Banana Apple Bread

>> Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I love banana bread and so do the kids. Since I'm trying to cook lighter, I made some changes to my regular banana bread recipe. Using shredded apple, I cut the white sugar and the oil!

Here we go. I also put this recipe on Pioneer Woman's new online recipe website.
Tasty Kitchen

* 2 whole Granny Smith Apples
* 3 whole Ripe Bananas
* ¼ cups Sugar
* 4 whole Eggs
* ⅓ cups Vegetable Oil
* 3 cups Flour
* 4 teaspoons Baking Powder
* 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
* ½ teaspoons Baking Soda
* ½ teaspoons Salt
* ½ cups Chopped Walnuts (optional)

Sift dry ingredients together and set aside. Peel then shred the apples. Mash bananas in a large bowl. Add 4 beaten eggs, oil, sugar, shredded apple and mix together. Add your dry ingredients until combined. Pour evenly into two greased loaf pans and bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes. Allow to cool 10 minutes before removing from the pan and cooling completely on a wire rack.


Wii Fit

>> Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I've had a Wii for almost a year now. I wanted a wii fit but they were so hard to find for the longest time! Finally, the demand dropped and supply has increased. My parents bought me one for my upcoming 30'th birthday. I decided why not embrace my 30's by getting more in shape!

I've dedicated 30-60 minutes a day to the Wii Fit. Some times I break the 60 minutes into two half hour sessions.

I've started to unlock many new exercises in the game. For those who don't know, there are 4 main areas. Yoga, Strength exercise, aerobics and balance. I've made a game plan of doing them in that order. Yoga first to stretch the muscles, then strength to really work. I do aerobics next and finally the balance games to lower my heart rate and cool down.

I'm keeping it easy to start but try and do every thing at least once which is bringing my duration of play up. After an hour last night, I felt great! The first couple of days were a little brutal. I was sore, it was hard but I kept at it and now I feel a lot better about it.

Chris and Elizabeth are giving the wii fit a try but they mostly just like the games.

Here is Elizabeth having a go at another game that uses the balance board.

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>> Thursday, July 9, 2009

My kids love pancakes, so much so that I go through a boxed package in no time. I decided why continue to buy it when I can make it from scratch in the same amount of time?

The Ingredients

1 1/3 cup flour
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 dash cinnamon
1 egg
1 1/4 cup milk (or buttermilk)
3 tbsp veg oil
1 tsp vanilla

Combine your dry ingredients, add your wet and mix lightly. Do not over mix, its ok if its lumpy!

I love to add to this recipe too

Mashed banana
Pumpkin puree with a little pumpkin pie spice (this is good just the spice as well!)
Mini Chocolate chips (they go great with the mashed banana!)
Berries of any kind


The pies!!

>> Monday, July 6, 2009

I used Alton Brown's crust recipe which was quite different than my moms. I was very hesitant on trying a new recipe for guests but I did it and it worked out wonderfully!

The Crust (minus the beans of course!)


* 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) butter, chilled
* 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) lard, chilled
* 6 ounces (approximately 1 cup) all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling dough
* 1/2 teaspoon table salt
* 1/4 cup ice water, in spritz bottle
* Approximately 32 ounces of dried beans, for blind baking


Place butter and lard in freezer for 15 minutes. When ready to use, remove and cut both into small pieces.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and salt by pulsing 3 to 4 times. Add butter and pulse 5 to 6 times until texture looks mealy. Add lard and pulse another 3 to 4 times. Remove lid of food processor and spritz surface of mixture thoroughly with water. Replace lid and pulse 5 times. Add more water and pulse again until mixture holds together when squeezed. Place mixture in large zip-top bag, squeeze together until it forms a ball, and then press into a rounded disk and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place 2 metal pie pans in the refrigerator to chill.

Remove dough from refrigerator. Cut along 2 sides of the plastic bag, open bag to expose dough, and sprinkle both sides with flour. Cover again with plastic and roll out with a rolling pin to a 10 to 11-inch circle. Open plastic again and sprinkle top of dough with flour. Remove pie pans from refrigerator and set first pan on top of dough. Turn everything upside down and peel plastic from bottom of dough. Place second pan upside down on top of dough and flip again. Remove first pan from atop dough. Trim edges if necessary, leaving an edge for meringue to adhere to. Poke holes in dough and place in refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Place a large piece of parchment paper on top of dough and fill with dry beans. Press beans into edges of dough and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove parchment and beans and continue baking until golden in color, approximately 10 to 15 minutes longer. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Let cool completely before filling.

The Fillings!!

I was doing strawberry rhubarb and bumbleberry pies.The rhubarb was grown in my very on garden but the rest of the berries were just regular frozen (thawed) mixed berries and a bag of frozen (thawed) strawberries which I cut into small pieces when they were half thawed.

I used 2 cups of rhubarb and 2 cups(1 small bag) of strawberries tossed with 3/4 cup of white sugar and 2 tbps instant tapioca for one pie
I did the same with 2 small bags of mixed berries, 1/2 cup of rhubarb mixed with the same amounts of sugar and tapicoa.

Baked in a 375 degree oven for 40 minutes.

***The berries are VERY juice and will make a mess in your oven, use a tinfoil covered cookie sheet under the pies to catch the juices before they make a mess! I made the mistake of putting the berry pie on the shelf above the strawberry rhubarb instead of putting them on the same level and had a little dripping. Oh well, extra flavour!

Bumble Berry

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Strawberry Rhubarb

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