What the what (banana cheesecake)

Social media. It can be a curse or a great way to make friends/connect/learn. I have made some wonderful friends and met some major people in my life via the internet. One is Dawn of Sweet Considerations. She is a gem, and she sent me a bunch of recipes because she is awesome like that. One of the recipes was for Banana Cheesecake. I am always looking for ways to get rid of bananas in my house (Mad always says she will get to them, uh huh) and this was a great way to use them up. While the recipe calls for 6, I only used 3 for the filling and one for the topping. My only other change was I used Nila wafers for the crust, and let me say it was a hit. My work (boss especially) requested this the same day I made it. So twice this week people have been amazed by this great cheesecake which is simple to make, and easy to serve. So Dawn thank you so much, and followers find her on instagram/twitter/facebook, she is talented and wonderful and I can’t wait to get back to Chicago to meet her!

https://www.facebook.com/DawnMariesSweetConsiderations

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Asian sesame chicken and being you

Sometimes we feel as if we have to be something that might not be so true to our real selves.  Depending on the situation, you might have to alter sometime to “fit” in. It can be annoying. Now I am not saying cuss like a sailor in front of company, older church ladies or nuns, but it can be hard to put on the happy, polite face when you might be feeling like punching someone in the throat (all of us have those moments, let’s not pretend we don’t. just don’t do it) 

So when you find those few people you can just be you in front of-embrace it! Be the dork, prep, hipster, vegan, snob, whatever it is and do you! Feeling secure and yourself in front of someone is the rarest of gifts, and it’s a gift I like to give others. I am cranky, happy, sad, funny, silly, serious, in need of a chill pill-come sit and have some lemonade with me. Or this chicken. Asian sesame chicken-it’s a quick way to use up chicken on a school night, busy Friday, or any day of the week. Serve with some roasted potatoes, a quick salad, or some rice.  LIfe and food doesn’t have to be as difficult as we make, or if it is, just have a simple dinner to end the craziness with. 

Asian sesame chicken

8-10 drumsticks or any chicken pieces you want

bottle of Kraft asian toasted sesame lite anything dressing

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp poultry seasoning (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Spray an oven safe casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside 

Dry off chicken pieces and place in a bowl

Marinate chicken in about 1 cup of dressing or until coated

Transfer chicken to casserole dish, laying each piece side by side, with a little room in between. If a small dish, you might need two

Sprinkle salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning on top of chicken

Use remaining marinade from bowl on top of the drumsticks

Cook for about 30-40 minutes, until internal temp is 165 degrees

Serve immediately or let cool to room temp and store for up to a week in the fridge

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Vegetarian stuffed peppers

I am not a big vegetable person, and I know how terrible that sounds.  Part of it is growing up eating only french cut green beans and canned corn.  I just don’t care for many others.  But I decided to make these stuffed peppers after picking one up at the farm stand (and for me a farm stand is near Target-that is how I roll country) You can always add ground meat, turkey or chicken, or cook the rice in broth to give it a meatier flavor.  But vegetables are good for you, “they will make your eyes shine” as my gran always says

Vegetarian stuffed peppers (makes 3-4 pepper stuffing)

2 cups cooked long grain brown rice

3-4 peppers, any color you like with tops cut off and insides scooped out

4 oz tomato sauce

1 sliced carrot

1 sliced celery 

italian seasoning

salt and pepper to taste

butter

2 T shredded cheese (I used an italian blend)

 

Melt half a tablespoon of butter in a sauce pan on medium high heat

once melted, add sliced carrot and celery, cook until soft

add tomato sauce, seasoning, salt and pepper, cook for 5 minutes

Add cooked rice, stir until combine and warm

*you can quickly char your peppers at this point if you want

fill peppers with filling and sprinkle with cheese

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Mixed berry lemonade

I am one of the few people who isn’t sad to see summer go. I love fall, with the sweaters and leaves, and baking.  But I still like cool, refreshing drinks, and this is definitely one of them: mixed berry lemonade. Just a funky take on lemonade, tart, fruity, not too sweet and cool for those summer days/nights that are left. 

 

Mixed berry lemonade

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

1 1/4 cups mixed berries (I used raspberries, strawberries, and just a few blueberries) pureed and strained to remove seeds

Lemon juice from 8-10 lemons (I like tart so I used 10)

5 cups cold water

 

Make simple syrup by combining sugar and water in a saucepan, cooking until the sugar dissolves. Let cool about 10-15 minutes

Combine simple syrup, pureed berries and lemon juice into a large pitcher or bowl

Add water until desired sweet/tart combination. 

Serve with ice cubes and more fruit if desired, or keep in the fridge for up to 7 days to drink as the heat continues to waft outside 

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