Thursday, May 27, 2010

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I'm determined to have at least a week or two of meals frozen before baby comes. I'm too worried for the time that Tim (He's a pretty decent cook) is off work, but more so when he goes back to work. I'll try to post the recipes as I go.
This is one of my favorite sweet breads. I make it all the time.

Banana Bread
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas
1 cup chocolate chips (can skip if you just want plain banana bread)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix all ingredients together. Pour into two bread pans. Bake 45-50 minutes.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Buca Di Beppo Lemon Green Beans

I had Bucas over the weekend with some of my girlfriends. I forget how much I completely love their food. This is a pretty good replica of their green beans. :)

1 lb fresh green beans
1/4 cup butterr
2 medium lemons (juice)
salt, to taste (I used sea salt)

1. Prepare the green beans by clipping off the stem end.
2. Melt the butter in a sauté pan on low heat. Squeeze the juice out of two medium-size lemons. Strain the pulp and the seeds out of the lemon juice.
3. When butter is melted, carefully add the lemon juice to the pan.
4. Raise the temperature to medium and reduce until the lemon juice and butter become a sauce. Do not brown the butter.
5. Place the clipped, fresh green beans in boiling water for two to three minutes. Do not overcook. The green beans should remain crisp.
6. Strain the green beans and add to the sauce in the sauté pan. Toss the green beans in the sauce and season with salt to taste. Serve immediately.

Monday, May 10, 2010


In my quest of knowledge on food companies, I discovered after buying Horizon Organics half and half at the grocery store this week that they are pretty much what I'm trying to avoid. I guess this explains how their prices really aren't any different than Kemps. And it kind of bums me out because the same parent company own Silk Soy milk (which I love!).

On another interesting note, I found a chart that shows what who owns some of the bigger organic food brands. Check it out. I was amazed at how many of them are own by big corporations.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Self/Family Improvement Goals

These are almost more for me than any of my readers, but I wanted to get down in writing my goals on the ways that I am working to improvements in our lives.

1. Consumerism: I'll admit it. I like to buy stuff. I have improved on this greatly since being home with Carter for the last two years, but like most people I still sometimes get the "I want" fever. Areas I'm doing well on: I don't buy very many clothes anymore. What I do buy now is stuff that I love how I look and feel in it now. (Not how I might look in it if I lost 10 pounds or if I was more toned.) Almost all toys (gifts from others excluded) are purchased used. I plan on doing a big toy purge right before birthdays and Christmas to get rid of anything that is not used. We don't have the space and we don't need that many toys around. Areas I can still improve on: Kids/baby clothing. I'll admit it, I love buying baby and kid clothing. They are just so cute. We definitely have more than is needed. On the positive side much of it is hand-me-downs and garage sale finds. As I've been washing baby clothing, I've been pulling out anything that I don't really like to give away.

2. Food: This is such a big area for us, so I'll break it down further.

a. Grocery shopping: I've cut our monthly bill down significantly by couponing, meal planning, and shopping from a list.

b. What we're buying: I am currently trying to research and learn more about the items we are buying and the companies that produce/grow/manufacture it. The more I learn, the more I feel I need to learn. Just a few of the issues I'm concerned with include" treatment of employees (Are they hiring illegals to lessen their production cost? Do they pay their employees livable wages and offer them benefits?), genetically modified crops (Is their any way to escape/avoid this? What are the long-term repercussions going to be?), localism (can I get more of the products we eat grown locally to save on pollution/cost of travel to get it here?), use of antibiotics, pesticides, etc (Organic vs. non? Or are there any other options?), treatment of animals (free-range? corn-fed vs. grass fed?) packaging (Should I be concerned about the BPA in plastic or metal can lining? ). These are just a few of the issues I could think of off the top of my head.

c. Cooking: I'm really working to expand my cooking horizons.