Cherchies

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Recipe

breakfast, desserts, snacksSheri SpalloneComment
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Recipe

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Recipe

Imagine for a moment the sweet aroma of freshly baked banana bread wafting through the air. It sounds like heaven, right?  Is your mouth watering? One of my favorite treats growing up, was my mom's banana bread, by far the best banana bread ever and now a breakfast staple in our family. 

This moist and flavorful banana bread recipe was given to my mom many years ago by a little old lady in Hawaii.  My mom's (the little old lady's) original recipe, consisted of shortening and a lot of sugar, which probably is why it was so decadent, but not practical by today's standards.  I substituted butter for the shortening and Cherchies® Apple Butter Spread for some of the sugar, and because I was feeling adventurous, I added chocolate chips. The real question, could my version compete with mom's recipe?  Only our discerning and I quote, "master taster testers" (our kiddos) would soon reveal the truth.

Hot diggity dog! (Okay I am dating myself).  My version passed with flying colors!  Moist, flavorful, just like "Grammy's," music to my ears!  I usually triple this recipe because this decadent treat disappears almost instantaneously, and freezing extra loaves extends the disappearing act by a little.  

So friends, if you are looking for your new favorite banana bread recipe, it is time put your overripe bananas to good use and make this tasty recipe today!  You will not be disappointed:)

Thanks for visiting!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup Cherchies Apple Butter Spread
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon (tsp) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (tsp) salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 5 Tablespoons (Tbsp) *sour milk 
  • 1 teaspoon (tsp) white vinegar
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon (Tbsp) flour

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350.  

To make the *sour milk, add 5 Tablespoons of milk to a small bowl.  Add the white vinegar to the milk, stir and set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and Cherchies Apple Butter Spread together.  Then add eggs, baking soda, salt, flour and measure out 5 Tablespoons of the sour milk.  Discard the remaining sour milk.

Mash the bananas with a fork and add to the batter.  In a small bowl, mix the chocolate chips with 1 Tablespoon of flour.  This helps prevent the chips from sinking to the bottom.  Gently fold the floured chocolate chips into the banana bread batter.

For two loaves, divide the batter evenly into two greased (with cooking spray) loaf pans, or into one greased loaf pan for one loaf.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour or until done.   Enjoy!

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Caprese Ciabatta Recipe

lunch, entreesSheri SpalloneComment
Caprese Ciabatta Recipe

Caprese Ciabatta Recipe

To think I was a picky eater when I was a child. Thank goodness my palate changed as I would have missed out on one of my new favorite combinations, Caprese, a simple Italian salad made with tomato, basil, and mozzarella cheese.

Some say this salad, with the red, white, and green was developed to resemble the Italian flag. (Ah, and a history lesson as well).  Here you have my Caprese sandwich.  To me, nothing screams summer more than the taste of fresh basil pesto, mozzarella, and summer tomatoes, all combined into a lovely colorful package.

Ingredients

  • 4 Ciabatta rolls, sliced
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (could substitute Olive oil)
  • 1 Tablespoon Cherchies® Garlic Seasoning
  • 1/2 cup Perfect Pesto Recipe
  • 1 or 2 large, ripe tomatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1/4 cup white Balsamic vinegar (optional)

Preparation

Spray grill with a light coating of cooking spray.  Light grill and turn to high for five minutes, then turn down to low.

Slice Ciabatta rolls in half, and spread each half with 1 Tablespoon (Tbsp.) of mayonnaise (or olive oil).

Sprinkle Garlic Seasoning on rolls.  Place rolls mayonnaise side down onto grill for about 3 minutes, or until bread has grill marks.  Remove bread from grill.

Now it's time for the pesto...my mouth is already salivating!  Spread 1 Tablespoon of the pesto on one slice of the Ciabatta.  (Feel free to put the pesto on all the slices at this point to save time.  I chose to do it this way for the "glamour shot" later).

Next add the tomato, mozzarella, and another Tablespoon of pesto to the other slices of Ciabatta (see my comment earlier).  You could drizzle the balsamic vinegar at this point, but this is optional.  

Now for the assembly of the sandwiches!  Once these beauties were assembled, I placed the Caprese sandwiches on a plate and placed them on the grill (which was cooling from earlier) for a few minutes.  It was worth the few extra minutes, as the cheese melted ever so slightly, and then heaven:)  Buon Appetito (that's Italian for enjoy your meal)!

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Vegetable Cream Cheese Spread Recipe

breakfast, snacks, glaze marinade & sauceSheri SpalloneComment
Vegetable Cream Cheese Spread Recipe

Vegetable Cream Cheese Spread Recipe

Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes  
Difficulty: Easy

Today I would like to share a simple homemade veggie cream cheese recipe, a creamy dreamy spread chock full of fresh vegetables and savory herbs, and the perfect spread on bagels, sandwiches, wraps and so much more.   Okay, I have to say, this homemade version is pretty darn close to the cream cheese tubs found at the grocery store.  It is really delicious!

Bagels and cream cheese are a staple breakfast or after school snack in our home, especially bagels slathered with Philadelphia Garden Vegetable Cream Cheese, our family's favorite.  The problem is, the small tubs found in grocery stores do not last long in a home with two teenagers, their friends, and a young adult, all with voracious appetites.  Anyone who has teenagers can attest to how quickly food disappears.  Yeesh!

Re-creating recipes at home is kind of my thing, so I  took a stab at re-creating my family's beloved veggie cream cheese spread because I could make larger quantities and I could control the ingredients. It took a couple of tries experimenting with the ingredients (apparently, cucumber was a no-no), but according to our "Master Taster Tester", as my son calls himself, this recipe got a thumbs up!   With just a few ingredients, a couple of minutes of chopping and mixing, the end result was a creamy, dreamy, savory spread, the perfect addition to bagels, crackers, sandwiches, and wraps.  You definitely need to try this delicious recipe.  It is so good, you may never go back to the store tubs again!

Thanks for stopping by.

Ingredients

  • 3 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 whole green pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 whole red pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 whole yellow pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 6 whole green onions, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery, coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled
  • 1  1/2 Tablespoon (Tbsp) coarsely chopped chives (more to taste)
  • 1 Tablespoon (Tbsp) Cherchies® Lem'n Dill Seasoning (more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon (tsp) Cherchies® Garlic Seasoning (more to taste)

*Feel free to add or subtract any veggies or herbs to your liking.

Preparation
Coarsely chop the peppers, the onions, carrot, celery, and herbs.  Add all the ingredients, except the cream cheese, to a food processor and pulse until desired consistency.  My family prefers chunks of vegetables in their veggie cream cheese spread, but you are welcome to pulse until really fine. Scoop out the vegetable mixture from the food processor and place into a bowl. Set aside.  

*Note:  if you do not have a food processor, don't fret, this recipe can easily be made by finely chopping up all the ingredients and adding to the softened cream cheese.

Combine the cream cheese in the food processor until smooth.   Remove the cream cheese from the food processor and add to the vegetables.  Mix to combine.  Refrigerate the mixture for at least a half hour to marry the flavors.

Spread this heavenly mixture on just about anything, bagels, crackers, sandwiches, wraps, or use as a dip.  Enjoy!

Vegetable Cream Cheese Spread Recipe

Vegetable Cream Cheese Spread Recipe

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