We’re a family of cheese lovers. One of the first food words Landon learned was cheese and whenever he sees me shredding cheese he stands next to me with his hand out saying “More cheese more!” until I give him some. So even though I’m not a fan of savory quick breads, I knew as soon as I saw this recipe in Taste of Home that I had to make it.

It’s very, very good. Different from other cheese breads, but not in a bad way. The original recipe calls for green onions to be mixed into the batter, so if you’re not a weirdo like me, add them in. I bet it would add to the greatness of the bread. Also, don’t be scared of all the black pepper. It’s not nearly as spicy as you would assume. I think the yogurt mellows it out.

Peppery Cheese Bread

from Taste of Home

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup reduced-fat plain yogurt
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, yogurt, oil, milk, and mustard. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Gently fold in cheese.
  3. Transfer to a greased 9 x 5 loaf pan. Bake 45 - 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing the pan to a wire rack.
http://fakeginger.com/peppery-cheese-bread/

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I love banana pudding, you know the ‘nilla wafer one? So I had high hopes for this banana pudding. I was a little scared as I hate Bourbon, but I took a chance. And oh my gosh, am I glad I did.

Best. Thing. Ever.

Seriously, it was so worth the hours I spent waiting for pudding to chill. Or the 3 times I did dishes that day. It was even worth nearly ruining one of my favorite pots with burnt pudding.

The recipe is a little intimidating because it’s forever long, but trust me, your efforts will be paid off.

Bourbon Banana Pudding with Glazed Pecans

from Gourmet

Ingredients

For pudding and candied pecans:
3 large egg yolks
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon packed light brown sugar, divided
3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk
5 teaspoons bourbon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoon mild honey
1 1/2 teaspoon water
3/4 cup pecan halves
For spongecake and syrup:
3 large eggs
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoon sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup water
For assembly:
3 ripe medium bananas
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Make pudding and glaze pecans:
  2. Lightly beat yolks in a medium bowl.
  3. Whisk together 3/4 cup brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a small heavy saucepan. Slowly whisk in milk, then boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, until pudding is thick, about 3 minutes. Gradually add hot pudding to yolks, whisking constantly, then whisk in bourbon and vanilla.
  4. Cover surface with wax paper and chill until cold, about 2 hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 350F with rack in middle.
  6. Warm remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar with honey and water in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Stir in pecans, tossing to coat, then transfer to a lightly oiled 4-sided sheet pan.
  7. Bake, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and shiny, about 15 minutes. Transfer pecans with a metal spatula to a rack to cool. Coarsely chop, reserving 4 halves for garnish.
  8. Make spongecake and syrup:
  9. Preheat oven to 400F with rack in middle. Butter and flour cake pan. Warm eggs (in shell) in hot water 5 minutes.
  10. Whisk together flour and salt.
  11. Beat eggs, 1/3 cup sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer at high speed until tripled in volume and thick enough to form a wide flat ribbon that holds its shape on top of batter when beater is lifted, 7 to 8 minutes in a stand mixer or 14 to 16 with a handheld.
  12. Transfer to a wide bowl. Sift flour mixture, one third at a time, over batter, folding gently but thoroughly with a rubber spatula after each addition. Stir together butter and about 1/4 cup batter in a small bowl until combined, then fold butter mixture into batter gently but thoroughly.
  13. Pour batter into cake pan and smooth top. Bake until golden brown and edges start to pull away from sides of pan, 12 to 14 minutes.
  14. Meanwhile, bring bourbon, water, and remaining tablespoon sugar to a boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat.
  15. Transfer cake in pan to a rack, then run a thin knife between cake and side of pan and cool 5 minutes. Invert cake onto rack.
  16. Assemble dessert:
  17. Cut off one third of cake, reserving for another use. Brush remaining cake with half of bourbon syrup. Carefully turn cake right side up and brush with remaining syrup. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  18. Cut cake into 1 1/2-inch squares. Thinly slice bananas.
  19. In 4 bowls or 10-oz glasses make 2 layers each of pudding, bananas, cake (use all of it), and chopped pecans, then top with a third layer of pudding, bananas, and chopped pecans.
  20. Chill, loosely covered, 1 hour. Let stand at room temperature 20 minutes before serving.
  21. Whip cream with sugar until it holds soft peaks, then dollop on top of each dessert. Garnish with reserved pecan halves.
http://fakeginger.com/bourbon-banana-pudding-with-glazed-pecans/
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Continuing on with my pork theme, I’ve got a sausage recipe for you. Only it has nothing to do with pork since I used turkey sausage.

This is a very basic recipe that can easily be made with whatever’s in your fridge. It’s just your basic macaroni and cheese but with an Italian cheese blend and with turkey Italian sausage, mushrooms, and tomatoes. It’s like my favorite omelette but in pasta form!

Italian Mac & Cheese

adapted from Food Network

Ingredients

1 pound pasta (any kind)
1 pound hot turkey Italian sausage
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3 or 4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups Italian cheese blend
1 can diced tomatoes, drained well
1/2 cup Parmesan

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt water and cook pasta to a chewy al dente, about 8 minutes.
  2. In a nonstick skillet, brown and crumble the sausage. Drain cooked crumbles on paper towel lined plate. Return pan to heat and add extra-virgin olive oil, butter, garlic and mushrooms. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Saute 3 to 5 minutes, until mushrooms are lightly golden.
  3. Preheat broiler to high.
  4. To mushrooms, add flour and stir, cooking 2 minutes. Whisk in stock, then stir in cream. Bring cream to a bubble, then stir in 2 cups of 4 cheese blend. When cheese has melted into sauce, add tomatoes. When sauce comes to a bubble, remove from heat and adjust seasonings, adding hot sauce if desired.
  5. Combine cheese sauce with sausage and pasta, transfer to baking dish, casserole or oven safe serving platter. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of 4 cheese blend and the grated Parmesan over the top and brown under hot broiler.
http://fakeginger.com/italian-mac-cheese/

3

You know how when you have an idea and then it turns into another idea which turns into another then another and then at the end it’s nothing like what you had initially imagined? That’s what happened with these guys. I went into the kitchen to make maple coconut granola and came out with bars that had no maple or coconut in them!

These turned out very well, much better than I expected. They were slightly chewy right out of the oven but they’ve firmed up considerably since then. I put quite a a bit of nuts in them because my husband will take these to work and he needs the protein but feel free to scale back. Also, use whatever nuts you like. Same with the dried fruit, I had dried cranberries but raisins, dried blueberries, dates, anything would work beautifully.

Cranberry Walnut Granola Bars

Ingredients

2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment or grease pan generously.
  2. Combine oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, cranberries, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and salt in a large bowl. In a seperate bowl, combine honey, egg, applesauce, and vanilla extract; add to dry ingredients. Stir well to make sure everything gets moistened.
  3. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the bars start turning golden brown. Cut into bars shortly after coming out of the oven and allow to cool on cooling rack.
http://fakeginger.com/cranberry-walnut-granola-bars/

2

This is by far my favorite slow cooker recipe ever. In my pork chop post I talked about my love of all things pork, so obviously I’m going to love pulled pork. Pork + bbq sauce = best thing ever.

This isn’t even a recipe, just a method I guess. You can use whatever size pork loin you want. I usually aim for 3 pounds but you could do less for a family that eats less than we do or more to feed a crowd.

I posted the bun recipe I used here if you’d like to try your hand at those. They’re made in the bread maker so super simple!

Slow Cooking Thursday – Pulled Pork

Ingredients

pork loin
can of soda (rootbeer, Coke, and Cherry Coke all work great!)
bottle of BBQ sauce

Instructions

  1. Put pork loin in slow cooker and pour soda over top. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Remove pork loin and dispose of juices, keeping 1 cup. Shred pork, put back in slow cooker, and begin adding BBQ sauce until you reach your desired amount. Add reserved juices if you need to.
http://fakeginger.com/slow-cooking-thursday-pulled-pork/

Visit Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for more slow cooking recipes!

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