Banana Peel

It’s what’s inside that matters…

Date NightIN July 27, 2009

Filed under: marriage and family,Recipes — Jess @ 5:30 pm

When you have two little people in your life (especially one who is nursing) it is very difficult to go out with your spouse (and only your spouse). Extremely difficult to go out when it’s dark and romantic and all that (you know–like–at night). My kids seem to have “mommy is gone” radar. They just know somehow that I have left. Every time we have tried to go out we return to a tear-soaked miserable baby who has been inconsolable for the past hour (or two). Which causes me to feel awful about myself and my mothering skills for approximately two weeks (give or take a few hours).  The best time for us to go out is in the early morning (before noon) or in the late afternoon (like between 3 and 5), which is hard to find babysitters for. Especially when your husbands day off is Monday. So in our current state of young children we don’t really ever go out without our children.

Because of this I decided that I still wanted to have a date with my husband. So we did. We just didn’t go anywhere. And you know what? It was wonderful and romantic and probably the best date we’ve ever had. Ever. Seriously.

It was so simple too. Maybe that’s why it was so nice. Dinner. Candles. The love of my life sitting across from me. Peaceful. No rude waiters or loud diners. Just me and him at the kitchen table. And quiet, oh so wonderfully quiet. It was lovely. The best part: I didn’t have to worry about my kids at all (The Blue-Eyed Boy did interupt us a few times, but that was okay it didn’t detract from the specialness).

Date nightIN. It should be the new sloagan (you know like the Staycation craze we’re in right now).  Try it out, I promise it is well worth your while. And just to help you out a little here’s my recipe’s for a fantasticly romantic dinner!

The Menu

Red-Wine Steak

Inside-out Baked potatos

Fresh salad with lemon dressing

Bread and olive oil dip


The Recipes

Inside-Out Baked Potatoes

2 Russet baking potatoes scrubbed

1 package thick sliced bacon

Preheat oven to 375. Meanwhile wrap the potatoes in the bacon (two per potato). Wrap in aluminum foil and poke a few times with a fork. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 1/2 hours or until a fork easily presses through.

I diced up the rest of the bacon and fried it up real quick. I sprinkled some on the salad and we also sprinkled some on our steaks. It was delish (wow I sound like a teeny bopper). The rest I put in a bag and we’ll use it throughout the rest of the week on salads (WAY better than Bacon Bits!).

Red-Wine Steak

Two steaks, whatever kind you like. I got some nice round steaks.

about half a red onion chopped

1 carrot chopped

Red wine of your choice: I used a lovely local Michigan wine by Leelenau Cellars (buy local!!)

Salt and pepper both sides of the steaks. Put the onion and carrot in a ziploc bag and mix. Place steaks in bag. Cover with the red wine (like a 1/3 of the bottle depending on the size of your steaks, and the size of your wine). Let marinate for 1 hour or more.

Once done marinating. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot add about a tablespoon of butter to the skillet letting it melt all over. Place the steak in the skillet and cook on each side for 6 minutes (for medium).

Fresh Salad with Lemon Dressing

Make a salad how you like it. Here’s how to make the dressing:

lemon juice (or a lemon)

Extra Virgin Olive oil


salt and pepper

Mix equal parts lemon juice and olive oil, add in some parsley (like a tablespoon). Sprinkle over salad and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

Bread and Olive Oil Dip

I got some little loaves of a multi-grain french bread on the clearance rack (wooo hooo 69 cents is a steal). So pair this with whatever crusty thick bread you love.

Extra-Vigrin Olive oil

Parmesean cheese

salt and pepper


In a small dipping bowl (a cereal bowl works too!) add some olive oil (1/2 cup or so) add a bunch of parmesean cheese, about a half tablespoon parsley and some salt and pepper to taste. Mix it all up. Yummy.

It’s pretty simple. And SUPER yummy. It doesn’t take too long. Pop the potatoes in and while those are cooking you can marrinate the steaks. Make the salad and dressing and the bread dip while that is doing it’s thing. Set the table (make it special with a few candles), relax for a few minutes, and slice the bread. Then cook the steaks just before the potatoes are done, plate it up real nice (pretend you’re on the food network) pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy yourself.

Date nightIN. Try it.

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Ain’t nobody ‘don’t like a parfait! February 11, 2009

Filed under: Recipes — Jess @ 8:07 pm

Strawberry Parfait

I made these the other night. They were a hit here in Pickyland.  It was a very good and nutritious dessert. Oh and they were easy-peasy. Like I could have made them upside-down and blindfolded easy. If you can pour, scoop and dice–you’re golden!

Strawberry Parfait

What you will need:The Ingredients

  • vanilla yogurt (I really like the thick and creamy kind)
  • frozen strawberries, thawed and diced and some halves for however many you are going to make.
  • Uncle Sam cereal (you’ll find this in the Healthy Living section at Meijer, or at the health food store)
  • Cocoa powder
  • Ice cream glasses, or regular glasses (you want it to be see through so you can see your pretty parfait!)

What you do:

Starting with the Uncle Sam cereal put a small amount in the the bottom of your glass. Next layer some strawberry’s, enough to cover the cereal. Then yogurt. repeat. Put some more strawberries on the next layer, top that with a dollop of yogurt and place a half a strawberry on top. Sprinkle with a pinch or two of cocoa powder. Chill for 10-15 minutes (or eat it right away if you can’t wait!).

Strawberry Parfait


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Christmas Cookies Galore! December 10, 2008

Filed under: Recipes — Jess @ 4:14 pm
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Anyone else making Christmas cookies this year?

I am!

Here’s what I’ll be making:

Pumpkin roll–my absolute favorite Christmas baked good–even if it isn’t technically a cookie!
My Momma’s sugar cookiesthe best sugar cookies ever!
Grandma McClain’s monster cookies–this is a new recipe for me, I’ve never made it before. It is my Hunk’s great grandmother’s recipe. He has very fond memories of them–so I hope I can live up to his expectations!
Chocolate fudge
White chocolate fudge
Peanut butter chocolate fudge

The fudge recipes are all my mom’s, as well, that she would make every year.

The Blue-Eyed Boy and I went shopping last night and got (almost) all the ingredients. I’m excited to get to baking next week!

If you look here, I’ll share my secrets with you! (complete with recipes, and ingredient checklist!) I saved it in the compatibility mode so hopefully it will work for everyone’s Word…it just might not look as nice as it does on my computer.

So tell me what are you making?