Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday Suppers Edition Five

I considered not posting an edition of Sunday Suppers this week because I did not cook at all this weekend! We had such a busy weekend, but it was fun! We had a basketball tournament all day yesterday, and we stopped and ate at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants on the way home. Today we went up to Louisville to the boat show with two other couples. So many beautiful boats and campers there! We have a boat and a travel trailer already, so we were just window shopping. We stopped at Outback Steaks after leaving the expo center, so no Sunday dinner at home either.

I want to keep up with my recipe postings on Sundays, so here is another favorite family recipe. This is my grandmother’s banana nut bread recipe. Really easy and a great way to use up those last few bananas that have become overripe.

Granny's Banana Nut Bread

2 eggs

3 medium ripe bananas

2/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup vegetable oil

½ cup chopped nuts (I use pecans)

1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

In a medium bowl, beat eggs until well blended. Mash bananas into bowl with eggs. Add sugar, oil, and nuts to banana mixture. Beat until well blended. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into banana mixture. Mix until well blended. Pour into a large loaf pan or two small loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes. Cool before cutting.

I'm a little stressed about not having a go-to meal this week. I have some taco soup in the freezer, along with some baked spaghetti so we should be okay. Not to mention we also have sandwich fixings and plenty of things in the pantry. Dinner may not be as good as usual, but we'll manage.

I promise that my Sunday Suppers will get more interesting soon! Our school cookbooks have arrived and I am so excited to try out all of the good recipes in it. I've seen lots of great ones in there, so stay tuned!

Have a great week!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

More Snow

Honestly, this seems like the never-ending winter! We tend to get a fair amount of snow in my area, but this winter has been one for the record books. Generally we get 2-3 “good” snows with maybe a few minor snows, which works out to about 5-10 snow days a year. One year we didn’t even get a snow day until February. Tomorrow will be snow day #12, and it’s not even the end of January. I see my summer slowly slipping away…

Miss Sunny kept me busy going in and out all day. She loves to play in the snow, but she also loves curling up on her big pillow in the warm basement. One time when I let her out, she came up on the deck (probably looking for a hot dog) and peeked in the door. Isn’t this the cutest face? Those sad eyes can just make a heart melt…and she knows it!

But don’t let the sad eyes fool you-this is what she looked like about 2 minutes after I took the picture.

Warm and snug on her pillow-and I am listening to her snore as I write this!

I have to say that today’s snow was the prettiest snow that we’ve had this year-big, fat flakes that clung to the trees and bushes. But I'd still rather be wearing this:

Summer Madras

And yes, I wouldn't be wearing this exact outfit to play golf, but I couldn't resist adding a set of clubs. I'm starting to get that golf fever already!

Hope that you are staying warm wherever you are!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Suppers Edition Four

Wow, the weekends seem to pass by so quickly! Last night, we made burgers and fries at home and they tasted so good! I can’t take much credit for it-Mr. P is the chef extraordinaire when it comes to burgers and fries. Tonight for dinner, I made a corned beef (Mr. P’s request) with twice baked potatoes. Since I don’t really have a recipe for either of those items, I thought I would post one of my mother’s pie recipes. This recipe was in the recipe book that I posted about last week, and it is always served at Thanksgiving and Christmas at my parents’ house. I also make it throughout the year for various gatherings that we attend. It’s also a great pie to send over to a family that may be experiencing an illness or hardship of some kind.

Toll House Pie

1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell

2 large eggs

½ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup packed brown sugar

1 cup butter, melted and cooled

6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup chopped nuts (I use pecans.)

Sweetened whipped cream or ice cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 325° F.

Beat eggs in large mixer bowl on high speed until foamy. Beat in flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Blend in melted butter. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Spoon into pie shell.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between edge and center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.

I prefer whipped cream on mine, but Mr. P likes vanilla ice cream on his so I always have both on hand when I serve this. Opposites attract, right?!

Have a great week!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hello Weekend!

I hope that all of you lovely readers are warm and snug this weekend. I don't know what the weather is like where you are at, but it is cold (very cold!) and snowy at my house. We went out to dinner with friends last night and got home very late, so we are slow in getting the day started today! No plans for this evening and we went to the grocery store yesterday, so I am settled in for a cozy day at home.

Happy Saturday!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Random Thoughts for a Monday

Nothing much to report from here…spent the day off at home, doing laundry and straightening up the house. Mr. P and I have kept it pretty neat lately, so it really didn’t take long and it left me time to read and catch up on blogs. I also found some new reads in the blog world.

I’ll leave you with a few random things that I'm into right now …

Just Dance 2 for the Wii

I love, love, love to dance. I took ballet, tap, and jazz from age 6 well into college. I would still be taking adult classes to stay in shape if I had the time, but unfortunately I can’t work it into my schedule right now. I got JD2 for Christmas and I have been doing it on the Wii. It’s great exercise and I love it!

Living Above Worry and Stress by Thelma Wells

I am an avid worrier and it seems that I stay stressed out. Deep in my heart, I know that I should give it up to God and let go of my worries, but I really struggle with doing this. I was in Lifeway over the weekend, helping Mr. P choose a bible study for our Sunday School class (he’s the teacher) and I found this book. I bought one for myself, and it is going to be my new personal bible study.

Little Women

I read (and reread) this book when I was little. I had the whole Louisa May Alcott set, and it was second only to my Little House books as far as favorites go. It has been years since I read it, but to my delight it was one of the free preloaded books on my Nook. So I am once again immersed in the lives of Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy.

What are you into right now?


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday Suppers Edition Three

It has been a cooking weekend in the Putter house! We had our small group Bible study last night, so I cooked two items for that and tonight I made one of Mr. P’s favorite meals-penne arrabiata.

The theme for our small group meal last night was breakfast, so I made a hash brown casserole and a variation of a honey bun cake. I came across one of my grandmother’s cake recipes that is very similar to a honey bun cake, so I tried that recipe. Mr. P said that it was very good, but I think I need to work on it a little more. It certainly didn’t taste as good as I remember it, and it makes me miss my grandmother so much. I wish that I could call her and ask her for tips on making it.

Even though I don’t have either of my grandmothers anymore, I do have something really special to remember them by. Last year for Christmas, my mother gave me this:

I come from a family of wonderful cooks, and this is a binder with all of the special family recipes from my mom and both of my grandmothers. I love flipping through it and trying out the different recipes that I remember from my childhood. It is truly a treasure in my kitchen.

Back when the Sopranos were on HBO, I came across this pasta recipe, and it became an instant favorite in our house. I made it many Sundays, and we would watch The Sopranos while we ate it. It had been a while since I made it, so when Mr. P mentioned it earlier in the week, I knew that I would be channeling Carmelo and making it tonight. It is a spicy dish, but you can control the amount of red pepper to put in it. The name means “angry pasta”-perfect for Tony Soprano, don’t you think?

Penne Arrabiata

1 package (5 links) mild Italian Sausage

2 medium garlic cloves, minced

3 tbsp olive oil

1 small red onion diced

2 14-ounce cans of Italian seasoned diced tomatoes

1 small can tomato sauce

2 tsp dried basil

1-2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (use more or less according to your spicy preference)

1 16-ounce box penne pasta

In a skillet over medium heat, grill 4 of the sausage links until they are browned on all sides. Remove them from the heat and set aside. Remove the last sausage from its casing and brown in the skillet, breaking it up as it cooks. Remove and set aside. Once all sausage is removed from the skillet, brown the garlic and onions in olive oil, taking care not to overcook the garlic. Add the red pepper flakes and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and browned sausage (not the links), and bring to a boil over med-high heat. Lower the heat and let simmer for 20-30 minutes. In the meantime, cook and drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the tomato sauce and toss well. Cut the sausage links into 1/2 inch pieces on a bias, and add to the pasta. Remove from heat and mix in the dried basil. After serving, sprinkle Parmesan or Romano cheese on top if desired. I served it with garlic toast and salad tonight.

Mr. P and I are both off tomorrow-yay! Although I’ve had a couple of days off thanks to the snow and ice last week, Mr. P has had to work so I am looking forward to having a day off with him.

Busy week ahead of us-two ball games, school council meeting, and my parents are coming to visit next weekend. It has been a while since they have been here so I’m very excited about their visit.

How was your weekend?