I blame this baby in my belly for my out-of-control sweet cravings lately. Oh my goodness. All I want to do is bake. And eat. And than bake & eat some more… Aaaaand than repeat. Over and over. ACK! I must get control of myself before I end up like a certain pregnant-celebrity who shall remain nameless… but here’s a hint; she definitely isn’t going to be fitting in those ‘dukes anytime soon!
Anyhow, back to the delicious Nutella & Banana bites. I had been thinking about them for at least a week and ran the idea by a few friends to make sure it wasn’t just pregnancy cravings. The general consensus was that they did sound good! I had all of the ingredients in my ‘fridge so that helped push me to make them.
- 1 tube of Pillsbury crescent rolls (I used the Safeway brand reduced fat)
- Nutella (amounts vary depending on how much you want to indulge)
- 1 banana sliced (again, size of slices may vary)
- Cinnamon & Sugar (make your own mix or use premixed – doesn’t matter)
Step 1: Separate the crescent roll triangle pieces & fill with a dollop of Nutella
Step 2: Place a slice of banana on top
Step 3: Wrap them up! I wrapped them up sort of like a ravioli. I did not roll it up like a crescent roll normally is, though you could.
Step 4: Dredge in cinnamon & sugar mixture than place on baking sheet. Repeat with all 8.
Step 5: Bake according to the directions… I think it was about 350 for 13 minutes or so.
Step 6: Remove from the oven, let cool for maybe 1 minute and enjoy! Seriously though, they are best fresh out of the oven! But be careful with the super hot nutella inside.
They were SO good. Especially when warm. I’ve decided that the next batch will have strawberries in the center! Either in addition or instead of the banana. Oh YUM!
I spend a lot of time in my kitchen… maybe too much. While in the kitchen there are some cooking tools that I see out on the counter far too frequently & they start to annoy me. I am a clutter-free cook… and a clutter-free person in general. I HATE having ‘stuff’ on my counters! I try to keep most everything I can in the small cupboard space I have, but some things just can’t be hidden – like my knife block. We got our knife set for our wedding and I love it. I love how it’s easily accessible, far out of reach for Poppy, and keeps everything neatly contained. However, I hate how obtrusive it is; just this giant big block of wood with the ever-so subtle logo on the front [insert deep sarcasm]. Being used so much the wooden block was starting to fade a bit and really, it was just starting to bother me with its’ ugliness. So I decided to refurbish it. I had everything I needed on hand which made this a FREE project. My favorite kind of DIY projects!! All you need is sandpaper, newspaper (or a drop cloth), spray painted, and latex gloves if you would prefer to keep your gorgeous mani perfect. (I highly recommend the gloves!)
I cleaned the block than sanded it, first. I would recommend sanding it a lot more than I did simply because that black lacquer is a major pain in the booty when it comes to the paint drying smoothly and evenly on top of it. I definitely should have sanded it down to the wood all over. Ooops. After you’re done sanding, brush all of the sanded paint off with a clean dry brush (or paper towel or rag). Now, set up your paint area and prepare to apply the first coat of spray paint. The first coat should be light. This will allow it to dry quicker and work as a primer. If you do the first coat full & thick it has a tendency to make all of the remainder coats bubble up or leave drip marks. I applied the first coat, than sanded it lightly. Applied another coat, sanded it lightly to smooth out and bubbles, lump, bumps, etc. Than I applied another 2 thicker coats without any sanding in-between and finished it off with a glossy clear final coat.
If you’re a monogram-fan, you can hand paint, use a sticker, or make a monogram out of vinyl with a Cricut to put on the front or even the sides. I am just not a huge “cover my house in monograms” type of girl so I opted to leave the block plain. You could also do a word or a symbol, too.
Quick, easy, and free – perfect project! And, it makes my kitchen a little prettier, too!
This is the third and final recipe stemming from my Crock Pot Chicken recipe post. I saw this recipe for Chicken Pot Pie muffins on Pinterest and I just had to make it with my left-over chicken from my whole chicken a few nights prior. The muffins were delicious, BUT, I must say, the mini pot pies that I made in the small ramekins were divine. They were more reminiscent of the chicken pot pies I remember eating at Knott’s Berry Farm back in the day. Mmmmmmmm!
I used SnapGuide on my iPhone to create the “How To” on making the muffins – you can find that here: http://snapguide.com/guides/make-chicken-pot-pie-cups/
And for the mini pot pies in the ramekins, it’s quite simple; I put the chicken & veggie mixture int he ramekins, topped it with the yummy Pillsbury biscuit, and baked it at 400 for 25 minutes. Seriously Delicious!!!! Try it out.
I cannot lie. I am a coffee fiend. I probably could use a 12-step program. Even being pregnant with #2 cannot stop me! Prior to getting pregnant I was on a triple-shot-a-day habit via Starbucks. It’s how I function. It’s how I am productive. It’s how I survive on minimal sleep with a career, a (now) toddler, 2 dogs, a home to keep up, a hubs to make nightly dinner for and blah blah blah. With all of that being said, I have to admit; I HATE hot coffee. Maybe it’s because I cannot slam it down as quickly. Or maybe it’s because living in California a hot drink is really only doable 4 months out of the year. Either way, Iced Coffees is where it is at. Since my Starbucks addiction can get a bit pricey I have decided to venture out (at least a few days a week) to try to save a few bucks. I saw a commercial for a new iced coffee product from the makers of International delight and ran out the next day to track it down.
Success! And, it’s pretty good, too. My only complaint is that it needs more coffee. I just don’t taste enough of it. That’s where these little beauties come in:
SO cute, right!?! It’s a (large) coffee bean-shaped ice-cube tray mold! You simply make your own coffee * I use espresso whole coffee beans in my machine*, pour it in, freeze it, and pop them out into your drink for more coffee & a fun way to keep your drink cold without getting watered down by normal ice. HEAVENLY!
A huge benefit of making a whole chicken is being able to use the entire chicken for various recipes as upgraded left-overs that same week. I removed as much of the chicken meat from the carcass and reserved it for another recipe (blog to follow). I was left with the carcass and the vegetables & apple that I cooked the chicken with and decided all of those components would make for a delicious home-made chicken stock. I am a huge advocate of home-made stock as it has a lot less sodium & additives and I really think that it cooks a lot better in recipes than store-bought and it makes a great somewhat thicker base for soups & stews.
Making your own stock is SO much easier than one would think. I used my big stockpot but you could also use a slow-cooker. I took the carcass & left over pieces, the vegetables that I cooked the chicken with, fresh thyme & rosemary, some lemon juice, carrots, celery, and whole peeled garlic cloves and put all of that into the pot. I seasoned it with some salt and pepper.
I covered all of it with as much as water as my pot would hold; about 14 cups of cold water. Bring it to a boil. Let it boil for about 10 minutes. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer. I suggest simmering for at least 3 hours and have found that the longer it simmers the better.
Once the stock is done simmering, pour it into 2 large containers and refrigerate them for an hour. The stock & the fat will separate at this point; skim the fat off of the top. Divide up the stock however you feel best. I did a few zip-lock bags with 1cup of stock in it for those smaller recipes and 4 Tupperware containers each with 3 cups in it. I labeled the containers and the bags with the date so that I don’t keep them too long and use the older sooner. Then into the freezer they went!
When it comes time to using your frozen stock there are a couple of methods to using it; let it thaw while sitting out (takes a while), defrost it in the microwave, or just throw it into a pot over the stove and let it melt that way. I have used all methods and I prefer the first & last methods.
TIP OF THE DAY: Tupperware from the Dollar Store is AWESOME. Even if you just use it once for freezing your stock you totally feel like you got your moneys worth out of it and won’t feel bad if you have to dispose of it afterwards.