Family Food & Fun

Banana Nut Bread

healthy yellow banana fresh
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Whenever I buy bananas, my kids either inhale them instantly, or they don’t touch them at all and they turn brown and get mushy. If you have some leftover bananas that are a little past their prime, this is a great recipe to use them in!

1 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour

1 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Salt

2 Eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 Stick Butter

1 Cup Sugar

3 Bananas

1/2 Cup Pecans

Sift the flour, baking soda and salt together. Whisk the eggs and vanilla together in a separate bowl and set aside .Brush pan with butter. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream your butter and sugar together. Gradually pour egg and vanilla mixture into the butter and sugar while mixing.

Add in your bananas with a spatula and then mix in the flour mixture. Fold in the pecans.

Pour the batter into a greased baking pan and bake for 55 minutes. Let the bread cool for 5 minutes before removing it from the pan. Wrap your loaf in plastic wrap. Your bread will become very moist and it tastes even better the next day!

Family Food & Fun

Feed Your Family For An Entire Month Within Hours

FREEZERCOOKING

Life is busy mommas! All of our beautiful momma chaos … the crying babies, dirty diapers, housework, errands, school lessons and homework, cooking, sporting events, church functions…throw some college classes, part time work, and sleep deprivation into the mix, and you can very easily find yourself in a state of overwhelming exhaustion before you even know it. During this busy season of my life, I have to strive for simplicity, and one of the ways that I have found to help make my days just a littler easier has been freezer cooking! Not only has freezer cooking helped to save me time and energy, but it has also helped me to save money.  $$$ Cha-Ching $$$  With a little planning, preparing, and some freezer bags, you can prepare healthy home cooked meals for your family simply by emptying a bag into your crockpot or popping a pan into your oven. VOILA…dinner! I like the sound of that my friends.

Now, before you hit the hills running, hear me out. I know that the thought of cooking for an ENTIRE MONTH at one time can seem like a daunting task, but if I can do it, then so can you! Now, let me preface this by saying that what works for me might not work for you, and that’s okay! Adaptation…use what works for YOU! Below are a few tips that could help you get started with freezer cooking for your family too.

1) INVENTORY & ORGANIZATION : Before you do anything else, go through your cabinets, pantry, freezers, and fridge and inventory what you already have. Jot down everything that you have and all of the quantities.

 2) USE WHAT YOU HAVE FIRST: Always try to use what you already have on hand before buying more. This cuts down on waste and your pantry and fridge always stay neat and tidy in the process. Double win

3) BRAINSTORM SOME IDEAS: Write down some meal ideas that you frequently have with your family and any other recipes or meals that you want to try. Include any meals that you can put together from what you already have in your pantry and fridge from Step #2. Plan for meals that will fit your budget. If you need to only do a week or two at a time that’s fine! Remember, do what works best for you!

4) COMPILE YOUR LIST AND BREAK IT DOWN BY WEEK: For example, in our family, we have ” Family Fun Fridays”. The kids usually want to have pizza on those nights, so I menu plan for homemade pizzas on Fridays. Take into account days that you will have outings, errands, and appointments and plan accordingly for your cooking time that day. ( I’m going to be gone all day so I just need to dump dinner in the crockpot before going out the door days versus I have time to do a little prep work and put the casserole in the oven to bake for an hour days) Also include special events that are happening that week (birthday parties, etc.), and if you have plans on going out for dinner or having other people over for dinner.  Here’s a Meal Planning Sheet I made that you can use if you would like to. (Just right click and save the picture to your computer so you can print it out)

MYMEALPLANGIFT

5) HAVE A SAFETY NET : Don’t set yourself up for failure! Mommin’ ain’t easy my friends and some days are just going to be “one of those days”. Life is going to happen, and there are going to be days that don’t go how you originally intended that they would. Give yourself some “safety net” meals that you keep on hand as staples in your home. (hot dogs, spaghetti, mac and cheese, etc.)

6) MAKE A LIST OF WHAT YOU NEED FOR YOUR MEALS : Write down all of the things you need for each meal. For example, on Taco nights, I need our assortment of fresh vegetables, salsa, sour cream, tortilla chips, taco shells, ground beef, seasonings, etc…

7) MAKE YOUR SHOPPING LIST : Compile all of the items you need for your meals along with the quantities that are needed. Don’t forget to include your “safety net” meals, special occasions, and household staples. (sugar, flour, salt, milk, eggs, etc.) Don’t forget some good quality freezer bags, disposable aluminum pans if needed, aluminum foil, and some saran wrap.

8) *OPTIONAL*  SHOP SALES I used to shop sales and coupon more than I do now. Maybe one day I’ll have the time to devote to doing this again, but right now… it is what it is and I’m okay with that.

9) COOK, COOK, AND THEN COOK SOME MORE : Set aside several hours based upon your menu choices and get to cooking momma! Include your little ones in the process as it is a  wonderful learning experience for them, and not to mention, they make great little helpers!

10) WRAP, INSULATE, AND LABEL YOU MEALS Make sure to wrap your freezer meals thoroughly to prevent freezer burn and to seal your freezer bags well making sure to remove as much air as possible before sealing. Label your meals with a description and cooking directions just to make life that much easier.

And that’s it! I hope that these tips help to give you some ideas that might work for you and your family. God Bless my friends and happy freezer cooking!

 

 

Family Food & Fun

Easy Homemade Sweet Dinner Rolls

dinnerrolls.png

These rolls are so easy and quick to whip up to go along with dinner! (Makes 12 rolls)

  • 5-6 Cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 Cup vegetable oil
  • 2 Cups warm water 105-110 degrees F
  • 2/3 Cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 TBSP dry active yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt

Pour the warm water into a large mixing bowl . Dissolve the sugar entirely in the water by stirring. Add in the year and give a quick stir. Add in the vegetable oil, half of your flour, and the sale. Mix together. Add in the remaining flour gradually until the dough is still slightly sticky.

Flour a flat surface and turn dough out onto floured surface.

Knead the dough and roll it into a log. Your  dough should be smooth and springy.

Cover the dough and let it rise for about 1 hour. ( It should double in size)

Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Round the bottom of the rolls making them resemble a ball shape.

Grease a pan and place your rolls onto it.

Cover your rolls and let them rise for an additional 20 minutes, where they should again double in size.

During this time, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake your rolls for about 20-25 minutes. You can give them a light layer of butter if you so choose the last few minutes of baking which will help to brown the tops.

 

 

 

Family Food & Fun

Strawberry French Toast

This is a super quick breakfast the whole family will love. Our little ones love to help with preparing it as well as gobbling it up. This recipe is great if you have some bread that is going stale or is a little too dry. Waste not and want not. We can find a use for everything! Our recipes are scaled for our large family, so you might want to scale back for a smaller crowd. You can freeze your leftovers and they will taste just as good the second time around. You choose your toppings…traditional syrup, fresh fruits, jams, whipped cream…it’s all up to you.

Preheat your griddle (you can use a frying pan as well if you so desire) to medium heat. In a large bowl crack and whisk about a dozen eggs. Add in your desired amount of cinnamon and vanilla extract. I like to add just a splash of milk to mine as well. Whisk the eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and milk thoroughly.

Take a slice of bread (slice if still in full loaves) and submerge it into your egg mixture. Once fully saturated place it onto your hot griddle. Once the eggs are cooked on one side, flip. Continue until you have made your desired amount of french toast.

Top with a homemade fruit jam like pictured above, warm maple syrup, etc. Enjoy!

Family Food & Fun

Cinnamon Rolls with Buttercream Icing

2 C warm water (105-110 F)

2/3 C sugar

1 1/2 TBSP yeast

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/4 C vegetable oil

5-6 C bread flour

Dissolve the sugar into the warm water. Add in the yeast. Pour in vegetable oil and lightly stir. Add in about half of the flour and then the salt. Mix together. Add in the additional flour until a slightly sticky dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead dough until soft,smooth and dough springs back when gently poked. Put the dough back in the bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour.

Turn dough back out onto floured surface and roll out into a rectangular shape. Smooth butter onto flattened dough. Make a mixture of 1 part cinnamon and 3 parts sugar. Sprinkle mixture onto buttered dough.

Roll dough into a tight log and cut into pieces (around 18 rolls).

Grease your baking pan and place rolls inside pan making sure to leave space to for them to rise in between.

Cover and let rolls rise for 30 more minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 F and bake for 30 minutes.

Half way through baking, sprinkle tops of rolls with cinnamon sugar mixture.

Glaze with icing.

Buttercream icing

2 C powdered sugar

1/4 C milk

1/4 stick melted butter

Whisk together until smooth

Family Food & Fun

EASY Amish White Bread

(This recipe yields 4 standard sized loaves)

INGREDIENTS:

4 cups warm water (105-110 F)

1 1/3 cup sugar

3 TBSP dry active yeast (I used rapid rise)

3 tsp salt

1/2 cup vegetable oil

10-12 cups all purpose flour

 

DIRECTIONS:

Dissolve your sugar into the warm water. Once sugar is completely dissolved, pour in your yeast and give a stir. Once your yeast looks frothy, add your oil and give another quick stir. Add in about half of your flour and then the salt. Stir the dough. A this point it will look really soupy (this is normal).

Add more flour in gradually until you reach a smooth dough that is not sticky.

Dump your dough out onto a floured surface. Knead and incorporate all ingredients thoroughly. (about 5-6 minutes). When your dough has a spring back effect (spring back when you poke it) you are ready to let it rise!

Place your dough into a covered bowl and let it rise for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

After it has about doubled in size, turn your dough back out onto your floured surface. (Use the remaining flour from the ingredients that you didn’t use in your original mixture)

Divide your dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll the pieces into a log shape and tuck the ends to form your load appearance.

Cover your loves and let them rise in your pan for about 20-30 more minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and bake your bread for about 30 minutes. (Check often as ovens vary)

Remove your gread out of the loaf pan while it is still hot. ( It will get soggy and yucky if you leave it in the hot pan.)

sliced bread beside wheat on table
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

Family Food & Fun

Easy Peanut Butter Pie

These are so quick and easy to make for a last minute addition to your holiday meal plan, an office party, or a “just because I want to” occasion 😉 .

Mix 1 cup peanut butter ( your choice smooth, creamy, crunchy, etc.) with 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar and 8oz softened cream cheese. Gradually add in cool whip until a light tan color is achieved. (Usually around 16 oz or so) Mix well and place into a graham cracker crust. Leave as is, or add additional cool whip topping, chooped Reeses, etc)

Cover and refrigerate

Family Food & Fun

Best Homemade Brownies

My kids LOVE these brownies! They are the perfect combination of soft and chewy. They are also really easy to whip up for a special treat for your little ones. 🙂

Mix 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup All Purpose flour, 1/3 cup cocoa powder, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder in your mixer.

Add the following ingredients and fold in with a spatula:

1/2 cooking oil

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Make sure all ingredients are mixed together.

Spray your baking pan liberally with a non stick spray.

Bake your brownies for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.

chocolate cake with cream on top
Photo by Dana Tentis on Pexels.com
Family Food & Fun

“Dirt” Pudding

My grandmother used to make this for our Sunday suppers. All of the family would gather around after getting out of church service, eat a meal, and spend the afternoon together. It’s been so long since we have all gotten to be together, but I cherish all of the memories I have of all of those special Sunday suppers we shared. ❤

1 1/2 lb crushed Oreo sandwich cookies

8 oz softened cream cheese

12 oz of whipped topping

2 small packages of Instant French Vanilla Pudding Mix

1/4 cup softened butter

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups 2 % milk

 

Crush cookies and set them to the side for the time being.

Mix your butter and cream cheese with your mixer.

In a separate bowl, mix your pudding mix, vanilla, and milk until the mixture is thick.

Pour your pudding mixture into your butter and cream cheese mixture.

Add your whipped topping and blend all of the ingredients together.

Place 2/3 of your crushed cookies onto the bottom of your pan.

Cover the cookies with your pudding mixture.

Add your remaining cookies to the top of your pudding and smooth out to an even surface

Cover and chill in the refrigerator for several hours.oreos