Thursday, July 22, 2010

Double Chocolate Banana (or Applesauce) Muffins


This is my favorite recipe for using up the overripe bananas that inevitably hang around past the point of enjoyable consumption. You can use banana, applesauce, or a mix of the two. They've always been a hit!

YIELD: 1 dozen

1½ cups flour
1 cup sugar
¼ cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1⅓ cups mashed bananas (or applesauce)
⅓ cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup (6-ounces) miniature semisweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. In a small bowl, combine bananas (or applesauce), oil and egg; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350°F for 20 - 25 minutes or until muffins test done.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Spicy Shredded Pork


I'm cheating this week and pulling a recipe I discovered on Pioneer Woman's cooking site directly from the site (and using her photo instead of my own).  I've made this Spicy Shredded Pork a handful of times....LOVE IT.  It is so ridiculously tasty!  I always use my crock pot (just put the rub-covered roast into a Crockpot with a little water and let it cook until fork tender).

4 pounds (up To 7 Pounds) Pork Shoulder
1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Chili Powder
1 Tablespoon (to 2 Tablespoons) Salt
Pepper To Taste
3 cloves (to 4 Cloves) Garlic
1 Tablespoon (to 2 Tablespoons) Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons (to 3 Tablespoons) White Wine Vinegar
¼ cups Brown Sugar
1 whole Onion
Lime Wedges

Rinse and pat dry the pork shoulder.

To begin, just throw the dried oregano, cumin, chili powder, salt, black pepper, garlic, olive oil, white wine vinegar and brown sugar into a food processor or blender. (I happen to love brown sugar in my cooking, but you can decrease or omit it if you like.)

Cut one onion into quarters and put it in the food processor with the spices. Blend mixture until totally combined and then pour it over the pork shoulder.

Now rub it into every nook and cranny of the meat, tucking it under folds an in crevices. Let no stone go unturned.

Then place the pork into a roasting pan or Dutch oven and add a couple of cups of water. Cover tightly and roast pork at 300ยบ for several hours, turning once every hour.

When it is fork tender, crank up the heat, remove the lid, and roast it, skin side up for another 15 to 20 minutes to get the skin crispy. When it’s done, let it rest for 15 minutes before shredding.

Shred the pork shoulder (two forks work well). When it’s all shredded be sure to pour the juices all over the meat.

Serve with warm tortillas, lime wedges, sour cream, pico de gallo, guacamole, tomatillo salsa … whatever makes your skirt fly up!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Chocolate Cheesecake


Cheesecake has become the family favorite for birthdays and my youngest sister whipped this one up for my birthday recently.  This recipe came from my Aunt Linda Acton. Note that we tried using the Demarle at Home Large Round Mold and it worked fabulously!

⅓ cup margarine or butter, melted
1¼ cup chocolate graham cracker crumbs*
¼ cup sugar
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) sweetened condensed milk**
16 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 325°F. Combine margarine, graham cracker crumbs, and sugar. Pat firmly in bottom of spring form pan. Beat cream cheese until fluffy, add sweetened condensed milk and beat until smooth; add remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into pan and bake for 65 minutes (cheesecake will not be set in the center). Cool on cooling rack.

*If using regular graham crackers add 3 tablespoons cocoa and increase the sugar to  cup.

**You can substitute sweetened condensed milk with: cup canned milk, 4 tablespoons (¼ cup) margarine, and 1½ cups sugar heated until sugar melts.