Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Baked Chicken with Leeks

This is a great recipe that I found at Katherine's blog Smoky Mountain Cafe. I saw this several weeks back and knew I just had to make it. I keep telling myself that I am going to start cooking and baking more from my cookbooks (which I have plenty of) but it seems that when I go hopping from blog to blog, I just keep finding more fantastic recipes and want to cook them right away!! In fact, right now I have a bread baking in the oven that I also saw recently on another blog. So much for giving the cookbooks a shot!! I made this pretty much the way Katherine had it written. I don't like to play around with recipes the first time I make them. I'll do that if I feel it needs tweaking after I've cooked it once. This is really, really good. The sauce on this chicken is out of this world and I plan on making it again and again.

Katherine also sent me an award! Thank you so much Katherine. I am going to share this with all the bloggers that visit my site. I love hearing from everyone that visits here. I am so happy that I started this blog. It is more fun than I ever thought it would be.

6 bone in, skin on chicken drumsticks
5 bone in, skin on chicken thighs
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp liquid from skillet
1 cup heavy cream (I used half&half, that is what I had on hand)
1/2 cup chicken stock
3/4 cup marsala wine
2 minced cloves of garlic
1 package Knorr's Leek Soup Mix
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 F. Salt and pepper chicken pieces and brown in a large skillet over medium-high heat in one tablespoon butter and one tablespoon canola oil. As pieces brown, move them to a buttered 9x13 casserole dish, skin side up.
Once all of chicken has browned and is placed in casserole dish, remove all but one tablespoon of liquid from skillet and return skillet to medium high heat. Pour one cup of heavy cream, 1/2 cup chicken stock to skillet along with one package Knorr Leek Soup Mix. Mix with a whisk until smooth and slowly add 3/4 cup marsala wine and blend. Add two cloves of minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a low boil and remove from heat. Pour cream mixture over chicken, cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated oven for one hour.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cherry Swirl Coffee Cake

I did it! I did it! I DID IT!!! I FINALLY made something with yeast. I have been so fearful of baking anything that contained yeast, that I just kept putting it off and off until I finally decided to just do it already! It was a bit confusing for me since I have Rapid Rise yeast instead of just regular yeast, because I wasn't sure to follow the recipe for the coffee cake or the instructions on the package of the yeast. The very last thing I need when trying something new is confusion. I get very irritated to say the least. I did add the yeastby itself to the wet ingredients which as it turns out I should not have. I should have added it to the dry ingredients but it worked out anyhow. I must have done something wrong though since I was only able to get one coffee cake out of this recipe and it does state that it makes 2. I will make it again, this time with a bit more knowledge and an idea of what I am doing....all in all it came out well and was very tasty. I came across the recipe at Bunny's Warm Oven . You can also find the recipe here at Crisco Recipes. If you are not used to working with yeast this is a good beginner recipe. If I can do this, anyone can!!

1 1/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup Crisco All Vegetable Shortening
1 (1/4 oz) package active dry yeast
3 1/4 cups Pillsbury Best All Purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Crisco original non stick cooking spray
1 cup cherry preserves
1 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup sliced almonds (I omitted these)

Heat 1 1/4 cups milk, salt, granulated sugar and shortening in small saucepan just to boiling, cool to lukewarm (105 to 115 F). Stir in yeast, transfer mixture to medium bowl.
Add one cup flour to milk mixture, beat well. Add eggs and vanilla, beat well. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a thick batter; beat until smooth. Let rise, covered, in warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about one hour. Stir batter down.
Spray to 9 inch round cake pans with no stick cooking spray. Pour batter into prepared pans, let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Heat oven to 375 F. Make a swirl design on top of batter about 1/2 inch deep with a floured spoon, fill grooves with preserves, using 1/4 cup for each cake.
Bake until golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from pans, cool on wire racks until warm. Fill grooves with remaining preserves.
Mix powdered sugar with enough milk to make thin glaze, drizzle over warm coffee cakes. Sprinkle with almonds.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Curry-Crusted Bananas

This recipe comes once again courtesy of Paula Deen and was also another "husband requested" one. My husband just loves Paula Deen and he had seen her make these on the Food Network. He had been asking me if I had curry and I told him, yes I did. Then a few days later he asked if I had curry and I said I did. He wanted to be SURE I had curry and I told him "YES I DO!" Anyhow, I finally decided to give them a try and I crushed my cornflakes and melted the butter that the curry was supposed to be mixed into. Well, guess what? I'm all set to go and I have NO curry!!! Did I feel stupid.....yes! Too late to turn back at this point so I just dipped the bananas in the melted butter and cornflakes and sprinkled on some cinnamon sugar. My husband loved these but to me they were just ok. Not my thing. I'm posting them because even though I didn't care much for them, some of you may like them. My husband raved about them so that should give you an idea of how they are!!!! I will try them again, this time WITH curry! That may cut down some of the sweetness from the banana.....just make sure the bananas are firm otherwise they will become too soft while baking.

4 firm bananas, peeled
6 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 cups crushed cornflakes
Sugar, for sprinkling, optional

Preheat the oven to 450F.
Halve the bananas lengthwise, then crosswise. In a bowl, mix the butter and curry powder. Dip the bananas in the butter, coat well. Roll the bananas in the cornflakes until completely coated. Sprinkle with sugar, if desired. Place the bananas in a greased baking dish and bake for 10 minutes.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cream Cheese Pound Cake and Strawberry Coulis

I've posted quite a few pound cakes on this blog and I think this is one of my favorites. Maybe even my very favorite. It is to absolutely die for. I didn't think that any pound cake could top my favorite which is the Five Flavor Pound Cake but man this one rocks! I found it over at Smitten Kitchen. It is a really great food blog. I've made several things that I've seen there and they were all great. The strawberry coulis puts it over the top, but the cake does not really need it if you don't feel like making it. It's simple to make and I can eat it right out of the dish!!! I never even heard of coulis before. I think I will try this sometime with blueberries when they are in season.

Do any of you watch American Idol? I LOVE American Idol and have been watching it since the first season with Kelly Clarkson. If you do watch it, who are you hoping will win? My bets are on Adam.....I love his voice AND his looks!!!

I have one more question here - do any of you have a Viking stove? My husband is thinking of getting one when we move next year. If any of you out there have one, please let me know if you like it and any other tips about them. Thanks!!!

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, unsalted at room temperature
1 package (8 ounces) Philadelphia brand cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325 F. Lightly butter a 10 inch tube pan, then line the bottom with parchment paper. Or you can use a 12 cup Bundt pan (I used that) and simply butter and flour it.
Place the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl and beat with a mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar and increase the speed to high, and beat until light and airy, at least 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the vanilla, almond, then the flour and salt all at once. Beat just until incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and shake lightly to even out the top. Bake until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean, 1 1/4 hours.
Place the pan on a cake rack for 20 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan and let it cool completely. Serve at room temperature.

Strawberry Coulis (I halved the recipe below)

2 cups quartered hulled strawberries(about 12 ounces)
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Combine strawberries, water, sugar and lemon juice in blender. Puree until very smooth, then press through a fine mesh strainer to remove seeds. Cover and refrigerate until cold. Coulis can be prepared one day ahead.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Potatoes, Artichokes and Lemon

It's been a long weekend here. My son is still having problems with his allergies and asthma. Poor guy. This weather just plays havoc with his allergies. He missed school on Friday and when you are a 4th grader and miss school, you have some serious make up work!! I really wish the schools would do away with homework. These kids are in school for almost 7 hours a day. When my son comes home, he is fried! I really think that what kids need is daily reading in the evening and that's it. I'm tired of homework and school projects....oh, don't even let me get started on that!

This recipe is from Pam from For the Love of Cooking. Please check out her blog. Not only does she have great recipes, her pictures are beautiful. A wonderful food blog!! This dish is delicious and the only changes I made were using a can of drained artichokes since I could not find frozen ones and I didn't use any chicken broth. If you like artichokes as much as I do, then this is a must try recipe!! Thank you Pam, we all really enjoyed this.

3 tbsp olive oil (divided)
5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, (I used thighs and legs), trimmed of any fat
sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
15 frozen artichoke hearts, thawed (I used a can)
15 fingerling potatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
1-2 cloves garlic, sliced into thin slivers
Zest of one lemon and the juice
1 lemon sliced into thin slices
2 tbsp chicken broth
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (garnish)

Heat a pot of water until it's boiling. Slice the fingerling potatoes down the center lengthwise then add them to the boiling water to par cook for 6-7 minutes. Remove from heat and drain water. Add the garlic slivers, lemon zest, lemon slices, artichoke hearts and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Season trimmed chicken thighs with sea salt, fresh cracked pepper and dried basil to taste. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in oven proof skillet over medium high heat. Once very hot add the chicken thighs and cook for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Turn the chicken over and remove from heat. Add the potato and artichoke heart mixture to the pan. Place the skillet in the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Mix 1 tablespoon olive oil, juice of one lemon and 2 tablespoons of chicken broth in a bowl. Season with dried basil, sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.
Remove skillet from the oven and pour the lemon juice mixture over the top of everything. Let the chicken rest for several minutes before cutting.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Weekend Dog Blogging--Is There Anything Cuter...

I took this picture of Bosco and Poncho last night when they were getting comfortable on my bed. Poncho is getting ready to snuggle up close by Bosco and Bosco is already sound asleep and could care less!!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spaghetti with Parmesan and Bacon

I recently made this dish which I found in a Cooking Light cookbook and really enjoyed it. While Cooking Light is not one of my favorite sources for recipes, this one is pretty good. My husband enjoyed this but my son did not care for it. When he thinks pasta his mind goes to a heavy fettucine alfredo or vodka sauce or a thicker tomato sauce with meatballs, so this one did not quite cut it for him!!!

Tomorrow is the first day of spring and I am soooo ready for that! I just wish the weather would cooperate more! It's been cold, damp and rainy here today and I am sick of it. I'm ready for sunshine and warm weather. Enough of the cold already! I'm at the point where I am ready to move to an area where it is warm all the time. Doesn't that sound good? It does to me!

1 pound uncooked spaghetti
12 bacon slices, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup 2% reduced fat milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup frozen petite green peas, thawed
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan Cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.
While pasta cooks, cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in pan. Discard remaining drippings, set bacon aside. Add garlic to drippings in pan; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
Combine milk, salt, pepper and eggs, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add reserved cooking liquid to milk mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add pasta, milk mixture and peas to pan; cook over low heat 3 minutes or until sauce thickens. Add bacon and cheese; stir to combine.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mississipi Mud Cake

This recipe comes courtesy of Paula Deen. I love Paula's show on the Food Network but cannot imagine eating her food on a daily basis. Wow...I'd end us as big as a house!!! This is a cake my husband requested and I finally got around to making it for him. After my St. Patricks's Day post showing the chocolate cream sandwich cookies, he said I have no right to complain about how rich Paula's cooking is!!

This recipe is easy as can be. Just bake and watch it disappear in a hurry!

(By the way I plan on redoing my Blog List so if I miss any of you that are reading this and you would like to be added on, just let me know and I'll add your blog.)

2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups all purpose flour
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup cocoa
1/4 cup water
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk (I use 1/2 milk and 1 tsp vinegar or lemon juice)
2 tsps vanilla extract
1 bag miniature marshmallows

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3 tbs cocoa
6 tbs milk
1 (1 lb) box confectioners' sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13 x 9 inch baking pan.
Combine the sugar, salt and flour in a large mixing bowl. Bring the butter, oil, cocoa and 1/4 cup water to a boil in a saucepan. Add to the flour mixture.
Beat together the eggs, baking soda, buttermilk and vanilla. Add to the chocolate mixture, mix well and pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes.

While the cake is baking, make the icing by melting the butter in the cocoa and milk over low heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, then remove from the heat. Stir in the confectioners' sugar. Slowly mix in the nuts and the vanilla. Take the cake from the oven, and when it cools a bit cover it with miniature marshmallows. Pour the warm icing over the cake and the marshmallows. Cool the cake before serving.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day and a Cookie!

Have you cooked your corned beef and cabbage? I cooked mine last night and we'll be having that tonight. To be honest, it's about the only time of year we eat that but we all enjoy it. I wanted to post something for St. Patrick's Day but I had seen quite a few corned beef and cabbage recipes already posted and mine is really nothing special so when I came across these cookies I thought they would be perfect! I saw these on Annies Eats. I knew immediately I would have to make them. They just looked so good. They are really great any time of the year. I rolled these in green sugar but I am already thinking of making them again around Easter with a yellow cake mix and pink sugar. Yes, these are made from a cake mix. I know lots of people like to make their cakes and cookies from scratch but I find playing around with cake mixes to be a lot of fun and anything I ever made that added a cake mix was great! Hey, I will take all the help that I can get!!!! These are really, really good and the filling is delicious. I will use this buttercream filling to frost cupcakes sometime in the future. My husband and son also gave them a thumbs up!!! This made 12 large sandwich cookies.

1 package chocolate cake mix (I used Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge)
1 egg, at room temperature
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In bowl of stand mixer (I used a hand mixer), combine cake mix, butter and egg. Beat on low speed until just combined and all dry ingredients have been incorporated. (This took a little while). Roll the dough into 1 to 1 1/2 in balls, place on cookie sheet and press down to flatten. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes. Allow cookies to cool completely on cookie sheets.

3/4 cup butter, softened
3 cups sifted powder sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2-3 tbsp milk (I needed only one)

In the bowl of a stand mixer (I used a hand mixer)fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium high speed until smooth. Scrape down sides of the bowl and add the powdered sugar and beat until incorporated. Add vanilla extract and beat on medium speed until fully incorporated. Add 2 tablespoons of milk and beat on medium high speed until smooth. If frosting is too thick, add another tablespoon of milk and beat until incorporated.

To assemble, pair the cookies based on size on a work surface. Frost the flat side of one cookie from each pair. Place the other cookie of each pair on top of the frosting, flat side down. Lightly press down so that the frosting reaches the edges of the cookies.

To decorate, place sprinkles in a small bowl. Dip the sides of each cookie in the sprinkles, pressing down gently and rotating to cover the sides completely.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Parmesan Puff Pastry and an Award!!!

This is a a recipe from Paula Deen. This is very simple to make and very addicting. I had these along with a chicken dinner the other night and could not stop eating them. They actually taste very light (not in calories though I'm sure). I love watching Paula Deen on Food Network but sometimes I think her cooking is a bit "over the top." It's just so rich. My husband enjoys a lot of her recipes and most of the time he will ask for something she has made and I'll cook it. I prefer Ina Garen and Giada's cooking because it just doesn't seem as rich. But Paula is a hoot. Lots of fun to watch. I also love watching Guy's show "Diners, Drive Ins and Dives." Boy do some of those dishes ever look good. Those are my type of places - good homestyle type food at a good price. I love diners. There are hardly any good ones down here in Virginia although I do know of one. We had tons of them on Long Island. I'll tell you something also that is very, very true. The best diners are owned by Greek people. I can already tell when I walk into a diner if it is Greek owned simply by the desserts and menu. When a restaurant opened down in Powhatan where we also have a house (and this area is country, real country), I was recluctant to try it. I don't like wasting money on food that isn't great and most places around here do need meet my standards of good food. Anyhow, when this place opened and I saw the desserts when I walked in, I imediately asked if Greek people ran the place (call me weird). They called the cook from the kitchen, who was also the owner and lo and behold he was Greek. Needless to say the place is great. You can always trust a Greek run and owned restaurant to be great.

Anyhow enough of that. I have also been given an award by Donna of My Tasty Treasures . Thank you Donna. I am always so thrilled to receive an award. If you haven't checked out her blog, please do. Donna has some great recipes and pictures....and you will be guranteed to crack up at her stories. I look so forward to her posts. But because of her I can no longer even look at a picture of Emeril!!!!

Parmesan Puff Pastry by Paula Deen

1 (17.3-ounce) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon butter, melted

Preheat over to 400F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
On a lightly floured surface, unfold pastry sheets. Cut each sheet into 13 strips, abot 3/4 by 10 inches a piece.
In a shallow dish, combine cheese, basil and garlic powder. Brush pastry sticks with melted butter. Roll pastry in cheese mixture, lightly coating each side. Gently twist pastry sticks, and place on a prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Bob's Bumpin' Chicken Salad

This recipe comes from my husband's coworker, Bob. It is really, really good. He suggests using a rotisserie chicken which really cuts down on prep time. I have always used chicken breasts that I've poached. This way is much easier and very tasty. You can eat it by itself or have it as a sandwich. We ate it on toasted burger buns with lettuce and tomato. I plan on making this again and again. I love getting recipes from other people. I'll be making a rice dish soon from one of Bob's recipes and I hope that he plans on sharing many more with me.

2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup mayo
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 1/2 cups cooked chicken (use rotisserie chicken from store)
1 cup finely diced celery
1/3 cup slivered almonds (chop these up a bit)
12 rolls

In a small bowl combine lemon juice, mayo, salt and pepper.

Toss with chicken, celery and almonds
(I made this the night before and let the flavors blend...it was great the next day.)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Banana Cake with Milk Chocolate Frosting

I found this cake on Fresh From Cate's Kitchen. It's a good cake but I prefer the banana cake that I posted a while back. The one that you put straight into the freezer from the oven when it is done. This is still worth baking if you feel like experimenting with different banana cake recipes. Just be aware that this makes a very thick, hard frosting. Almost like having a chocolate bar on top of the cake!!!

I've been home most of the day today since my youngest son is not feeling well. Kids that have allergies and are prone to asthma do not do well when the weather suddenly changes. His asthma has gotten way better as he has gotten older...nothing like it used to be when he was really little with the constant coughing and all. He practically lived on albuterol!!! Now I already know when it's guaranteed to act up. Hopefully this weather will at least stay consistent for a while and then warm up gradually. But who knows...we could have a foot of snow again in a week and then it will feel like Florida a few days later. Crazy!!!

1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 ripe bananas
4 tbsp yogurt or sour cream
2 large eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 cups flour
1 cup milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 13 x 9 baking dish. Combiine the butter, sugar and vanilla in a stand mixer and mix well. (I used a hand held mixer). Stir in yogurt (or sour cream) and eggs, mixing well. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then add the batter, stirring until blended. Fold in chocolate chips. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Set pan on a wire rack to cool.

1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp milk (I used waaay more!)

Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave or the top of a double boiler and cool slightly. Place butter and chocolate in the bowl of a stand mixer (I used hand held) and beat 2 minutes on medium high speed. Add the powdered sugar and continue mixing. Add the milk about 1/2 tsp at a time until the frosting is a spreadable consistency.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Marbled Pound Cake

Not only do I love chocolate cake, I also have a weak spot for pound cakes. Especially ones with chocolate. This one you can't go wrong with. It's from Dorie Greenspans book "Baking - From My Home to Yours." This book has so many great recipes in it. I've made a few and each one I've made is a winner. The weather here in Virginia has been so nice the past few days. I wish it was like this year round. I would like spring weather every day. I also love having the sun out an hour longer, that means we are closer to summer...yes!

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

Center a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Put the pan on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular baking sheets stacked one on top of the other.
Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
Working with a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment or with a hand mixer, in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar on high speed until pale and fluffy, a full 5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and beater and reduce the mixer speed to medium. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 or 2 minutes after each egg goes in. As you're working, scrape down the bowl and beater often. Mix in the vanilla extract. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, mixing only until it is incorporated, don't overmix. After the batter is fully mixed, transfer half of it to another bowl and gently blend in 4 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled. Alternate large spoonfuls of the light and dark batters in the pan, then run a kitchen knife in a zigzag pattern through the batters to marble them.
Put the cake into the oven to bake, and check on it after about 45 minutes. If it's browning too quickly, cover it loosely with a foil tent. This will need to bake in the 9 x 5 pan for about 70 to 75 minutes. The cake is done when a thin knife inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Remove cake from oven, transfer the pan to a rack and let rest for 30 minutes. Run a blunt knife between the cake and the sides of the pan and turn the cake out, then turn it right side up on the rack and cool to room temperature.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Coconut, Craisin Banana Nut Bread

Just what the world of food blogging needs - another banana bread. I was not going to even post this but my husband has just been going on about how good this banana bread is and that it is the best one I ever made so I figured that if that is the case, then I better post about it!! I have to admit that I like it too. It is the basic banana bread that I have posted before but since I had craisins, coconut and nuts I wanted to use up before they went bad, I just thew them into this bread. Also had bananas that I needed to get rid of. I seem to always have rotting bananas on hand lately. My husband, who has been dieting and lost 30 pounds (that is a good thing) has been existing during the day for the most part on bananas. I know, I know....that can't be healthy. I can't imagine having 10 bananas during the day would be healthy but he checked it out with his doctor and was given the ok...you got me! He eats only bananas all day and has a normal meal at night. Like I said, he has lost 30 pounds. I told him he better watch it or he will start turning into a monkey. I'll let you all know if his arms start getting longer and he starts swinging from the ceiling lamps...He has become quite the "expert" on bananas also. I constantly hear how most stores do not carry edible bananas. Most of them are way too green or they are rotting. I don't know, I normally don't have a problem, but then my day does not exist hunting for perfectly ripened bananas!!! Anyhow, when he does find decent bananas, he buys tons of them. Hence, the rotting bananas....I'll keep you all posted on how he is doing and if I see any primate habits developing!!!

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sour milk (2tsps. lemon juice to 1/2 cup milk)
3 medium bananas
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup nuts
1/2 cup craisins
1/2 cup coconut (pls a handful to layer on top before baking)

Sift all dry ingredients together. Cream butter and sugar adn then add eggs. Mix in sifted dry ingredients alternately with the mashed bananas and sour milk. Stir in coconut, craisins and nuts Pour into a greased 9x5 loaf pan. Add additional coconut on top of mixture. Bake at 350F for 50 to 60 minutes or until done.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Crazy Cake

This is what I would call an absolutely "kick butt" cake. It is that good. I think it is the best chocolate cake I have ever made. I LOVE the frosting that's on it too. It's a burnt coconut frosting which I have never had before. And it's as simple as you can imagine to make. And would you believe this cake uses no eggs or milk? That was certainly a surprise to me. I found this on the website www.mennonitegirlscancook.blogspot.com. I've typed out the entire link since lately when I try to use my hyperlink on Blogger it doesn't take you to the site but to Blogger instead saying the site cannot be found. Hopefully I can get to the bottom of what is going on with this. But since I'm not all that "great" with computers, it may be a while!!!! Have you all had any snow lately? We had a little over 5 inches here. I do NOT like snow. My youngest loves snow because it means no school and delayed openings!!!

1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
3 tbsp heaping cocoa powder
1/2 cup oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp vinegar
1 cup cold water

Dump all ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Pour into a 8 x 8 inches greased pan and bake at 350 F for 30 - 35 minutes. Can easily be doubled for a 9 x 13 pan. (That is what I did - also doubled the frosting.)

Burnt Coconut Frosting

1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut (can be found in organic food section)
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp milk
3 Tbsp corn syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla

Place all ingredients in saucepan, bring to boil
Boil for 3 minutes.
Pour over cake and brown under broiler.

Here is also a variation for a pudding frosting which I will try in the future on this cake:

1 pkg any flavor pudding
1 pkg dream whip (don't knock this---it's good stuff!)
1 1/2 cup cold milk

Beat together well until thick and creamy. The package size was not specified for the pudding but I would use a small one for an 8 x 8 pan and a large one for a 9 x 13........

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Wonderful Award!!!

I've received an award from Donna at My Tasty Treasures. This is an Honest Scrap Award and with this award you are to list ten things about yourself.....Ok, here goes!!!

1. I LOVE to sing. I having been singing my whole life but the voice isn't that great. I think it sounds only good to me!!!! I drive my family nuts because I am always singing!!!

2. I love dogs and just about all animals. Big animal lover here.

3. I come from Long Island, and have lived in Bayonne, NJ (I know you are cracking up as you read that Donna)for seven years in the 1980's, and Richmond and Woodbridge, Virginia.

4. My favorite place in the world is Jones Beach on Long Island.

5. I have 3 children. All boys, ages 24, 21 and 9. (If you are wondering about the big age difference, it is called "second marriage!!") I also have 2 stepchildren, also boys, age 24 and 19.

6. I am an only child and hated that growing up.

7. My favorite music is by Rihanna, Shakira, Fergie and 1960's singer Lulu.

8. I am 5'8" tall and wish I was shorter because I love heels....Love shoes period!

9. My favorite things to drink are cafe mochas, coffee and I love chocolate cake.

10.I love flea markets, yard sales and thrift stores!

Hope that gives you an idea of who I am and what I enjoy. Thank you again Donna for the award! This was fun!!!