My family loves bananas but we always seem to end up with a bunch of bananas that are starting to go bad. You know, the skins on the outside of the bananas go black and the insides get all brown and mushy.  I used to get annoyed and think what a waste, then I realized that these black bananas might be part of a family conspiracy — the Nana Bread Conspiracy.  Could it be that there is a pact in my house to not eat the last four bananas?  They let them hang there, aging, ripening and pushing me to throw the gnat magnets in the garbage or… make everyone’s favorite dessert: Nana Bread.

Nana Bread

  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Mash bananas in a large mixing bowl.
  3. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas.
  4. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla.
  5. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in.
  6. Add the flour last, mix.
  7. Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan.
  8. Bake for 1 hour.
  9. Cool on a rack.
  10. Remove from pan and slice to serve.
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I love my eggs over easy.  Everyone else in my family moans, groans and frowns every time I sop up that delicious yellow goo with my buttered toast.  My wife (via her Twitter friend @MrBradG) introduced me to a great way to prepare my favorite breakfast: Bird’s Nest.

Bird's Nest

Bird's Nest

I’ve learned the dish has many colorful names, depending on where you are from:   egg in a boat, egg in a hole, egg in a frame, egg in a poke, egg in a basket, bird’s nest, toad in a hole and one-eyed jack.  It was also featured prominently in the movie V for Vendetta.

Bird’s Nest

  • 4 slices Bread
  • 4 larges Eggs
  • 2-3 tablespoons Butter or margarine

Spread both sides of the bread with butter. In the center of the bread, cut out a 1 1/2- to 2-inch circle (I used a cookie cutter). In a skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium-high heat, place bread, the rounds also.   Carefully break the egg into the hole, being careful not to break the yolk. Cook until the egg solidifies on the bottom, 1 to 2 minutes. Carefully flip with a large spatula and cook until the underside is golden and egg is cooked to desired doneness, 1 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

This is a simple work week recipe for a great tasting meatloaf.  No special ingredients, no chopping — it’s all in the stuffing mix!

Stove Top Stuffing Meatloaf

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 45 – 50 minutes

Ready In: 60 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 lbs 85% lean ground beef (or meatloaf mix)
  • 1 package Stove Top Chicken Flavored Stuffing Mix, 6 oz.
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup of your favorite spaghetti sauce (I use Hunt’s Zesty & Spicy)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Coat an 8 X 8 baking dish or loaf pan with cooking spray.
  3. Mix together all ingredients.
  4. Pat down mixture into baking dish or loaf pan.
  5. Bake for 45 – 50 minutes at 350 degrees F.
NOTE:  I use the remaining spaghetti sauce over the meatloaf slices and accompanying rice or egg noodles.

My family and I love baked potatoes! The perfect baked potato has crisp golden skin on the outside and is pure white and fluffy on the inside. This recipe, that I use all the time, creates just that. The the skin as yummy as the inside!

Great Baked Potato

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 45 – 60 minutes

Ready In: 65 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • Baking type potatoes, like Russet
  • Olive Oil / Vegetable Oil
  • McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Adjust the rack in your oven to the middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Rinse and scrub each potato under running water, as we will be eating the skins of these perfect potatoes. Dry each potato thoroughly.
  3. Pierce each deeply with a fork or sharp knife four times on each side at approximately 1″ intervals. This will allow steam to escape or the potato may explode during baking.
  4. Rub the potato with olive oil or vegetable oil over the skins.
  5. Roll the potatoes in McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak seasoning before bake. Place seasoning onto a small plate. Roll potatoes lightly in the seasoning.
  6. Bake for 45 – 60 minutes at 400 degrees F.

Thanksgiving dinner was great. The turkey was moist, the collard greens were just like my mom used to make and my wife made a wonderful sweet potato cake.

Having stuffed ourselves with turkey on Thursday, followed by turkey sandwiches on Friday, another round of reheated turkey looked less and less appealing. By Saturday I realized had to do something, anything, with the leftover turkey.

I went looking for something different, a new recipe that put some “growl” into yesterday’s “gobble”. I happened onto this recipe for Chili-Flavored Turkey Stew With Hominy and Tomatoes.

What a delicious change of pace from the mild Thanksgiving fare. I only deviated from the recipe by adding a bit of Tabasco (the kids were away) to spice it up for my wife. I match it up with some cornbread for a filling meal.

This recipe may find its way into the regular Leftover Les dinner rotation. I will probably replace the leftover Thanksgiving turkey with packaged cooked turkey breasts strips.

Chili-Flavored Turkey Stew With Hominy and Tomatoes

Origin: USA WEEKEND columnist Pam Anderson

Yields: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, cut into medium dice
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into small dice
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
  • 2 cups canned hominy, drained
  • 4 cups leftover turkey meat, pulled into large pieces
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat oil in a large, deep saute pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper; cook until soft and golden, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and chili powder; continue to cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
  3. Add tomatoes, broth and hominy; bring to simmer.
  4. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, about 10 minutes, to blend flavors.
  5. Add turkey, salt and pepper. Simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in cilantro. Serve with tortilla or corn chips if you like.

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