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Banana Pops

It wouldn't be summer without these yummy classic cool-off treats.

What you'll need

  • ripe bananas
    semisweet chocolate chips
    canola oil
    shredded coconut
    chopped nuts

How to make it

  1. To make a bunch of these tempting treats, cut 4 firm, ripe bananas in half and insert a Popsicle stick halfway into each one.
  2. Set the pops on a waxed-paper-lined baking sheet and place them in the freezer for 1 hour.
  3. In a small saucepan over very low heat, stir together 1 1/2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons of canola oil until melted.
  4. Place toppings, such as shredded coconut, chopped nuts, and sprinkles, in individual bowls.
  5. One at a time, remove the pops from the freezer and, holding them over the saucepan, spoon the chocolate over them. Roll each chocolate-covered banana in a topping, then return it to the freezer to harden for 1 to 2 hours before serving. Serves 8.

Basil Chicken

From the kitchen of Christine Derr, Marion, Iowa

What you'll need

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 29-oz. can chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped or 2 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 16-oz. box pasta (penne, bow tie or ziti)
  • Parmesan or Romano cheese (optional)

How to make it

  1. Coat chicken pieces in flour and pepper.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken, onion and garlic. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink and onion is clear.
  3. Add chopped tomatoes and basil. Reduce heat to simmer. Cover pan, and let simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. While sauce is simmering, prepare pasta according to package directions in a large saucepan.
  5. To serve, pour sauce over pasta. Garnish with Parmesan or Romano cheese, if desired.
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