Tag Archives: walnuts

Banana Bread Bars

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The idea for Banana Bread Bars came to me when I was thinking of making more of my Fruit Nut Bars but I had two ripe bananas crying out for me to do something with them. I have only recently started using ripe bananas in various recipes. Before I started dmariedining.com I would just freeze overly ripe bananas for smoothies because I don’t like to eat mushy bananas. Fortunately for the bananas, I was in an aventerous mood and decided I could try making banana bread but in the shape of bars instead of a loaf.

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Making banana bread is not too different from making banana muffins but I found that the texture and flavor was slightly different. The Banana Bread Bars were firmer but still very moist. As always, my family and friends are my taste testers and truly honest judges of my cooking. If something does not quite meet their level of expectation or does not tickle their taste buds, they have no problem in letting me know without hurting my feelings. I also know I have not hit the mark if my son does not let me know how much he will miss my cooking when he goes to college or he does not brag to his friends that I can make dirt taste good. No, I have never tried to make dirt taste good but I figure that was a very high compliment coming from my youngest son.

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On the few occasions that we have unexpected company or I don’t feel like making a complicated dessert for a family gathering, I can make Banana Bread Bars in a little over an hour. That is my kind of cooking. The next time your bananas start turning brown don’t toss them or freeze them. Turn them into Banana Bread Bars. Pretty Quick and Pretty Easy.

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Banana Bread Bars

Ingredients:
2 ripe bananas
2 large eggs
3 cups flour
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
¾ cup sugar
½ cup chopped walnuts
8 oz mascarpone cheese
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
parchment paper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Shift flour, baking soda and salt together into a small bowl and set aside.

Place bananas in a large bowl and mash. Mix in vanilla extract and eggs. Set aside.

Melt butter in a medium size sauce pan over medium high heat. Add sugars. Stir until sugars melt and are smooth. Remove from heat and let cool for 8 – 10 minutes.

Add cooled sugar mixture to bananas. Slowly whisk flour with bananas and sugar until totally blended. Fold in walnuts. Pour mixture onto a rimmed baking pan lined with parchment paper. Spread out evenly in the pan. Chill in the frig for 15 minutes then bake for 40 – 45 minutes. Stick a toothpick in the center of the banana bread to see if center is cooked. If it comes out clean the banana bread is done. Let cool then cut into squares and store in an airtight container.

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Chicken and Waffles with Warm Walnut Syrup

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Who said you can’t have breakfast at dinner time? Chicken and waffles combines the two foods I love into one delicious meal topped off with a nice sweet treat. On a few desperate nights I have fixed breakfast for dinner but with bacon or sausage. Chicken never crossed my mind as a partner for waffles. The first time I heard of chicken and waffles I thought it was the weirdest combination ever. Now??? I think what took me so long to try this out!

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One of my secrets to making thick tasty waffles is to add a little sour cream to the batter and don’t over mix. A few lumps here and there are no big deal. Besides the lumps will disappear when they hit the griddle.

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Warm. Walnut. Syrup. What more can I say? Sweet, gooey syrup warmed up and mixed with nuts gives the waffles a savory taste.

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Fried chicken. What else can I say? I have not meant anyone who does not like fried chicken. Granted, I sometimes get tired of eating chicken but serve it with waffles and Bam! I love it all over again.  I know the ingredients look like a lot of work but trust me they are not.  However, to make it a little easier on yourself use frozen waffles or use waffle mix.  Otherwise, go with the flow and you will have a nice new dinner idea.

Chicken and Waffles with Warm Walnut Syrup

Ingredients:
4 thin chicken breasts (pound with a rolling pin to flatten out)
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 cup flour
2 cups vegetable oil
½ cup buttermilk
½ tbsp cayenne pepper or hot sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp poultry seasoning
2 tbsp butter
½ cup walnuts
½ cup syrup

Waffles Ingredients:
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 ½ cups buttermilk
2 eggs beaten
½ tsp salt
6 tbsp melted butter
waffle iron
cooking spray

Preheat oven to warm for chicken.

Chicken
In a medium bowl mix flour and seasonings and set aside. In another bowl mix cayenne pepper, buttermilk and egg in a bowl.

Sprinkle chicken with a little salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour then egg mixture then again in flour. Lay chicken out on a piece of wax paper.

Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Place chicken in hot oil and brown for 3 – 5 minutes on each side. Make sure chicken is cooked all the way through. Place chicken in the oven to keep warm while fixing waffles and walnut syrup.

Waffles
Place dry ingredients in a bowl and add buttermilk. Stir then add eggs and melted butter. Mix well. Makes 4 large waffles.

Syrup
Melt 3 tbsp butter in a non-stick pan. Add walnuts and let warm up. Place walnuts in a small bowl and add syrup. Stir then drizzle over waffles.

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