Blueberry Banana Bread


I had an abundance of blueberries in the refrigerator this weekend so I decided I needed to put them to good use.  Since I also had a few ripe bananas I figured I’d make banana bread … with blueberries in it!  I had never had blueberry banana bread before, but I figured it would be an experiment and it couldn’t necessarily turn out to be a bad thing.
I tried a piece when it came out of the oven after it had cooled for about an hour, and I found the blueberries were tarter while warm. But when I had a piece the next day and it had cooled down completely, the blueberries were not nearly as tart and the banana flavor had become more pronounced.  Definitely far more tasty the next day after it had cooled.
Serves 13. 2 Points Plus Values/serving.

Ingredients:
          1 ¼ cup flour
          1 tsp vanilla extract
          ¾ tsp baking soda
          1/8 tsp Salt
          1/3 cup brown sugar
          2 egg whites
          3 ripe bananas, mashed
          ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
          ½ cup blueberries
          Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Set aside.
In a mixing bowl add ripe bananas and mash.  Add in apple sauce, vanilla, egg whites and brown sugar. Mix to combine.
Spoon 1 tablespoon of flour over the blueberries and mix around so the blueberries are lightly coated with flour.
Add salt, baking soda and remaining flour to mixture and mix until well combined. Be sure to not over mix.
Gently fold in blueberries until blended into the batter.
Pour batter into the loaf pan.  Tap the pan against a hard surface a few times to even out, then place into the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes (depending on your oven). The bread is done when a knife of toothpick can be inserted into the bread and it comes out clean.
Allow the bread to cool on a cooling rack before serving.

Betty Crocker Cornbread Muffins

Ahh … cornbread! I developed a deep love for cornbread as a youngster. My dad would make hands down THE best cornbread.  He’d add real corn into it and sometimes he’d jazz it up with some jalapeno for a little spice. So, good!  And I admit, not so healthy in the quantities I’d eat it in.
These days, I don’t have cornbread very often – but when I saw this Betty Crocker cornbread muffin mix, I had to pick it up.  I calculated out the points for just the mix alone and figured instead of adding all the “fatty” stuff it called for, I’d try to jazz it up and make it points plus friendly.  Turns out my experimental baking was perfect because the cornbread muffins turned out absolutely perfect.  I was even asked as I served them up “You really made these with apple sauce? They’re so good!”
I emptied the cornbread packet into a bowl, added in ½ cup of natural unsweetened apple sauce and ¼ cup of water. I mixed it until everything was well combined – then transferred equal parts of the batter into muffin tins. I made 6 muffins and they came out perfect after being baked in the oven.  I did eat one as they were nice and warm and it was delicious. It was moist with a slight hint of apple lingering in the background.  A few spritz of spray butter on the top and I certainly did not miss the full-fat homemade version.
The greatest part was that each cornbread muffin was only 3 points plus values! Quite a steal when compared to any other cornbread muffin or cornbread loaf.
QUESTION:
How do you make your cornbread?

Orange Dreamsicle Cake


I’ve been in a cake making frenzy lately.  After my lemon cake was a hit and was devoured in 2 days I decided to use up a cake mix I had in the cabinet as a bit of a “test cake” and it turned out to be a hit!  Everyone that had it loved it.  This time around I went with an orange cake mix – making it an ode to the orange creamsicle.  Orange cake, vanilla frosting – and the Orange Dreamsicle Cake was born!
I served my aunt a slice after a family BBQ and she told me out of all the foods she tried, my cake was the best thing she had eaten all day.
It’s quite tasty and as with my lemon cake, I do prefer this straight out of the fridge because it makes it nice and cool – quite refreshing in the intense heat of summer.

Serves 12. 6 Points Plus per slice.
Ingredients:
  • 1 box Duncan Hines Orange Dream cake mix
  • 1 can Diet Fresca (or any diet, clear colored soda)
  • 12 oz. Fat Free Cool Whip
  • 1 box Sugar Free Vanilla Pudding
Mix cake mix and diet soda in a large bowl. Stir to combine.

Spray 2 round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray. Divide batter into the two pans and bake per the box directions.

 
Empty whipped topping into a bowl, pour pudding mix over cool whip, and fold to combine.  When combined, transfer mixture into a bowl with a cover and place into the fridge to firm up.
Once cakes are cooled completely, place one cake onto a cake plate and smear some frosting onto the face side up portion of the cake (about ¼ or 1/3 of the frosting).  Place the other cake on top of the frosted side, then frost around the sides and top to seal everything together.
When done frosting, you can serve immediately or place into the refrigerator.  If the cake is not eaten in one sitting, do keep the cake in the refrigerator.

Double Lemon Cake

Double the lemon, double the fun?  Well, in this case it certainly doubles the deliciousness.

I made this cake specifically for my boyfriend. He loves lemon and when I mentioned I was thinking of making him a celebratory cake or buying him one, he opted for the homemade cake.  I don’t blame him, cakes made at home – whether from scratch or from a box are always ten times better than cakes bought in stores. I factor that down to it being made with love … and having control of what you put in it.
 
I served my mother up with a slice of this cake not telling her how it was made.  She raved about the cake to everyone and even said that this particular cake was made “for the books.” She eventually asked what I put in it and when I told her, she was astounded.
Serves 12. 6 Points Plus per slice.
Ingredients:
  • 1 box Duncan Hines Lemon cake mix
  • 1 can Diet Fresca (or any diet, clear colored soda)
  • 12 oz. Fat Free Cool Whip
  • 1 box Sugar Free Lemon Pudding
Mix cake mix and diet soda in a large bowl.  Stir to combine.
Spray 2 round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray. Divide batter into the two pans and bake per the box directions. My cakes were cooked in 28 minutes.
Empty whipped topping into a bowl, pour pudding mix over cool whip, fold to combine.  When combined, transfer mixture into a covered bowl (you can reuse the cool whip container) and place into the fridge to firm up.
Let the cakes cool completely.  Place one cake onto a cake plate (that can go into the refrigerator), smear some frosting onto the face side up portion of the cake (about ¼ or 1/3 of the frosting).  Place the other cake on top of the cake, then frost around the sides and top.
When done frosting, you can serve immediately or place into the fridge.  I think it tastes best cold out of the fridge it makes it so much more refreshing.

Recipes


Breakfast:
Blueberry Strawberry Overnight Oats 
Breakfast Burritos
French Toast
Homemade Turkey Sausage Patties
Pumpkin Oatmeal
Strawberry Banana Overnight Oats
Turkey Sausage, Pepper, Onion & Cheese Omelet
Wild Blueberry Banana Walnut Muffins

Lunch:

Egg Salad
Open Faced Tuna Melt
Tuna Salad

Dinner:

Asian Pork Tenderloin (Crock Pot)
Beef and Bean Chili
Chicken Chow Mein
Chicken Philly Cheese “Steaks”
Deconstructed Pierogi Pasta
Homemade “Quick Cook” Sauce
Fettuccine Bolognese with Turkey Sausage
Hamburger Steaks with Onion Gravy
Homemade Meatballs & Sauce
Homemade Pulled Pork (Crock pot)
Inside Out Sauerkraut Pierogies (Take 2)
Lasagna in a Bun
Meat Sauce
“Naked” Chicken Parm
Pizza in a Pan
Rice Ball Casserole
Stuffed Peppers
Tex-Mex Taco Pasta
Trashy Taco Soup

Side Dishes:
American Potato Salad
Coleslaw
Eggplant Caponata
Pasta Salad
Ranch Greek Yogurt Dip
Roasted Acorn Squash with Brown Sugar
Roasted Potatoes with Onion and Garlic
Sautéed Vegetables w/ Olive Oil and Garlic

Dessert:
Apple Cake
Berry Dump Cake
Blueberry Banana Bread
Blueberry Compote
Chick Pea Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate Cherry Cake 
Cookie Butter Frosted Brownies
Cookie Butter Swirl Brownies
Double Lemon Cake
Orange Dreamsicle Cake
PB2 Dip
Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies
Rocky Road Fudge
Salted Cookie Butter Fudge

Beverage:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana-Berry Smoothie
Cold Brew Coffee