Thursday, February 2, 2012

Beer Dip

I'm not much of a football fan, but I do love gathering with friends for the Super Bowl. Now that I am no longer living in Husker Country, it is the only game party we attend all year.

The big draw (aside from the commercials, of course) is the food! My sister-in-law introduced us to this rich and creamy Beer Dip during a visit a couple of summers ago. Served with pretzels, it is the perfect game-day dish, and it is extremely easy to prepare. I use this recipe, substituting 1 tablespoon of Penzey's Buttermilk Ranch dressing mix for the packaged mix. This time I made it with an American Pale Ale from Full Sail Brewing Co. What's on your Super Bowl menu?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Look what came in the mail a couple of weeks ago! And today I am sitting down with a cup of tea to peruse it. I love Nigel's writing; one of my favorite cookbook reads of all time is The Kitchen Diaries. Happy Monday!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Banana-Chocolate Chip Muffins

One sunny Saturday in a long-ago September, a boy and a girl said, "I do," in front of 275 of their closest relatives and friends, who had journeyed to the middle of Nebraska from 16 different states and one foreign country to share this special day. The morning after dawned bright and beautiful, and to thank and enjoy the company of these wonderful people, the girl's parents hosted a brunch for 150 in their big, flowering backyard. (As you may have guessed, the mother and father were very kind and indulgent toward their only daughter.)

As it happened, the girl loved chocolate, and the boy loved banana bread. In a cookbook she'd received as a bridal shower gift, the girl found a recipe for Chocolate ChunkBanana Bread and made it to serve at the brunch. It was a great success. A modified version of this recipe follows.

BananaChocolate Chip Muffins
(adapted from All Time Favorite Recipes: Breakfast & Brunch)
2 eggs
3 med. ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 c. canola oil
1/4 c. milk
2 c. whitewhole wheat flour or all-purpose flour
1 c. sugar
1 t. cream of tartar
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
2/3 c. mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin. In a large bowl with a wooden spoon, mix eggs, mashed bananas, oil and milk. Add flour, sugar, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Mix until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Using a 1/4-cup measure, scoop batter into muffin tin. Bake for 20 to 24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Note: You can omit the cream of tartar and baking soda and use 2 teaspoons of baking powder instead.