Lunch With Loni

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Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes May 2, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — lonislens @ 8:24 pm

I love weekends for a number of reasons, but one of them is the ability to make a nice breakfast/brunch.  Who doesn’t like lazy mornings and pancakes?  I try to switch up the type of pancakes I make so that we have a little variety.  I contemplated making pumpkin ones this morning, but then peanut butter banana came to mind.  I didn’t have a recipe so I just tweaked my favorite plain pancake recipe and came up with this.  While I would have added chocolate chips (we didn’t have any on hand) they are still quite tasty as is, and the dogs appreciated that they could have mini pupcakes since there was no chocolate in them!

 PB Banana Pancakes

  Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup natural peanut butter, melted
  • 2 medium bananas, thinly sliced

   Directions

1. Add vinegar to milk and set aside.  Meanwhile, mix all dry ingredients.  Whisk egg and then peanut butter into milk mixture and stir the wet into dry ingredients until there are no lumps.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat with cooking spray or butter (or if you’re like me, you have an awesome nonstick pan you can just leave alone). Pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the skillet.  Place banana slices on the pancakes and gently press in.  Cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side.

 

Honey Sriracha Chicken April 27, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — lonislens @ 10:41 pm

No longer do you need to order questionable takeout.  Make this at home instead.  The picture is horrendous and doesn’t do it justice (I need to work on indoor photography skills and using my iPhone didn’t help).  I nearly didn’t share until I made the recipe again and took a better one.  But I felt like I’d be cheating you out of something in the meantime. I’ve admittedly been intimidated by anything “fried” and most Asian recipes.  They seem complex. This was easy to follow and came together quickly.  Now I’m searching for similar recipes to try next!  

Recipe Located At: http://lecremedelacrumb.com/2014/12/honey-sriracha-chicken.html

 Honey Sriracha Chicken

  Ingredients

  • 3-4 chicken breasts, diced
  • ⅓ cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup water
  • 2-3 tablespoons sriracha (depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 5 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • Juice of 1/2 lime (this wasn’t in the original recipe, but I like the addition of citrus to sweet/spicy dishes)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons honey (depending on how sweet you want it)
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch + 2 tablespoons cold water
  • Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Cooked rice for serving (optional)

  Directions

1. In a small-medium sauce pan, combine the 1 cup of water, sriracha, soy sauce, garlic, lime, sugar, and honey and stir. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat. Whisk together the 2 tablespoons corn starch and remaining 2 tablespoons of water until dissolved. Add to sauce pan and stir until thickened. Reduce heat to low. 2.  Add diced chicken and ⅓ cup corn starch to a large plastic bag. Seal the bag and shake to coat chicken. Drizzle a large pan or skillet with oil over medium heat. Add chicken and sauté until browned and chicken is cooked through. Add the sauce and stir to coat. Sprinkle with crushed pepper flakes if desired and serve over warm rice.

 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes March 21, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — lonislens @ 2:09 pm

I think pancake recipes may start edging out muffin recipes on this blog, though both seem to be popular choices of mine to post!  I think we could be happy eating pancakes for dinner one night a week, though.  My daughter definitely thinks so.  And really, who doesn’t like eating chocolate for dinner?  These pancakes give you a serving of veggies thanks to the pumpkin, and are kept light by the homemade buttermilk vinegar + milk technique.  If you’re worried the batter looks too thick, I thought so as well, but gave it a try and they turned out just fine.  I like to mix a 1:1 ratio of caramel syrup with maple syrup to top these.

 Recipe Located At: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/pumpkin-pancakes/

 IMG_3439[1]

  Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (Bumped up from the original recipe because I like more spice to my things.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • As many chocolate chips as you want!

  Directions

1. In a bowl, mix together the milk and vinegar.  Set aside for several minutes until the milk sours.  While waiting on the milk, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt in a separate bowl. Add pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar to the milk.  Then, stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine.

2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Sprinkle in chocolate chips if you want.  My “secret” to chocolate chip pancakes is adding the chips to each pancake as I put it on the griddle, as opposed to mixing the chips into the batter (and having them sink to the bottom).  I have to be sure each pancake gets just the right amount of chips!  Brown on both sides and serve hot.

 

White Lasagna with Mushrooms and Prosciutto March 19, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — lonislens @ 9:29 pm

I have severely neglected this blog for the past 8 (yikes) months.  I moved to Italy, where I am surrounded by delicious food, but I kind of took a break from this as I settled in, my family joined me in stages, and I await the arrival of all of my kitchen stuff.  I miss this outlet, though.  I have no idea how many people actually read this, and it honestly does not matter.  It motivates me to try new recipes and keeps me out of a rut.  So here I am, back at it.  What better way to say “ciao” than to share an Italian-themed recipe.  I’m not sure if it’s appropriate to use the word luxurious in conjunction with food, but I will go out on a limb and describe this lasagna as such.  It’s still comfort food, but stepped up a notch.  The Marsala wine really adds a unique component.  Bottom line- this lasagna is totally decadent, and you’re worth it.

 Recipe Located At: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/white-lasagna-with-mushrooms-and-prosciutto.html

 
 

White Lasagna with Mushrooms and Prosciutto

This photo is of a cold piece of leftover lasagna, sadly, and does not reflect its true greatness!

  Ingredients

  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 1/2 cup Marsala
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 3/4 cups shredded fontina cheese
  • Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
  • 4 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 small leek, white and light green portions, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 lb. white mushrooms, brushed clean and sliced
  • 1/2 lb. thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
  • 12 sheets no-boil lasagna, each about 7 by 3 1/2 inches
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  Directions

1. Preheat an oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-by-11-inch baking dish.

2. In a large saucepan medium-low heat, melt the 8 Tbs. (1 stick) butter. Stir in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, for about 3 minutes. Whisk in the nutmeg. Increase the heat to medium-high and gradually whisk in the milk and stock. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue whisking until thickened and smooth, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool, stirring occasionally, until warm. Stir in the Marsala, eggs and 1 cup of the fontina until the cheese melts and the sauce is smooth. Season with salt and white pepper. Set aside.

3. In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the leek and sauté until just wilted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Warm the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil in the pan. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms and sauté, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the prosciutto and basil and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Transfer to the bowl with the leek.

4. Spread about 1 1/2 cups of the cheese sauce evenly over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Spoon about one-third of the mushroom mixture evenly over the sauce, then arrange 4 of the lasagna sheets over the top. Repeat these layers twice. Spread the remaining sauce over the top layer, then sprinkle the remaining 3/4 cup fontina and the Parmigiano-Reggiano evenly over the top.

5. Transfer to the oven and bake until the top is golden and the juices are bubbling, about 45 minutes. Let the lasagna cool for 15 to 30 minutes, cut into squares and serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

 

Roasted Broccoli July 18, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — lonislens @ 7:51 pm

Broccoli is probably my favorite vegetable.  Green beans are nearly tied for the win, especially if they’re sauteed with garlic.  I wanted to do something other than my typical steam method, so I gave roasting a try.  My mom makes something similar to this with cauliflower, and it sounds delicious.  Although the broccoli is slightly less healthy when dusted with panko and sprinkled with cheese, it’s worth it.  I used an Australian lemon olive oil we received in the Taste Trunk BBQ box I got my husband for Father’s Day (which went over very well).  The lemon flavor was a perfect compliment to this roasted broccoli, especially for a summer dish.  I served the broccoli alongside a very quick supper of roasted garlic tortellini (purchased) topped with oven-roasted grape tomatoes (might as well put that hot oven to good use) and fresh basil (somewhat amazed my basil plant is alive over a month after I purchased it).  This recipe is quick and easy, especially if you buy pre-cut broccoli, which I often do when it’s on sale.  I would be very mindful of the panko, however, as I burned my first batch and had to start over.  It goes from toasted to burned in seconds!  I imagine if you like a little spice, some red pepper flakes would work well in this.

 

 Recipe Located At: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/oven-roasted-broccoli-recipe.html

 Oven Roasted Broccoli 

  Ingredients

  • 1 pound broccoli, rinsed and trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan or sharp Cheddar

 

 Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2.  Cut the broccoli florets into bite size pieces. Cut the stalk into 1/8-inch thick, round slices.  Avoid all of this if you buy a refrigerated steamer bag of broccoli like I did.  Place the broccoli into a mixing bowl and toss with the olive oil, garlic, kosher salt and pepper and set aside.

3.  Spread the panko into a 13 by 9-inch metal cake pan and place into the oven for 2 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove the panko from the oven and add to the bowl with the broccoli mixture. Toss to combine. Return the mixture to the cake pan, place in the oven and roast just until the broccoli is tender, 8 to 10 more minutes. Remove from the oven, toss in the cheese and serve immediately.

 

Orange (Carrot) Blueberry Muffins June 23, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — lonislens @ 12:28 am

I figured a departure from my recent lemon-blueberry infatuation was in order.  You’ll be seeing another orange blueberry muffin recipe soon, as I came across a few in my search that looked good to me.  This one starts by soaking oats in orange juice.  Never done that before!  The result is that you can’t really even tell the muffins have oats in them.  Sometimes I like the texture, but for this type of muffin, I think the smooth result is better.  I made a few switches, such as using whole wheat flour in the place of half of the all purpose flour.  I also substituted egg whites for one of the eggs, and some pureed mango for some of the oil (I figured it would “go” better than applesauce in this citrus-y muffin).  I cut down on the sugar content, and used an orange/carrot juice blend (this is what I happened to have in the fridge).  I also didn’t put the crumble topping on them that the original recipe calls for.  This was mostly because it avoided an extra step and extra bowl!  I’d likely make them that way if I were making them for a brunch or something, but for our everyday consumption (and freeze-ability), the sans topping version is better.  The muffins are a pretty orange color, and the higher baking temperature gives them a nice crusty top.  The little one has already eaten three mini muffins in the two hours they’ve been out of the oven, so I guess this recipe is a keeper!

Oh, and here’s a tool I forgot to share in my last post.  The Tovolo “better batter” tool is like a whisk on steroids, and is a must if you make a lot of muffins and quick breads.

Tovolo Better Batter Tool

 Recipe Located At: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/orange-blueberry-muffins

 

Orange Blueberry Muffins 

  Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked oatmeal
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup mango puree
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 egg white
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Spray 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the mashed bananas, honey, brown sugar, yogurt, egg, and milk together until combined.  Whisk in the peanut butter and vanilla extract until smooth and thick. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and chocolate chips together (if using).  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and lightly whisk until combined.  Try not to overstir the muffin batter or your muffins will have a tough (not soft) texture. Stir as little as possible until no flour pockets remain.
  4. Fill the muffin cups practically all the way to the top. Between 3/4 full and all the way full. See photo above for a visual.  Bake for 5 minutes at 425F degrees. Keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350F and continue to bake for 12 more minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Drizzle muffins with melted peanut butter if desired.
  6. Muffins stay fresh at room temperature for 3 days (I popped mine in the fridge after day 2—it’s been so humid here lately). Muffins without peanut butter on top freeze well, up to 3 months.
 

“Skinny” Peanut Butter Banana Muffins June 21, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — lonislens @ 1:18 am

Growing up, my mom always had my sister or I bake banana bread with overripe bananas when we had them.  The ironic thing is, I did not like banana bread at all.  I didn’t mind baking it, I just wouldn’t eat it!  Well palates can change.  I am still not a fan of many banana-flavored things (I don’t care for banana smoothies, but am okay with a banana in a smoothie as long as I can’t really taste it, and I cannot stand banana-flavored candy).  I use bananas in so many of the muffins I bake.  It’s a healthy way to add moisture, and I usually have some on hand.  As my daughter gets older, she really enjoys helping out more and more in the kitchen (which for a nearly two year old can sometimes mean help make a mess in the kitchen).  She especially likes stirring.  These peanut butter banana muffins were a team effort, and she and I were both very happy with the finished product!  Ours were even healthier than the original.  I straight up forgot to add the egg, but they turned out just fine thanks to the extra 1/2 banana I tossed in to use it up.  We used some PB2 chocolate powedered peanut butter powder + almond milk to make the peanut butter.  We also skipped the glaze, though I’m sure it would be delicious.  We would not have skipped the chocolate chips, except we didn’t have any in the cupboard (which is rare)!  I think these may be my daughter’s favorite muffins yet.  They definitely disappeared quickly.

Since I’m trying to share more products/tools that I like, here’s the peanut butter we used: http://www.amazon.com/PB2-Chocolate-Powdered-Peanut-Butter/dp/B00864OJ4K/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1403312521&sr=8-8&keywords=pb2

chocolate pb2

I still use regular peanut butter on sandwiches, but I really like this powder for smoothies and I often add a spoonful of it to things I bake.

Here’s the scoop I use to put my batter in my muffin pans.  It’s so handy.  Much less messy than tablespoons.

Cookie Scoop

http://www.amazon.com/OXO-Grips-Medium-Cookie-Scoop/dp/B0000CDVD2/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1403312749&sr=1-1&keywords=oxo+medium+cookie+scoop

Here are the silicone muffin cups I use (regular and mini size).

Muffin Linersmini muffin

http://www.amazon.com/Chicago-Metallic-Baking-Essentials-Silicone/dp/B0047T6UQI/ref=sr_1_1?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1403312708&sr=1-1&keywords=silicone+muffin

http://www.amazon.com/Kitchen-Supply-2373-8-Inch-Silicone/dp/B001ET7B9Y/ref=sr_1_5?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1403312708&sr=1-5&keywords=silicone+muffin

And finally, a tip on fitting maximum muffins in the oven to keep from having to keep putting them in/out.  I use these little toaster oven trays for “spillover” muffins and mini muffin liners.  I can usually fit two of them next to my normal 12-count muffin pan, whereas I cannot fit two of the muffin pans in my oven.  The ones I use are really meant for pizzas, and are probably not ideal for muffins since you don’t necessarily want a crispy bottom, but I haven’t noticed any ill effects from using them so I’m sticking with it and saving $ instead of buying an extra set of non-crisping ones.  ;)

toater oven sheet

http://www.amazon.com/Nordic-Ware-Toaster-Pizza-Crisping/dp/B0000CFSPV/ref=sr_1_15?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1403312917&sr=1-15&keywords=toaster+oven+pan

And yes, I am pretty sure I keep Amazon in business.

 

 Recipe Located At: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/09/18/skinny-peanut-butter-banana-muffins/

 

PB Banana Muffins 

  Ingredients

  • 2 ripe large bananas, mashed with no chunks
  • 1/4 cup honey (or pure maple syrup)
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup lowfat plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (or cow’s milk, soy milk, rice milk)
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 and 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour (or an even mix of whole wheat + all-purpose)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter, melted (optional glaze)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Spray 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the mashed bananas, honey, brown sugar, yogurt, egg, and milk together until combined.  Whisk in the peanut butter and vanilla extract until smooth and thick. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and chocolate chips together (if using).  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and lightly whisk until combined.  Try not to overstir the muffin batter or your muffins will have a tough (not soft) texture. Stir as little as possible until no flour pockets remain.
  4. Fill the muffin cups practically all the way to the top. Between 3/4 full and all the way full. See photo above for a visual.  Bake for 5 minutes at 425F degrees. Keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350F and continue to bake for 12 more minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Drizzle muffins with melted peanut butter if desired.
  6. Muffins stay fresh at room temperature for 3 days (I popped mine in the fridge after day 2—it’s been so humid here lately). Muffins without peanut butter on top freeze well, up to 3 months.
 

 
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