Leftover Banana Treat Obsession

Cooking

In a previous post, I shared how I make frozen chocolate covered bananas. These soon became a hit with my children. I have become obsessed with them! But there is always room for improvement.

I have changed how I make the chocolate covered bananas slightly. Now, I make them without the stick. I found I really did not need this and I make the bananas without sticks and just pick them up and eat them with my fingers. Messy? Oh yes! It is messy, but honestly, it seems easier than eating them off the stick.

I also do not try to make them in the peel any more. I can get more chocolate on them this way. I peel them, throw the peel away and spread the melted chocolate over the banana, even on the ends. Messy? Again…yes! But it is worth it!!!!

My favorite version of the chocolate covered frozen banana treat is covered in coconut flakes. I lay out some wax paper and sprinkle it with coconut flakes. Then I spread the melted chocolate on half the banana, lay it down on the coconut and then continue to spread chocolate on the other half and sprinkle coconut on top and then freeze.

I have also changed the quantity I make of the banana treats. I stock-up and freeze a few halves at a time so I can go get one without having to make one every day. I still only make them in halves. Even if I use a whole banana I will cut it in half and make two treats out of one banana. (See my original post – Leftover Banana Treat – for a more detailed description.) Happy Snacking!

A Few Thoughts on Hospital Food

life

After spending a few nights in the hospital, recovering from surgery, I will share a few thoughts on hospital food. Thinking I would be offered Jello of every color of the rainbow, imagine my surprise when in fact, I was not offered Jello at all. What a relief!

But do not get too excited. Hospital food probably would not live up to Master Chef expectations. My children thought that if they made the food too good, patients would want to stay longer than needed, thus making a shortage of available rooms. True…

The first day, do not expect to get any choices. The tray will magically appear with a little lid over the plate. Lift the lid and voila, the meal is revealed. After that, the nutritionist will take orders either via phone or in person with a handy little I-Pad type device. She’ll be a stickler though, so be aware; she will require the adequate amount of food groups, calories, carbohydrates, etc…

The nutritionist taking my orders was very pleasant not only in personality, but to look at as well. On first introduction, she had on BRIGHT red eye shadow with a matching red flower in her dark hair. The next day, it was BRIGHT blue eye shadow with matching blue hair accessories. She was young and liked to make a statement. This I found uplifting and cheery. I asked her how many shades of eye shadow she owned. Around sixty was her reply. Plus she could mix these palettes, so the possibilities seemed endless.

My biggest tip on eating hospital food is… Be sure to eat the cold foods first. This is important because all of the food trays are delivered to the floor at once; and it takes a while to pass them all out. The hot items come covered to keep the heat in. However, the cold items can get to room temperature pretty quickly. Milk, yogurt, pudding, and the like, will taste better cold. Also, even though ice cream is a dessert, it MELTS! This was the disappointment I faced when I had finally finished my dinner, anticipating the vanilla ice cream to come, only to find it had melted to soup with a small ball of ice cream in the center. Wow! Luckily, my husband knew where to score a replacement and was off to get one right away. Apparently, a nurse told him where to find the freezer with the ice cream, should he want any. The only thing was, they were out of vanilla and only had chocolate or rainbow sherbert. Ice cream is ice cream ,in my opinion, so chocolate it was. Thanks Honey!

Another tip…order the foods that are hard to mess up on. Grilled chicken is usually a safe bet. I thought tilapia would be safe, however, mine came tough and rubbery. I’ve never had that problem with my tilapia at home. Where were they fishing? Mashed potatoes are also a pretty safe bet and as a comfort food will be welcomed. The creamed chicken soup was soothing. As a matter of fact, I ordered it twice. Anything with melted cheese should be eaten pretty quickly (like the ice cream) so the cheese doesn’t get hard. Just saying…

Since the appetite is usually off when in the hospital, it helps to stay with comfort foods. Just listen to the stomach and eat slowly and only the amount that is tolerable. If the tilapia is rubbery, push it aside. Also, remember that it helps to eat the foods in an order that will benefit their temperature, making them more desirable to eat. Mostly, recognize that it is not a five star Michelin restaurant, and hopefully the stay will be short and home cooking will be in sight soon. Bon Appetit!

Baked Brie Puffed Pastry with Raspberry Jam

Cooking

Want a quick but elegant appetizer? A baked brie puffed pastry with raspberry jam may be just the ticket. Savory and sweet wrapped up in one package. Let’s get baking…

Ingredients:

  • One sheet of puffed pastry dough (thawed and ready to go)
  • One wheel of brie cheese (8 oz)
  • 4 Tbsp of Raspberry Jam (or jam of choice)

Also Needed:

  • Parchment paper
  • Baking dish

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Roll the puff pastry out just a bit with a rolling pin. ( Note: Do not let puff pastry dough get to warm or it will be sticky. Thaw only until it is workable – no longer.)

Put the brie wheel in the center of the dough.

Spread 4 Tbsp of raspberry jam evenly over the brie.

Fold up the puff pastry dough around the brie to form a little package.

Place on a baking dish lined with parchment paper.

Pop in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and has good coloring.

Cut (into approximately 6 pieces) and enjoy! Bon Appetit!

A Taste of the Islands

life

When we went to Maui a few years back, we decided to try Hawaiian Shave Ice. We stopped by Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice for our first tasting experience. (https://www.ululanishawaiianshaveice.com) Having never eaten it before, we found it interesting and fun. It was indeed delicious!

In Hawaii, Hawaiian Shave Ice is served in a cute little plastic cup that resembles a flower. The shave ice is served on top of ice cream (I chose macadamia nut.) and flavored syrup is poured into the ice. Indeed a cool, refreshing treat.

At Ululani’s, the syrup comes in so many flavors it is hard to choose. The syrup also comes in sugar-free flavors for those wanting to cut down on their sugar intake. There is macadamia nut ice cream and toppings to add to the final creation as well. Plan to go back another day to try more flavors.

When we got home we looked for a Shave Ice place. We found one! Now when we want a little taste of the islands, we can head on over for a little Shave Ice and dream of being back in paradise. No, it is not Hawaii, but it does bring back the memories. Aloha!

Our version of Ululani’s
Bringing back the memories….
Ice cream and flavored shave ice in one bite. Yum!

Visiting the Idaho Potato Museum

Travel
Baked Potato with Butter…Yum!

Road trips are a great way to learn and experience new things. One can come across some pretty interesting places on the road. One such place is the Idaho Potato Museum in Blackfoot, Idaho.

On our recent road trip, I happened by the sign for the Idaho Potato Museum. Oh boy! I REALLY wanted to stop, however, it was not on the schedule and stop we did not. I was disappointed but knew we had to pass the museum again on our way back. My group, however, was not promising anything.

I checked out the museum’s website and found out that they served potatoes. I absolutely HAD to eat an Idaho potato in Idaho. My group thought that eating an Idaho potato in another state would do. After all they said, ” You probably eat Idaho potatoes all the time”. That was not the point, I wanted to eat the Idaho potato in Idaho, plus I love this kind of museum.

Idaho Potato shed

I am happy to say that we finished sight-seeing early and were actually able to go to the Idaho Potato Museum. On our way there, I called ahead to reserve our potatoes. When we arrived we toured the museum, which was very educational, and learned the history of the potato and the potato industry. There are exhibits that go into detail about planting, irrigation, harvesting, and processing potatoes. The world’s largest Pringles Potato Chip is on display. Also on display are potato peelers and nails (which were used by cooks hoping to speed up the cooking process). Movies about potatoes were also available to watch. Outside the museum is a nice display of equipment used in the potato planting and harvesting process.

As I mentioned before, you can order a baked potato to eat in the museum’s cafe. The cafe also offers french fries, potato salad, potato bread, potato soup, potato cupcakes, potato ice cream, etc… The cafe is a nice, comfortable spot to enjoy a little something after the museum tour and refresh before hitting the road again.

potato doll

There is also a gift shop at the museum. They sell cookbooks, postcards, t-shirts, magnets, potato dolls, patches, pins, etc… They had a wide variety of reasonably priced items. I was even given a free bag of Idaho Spuds instant potatoes with my purchase. Bonus!

I enjoyed my visit to the Idaho Potato Museum. If you ever find yourself in Idaho, perhaps you too will make a stop in Blackfoot to eat a potato and enjoy a little history about the potato. I am glad I did.