hot, and let it cool for 20 minutes. before cutting.
 
Very good as a light dessert, or a morning or afternoon snack!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
13th Anniversary of the Sept. 11 Terror attacks...
 
 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Unfried Chicken

Tomorrow is Independence Day...on 4th of July, and as far as I'm concerned fried, or grilled chicken cannot be left out. In my case, as much as I would love to get the gas grill going of my family's grill...it's 'not happening'...since I'll be elsewhere, enjoying my celebration with friends, while my daughter and family are still vacationing in Italy.
Chicken is a huge favorite of mine, and the entire family's...can't get tired of it since there are so many ways of preparing it. Frying the chicken is not an option these days for health reasons, so unfried, is the best way for 'fried' chicken lovers. Instead of breadcrumbs, or Panko, I used crushed corn flakes to pat on the chicken.  I got the inspiration from Bobby Deen, Paula Deen's son. Check out his recipe for the...
 Unfried Chicken
Instead of buttermilk, I used Ranch dressing from a bottle, to dip the chicken into, NO Egg whites needed, and I crushed the cornflakes to a finer grade, using a large zip-lock baggie, and just used the heel of my hand to crush it. Also added 1 cup of flour right in the bag, and added the chicken pieces right into the bag. Make sure you tap the crust so it adheres well.

Most importantly, I replaced the boneless chicken thighs like the recipe mentions, and got with the skin, and bone in. A lot cheaper with bone and skin on. I removed the skin, of course. Baked it for additional 10 minutes in the Le Creuset cast iron glazed skillet. I only baked 4 pieces, and will make an additional for the next day, or freeze it!
We have been getting rain, every day...for the month of June...I mean, heavy, heavy downpour! Also there's a Hurricane watch, which may come our way. Watching through the window on the front of the house...there's a cute papaya tree in the middle which is only less than a year old, and it has lots of papaya's...still green, but I saved a large papaya to ripen. We get sunshine every morning until about 2:00PM, then it gets cloudy and the rain starts for over one hour, sometime longer! Cools things down a little, but everything stays so green!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Mozzarella Caprese Rolls

I have actually surprised my own self creating this wonderful fresh mozzarella rolls, with fresh sliced Roma tomatoes, black olives, sun-dried tomato slices, and fresh basil leaves. All these ingredients were on-hand in the fridge at my daughter's...actually, the fresh basil, I snipped off the basil plant.

They were so easy to put together; fresh, colorful, and super delicious! You never know...really, what you can create just from your own ingredients if you are like me, having fresh cheese, vegetables, and of course condiments that are just waiting for some creative hand to liven them up. Giving it a new name, as well...not knowing if there's actually a name for it out there, so you just re-name your creation...that's why I mentioned that I surprised myself!


Seriously, having the freshest ingredients, and special cheese, which we love so much in my family; you can't really go wrong. Imported black olives, or calamata pitted olives, and I just love, sun-dried tomatoes to use in salads, and pasta dishes.
I will show you step-by step how I made this; just glancing at the photo on the package of the cheese to give me an idea

So this is the surprise...BEL GIOIOSO
UNWRAP & ROLL, Fresh Mozzarella Cheese











Just look how easy...unwrap the roll...remove the
plastic, and start filling it with your favorite filling that compliments the cheese.











My choice was the idea of a Caprese with the mozzarella cheese...except I 'kicked it up a notch' by adding more complimentary ingredients that would go well with the fresh tomato slices.
black pitted olives could be optional...you can add capers, or even roasted pepper slices.






These are the sun-dried tomatoes I use...excellent quality, and I just love that it's julienned already.











I used about 1 cup of the sun-dried tomatoes,  maybe slightly more, and boiled them in small amount of water for 5 minutes to soften them a little more. (don't boil them longer, or they will lose their flavor and get too soft)

I placed them on a plate and poured abt. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil and stirred them around the get them saturated.



You can use the oil to drizzle on the flat portion of the roll, or skip that part. Sprinkle some sea salt on it, and freshly ground pepper.

 I used the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes to drizzle before rolling it, but you can omit this step.







Wrap the roll tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2hrs or longer. Carefully remove wrap and slice with a sharp knife. Use a spatula to serve the pieces on a small plate as an appetizer, and serve with crunchy bread...totally amazing, and super delicious!























Thursday, July 11, 2013

Hungarian Cherry Tea Cake

Had I known that fresh cherries in S. Florida cost $2.99 pr. pound (maybe just for short time)...instead of $6.99 pr. pound, I would have made this amazing Hungarian Cherry Tea Cake with it. Better yet, I got a brilliant idea and used the fabulous Amarena Fabbri Cherries  that are imported from Italy.

Hungarian Cherry Tea Cake
adapted from: Sheila Lukins
All Around the World Cookbook

Recipe doubled; is my only adaptation
(except for the butter, which remains the same amount)

8 tablespoons (1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature)
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
6 large eggs, separated
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups pitted sweet dark cherries, fresh, or well-drained jarred

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter an 8 1/2 inch spring form  cake pan. Line the bottom with a  round of waxed paper and butter the paper.

Cream the butter and the 1 cup of sugar in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer. Add the egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla. Mix well. Add the flour and mix well.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt, until firm, but not stiff. Stir one-third of the egg whites into the batter with a rubber spatula until just combined.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Top evenly with the cherries, leaving about 1/2 inch border around the sides of the pan. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Bake the cake until golden brown and the it springs back when lightly touched, about 35 minutes.

Cool the cake on a wire rack for 10 minutes Run a small knife around the cake to loosen it from the side of the pan. Remove the ring and let the cake cool completely. When it is completely cool, invert the cake onto a large plate. Remove the spring form bottom and the waxed paper, then invert the cake onto a serving plate. Serves 8

These lovely sour cherries are in sweet syrup with a touch of hazelnut flavor, so awesome by itself over ice cream, or use it in baking!
 
 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Italian Restaurant, at the Breakers Hotel

First things first! This is a restaurant review that I want to share with you...no, I didn't make this amazing Shrimp Scampi, gigantic shrimp, served on a bed of fresh steamed baby spinach, and fresh diced tomatoes, in a delicious wine and butter garlic sauce. This was my choice for the entree!

My family and I enjoyed a wonderful evening at the Breakers Hotel, in Palm Beach...our favorite little Italian restaurant on the premises, at the gorgeous hotel. Kids friendly...they have a play room for the little kids, and also a fun arcade that even the bigger ones enjoy so much
.
http://www.thebreakers.com/restaurants_lounges/the_italian_restaurant/

Steamed Mussels...my son Joe's favorite, that we all shared...this was an appetizer...great choice!
A personalized pizza for my d-in-law, Cara...asparagus, shrimp, and olives...yummy pizza with such a great crust! The girls had their kids menu..their favorite, chicken fingers, made with chicken tenders, and fried crispy, and golden, with their favorite french fries.
For dessert, Cara chose the caramel apple tartlet, with almond ice cream and crunchy pieces of almonds.
My choice was the fresh berries with zabaglione...so perfect with the fresh berries..yumm!
My granddaughters favorite choice was the Brownie Sundae...just look at the perfect fudge brownie and creamy vanilla brownie...drizzle with fudge sauce...a chocolate lover's dream dessert!