Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sloppy Joes

Posted by: Maggie
The Pioneer Woman's recipes truly never fail me. I wanted something quick and easy when I made dinner last night for my boyfriend and I, and this delivered. I don't think I'll ever go back to Manwich after realizing how easy it is to make Sloppy Joes homemade.

This recipe makes a TON of sandwich filling, but it's delicious heated up the next day - and this is coming from someone who typically turns up her nose at leftovers. Between my boyfriend and I we've already had 5 large sandwiches out of the batch, and I think we're going to run out of buns far before we run out of meat.

Here's what you'll need:

2 T butter
2 1/2 pounds ground beef
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
1 large green pepper, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1 cup water
2 T packed brown sugar
2 t chili powder
1 t dry mustard
1/2 t dried red pepper flakes
Worcestershire sauce to taste (I probably used about a tablespoon)
2 T tomato paste
Tabasco sauce (optional, to taste - I used about 3 shakes)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Kaiser rolls

Add butter to a large skillet or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add ground beef and cook until brown. Drain most of the fat and discard.
Add onions, green pepper, and garlic. Cook for a few minutes, or until vegetables begin to get soft.
Add ketchup, brown sugar, chili pepper, dry mustard, and water. Stir to combine and simmer for 15 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste. Also add tomato paste, Worcestershire, and Tabasco if desired. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Spoon mixture over kaiser rolls and enjoy. We had these with coleslaw and potato salad picked up from the deli at Whole Foods.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Banana Bread

Posted by: Maggie

This is the recipe for banana bread that my Mom uses, and it's simple and delicious. I let my bananas ripen for about 6 days before making this - make sure they're pretty dark before cooking this recipe to ensure the flavor is as tasty as it should be.

What you'll need:

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas (about 4-5 very large bananas)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9X5 inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Mix in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended.

Add flour mixture to banana mixture, and stir until just moistened. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan, and bake 60-65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in loaf comes out clean. Poke several different spots, as you may hit a banana chunk and think the loaf is underdone, when it in fact isn't.

Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, and turn out on wire rack to complete cooling.

Chocolate Chip Cookies, Redux

Posted by: Maggie

This is the second chocolate chip cookie recipe I'm posting to A Bitchin' Kitchen. The first recipe I added was Alton Brown's amazing recipe for "The Chewy", and while it was delicious I decided to experiment with another recipe.

This recipe calls for the addition of instant pudding to the mix, which supposedly helps keep the cookies soft. They were delicious, and my coworkers gobbled them up.

The recipe did not call for salt, which I adhered to, but I would strongly recommend adding 1/2-1 teaspoon of salt (change noted below).

What you'll need:

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt, and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips and nuts. Chill dough for 1 hour, and then roll into walnut sized balls and place on parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for 9 minutes in preheated oven, or until golden brown.
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