Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Banana Bread

As Christmas gets near I get that baking bug. So over the weekend my daughter and I decided to make banana bread. So I pulled the bananas out of the freezer to thaw out and the butter to soften. We like to get all of our ingredients and any measuring items out on the counter before we start(just to make things easier). We follow directions as written and follow through with greasing pan and preheating the oven. Forty-five minutes later we have yummy warm banana bread out of the oven. I don't know about you but I always use the timer and set it 10-15 minutes less then suggested time. After the buzzer goes off I usually set the timer every 4 minutes checking the bread with my oven light and not opening the oven door(every time you open the door heat escapes).

We pull it out and let it cool on the rack. We slice into it later and it seems to be very thick in consistency. As my husband takes his slice and bites into it he says "It tastes great but its dry."

Dry...Dry???? How could it be dry?

Over beating the butter can soften it too much, which will diminish its ability to trap air.
Over beating the eggs
whips in too much air and creates tunnels in the baked good.
Over beating once the flour
has been added, promotes gluten formation and toughens the recipe.

My daughter likes to help like any other child. In helping she likes to pour the ingredients into the bowl and stir, stir, stir so the only thing I can think of is that she/we over beat the batter.

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Easy Chicken Pasta

Easy Chicken Pasta

What's For Supper Ya'll?

White Beans, Pasta and Chicken
8 ounces dried cavatappi, fusilli, rotini, ditaloni, or other short pasta tubes
1 15- to 19-ounce can cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
12 ounces cooked chicken, shredded
1/4 cup snipped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley sprigs (optional - I usually skip it)
Olive oil (optional - but I recommend at least a little for moisture)
1. In a large saucepan, cook pasta according to package directions; drain well and set aside.
2. In a blender or food processor, combine 3/4 cup of the beans and the chicken broth. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Place bean puree in pan used for cooking the pasta; bring to boiling. Return pasta to pan.
3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook garlic in 1 tablespoon hot olive oil for 1 minute. Add tomatoes; cook for 1 minute. Add the remaining beans, shredded chicken, snipped parsley, pepper and salt. Heat through.
4. Add the tomato mixture to hot pasta; toss to cost. Top with parsley sprigs and additional olive oil. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.
Posted by Stacy Nelson, Easy Dinner

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