Banana Oat Bars

I don’t know if you are like me in this way, but I always have great intentions when I buy bananas for the week. I typically buy about 4-6 of them in hopes that my kids will pack one for lunch, or snack on one after school. I typically use half of one for my morning smoothie, but towards the end of the week I notice the rest of them are uneaten. That’s when I take measures into my own hands and typically knock out a great banana bread (which the kids love), but this time I decided to make some delicious banana oat bars.

Banana Oat Bars Recipe
Banana Oat Bars Recipe

This recipe is super easy to make and yields a nice tray of oat bars.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 cups of oats
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 pinch of cloves
  • 3 tbsp chopped walnuts

Start by mixing all of this together into a mixing bowl. It should be sticky, and be able to be easily formed.

Next, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and take the mixture and form into a rectangular shape.

Place into the oven and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until it is firm, but has a slight bounce to it. Let cool, then slice into bars.

These were a perfect use of ripened bananas and were a nice snack when heading out to work and school. Hope you enjoy!

Banana Oat Bars
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
 
Ingredients
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 cups of oats
  • ¼ cup of maple syrup
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 pinch of cloves
  • 3 tbsp chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. Start by mixing all of this together into a mixing bowl. It should be sticky, and be able to be easily formed.
  2. Next, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and take the mixture and form into a rectangular shape.
  3. Place into the oven and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until it is firm, but has a slight bounce to it. Let cool, then slice into bars.

 

Raspberry Jam and Frosting Pinwheels

My daughter loves to bake, and in fact she probably asks every weekend if she can bake something. You seen, I’m not a baker. Sure, I make breads but that’s about it unless I am feeling up to it, which is rarely the case. But my daughter has my heart, and as much as I know how much she loves baking, I decided to prompt her last weekend to see if she wanted to make something with me. Sure enough, her hands were washed and she was waiting for me in the kitchen. This is what we came up with. The Raspberry Jam and Frosting Pinwheel.

Raspberry Jam and Frosting Pinwheels
Raspberry Jam and Frosting Pinwheels

Was this a bit of a crazy concoction? Yes, of course it was, but it was a great time baking with my daughter. After rummaging through our refrigerator, this is what we came up with. A little too sweet for my tooth, but she surely loved them.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 roll of Crescent rolls
  • Rainbow Chip Frosting
  • 1 cup Red Raspberry Preserves
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Parchment paper on a baking sheet

Start by laying out the parchment paper, long enough to fit your baking sheet. Open the crescent rolls, and gently roll out onto the parchment paper. To each of the lined divisions of the rolls, pinch them together to make a seal.

Next, spread on a thin layer of the frosting, enough to coast the rolls. Next, spread on the red raspberry preserves.

Raspberry Jam and Frosting Pinwheels
Raspberry Jam and Frosting Pinwheels

Carefully roll the crescent rolls into a log, then pinch and seal both ends. Brush the log with the beaten egg.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and cook for about 12 minutes or until the log is nice and golden. Keep an eye on it as well, as some of our filling leaking out. Remove from the oven, let cool, then slice into rounds.

Were we happy with the results? Yes, but again this one is pretty darn sweet so I could only eat one. The best part was time in the kitchen with my daughter. So if you want something sweet, give this one a try. Hope you enjoy!

Crispy Baked Chicken Skin

The things I do for my kids, I tell you. The simple things, I should say. This past weekend was not only a great one, but it was the start of football season, Packers season if you will. My boys, who are not in their first time fantasy league, were stoked to say the least, and as my wife (and I for that matter) gets really excited for football Sunday, they all get excited for the food that I make. That always makes me happy when they get excited. With that said, one of my boys was really excited that I had brought home some seasoning from our local wingery, and one of his favorites. As soon as he saw it, he asked me if I could make chicken wings for him on Sunday. Of course I would, but the night before I decided to take a bunch of chicken thighs and dump them into my slow cooker along with a ton of vegetables, and before doing that, I removed the skin from each thigh, reserving them for this slow baked and crispy chicken skin. Lord were these great.

Crispy Baked Chicken Skin
Crispy Baked Chicken Skin

I had no idea what I was going to expect, but the goal with this idea was to basically come up with a crispy chicken skin, much like a chip, and all I have to say is ‘whoa’. These things were dynamite and everything you love in fried chicken, just without the chicken.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • Chicken skin, removed from breasts or thighs
  • Your favorite seasoning, optional
  • Few dashes of Maggi, optional
  • Parchment paper, or wire rack set onto baking sheet

That’s it. Chicken skin. Seasoning. Time.

Heat your oven to 300 degrees. I like to slow cook my chicken wings in the oven, slowly getting them nice and crispy. I’m not a fan of rubbery wings. You know the ones. Not a fan at all. All this requires is time, and a few removals of excess chicken fat.

Once the oven is heated, lay the chicken skin on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure the chicken skin is lays flat for even cooking. Sprinkle on some of your favorite seasoning (in my case it was chipotle seasoned salt) and a few dashes of maggi seasoning onto the skins and place into the oven, cooking slowly until crisp, roughly 2-3 hours.

Crispy Baked Chicken Skins
Crispy Baked Chicken Skins

Keep an eye on them, and carefully drain any excess fat along the way. I did this twice. Once the skins are crisp, remove from the oven and dig in.

I’m not kidding you when I say how awesome these things were. Super crisp, and everything I love about fried chicken, just in snack form. My kids were kind of giddy when I presented these. The problem is they were gone in a matter of seconds, and so next time I’m going to make a heck of a lot more. Have you tried these before, and if so did you love them as much as we did?

Cheesy Corn Casserole

Summer is almost over <sigh>, but with that said, there has been some really, and I mean really good corn this year. We have tried a variety, but there is one batch that my coworker brought in from Fondy’s Farmers Market that was probably hands down the best corn I’ve had in quite some time. The texture was spot on and the sweetness just blew our mind, plus they were some of the larger types of corn I have seen in some time now. With that said, my coworker brought in two large paper bags of corn, loaded to the top and said take what you want. I probably took about 12 or so ears of corn, and this recipe was inspired not only by the corn, but a conversation my colleague and I had about a cheesy corn casserole. His idea sounded so good I was going to go out on a limb and try coming up with my own version.

Cheesy Corn Casserole Recipe
Cheesy Corn Casserole Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 cups of cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 ears of corn, kernels removed
  • 1 lb thick cut ham, cubed
  • 2 whole banana peppers, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 head of garlic, roasted, mashed
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 cup of seasoned bread crumbs

Start by heading a medium sized pot on medium heat. Add in the butter and let it melt until it comes to a bubble. Next, toss in the flour, and stir with a wooden spoon so that all of the butter soaks up the flour. Continue to stir for a couple of minutes to cook out the flour. Don’t let it get too dark, just a light golden, if any color at all. Now add in the milk and continue to stir. Keep stirring until the sauce thickens. This is your standard bechamel sauce.  Once the sauce thickens, add in the cream cheese and cheddar cheese, as well as the garlic salt. Lower the heat, and stir until all the cheese is melted, and you have a smooth consistency.

Cheesy Corn Casserole Ingredients
Cheesy Corn Casserole Ingredients

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

To a large mixing bowl, add in the corn, the cubed ham, black pepper, banana peppers, roasted garlic, and tomato. Mix to combine everything. Next, pour in the cheese sauce, and continue to stir until everything is nice and coated.

Add the mixture to your casserole dish, top with the bread crumbs. Place into the oven and cook for about 30 minutes, uncovered. The top should be nice and golden brown, and the casserole itself should be a bit bubbly. Carefully remove, and get ready to dig in.

The end result is nothing short of fantastic. You get the sweetness and the pop from the corn, the cheese blend (don’t get me started on how good that is), and the savoriness from the ham. Did I mention the garlic? Good Lord this stuff is great and is perfect for your backyard gathering, plus this one feeds a small army. Comfort all around, even in the summer. Hope you enjoy and hoping everyone has a great rest of your summer!

Cheesy Corn Casserole
Author: 
Recipe type: Casserole
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 cups of cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 ears of corn, kernels removed
  • 1 lb thick cut ham, cubed
  • 2 whole banana peppers, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 head of garlic, roasted, mashed
  • ½ tbsp garlic salt
  • 1½ tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 cup of seasoned bread crumbs
Instructions
  1. Start by heading a medium sized pot on medium heat. Add in the butter and let it melt until it comes to a bubble. Next, toss in the flour, and stir with a wooden spoon so that all of the butter soaks up the flour. Continue to stir for a couple of minutes to cook out the flour. Don’t let it get too dark, just a light golden, if any color at all. Now add in the milk and continue to stir. Keep stirring until the sauce thickens. This is your standard bechamel sauce. Once the sauce thickens, add in the cream cheese and cheddar cheese, as well as the garlic salt. Lower the heat, and stir until all the cheese is melted, and you have a smooth consistency.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  3. To a large mixing bowl, add in the corn, the cubed ham, black pepper, banana peppers, roasted garlic, and tomato. Mix to combine everything. Next, pour in the cheese sauce, and continue to stir until everything is nice and coated.
  4. Add the mixture to your casserole dish, top with the bread crumbs. Place into the oven and cook for about 30 minutes, uncovered. The top should be nice and golden brown, and the casserole itself should be a bit bubbly. Carefully remove, and get ready to dig in.