Our newest Banana Bread obsession

Our newest Banana Bread obsession

posted in: Breakfast, Desserts, Food, Snacks | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

We have previously posted several banana based recipes: Banana Chocolate Chip Scones, Banana Oatmeal Muffins, even dog treats. We have also featured our “Best” Banana Bread. However, the previous recipe for the “Best” Banana Bread has been dethroned as the “Best.” We still love that recipe but the one we are sharing today is even better.

Our new, favorite banana bread has walnuts in it, we had NO idea what we were missing out on! Use a food processor to pulse your nuts to get them finely chopped but be careful not to over process or you won’t be able to taste them in the bread.


Another lesson we have finally learned is lining the loaf pan with parchment paper before pouring the batter in. This makes the removal so much easier and you no longer have to hold your breath hoping the loaf comes out perfectly.

Our last tip is letting the eggs come to room temperature. Room temperature eggs allow for the incorporation of air and sugar to volumize the bread.

Best Banana Bread

Best Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (255 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 T ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups (255 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 2 T sour cream
  • 1 T vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon, salt and walnuts. Set aside.
  3. Using a stand mixer with whisk attachment, whisk sugar and eggs on medium speed until they are light, fluffy and an off white color. About 10 minutes.
  4. While waiting for the sugar and egg mixture to whip, mash bananas and add sour cream and vanilla extract.
  5. After 10 minutes, while still whisking, drizzle in vegetable oil.
  6. Reduce speed to low, carefully add the banana mixture.
  7. Remove mixing bowl from stand mixer and gently fold in flour mixture.
  8. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 75-85 minutes. Time will be dependent on how large your bananas are. Be careful not to overbake.
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Fluffy and Delicious Dinner Rolls

Fluffy and Delicious Dinner Rolls

posted in: Food, Side Dishes | 1 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Thanksgiving is just a couple weeks away and if you are like us, you are probably in the beginning stages of assembling your menu. One major part of our Thanksgiving menu is rolls. We are devout carb lovers therefore a holiday dinner is not complete without fluffy dinner rolls.

Fluffy Dinner Rolls

When we were younger, we always bought Pillsbury Flaky Layers Biscuits to consume with our turkey and gravy. While these biscuits are delicious, they just aren’t the same as homemade bread. In a pinch or a nostalgic moment, we still eat these biscuits.

But since Thanksgiving is a great time to try new things on your menu, give these dinner rolls a try. They are simple to make and the end result is delicious.


To start, mix warm water and yeast in stand mixer bowl. Let sit for 10-15 minutes covered with a tea towel, until frothy.
Fluffy Dinner Rolls
In a medium mixing bowl whisk together milk, egg, vegetable oil, sugar and salt.
Fluffy Dinner Rolls
Fluffy Dinner Rolls
Add the liquid mix to the yeast mixture. Stir to combine using the dough hook attachment.
Fluffy Dinner Rolls
Add all of the flour and mix until a shaggy dough has formed on level 2.
Fluffy Dinner Rolls
Continue kneading the dough for 8-10 minutes on level 2. Dough will be smooth, slightly tacky and will spring back when poked.
Fluffy Dinner Rolls
Spray large mixing bowl and a piece of plastic wrap with oil. Place dough in prepared bowl, then cover with the plastic wrap. Gently press the wrap onto the dough surface so it stays moist.
Fluffy Dinner Rolls
Cover bowl with tea towel and let rise 45-60 minutes, until doubled in size.
Fluffy Dinner Rolls
Carefully remove plastic wrap and place aside to reuse. Flour a cutting board and dump dough out.
Fluffy Dinner Rolls
Cut into 12 pieces. Fold each piece onto itself to form a smooth to then roll into balls. Place into 11×7 pan.
Fluffy Dinner Rolls
Cover pan with saved plastic wrap and tea towel. Let rise again about 30 minutes until pillowy and doubled in size.
Fluffy Dinner Rolls
Preheat oven to 375°F. Melt tablespoon of butter and gently brush onto tops of the risen rolls.
Fluffy Dinner Rolls
Fluffy Dinner Rolls
Bake 15-18 minutes until golden brown.
Fluffy Dinner Rolls
Devour one or three!
Fluffy Dinner Rolls

Fluffy and Delicious Dinner Rolls

Fluffy and Delicious Dinner Rolls

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c warm water (105-110°F)
  • 1 T active dry yeast
  • 1/2 c milk, room temperature
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 16 oz all purpose flour
  • 1 T butter
  • Special equipment: Stand mixer with dough hook

Instructions

  1. In a stand mixing bowl, combine warm water and yeast, stir to mix then cover with tea towel. Let sit 10-15 minutes until frothy.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together milk, egg, vegetable oil, sugar and salt. Add this to the yeast mixture.
  3. Stir a couple of times with the dough hook attachment to incorporate.
  4. Carefully add all of the flour to the mixing bowl. Mix until a shaggy dough forms.
  5. Then knead on level 2 for 8-10 minutes. Dough will be smooth, slightly tacky and will spring back when poked.
  6. Spray a large mixing bowl and a piece of plastic wrap with oil. Transfer dough to prepared bowl and cover the dough with the plastic wrap, pressing it around the dough. Cover bowl with tea towel and let rise for 45-60 minutes, until doubled in size.
  7. Lightly flour a cutting board. Carefully remove the plastic wrap and set aside to use again.
  8. Dump dough onto cutting board. Cut into 12 pieces, fold the pieces onto themselves and roll into balls. Place in an 11x7 pan.
  9. Cover with the oiled plastic wrap again and cover with tea towel. Let rise for about 30 minutes or until doubled in size and pillowy looking.
  10. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  11. Melt tablespoon of butter and lightly brush onto the risen rolls.
  12. Bake 15-18 minutes until lightly golden.
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Date Pecan Cookies

Date Pecan Cookies

posted in: Desserts, Food | 1 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Cookies are delicious any time. Our year-round of love of cookies is apparent from our previous recipes for Mini M&M Cookies and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. But once the weather starts to become cooler and the leaves start changing, cookies are even better. They warm your house and your soul at the same time!
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These Date Pecan Cookies are moist from the chopped dates but also a little crunchy with the chopped pecans. The hint of cinnamon is what really takes these cookies over the top! If you are a chocolate lover, you could also add chocolate chips to these cookies for added deliciousness.

We told you about how our Grandma was keen to distinguish between figs and dates in our recipe for Roasted Bacon-Wrapped, Blue Cheese-Stuffed Fresh Figs. When dried, figs and dates do look rather similar and upon further research, they have more similarities. We discovered that both have origins in the Middle East and have been cultivated for their delicious fruit since ancient times.

Furthermore, both plants can be quite drought tolerant. There is even a date farm in Yuma, Arizona: Martha’s Gardens. However, dates come from the date palm, while figs come from the deciduous Ficus carica tree of the mulberry family. We enjoy eating both! Now let’s start baking!


Mix the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a bowl.
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Cream together the butter and granulated sugar.
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Add eggs, one at a time and mix after each one. Then add vanilla.
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Add dry ingredients.
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Mix in chopped dates and pecans. Mix until incorporated. Refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.
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Dough will be very hard, use a heavy duty spoon to scoop heaping tablespoons of dough. Then roll in your hands to form a ball.
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Bake 10-11 minutes at 350°F.
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Let cool on wire rack then devour.
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Date Pecan Cookies

Date Pecan Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 c flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1 c butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 c roughly chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 c chopped, pitted dates

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  4. Add vanilla and mix.
  5. Carefully add dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.
  6. Add pecans and dates, mix until evenly distributed.
  7. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill at least two hours or overnight.
  8. Preheat oven 350°F.
  9. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  10. Dough will be very hard, use a heavy duty spoon to scoop a heaping tablespoon of dough, then roll to form a ball. Continue with rest of dough.
  11. Bake 10-11 minutes until cookies are golden brown and center is cooked.
  12. Let cool on wire rack.
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Our Best, Beautiful Banana Bread

Our Best, Beautiful Banana Bread

posted in: Breakfast, Desserts, Food, Snacks | 6 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Our family loves bananas, we always have a supply on hand. Even when you eat them everyday, you can still get a couple that ripen too quickly and are better for baking than for eating alone. We have previously shared a couple of banana recipes: Banana Oatmeal Muffins and Banana Chocolate Chip Scones.

twitter beautiful banana bread

Today’s banana recipe is for the very best banana bread. We have tried lots of banana bread recipes and this is the only one that we can all agree tastes delicious. It is the same one our mom baked for us when we were little kids!

The most important ingredient in banana bread is of course B-A-N-A-N-A-S. Make sure to mash them up well, you don’t want too big of chunks in your bread.
banana bread - 1
The dry ingredients, flour and baking soda.
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Softened butter and glorious granulated sugar.
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The butter and sugar creamed together.
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Add in the eggs and vanilla.
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The liquid mixture is now complete.
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Carefully add in the dry ingredients.
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Mix until incorporated.
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Now it’s time for the bananas.
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Take your time mixing in the bananas, at first it will be a little difficult but in the end, you have banana pieces all throughout.
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Pour the batter into a buttered loaf pan.
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Bake until a toothpick comes out clean.
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Slice and enjoy!

Banana Bread

Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1/2 c butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 c flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Grease a 5x9 loaf pan.
  3. Cream butter and sugar.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla.
  5. Combine flour and baking soda, then add to liquid mixture.
  6. Stir in mashed bananas.
  7. Pour into prepared pan.
  8. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean.
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All Time Favorite Mini M&M Cookies

All Time Favorite Mini M&M Cookies

posted in: Desserts, Food | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

There is something magical about baking. Not only the magic of chemistry but also the magic of soothing the soul. Baking has a way of decreasing the stress of everyday life.

All Time Favorite Mini M&M Cookies

As you can tell from previous recipes, we love baked goods. We have shared our recipes for Banana Oatmeal Muffins and Peach Muffins. Last week, we also shared a recipe for Blueberry Crumble. Today, we wanted to share our favorite cookie recipe.

To us, a cookie should be sweet, soft, and include some form of chocolate. Our favorite form of chocolate for these cookies is mini M&Ms but you can use any kind, semi-sweet, milk, or dark. Whatever suits your fancy.

Another important characteristic for the perfect cookie is to not be over-baked. The cookie should be slightly brown on the bottom and just barely cooked in the middle. This yields a soft, moist cookie instead of a hard crumbly kind.

This recipe is quite fast. From beginning to end, it only takes 45 minutes to make 3 dozen cookies!

ALL TIME FAVORITE MINI M&M COOKIES

Combine dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder) in a bowl and set aside.

Favorite Mini M&M Cookies - 1

Place softened butter, granulated sugar, and packed brown sugar into electric mixer.

Favorite Mini M&M Cookies - 2

Cream together until fluffy.
Favorite Mini M&M Cookies - 3

Prepare vanilla and 1 large egg.

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Here is the batter after all wet ingredients have been combined.

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Add the previously mixed dry ingredients into the batter.

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Mmm cookie dough!

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Get those Mini M&M’s ready!

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Use a spatula or wooden spoon to mix in the M&M’s.

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Scoop ’em out with a small ice cream scoop. Pop them into a preheated 350°F oven. Farewell, dear cookies. We shall meet again.

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So much waiting!

 
10 minutes later…

Favorite Mini M&M Cookies - 11

Sweet Perfection!

Favorite Mini M&M Cookies - 12

All Time Favorite Mini M&M cookies

Yield: 36 cookies

All Time Favorite Mini M&M cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/8 t salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 6 ounces mini M&Ms

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line pan with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  4. Cream butter and both sugars together.
  5. Mix in egg and vanilla.
  6. Carefully mix in dry ingredients.
  7. Using spatula, fold in mini M&Ms.
  8. Scoop dough onto prepared pan, about 2 inches apart.
  9. Bake 9-10 minutes, until bottom is lightly brown.
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Grandma’s Sweet and Savory Teriyaki Chicken (GIFT #2)

Grandma’s Sweet and Savory Teriyaki Chicken (GIFT #2)

posted in: Food, Grandma Inspired Fantastic Treats (GIFTs), Main Dishes | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

This is the second post in our blog series, Grandma-Inspired Fantastic Treats (GIFTs). Today’s treat is our Grandma’s recipe for teriyaki chicken.

sugar, karo, ground ginger, soy sauce, chicken

She would make this dish for special Japanese holidays including New Year’s, Boy’s Day and Girl’s Day. For this recipe, you can use any cut of meat. This time we used chicken breast, however, when our grandma made it, she always used chicken thighs. The dark meat takes on the marinade really well.

sugar, karo, ground ginger, soy sauce, chicken

This teriyaki sauce is delectable, sweet and salty. A hint of umami. So good. It might be the Karo syrup… ?

I remember seeing that stuff in the cupboard when I was a kid, before the whole anti-corn syrup movement, and wondering what is that goo? I had no idea it was made from actual corn! Ha. In case you’re interested in corn and food, here’s an informative article from the Washington Post: How corn made its way into just about everything we eat.

teriyaki chicken sauce

After boiling, the ingredients come together to this wonderfully thick and shiny sauce. Cool marinade to room temperature and add to cut up chicken.

sugar, karo, ground ginger, soy sauce, chicken

We do all our marinating in gallon size ziploc bags. Stand the bag up in a large bowl to avoid spills.

sugar, karo, ground ginger, soy sauce, chicken

Ready to go in the fridge overnight.

sugar, karo, ground ginger, soy sauce, chicken

After baking at 325°F for an hour, you get… Grandma’s Sweet and Savory Teriyaki Chicken!!!

sugar, karo, ground ginger, soy sauce, chicken

While Grandma loved making Teriyaki Chicken, her favorite fast food joint was… you guessed it, Panda Express. Both our grandparents loved their orange sauce and mandarin teriyaki sauce. Panda Express is still a wonderful guilty pleasure for us, and while it is neither healthy nor artisanal, there is still something very comforting about sliding your tray down the line, drooling over greasy noodles and crab rangoons.

 

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Grandma's Sweet and Savory Teriyaki Chicken

Grandma's Sweet and Savory Teriyaki Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup Karo Light
  • 1/8 cup mirin
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 t ginger powder
  • 2-3 pounds chicken breast

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients EXCEPT the chicken in a medium saucepan
  2. Boil for 10 minutes
  3. Let cool
  4. Cut chicken into about 1 inch cubes
  5. Place chicken into gallon ziploc and pour sauce in
  6. Press air out of bag and massage so marinade is touching all sides of chicken
  7. Marinate overnight
  8. Preheat oven to 325°F
  9. Pour chicken into a baking dish and cover with aluminum foil
  10. Bake 30 minutes, turn pieces, bake another 30 minutes
  11. Chicken will be done when internal temperature reaches 165°F
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Roasted Bacon-Wrapped, Blue Cheese-Stuffed Fresh Figs (GIFT #1)

Roasted Bacon-Wrapped, Blue Cheese-Stuffed Fresh Figs (GIFT #1)

posted in: Food, Grandma Inspired Fantastic Treats (GIFTs), Side Dishes | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Last week we announced that we were going to start a new blog series about Grandma Inspired Fantastic Treats (GIFTs). This recipe kicks off the series and is most definitely inspired by our grandma, the original foodie in our life. We previously blogged about her love of Greek food in this post about Chicken Souvlaki.

twitter fig

Our grandma was very matter-of-fact, with a limited filter (aka she said exactly what was on her mind). A couple of years ago, our family travelled to the Midwest for a wedding. After the wedding, we spent some time at the bride’s house with our grandma’s sister-in-law.

The family had made a nice dinner and when we arrived at the house, they were still preparing the appetizer, bacon-wrapped, blue cheese stuffed, dried dates. Naturally, we jumped into help.

The new groom, showed us how to put them together, “First, you take the dried fig and then…” Our grandma jumped in before he could even finish his sentence.

“That’s NOT a FIG, that’s a DATE!” she proclaimed emphatically.

We all turned red, embarrassed by our grandma correcting this man she had just barely met.

“GrandMA,” we hissed at her.

“Whaaatt? That’s a date not a fig.” She showed no signs of self-consciousness.

The groom continued on like nothing happened and we eventually enjoyed the dried dates with melted blue cheese and crispy bacon.

While our grandma never made this tasty treat, as you can tell from this funny story, she definitely inspired it.

Finding Fresh Figs

We found the fresh figs for this recipe at Costco in the freezing, walk-in refrigerator room. According to an article by The City Cook, figs are in season from June to September. This jives with what we found out from the produce guy at our local Trader Joe’s.

More Bacon Recipes for You!
Luscious Bacon-Wrapped Steak Fit for a Queen
Sweet and Salty, Bacon-licious, BBQ Baked Beans
Mouth-Watering, Almost Healthy, Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus

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Here we have our fresh figs! Plus some frying bacon – always a welcome sight!

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While your bacon is frying, score those figs and get your blue cheese ready for action.

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Cool bacon on paper towels and stuff figs with blue cheese.

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Wrap stuffed figs with bacon and bake for 15-20 minutes at 350°F.

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FIGS, GLORIOUS FIGS!

Another variation of this appetizer incorporates a pecan or walnut inside the fig with the cheese. We were not so keen on the idea at first, but after tasting this version, we believe the addition of a pecan would be absolutely perfect!

Bacon-Wrapped, Blue Cheese Stuffed Fresh Figs (GIFT #1)

Bacon-Wrapped, Blue Cheese Stuffed Fresh Figs (GIFT #1)

Ingredients

  • Fresh Figs
  • Blue Cheese Crumbles
  • Bacon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil
  3. Par cook bacon so some of the fat is rendered but still soft enough to bend
  4. Let bacon cool slightly
  5. Quarter figs from the bottom, being careful not to slice completely
  6. Place cheese crumble into cavity
  7. Wrap bacon around the fig and use a toothpick to hold it all together
  8. Place on prepared baking sheet
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes
  10. Let cool slightly
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Luscious Bacon-Wrapped Steak Fit for a Queen

Luscious Bacon-Wrapped Steak Fit for a Queen

posted in: Food, Main Dishes | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Bacon-Wrapped Steak is a luxurious menu item that can be found at just about any steakhouse. The only problem is that you have to pay an arm and a leg to eat the meaty goodness. But have no fear, you can easily replicate the steakhouse experience at home and it is super easy to do.

luscious bacon wrapped steak 8

The first step is to pick out the perfect steak. Any type of steak will do, however, you do need to consider the circumference of the steak. When you cook the bacon, it will shorten. Therefore, you need to either pick steaks that are smaller than the length of cooked bacon or you will need to cut larger steaks down to size.

The next step to achieving luscious bacon-wrapped steak is to fire up the grill. Preheat to about 350°F. Lay the strips of bacon across the grate and par cook until it is slightly brown.

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Wrap the cooled bacon around the steaks and use a toothpick to keep the bacon and steak together.

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Voilá!

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Grill the steak to your desired doneness based on how thick the steak is. We prefer a medium rare steak that is still juicy and pink on the inside.

luscious bacon wrapped steak 6

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Some people use the touch method to determine doneness, which you can see demonstrated here. If you have heat sensitive fingers, we would not recommend this method.

Our preferred method is using a timer. We have never had a problem with overcooking using this method. You can see a grilling time chart here.

Let your steaks rest for 5 minutes and then enjoy!

luscious bacon wrapped steak 9

Bacon-Wrapped Steak

Bacon-Wrapped Steak

Ingredients

  • Bacon
  • Steak
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat grill then reduce temperature to low, about 350°F
  2. Remove steaks from fridge about 15-20 minutes prior to grilling
  3. Rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper
  4. Grill bacon slices until slightly brown but not crispy
  5. Let bacon cool slightly, still warm to touch
  6. Wrap bacon around the outside of the steaks
  7. Use a toothpick to hold the bacon and steak together
  8. Depending on how thick your steak is, grill to your desired doneness
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Sweet and Salty, Bacon-licious, BBQ Baked Beans

Sweet and Salty, Bacon-licious, BBQ Baked Beans

posted in: Food, Side Dishes | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

BBQ baked beans have always been a staple of our family’s summer cookouts, but we have always purchased cans and heated them up. We especially enjoy Bush’s Beans, largely due to that adorable dog – Duke! He’s snarky AND cute – #goals.

Recently, we decided to try making our own baked beans and the result did not disappoint. But don’t worry Duke, we’ll still buy yours too.

Making your own beans from scratch requires a little bit of forethought because the dry beans need to soak overnight and plump up.

beans, baked beans, food, kitchen, cooking, recipe, eat

baked beans 3

BBQ baked beans always require bacon, lots of yummy, delicious bacon.

bacon, baked beans, food, kitchen, cooking, recipe, eat

Add in some green bell pepper, onion and garlic…

beans, baked beans, food, kitchen, cooking, recipe, eat

beans, baked beans, food, kitchen, cooking, recipe, eat

Along with some molasses, brown sugar, ketchup, and honey…

beans, baked beans, food, kitchen, cooking, recipe, eat

beans, baked beans, food, kitchen, cooking, recipe, eat

And you’ve got baked bean brilliance. Smoky, spicy and sweet. What else could you want? Everyone gobbled these BBQ baked beans at our latest summer feast. Try the recipe and let us know what you think!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Sweet and Salty, Bacon-licious, BBQ Baked Beans

Sweet and Salty, Bacon-licious, BBQ Baked Beans

Ingredients

  • 8 cups water
  • 1 1/2 T Kosher Salt
  • 1 pound dry pinto beans
  • 12 oz bacon, cut into 1/2 inch squares
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 1/2 T garlic
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 T yellow mustard
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T sriracha
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1 t paprika

Instructions

  1. Rinse beans to remove dirt and pick out any bad beans or hidden rocks
  2. In medium size bowl or container, mix 8 cups water and kosher salt
  3. Add pinto beans, let sit overnight at room temperature
  4. Drain and rinse beans again
  5. In large dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat
  6. Remove browned bacon, leaving as much fat as possible
  7. Add onion and cook until slightly brown
  8. Add green pepper and garlic, cook for one minute
  9. Add 3 cups water, chicken stock, reserved bacon and beans
  10. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for one hour
  11. Preheat oven to 300°F
  12. Stir in remaining ingredients, cover and place in oven
  13. Bake for 4 hours, stirring occasionally
  14. Remove cover and bake for another hour
  15. Let cool 15-20 minutes
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Banana Chocolate Chip Scones

Banana Chocolate Chip Scones

posted in: Breakfast, Desserts, Food | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

I love the flavor of bananas. It has been a lifelong obsession. Banana Runts are my favorite. I also love banana Laffy Taffy. I even love the banana flavored Circus Peanuts despite their kind of squishy texture. Bananas and chocolate are yet another perfect pair, which brings us to our recipe today.

Scones have always been a weird baking conundrum for me. No matter what I did, they ended up being dry and never sweet enough. The other day, it dawned on me that substituting brown sugar for granulated sugar would help. This, in combination with the mashed bananas, would make the scones more moist and sweeter. My finishing touches included some warm spices (cinnamon and nutmeg) and mini chocolate chips.

Enjoy!

banana, chocolate chip, baking, breakfast, dessert

Start by mixing all the dry ingredients in a large bowl: flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt.

banana, chocolate chip, baking, breakfast, dessert

Add butter and use fingers to blend butter into the dry ingredients.

banana, chocolate chip, baking, breakfast, dessert

Mix vanilla into the mashed bananas.

banana, chocolate chip, baking, breakfast, dessert

Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the banana mixture and heavy cream.

banana, chocolate chip, baking, breakfast, dessert

Mix until all the ingredients are incorporated, the batter will be very wet.

banana, chocolate chip, baking, breakfast, dessert

The batter is quite moist and a little hard to work with, however the end product is also very moist and tasty.

banana, chocolate chip, baking, breakfast, dessert

Flour a cutting board and scoop out half the dough. Form into a disk and cut into 8 scones. Place scones onto cookie sheets, repeat with second half.

banana, chocolate chip, baking, breakfast, dessert

Bake at 425°F for 12-15 minutes.  

Banana Chocolate Chip Scones

Banana Chocolate Chip Scones

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 c flour
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 3/4 c butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 c mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl mix first seven ingredients until well combined.
  4. Add butter and use fingers to blend butter into the dry ingredients. You can use a pastry cutter for this process if you have one.
  5. Mix vanilla into the mashed bananas.
  6. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the banana mixture and heavy cream. Mix until all the ingredients are incorporated, the batter will be very wet.
  7. Add chocolate chips.
  8. Flour a cutting board and scoop out half the dough.
  9. Form into a disk and cut (alternatively you could use a scoop to portion out).
  10. Place pieces onto cookie sheets, repeat with second half.
  11. Bake 12-15 minutes.
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High Carb, High Fat Breakfast of Champions: A Simple Pleasure

High Carb, High Fat Breakfast of Champions: A Simple Pleasure

posted in: Breakfast, Food | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

In the low fat, low carb world we live in today, sometimes a girl just wants some carbs and some fat. I’ve had some buttered toast in my day, and to date this recipe is tops in my book. It starts with Sara Lee Artesano Style Bread.

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The next ingredient is President butter. (Apparently France’s #1 Butter! I can certainly see why. Such salty, smooth goodness.)

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The bread and butter cost $2.99 each at Safeway, bringing the total cost $5.98. “That seems like a lot for something so boring,” you might say. To some this may be true, but not to me. I believe it’s worth every penny.

I’ve tried the 99 cent bread with “healthy butter” made of oils. It’s just not the same. (And no, we’re not sponsored by Sara Lee or President.)

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Look how thick that bread is! It’s practically homemade! It almost looks like Texas Toast. Hmm, speaking of Texas Toast…

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I actually fell in love with buttered toast in Texas. I was about ten years old and our family drove out to El Paso for a fun family weekend trip.

We only ended up staying one night in a dirty room, sleeping on lumpy beds. After a terrible “continental breakfast” of buttered toast, run-ins with unfriendly hotel staff, and a shortage of suitable sights to see, we drove around the UTEP Campus and started driving back home.

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The vacation became known as the “36 Hour Trip to El Paso” in family lore. El Paso is a lot like Tucson since they are both located in the desert southwest. Therefore, it was not a very interesting trip since it was just like home.

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To me, however, the vacation became known as “the dawn of buttered toast.” I have loved it ever since. My favorite restaurant to get quality B.T. is Village Inn, where it comes to your table already buttered with nearly anything you order!

Sooooo goooood. Just add some Smuckers and you’re set. The breakfast of champions indeed!

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Do you enjoy buttered toast? What are your other high fat, high carb guilty pleasures?

High Carb, High Fat Breakfast of Champions

High Carb, High Fat Breakfast of Champions

Ingredients

  • 2 slices Sara Lee Artesano Bread
  • President Butter

Instructions

  1. Toast your bread
  2. Butter your bread
  3. Devour your high fat, high carb breakfast of champions!
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Coolfreshing Fish Taco Sauce

Coolfreshing Fish Taco Sauce

posted in: Food, Sauces | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

When you get a hankering for a fish taco, you just can’t let it go. The quickest way to make a fish taco at home is to use frozen fish sticks. Pop them in the oven and 15 minutes later, you have the base of your fish taco.

We had these fish tacos for lunch yesterday, topped with pico de gallo, a tangy white sauce, shredded cheese and lettuce. We were inspired by a recent rerun of Chopped, Grandma vs. Grandma, in which one of the four Grandmas made Fish Tacos.

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Our tacos ended up not only being big in flavor with this tasty sauce but also big in size since we only had burrito-sized tortillas on hand.

The sauce is smooth, tart and made with everyday ingredients. We’ve called it coolfreshing because when we called it cool and refreshing, it just didn’t sound as catchy. Portmanteau words are the best.

fish taco sauce 1

It begins with equal part mayonnaise and greek yogurt, mix in some spices and finish it off with some juice from the pico de gallo. If you don’t have pico de gallo then the liquid can be substituted with lemon or lime juice. You could also try sriracha.

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Click here for our Pico de Gallo recipe.

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Seven simple ingredients. One perfect white sauce for fish tacos. It’s quick and easy, too!
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Super Cool, Refreshing Fish Taco Sauce

Super Cool, Refreshing Fish Taco Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c mayo
  • 1/2 c plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 t cumin
  • 1/4 t dill
  • 1/4 t cayenne
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 T citrus juice

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Add more citrus juice if you enjoy a runnier sauce.
  3. Serve on fish tacos with salsa, lettuce, and cheese.
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Delicious Grilled Chicken Souvlaki, Grandparents, and Utah

Delicious Grilled Chicken Souvlaki, Grandparents, and Utah

posted in: Food, Main Dishes | 1 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Today we will be making Grilled Chicken Souvlaki, one of our favorite recipes for chicken. We made this batch of chicken for our retired school counselor neighbor who is recovering from hip replacement surgery.greek chicken 1

She is one of our favorite neighbors and reminds us a lot of our grandma, who passed away four years ago on this day.

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Our grandparents spent the majority of their long lives in Utah, where they had a farm and a fruit stand. Earlier this week, we talked about Japanese Internment Camps during World War II. Well, our grandparents met after our grandma left Minidoka and took a job 200 miles southeast in our grandpa’s hometown in Utah.

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Our grandparents loved Greek food and you may ask: how did a pair of Japanese Americans who lived in Utah, before the foodie revolution, even know about good Greek food?

greek chicken 4The answer is that there is a large population of people of Greek descent who live in Utah. During the early 1900s, there was an influx of Greek immigrants to America and several ended up moving from West. Many came to Utah to work in the mines. You can read more about the Greeks in Utah here.

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Last year, we went on a road trip to Utah. While we were there, we went to a couple of amazing local fast food restaurants, Greek Souvlaki and Crown Burgers. They both had their version of chicken souvlaki on their menus. We tried it at both spots and after that we were hooked. When we got home, we began experimenting with different marinades until we got it just right.
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While we never made this chicken for our grandparents, it is definitely a recipe they would have loved. This chicken is tender, moist and full of flavor. We have also used this marinade with pork and is just as delicious.

Delicious Grilled Chicken Souvlaki

Delicious Grilled Chicken Souvlaki

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of chicken, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup lemon juice from about 3 lemons
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • 2 t kosher salt
  • 1/2 t ground black pepper
  • 5 cloves minced, about a heaping tablespoon

Instructions

  1. Whisk all ingredients except for the chicken
  2. Place cubed chicken into a ziploc bag
  3. Pour marinade over the chicken
  4. Press all the air out of the bag
  5. Massage chicken so the marinade is between all the pieces
  6. Place bag into a bowl in case the bag leaks and refrigerate
  7. Marinate 20-24 hours, massaging the chicken twice
  8. Skewer chicken and grill until the internal temperature reaches 160°F
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Easy, Everyday Oven-Roasted Cauliflower

Easy, Everyday Oven-Roasted Cauliflower

posted in: Food, Side Dishes | 1 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Our family loves cauliflower. It really is the blank canvas of vegetables. One of our most popular posts ever here at zydoyle.com is our Cauliflower Pizza Crust Recipe.

I have used today’s recipe: Easy, Everyday Oven-Roasted Cauliflower more times than I can count. It is super simple, with only six ingredients.

Roasting gives a kind of natural smoky flavor and since cauliflower is sort of bland, it takes on strong flavors really well. Roasting is a really easy technique and can be used for all kinds of vegetables. In my opinion, there are only a couple of rules to roasting.

Rule 1: Salt generously. Although that might be a general life rule.

Rule 2: Watch ’em like a hawk. Burnt vegetables taste terrible.

Easy, Everyday Oven-Roasted Cauliflower

Easy, Everyday Oven-Roasted Cauliflower

Ingredients

  • A head of cauliflower
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Cover a sheet pan with heavy duty aluminum foil. This makes cleanup a snap.
  3. Cut up cauliflower into small, uniform chunks and put onto prepared pan.
  4. Drizzle olive oil over the cauliflower. You want the cauliflower to covered in oil but not swimming in it.
  5. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the cauliflower.
  6. Pour lemon juice over the cauliflower and toss.
  7. Add smashed garlic cloves to pan. Put them in different areas so the garlic flavor is all over.
  8. Roast in the oven for 13 minutes, then flip the cauliflower.
  9. You can use a flipper or a pair of tongs, just be careful not to tear the aluminum foil.
  10. Roast for another 10-15 minutes until you have reached your desired doneness.
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