I’m going through this weird sandwich thing right now.

I don’t eat sandwiches often, I’m just really not a fan. Like, twice a year I’ll crave a Subway Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki but that’s basically it. And y’all know I’m addicted to Jimmy John’s but since I get the lettuce wrapped sandwich, I consider that more of a portable salad.

A portable salad with mayo oozing out the sides but a portable salad nonetheless.

In the past two weeks, I’ve had Subway, Jimmy John’s with actual bread, and Schlotzsky’s. Because I want ALL THE SANDWICHES. I even plotted out a route for this week’s Pyrex search that takes me right by a Firehouse Subs since we don’t have one in my part of the city.

It’s bad.

And it gets worse.

On Monday, I walked the kid to school, put the other two in the car and drove straight to Walmart for bagels, chive & onion cream cheese, and…

Spam.

And then I came home and fried the Spam and made a bagelwich.

Something has happened to my brain. That’s the only explanation.

Today’s recipe is a not a sandwich but don’t be shocked if you see me instagram a BLT or something equally weird on this PB&J Banana Bread soon.

So yeah, the bread is a delicious peanut butter banana bread but you swirl some jam into the batter and top it with a streusel topping. It may be my favorite banana bread recipe yet. I just loved the little pockets of jam in the bread and who doesn’t love a streusel topping?

Aaaaand, the best part! It’s not one of those annoying recipes that only fills up half a loaf pan! This one was nice and tall!

Click for the full recipe

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You guys, my stove is fixed!

A guy came out last week, looked at it, and said “Yeah, I’m gonna have to get someone out here to fix this.”

And I was all, “Waaaaait, I waited here all afternoon for you to come out here to tell me that you were going to have someone come fix it?”

Like I’ve said, the Army is all about efficiency.

So, they sent out their resident stove expert yesterday and all 4 burners immediately lit up when he tried it. The universe really likes to make me look stupid.

But luckily, the next time he tried, none of them turned on.

Five minutes later, he had all the burners working and 2 out of 3 of my children had decided to become “stove fixers” when they grow up.

Stove Saga 2014 is officially over and I will not mention it again! Woohoo!

I made Chocolate Chip Banana Bread to celebrate! I’ve been really craving banana bread for some reason and since the only way to improve banana bread is to add chocolate, that’s what I did. It was so moist and so chocolatey. I’m pretty excited to have another piece later today.

You guys know that my baking pet peeve is quick bread that only takes up about 1/3 of the baking pan. Unfortunately, this one is one of those. Ugh. If you’re like me and like a quick bread that takes up the whole pan, try a couple mini loaf pans instead!

Click for the full recipe

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We have less than a week until Big Brother.

Who else is excited?!

I wait all year for Big Brother. All year. I bought the live feeds weeks ago and plan on staying up 24 hours a day, reading all the forums, and basically being a psycho. So if you don’t hear from me for the rest of the summer, you know why.

Also, if you want me to respond to an email/tweet/text/whatever, you  may want to mention the show. I’m telling you, for the next 3 months, my life is Big Brother.

It’s such a weird thing to be obsessed with, right? Like, a bunch of strangers move into a house with cameras on them 24/7. And they’re always boring 23 hours of the day. But that one hour of fighting or crazy drunken antics…

I can’t explain my own obsession.

But today I bring you bread! Really, really easy bread made from Bisquick (or whatever baking mix you use) and cheese sticks. They aren’t the prettiest breadsticks but my kids ate the entire batch the night I made them and them begged me to make them the next day.

Easy Cheese-Stuffed Breadsticks

8 breadsticks

Ingredients

2 1/4 cup Bisquick, plus more for dusting
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 string cheeses
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together Biscuick, Italian seasoning, and salt, removing any large lumps. Add milk, and stir to combine.
  3. Generously dust work surface with baking mix. Turn out dough, and knead about 15 times. Shape into a ball, then roll into a 1/4" thick rectangle.
  4. Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into 8 strips. Place a string cheese in the center of each piece of dough, and fold the dough around the cheese. Stretch the dough as needed to entirely cover the cheese, and seal edges.
  5. Place stuffed breadsticks on the prepared baking sheet. Brush with melted butter.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, until brown.
  7. Serve warm!
http://fakeginger.com/2014/06/19/easy-cheese-stuffed-breadsticks/

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My husband’s been on a major sandwich kick lately. He’s been doing the Paleo thing for most of the year he’s been back from Afghanistan so it was pretty shocking when all of the sudden he started going through a loaf of bread a day again. Not even exciting sandwiches either – PB & honey or his new favorite, bacon bologna. And no, that’s not bacon AND bologna, that’s bacon-flavored bologna.

I know.

I made this Braided Sandwich Ring for him in an effort to wean him off the Oscar Meyer and I’d say it worked pretty well. You start with a homemade braided ring of bread and then fill it with whatever your preferred filling are. I used turkey, ham, cheddar, swiss, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, mayo, and mustard.

The bread is pretty simple to make and it baked up beautifully. I just love how the braided top looks with all the sandwich fixins in! This would be great to take to a holiday party since all you have to do is slice it up and you’ll have plenty to go around!

If you are like me and have trouble with braiding, check out the Red Star Yeast guide to punching down and shaping. There are tons of great tips on their website if you are a bread newbie or just looking to expand your knowledge. Check out their Pinterest board for lots of great baking ideas as well!

One year ago: Peppermint White Hot Chocolate
Two years ago: Potato Chip Tortilla
Four years ago: Snickerdoodles

Braided Sandwich Ring

Ingredients

3/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons Red Star active Active Dry Yeast
For the glaze:
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoons sesame seeds or poppy seeds
For the filling (suggestions):
Mayo
Mustard
Thinly sliced deli meats
Cheese
Lettuce
Tomato
Olives

Instructions

  1. Combine yeast, 2 cups flour, salt and sugar. Heat buttermilk to 120-130F.
  2. Hand-Held Mixer Method
  3. Combine flour mixture, buttermilk, 2 eggs and oil in mixing bowl on low speed. Beat 2 to 3 minutes on medium speed. By hand, stir in enough remaining flour to make a firm dough. Knead on floured surface until smooth and elastic. Place in lightly oiled bowl; turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe.
  4. Stand Mixer Method:
  5. Combine flour mixture, buttermilk, 2 eggs and oil in mixer bowl with paddle or beater 4 minutes on medium speed with paddle or beaters. Gradually add remaining flour and knead with dough hook(s) 5 to 7 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Use additional flour if necessary. Place in lightly oiled bowl; turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe.
  6. Shaping, Rising, and Baking:
  7. Punch down dough. Divide into three parts. On lightly floured surface, roll each third to a 24-inch rope. On greased cookie sheet lightly sprinkled with cornmeal, loosely braid ropes from center to ends. Shape into a circle; fasten ends by pinching dough together. Cover; let rise until indentation remains after touching. Make Egg Wash/Topping while dough is rising - combine egg and milk. Gently brush risen dough with wash. Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds. Bake in preheated 375F oven for 25 to 35 minutes until golden brown; cool.
  8. To make sandwich ring: Using a serrated knife, slice ring crosswise to create a large sandwich. Spread bottom section with mayonnaise; arrange filling ingredients on top of mayonnaise. Spread top section with Dijon mustard; place on top of Filling. Slice into serving portions. Makes 1 ring.
http://fakeginger.com/2013/12/16/braided-sandwich-ring/

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I realize it’s so un-festive of me to post a banana bread when I should be posting Christmas cookies but… my kids won’t eat bananas anymore! And it’s driving me insane because I am in the habit of buying bananas every time I go to the store. And then they sit on the counter and turn brown and eventually I cut them up and toss them in the freezer. My freezer is overflowing with banana slices!

When I was moaning and groaning about the latest batch of brown bananas yesterday, I mentioned banana bread and my husband was all “YES! NOW!”

I really love sour cream (or Greek yogurt – feel free to use plain Greek yogurt in place of the sour cream) does for quick breads. It just keeps the so moist and makes them even harder to resist. I’m not proud of this but I definitely had multiple slices of microwaved banana bread smeared with butter for dinner last night. So good.

I think I say this every time I try a new banana bread recipe but I’m pretty sure this one is the best one I’ve tried.

One year ago: Frozen Hot Chocolate
Two years ago: Swiss-Chard Stuffed Pork Roast
Three years ago: Brie-Stuffed Apples and Holiday Morning Strata
Four years ago: Peppermint Ice Cream

Sour Cream Banana Bread

adapted from Kraft

Ingredients

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9x5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. Beat together butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, sour cream, bananas, and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl. sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add this mixture to the butter mixture and beat until just combined. Use a rubber spatula to stir in the walnuts.
  4. Pour batter in the prepared pan.
  5. Bake for about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool 5 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack.
http://fakeginger.com/2013/12/09/sour-cream-banana-bread/

 

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