Friday, September 11, 2015

Land O Lakes NEW European Butter

I am currently in a campaign by Buzzagent for the new EuropeanStyle Land O Lakes butter. I tried the new butter in  a Copycat recipe for LoftHouse cookies. The butter was great in the cookies. I used 1 C of butter for the cookies and 1/2 Cup in the frosting. I was sent a free coupon for the butter and some coupons and recipes for sharing. In my Price Chopper the butter is $2.99 per 1/2 lb. package. I will buy this product again with coupons and or sales. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

New sample from BuzzAgent Quaker Chewy Thin mint Bars

Two all-time classic flavors in one delicious bite? Quaker® and Girl Scouts® teamed up to turn that dream into reality. Quaker® Chewy® Girl Scouts® Granola Bars bring the appeal and popularity of Girl Scout Cookie™ flavors to Quaker® Chewy® granola bars. Each bar combines 8 grams of whole grains with your favorite cookie flavors, like Thin Mints®, the #1 Girl Scout Cookie™ flavor. It’s got real chocolate chips and mint topped with a delicious chocolaty drizzle. Plus there’s no high fructose corn syrup and they’re 100 calories!

This is the description and photo of a new product I am sampling from . I received two boxes of the thin mint bars to try and share. The children sampled the bars today and really enjoyed them. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

New Quaker Steel Cut Oats

Taken from the BuzzAgent website:

Is breakfast starting to feel like “been there, done that” meal? Bagels? Blah. Strudel? So-so. Stale cupcakes? Hey, we’ve all been there. If you’re ready for a breakfast makeover, allow us to introduce NEW Quaker® Steel Cut Quick 3-Minute Oatmeal.
Each convenient pouch provides a hearty texture and nutty taste in just 3 minutes. Pour the oats into a bowl, add water and microwave. That’s it! It’s stick-to-your-ribs goodness your whole family can enjoy even on the busiest mornings.
Because they’re cut instead of rolled, steel-cut oats have more of a thick, satisfying whole-grain texture, plus a delicious flavor! Blueberries & Cranberries create the perfect combo with real pieces of fruit, or satisfy your sweet tooth with a dash of sugar and spice in Brown Sugar & Cinnamon, which is made with brown sugar and cinnamon.

I was provided with 1 free box of the New Quaker Brown Sugar & Cinnamon Steel cut Oats and some $2.00 off coupons for providing my honest opinion, from (a great website that provides you with free full size samples for providing your opinion and spreading the word about new products) . I loved the texture and ease of the oats. They were ready in a flash. Next time I will add a dash of cinnamon to balance out the sweetness. Great idea for a quick breakfast and the children love the flavor. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

New DohVinci

Taken from the Buzzagent Website:


The Memory Masterpiece or Flower Tower Frame Kit is a great place to start, but from there your creative kiddo can use her DohVinci Styler to draw in 3D on almost any surface* — from wood and metal to plastic, glass and even duct tape! Kick-start her creative process with some fun art-ivities like these:
  • Festive planter pots: Let your little one help with the gardening by decorating some ceramic starter pots
  • Mason jar candles: Grab some mason jars and tea candles at the hardware store, then put your DohVinci Styler to work!
  • Pencil box makeover: Get the jump on next year’s school supplies by giving this year’s pencil box a unique new look

My option: I love the ease of this project. Very little clean up . Dohvinci is great for all ages 2-13, children can create a project independently with no plugs, no extra glue and no frustrations. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Paula's Choice Lotions

Taken from the BuzzAgent website :

When it comes to pores, size does matter. But an effective exfoliant can shrink enlarged pores and do much, much more. Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid is unlike any other product on the market. While there are many BHA (short for beta hydroxy acid) products available, formulating them at the pH level needed to penetrate pores is extremely difficult. This leave-on exfoliant:
  • Rapidly exfoliates the skin’s surface and inside the pore, reshaping the pore lining, unclogging pores and improving skin cell turnover rate
  • Increases collagen production and drastically smoothes the surface of skin
  • Attacks blemish-causing bacteria at a faster and deeper rate
  • Fades discolorations caused by dark spots and acne marks

The result is a dramatic improvement in your skin’s appearance, feel and function. In short: simply healthier skin!
Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid works on all skin types, but its texture is especially suited for people with normal to oily or combination skin, stubborn blackheads or blemish-prone skin. Learn why it pays to exfoliate >>
  • Effective for anti-aging, blackheads, enlarged pores, keratosis pilaris (red bumps on arms and legs), redness, rosacea, wrinkles and acne breakouts
  • Exfoliates to reveal smoother, firmer, younger-looking skin
  • Calms redness and builds collagen
  • Creates radiant, clear, even-toned skin
  • Is 100% fragrance- and colorant-free, with no added dyes or irritants
  • Is never tested on animals

Please Note: Those allergic to aspirin (acetylsalicylate) should not use products containing salicylic acid (beta hydroxy acid
Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid
My review, the skin reflecting liquid seems wonderful. I tried it on a spot on my cheek and became rather itchy. My lips also had a funny sensation, tingly. If you are sensitive to products you may want to spot check this product on your arm first. I would try a different product by this company just be aware to try first before you apply liberally to your face. I am not paid or compensated in any way. i simply receive the samples and provide my own opinion.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

St. Peter's Chairs 2/22/2014

Today is the Feast of St. Peter's Chair. We made our chair's after the ones posted at :

Baked Cod with Ritz Cracker Topping

Excellent recipe on it's own with a touch of lemon juice. Can be served with tartar sauce.


• 2 pounds skinless cod fillets
• Salt
• 1 sleeve of Ritz Crackers (about 34 crackers)
• 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter
• Lemon and parsley for garnish (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a small baking pan or casserole pan with butter or a little oil. Rinse off the fish fillets with cold water, pat dry. Use long nose pliers to remove any pin bones from the fillets. If you want, cut the fillets into large serving pieces. Place the fillets at the bottom of the pan, sprinkle with salt. 2. Melt the butter. Crush the Ritz crackers over a bowl: they should look like course breadcrumbs. Mix the melted butter with the breadcrumbs. Pack the crumb mixture over the top and sides of the fish fillets. 3. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily. (Thin fillets may take less time, very thick fillets may take longer.) Serve the fish with lemon and parsley.

Soft and Fluffy Hamburger Buns

1 cup warm water
I made these to go with salmon patties. They were easy and quick. A bit dense.

  1. Place the water, canola oil, flour, sugar, salt, vital wheat gluten, and yeast into the pan of a bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer, select the Dough cycle, and turn on the machine. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. When the cycle is finished, remove the dough to a lightly oiled work surface, and knead for 2 to 3 minutes. Cut the dough into 12 equal-size pieces, and roll the dough into balls by cupping your hand, with open fingers, over each piece of dough. Roll gently, with just a little pressure, to form a dough ball with a silky surface. Place the dough balls onto the parchment-lined baking sheets, and flatten each dough ball gently into a bun. Cover with a cloth and let rise until doubled, 30 to 45 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  4. Bake the rolls in the preheated oven until the tops are golden brown, about 12 minutes. Let cool on racks before slicing

No Knead Beer Bread

This recipe was easy to put together but a bit dense.

  1. 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

  1. Stir together yeast, 1/2 cup flour and warm water in a large bowl. Cover and let sit in a warm spot for about 30 minutes.
  2. Stir beer, remaining flour and salt into the bowl. Mix until all the flour is incorporated and forms a thick sticky dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm spot for 2 hours, until doubled in size.
  3. Scrape all the dough from the bowl with a rubber spatula, and place on a well-floured surface. Generously flour the top of the dough and form into a loaf shape.
  4. Sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal. Transfer loaf to the baking sheet and sprinkle the top with flour. Cover loosely with a towel and let rise for 30-40 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  6. Place a small loaf pan of warm water on a lower rack to humidify the oven.
  7. Slash a long slit in the top of the loaf with a sharp knife or razor. Place the baking sheet on the rack above the pan of warm water in the oven. Bake for 35 minutes, until the loaf is golden brown.
  8. Transfer to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.

"Olive Garden Style" Chicken & Gnocchi Soup

For this recipe I omitted the garlic and onion. Next time used regular pasta. The gnocchi was a bit heavy in the soup.

1 tablespoon extra virgin oil

4 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons flour

3 cups of milk (we used 2%)

1/2 cup celery, finely diced

1/2 cup onion, finely diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2-3 cups of low sodium chicken broth depending on how thick you like your soup

1 cup shredded carrots

1-2 cups of shredded chicken, I just used a bag of frozen precooked, shredded chicken we had on hand

1 package gnocchi, cooked or the equivalent homemade

handful of spinach leafs, ribboned ( I used frozen, chopped)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon parsley

1.) Heat the butter and olive oil in a large soup pot. Saute the onion, celery and garlic in the oil and butter until tender.

2.) Stir in the flour and cook for a minute before adding in the milk. Add the carrots and chicken and let the mixture simmer until it starts to thicken.

3.) While it is simmering, cook the gnocchi according to the directions on the package. Strain and set aside.

4.) Once mixture is thickend, add chicken broth to reach desired consistency.Once mixture tightens up again, add the gnocchi, spinach and seasoning. Simmer until fully heated through.

5.) Serve with your own hearty Italian bread.

Banana Cake Muffins

This recipe is great. Not overly sweet. Would be great with chopped walnuts on the top.

Original recipe makes 1 - 9x13 inch pan                    

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

From the BuzzAgent website:


The Keebler® Elves have been busy baking away a new tasty treat in The Hollow Tree Factory, but truthfully, they could just as well have been hard at work in your kitchen. That’s because Keebler® Simply Made cookies are made with ingredients typically found in most cabinets. Though, we suppose your rolling pin might be a touch difficult to maneuver with elf-sized hands.

Baked with butter, sugar, eggs and wheat flour, Keebler® Simply Made cookies contain wholesome ingredients that you’ll feel good about serving to your family. With flavors like Butter, made with a hint of vanilla, and Chocolate Chip, which contains 100% real cocoa, it’s easy to treat everyone to great tastes.
Keebler Simply Made

My opinion: great flavor, no chemical aftertaste. The chocolate had tons of chocolate and the butter cookies had a real butter flavor. I would buy these cookies again because they have no high fructose corn sugar and they are tasty.

Monday, February 3, 2014

From the BuzzAgent  website:

NEW Fiber One® Protein Cereal gives you the powerful combination of protein and fiber so you can get your day started right by reaching for just one box! The only decision left to make is which delicious flavor to choose.
  • Cranberry Almond – a masterful mix of crunchy almonds, delicious cranberry pieces and sweetened granola
  • Maple Brown Sugar – a bountiful blend of sweetened granola and crunchy pecans topped with the taste of maple brown sugar

Why stop at breakfast? Fiber One Protein Cereal contains 10g of protein when served with milk and 20% daily value of fiber, making it a great option all day long!
Fiber One(R) Protein Cereal
BuzzAgent  is a website that you can sign up to join campaigns for free products. You provide your honest opinion and you are not paid but compensated by free products.
My opinion: good cereal with a great aroma. I wish there were more pecans. Each box has 1 Boxtop for Education on it which is a bonus. I would buy in the future with a sale and coupon. Does not get soggy on my Greek yogurt.

From the campaign BuzzAgent website:

Hypoallergenic Moisturizing Serum infused with Shea Butter. 5 Curve-Sensing blades. Skin Guards. All those features might just sound like bells and whistles for now, but trust us – as soon as you take a few strokes with Schick® Hydro Silk® Sensitive Care® razor, everything will make perfect sense.
Winter can be especially tough on sensitive skin. Dermatologist-tested Schick® Hydro Silk® Sensitive Care® razor delivers a better hydration boost than any other razor. The Hypoallergenic Moisturizing Serum hydrates your skin for up to two hours after shaving while the 5 Curve-Sensing blades protect your skin from irritation. So even while you’re bundled up in a parka, your legs will feel like hitting the beach all winter long.
Schick(R) Hydro Silk(R) Sensitive Care(R) Razor
My opinion : Great razor, my legs felt silky smooth after using for the first time. suction cup actually works. I would definately buy this in the future.
BuzzAgent is a website that you can sign up to join campaigns for free products. You provide your honest opinion and you are not paid but compensated by free products.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Walnut Stuffed Chicken Roulade Rachael Ray

Cheeseburger Pasta

From the Recipe Shoebox.

The ingredients:

1 box (12-ounces) penne pasta

1 lb. ground beef (I used ground turkey)

1 onion, diced

1 can (14-1/2-oz.) diced tomatoes

2 Tbs. prepared mustard

3 Tbs. ketchup

3 Tbs. dill pickle relish

1-1/2 tsp. steak seasoning (I used McCormick Montreal steak seasoning)

1/4 tsp. seasoned salt

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

chopped green onions, for garnishment (optional)

Directions: Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, brown beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the tomatoes, mustard, ketchup, relish, steak seasoning, and seasoned salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered , for 5 minutes. Stir in drained pasta. Cook for 1 minute more. Sprinkle with cheese. Remove from heat; cover and let stand until cheese is melted. Garnish with green onions if desired.

Gourmet Mushroom Rissotto

For this recipe i left out the shallot and I added 1-11/2 C chopped toasted walnuts.


6 cups chicken broth, divided

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 pound portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 pound white mushrooms, thinly sliced

2 shallots, diced

1 1/2 cups Arborio rice

1/2 cup dry white wine

sea salt to taste

freshly ground black pepper to taste

3 tablespoons finely chopped chives

4 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


1.In a saucepan, warm the broth over low heat.

2.Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the mushrooms, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove mushrooms and their liquid, and set aside.

3.Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet, and stir in the shallots. Cook 1 minute. Add rice, stirring to coat with oil, about 2 minutes. When the rice has taken on a pale, golden color, pour in wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed. Add 1/2 cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 15 to 20 minutes.

4.Remove from heat, and stir in mushrooms with their liquid, butter, chives, and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste

Chicken Codon Bleu

Pound 3lb. of thick chicken breasts until they are very thin. Layer each cken breast with 1 thin slice of deli ham and 1 slice of deli swiss cheese. Roll and secure with toothpicks. In a skillet brown each side of the chicken in oil. Place aside. In a large measuring cup place 3 cans of Annie' s condensed mushroom soup and 3/4 of a can of milk. Mix well. Place a layer of the soup mixture on the bottom of a 9"X13" pan. Add chicken and the rest of the soup mixture. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 1 hour UNCOVERED.

Lamb Burgers with Sun Dried TOmato Aioli

(serving size: 1 burger)


10 sun-dried tomatoes, packed without oil

1 cup water

1/4 cup canola mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided

2 garlic cloves, minced and divided

2 tablespoons grated pecorino Romano cheese

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 pound lean ground lamb

Cooking spray

4 (2-ounce) multigrain hamburger buns

2 cups arugula

4 (1/2-inch-thick) tomato slices


1. Place sun-dried tomatoes and 1 cup water in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave on HIGH 2 minutes ( I did this in  a pan). Let stand 3 minutes. Drain. Place sun-dried tomatoes, mayonnaise, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1 garlic clove in a mini food processor; pulse 10 times or until tomatoes are finely chopped. Set aside.

2. Combine remaining 1 garlic clove, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, cheese, salt, and lamb in a large bowl. Divide mixture into 4 portions, shaping into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add patties to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan; cover and keep warm.

3. Arrange 4 bun halves, cut sides down, in pan over medium-high heat; cook 1 minute or until toasted. Repeat procedure with remaining bun halves. Spread about 1 tablespoon mayonnaise mixture on bottom half of each bun; top each with 1/2 cup arugula, 1 patty, 1 tomato slice, and top half of bun.

Crockpot Au Gratin Potatoes

4 Russet Potatoes Sliced into 1/4 slices

3 TBSP butter

3 TBSP Flour (I used Rice flour)

2 Cups Milk

1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese

Salt & pepper

1 tsp onion powder


Preheat Crockpot on High or Oven to 400 degrees.

Butter a 2 quart Casserole dish for oven baking or if small enough to fit in crockpot. Otherwise, use the crockpot crock.

Layer 1/2 of the potatoes into the bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle Salt, Pepper, and onion powder and top with remaining potatoes. Season with salt & pepper again.

In a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Mix in the flour and 1/2 tsp salt, and stir constantly with a whisk for one minute. Stir in milk. Cook until mixture has thickened.

Stir in cheese all at once, and continue stirring until melted (about 30 to 60 seconds. ) Pour cheese over the potatoes.

Place casserole dish in crockpot or oven. Or place lid on crockpot.

Bake in crockpot on high for 3 hours or Bake covered for 1 1/2 hours at 400 degrees in oven.

Makes 4 Servings

Marmalade Curry Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves or thighs

1 (18-ounce) jar orange marmalade (
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup chicken broth

The Directions.

Use a 4 quart slow cooker. Put the chicken into the bottom of your slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine the marmalade with the dry spices and chicken broth. You'll end up with a slimy orange gel that smells like ginger. Pour this on top of the chicken. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours, or on high for about 4. If when fully cooked the chicken isn't quite as moist as you'd like, you can cut it into strips, then return it to the pot to soak in even more of the yummy sauce. Serve over brown basmati rice.

Pizza Joes

From the Recipe Shoebox:

The ingredients: 1 lb. ground beef (or turkey)

1 onion, diced

1 jar (14-oz) pizza sauce

1 cup chopped pepperoni

1 cup shredded mozzarella (or pepper jack) cheese

6 hamburger buns, split (and toasted, if desired)

(Optional): 1 red pepper, diced

Brown ground beef (or turkey) together with diced onion until meat is cooked through. Drain. Add jar of pizza sauce and chopped pepperoni. Cook on medium heat just until heated through. Serve hot over toasted hamburger bun and topped with mozzarella cheese. Makes 6 servings.

Wheat Berries

1 C wheat berries
4 C water
1/2 carrot, peeled and cut in 1 piece
1 bay leaf
2 ts. extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Cook until the wheat berries are tender but not mushy. Remove and discard the vegetables. Stir in the extra virgin olive oil.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Crockpot Greek Chicken

In a skillet cook 2 lb. of chicken ( in 1" cubes), cook in olive oil. Place in the crockpot with 2 jars of pasta sauce. Also add 1 C kalamata olives, 1 large container of fresh spinach, 2 red bell peppers, sliced. Turn on high and cook for 4 hours. Before serving cook 1 lb. of pasta. Serve the sauce over the top of the pasta and top with feta cheese.

Orecchiette with Veal and Capers from Food and Wine Magazine



2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 pound ground veal

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 1/2 cups chicken stock

1 teaspoon chopped thyme

1/2 teaspoon chopped rosemary

2 tablespoons small capers, rinsed

3/4 pound orecchiette

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons unsalted butter


1.In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the veal, season with salt and pepper and raise the heat to high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veal is no longer pink and any liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes.

2.Add the white wine to the skillet and boil over high heat until nearly evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock, thyme, rosemary and capers and simmer over moderate heat until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes.

3.Meanwhile, cook the orecchiette in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta well and add it to the skillet along with the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, chopped parsley and butter. Cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the sauce is thick and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to bowls and serve right away.

Make Ahead

The veal sauce can be covered and refrigerated overnight. Rewarm the veal sauce before serving.

Sonoma Diet Chicken, Pear and Walnut Salad

12 oz cooked chicken breast, shredded
4 c torn mixed greens

4 oz gorganzola cheese, crumbled
2 medium ripe pears, cored, halved, and thinly sliced

2 T chopped fresh basil

2 T chopped fresh mint

1/4 c Champagne vinegar


1 T Dijon mustard

2/3 c chopped walnuts, toasted

1. In a very large bowl combine chicken, greens, arugula, cheese, pear slices, basil, and mint. Set aside.

2. In a screw-top jar combine Champagne vinegar, olive oil, and mustard. Cover and shake well. Drizzle over chicken mixture. Toss to coat. Top individual servings with walnuts and green onions.

Cooking Light Lentil-Barley Soup



2 teaspoons canola oil

3 cups organic chicken broth
1 1/2 C Guiness stout
1 small can of mushrooms drained

1 cup chopped carrot

1 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped parsnip

1/4 cup chopped celery leaves

1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

1/4 cup uncooked pearl barley

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

2 bay leaves

1/2 cup dried lentils

1/8 teaspoon salt


1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. vegetables to the pan; sauté 2 minutes. Add broth, , and beer; bring to a boil. Add spice ingredients(through bay leaves); return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in lentils; cover and cook 30 minutes. Discard bay leaves.

2. Place 1 1/2 cups broth mixture in a blender. Remove the center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Return pureed mixture to pan, and stir in salt. Return mixture to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Guiness Wheaten Bread

3 C. whole wheat flour

1 C. wheat bran plus extra for pan

1/2 C. sugar

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 stick butter, softened

1 1/4 C. buttermilk

1 1/4 C. Guinness

Place first 4 ingredients in large mixing bowl. Blend in butter, buttermilk, and Guinness until porridge-like consistency.

Grease a 9 1/4 x 5 1/4 x 2 3/4 inch loaf pan. Sprinkle with bran. Pour in batter. Srpinkle bran on top. Bake at 400F for 40 minutes. Reduce to 375F and bake 30 more minutes.

Bread is done when it sprngs back when pressed. Turn off oven and cook with door open for 30 minutes. Cool on rack.

Sour Cream Banana Bread

For this recipe I first cooked the banana in a pan on the stove. I then set aside to cool and added the banana when needed in the recipe. Also before baking I dusted the loaf with cinnamon sugar.

Butter, for coating the pan

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting the pan

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon fine salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 very ripe medium bananas, mashed (about 1 1/4 cups)

1/2 cup sour cream


Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with butter and dust it with flour, tapping out the excess. Whisk together the measured flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon in a large bowl to aerate and break up any lumps. Set aside.

Place the sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes. Add the bananas and sour cream and mix until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the flour mixture, and mix until just combined.

Turn the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, the top is golden brown, and the bread is pulling away from the sides of the pan, about 1 hour.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Slide a knife around the perimeter of the pan, invert to release the bread, and cool completely on the wire rack before serving.

Chocolate Chip Biscotti

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix

1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 egg

1/4 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour

1/2 cup toasted chopped hazelnuts

1/2 cup cherry-flavored dried cranberries, coarsely chopped

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

 1 Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, egg, flour, hazelnuts, cranberries and 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips until stiff dough forms. Shape half of dough at a time into 8x2 1/2-inch rectangle on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on cookie sheet 15 minutes.

2 Cut crosswise into 3/4-inch slices. Place slices, cut sides down, on cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, turning once, until crisp. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 20 minutes.

3 In small microwavable bowl, microwave 1/2 cup chocolate chips on High 30 to 60 seconds; stir until smooth. Drizzle chocolate over one side of each biscotti. Let stand until chocolate is set