Banana-nana Bread!

Chrissy here- so I’ve been baking a lot since the beginning of October. Halloween is a fave of mine for sure!
I crocheted a handful of zombies/mummies. Then, I organized the activities, not only for Ryker’s class, but the other 5th grade class next door. Sad, but none of the parents were willing to help out in that room. So, Ryker’s room mom asked if I could do a game & craft for both classes.
Ok, so getting off the point! Hah! That is one of my specialties, huh Min?
Anyhow, I’ve been baking at least twice a week since the 1st week of October. Sorry, didn’t take a lot of pics. Min convinced me to start taking some! So, here are a couple. I kinda mixed two different banana bread recipes. One is from BH&G- and the other one is yeah- just another banana bread recipe 😛

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Knitting…or Not

I often wonder whether I will ever become an avid knitter.  When I was in Germany, my friend Chelly introduced me to knitting.  Now, mind you, I’m from the tropics and things like wool and cashmere just don’t exist there.  But in Northern Europe, even my husband donned a merino sweater.  I mean, it’s just that cold!  And I couldn’t help but adore the fair aisle prints, the chunky scarves, and wooly wrist warmers.

We’ve since left Germany and come to settle in the high deserts of North America.  Now that the leaves are turning shades of mustard, pumpkin and deep burgundy, my mind has wandered to knitting and crocheting.  I’ve definitely mastered the art of crochet.  It’s not that difficult.  I don’t know every stitch in the book, but I know most of them enough to create wrist warmers, cowls, hats, amigurumi, socks, etc. free form.  It’s simple enough that if a pattern doesn’t fit your liking, you can modify it easily.  BUT knitting, on the other hand is completely foreign to me.  It’s as foreign to me as the Icelandic language–the more I try to understand it, the less I get it.

So here I am trying my hand at knitting once again.  It’s so frustrating!  I tried knitting a pair of wrist warmers for my son–which you think would be a piece of cake–but they came out different sizes.  I’m sure it’s my tension that’s throwing my gauge off, but here I am trying to knit myself a pair of arm warmers.  I’m sure it’ll come out asymmetric as well, but still I knit on, hoping that one day the pieces of the knitting puzzle will fall in place for me.

My second attempt at making knitted wrist warmers. If this pair turns out nice enough, I might have enough confidence to attempt my next pair on double pointed needles.

Chicken Broccoli Croissant Wreath

Chicken, broccoli and cheese wrapped in a flaky croissant pastry.

This was one of the first recipes I learned when my husband and I got married.  I’m sure many newlyweds can relate.  When you’re far from home and the budget is tight–finding simple, affordable recipes are a necessity!  This one continues to be a family favorite not just because it’s pretty, but because it tastes absolutely yummy!

I’ve modified this recipe so many times…  I’m sure you will, too.  Use whatever you have in your fridge.  This can be either savory or sweet.  The choice is yours!  Here’s my recipe to get you started:

2 rolls of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded or cubed

8 oz bag of shredded cheese

1/4 cup of mayonaise

1 tsp Hidden Valley Ranch dip/seasoning powder

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup fresh broccoli florets

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

1.  Mix the Ranch powder and garlic into the mayonnaise.

2.  Put the chicken, cheese and broccoli in a medium bowl.  Add the mayonnaise and stir to coat the ingredients.

3.  Pop the crescents open and unroll onto a clean surface.  I use a clean kitchen counter or a cookie sheet.  You may open one can at a time to use less space.  Separate each triangle and arrange onto the baking stone or pizza tray as shown below.

For this method (my son calls it the Sun Bread method) you will point all the triangles out…

All the points of the crescent triangles are pointing out.

Or you can use this method.  This is the wreath style.

For this style, I pointed one can of crescent rolls (8 triangles) facing out toward the rim of the baking stone, and used the other can of crescent rolls (8 triangles) facing in toward the middle of the baking stone.

Now, take your filling and place it in a circular shape onto your uncooked pastry.

Now take all the triangle points and fold them over the filling.  A lot of my friends tuck the points under the dough, but I just take the points and scoot them to the side after I’ve folded them over.  This keeps the circle in the middle nice and pretty.

Can you see how I tilted the points to the side instead of tucking them under the dough? Trust me, it’ll look gorgeous either way!

Now it’s ready for the oven!  Bake at 325 F for 30 to 35 minutes.  I usually pull mine out at 32 minutes and let it rest for 5 minutes.

Slice just like you would a pizza. And be prepared to make this over and over again, as I’m sure your friends and family will ask for it quite often…

If you don’t have leftover chicken breasts or rotisserie chicken, pick up a bag of Tyson Grilled & Ready chicken breast strips or a similar product in your refrigerated aisle of your local supermarket.  Or use whatever strikes your fancy!  How about barbecue sauce instead of ranch and bacon instead of broccoli?  Try putting breakfast sausage, scrambled eggs and cheese.  No mayo needed!  Or put leftover slices of steak, sauteed onions and mozzarella cheese for a Philly style croissant wreath!  Try it with tomato slices, mushrooms, spinach and provolone for a veggie extravaganza!  The possibilities are endless…

There’s also a lovely cherry coffee cake recipe that my kids love which uses cream cheese, cherry filling and powdered sugar!  I’ll be posting this recipe the next time I make it so I can take pictures.  It’ll also have detailed instructions on how to make it using the wreath method.  Most people tell me it tastes like butter bread.

Hope you try it soon!  Good luck on your cooking!

Minnie Adventures