Archive for ‘food notes’

February 11, 2013

Recipe review: 2 Ingredient Cookies

I often find myself looking at one or two overripe bananas on the kitchen counter, wondering why they weren’t eaten before the skins turned so black that they became unappetizing. I usually just toss them in the freezer, saying that I will make some banana bread, or banana muffins. Then I’ll go to put something in the freezer and discover I’ve stashed away enough bananas to be making bread for days.

Yesterday I found the solution to this problem! And it’s a delicious, done in 20 minutes solution. 2 ingredient cookies.


As this review says, there are a lot of these “2 ingredient” ideas floating around Pinterest right now. One of the ingredients is usually a box of cake mix. Well, call me nuts but I don’t think anything that has 30 ingredients itself should be included in a simple, healthy recipe.

These cookies, however, are two real food ingredients, ones that I always have on hand: Bananas and oats. Then some add-ins — pretty much anything you’d like.

I’ve made these twice in the past two days — they are that easy. I’m putting the whole recipe below, because you won’t believe it, but make sure to stop by the original post for more add-in ideas.


2 ingredient cookies

Two bananas
One cup oats

Mash ingredients together in a bowl. Drop by tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.


Crazy easy. And crazy delicious.

Yesterday I added in chocolate chips (about 1/8 to 1/4 of a cup). Today I doubled the recipe and added in the following: 1/4 c raisins; 1/4 c chopped dates; couple dashes cinnamon. Then I divided the batter in half, and put about 1/8 c chocolate chips in half (for the kids) and 2 tbsps chopped walnuts in the other (for me). Leaving out the chocolate, these are even vegan-friendly.

I made my half into bigger cookies — about 5 cookies. Two made an excellent, guilt-free breakfast. I kept the kids at about a tablespoon each. Perfect for snacking or packing in lunches.

December 6, 2012

Recipe review: Italian sausage soup


I found this recipe for Italian sausage soup on my friend Eulalia’s blog. Like E, I  used pork sausage (my reason was b/c that’s what I could get without casings at the store and I only had a limited amount of time to make dinner). I also used plain diced tomatoes and added some garlic and oregano, so that I could use the no salt tomatoes. I didn’t really measure the spinach, I used most of a bag. We did use fresh basil – my transplanted herbs are doing pretty well inside! The parsley is actually doing better inside than out.

J and I thought the soup was awesome, although it was more of a stew (could have used more broth). The kids rejected the tomatoes and spinach, but thought the broth, pasta and sausage were good. Typical. We’ll still make it again – got to keep making the kids eat their veggies (and fruit). I’d probably double the recipe next time, this made just enough for the four of us.

November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Recipe Review: Cranberry Cake | The Kitchn

Hope you’re all having a wonderful Thanksgiving! Here is how we started ours:


Cranberry Cake and brown sugar bacon.

This cake was awesome! W and I put it together last night. Will make again, maybe with some orange zest and whipped cream as a holiday treat.

Happy Thanksgiving! Now I’m off to make pies.

November 12, 2012

Recipe review: Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos with Lime from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Yet another Pinterest find! I love black beans and sweet potatoes, separately and together. They make an excellent combination, the flavors really work well together.

However, I had some trouble with these black bean and sweet potato burritos, none of which were the fault of the recipe.

For starters, the recipe says to cook the potato/bean mix on high, and I accidentally cooked it on low. Needless to say, when I came home, the potatoes weren’t even close to done. I managed to salvage dinner by dumping the crock pot contents into a casserole dish and baking it at 350 for about 25 minutes, but the resulting mix was a little dry.

I forged ahead and served it to the kids anyways, but they rejected it. I thought my burrito was great, and the lime was wonderful.

But I was left with most of a casserole dish full of beans and potatoes that no one else would eat 😦

Then, J had a brilliant idea yesterday… Make the leftovers into sliders! Surely the kids would go for that!
So tonight I took the remaining leftovers, ground them up in the food processer, and shaped them into slider patties. I heated the patties up, topped them with provolone, and placed them on toasted slider buns. The kids had theirs with ketchup and mustard; I had mine with salsa.

Sadly, the kids were not fooled by the burgers, and rejected this incarnation as well. Sigh.

November 10, 2012

Recipe review: Apple Scones


This Apple Scone recipe came from Spark Recipes… So it’s not just delicious, it’s healthy, too!

We made these scones exactly as per the recipe, and they turned out great, so nice and light. We all ate two, J stopping only under duress (I wanted to leave enough for the kids to have for breakfast another day).

Definitely making these again! We might try adding some dry fruit next time, too. One note: the dough is very sticky, so kneading it is tricky, but resist adding more flour, as that will make the end result more dense instead of light and fluffy.

November 9, 2012

Recipe review: Hearty black bean soup


This is post No. 100 for this blog! Thanks for reading. I’m enjoying sharing these comments/reviews/photos with the world.

I found this Black Bean Soup recipe on Pinterest (I ❤ Pinterest for recipes), then pinned it for when I needed an easy, filling soup.

I actually made it with dry beans and converted it for the crockpot, however, so the complete recipe I used is below. This is very easy, filling, and healthy, and involves minimal actual “cooking” – my style of comfort food to a T. I used my 3.5QT crock pot, but this recipe could easily be doubled for a larger slow cooker.

We served the soup with some freshly baked bread and a few slices of lime on the side – delicious and perfect for a cold fall day.

Hearty Black Bean Soup (Slow cooker and dry beans adaptation)

  • 1.5 cups dry black beans, rinsed
  • water to cover beans
  • 2 tsp chicken or vegetable broth granules
  • 1 cup tomato salsa
  • 1-2 cups water, as needed
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • Sour cream or plain yogurt (optional)
  1. The night before you want to eat the soup, place the rinsed dried beans in the slow cooker. Add enough water to cover the beans by about an inch. Turn the slow cooker on low and leave it overnight (about eight hours).
  2. In the morning, add the salsa and broth granules. Stir to combine. If beans look dry, add another 1-2 cups water.
  3. Cook in the slow cooker for another for 3-4 hours on low.
  4. Let the soup cool slightly, then ladle half of it into a food processor or blender and puree it (or use an immersion blender, and puree in the slow cooker until the desired consistency is reached). Return the pureed soup to the pot. Stir in the lime juice and chopped cilantro and heat the mixture through. Serve the soup warm, topped with a dollop of sour cream/plain yogurt, if desired. Makes 4 servings.
November 4, 2012

Apple compote and recipe review: Apple cider pancakes


I found this recipe for Apple Cider Pancakes on Saturday morning, when I was looking for a twist on our usual weekend breakfast. Mine were a little overdone (not the recipe’s fault), and I took the worst ones, hence the slightly blackened look above 🙂

These were great – nicely spiced, definitely a fun autumn version of pancakes to try!

We topped them with a little apple compote, quick and easy. W and J made it – W did the stirring 🙂

Apple compote recipe:

2 small baking apples (we used Empires), peeled and diced
1 tbsp butter
1/4 c brown sugar

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add diced apples. Stir and cook until the apples start to break down. Add sugar and stir. Serve warm. Makes four servings.

November 2, 2012

Recipe review: Mini meatball sandwiches


We are continuing to go through KG’s princess recipe book – this was another selection from the “Belle” portion. I think they call them “Chip’s mini meatball sandwiches” or something along those lines. The idea is to make little sandwiches for little hands – and I thought it worked out well!

The recipe called for mini meatballs – I think I’m going to have to start making those myself and freezing them, because our grocery store just just carry mini meatballs, and this is not the first recipe we’ve had this problem with. Instead, we used regular frozen turkey meatballs and halved them before serving, which worked well. It might have actually worked better, because then one side was flat, so it probably stayed in place better.

One thing our grocery store does carry that we found worked really well for this recipe was slider buns. The recipe called for dinner rolls, but the slider buns were perfectly sized, whole wheat, nice and soft – ideal for little kid-friendly sandwiches.

Overall, this was another easy dinner, and another win from the princess cookbook – I’ve been pretty impressed with the recipes from that so far! This cookbook really does try to keep things simple and on kid’s level – if KG could read I think she could make this recipe with supervision and minimal adult intervention.

November 1, 2012

Recipe review: Egg Brunch Casserole | a Latte with Ott, A


This was another Pinterest find. I was looking for crock-pot breakfasts for when I’m up late on Friday or Saturday night and don’t want to get up early, but want a hot breakfast the next day. Since the crock-pot french toast was such a win, I thought I’d give this Egg Brunch Casserole a try!

This was almost as easy as the french toast – you do have to do some actual cooking, but not much. I modified the recipe a bit to use what we had on hand:  instead of bacon I used sliced ham, which I chopped fine; I omitted the bell peppers, which are never a hit in our house; I used mozzarella instead of cheddar cheese; I used 1% instead of whole milk; and I halved the recipe thinking that would be plenty for four of us (it was). We also ended up eating this for dinner (hence the salad), in a clean-out-the-fridge before the power goes out due to Hurricane Sandy attempt (we never lost power, thankfully).

J and I loved it, although he felt it could have been a bit more spicy; the kids thought it was OK but not as great as the french toast. I think if we do this again, I’m going to layer in the eggs along with the cheese, because the top part was nice and eggy but the bottom part was a little dry. I also think I might throw in some other veggies next time (I think mushrooms would work well).

October 23, 2012

Recipe review: Sauteed Shrimp with Baby Spinach and Tomatoes – Food on the Table

Tonight for dinner we made Sauteed shrimp with baby spinach and tomatoes from Food on the Table. I used some of the heirloom tomatoes from the garden instead of cherry tomatoes. We had this over some spinach fettucini.

This was a delicious, super-fast, easy and healthy dinner! Sadly, the kids didn’t enjoy it as much as I did, so I don’t think we will be making it again for a while. I’m liking the ease of these Food on the Table recipes – short ingredient lists, but all “real food.”