May 30, 2012

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Making banana bread is a great way to use up over-ripe bananas. The combination of chocolate, cinnamon and bananas in this recipe really makes it a winner. Enjoy!

1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tablespoons sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Set oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of a loaf pan with parchment paper or foil.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Beat sugar and eggs until light and fluffy. Mix in oil. Add mashed bananas, sour cream, and vanilla. Fold in dry ingredients and chocolate chips. Pour into a lined loaf pan and bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

May 28, 2012

Jamaican Curry Chicken Breasts

I struggled with this recipe. The marinade is more like a wet rub and there was not really enough to cover four chicken breast so I had to add some water to thin it out. However, it tasted great so enjoy!


2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 scallion, minced

2 teaspoons curry powder

2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce 

Four 6-ounce boneless chicken breast halves


Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

1 scallion, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon curry powder

2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

1 1/2 cups water

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

In a shallow dish, combine the oil with the scallion, curry powder, ginger, allspice and hot sauce (add a bit of water or more oil to thin it out so it spreads well). Add the chicken breasts and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and season with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the chicken; cook over moderately heat until white throughout, about 5-7 minutes each side. Transfer the chicken to a platter.
Add the onion to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 minutes. Stir in the scallion, curry, ginger, allspice and hot sauce and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 5 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil over high heat, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook until the sauce has reduced to about a cup, 5 minutes.

Return the chicken to the skillet, skin side up, and simmer until heated through, about 2 minutes. Transfer the chicken to plates. Stir the butter into the curry sauce and season with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the breasts and serve with the Sliced Salad on the side.

Original recipe by Marcia Kiesel with Food & Wine Magazine. 

May 26, 2012

Ted's Most Best - Athens, GA

Ted's Most Best on UrbanspoonAwesome pizza and best meatball sub I have had in a long time! The pizza was cooked just right with a crisp, yet chewy crust and the meatballs on the sub were perfectly seasoned. Service was a bit slow as the cashier taking your order also gets your drinks and desserts, but if you aren't in a rush it is worth the wait. Enjoy!

May 24, 2012

Super Quick Orange Chicken

Craving some Asian food, but not wanting to order takeout?  This recipe might just fit the bill. It was very quick to put together and tastes great - not overly sweet and the ginger really adds a nice flavor. Great served over brown or jasmine rice with a vegetable on the side.  

1 1/2 Lbs Frozen Breaded Chicken Breasts or Tenders
1/4 Cup Orange Marmalade
1 TBS Cider or Rice Vinegar
1/2 TBS Water
1/4 tsp ground ginger

Cook the chicken according to the package directions. Mix the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add the cooked chicken and toss to coat. 

May 22, 2012

Chicken Enchiladas Verde

I love these enchiladas! They are really yummy, easy to make and can also be made ahead of time. I did all the assembly in the morning, then placed the prepared pan in the refrigerator until dinnertime. About 45 minutes before dinner I placed the prepared pan in a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes, then removed the foil and cooked it another 15 minutes or until the cheese started to brown. Enjoy!

¾ lb cooked rotisserie chicken, shredded
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ancho chili powder
20 oz (2-10 oz cans) green enchilada sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 4-oz can diced fire roasted green chilies
8 oz shredded “Mexican Blend” cheese (or Pepper Jack)
12 small corn tortillas
Salsa verde, hot sauce and fresh cilantro for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place chicken in a large bowl with ¼ cup enchilada sauce, cumin, chili powder, salt, cayenne pepper, diced green chilies and sour cream. Mix well.

Pour about 2/3 cup enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan. Soften your corn tortillas by microwave each one for about 10 seconds then place about ¼ cup of the chicken mixture into each hot tortilla along with a sprinkling of cheese. Roll up each tortilla and place seam-side down in the pan. Repeat until you have used up all your filling, leaving about half the cheese. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the tortillas in the pan and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Cover with tin foil and bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with extra salsa, hot sauce and fresh cilantro.

May 20, 2012

Lemon Cornmeal Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce

While I usually love lemon and it typically pairs great with blueberries, I found the pancakes too "lemony" and the blueberries sauce a bit too acidic. I loved the texture and cornmeal taste of the pancakes so I would make them again, but would leave out the lemon zest...or I would just make these since they were so delicious. Whichever one you try I hope you truly enjoy them as much as I do!

3 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup cornmeal (I used corn grits)
1/2 cup flour
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp canola oil

Blueberry Sauce
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Juice of one lemon

Sauce: Combine the blueberries, sugar, vanilla and juice in a small saucepot over low heat. Cook the mixture for about 20 minutes, until most of the blueberries have broken down and the texture is jam-like. Serve warm over the cooked pancakes.

Pancakes: Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the buttermilk and oil and beat until well blended. In another bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cornmeal, lemon zest, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk together well then add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix only until just combined.

Spray a hot (350 degrees) non-stick skillet with a cooking spray, then cook pancakes (about 1/4 cups worth of batter per cake) for about 1 minute 30 seconds each side, or until golden brown. Be careful they brown quickly. Top pancakes with the blueberry sauce and serve.

Original Pancake Recipe from Eat Live Run

May 18, 2012

White Chicken Chili

This is a healthier version of a White Chili than what I posted previously ( It still tastes great and if you miss the creaminess of the other recipe, just add a dollop of reduced-fat sour cream to your bowl - I promise you won't miss the heavy cream. It can be ready in about 40 minutes so it is even great for a weeknight meal. Enjoy!

1 ½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 cups finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 ½ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
2 (4.5-ounce) cans chopped green chiles, undrained
2 (15.5-ounce) cans cannellini (or Great Northern) beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups chicken broth
chopped fresh cilantro, sour cream (reduced fat) and crushed tortilla chips for serving

Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken and cook approximately 8 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. Add onion to pan; sauté 6 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add garlic; sauté 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in cumin, dried oregano, coriander and cayenne; sauté 1 minute. Stir in chiles; reduce heat to low, and cook 10 minutes, partially covered. Add the beans, and broth; bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Serve immediately or keep chili on the lowest heat until ready to serve. Serve with a dollop of sour cream (if desired) and a sprinkling of fresh cilantro and crushed tortilla chips.

May 16, 2012

Station 400 - Sarasota, FL

Overall, the outdoor seating in great, service is good and the food hit or miss. 

We enjoyed breakfast here. The Breakfast Fry-Up has a nice combination of eggs, sausage and vegetables while the seasonal pancakes were flavorful, but a bit undercooked. 

We also had lunch here just the other day. While my husband's BLT with green tomatoes was delicious and huge (who doesn't love a pile of bacon!), my Curried Chicken Wrap, shown below, left a lot to be desired. There was very little curry flavor and the brie cheese did not pair well with the mayonnaise laden chicken. The side "salad" of cucumber and tomato was minuscule and strangely topped with an olive tapenade. Not something I would order again or recommend. 

Station 400 on Urbanspoon

May 14, 2012

Blowin' Smoke BBQ - Savannah, GA

Great BBQ!  The pork had a nice smokey flavor, the beans were not too sweet or syrupy as many are, the coleslaw was fresh and not drowned in mayo, and the jalapeno corn muffin had a nice little kick (again not overly sweet) that was a nice accompaniment to the rest of the meal. I would definitely recommend visiting Blowin' Smoke if you are interested in some downright good southern BBQ.  
Blowin Smoke BBQ on Urbanspoon

May 12, 2012

Salted Fudge Brownies

I love sweet and salty desserts - hence why I created this brownie recipe!  They have just the right amount of saltiness balanced by the sweet richness of the chocolate. Enjoy!

1 stick unsalted butter
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 ½ cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt (a good sea salt works great, too)

Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly butter a 9-inch square metal cake pan.

In a saucepan, melt the butter with the unsweetened chocolate over low heat (or use a double broiler), stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly. Then whisk in the following ingredients, one at a time, until thoroughly incorporated:  cocoa, sugar, eggs, vanilla and flour. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Sprinkle the salt evenly over the batter. Using a butter knife, gently swirl the salt into the batter.

Bake the brownies at 375⁰ for 25-35 minutes, until the edge is set but the center is still a bit soft and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a little bit of the batter. Let the brownies cool at room temperature in the pan for 1 hour, then refrigerate about 1 hour. Cut the brownies into squares. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Also great for brownie sundaes. 

May 10, 2012

Mediterranean Farro Salad

I love Greek flavors so this was how I used up some farro. By not soaking the farro overnight it remains fairly chewy and almost nutty. Great served over a bed of romaine lettuce and/or with tuna in olive oil. Enjoy! 

1/2 cup farro
1 cup water
2 TBS kalamata olives, quartered
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
2 TBS feta cheese, crumbled
1 TBS fresh basil, chopped
1 TBS vinegar (red wine, apple cider, or rice)
1 TBS olive oil
pepper and salt to taste

Bring farro and water to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until tender (it will still be a bit chewy). Drain the cooked farro and mix it with the remaining ingredients. Serve at room temperature or chill for at least 2 hours before serving (I prefer it chilled). 

May 8, 2012

Sausage and Chicken Gumbo

This recipe, adapted from one published in Cooking Light, was very disappointing!  It really lacked any flavor at all. We added quite a bit of Cajun seasoning to liven it up and that really helped. 

1 cup rice, uncooked
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
1 cup frozen chopped onion
1 cup frozen chopped green red bell pepper
1 cup frozen cut okra
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 - 1 TBS Cajun Seasoning (key to making this a flavorful dish)
2 cups chopped cooked chicken breasts
8 ounces turkey kielbasa, cut into half moons
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes with peppers and onion
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth 

Cook rice according to package directions. While rice cooks, combine flour and oil in a Dutch oven; saute over medium-high heat 3 minutes. Add onion and next 6 ingredients (onion through Cajun seasoning); cook 3 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in chicken, kielbasa, tomatoes, and broth; cook 6 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve over rice.

May 6, 2012

Blackstone's Cafe - Beaufort, SC

We went here as they were recommended by Southern Living Magazine. They offer friendly service and good biscuits and sweet tea. However, the place smelled funny upon walking in (good thing they have a patio) and the shrimp and grits were extremely under flavored. Also, there was so much cheese smothering the grits that I didn't even want to eat all of them. Unfortunately, I cannot agree with Southern Living on this one. Be wary of travel guide and magazine recommendations :-(
Blackstone's Cafe on Urbanspoon

May 4, 2012

Moon River Brewing Company - Savannah, GA

We enjoyed their Swamp Fox IPA, but the remainder of the beers were just mediocre. Service was slow. We didn't order any food, but they offer standard bar food - burgers, sandwiches, and a bunch of fried items. Definitely not a place I would return to - there is better beer and food elsewhere in town. 
Moon River Brewing Company on Urbanspoon

May 2, 2012

Mellow Mushroom - Savannah, GA

The Mighty Meaty pizza was really good - who wouldn't enjoy a pizza loaded with four different meats including applewood smoked bacon?!  It was large for the price and tasted surprisingly fresh (not mass produced). If you are looking for a quick and tasty bite of pizza in Savannah I would definitely recommend Mellow Mushroom.

Mellow Mushroom on Urbanspoon