Saturday, May 30, 2009

Beach Bread

We just returned from a great trip to the Gulf Coast of Florida.  I miss the beach and ocean already! While we were there, we ate lunch at Sharky's one day in Venice. As we were waiting for our food, we saw the waitress carry a plate of bread past us that looked so good! It was covered in melted cheese and diced tomatoes. We didn't order it, we didn't need that much food, but I did look it up on the menu and figured out that it was Beach Bread.  I made sure to remember it so I could look it up and make it at home! Wasting no time, we had some with dinner this week. I found this recipe online, and since we didn't actually taste it in Florida, I can't say how similar the taste was, but I really liked it! 

Make sure you toast the bread under the broiler on both sides before moving on to the dressing, tomatoes and cheese. I buttered the bread, sprinkled a little garlic powder on, then broiled until a little brown. Then added the dressing, tomatoes, and threw in some chopped green onion. For the cheese, I just used a mix of a few kinds we had left - mozzarella, cheddar, and Monterrey jack.

Source: Recipezaar

1 loaf French bread or Italian bread
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup blue cheese dressing
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups diced tomatoes (1 large tomato)

Slice the bread in half lengthwise

Butter lightly and put under broiler (If watching calories skip the butter) toast lightly.

Spread the blue cheese dressing equally over both halves.

Top with grated cheese and diced tomatoes.

Place under broiler until cheese melted

(Optional Ingredients: Garlic powder, diced onion, mushrooms, chicken, pepperoni or mix cheeses to taste. Original is great, so give it a try first).

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Blueberry Banana Bread

The overripe bananas are begining to take over my inside freezer. Today I had to do something about that. It's been a while since I've baked something for home, so banana bread sounded pretty good. I've seen a few recipes lately that also have blueberries and/or coconut in the banana bread, so I'm trying this Paula Deen recipe, with the addition of both! This recipe makes 2 loaves.

I ended up baking this for about 1 hour and 20 minutes because it was still gooey in the middle, but you can tell the outside got pretty dark. Despite baking it for an extra 20 minutes, it was still moist on the inside. I really liked the addition of coconut in this bread and will definitely add it again the next time.

Source: Adapted from Paula Deen

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups ripe, mashed, bananas
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup coconut
1 tsp. coconut extract (I only added this because I bought it for the coconut cake, and really...when else am I going to use it?)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans.

In a medium bowl and with an electric mixer at medium speed, beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring well. Add bananas and pecans, stirring just until combined. Spoon batter into prepared pans.

Bake for 1 hour, or until a tester inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove from pans, and allow to cool completely on wire racks.
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