Saturday, April 28, 2012

Über Moist Banana Bread

This is by far my absolute favorite banana bread recipe.  There are two things that make this bread unique.  First, it has sour cream in it which gives it an extra dose of richness and moisture.  Second, the bananas are sliced so you get these big bursts of creamy banana goodness.  I use pecans or walnuts, depending on what I have.  Lately I've been making individual sized "loaves" using 2 muffin tins.  These are just the right size for my kids to have for a snack.  I sprinkle the nuts on top rather than mixing into the batter which makes them look pretty and is easy for my daughter to pick off. :)

1/2 c. butter, melted
1 c. white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. chopped pecans
2 medium bananas, sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan, mini loaf pan (4 loaves) or 2 muffin tins.

In a large bowl, stir together the melted butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla, mix well. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt, stir into the butter mixture until smooth. Finally, fold in the sour cream, walnuts and bananas. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake for 60 minutes for a large loaf, 30-40 for mini loaves or 20-25 mins. for muffins.  Do the toothpick test to see if they are done for sure. Cool loaf in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Best Ever Grilled Shrimp Kebabs

Shrimp are one of those foods that can be disgusting or divine in my opinion.  It all depends on how fresh they are and how they are prepared.  My best advice is to use the freshest shrimp you can find, use them the day you buy them, don't overcook them and eat them as soon as they come off the grill.  As soon as they are opaque they are done.  It only takes a few minutes.  Pull them off in time and you will have delicious, succulent bites rather than chewy gobs.

1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 lemon or 2 limes, juiced
2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails attached


In a mixing bowl, mix together olive oil, parsley, lemon juice, hot sauce, garlic, tomato paste, oregano, S&P. Reserve a small amount for basting later. Pour remaining marinade into a large resealable plastic bag with shrimp. Seal, and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Preheat grill for medium-low heat. Thread shrimp onto skewers, piercing once near the tail and once near the head. Discard marinade.

Lightly oil grill grate. Cook shrimp for 5 minutes per side, or until opaque, basting frequently with reserved marinade.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Strawberry Vanilla Pancakes

Okay, so I'm definitely on a strawberry kick.  But how can you not load up on these delicious things when they're in season?!?  I'm hoping to make some strawberry jam this week, but until I post that recipe try these delicious pancakes on for size :)

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Pour in the milk, oil, egg and vanilla, and mix until well blended. Stir in the strawberries.               

Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat, and coat with butter or cooking spray. Pour batter into desired size of pancakes. Flip with a spatula when bubbles appear in the center. Cook until golden brown on the other side.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Strawberry Jam Bars

My husband is a science teacher at our high school in town and was asked by the drama class to help out with their production of Usher a comedic adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe's works. 

He agreed and was assigned to play the character "The Mask of the Red Death".  He had 3 lines, served as announcer, did the thunder sound effects and got to wear his favorite Halloween costume.  He had an absolute blast working with the kids, getting to know many of them in new ways.  He really loves what he does and loved getting to spend some extracurricular time with the students. 

After their last performance they had a cast party and I sent him with these yummy bars.  They were a big hit.  I try to not bake with pre-packaged ingredients very often, but I was told that cookies were really good and so I decided to try them out.  They are pretty sweet, but that seemed to be just what the doctor ordered for the high school crowd.  I like that they are a fruity bar rather than laden with chocolate and caramel.  Don't get me wrong, I love an ooey gooey bar cookie as much as the next gal, but sometimes it's nice to have something with fresher flavors.  You could easily make these with any flavor of jam, or even an apple butter might be good!

1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 package white cake mix
1 cup finely crushed cornflakes
1 c. strawberry jam, or flavor of your choice

In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add egg; mix well. Gradually add dry cake mix and cornflakes. Set aside 1-1/2 cups for topping. Press remaining dough into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan.

Carefully spread jam over crust. Sprinkle with reserved dough; gently press down. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into 24 bars

Friday, April 20, 2012

Rhubarb Season!

I love rhubarb, don't you?  It's only in season for a short time so I like to take advantage of it, stock my freezer with the tart stalks and bake and can my heart out.  Here are some wonderful rhubarb recipes that  I've tried over the years that go beyond the typical strawberry-rhubarb pie (though there's nothing wrong with that!)  Enjoy!

And of course, Fresh Rhubarb Pie

I hope that you'll try one or all of these recipes this spring!  They are all delicous!  If you haven't checked out Naloma Kitchen on facebook, give us a visit at

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Italian Roasted Asparagus

Asparagus is one of our favorite veggies around here. I LOVE when it comes into season!  Even big sister, picky eater that she is, devours the stuff.  Here's one of my favorite ways to fix it.  It's fresh and fast and more flavorful than steamed.

1 bunch thin asparagus spears, trimmed
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Arrange the asparagus in a single layer in a baking dish, and drizzle with the olive oil. Toss to coat the spears, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper.
Bake in the preheated oven until just tender, 12 to 15 minutes depending on thickness.  They should be fork tender when done.  Sprinkle with lemon juice just before serving.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sesame Noodle Salad

I love pasta salads when the weather gets warmer, and I love asian flavors.  This pasta dish fits the bill!  It is delicious served warm or cold.  If you wanted to make a heartier meal out of it you could add cooked chicken or shrimp.

1 (16 ounce) package angel hair pasta
1/2 cup sesame oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon hot chili oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. sesame seeds, or more if desired
1 green onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced

Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the angel hair pasta, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain well in a colander set in the sink.               

Whisk together the sesame oil, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, chili oil, and sugar in a large bowl. Toss the pasta in the dressing, then sprinkle with sesame seeds, green onion, and bell pepper. Serve warm, or cover and refrigerate for a cold salad.                

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Limoncello Cake

I found this gem of a dessert on  It is light and refreshing, a perfect finish to a heavy Italian meal or on a hot summer day.

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/4 cup limoncello liqueur
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt (optional)
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons limoncello liqueur

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Prepare an 8-inch cake pan with cooking spray.               

    Whisk together the yogurt, eggs, canola oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, and 4 tablespoons limoncello in a large bowl. In a separate large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gently stir the dry ingredients into the wet. Do not over mix or the cake will be tough. Pour batter into prepared pan.            

    Bake in the preheated oven until top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

    Stir the powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons of limoncello together in a small bowl until smooth. Poke small holes all over the top of the still-warm cake with a fork or toothpick. Spoon the glaze over the cake and spread with the back of a spoon. The glaze will seep into the cake and add moisture.                

    Monday, April 16, 2012

    Garden Lentil & Ham Soup

    I mentioned in a previous post that Easter weekend was going to be our first weekend in a long time that we hadn't had visitors.  While it was nice to be with just my husband and kids, it also means I probably didn't need to buy a huge ham.  But what is Easter dinner without ham??  Needless to say we've been eating ham leftovers all week and everyone was hammed out.  So, I threw most of the leftovers in the freezer saving out a bit to make this yummy soup.  I threw in what veggies I had hanging out in the cripser and it turned out great!  This would be perfect with a nice crusty loaf of bread to soak up the broth.  It would be really easy to make this vegetarian; just omit the ham and use vegetable broth instead of chicken.

    And a reminder, if you haven't been to my facebook page check it out here!  I'll be doing a giveaway when I reach 100 likes, so tell your friends :)

    1 c. dried lentils
    3 stalks celery, chopped
    2 large carrots, chopped
    1 onion, chopped
    2 bell peppers, chopped
    1 container grape tomatoes, whole
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 c. diced cooked ham
    1/2 tsp. basil
    1/4 tsp. thyme
    1/2 tsp. dried oregano
    1 bay leaf
    1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
    5 c. chicken broth
    1 c. water
    2 Tbsp. tomato paste
    2-3 c. fresh baby spinach
    a splash of lemon juice or hot sauce (optional for serving)

    Put the chopped ham into a large saucepan over medium high heat and begin to brown. This should render enough fat to brown the veggies in.  You can add a little olive oil if you need to if things get sticky.  Add the onions, carrots, and bell peppers.  Cook for a few minutes until they begin to soften, then add garlic.  Cook another two minutes.  Add remaining ingredients, except spinach.  Bring to a boil, then turn heat down and simmer at least 40 min. until lentils are cooked.  This can stay on the stovetop simmering for quite some time, or even in the slow cooker (11 hours on low).  Add the spinach a few minutes before you are ready to eat.  Top with any lemon juice or hot sauce to taste.

    Saturday, April 14, 2012

    Sweet n' Tangy Apple Coleslaw

    I haven't felt at all like cooking lately. Not good for a food blogger, right?  I get this way every spring.  It's finally warm and sunny outside, my appetite disappears and the last thing I want to do is be inside cooking.  But, a family's gotta eat so I whipped this coleslaw recipe up.  It's a nice twist on traditional coleslaw.  It's got super fresh flavors and is really easy to throw together.

    3 cups chopped cabbage
    1 unpeeled red apple, cored and chopped
    1 unpeeled Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped
    1 carrot, grated
    1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
    2 green onions, finely chopped
    1/3 cup mayonnaise
    1/3 cup brown sugar
    1 tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste
    a handful of craisins (optional)

    In a large bowl, combine cabbage, red apple, green apple, carrot, red bell pepper, and green onions. In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, brown sugar, and lemon juice. Pour dressing over salad.  If you can, let it sit a bit for the flavors to work before serving.  

    Thursday, April 12, 2012

    Blueberry Creme Muffins

    Is there anything yummier for a quick breakfast than a fresh blueberry muffin?  The secret to these delicious bites is the sour cream :)

    4 eggs
    2 cups white sugar
    1 cup vegetable oil
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    4 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    2 cups sour cream
    2 cups blueberries

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease 24 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
    In large bowl beat eggs, gradually add sugar while beating. Continue beating while slowly pouring in oil. Stir in vanilla. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, salt and baking soda.  Stir dry ingredients into egg mixture alternately with sour cream. Gently fold in blueberries. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups.  Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.

    Sunday, April 8, 2012

    Best Ever Steak Marinade

    The sun seems to have finally decided to stay out and I think the freezing temperatures are finally over.  What better way to celebrate the end of winter than by firing up the grill and cooking a nice juicy steak?  My dad has a cattle ranch in Wyoming and provides us with the best beef you can get.  I love knowing where my food is coming from and that the animals are treated well.  For this recipe I thawed out two huge Porterhouses and marinaded them all day.  By far the best steaks I've ever made!  And we discovered that Little Brother is a steak fan, too.  He ate three helpings and kept saying, "MORE STEAK!  MORE STEAK!!!" long after dinner was over. :)

    1/3 cup soy sauce
    1/2 cup olive oil
    1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
    1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
    1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
    3 tablespoons dried basil
    1 1/2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
    1 teaspoon ground white pepper
    1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)

    Mix everything together in a gallon sized ziploc bag, add your steaks and turn to coat.  Marinade for up to 8 hours or overnight.  Grill to your liking.

    Friday, April 6, 2012

    Spinach Tomato Tortellini

    The past few weeks have been pretty crazy around here.  My husband began a graduate program to add an administration credential to his teaching license, so that's kept him pretty busy most nights.  We've had my cousin, my mom, and my sister all to visit at separate times.  Easter weekend will be the first quiet weekend we've had in over a month!  I love having family to visit, but I have to say I'm looking forward to a nice relaxing weekend in my sweats :)  To add just a bit more to our plates my husband has been helping out in the high school's drama club, playing the part of "The Red Death" in a comedic medley of Edgar Allen Poe stories.  He's been gone in the evenings for rehearsal most of this past week and will be all of next week as well, with performances on Friday and Saturday nights.  All this busyness is leaving me with a lot of loooong days of kid duty.  Tonight I was feeling like I needed something fast and rather than head out for pizza I whipped up this super easy and inexpensive vegetarian pasta dish.  Everyone loved it, and my husband and I caught each other sneaking bites of leftovers out of the fridge long into the night :)

    1 16-19 oz. package cheese tortellini
    1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes with garlic and onion
    1 c. chopped fresh spinach leaves
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/4 tsp. ground pepper
    1 1/2 tsp. dried basil
    1 clove minced garlic
    2 Tbsp. flour
    3/4 c. milk
    3/4 c. heavy cream
    1/3 c. grated parmesan cheese

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add the tortellini and cook until done.  Drain, but don't rinse them.

    While the tortellini are cooking, combine the tomatoes, garlic, spinach, s&p and basil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Cook and stir until it begins to bubble.

    Whisk the milk, cream and flour together in a bowl, then stir into the tomato mixture.  Add the parmesan cheese.  Bring to a boil and simmer slowly for 2 minutes until the sauce is thickened.  Pour over the tortellini and stir to coat.  This is delicious with poppyseed garlic bread to soak up all the yummy sauce.

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

    English Muffin Breakfast Pizzas

    This recipe comes from Real Simple Magazine and is a great way to use up all those eggs the Easter Bunny left behind!  This recipe serves 4 but is easy to adjust.

    English-Muffin Egg Pizzas

    4 English muffins
    olive oil
    tomato slices
    2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
    grated mozzarella
    oregano and salt

    Make hard boiled eggs if you don't have any already.

    Toast 8 English-muffin halves and place on a cookie sheet.  Drizzle each with olive oil, then layer on tomato slices, hard-cooked egg slices (1/2 an egg each), and a little grated mozzarella. Sprinkle with oregano and kosher salt.  Broil 5 minutes or until the cheese melts.

    Sunday, April 1, 2012

    And the Handwarmer Mug Winner Is.....

    Amanda who said "These are all so pretty! I think my favorite is the mystic water, and I am right handed."  Look for an email from me to confirm your choice of mug and get your address.  Thanks to everyone who entered and hopefully suggested Naloma Kitchen to their friends!  I love doing giveaways because it's so fun to win something, so look for more in the future.

    Also, in the future I will have more recipes, I promise!  We have had an influx of house guests and birthday parties the last two weeks which means I have had little time for blogging but lots of time for cooking and trying new recipes, so there are yummy things headed your way! :) 

    Right now my sister and her little boy are visiting.  The sun finally decided to peek out today and we went for a 2 hour hike with the babies in the wind.  Tonight we're going to have Hearty Pasta Sauce and Poppyseed Garlic Bread. 

    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...