Friday, November 30, 2012

Grandma's Banana Bread

Lately, my thoughts have been consumed with recipes from my childhood.  I love trying new recipes and I regularly seek them out, but sometimes you just want the familiar.

My little boy is having trouble eating right now because he has his first loose tooth.  Yesterday, Mallory and I decided that we'd make his favorite food in the whole world (next to pizza).  Banana Bread.  It's also very soft, so he'd be able to eat it without any discomfort.

Mallory couldn't wait to tell him what we'd made for him and he was so very happy and asked if I'd put some in his lunch today.  I was happy to do so.

I might have to stalk the produce section for black bananas for the next 6 years because I'm told this losing teeth business goes on for years!

This is the recipe I grew up with that my Mom made. 

Grandma's Banana Bread

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup Crisco
2 eggs
3 tbsp buttermilk
3 large bananas, mashed
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour

Cream the sugar and shortening together. Add well eaten eggs, buttermilk and other ingredients in order given.  Put in greased pan and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Universal City Walk

Universal City Walk saved my life.

I know, you think I'm being dramatic but I'm really not.  After walking all over the Islands of Adventure on our second day of our vacation....I could barely walk.

We still had to walk through City Walk to the shuttle bus and there were multiple walking sidewalks and escalators involved.  I told my husband that I couldn't walk another step and I needed to sit down.

The first place we found was Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville.  It was like an oasis in the dessert.  For real.....just outside the door is a little bar set up with a beached airplane.  (Note to self: you really should have taken a picture of that airplane.  It was really cool.)

The first thing I did was order the Perfect Margarita and it was amazing!  I wanted to marry it and call it George.

We sat outside on what they call The Porch of Indecision, but when my  drink disappeared quickly and we still had food coming I decided to have another.  My husband took it upon himself to order my next Margarita.

That man gets a gold star for the 22 ounces of tequila and whatnot that he ordered for me!   Not long after I started in on this lovely legs and hips didn't hurt.  I couldn't feel my feet but they still worked!  Medicinal Margarita for the win!

The food was also really good.  I had the Baja Fish Tacos and Keith had Jimmy's Jammin Jambalaya. I would have taken pictures but a few things happened.

It got dark
I was starving
I was drunk pants

Trust me the food was great!

So....City Walk is an experience in eating.  Each restaurant seems to have a theme of some kind and you swear your are in Key West, A Nascar Race, Forrest Gump's Brain or Bob Marley's Jam Session.

Click here for a list of restaurants.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Leftover Mashed Potatoes

When I was growing up my Mom didn't like to make gravy.  I've inherited her dislike of gravy and tend to go with the jarred variety.  Especially when my turkey is missing a few things like giblets.  You thought I was going to say legs, didn't you?

Much like my Mother, I have extra mashed potatoes and no gravy.

I decided to whip up some potato pancakes to go with our leftover turkey and dressing.

They were a huge hit and now I think I'll make mashed potatoes just for this recipe.

Potato Pancakes
makes 8 pancakes

2 cups of mashed potatoes
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup heavy cream (you know you have some of this left too)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine mashed potatoes, flour, milk, egg, onion powder and salt.  Plop (this is a known cooking term, trust me) medium sized mounds of potato mixture onto a pan that contains a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil.  Fry over medium heat for a few minutes, until the under side is getting brown.  Turn the pancakes and smush(yes, spellcheck...smush is a word) with the spatula.  Cook for another couple minutes until that side is brown.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Vacation Food

For our trip to Orlando, I brought several food items to eat for snacks and breakfast.

We liked eating something in our room to start off the day and then we'd eat an early lunch and beat the crowds.  Not that there were many crowds because the first week of November is considered off-season.

I brought cereal bars, granola bars and nuts.  Each night, we'd stop in the little store at the hotel and purchase milk for the next morning.  

While shopping for this trip, I came across some fun meal replacements at Target.  We tried the Hummus and Salami one and we loved them both.  They are $3.99 but I got them on sale for $3.50 which is a bargain compared to what the theme parks charge for breakfast!

If you're looking for a gluten-free meal, the Hummus and Crackers is the one for you.  It was also very filling.

Another thing that saved me on this trip was bringing little half and half cups for my coffee.  I can not stand the powdered chemical packets that are supposed to pass for creamer.  Having these in the hotel room made starting my day so much easier. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Three Broomsticks

The day we'd all been waiting for had finally arrived.  We were going to Harry Potter Land!  That's what my kids call it and their excitement was unbridled!  I have to admit that I was a little excited too but it was because I desperately wanted to try Butterbeer.

We were told to get it frozen and to get it at the restaurant not the street carts.

This worked out well because after three hours of exploring Hogwarts....we were starving! Click here to read more about our visit to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

 We all enjoyed our Butterbeer very much and it was kind of like having dessert with your meal.  We each got a souvenir mug which I advise against because I think they are $10 each and now I have to store them.  I'd have been much happier with TWO mugs.  Bygones.

Look how cool we all look with our mugs!  Okay...maybe it was worth the money.  If you buy the are supposed to be able to go to any counter service restaurant in the park and get free soda refills.  We didn't test this out because we forgot to bring our mugs the next day. Whoops!

Three Broomsticks is considered casual dining at Universal Studios but the food is outstanding.  They do have kids meals for $5 but my son had his heart set on Ribs.  They were very good and the potatoes that came with them made their way to my plate because they were better than the french fries that came with the Fish and Chips.

I love Fish and Chips and generally always order it when it's on a menu.  This was an exceptional meal because the breading was very light and the pieces of fish were large.  I really liked the tarter sauce too but ended up not using most of it because the breading on the fish was so flavorful that I didn't need it.

The atmosphere at Three Broomsticks is really fun!  You feel like you are really in an old English Pub and if you're'll see the house elves scurrying around on the second floor.

Click here for Three Broomsticks full menu. Three Broomsticks on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Holiday Chocolate Festival 2012

Do you live in Colorado?  Do you love Chocolate? 
If so, you will want to join me (I'm a guest chocolate judge) on Sunday, December 9th from 11am-6pm at the 4th Annual Holiday Chocolate Festival in Colorado Springs at the Broadmoor Hotel!
The event hosts over 60 vendors; a third are chocolate vendors giving tastes of their wonderful truffles, dark chocolates, chocolates infused with mint, cayenne pepper, and basil, plus other fun treats. In addition there are gift booths, holiday booths and more — a one-stop shop for all of your holiday shopping needs.
In addition to the chocolate vendors, enjoy great stage entertainment throughout the day including a visit from Santa Claus (11:00 AM – 12:30 PM) where he will be reading stories and sharing cookies and milk with kids in attendance. Also, The Chocolate Therapist Julie Peck will be doing beer and wine pairings and enjoy great holiday music.
The entry fee for attendees is $5 per person (children are not required to purchase a ticket), and the option of buying tasting tickets for food and chocolate tastes (highly recommended). Taste Tickets are available in pre-sale for one ticket for $1, 12 tickets for $10 and 30 tickets for $25. At the door tickets will be $1 per ticket.
The Broadmoor Hotel is located at 1 Lake Avenue in Colorado Springs.
Guests of the Holiday Chocolate Festival can stay at the Broadmoor Hotel for a reduced rate of only $145 per night.  Call (866)837-9520 and tell them you are a part of the Holiday Chocolate Festival for this great rate!


Friday, November 2, 2012

Bananaberry Fabulous Muffins

See that little girl in the header?

I named this blog after her because when she was two years old she took an interest in cooking and insisted on pushing her own cart.

She also took a liking to blue cheese at an early age.  The girl is a foodie!

We took her to California last March and made the mistake of feeding her some Porterhouse steak from our plate.  Now....she's won't eat steak, unless it's a high quality.

Now the girl is dreaming recipes and insists that we make them!  The latest one involved muffins made of raspberries and bananas.  I only added baking soda and powder because apparently...a five year olds mind doesn't realize these are important.

Please note we only added the raspberries to a small portion of the muffins because The Rookie Foodie's brother was not so sure about how this was going to turn out.  Six year olds have little faith in their sisters.

P.S. The raspberry muffins were awesome.

Mallory has named these:

Bananaberry Fabulous Muffins

3 Large ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup white sugar
1  egg
1/3 cup melted  butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour
In a mixer, mix the mashed banana, sugar, egg and butter together. Set aside. In a separate bowl, stir together baking soda, baking powder, salt and flour. Mix wet and dry ingredients all together! Pour into greased muffin tins, place a fresh raspberry in each cup and push down into the batter. Bake in 350 degrees F oven for approximately 20 minutes.