Saturday, June 21, 2014

Quick Bananas Foster

Butter, brown sugar, vanilla, bananas.  How crazy is it that those 4 ingredients can make such a delicious, simple treat? Bananas Foster is one of my dad's favorite desserts so this was another treat on Father's Day. What's that, you say? Father's Day was like, a month ago? Why yes, yes it was. 

Let me explain. It goes something like this. I have been super busy. I started a little business called It works!, moved in a roommate and I've been having the best summer anyone could possibly have. We've had family in from Florida, my friend Cara, her husband Andrew and their two beautiful girls Lexi and Ava came by also. It's just been busy. 

With that said and without further adieu, I give you my quick Bananas Foster. Serve this over vanilla ice cream for a simple, yet extremely decadent dessert. 

Quick Bananas Foster
Serves 4

3 bananas, peeled and sliced
1 stick butter, unsalted
1 cup brown sugar
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cinnamon

In a large sauté pan, melt butter over medium low heat. Stir in brown sugar and bring to a slow boil. Add bananas and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes until bananas have softened. Remove from heat. Serve over vanilla ice cream. 


Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Loaded Mashed Potatoes.  The effect that those three little words have on me is ridiculous.  Let's talk about this.  Mashed potatoes are delicious for starters, but when you kick it up a million notches by adding sour cream, cheese and bacon (yes, bacon), they are simply out of this world.

Mashed potatoes and I haven't always gotten along.  I always thought we did but I never made them the same way twice;  I taste as I go and I always think I end up with a pretty fantastic finished product.  My nephew Zeke told me otherwise a few years back.  I believe his exact words were, "These are the worst mashed potatoes I've ever had Aunt Aimee."  Fantastic. He was 5 or 6 so he couldn't really tell me why they were not pleasing to him and that just didn't help things out.  I just had to wing it and keep on testing them.  I now have several recipes that I use.

I came up with this one while attempting to plan some Father's Day festivities.  After everything we had done over the last couple of months celebrating my mother I thought it was only fair.  Dad being dad though, told me to not go to any trouble and he wouldn't tell me what he wanted so I needed to come up with my own menu.  No problem!  Steak it would be.  I could eat steak every day and if someone won't make a request, we will eat beef.  As far as the sides, I decided on a wedge salad with homemade ranch dressing, roasted garlic popovers and of course, loaded mashed potatoes.  Definitely a manly meal.  He must have enjoyed it.  He's still talking about it almost a week later!

I'm not very consistent with my mashed potatoes.  There are days that I want smooth, whipped potatoes and there are other times that I love a lot of texture, like with these.  There are so many components to make these delicious.  Crispy bacon, green onions, sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream--the list goes on.  So good!!

Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Serves 4


6 cups red potatoes, about 2 1/2 pounds, roughly diced
1/2 cup milk
6 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 green onions, sliced
Salt and pepper

In a large pot, place the diced potatoes and cover with water, about an inch or two above the potatoes.  Bring to a boil and continue to cook for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.  Drain the potatoes and return to the pot or transfer to the large bowl of a mixer.  Mix in butter, milk, sour cream and garlic powder until you've reached the consistency that you prefer.  

Next, stir in cheddar cheese, bacon and green onions.  Taste the potatoes to check for seasoning.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with grated cheddar cheese to garnish.  Serve and enjoy!