Monday, August 07, 2006

Can never have too many naners'

We always have some bananas hangin' around, be it the ones I let go extra ripe so we can freeze them, or ones we eat for morning snacks. We usually have some of the frozen ones in a blueberry smoothie, but I found a new recipe that sounded like a tasty morning snack today.

Banana Cream Pie Smoothie is a thick creamy drink topped with a sprinkling of sweet crunchy honey graham cracker crumbs. The frozen ripe banana adds body to this, while some ice cubes help to thicken it. Vanilla yogurt keeps it smooth and while there are some additional graham cracker crumbs added into the mix, they didn't seem to add much flavor. This was a nice alternative from our typical smoothie and since it comes together in a snap, it would be great for a portable quick snack.

Tonight's dinner is possibly one of the best sandwiches we have had lately! Mozzarella, Ham, and Basil Panini had so much going for it, you just can't go wrong. Chewy ciabatta bread is sliced in half, with the bottom being coated with some tangy Dijon mustard and the top with balsamic vinegar. The layering begins with thin slices of fresh delicate mozzarella, large fragrant basil leaves, deli ham, hot peppers and garden fresh (thanks new neighbor!) tomatoes. Once the top half is placed back on, the heavy loaf went into the panini maker to warm up the insides and crisp up the crunchy ciabatta crust. This sandwich is fresh, cheesy, filling and I think I could could eat this morning, noon and night! The only change I might make would be to substitute the ham with some rich prosciutto.


  1. I made a Banana Nut Smoothie with a handful of walnuts and a pinch of spice plus vanilla yogurt and it really tasted liked banana bread. The recipe is up over on the Dannon website.

    Love the new name by the way! And I was rooting for Culinary and the Dessert...

  2. Both of these sound really, really good, Joe. I'm intrigued by that smoothie. I rather like the idea of adding the graham cracker crumbs. Maybe I'll just stir in the bigger ones at the end for some texture. Now I just have to wait for those darn bananas to ripen...

  3. This is a smoothie that my son might enjoy, he loves bananas!
    The panini looks awesome, I looove the fresh mozzarela/tomato/basil combination! Funny though, even before getting to the end of your post I was already thinking about using prosciutto!

  4. Don't you love having a panini press!! I haven't tried it with chiabata bread before...

    What do you use to make your smoothies? I never liked making them and dealing with the clean up, even with a dishwasher, until my bf got me the Bamix immersion blender I saw at the Great Big Food Show (2 yrs ago?). Wow - LOVE having it! I understand there are other brands that are great as well - this is the only one I've experienced... Also great for making FarmGirls Summer Harvest Soup!

  5. Joe, The panini looks awesome. I don't have a panini maker but I guess I could make it on my grill pan and press it down with something heavy.

    Btw, I finally made one of your recipes and just posted it... The creamy tarragon chicken salad. It was really good. Thanks for the idea!

  6. Joe - Ooo. I bet Dean would like this smoothie (not to mention the mozzarella-basil & ham/prosciutto sandwich).

  7. I could really go for a banana smoothie right now. The panini looks great!

  8. Oh man...I could do one but not both of these dishes!

  9. I just recently re-discovered our blender and since then I keep making smoothies for breakfast. My favorites are Strawberry and Mixed Berries but for DH I always have to make one with Bananas. I'll try your recipe tomorrow - let's see what DH has to say about it ;-)

  10. Hi Joe, wow that smoothie looks really delicious...: happen to have all the ingredients but the soy milk, going to make it anyway tonight! :)
    I've just discovered your blog and I’ll definitely become a regular
    I’ve actually as well just started a foodblog - TastingLife.
    Hope you'll check it sometimes!

  11. That banana smoothie picture is exquisite. So...COOL!

  12. Amy - Thanks, I'm off to go check it out now!

    Nic - That's what we thought too, just stirring them in at the end might help them to be more noticable.

    Ana - I love prosciutto!

    Jeph - Love it so much - the sandwiches that come out of it are always wonderful! We have a KitchenAid Blender that works like a dream. I may be in the market for an immersion blender though, so I'll have to take a look at that one!

    Annie - Thanks for letting me know! I'll go check it out!

    Ed - If you try it, be sure to let me know!

    Linda - I'll have one for you in the morning!

    Teddy - hee hee!

    Wheresmymind - How come?

    Dani - They do make great snacks!

    Julia - I'll check it out, thanks for telling me about it!

    Rachael - Wow! Thanks!

  13. i loooooove bananas..........and the pie seems so good.......can't wait till the weekend to have some

  14. Lexi - Yeah, we go through quite a few bananas a week!

  15. duh! I can't believe I didn't think of freezing them for smoothies - you're a genius!