Archive for the ‘snacks’ Category

Chocolate Milkshakes

Friday, April 25th, 2008

We’ve all got to indulge sometimes. What better way to indulge than a thick creamy chocolate milkshake?

I’ve found a way to cancel out the being bad part of a milkshake with a being good part. At least I like to pretend. It’s sort of similar to eating a really healthy vegetable and then smothering it with cheese or butter, but backwards.

The being good part involves wheat germ, so let’s talk about it.

Wheat germ is a very small part of the wheat kernel. Don’t be alarmed by the term germ. It has nothing to do with bacteria, it simply refers to germination. The germ is the reproductive part that germinates and forms the wheat grass.

The amount of nutrients that are contained in wheat germ seem endless. Wheat germ is very high in protein. It has riboflavin, calcium, zinc, magnesium and vitamins A, B1 and 3. Vitamins B1 and 3 are very important to maintain energy levels and maintain healthy muscles, organs, hair and skin. Another important vitamin found in wheat germ is vitamin E. Vitamin E is an important antioxidant. Vitamin E also helps prevent blood clots and is needed to strengthen the body’s immune system. Wheat germ contains 23 nutrients in all.

Oh, and wheat germ tastes really good too. It makes an awesome topping for ice cream, yogurt or milkshakes.

Here’s my version of a chocolate milkshake, Frosty-style, with a little extra on top…

  • Awesome Chocolate Milkshake (Frosty-style)
    • 1 C vanilla ice cream
    • 1/2 C milk
    • 2 Tbsp. Nesquik Powder
    • 2 Tbsp whipped cream
    • 2 tsp. wheat germ
    • Put ice cream in blender.
    • Top with Nesquik.
    • Pour milk in and blend well.
    • Pour into a glass and top with whipped cream and sprinkle with wheat germ.

Enjoy!

Oh Noes! My Bananas!

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

So I looked on my counter today and this is what I found. An all too familiar sight in our house. Those last few bananas, overripe and left for dead.

Then an all too familiar thought goes through my head that says, “Make them into banana bread.” A thought that typically gets pushed to the side like these poor bananas, until I finally throw them in the garbage realizing there is no hope for them.

But not today! Oh no, I’m going to rejuvenate these babies this time! I owe a thanks to Culinary Cowgirl whose post and pretty banana bread motivated me to try out her recipe and use the bananas this time.

  • Banana Bread (adapted from the Joy of Cooking)
    • 1 C flour
    • 1/3 C whole wheat flour
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/4 tsp baking powder
    • 6 T butter
    • 2/3 C sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 3 overripe bananas
    • Additional extras, if desired
    • In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
    • Add eggs and vanilla, beating until well blended.
    • Fold in mashed bananas.
    • Add flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder, stirring until combined. At this point add any additional extras you may have.
    • Scrape batter into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes. Allow to cool before removing from pan.

Here’s the batter before going into the oven…

And here’s how it came out…

Although the bread was tasty, I immediately got docked for having no nuts in it. (Dang, fail..) What is this thing you call Banana Bread with no nuts?! Apparently Banana Nut Bread is the only Banana Bread. I wish I would have added some because a little crunchy nutty flavor within is never a bad thing. Next fail was me removing the loaf from the pan before it had cooled, which left the bottom of the banana bread in my loaf pan. I’m still not sure if that was the reason it stuck or if it was my lack of “additional extras”, but either way this banana bread was very moist…which was good. And using this recipe is a good way to get some wheat into your family’s diet in a very unoffensive manner in case they aren’t good sports about it.

Review: Duncan Hines Oven Ready Homestyle Chocolate Chip Brownies

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

You may have seen my review of the Duncan Hines Oven Ready Homestyle Chocolate Fudge Brownies. If you have, you’ll know I had another box of brownies to bake…a box of Duncan Hines Oven Ready Homestyle Chocolate Chip Brownies. Even after the last experience, I still had high hopes for this flavor.

Out of the two boxes, this one looked more appealing to begin with. The box says premium golden brownie batter, so I’m not sure how it qualifies as an actual “brownie”, but either way the box picture had a look of soft, chewy gooodness to it. I love a good pan of soft baked chocolate cookies (when someone else makes it), so Duncan Hines no-prep method hit the spot. Brownie or no brownie, here we go…

That is how it looks right out of the box. And here’s how it looks after baking…

Looks a little fluffier than I’d expect a brownie to be, but I’m liking it so far. Cutting into it, I can feel that it is indeed not very dense. When fully cooked, the middle of the brownies stayed moist and chewy which was a pleasant surprise. Sure all the chocolate chips were not apparent from the top side as the box picture suggests, but the inside was full of chocolate chip gooey goodness. That gooey goodness in the center created a bit of a problem when removing from the pan. It seemed to separate, not letting me keep the top and bottom connected. You can sort of see that separation in the center from this picture…

Besides having trouble staying in one piece, Duncan Hines Oven Ready Homestyle Chocolate Chip Brownies are tasty and sweet. If you need a sweet fix and like soft chocolate chip cookies, these will not disappoint. I liked them a lot.

Personally, I don’t like desserts with ice cream on top, but that didn’t stop me from noticing a neat looking recipe on the back of the box for a Chocolate Chip Sundae. Sounds fancy, eh? But its really simple to re-create. Top the brownie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and then top that with hot fudge topping. (err cold Hershey’s Syrup)

My re-creation of the Duncan Hines Chocolate Chip Sundae…

Duncan Hines Oven Ready Homestyle Chocolate Chip Brownies were almost disturbingly sweeter and more chocolatey than their evil counterpart, but they were pretty dang good for something out of a box.

Review: Duncan Hines Oven Ready Homestyle Brownies

Saturday, March 29th, 2008

While walking down the frozen food section of the grocery store these brownies caught my eye and made me a sucker to practically every marketing strategy a store has…

  • Individual Display Case - The Duncan Hines Oven Ready Homestyle Brownies were in their own display case located right at the end of the aisle.
  • 2 for 1 price – They were marked as on sale as 2/$7. Wow, two of them for one low price! Not very cost efficient at $3.50 a box.
  • Convenience – The box boasts convenience factors that enticed me as a tired shopper. I mean come on, premium brownie batter that is ready to bake with no prep and no clean-up. I couldn’t resist atleast trying it.

The Duncan Hines Oven Ready Homestyle Brownies were definitely easy although, I flipped the box to find I needed a cookie sheet to place the convenient tray on. Fine. All else that was required was to cook it at 350° for 25-27 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Wait?! What if I had no toothpicks? I do, but seriously. I wonder why a convenient product like this doesn’t come with a toothpick. Even Handi-Snacks knows what’s up.

Here’s a few pictures of the goods

Right out of the box and a little frosty…

Looks pretty brownie-like and it’s passed the toothpick test.

The cut finale…

Is it good? It wasn’t horrible. If you went in seeking chocolatey fudgy goodness, you’d be let down. It was more cakey than gooey and there was an odd taste of berries amongst the chocolate flavor. I would not buy this again.



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