Snacks


When life gives you rotten bananas–make banana bread!

Rotton Bananas

Okay, that doesn’t flow quite like the lemons to lemonade quote.

The only time life has given me rotten bananas was the time the grocery store bought too many. They were selling bags of black bananas dirt cheap!

We buy bananas on a fairly regular basis around here. Folks like them in cereal or smothered in peanut butter.

When they start to go to the “dark side” I usually chop them up and freeze them for smoothies. Sometimes I squish them up and freeze them in a baggie.

Usually, they get black and leaky and I end up throwing them away! Wasteful!

This time I actually had time to make banana bread. Not just ordinary banana bread–

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread!

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Banana Bread

I made it to eat for breakfast. The kids ate it as a dessert and a snack. The loved it!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed, ripe bananas (about 2 bananas)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter ( I used crunchy Jif.)
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, divided (I used semi-sweet.)
  • 1/3 cup chopped peanuts

Preheat oven to 350˚F.

Spray the bottom of a loaf pan with cooking spray.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. I find that using a whisk to combine dry ingredients works well.

Add bananas, milk, peanut butter, oil and egg. Stir until moistened.

Stir in 3/4 cup of the chocolate chips.

Spoon batter into prepared pan.

Sprinkle chopped nuts and the rest of the chocolate chips on top of the batter. I press the topping into the batter a little.

Bake about 60 minutes. After checking with a toothpick, mine took a bit longer.

Cool in the pan 10 minutes. Loosen sides from pan-remove to a cooling rack. Cool completely.

YUM!

Critics’ Corner

Chip: Simply fantastic. I’ve always been an advocate for putting peanut butter on bananas. This bread does it for you — plus it has chocolate, too.

Megan: If this stuff was illegal, I would be incarcerated. Seriously-it’s that good!

Katie: This bread is INSANELY EPIC! If people were immune to sickness, I would strongly consider eating it All.Day.Long. (and then some!)

What a way to “ring” in the new year…

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This is absolutely the BEST cheese ring you will eat!
You are supposed to make it in a Jello mold. I don’t have one, so I just greased my Bundt pan really well.
When you serve this cheese ring you are supposed to put strawberry jelly in the middle. Some folks didn’t want the jelly, so we just scooped it out of the jar. Our party wasn’t too fancy–just family.

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Cheese Ring
1 pound sharp cheddar cheese (I used mild.)
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup mayonnaise
Dash of cayenne pepper
Dash of black pepper

That’s it!
Mix it all up thoroughly and press into your mold.
Chill for at least 4 hours.
Serve with strawberry jelly and crackers.

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I just made these yummy, tiny pizza snacks for the girls.
Easy Peasy!
Cut a tortilla with a biscuit cutter. I got 10 rounds from 2 tortillas.
Squish the rounds into a regular muffin tin that has been greased.
Fill with whatever you want!
I used a little pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and tiny pepperoni slices.
I threw them in a 425° oven for about 10 minutes.

Inspiration was from here.

These are going to be great for Saturday afternoon football games and after-school snacks!
Is it fall yet??

Last week I was asked to be on the Health and Wellness committee for our school district. I agreed and went to the meeting the next day.

I was impressed that the lady in charge of the meeting, Mrs. Sue, had decorations on the table. Being in the food services department, she also had snacks! She really knows how to make a meeting exciting! Those cinnamon rolls were out of this world!

The state standards for health and wellness were presented. Fortunately, they were not belabored.

Also, the superintendent gave us sneak peek at the fancy new high school cafeteria that is being built.

Before we adjourned, Mrs. Sue gave us all a nice “parting gift” of some red measuring cups. Woo Hoo! She also gave us some samples of Special K Cracker Chips to try, then supply some feedback. New cafeteria-new food I suppose.

Poor Mrs. Sue. She didn’t know she was going to get a whole blog post on these chips!

I haven’t seen these at my store. Then again, I didn’t know to look for them.

I thought they were pretty good. I was afraid, since they were the “Sea Salt” flavor, that they might be too salty. They weren’t at all!

Special K Cracker Chips come in several other flavors, too. Click here to see them all. I’m thinking that Sweet and Salty Popcorn flavor sounds pretty yummy.

The texture was good–very light and crunchy, kinda airy, which reminds me a little of these.

I guess I would have to see how much they cost to decide if I would buy them myself. I probably would if I had a coupon! I do love a bargain!

Critics’ Corner

Chip: They taste like Munchos!

Megan: Hmmm….I think I need another one to determine my stance on the cracker chips.

Katie: At first, they smell like cardboard, but when you eat one, it tastes like you’re on a beach or something cheery like that!

Our late lunch at Buz and Ned’s meant that no one was really hungry around supper time.

Later, we kinda just grazed a bit. Then Nana pulled out this treat…

She told me she picked these up at Costco.

Oh-My-Word!

They were soooo yummy!

Individual microwavable cakes!

Check out the nutritional facts…

Yes–that does say 18 grams of fat! Don’t judge! We were on vacation! All 18 grams tasted delicious!

Here is the little kitchen helper…

They cook in the microwave for 55 seconds. Let them cool for 2 minutes. Put a plate on the top of the pan, flip, and remove pan.

I can NEVER purchase these. I would want to eat one every afternoon.

We saved the little microwavable bundt pans. They were too cute to throw away. Any suggestions on what to make in them?

Have you tried these yet?

They were on sale at Kroger the other day, plus I had a coupon, so I thought I’d give ’em a whirl.

Now, I like regular Fig Newtons, at least when I first get them. I rarely get them. When I do, I am usually feeling nostalgic or something like that. After I’ve had a few the moment passes and the rest of the cookies get dried out and hard in the pantry because no one else likes them. I was a bit skeptical of these “thins”. Then I noticed that they was a Chocolate Raspberry flavor! See the other flavors here.

I asked the gal at the check out if she had tried these cookies. She wrinkled her nose and said she had heard they were gross. Boy, was I excited to try them now.

I took the cookies home and left them in the pantry.

No, I wasn’t that scared of them. I just wanted the “critics” to all try them at the same time. The perfect testing time arrived. We didn’t have anywhere to rush off to for the evening. The kids started asking for dessert after supper. I presented the cookies. Everyone was excited to try them. I think they mainly just wanted some dessert.

The cookies were sweet, but not too sweet. Chocolatey, but not too chocolately-as if that were possible-ha! Crunchy, but…you get the picture. They were yummy. We all had a second round. The girls even asked for them in their lunch boxes.

I wouldn’t go as far as to say they are a healthy snack.  I guess that  is good-they taste better that way!

I’m not sure if we will try the other flavors or not. We will have to find another coupon. Let me know what you think about these. Here is what the critics said…

Critics’ Corner

Chip:  Well, it ain’t no cheeseburger, but it’ll do.

Megan:  I absolutely love them! The only thing I didn’t like was the seeds that got stuck in my teeth.

Katie:  They were delicious! (No, really, that’s all I have to say!)

Last November we visited my in-laws in Virginia during the Thanksgiving holidays.  While we were there, Brenda, my mother-in-law, shared her not-so-secret secret stash of junk food.

OH MY WORD! These are sooooo yummy.

She had a HUGE bag. They had come from Costco. Well, living in Sam Walton country, we don’t have Costco. I told her she could get me a bag for Christmas. And she DID!!!! That bag is long gone.

I was desperate! I had to have more! I think I now know how a crack addict must feel.

After checking the bag for a website, I immediately jotted off an email asking where I could purchase these in Arkansas. They replied-Walmart. Well, I had looked at Walmart and didn’t see them.

They are found on the specialty candy aisle. You know, the place where they have the boxes of all purple M&Ms or all red or all green. The bag is on the top shelf. You can also get them in a plastic tub that is a little larger. The 8 ounce bag was $3.15. A bit of a splurge but well worth it to me!

I look at it as a healthy snack-ha! Well, dark chocolate AND pomegranates are considered healthy-right?

My current bag is getting low. I’ll be calling my dealer going to Walmart soon for a fresh supply.

 

Warning…

The following product may be addictive.

There, you have been warned.

I picked these up at Walmart a couple of weeks ago. I had never seen them. Those crafty old marketing guys! They put them on the endcap, so naturally, I caved!

You find them over on the chip/snack isle. They were $2.88-not too pricey.

They are just so yummy and crunchy! I’m a sucker for cinnamon, and I do like to crunch! They aren’t real heavy on the apple flavoring.

Here is the nutritional information, in case you are in to that sort of thing.

I know, you are saying, “Seven grams of fat per serving! A hundred-thirty calories per serving!” That may or may not sound bad to you. I guess it depends on which diet you are following at the time. Hey, I never said this was a health food! Maybe it is maybe it isn’t. Whatever you have to tell yourself. But did you SEE the serving size?? Thirty-eight straws!!! (I realize those numbers may have been more impressive if they were not in word form. There is an English teacher in the back of my head saying, “You cannot start a sentence with a numeral!” So, here are the numerals…7, 130, 38.)

I am a visual person. I know you want to see what 38 (ha) straws looks like, too, don’t you?

WOW! Right?! A whole cereal bowl full!

This is what 28 straws looks like.

Sorry, I couldn’t help it. Can you tell I like them? Like them, ha! I could have eaten the whole bag!

The straws come in other flavors too. I haven’t tried them yet though.

You can check out the Sensible Portions website to see the other things they make.

Critics’ Corner

Usually when I post from my critics I have them write out their comments for me. Well, they are at school and work at the moment, and I wanted to go ahead a post. So, here are their feelings about the Apple Straws:

Chip: Liked them very much.

Megan: They are just ok.

Katie: Would trade a kidney for them.

Club Minis

Have you seen these?! They are just so stinkin’ cute! They taste just as yummy as the full sized crackers. I LOVE CUTE FOOD!

actual sizeThis is the actual size. I could just eat ’em up! Literally!