Friday, April 24, 2015

Moist Pineapple Banana Bread

I'm back this time around with a great banana bread.  I keep taking mini vacations from blogging but not mini vacations from baking.  I found this on pinterest and the original recipe can be found here.  It's a good one and if you are a banana bread nut like I am you should give it a try.  The pineapple adds a nice flavor.  I left out the coconut since I didn't have any but will definitely use it next time.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup  mashed banana (I used 2 medium ones)
1/3 cup drained, crushed pineapple
1/2 shredded coconut
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar til light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time.  Beat until well combined.  Stir in banana, pineapple and coconut.  Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl and add to wet ingredients.  Stir until just combined.  Grease an 8 x 4 in pan.  Bake in preheated 350 degree F oven for 65 - 70 minutes.  Placed on wire rack for 10 minutes and remove from pan.  

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Sour Cream Steusel Coffee Cake

Well I think I am just about completely snowed out.  Really, we've had enough of this stuff already.  I just keep thinking spring, spring and spring!  Hopefully today's snow is the last of the season. The only good thing to come out of it is that I have been able to catch up on watching Sisters Wives and Mob Wives.  I am looking forward to warm weather and vow to never, ever complain that it is too hot outside. No way!  The only one that seems to enjoy it in this house is the dog and that's because he's still basically a puppy and it is something new.  He'll catch on.....

This is a really simple but delicious coffee cake. I think when I make this again I will add a layer of apples to it.  It's a basic keeper recipe that you can play with.  It's pretty foolproof so enjoy if you decide to make this. I found the original recipe here.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt


1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsps cinnamon
1/2 chopped pecans (I omitted these)

In a large bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, sour cream and vanilla.  Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture and beat until combined.  Pour half the batter in a 13 x 9 in baking pan.

In a small bowl combine topping ingredients;  sprinkle half of topping ingredients over batter.  Add remaining batter and topping.  Bake at 325 degrees F for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Creamy Lemon One Pot Pasta

This is a take off on another one pot pasta dish that I made a while back.  I found this over here and knew I just had to try it.  I love anything with lemon - not just cakes. Pasta and lemon just go soooo hand in hand! The bonus with this dish is there is minimal cleanup because you cook it all in one pot!  These types of dishes are also very interchangeable....I used half in half instead of heavy cream which the original recipe called for. I used extra wine (hey, that never hurt anyone) and water since I used a few ounces more pasta.   Get the idea....this is not like baking, which I do love.  Baking does not forgive.  You make a mistake...and the cake falls flat!!  Haha!!! True....

We are having some major snow here the past week and I, for one am sick of it.  As I was walking my dog in the awful weather I just thought to myself - 3 months from now will be the end of May!  We'll be way into spring and warm weather. That is the thought I am holding onto.  In the meantime I have been baking away and enjoying every moment in the kitchen!  It's the best place this time of year!

Recipe for Creamy Lemon One Pot Pasta

12 oz. dried pasta
2 cups thinly sliced onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of red pepper flakes
2 sprigs of fresh basil
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 1/2 cups of water (or more if using more pasta)
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
1/2 cup white wine (or more according to taste)
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 cup heavy cream (half and half will also work)
1/2 cup (or more) of Parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

In large pasta pot combine all ingredients except last 3.  Bring to a boil on medium high heat and using large fork or tongs rearrange pasta quite often.  Cook about 10 minutes or more until desired consistency and until most of liquid has been absorbed but not all.  I used 16 oz of fettuccine and cooked this approximately 15 minutes.  I do not like al dente pasta...I prefer it softer.

Remove from heat and add your heavy cream (or half and half), parmesan cheese and lemon juice.  Combine thoroughly and enjoy!


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Cranberry Banana Muffins (vegan)

Happy New Year everyone!  Hope you all had a wonderful holiday.  I spent part of the holidays with family in Virginia and part of it on Long Island.  I also spent 9 hours on I-95 driving to NY and plan on flying next time.  Haven't flown in decades (seriously) but it's now or never to get over this fear.  Traffic will definitely help you conquer a fear of flying!!!

I had a bag of cranberries that I just had to do something with so when I spotted this recipe I knew I would give it a try.   It's also vegan, so that is just perfect for me!!!  These are really delicious and very moist.  The cranberries lend just enough tartness to the muffin. Perfect - really...they are THAT good.  Here is where I found the recipe.

1 1/2 cups white sugar, divided
1 cup water
2 cups fresh cranberries
3 ripe bananas
1/4 cup vegetable oil (you can also use melted coconut oil)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 360 degrees F.
Pour 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water into a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Add the cranberries and simmer until they start to pop - about 5-7 minutes.  Remove pan from stove top and drain the liquid and set cranberries aside.
In a medium bowl combine bananas, oil and brown sugar and 1/2 cup remaining white sugar.  Beat together with a mixer.
In a separate, larger bowl, combine both flours, baking soda and salt.
Pour the banana mixture

into the dry ingredients and beat with a mixer until smooth.  Do not overmix.  A minute or a little less will be enough.  Gently fold in the cranberries.
Put cupcake liners in muffin pan and fill each liner 2/3 with batter.  Bake for approximately 25 minutes.  Mine were done in about 23 minutes.  Use toothpick to check when they are done.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Cranberry Christmas Cake

This is an absolutely awesome cake.  I'm attracted to recipes that are simple. Not too many crazy ingredients or dozens of steps either. This cake is all of that and more.  I was going to post another recipe before this one but I figured with the holidays coming up this would be better suited for now.  It is perfect for breakfast or dessert.  If you are going to try one new recipe this season, let it be this one.  It will not disappoint!  Here is where I originally found the recipe, via Pinterest!

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
12 oz of fresh cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  With a mixer, beat eggs with sugar until slightly thickened and light in color, about 5 to 7 minutes.  The mixture should almost double in size.  The eggs work as your leavening in this recipe, so do not skip this step.  This mixture should form a ribbon when you lift the beaters out of the bowl. Add the butter and vanilla and beat for 2 more minutes.  Stir in the flour until just combined.  Add the cranberries and stir to mix throughout.

Spread batter into buttered 9 x 13 pan.  Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until very lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Let cool completely before cutting into small slices.

The original recipe does not call for a drizzle or light glaze but I think it would be perfect for this cake and may try that the next time I make it.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sour Cream Pound Cake - Made Festive!

I made this pound cake last week to bring to a Christmas party. I love to make pound cakes because I've found that when people find out a homemade pound cake is on a dessert table they go right for it.  This one was easy and delicious.  My only dilemma was that it look soooo plain. Nothing special looking at all. Just Plain Jane!  So I quickly filled the center with cranberries and made a simple glaze using powder sugar, almond milk and a tiny splash of lemon juice.  Perfect!  Keep this in mind when you need to bring a holiday dessert to a party this year. These cakes go a long way!!!  Recipe is from Tates Bake Shop Cookbook.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cake flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3 cups sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
6 large eggs
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 10-inch Bundt pan with a nonstick spray.
In a small bowl, sift the flours, salt and baking powder together.  Set it aside.
Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer till it's light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla and mix it in.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing and scraping down the bowl after each addition.  Add the sour cream and mix it in.
Add the dry ingredients.  Mix all till they are combined.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan.
Bake it for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Blueberry Orange Streusel Cake

I came across this recipe after just purchasing a bunch a big, juicy blueberries from Trader Joe's.  I didn't want a recipe that would use all of them up at one time since I wanted to also enjoy snacking on them and I love to have them in cereal too!  This recipe fit the bill since it only used 1 cup...and it's a good cake too.  Don't leave out the orange rind really boosts up the flavor!

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
finely grated rind of 1/2 orange
1/2 cup ground almonds (I omitted this)
1 generous cup of blueberries


1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 Tbsp sugar
finely grated rind of 1/2 orange

Preheat over to 325 degree F.  Grease a 9 in springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

For the topping, put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with a fork to make a crumbly mixture.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and add the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract.   Beat well until the mixture is smooth, then add the orange rind, ground almonds (if using), and half the blueberries.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, smooth level with a spatula and sprinkle with the remaining blueberries.  Spread the crumble topping evenly over the top, covering completely.

Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, or until risen, firm and golden brown.  Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove the sides of the pan and finish cooling on a wire rack.