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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Banana Nut Bread - lightened up!

the yummy stuff:
1 pkg (8oz) reduced-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped pecans, divided

making it!
~ in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and sugar until well blended.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in bananas and vanilla.  Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture just until moistened.  Fold in 1/2 cup pecans.

~ transfer to two 8 in. x 4 in. loaf pans coated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle with remaining pecans.  Bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

This bread has such a great flavor and this recipe allows you to enjoy an all time favorite comfort food with far less guilt by trimming the fat and calories. 


Monday, July 26, 2010

Slow Cooker Cheeseburger Meatloaf

what you need!
2 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. (6 oz) Stove Top stuffing mix for chicken
1/2 cup water
2 eggs, beaten
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup yellow mustard
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp seasoning salt
1 tsp black pepper
dash of Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Hamburger seasoning (optional)
4 Kraft singles

how to make it!
MIX: all ingredients EXCEPT cheese singles, just until blended.  Fold 2 (30-inch-long) pieces of foil lengthwise in half twice.  Crisscross pieces on work surface.  Top with meat mixture; shape into 8-inch round loaf.

USE:  foil handles to gently lower meatloaf into slow cooker, letting ends of foil hang over top edge of cooker; cover with lid.

COOK:  on HIGH 4 hours or until meatloaf is done (160 F).  Top with singles.  Let stand, covered, 5 min, or until Singles are melted.  Use foil handles to remove meatloaf from slow cooker before slicing to serve.

This is a really great meal that is easy to throw together and quick to cook.  The kids love it, and that is always a plus.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Fruit Salad in a Pineapple Boat

This summery, sweet treat is as good as it looks.  When served with a ridiculously delicious fruit dip, no one will be able to resist this refreshing fruit salad.

the good stuff:

1 fresh pineapple
2 cups cubed cantaloupe
1 cup halved fresh strawberries
1 cup grapes
1 Tbsp. lime juice

the ridiculously delicious dip:

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese; softened
1 container of marshmallow fluff
1 can of sweetened condensed milk

Stand pineapple upright; vertically cut about a third from one side, leaving the top attached. Remove fruit and discard outer peel from the smaller section.  Remove fruit from the large section, leaving a 1/2-in shell.  Chop fruit; place in a large bowl.  Add the cantaloupe, strawberries, grapes and lime juice;  toss to coat.  place in pineapple shell.  In a mixing bowl, combine dip ingredients and mix with a mixer until well-blended and smooth.  Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with fruit.

I always seem to have extra fruit, so I go ahead and fill the remaining cantaloupe shells with fruit as well.  Blueberries are also a wonderful additive to this fruit salad.  The fruit dip is amazing and is also great served with sliced apples!  Thanks Tiffany for introducing me to this FABULOUS dip!


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Baked Slow Cooker Chicken

The Must Haves:
1 (2-3 pound) whole chicken
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon paprika
injectable liquid marinade (optional)

The How To:
1.  Wad three pieces of aluminum foil into 3 to 4 inch balls and place them in the bottom of the slow cooker.
2.  Rinse the chicken, inside and out, under cold running water.   Pat dry with paper towels.  Season the chicken with salt, pepper and paprika.  If desired, inject the bird with liquid marinade. 
3.  Place bird in a baking dish and brown on Low broil before putting into the slow cooker.  (Be careful not to burn.) 
4.  After bird is browned place it in the slow cooker on top of the crumbled aluminum foil.
5.  Cook on high for 4 hours or until the chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear.

** I added some additional spices to my salt, pepper, paprika rub to add more flavor to the bird and I also basted the bird throughout the cooking process.  Very yummy, cheap and easy!