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.

 

Crispy Fried Shallots

This past weekend I stopped by one of our local ethnic markets called Cermak. I actually like shopping at this place as the have an array of ethnic aisles and pretty good produce to boot. This particular stop actually yielded a bunch of fruit, Indian chilies, and a bunch of shallots (on sale). I typically cook with shallots throughout the week, and the package had about 8 shallots for something under a dollar! I was in. Granted I did not know what I would be doing with these shallots until I decided I would make burgers on the grill.

As I was driving my son and daughter to Sunday school, I asked what they wanted on their burgers. They stated ‘plain with slow cooked onions and mushrooms’, and ‘just cheese’. That’s when those shallots sparked. I asked them if they had ever tried crispy, thin onions on their burger, and both responded with a ‘no’. That’s when those shallots sparked by attention, and hence why my entire family devoured all of them.

These are super easy to make (just get your onion goggles on to prevent the tears), and only requires a bit of time.

Crispy Fried Shallots Recipe
Crispy Fried Shallots Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 4 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups of canola oil
  • salt

Does it get any easier than this? Also note, the oil that is leftover can be stored, and used in stir fry and various other saute’s, and one that has a great onion taste.

Start by adding the oil to a small pot. Add the shallots to the cold oil. Bring the oil to a medium-low heat, stirring along the way, and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until they get a nice light golden brown. Once you get that light golden brown, remove the crispy shallots with a slotted spoon or kitchen spider, and place onto a paper towel lined plate.

Crispy Fried Shallots Recipe
Crispy Fried Shallots Recipe

Immediately season with salt. As the shallots drain any excess oil, they will continue to cook from the residual heat and get nice and crispy.

Crispy Fried Shallots Recipe
Crispy Fried Shallots Recipe

Place into a bowl and serve alongside, or on your favorite burger. As soon as my kids tasted them, I said ‘see what I was talking about in the car?’, they were eating them like chips. Next time I will have to make double the amount! Hope you enjoy.

Crispy Chicken Feet

Years ago when living in Dallas, I would often go and eat dim sum on the weekends, something that is definitely missing in Milwaukee. One of those dim sum items was soft and tender chicken feet. Yep, I tried them (what’s not to try), and I can’t say that I was a big fan on the texture of them. Somewhat gelatinous with too many bones. OK, I was not a fan. But on a recent outing to one of our local ethnic grocery stores, I saw a package of them and decided to make them, only this time crispy. See my oldest is a huge fan of crispy chicken wings, and as these chicken feet with super cheap, I decided I would see if I could crisp them up and not only try them, but to also see if my oldest would eat them, or like them. Indeed he did!

Crispy Chicken Feet Recipe
Crispy Chicken Feet Recipe

Let’s get started.

  • 1 lb of chicken feet, nails removed
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 generous pinch of salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 4 cups of water, or enough to cover the chicken feet
  • 1 cup of canola oil
  • Your favorite BBQ seasoning
  • parchment paper

Start by clipping the nails off of the feet. I did this by using my kitchen shears and clipping at the knuckle joint. Discard.

To a large bowl, add the feet, and rinse them thoroughly in cold water.

Next, add the feet to a medium sized pot, add the soy sauce, garlic, salt, and cover them with water.

Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook for about 2 1/2 hours. Remove the feet to another bowl, let cool, and place in the refrigerator overnight.

Crispy Chicken Feet
Crispy Chicken Feet

The following day, remove the feet, and pour out any excess water.

To a medium sized pot, on low heat, add in the oil. Then after a few minutes add in the chicken feet. At first I was going to deep fry these, but there is so much skin that I knew oil would be popping everywhere, and I did not want that. I simply wanted to slow cook them for about 15 minutes on low heat to continue to cook them. After about 15 minutes, remove them with a slotted spoon or spider, to a paper towel lined sheet pan to let any excess oil drain off.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

To a sheet pan, add the parchment paper to cover. Add the chicken feet and sprinkle your favorite barbecue seasoning all over the feet. Stir around so that all of the chicken feet are covered with seasoning.

Place them into the oven, and slow roast until they are nice and crispy, about 45 minutes to a hour. Every oven is a bit different so keep an eye on them until they are nice and dark golden brown and crispy.

Remove from the oven, place them in a bowl, and dig in.

Were these good? Yeah, they were pretty darn good. My oldest loved them and was eating them all to the base of the feet, and my middle guy was suspicious and tried one and it kind of freaked him out, as they probably might to most Americans. But I will admit that these are common snacks in Asian countries, and if you are looking for something unique to serve up, give these a try. They are cheap, and pretty darn tasty. Hope you enjoy!

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!