Monday, August 29, 2011

Banana Bread Pudding

I have tried so many variations of bread pudding and I am always disappointed. I had just about given up on myself ever enjoying this popular dish or producing a recipe I'd be happy sharing with you guys. Today, I was totally bored and decided I would give it one last shot. Oh boy, I'm so happy I did! I had a half loaf of day-old French bread and over-ripe bananas and thought Banana Bread Pudding might be the best way to not waste food. I also had a half bag of white chocolate chips that have been staring at me everytime I open my fridge. I love it when I can use leftover items and make something so darn delicious. I served this with some homemade whipped cream that I spiked with some Amaretto. Phenomenal!

3-4 cups day-old French bread (about half a loaf), cut into cubes
1 cup white chocolate chips
2 bananas, ripe, mashed
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 eggs, beaten
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray baking dish with cooking spray. Place cubed bread in baking dish. Sprinkle with white chocolate chips. In mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients until well combined. Pour over bread and white chocolate chips. Bake for 50-55 minutes until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Greek Meatloaf

I have been on a total Greek food kick for the past three or four months. I love how its the healthy cousin to Italian food. I get a lot of the same flavors I love in Italian food, without all the guilt.

Turkey Feta Burgers are hands down a favorite now in our house. I make a bunch of patties ahead of time and then freeze them individually so when we need a quick lunch, we just defrost and grill them up. Super simple.

There is a little Gyro stand (which by the way, is apparently pronouned like the currency, euro) at my work. I literally go there 2-3 times a week to get a greek salad. Once a week I splurge on calories and get the beef & lamb plate. It comes with some rotisseried beef and lamb with pita and the greek salad. TO. DIE. FOR.

I decided to combine the beef and lamb in this meatloaf. I had to tell Jon it was all beef because he claims to not like lamb. I love how I still need to trick him into eating certain foods. I found it incredibly tasty, I hope you all agree.

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground lamb
1/4 cup onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tsp lemon zest
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 eggs
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 1/2 cup feta cheese
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients until well combined. Form into loaf on baking sheet. Cook for 40-50 minutes, until internal temperature is 160 degrees.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sunday Dinner


We finally got ourselves moved into our new condo! We literally weren't sure where we were moving to until the day of the move, because there was some confusion with the rental agent. It was a slightly stressful experience, but I am so happy we are settled and that everything worked itself out. The kitchen makes me so happy everytime I walk into it. I figured there was no better way to christen the kitchen than to have my family over for Sunday dinner. I thought it'd be a good idea to share our "menu" for the evening with you guys. You'll notice it is all Italian food. We are not a drop Italian, but we sure love to eat their food like we are! I'm thinking about starting a monthly Sunday dinner with a different style cuisine each time. My next one will be Portuguese since that's what I am. If anyone has some great Portuguese recipes to share, please email them along at

Mama brought a delicious tossed salad (I'll have to grab the recipe from her for you kids)
Parmesan Garlic Bread & Balls
Manicotti (I will come back on and share this bad larry soon I promise)
Sausage & Mushroom Stuffed Shells


Hey Kids!

So, out here in Hawaii, lady fingers are incredibly hard to come by. I've been forced to make my tiramisu using Sponge Cake or Angel Food Cake. I was in a rush making this tiramisu, so I used a boxed Angel Food Cake. It came out delicious, and was a lot easier to put together.

1 Angel Food Cake mix (makes 2 9 inch cakes) or Sponge Cake (double recipe if you use Sponge Cake)
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 8 oz. containers Marscapone cheese
1 8 oz. container cream cheese
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp amaretto
1 tsp kahlua
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup water
2 instant coffee packets
1/4 cup kahlua
1/4 cup amaretto

Bake angel food cake as instructed on package. Set aside to cool.

In a double boiler, combine egg yolks, heavy cream, sugar and vanilla extract. Cook for 4-5 minutes until it turns a pale yellow. Set aside to cool. In a mixer, beat Marscapone and cream cheese together. Mix in egg yold mixture. In a separate bowl, whip cream, sugar, amaretto and kahlua until stiff peaks form. Gently fold whipped cream into Marscapone mixture. Add in nutmeg and gently stir ingredients until well combined. In a small mixing bowl, combine water, coffee packets, kahlua and amaretto.

Turn the cakes over onto a surface. Using a spoon, slowly pour coffee mixture over the bottoms of the cakes. Place one of the cakes with the coffee mixture down into a serving dish. Spread half of the Marscapone mixture over the cake. Layer the other cake on top, again with the coffee mixture side down. Spread the rest of the Marscapone mixture and sprinkle with some cocoa powder.

Sausage & Mushroom Stuffed Shells

One of my favorite combinations is sausage and mushrooms. I love sausage stuffed mushrooms, sausage and mushroom pizza, and now, sausage and mushroom stuffed shells. I love stuffed shells in general. They are a lot of work, but you can make a bunch ahead of time and then freeze them for a quick meal later. I used my homemade marinara sauce with them. If you haven't tried my recipe for homemade marinara, please do immediately. Once you start making your own sauce, you'll never go back to jarred sauce. I usually quadruple the recipe and jar it with quart sized mason jars.

1 box jumbo shells
2 cups marinara sauce
1.235 lb package of Italian sausage, casing removed
1 15 oz ricotta cheese
1 8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup romano cheese, grated
1 cup mozzarella cheese, plus more to sprinkle on top
1 egg, beaten
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 tsp fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 cups chopped mushrooms

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook shells as directed on package. Cook Italian sausage in skillet until brown and crumbly. In a mixer, beat cream cheese until soft. Add in ricotta, parmesan, romano, mozzarella, beaten egg, garlic, basil, parsley, salt and pepper until well combined. Mix in sausage and mushrooms. Fill each shell with mixture. Coat the bottom of a baking dish with enough marinara to cover the bottom. Lay shells on top of marinara. Cover shells with more marinara and sprinkle more mozzarella cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30-35 minutes.


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