Banana Bars

1/2 butter, softened
1 1/3 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 egg
1 cup mashed bananas (2-3 medium)
1/2 c. sour cream
1 t. vanilla
2 c. flour
1 c. chopped pecans or walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 15x10x1 inch baking pan; set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occassionally. Beat in the egg, mashed bananas, sour cream, and vanilla until combined. Beat or stir in the flour. Stir in pecans. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, spreading evenly.
2. Bake about 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Drizzle with Powdered Sugar Icing. Cut into bard.

NOTE: If you are using a pan that is 16x11, shave a couple minutes off of the baking time to prevent the bars from burning.

Powdered Sugar Icing
1 c. powdered sugar
1/4 t. vanilla
1 T. milk or orange juice

1. In a small bowl combine powdered sugar, vanilla, and 1 T. milk. Stir in additional milk, 1 t. at a time, until icing reaches drizzling consistency. This makes enough to drizzle over one 10-inch tube cake. Or in this case, the large pan of banana bars.

4 c. chopped, potatoes
2 1/4 c. water
3-4 T. butter
6 T. flour
2 1/2 c. milk
1/2 t. pepper
1 t. salt
1/2 t. onion powder
2 c. grated cheddar cheese
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 cup bacon bits or crumbled bacon strips

1. Cook potatoes until tender. Do not drain.
2. In a separate saucepan, combine the butter, flour, milk, pepper, salt, and onion powder. Stir often until thickened.
3. Add sauce to potatoes. Add cheese, corn, and bacon.

12 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breast halves or thighs
2 T. honey
2 T. vinegar
2 T. orange juice
4 t. soy sauce
1 1/2 t. cornstarch
2 T. cooking oil
4 c. cut-up vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, sweet pepper, onion, or mushrooms
2 c. hot cooked rice

1. Cut up chicken into bite-size strips; set aside. For sauce, in a small bowl stir together honey, vinegar, orange juice, soy sauce, and corn starch; set aside.
2. Pour oil int a wok or large skillet. Heat over medium-high heat. Add vegetables to wok; cook and stir for 3 to 4 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove vegetables from wok. Add chicken, cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Push chicken from center of the wok. Stir sauce; add to center of the wok. Cook and stir until thick and bubbly.
3. Return vegetables to wok. Cook and stir about 1 minute or until heated through. Serve over rice.

**Depending on how wet and covered you like your rice, you may consider doubling the sauce. I did not when I made it. It was still good but my personal preference is to have enough sauce so I can stir it in with my rice and have the rice partially coated as well.

1/4 c. rice wine vinegar
1/4 c. oil (any oil except olive oil)
2 T. sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and let sit at least 2 hours till sugar dissolves. (All day is fine)

Iceberg, green leaf, and red leaf lettuce
Wonton skins (slice thinly and brown lightly in hot oil)
Green onions, sliced
Celery, sliced
Sliced or slivered almonds, toasted
Sesame seeds
Chicken in bite-size pieces -- may use canned chicken
Break lettuce into small pieces. Add all other ingredients except wontons and toss with dressing. Just before serving, toss in wontons or serve them in separate bowl.

This salad has become my absolute favorite. My sister-in-laws and I hosted a bridal shower this past weekend where we served this salad. It is so delicious! We omitted the sesame seeds and placed both the almonds and wontons in separate bowls for guests to add if they would like. Very simple to make and will be a definite hit!

2 cups uncooked farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
1/4 c. olive or vegetable oil
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 lb asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 t. grated lemon peel
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
3 T. lemon juice
1 can (15-16oz) navy beans, rinsed and drained
Freshly ground pepper, if desired

1. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package.
2. Meanwhile, in 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook bell pepper, asparagus, lemon peel, salt, and 1/2 t. pepper in oil, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender.
3. Stir lemon juice and beans into vegetable mixture. Cook until beans are hot. Add pasta; toss. Sprinkle with pepper.

I made this to fulfill the "Vegetarian" requirement for my cooking class and much to my surprise my little girl loved it, noodles and all!

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