Archive for April, 2013

April 17, 2013

OXO Salad Dressing Shaker

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I made a quick trip to Bed Bath & Beyond. Always dangerous. I find it impossible to walk out without a few extra things that weren’t on my list. I found this salad shaker in a big bin at the front of the store. I almost made it to the register free of impulse purchases, but I had to grab one of these OXO goodies, along with a big container of animal crackers for our horse, her favorite.

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I always make homemade salad dressing. Have you ever looked at the ingredients list on the bottled dressing at the grocery store? Homemade dressing takes no time to make. With this handy salad shaker, I made a big batch of my balsamic vinaigrette to keep in the refrigerator. It’s only a few ingredients: balsamic vinegar, good quality olive oil, garlic, honey, kosher salt & pepper – no chemicals or fillers needed.

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The salad shaker was $14.99. It comes with helpful measurements on the side, and a flip top spout, making it easy to shake and pour the dressing with no mess. Genius!

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For those of you who are unaware, Bed Bath & Beyond has begun adding glorious gourmet food departments to their stores. Currently only found in a few locations, with more to come. They carry everything from gourmet cheeses and charcuterie, to top quality oils and vinegars. A wide array of European chocolates, cookies, condiments, spices & baking necessities, as well as a nice gluten-free assortment. Craft beer and awesome wines in some locations, too. Full disclosure… my husband has been with Bed Bath for many years and gourmet food is one of his projects. I also do consulting work for BBB. Regardless, I would still be a loyal Bed Bath & Beyond customer without the connection. The store is addictive.

This Frankie’s Olive Oil is fantastic! A recent BBB food department purchase, Frankie’s Olive Oil is made by Brooklyn’s famous Frankie Spuntino. I’ve enjoyed the meatballs from his NYC location. Delish! If you happen upon one of these gourmet food departments, try this olive oil. If you’re interested in which BBB locations have food, just let me know. There’s good stuff for all my foodie friends to enjoy.

* My daughter has become a photography enthusiast and took the pictures for this post. Nice job! 

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April 3, 2013

Mini Banana Muffins

Mini Banana Muffins

With 4 overripe bananas sitting on my kitchen counter I was looking for something different to bake, other than banana bread. I found this recipe from Martha Stewart online. I changed her original recipe which called for sour cream, and used nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt to make them a bit healthier. A perfect little chunk of chocolate in the center gave them the added sweetness they needed. Making muffins in the mini cups is a bit dangerous. Isn’t 8 a proper serving? I guess not.

Mini Banana Muffins

These are not overly sweet, making them the perfect treat with a cup of afternoon coffee. The recipe rendered me 40 mini muffins, eating them by the handful had them gone in a flash. You can bake these in regular sized muffin tins, just increase the bake time by about 5 minutes. Watch until they turn a perfect golden color and check when a cake tester comes out clean.

Mini Banana Muffins

Adapted from Martha Stewart

INGREDIENTS (makes 36-40 mini muffins)

  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 – 6oz container non-fat vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp  vanilla extract
  • Chocolate chunks

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the bananas in the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment and mix until well mashed. Add the brown sugar and mix. Add the oil and egg and mix until smooth. Add both flours, the baking powder, baking soda and salt, mix until just incorporated. Add the yogurt and vanilla extract and mix one last time.

Pour the batter into prepared mini muffin tins, or line the cups with muffin papers. Fill each cup about 3/4 full. Place a single chocolate chunk in the center of the batter in each cup. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until golden. I use the convection setting on my oven. These were done in 15 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!

 

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