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What’s Cooking with Melissa?

If you’ve seen a recipe for Flourless Banana Pancakes before and haven’t tried them, be sure to try this recipe. Trust me you won’t be sorry. These pancakes are a big hit with the kiddos; my grandson proved that to be true! 

Flourless Banana Pancakes

1 cup quick oats (gluten free if needed)

3 bananas, cut in chunks

1 large egg

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tbsp. honey

1-2 tbsp. milk or almond milk (if needed to make batter thin enough to pour)

chopped walnuts (optional)

mini chocolate chips (optional)

Put all ingredients (except nuts and chocolate chips) in a blender and blend until smooth. Melt butter in a hot skillet and pour 1/4 cup of batter per pancake and cook on each side until done.

*If using nuts or chocolate chips sprinkle them on each pancake after pouring batter on hot skillet.

**These are great served with maple syrup or my favorite, peanut butter.

What’s Cooking with Melissa?

As so many dreary, rainy days go by I find myself looking for soup recipes.  This week I’d like to share a recipe for roasted vegetable soup.  It does take some time to prep this soup but the flavor is well worth it.  

Roasted Vegetable Soup

2 1/2 c. butternut squash, peeled and cubed

2 1/2 c. carrots, peeled and cut bite size

3 celery stalks, chopped

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed bite size

1 large russet potato, peeled and cubed bite size

1 onion, chopped

2 large tomatoes, quartered

2 bay leaves

3 tsp. garlic, minced

2 c. kale, chopped (optional)

1 15 oz. can northern beans, drained (optional) 

salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp. olive oil

6 c. vegetable broth

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and toss squash, carrots, celery, potatoes, onion and tomatoes with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Cook for 45 minutes to an hour.  Remove from oven and cool enough to blend.

Put half of the roasted vegetables in a large pot, 2 cups of vegetable broth and blend vegetables using a submersion blender. (If you don’t have one put vegetables in a blender with the broth.  Do it in 2 batches if needed then add it to a large pot.)  After blending for a minute or 2, add the remaining broth, vegetables, bay leaves, garlic, kale and beans, if using.

Bring to a quick boil, then simmer on low heat about 15 minutes.

*Remove bay leaves before serving.

**If blending is not an option a potato masher can be used to just roughly mash  half of the roasted vegetables with 2 cups of broth.

What’s Cooking with Melissa?

This week’s recipe for Lasagna Roll Ups is a great dish for parties or even weeknight suppers.  It’s an easy recipe to throw together to go with many other dishes or can be served easily as a main dish with a nice salad.

Lasagna Roll Ups

12 uncooked lasagna noodles (gluten free work well too)

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 10 oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed out

2 1/2 c. ricotta cheese

2 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1 24 oz. jar marinara sauce (or your favorite pasta sauce)

Topping:

1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp. parsley flakes

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions and drain.  While the noodles are cooking, mix together eggs, spinach, cheeses and seasonings.

Pour 1 c. marinara sauce into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 casserole dish.  Spread 1/3 c. cheese mixture over each lasagna noodle and roll up.  Place over the sauce seam side down and repeat process until all noodles are rolled.

Spoon remaining sauce overtop of lasagna roll ups.  Sprinkle remaining cheeses and parsley flakes on top and bake, covered with foil, for 20 minutes.  Uncover and bake 10 minutes longer.

What’s Cooking with Melissa?

I have a new favorite cookie, Almond Cranberry. Even if you don’t have to eat gluten free like I do, you will love these cookies; that is as long as you can have nuts. This recipe uses blanched almond flour, not almond meal. These cookies are not overly sweet and very easy to make.  

Almond Cranberry Cookies (makes 2 1/2 dozen)

2 cups blanched almond flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

6 tbsp. butter, melted

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 egg

3/4 cups dried cranberries

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (or white chocolate chips), optional

1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped, optional (my favorite is black walnuts)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper. (I use parchment paper for all cookie baking.) In a medium bowl mix together dry ingredients, set aside. In a larger bowl mix together the wet ingredients. Next add dry ingredients to wet mixture and mix well. Stir in dried cranberries, mini chocolate chips and nuts. Scoop dough by tablespoons onto cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until cookies are a light golden brown. Remove from oven and wait 5 minutes before removing cookies from sheet. Allow to completely cool before storing in an airtight container.

What’s Cooking with Melissa?

As I’m making my lists of gifts for Christmas, I start thinking about what kind of homemade gifts I’ll be making. This year one semi-homemade gift will be Layered Cookie Bars. By using a cookie mix as the base, this recipe is super easy and quick to make. Best thing about these cookie bars is how great they taste! Don’t forget to make enough for yourself because you won’t want to give them all away!

Layered Cookie Bars

1 1-lb. bag of chocolate chip cookie mix or 1 box of gluten free chocolate chip cookie mix (both work perfectly)

1 egg

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

1 cup butterscotch chips (if gluten free be sure to check package)

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish, set aside. Stir together the chocolate chip cookie mix, softened butter and egg. Using your hands, press the crumbly dough into the bottom of the baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes. Pour sweetened condensed milk over top of the cookie crust. Next sprinkle the butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, coconut, then the chopped nuts. Bake 25-30 minutes. Coconut will be slightly browned when done. Completely cool then cut into bars.

*White chocolate chips can be used in place of butterscotch or simply add them to the layers!

What’s Cooking with Melissa?

This is apple season, and I have a great recipe for you. It is just right for this holiday season when you have family or company visiting. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and it is oh so good.

Apple Crisp Coffee Cake
Cake Batter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted (1 stick)
1 cup sour cream
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsps vanilla extract
4 medium apples, peeled, cored and diced

Topping
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, melted (1 stick)

Heat oven to 350°. Grease a 9×130-inch baking pan. Whisk together first 6 dry ingredients for cake batter. Stir in melted butter, sour cream, eggs and vanilla extract. Sprinkle apples on top of batter. Stir together all topping ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Sprinkle on top of apples. Bake for 40-45 minutes until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Can be served cold or warmed up with a dollop of ice cream.

What’s Cooking with Melissa?

I always like to make special treats for holiday breakfasts, and recently I made a new casserole I’d like to share with you. Cinnamon roll French toast casserole was such a big hit that I’ve added it to my holiday breakfast menus. It’s so easy you may want to make it weekly!

Cinnamon Roll French Toast Casserole

10-12 slices of bread (gluten free bread works perfectly also)

6 large eggs

1 cup milk

1 cup fat free half & half

2 tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

pinch of salt

Cinnamon Mixture (stir together, and set aside):

1 cup light brown sugar

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 cup butter, melted

Grease an 11×7 casserole dish with butter. Place a single layer of bread on the bottom. You may need to break some in half to cover the bottom. Spread cinnamon mixture over bread then place another layer of bread on top. Whisk together egg mixture ingredients and pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight. When ready to bake remove from refrigerator and allow to sit for 20 minutes before baking. Optional: sprinkle the top with a cinnamon/sugar mixture. Bake in 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes.

Icing: (optional but good)

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp. milk (a little more if needed)

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Stir together all ingredients and spread on top of warm cassero

What’s Cooking with Melissa?

Finally some campfire worthy weather! We do a lot of camping, and I love to cook meals and desserts over an open fire. A fire pit in our back yard allows me to cook over the fire whenever I want and I’m very thankful for that. Before I get in holiday mode I thought I’d share a perfect fall Campfire Apple Cobbler recipe. Enjoy!

Campfire Apple Cobbler

*7 Quart Cast iron Dutch oven is needed.

3 20 oz. cans of apple pie filling

1 box yellow cake mix (Gluten free works perfectly too!)

1 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup unsalted butter (cut into squares)

2 tsp. cinnamon, divided

After your fire is well established, line the inside of the Dutch oven with foil. With butter, grease the foil well. Dump or spoon all three cans of apple pie filling into the bottom of the Dutch oven. Next sprinkle brown sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon on top. Pour dry cake mix on top of apple pie filling mixture then sprinkle the remaining 1 tsp. cinnamon on top. Place small pieces of butter all over the top. Cover with lid. Place on outskirts of the fire and “bake” for 30-45 minutes. (Baking time will depend on how hot the fire is and will require keeping an eye on it.)

*Keep in mind while doing this recipe that no stirring is required. 

*This recipe can be made with other pie fillings, such as blueberry or peach without changing a thing!

What’s Cooking with Melissa?

Butternut squash is a vegetable that I hardly ever use but absolutely love. Recently I decided to roast them in the oven with spices and I could’ve eaten the enter pan!

Roasted Butternut Squash

1 3 lb. butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with foil. Put cubed squash on cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle on spices, salt and pepper. Toss to coat and spread evenly on the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.  

What’s Cooking with Melissa?

Butternut squash is a vegetable that I hardly ever use but absolutely love. Recently I decided to roast them in the oven with spices and I could’ve eaten the enter pan!

Roasted Butternut Squash

1 3 lb. butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with foil. Put cubed squash on cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle on spices, salt and pepper. Toss to coat and spread evenly on the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.