Super-Moist Banana Crumble Muffins

I think muffins are the best invention ever! As much as I enjoy making quick breads, muffins cook up quicker and are far less likely to have dry edges or spots. For this reason, finding a banana muffin recipe that tasted as good as banana bread but that would not end up overcooked on the edges before the center finally gets cooked, became a quest of mine.

After many trials and errors, much to the families delight, as they got to taste each of them, I think I have finally hit on the best possible recipe. Although all the recipes I tried were good, this particular one stayed freshest the longest. In fact, these muffins got moister the longer they sat.  I do have to admit though, I had to make three successive batches before the family didn’t eat them quicker than two days. Finally on the third batch they were over the initial excitement of banana muffins and I finally got to have them sit for five whole days. Low and behold, they were more moist than the first day and still not over-moist. Continue reading

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Creamy Sausage & Tortellini Soup

“I think this my new favorite soup!”

That is what Hubby said to me when I served this new take on my sausage and tortellini soup.

Originally this soup had a tomato base, but Grace didn’t like it so I set to work on an alternative. Hubby and Zeb like my original version, but I not only wanted to make a soup everyone would enjoy, but I really wanted a new recipe to add to my arsenal of soup recipes. So, when I came across a recipe for a creamy tortellini soup, I knew with a few tweaks and the addition of some sausage, I’d have a soup hearty enough for a meal that we would all eat. Continue reading

The Best Buttermilk Substitute EVER!

Recently while making dinner, I discovered I didn’t have any buttermilk. This happens all the time. If I do remember to buy buttermilk, more often than not I end up throwing more than half of it out because I forget I have it or don’t plan meals around this particular ingredient.

I have made my own buttermilk by adding vinegar or lemon juice to milk and allowing it to sit for a short period of time, but when I’ve used it in recipes where the buttermilk flavor is noticeable, it doesn’t hold up. I’ve also made my own buttermilk by adding 1/3 cup store-bought buttermilk to 1 cup regular milk and allowing it to sit on the counter for 12-24 hours. This is cheaper than store-bought buttermilk, but again, I have to remember to first buy some buttermilk, use it, and do this at least 12-24 hours before I need it. Yeah, like that’s going to happen. Continue reading

Pizzacotti – Still Using Up That Spaghetti Sauce

Today I have yet another recipe for leftover spaghetti sauce. This one is called Pizzacotti. Basically a combination of pizza ingredients and manicotti shells, this is one of those recipes that if you don’t have leftover spaghetti sauce, it would be well worth making some.

One of the best parts of this particular recipe is that you can make a lot of it at one time and freeze it for later use. So if you’re going to go to the trouble of making this, you definitely want to make extra, especially if you get some of these ingredients on sale. Continue reading

Chicken Pizzaiola – Another Leftover Spaghetti Sauce Idea

In keeping with my leftover spaghetti sauce recipes, today I present one of the family’s absolute favorites — Chicken Pizzaiola. This is pronounced Pizza – yola (with a long “o” and short “a”), and yes I had to type it into my browser and find a YouTube video to help me with that. For some reason I kept wanting to say the “i” in “iola” and it just didn’t flow. It took an Italian pronouncing it for me to finally get this down.

I came across a recipe for this in Cooks Illustrated some time ago and after a little bit of tweaking, I came up with a version my family thinks is perfect. The original recipe called for boneless skinless chicken breasts. Chicken breasts are not typically my choice of chicken parts to use. I find chicken thighs make most chicken dishes richer and far more tender then a chicken breast. Additionally, I breaded my chicken with a combination of Parmesan cheese and Italian bread crumbs, rather than just Parmesan cheese. This gave the chicken more of a distinct presence in the dish. When I served it without putting the bread crumbs on the chicken, the flavor of the chicken was somehow lost among the sauce, cheese and pepperoni. The addition of the bread crumbs really helped to boost the flavor of the chicken and allowed it to not be overpowered by the other flavors surrounding it. Continue reading

Personal Portobello Pizza’s – Another Use for Leftover Spaghetti Sauce

Yesterday while I was working on my post for Loose Pepperoni Pizza Burgers I started thinking about the different meals I use leftover spaghetti sauce for. In going through my list of recipes that I have been collecting to do blog posts for, I came across at least four additional recipes that use leftover spaghetti sauce. Today I’m going to share another one of the families favorites – Personal Portobello Pizza.

I made this for the first time in May of last year and it was an immediate hit.I’m not sure whether you would consider this an appetizer, a side dish, or a main course. Actually I think it could be considered all of the above. When I served it, it was as a side dish/appetizer. Being that this is very rich, I’m not sure if as the sole main course it could hold its own, but if you were to have something else with it I think it would work out fine. Continue reading

Loose Pepperoni Pizza Burgers

One of my favorite things to have in the refrigerator is leftover spaghetti sauce. I don’t know about you, but when I make homemade spaghetti sauce, I make a large pot. I figure if I’m going to go to the trouble of making it, why not make a lot of it. It doesn’t take any more time to make eight quarts than it does to make two.

Besides the obvious of using leftover sauce to serve spaghetti more than once or freezing the sauce for when you don’t have the time to make homemade sauce and jarred is just not going to cut it, I like to use it for various sandwich-style meals. One such option would be pizza burgers. Continue reading