Archive for June 30, 2014

Banana Walnut Pancakes

Whisk together the liquid ingredients.

Whisk together the liquid ingredients.

Drop batter by the 1/4-cupful onto the griddle/pan. Cook til the top is slightly dry around the edges and you see bubbles.

Drop batter by scant 1/4-cupful onto the griddle/pan. Cook til slightly dry around the edges and bubbles form on top. Then, flip over and cook til center springs back when lightly touched with a spatula.

These pancakes are DELICIOUS!!!

These pancakes are DELICIOUS!!!

Banana Walnut Pancakes

2 Cups Bisquick

1 Cup Milk

2 Eggs

2 tsp Vanilla

1 Large Ripe Banana, mashed

1/2 Cup Walnuts, chopped

1. Preheat griddle or frying pan. (My griddle’s instructions say to heat it to 375°F for pancakes.)

2. Whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla and banana. Whisk in the Bisquick.

3. Lightly spray preheated griddle or frying pan with cooking spray. Drop batter by scant 1/4-cupfuls onto hot griddle/pan and cook til slightly dry around the edges & bubbles form on top. Flip pancakes over & cook til the center springs back when lightly touched with a spatula.

4. Remove pancakes to a plate. Serve with syrup & additional walnuts if desired.

**RECIPE AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

Almond Sweet Bread

Now, I wonder how long it'll actually last...this bread is SOOO good!

Now, I wonder how long it’ll actually last…this bread is SOOO good!

Creaming the butter and sugar

Creaming the butter and sugar

Beating in the eggs and almond extract. Chopped almonds waiting to be incorporated

Beating in the eggs and. Chopped almonds waiting to be incorporated

I forgot to take the pic BEFORE I put these in to bake but whatever...here they are as they begin to bake...

I forgot to take the pic BEFORE I put these in to bake but whatever…here they are as they begin to bake…

A closer look...I like to show a lot of detail

A closer look…I like to show a lot of detail

Almond Sweet Bread

1 1/3 Cups Butter, softened

2 1/2 Cups Sugar

6 Eggs

1 Cup Sliced Almonds, toasted & finely ground

2/3 Cup sliced Almonds, toasted & coarsely chopped

1 tsp Almond Extract

1/4 tsp Cinnamon

2 2/3 Cups All-Purpose Flour

2 tsp Baking Powder

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat 3 8-inch loaf pans with non stick spray.

2. I a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with a mixer til light & fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, til well combined. Fold in the finely ground almonds, almond extract and cinnamon. Blend in the flour and baking powder.

3. Sprinkle the coarsely chopped almonds into the bottoms of the loaf pans.

4. Spoon the batter over the almonds. Bake for 55-60 minutes or til a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

5. Then you can either cool (and serve) them in the pans or, if you prefer, cool them in the pans 10 minutes. Then, loosen the edges with a knife and turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

*Can be served plain or with a dollop of Cool Whip or a dusting of confectioner’s sugar.

**RECIPE AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

Banana Bundt Cake

I had some really ripe bananas so I decided to make this Banana Bundt Cake. It's soooo good. And the best part? It doesn't even need frosting!

I had some really ripe bananas so I decided to make this Banana Bundt Cake. It’s soooo good! And the best part? It doesn’t even need frosting!

Chopping the walnuts

Chopping the walnuts

Beating the wet ingredients

Beating the wet ingredients

Getting ready to mix in the walnuts

Getting ready to stir in the walnuts

Poured into my bundt pan, the batter is ready to go. My pan is a 10-cup. (I think!)

Poured into my bundt pan, the batter is ready to go. My pan is a 10-cup. (I think!)

All you have to do after the cake cools is dust it with a little powdered sugar...and that's not even a necessity cuz it's just that good!

All you have to do after the cake cools is dust it with a little powdered sugar…and that’s not even a necessity cuz it’s just that good!

Banana Bundt Cake

2 Cups All-Purpose Flour

3/4 Cups Sugar

1 Tbls Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Salt

1 Cup Milk

1/2 Cup Butter, softened

2 Medium Ripe Bananas, mashed

2 Eggs

1/2 Cup Walnuts, chopped

Powdered Sugar, if desired, for dusting

Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or glass pans). Cream butter and sugar. Add milk, bananas and eggs. Beat at medium speed 1-2 minutes, til well mixed. Then add the flour, baking powder and salt. Beat on low speed til just combined. Stir in walnuts.

Pour batter into a greased and floured bundt pan. Bake for 45 minutes or til a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let stand 15 minutes. Remove from pan to cool on a wire rack. When cooled completely, transfer cake to a plate and dust lightly with powdered sugar.

**RECIPE AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

#Banana #Cake #Desserts

Sugar-Free Apple Muffins

Even my hubby likes these!! :)

Even my hubby likes these!! 🙂

Mixing the dry ingredients

Mixing the dry ingredients

Coarsely chop the apple.

Coarsely chop the apple.

Mix the wet ingredients with the chopped apple.

Mix the wet ingredients with the chopped apple.

Divide the batter between 12 muffin cups.

Divide the batter between 12 muffin cups.

Cool them on a wire rack...IF they last that long!

Cool them on a wire rack…IF they last that long!

Sugar-Free Apple Muffins

1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour

1 Cup Quick-Cook Oatmeal

1/2 tsp Salt

3 tsp Baking Powder

1/4 tsp Nutmeg

1 tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp Cinnamon Sweet Drops*

1/2 tsp Stevia+

1 Egg, beaten

3/4 Cup Milk

1/4 Cup Applesauce

1 Large Apple, coursely chopped

Preheat oven to 400° F. Mix together the flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, and stevia. In a separate bowl, combine the Sweet Drops, egg, milk, applesauce and chopped apple. Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, just til moistened. Divide the batter between 12 greased muffin cups. Bake 15 minutes or til they spring back when lightly touched.

*Sweet Drops is flavored liquid stevia. It comes in a variety of flavors.

+Powdered stevia can be found at pretty much any grocery store in the baking isle.

**RECIPE AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

#Sugar-Free #Muffins #Breakfast

Homemade Vanilla

The pic on the left was taken April 4, 2013. The one on the right June 17, 2014 (after I used a lot Lol)

The pic on the left was taken April 4, 2013. The one on the right June 17, 2014 (after I used a lot Lol)

Easy Homemade Vanilla

All you have to do is take a 750ml bottle of cheap vodka (or even rum) and put at least 7 vanilla beans in it that have been split down the middle. (Don’t scrape out the seeds.) Just give the jar a gentle shake every few days. Then, you just wait…you can begin using it when it’s been sitting at least 6 months. Longer is even better…I waited a year! 
As you use other vanilla beans, you can also add the scraped out shell into your vanilla. The more, the better! 
**RECIPE & PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**
#DIY #Vanilla #easy

Slammin’ Sloppy Joes

Slammin' Sloppy Joes...mmm mmm good!!

Slammin’ Sloppy Joes…mmm mmm good!! If you’re like me, you’d rather eat your sloppy Joe a little bit “neater”…with a knife and fork!

This is one of those recipes that’s really easy. It’s a basic recipe that you can tweak to your own taste. Use more spices (or less) or add different spices to your taste. My family and I really like this combination!

Slammin’ Sloppy Joes

2 lbs Ground Beef

1 Medium Onion, chopped

1/2 tsp Minced Garlic

1/8 Cup Ketchup

1/2 Cup Water

15 oz Can Tomato Sauce

6 oz Can Tomato Paste

2 Tbls Sugar

1/4 tsp Dried Basil

1/4 tsp Dried Oregano

1/8 tsp Dried Thyme

Salt & Pepper to taste

Hamburger Buns (for serving)

Cook the hamburger and onion til the burger is no longer pink; Drain well. Add the burger back to the skillet, along with all the remaining ingredients (except the buns, of course!) and bring to a steady simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or so, til well heated. 

Remove from heat and serve on hamburger buns. (We usually toast ours.) These are great served with a garden salad.

**RECIPE AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

#Hamburger #Easy #QuickMeals #MainDish

Veronica’s Vegetarian Alfredo

This recipe is dedicated to my best friend Veronica who’s a vegetarian. (Love you!!!) I have several other friends who are vegetarians too. This can be used as a main dish or it can serve as a side dish.

Delicious as a main dish or even a side dish!

Delicious as a main dish or even a side dish!

Chopping the onion and zucchini

Chopping the onion and zucchini

Also chopping up the squash. Next time I think I'll add some broccoli florets too

Also chopping up the squash. Next time I think I’ll add some broccoli florets too

Sauteing the veggies in the Pampered Chef pan I LOVE!

Sauteing the veggies in the Pampered Chef pan I LOVE!

Veronica’s Vegetarian Alfredo

1/2 of 12 oz Pkg Bow Tie Pasta

1 Cup Onion, chopped

1 Cup Zucchini, chopped

1 Cup Yellow Squash, chopped

1/4 tsp Minced Garlic

1 Cup Tomato, chopped

2-3 Fresh Basil Leaves, torn

16 oz Jar Alfredo Sauce

Parmesan Cheese for serving

1. Chop 1 cup each of onion, zucchini, squash, and tomato, keeping the tomato separate.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions and drain.

3. While pasta is cooking, saute on medium high the onion, zucchini, squash and garlic 8-10 minutes til tender. Add the tomato and torn basil and continue to saute for 3-4 minutes more.

4. Add three quarters of the alfredo sauce, using more if you prefer. Continue cooking only til heated through.

5. Remove from heat. Sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese.

*You can also add 1 cup chopped broccoli florets if you’d like.

**RECIPE AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

#MainDish #pasta #alfredo #sidedish #easy

Vanilla Icebox Cookies

There’s no telling how old this recipe is…I wrote it down (from who knows where) when I was still in Elementary School! I made it my own with some changes. These cookies have always been loved by everyone who’s tried them. My husband is ADDICTED TO THEM! 🙂

The cookbook I got in about the 7th grade. I hand wrote lots of recipes here!

The cookbook I got in about the 7th grade. I hand wrote lots of recipes here! (I had even noted the measurements for when I halved the recipe.)

First, I creamed together the sugars, egg and vanilla.

First, I creamed together the sugars, egg and vanilla.

I then mixed in the flour, baking powder, salt and nuts.

I then mixed in the flour, baking powder, salt and nuts.

I shaped the dough into 4 balls, which I made into 4 rolls.

I shaped the dough into 4 balls, which I made into 4 rolls.

The rolls can be refrigerated or frozen til you're ready to bake the cookies.

The rolls can be refrigerated or frozen til you’re ready to bake the cookies.

Slicing the rolls. My daughter Hannah had done my nails so I thought I'd showcase her work, that included a cute flower on my thumb. :)

Slicing the rolls. My daughter Hannah had done my nails so I thought I’d showcase her work, that included a cute flower on my thumb. 🙂

I was using a beautiful cutting board made by a friend of ours...even though I always say it's "too pretty" to use.

I was using a beautiful cutting board made by a friend of ours…even though I always say it’s “too pretty” to use.

These cookies are very similar to Pecan Sandies. But, my husband says they have Pecan Sandies BEAT! (That's an awesome accomplishment!)

These cookies are very similar to Pecan Sandies. But, my husband says they have Pecan Sandies BEAT! (That’s an awesome accomplishment!)

Vanilla Icebox Cookies

1 Cup Butter

2 Cups White Sugar

1 Cup Brown Sugar

2 Eggs, beaten

1 Cup Nuts (I my opinion, pecans are the best!)

1 Tbls Vanilla

4 Cups All-Purpose Flour

3 tsp Baking Powder

1/4 tsp Salt

Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs, vanilla and nuts; mix well. Mix flour with baking powder and salt. Add to creamed mixture. Divide dough into 4 balls. Shape balls into rolls, wrap with waxed paper and/or plastic wrap and refrigerate til firm (or freeze up to 3 months).

When you’re ready to bake the cookies, take out a roll at a time and slice them pretty thin. Bake them at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes til they’re light golden brown. (Bake them slightly less if you like them less crunchy.)

*The servings vary with the size you make the rolls and how thin you slice the cookies. Mine made about 10 1/2 dozen this time around.*

**RECIPE AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

#cookies #MakeAhead #Pecans

Sugar Free Recipes

Hey everybody!

I’ve had several people ask me if I can post some recipes that are okay for diabetics. I’ve recently discovered a liquid, flavored Stevia called Sweet Drops. I’ve ordered some and wanted to let y’all know to expect some recipes with it in the NEAR future! (Probably in the next two weeks.)

Come back (or subscribe via email) to check them out! In the meantime, I’ll still be posting other recipes too 🙂

Happy Cooking!!!

~Renee~