Monthly Archives: May 2011

Banana Pudding Pie

Everyone that I know loves the Original Banana Pudding recipe that’s posted on the side of most Nabisco vanilla wafer boxes and that’s the one that I usually make.  It is the one that I used in my classroom for our last lab of the year, but with a deterrents thrown our way I was not sure that we could pull it off.  With a fire drill and advisement making the class almost too short to have anything but a glass of milk with vanilla wafers and sliced bananas I had to come up with something or just ditch the lab altogether.  At the last-minute I decided to try speeding up the custard by using the microwave.  It worked perfectly for me —TWICE!  Seven minutes is all it took and that really beats standing over a double boiler for about thirty minutes.  Which meant that my classes could get their Banana Pudding in the oven in less than an hour and still have time to enjoy it in the classroom.

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Filed under Desserts

Parmesan Pan Baked Potatoes


This is the perfect side dish.  Not just because it is delicious, but it is lightning fast to prepare, low-calorie and a good recipe to engage some help from everyone in the family.  Four medium potatoes requires only 2 tablespoons of butter and with the addition of either parmesan or Italian bread crumbs they pack a lot of flavor.  This recipe has been a standby at home as well as in my classroom and is enjoyed by everyone.   There is a trick to making them that many of my students don’t get the first time.  Cooking times can vary wildly!  All medium potatoes are not created equal so the cooking times can be very different.  An overcooked potato is not a pretty site!

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Cream Cheese Banana Bread

This is without a doubt the best Banana Bread that I have ever had! I love banana bread right out of the oven or several days old toasted with a little dollop of butter.  With a nice hot cup of coffee there is nothing better to start my morning.  I fell in love with this bread several years ago when my sister-in-law baked it for breakfast Christmas morning.  I just could not stop gushing over how moist and flavorful it was and could not wait to get home and try the recipe. After making it many times I have gotten it to the point of perfection.

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Filed under Bread, Breakfast, Quick Breads

Sophisto Joes

Who doesn’t love a great sloppy joe?  When you bite into the toasted bun that has soaked up the sauce it is just plain good.  I have some great childhood memories of sloppy joes, but have not made them in years.  When I saw this recipe in Gourmet I just had to make it and I was not in the least disappointed.  These are as the name says a little more sophisticated than Manwich. Serve them up with some of your favorites whether it might be chips or fries.  I thought these pan-fried Smashed Potatoes and a salad were a great choice.

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Filed under Main dish, Sandwiches

Stuffed Shells and a Lab

Here is a great stuffed shell dish that I put together with what was in my refrigerator.  Really I had a beautiful bunch of spinach that came in my CSA box that needed a good home and this is what happened.  Jumbo shells were stuffed with ricotta cheese , small amount of Italian sausage, and topped with a simple tomato sauce.  They were lighter than most shells that I have made because they lacked the addition of mozzarella cheese on top.  You could certainly add it if you’d like.    One of the most popular recipes on my blog now is one that I have been using for about ten years Stuffed Mexican Shells.  Check out what my students had fun doing in lab last week.  Looking at their photos you can tell that they had a little trouble with the recipe, but even so they all were very edible.   This is so rewarding!  I have had a half-dozen students bring me their phone with pictures of these stuffed shells that they prepared for their family.  Now I have done my job.  They are cooking for their families and reaping the rewards.  Teaching at its best!  Continue reading

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Baked Tortilla Chips Just in Time for Cinco de Mayo

I made baked tortilla chips for my classes the other day and they loved them.  You know when teenagers tell you that something is good it really is.  They tell it like it is most of the time.  I was proving a point to them about portion control  as well as fat grams in servings.  Bagged corn chips that are usually served with cheese dip or salsa have 180 calories with 9 grams of fat for one serving which is thirteen chips.  I piled the chips up and asked them if they considered that one serving.  Everyone said no very loudly!  Next I pulled out a medium-sized flour tortilla which is 110 calories with 2 grams of fat.  And this is what I did.

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Filed under Appetizer, Cheese Dip, Main dish

Panfried Smashed Potatoes

I love potatoes any way they are prepared.  Growing up my mother took us every Wednesday after school to visit my grandparents.  My grandmother was such a good cook and I loved her boiled new potatoes with butter and black pepper.  They were always waiting on me to devour as we spent the afternoon on the porch.  So I knew when I saw this recipe for pan-fried smashed new potatoes  in Gourmet Quick Kitchen that I had to try them.  I love the description in the magazine ”  These are everything potatoes should be:  crisp-skinned yet pillowy, generously sprinkled with salty parmesan.”  Who can resist these?

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Filed under side dish