Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bananas + Chocolate + Marshmallows....a Perfect Dessert

I can't remember when I started making this - but it is one of my favorite ways to squeeze in a serving of fruit into my diet. It is up there with strawberry shortcake, chocolate chip banana bread, strawberry milkshakes, and other fruity treats.

If you're camping this is perfect for the campfire. At home you can use the grill, oven, or toaster oven (the microwave results aren't good). All you need is a banana, some chocolate chips, and some marshmallows. I think the mini-chips and mini-marshmallows work the best. Make sure you don't cut the banana too thinly, it will get too mushy. Heat up the oven, wrap it all up and in 10 minutes you have a delicious (and semi-nutritious) dessert!

Banana-Chocolate-Marshmallow Dessert
Serves 1

1 banana, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
A generous sprinkling of mini-chocolate chips (semi-sweet)
A good handful of fresh mini-marshmallows (and a few to eat while assembling)

Preheat the oven to 350 (or heat up the grill to medium-low)
Tear off a piece of foil large enough to wrap the banana loosely
Place the banana slices on the bottom
Sprinkle the chocolate chips and marshmallows evenly over the banana pieces
Seal up the foil, creating a tented top (otherwise the marshmallow will stick)
Cook for about 10 minutes, until everything is just melted and the banana is still firm
Unwrap and either transfer to a boil or eat right out of the foil

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Burgers, Corn, Radishes and a nice Rose

I'm a little behind on my blog posts - this one goes back to last Tuesday night. With adjusting to evening classes and homework, it's been hard to keep up! Sorry for the delay, I hope that you enjoy reading the next few posts from the past two weeks.

I had been to the Tuesday farmers market and continuing the theme of buying something new to me each time, I picked up some watermelon radishes from Siena Farm. On the train ride home, I noticed that someone had left a bag on the baggage rack. I could read the name Kimball Farm on the bag and figured that someone forgot to take it home (I get off at the last stop). I picked up the bag and inside were 4 fresh ears of corn! I'm sorry to the commuter who had no side dish for dinner, but thank you for adding to ours!

I decided on making a burgers for a late summer (well, early fall) dinner and grilled the corn along with them. I had recently read about a radish salad at one of my new favorite websites, and followed their recipe for the dressing.

I paired it with some wine I picked up at one of my other favorite new places, It's a great rose from Oregon - A-Z wines. Perfect for pre-, during, and post-meal sipping!

Every time we have burgers I like to add a little twist. The hubby had gone to the store this week and bought whatever veggies looked good. We had red peppers and onions on hand. I mixed up a variation of my meatloaf mixture for the burgers and tossed in a little hoisin sauce for a little Asian flavor. I grilled extra red peppers for a topping and made sure to toast the whole wheat buns on the grill too. This was delicious! Enjoy!

Asian Flavored Meatloaf Burgers (that's quite a mouthful!)
1 lb. ground sirloin
1/4 red pepper, diced very small
A few slices of onion, diced very small
About 1 tablespoon (2-3 dashes) Worcestershire sauce
About 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 egg, lightly beaten
Breadcrumbs, just enough to hold the burgers together

Preheat the grill before you make the burgers
Score the meat into four equal portions
Form patties, but don't over work
Set aside until ready to grill
Grill until desired doneness
Top with lettuce, grilled red peppers, and a little extra hoisin sauce

Simple and Delicious Radish Salad
Check out the recipe and nice presentation at I didn't have any cucumbers on hands, so I stuck to just radishes.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Grilled Tilapia - Quick and Tasty

Things have gotten busier around here with school starting, so my food and menu planning has changed. Now meals are falling into two categories: quick and easy and good for leftovers. Having less time doesn't mean that the meals are any less fun and creative!

This meal falls into the quick and easy category. I challenged myself to only buy only items on sale for my trip to the grocery store. From the fish case I picked up two tilapia filets for dinner. In an effort to support the local farmers, I also bought some local zucchini. From the pantry I used some couscous and some mushrooms that we already had on hand. This was a 5-10 minute prep meal (depending on your chopping speed) and 5-8 minute cook time. Dinner was on the table is about 15 minutes for us.

I decided to fire up the grill to cook the fish. I stood in front of the fridge for a few minutes thinking up a quick marinade. Tilapia takes well to a variety of flavors - I decided on a jalapeno lime marinade with a little ginger and garlic. The couscous was a box with a garlic and olive oil spice pack. I sauteed the zucchini along with some diced crimini mushrooms for the side dish. Here's how to do it at home:

Grilled Jalapeno Lime Tilapia

2 half-pound pieces of tilapia
Juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeno, sliced into rings (keep seeds in)
1 teaspoon ground ginger (fresh grated if you have it)
1-2 shakes of garlic powder (fresh minced if you have it)
2 tablespoons olive oil

Place tilapia in a pie plate (or shallow bowl with flat bottom)
Cover with lime juice, olive oil and spices, turning to coat
Place jalapeno rings on the top
Cover and marinate while you chop the veggies for the couscous

Heat the grill to medium
Make sure to rub oil on the grill before putting the fish down (ours stuck a little)
Cook the fish for about 3 minutes per side, until just cooked through

I've posted versions of the couscous before, so I won't bore you with it again. Just a photo of the veggies. Have I mentioned how much I love to chop vegetables?


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