Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

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If you suffer from the curse of the brown bananas sitting in your fridge, I have the perfect recipe to cure your troubles. Brown bananas were specifically invented for baking…did you know that?  That may or may not be true, but there is no denying that their mushiness (mushyness?) is perfect for mashing into a batter.  Mash away! Oh yah, this is a one bowl recipe, so don’t fret about cleaning your sifters, your mixers, or any of those other appliances that makes me hate baking. 

Note: This recipe was adapted from http://www.forkknifeswoon.com/

Ingredients: 

3 medium ripe bananas

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 large egg

1/2 cup canola oil

1/3 cup milk (skim is fine, whole is better)

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar

2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder 

1/2 tsp sea salt

1-1/2 tsp baking soda

1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup miniature chocolate chips

Method:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, and line 12 muffins cups with paper liners. In a large mixing bowl, use a fork to mash up the mashed bananas, vanilla and egg until the mixture is completely combined. Add the oil and milk, and whisk to combine. Add the brown and granulated sugars, and continue whisking.

Then stir in the cocoa powder, and mix until the cocoa is completely incorporated. Add salt and baking soda, and then gently fold in the flour.

Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffins cups. Sprinkle the tops with the chocolate chips…and if you are daring, sprinkle some sea salt on the top for a saltier bite.

Bake the muffins for 14 to 17 minutes, until the muffin tops look set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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Eat these for breakfast, eat these for lunch, eat this for dessert…it doesn’t matter.

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Summer Tuna Pasta Salad

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Pasta salad has been a favorite of mine for years.  But sometimes it can be weighed down by excessive mayonnaise or sour cream.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about that, but sometimes a lighter option is needed.

Ingredients:

1 box of pasta

1/4 cup marinated artichoke hearts

1 bell pepper diced

1/2 cup black olives chopped

1/2 cup cucumber

1/2 cup celery

1/4 cup chopped pickles (I use gherkins)

1/4 dijon mustard

1/4 balsamic vinegar

1/2 red onion diced

1 can of tuna (drained)

Salt and Pepper

1 tsp Celery Salt

1 tsp Dill Weed

2 garlic cloves minced

Red Pepper Flakes (to taste)

Boil pasta until al dente.  Drain pasta and run under cold water until pasta cools down.  Allow pasta to dry slightly and then transfer the pasta into a large bowl and combine with all above ingredients.  Adjust the seasonings as necessary.

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Barbecue Short Ribs

Happy May everyone! Let’s fire up the grill.  The weather is finally looking up in Connecticut.  I managed to get my hands on some short ribs and couldn’t pass up the chance to grill them up this afternoon in the beautiful weather.  Normally, I would bake them in the oven, but I couldn’t resist the grill calling my name.

For the Rub:

2 tsp Ground Mustard

1 tsp Paprika

2 tsp Chile Powder

2 tsp Garlic Powder

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Ground Pepper

1 tsp Ground Cumin

Coat the ribs in the dry rub and cover with aluminum foil. Marinade in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight.

For the Barbecue Sauce:

2 cups ketchup

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

Red pepper flakes (to taste)

2-3 cloves of garlic, minced 

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan. Lower the heat to low and cover for 1 hour. 

To Grill:
Grill the ribs at 350 degrees.  Five minutes on each side.  Baste the ribs with the barbecue sauce after flipping.

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Easy Homemade Bagels

Easy Homemade Bagels

You can thank me later….or Smitten Kitchen who I stole this recipe from: (http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2007/09/bronx-worthy-bagels/)

Note: I am NOT a baker and successfully accomplished this task. Don’t be intimidated…such a cost efficient project!

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