Sunday, August 31, 2014

Cream Cheese Banana Bread with Sweet Cinnamon Topping

I'm a sucker for banana bread recipes. I couldn't even tell you how many variations I've tried. 
Kind of drives Grant crazy. Pick a recipe and stick with it, he thinks. 

So when he tasted this one several months ago, he said, 
"This is it. If I ever ask you to make banana bread, THIS IS THE ONE I WANT. Not any others."

I think he made that pretty clear. :) 
And I can't say that I blame him.

It's lightly spiced, wonderfully moist and tender, and the crumb topping adds that extra delightful, sweet crunch. I love having the cream cheese in there - I feel like it makes the bread extra rich and flavorful without being over powering. And with two loaves, you can freeze one for later or share with a friend or neighbor. 

And for the record, I haven't make any other banana breads since then.  But I've made this one at least four times. It's a huge hit with the family every time. 

Cream Cheese Banana Bread with Sweet Cinnamon Topping
Yield: 2 loaves
From: Rebekah's Family, Food, and Fun

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened to room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, light or regular, softened to room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4 large bananas)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 2 loaf pans (8 1/4" x 4 1/4") with cooking spray or butter and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, cream cheese and sugar until very light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, vanilla and bananas.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined.

In a small bowl, mash together the topping ingredients until combined and crumbly.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared loaf pans. Sprinkle with the topping.

Bake for 50-60 minutes until the bread is nicely domed and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and let rest in the pans for 5-10 minutes before turning out on a cooling rack to cool completely.

Source: Adapted slightly from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Monday, August 11, 2014

Chicken Enchiladas Suiza (SRC)

I already have a couple of chicken enchilada recipes, both very different and both very tasty.  But with a husband that adores spicy and Tex-Mex sort of food, I figured you can never have too many enchilada variations.  So when I saw one featuring green sauce (instead of the typical red) on my Secret Recipe Club assignment for the month, Little Bit of Everything, I knew I had to try it.

Of course, I found several other recipes to try.  Julie blogs from Nebraska and has a beautiful collection of dishes, like Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread, Pot Roast Carbonnade, and Salted Caramel Ice Cream  (which I did make and it was to.die.for delicious - but I did encounter a few difficulties with making it so I didn't feel comfortable posting it until I make it successfully a few more times.  Ahem.)

So most of y'all know that I really don't like buying pre-made stuff, and that includes enchilada sauce.  I already have a homemade red sauce that my family really likes, but I didn't have a green one.  So I searched for one and found an intriguing recipe which involved roasting poblano chiles.  I'll be posting it soon, so stay tuned.

These enchiladas were simple and amazingly delicious.  While a couple of  the girls complained that they were too spicy (that's because of the sauce), Grant couldn't stop raving about them. He would eat them every week if I'd make them.  I loved them too and was bummed that I missed out on the leftovers.  Grant took them for his lunch the next day. Guess that's a sign of true love - you let the hubby take the awesome leftovers.

Chicken Enchiladas Suiza
from Rebekah's Family, Food, and Fun

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken (breasts or thighs)
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
1 (4 oz) can chipped green chiles, drained
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1 can Rotel mild diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained
1 (14 oz) can mild green enchilada sauce (or use homemade)
2 cups finely shredded cheese - cheddar or colby jack
10-12 Fajita size tortillas 

Cook chicken as desired.  You can boil it, bake it, or cook in a slow cooker. You could even use leftover cooked chicken or rotisserie if you wanted.  I like to sprinkle the chicken breasts with kosher salt and pepper on both sides, place on a baking sheet, and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes or until done.  Cool chicken slightly and then dice finely or shred it.

Combine chicken, sour cream, green chiles, green onions, Rotel, and 1 cup of cheese in a large bowl. Mix to combine well. Add salt and pepper to taste if desired.

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spread a thin layer of enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 13 x 9" baking dish.
Divide the chicken mixture between the tortillas and roll up securely.  Place in the baking dish and pour remaining enchilada sauce over the top. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven, top with remaining 1 cup of cheese, and return uncovered to the oven until cheese is melted.

Source: Adapted slightly from Little Bit of Everything

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