Saturday, June 13, 2009

Going away party

Today is Colleen's last day and we had a going away party at DM's place. I planned to leave work at 3 pm but I had to finish writing part of a manuscript so I left work at 4 instead
. The party was at 6:30 and I precooked the veggie filling and the chicken yesterday so I thought I had enough time.

Well, I was wrong! I had to run to the store to get more peppers. The errand took longer than expected so I ended up rushing to get the food cooked. The
Beef and Peppers Stir-fry took me under 15 minutes to make. Before wrapping the spring and cheese rolls I had to finish the Pulled Chicken dish. Shredding the chicken with a fork was quick but dry-frying the chicken to make it crispy took an eternity. DM was expecting me at 6:15 but it was 6:30 by the time I started making the rolls and frying them. In 20 minutes I was at DM's house, not realizing I left the cookbook for Colleen's going-away present!!! Except for this glitch, the party was a huge success--stimulating to the palate and lots of fun!

Deb prepared Baked Salmon with Dill, Pineapple Mandarin Orange Chicken, steamed beans and a huge bowl of salad greens. Kay brought Banana Nut Cake for dessert and I made my easy Beef and Peppers Stir-fry, Pulled Chicken, Veggie Spring Rolls and Cheese Rolls.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Girls Lunch Out at Hideaway Pizza

Hideaway Pizza opened in 1957, probably one of the first places in Oklahoma to ever serve pizza. Richard Dermer and his brother-in-law Dick Lehnert first worked at the pizza joint as college students and eventually bought the place from the owner. For over 30 years, Hideaway used at least 75 Volkswaggon beetles to deliver the pizza. The Original Hideaway at Stillwater had walls and ceilings decorated with colorful art and all sorts of kites until it was renovated a couple of years ago. The place is famous and the place is packed most of the time but specially so on Homecoming Weekends. Sharron Dowell of The Oklahoman lists pizza from HideawayPizza as #23 of the 100 Oklahoma Foods to try before you die. This list was compiled in preparation of Oklahoma's centennial year as a fun way to celebrate the centennial.

Colleen just sold their house of 16 years and is moving out with her family to Wisconsin next week so we had a girls lunch out at Hideaway Pizza. It's a fun place to go and known for it's Fried Mushrooms and Specialty pizzas. Colleen ordered Veggie-combo mini pizza with mozzarella, peppers, tomatoes, onions, black olives and mushrooms but they messed up the order and handed her a pepperoni pizza instead. It was nice of them to give the pepperoni pizza for free while they made her order. I had Pizza of the gods with artichoke hearts, mushrooms, tomatoes, mozzarella and provolone with olive oil and garlic glaze. The rest had cheese pizza with olives, canadian bacon pizza and Avogobble sandwich--turkey avocado sandwich on rye bread with dill pickle and a pasta salad.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Weight Watcher Banana Bread

I absolutely love Banana Bread for breakfast! I remember having a 7:30 a.m. class most of my college days so I'd rush to school without eating. Often, a thick slice (or two!!) of Banana Bread from a little kiosk across the classroom building was breakfast. It was very sweet, moist and buttery. Lots of calories but I was skinnier then.
Fast forward to the present, now I'm looking for a Weight Watcher version
! Found one at Recipezaar that's healthier but still yummy. The original recipe calls for 1 cup Splenda but I did not have any so I used 3/4 cup brown sugar. For leavening, I used 1 tsp baking powder + 1/2 tsp baking soda in place of 1-1/2 tsp baking soda. I also add banana extract that makes the bread smell so good while baking! The applesauce makes the bread so very moist!

Here's my modified WW Banana Bread recipe:

3 very ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup brown sugar (not packed)
1/2 cup applesauce
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp banana extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a bowl, mash the bananas and mix with brown sugar. Add the rest of the ingredients. Pour the mixture into a loaf pan lightly coated with canola oil cooking spray. Bake at 350 F for 40-50 minutes or till bamboo skewer inserted into cake comes out clean when done.
It's one of the best breads I've made.