Monday, January 30, 2017

Easiest Bacon Ever!

If you haven't baked your bacon in the oven you need to try this! This isn't a recipe per say, but you can cook an entire package of bacon at once, that turns out pretty much perfect every time with little effort.

The trick to making your bacon in the oven is putting the bacon in a cold oven. As the oven heats up, it slowly renders the fat.

You end up with crispy, meaty pieces.

Oven Baked Bacon 

Line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper. 

Lay bacon on pan, try not to have it overlap.

Place pan in COLD oven. Set oven temperature to 400º. Set timer for 20 minutes.

Remove pan from oven. Drain bacon grease and turn bacon pieces. Bake for 5-10 minutes longer, depending on how crispy you like your bacon. Check the bacon frequently so it does not get overdone.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

5 Ingredient Banana Oat Muffins

When you buy two bunches of bananas each week at the grocery store, there are usually a few leftover. Even after you use this handy trick:  Buy one bunch of bananas as green as possible and stick them in a Green Bag, and clip it closed. 

These muffins are SO easy to make - dump and process! It takes longer for the oven to heat up than to get these mixed up. I call these 5 ingredients, because to me, everyone should have baking soda, salt and cinnamon in their panty 😉They are also gluten-free.

I use the food processor bowl from my Ninja Blender system, which has a very high powered motor. I put everything in the bowl, process for 90 seconds, scrape down the sides, add the chocolate chips, and process for a minute more. (The chocolate chips stay mostly intact but end up larger than had I used mini chips.) After the second process you should not be able to see pieces of the dates. You can also use a blender, but you may need to blend the mixture a little longer. I get 12 nicely domed muffins from each batch. 

There is no added sugar, other than what is in the chocolate chips, so make sure your bananas are VERY ripe. As my mom would say, loaded with sugar spots. Don't worry, the dates provide the sugar!

Older's Thoughts: 

This recipe is fast and easy to make. They are tasty and I like to have them with butter. This is a kid friendly recipe; just dump in the ingredients, blend, then spoon into the muffin tins and bake. I like this recipe a lot! You could also put in berries and other kinds of chocolate chips


5 Ingredient Banana Oat Muffins

2 cups rolled oats
3 medium bananas, very ripe
2 eggs
¾ cup pitted whole dates
1 teaspoon baking soda
⅛ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350º

Mix all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

Spoon batter into a greased muffin tin.

Bake for 15-20 minutes. Let rest in pan 5 minutes before removing from pan to a cooling rack to cool completely. Serve with a smear of butter or peanut butter.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

Breakfast on weekends means pancakes or french toast. I try to do one or the other about once a month. This recipe makes a large batch, enough for two boys who will easily eat 6 or 8 (each!) and the two of us, plus a freezer bag full. It makes an easy breakfast for the boys during the school week and they taste so much better than store-bought frozen pancakes. You could halve the recipe if you don't want leftovers.

These Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes are by far our favorite. More often than not, I add chocolate chips, but we will on occasion, add blueberries. The nice thing about this recipe is it uses the whole quart of buttermilk. If it all possible, use real buttermilk, not soured milk or buttermilk powder. 

I have three tricks for pancakes. One: Let the batter rest 5-10 minutes before dropping on a hot skillet. I think this helps with the fluffiness. 
Two: Use a cast iron skillet, because it maintains an even heat. I heat my pan to medium before dropping the batter. Three: Wait to drop the pancake batter until the butter has stopped bubbling.

Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

4 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons sugar
4 eggs
4 cups buttermilk
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips (use standard size, not mini) or blueberries

Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and sugar in a large bowl.

Combine the eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry. Stir but do not beat. Lumps are okay.

Melt butter in a cast iron skillet over medium. Wait to drop pancake batter until butter has stopped bubbling. 

Cook pancakes until bubbles that form on top, burst. Flip then cook the other side until golden brown.