Savory Crackers: a Super Bowl Must-Have

We all know the SuperBowl is coming up this weekend.  Here is something you should try if you can get your hands on it.  I have never seen it in a store myself.  You will be able to find it at the Bread and Cheese Cupboard this summer because the taste is simply irresistible.IMG_0824
This seasoning mix is used to whip up a batch of seasoned crackers that are so addicting you won’t be able to put the bag down. Along with this handy dandy bag of seasoning you need is four sleeves of Saltine crackers shown below, 1 3/4 canola oil, and a 2-gallon plastic bag for mixing. Open the bag, pour the oil, dump in the crackers, re-seal the bag, and start turning the bag to evenly distribute the seasoning mix. In a couple of turns and a couple of hours, you will have a tasty cracker that will make you want to buy more packets of seasoning. Debut this at your SuperBowl party and your party will be a hit!

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Muffins!

These Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins are a very distinct food memory for me.  I rowed crew in high school which is kind of a niche sport, especially when you’re in high school.  It’s a little bit of a hassle because you have to have a body of water, a boathouse, and of course boats.  Not the most popular high school sport.  Our regatta’s would typically be at the Schuykill or Cooper Rivers (Philly or Camden).  They would typically be weekend-long affairs.  While some of the weekend was spent actually on the water either warming up for a race or racing, there was always a significant amount of downtime that consisted of watching the other races and basically tailgating along the side of the river.

All of the parents of the kids on the team would pitch in to provide the snacks (lots, and lots of snacks).  And my mother would bring these muffins.  They always got raves from all of my teammates.  I love them too.  They seem like such a simple flavor combination: banana and chocolate chips, but some things never get old.Muffins!

I made them recently for some friends to munch on while we were volunteering for some local community service.  A perfect morning treat!

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Yields almost 24 regular size muffins (definitley 24 if you add walnuts)

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs  (room temp)
  • 2 cups mashed banana (ripe!)
  • 2 tsp baking soda dissolved in 2T hot water
  • 3 cups flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 and line the muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt), and set aside.
  3. Cream together butter and sugar.  Add eggs one at a time, and add vanilla extract to butter and sugar mixture.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet in a batches.  Try not to over mix.  Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts (if you want).batter up
  5. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins.  Fill them each about 2/3rds full.  Bake them for 20 minutes or until tester comes out clean and top is golden brown.

all done

Soup for the Soul

Turkey Sausage, Kale, and Butternut Squash Soup

This weekend, I was feeling a little under the weather.  I caught a slight cold and have not been feeling myself.  I decided to make a healthful pot of soup.  I started the soup by sautéing italian turkey sausage with the casings removed.  Then after the sausage was browned, I added fennel, carrots, and onion, a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper.  Once the vegetables were soft, I added a cup of champagne (it was already open in the fridge; you can also use white wine) and about two quarts of chicken broth.  Then I added a tablespoon of fresh grated nutmeg, a palmful of cumin, and an entire butternut squash that I peeled and diced.  I let this simmer for about 20 minutes or so until the squash was softened.  I added kale that I trimmed and cut into small pieces.  I let the soup simmer for another 20 minutes.  As the final step, I added a can of small white beans and warmed them through for another five minutes.  The final product was delicious and warmed my entire body through.  It is a great dish for a cold, snowy day.  Give it a go and you won’t be disappointed! Image