Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Banana Cake with Caramel Frosting

I AM BACK! I haven't posted much in a while and I am back and you will start seeing a lot more of me. :)
This recipe came from my friend Wendi. The frosting is the best and I could (and do) eat it with nothing but a spoon. I made this for our memorial day festivities and then left it home, so now I get to enjoy it all by myself. This is the only cake I know of that it is actually better to frost it when it is still a little warm... it just spreads better.

Banana Cake:
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp soda
1/2 cup shortning
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 ripe bananas
1/4 cup buttermilk

preheat oven to 350 degrees. sift together flour and soda and set aside. mix shortning and sugar together until fluffy. then add eggs. mix together bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla and add them to the mixture. Finally add the flour mixture and the walnuts if desired. Grease and flour a cookie sheet. place batter in the pan and bake for 30-35 minutes

Caramel Frosting:
1/2 cup butter
1 Cup dark brown sugar
1/3 Cup cream
1 T vanilla
1 lb powdered sugar

In a saucepan, melt the butter and add the dark brown sugar and cream until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add the vanilla. Transfer to a mixer bowl and mix on low speed gradually adding the powdered sugar. You may need some extra cream to add to the frosting so it is the right consistency. Spread it on the cake when it is about halfway cool. Then try not to "accidentally" leave it home from the family picnic so you have to eat it all yourself.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tomato Soup

The original recipe for this soup came from my wonderful friend Wendi (who I am hoping will soon be adding her awesome recipes to the list on here) but I made a few small changes. This is such a great soup and it has been a frequent here at our house lately. My kids love it. I can't wait until our tomatoes are on this fall so I can use fresh from our garden to make it.

Tomato Soup:
3 cans Italian stewed tomatoes
2 medium carrots
1/2 of a medium onion
2-3 stalks celery
1 clove garlic
1 red pepper
6 cups chicken broth
bay leaf
olive oil
1/2 cup cream

preheat oven to 400 degrees. drain the tomatoes reserving the liquid. Place the tomatoes on a cookie sheet and coat with 1/4 cup olive oil and place in the oven 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile in your soup pot melt 2 Tbsp butter and 2 Tbsp and saute onion, celery, red pepper and garlic. Once onions are translucent add chicken broth, carrot and bay leaf and simmer until carrots are tender. about 15 minute. Then remove bay leaf, add reserved tomato juices and tomatoes. Using immersion blender (or transfer to a blender if you don't have a stick blender) blend until it is smooth and has no lumps. Add the cream and serve.

note: the original recipe calls for fresh basil which is a GREAT addition, I found when I use the Italian stewed tomatoes that I don't need the basil so I don't stress if I don't have any. But when you use fresh tomatoes or plain diced canned tomatoes, it really needs some other flavor. I have found if I don't have the fresh basil a few tablespoons of prepared pesto is really yummy.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Creamy Pesto Pasta Sauce

I love pesto..... oh how I love it. I buy it in bulk at Sam's and put it on everything from sandwiches to pasta sauce. As soon as my big jar from Sam's is gone I am going to make some. I'll post that when I do. In the meantime, enjoy a little pesto pasta. This is basically just your average ordinary alfredo sauce with pesto in it. A good way to change up an old favorite.

1 cube butter (yes I said cube)
1 pint cream
8 oz shredded parmesan cheese and for the love of all that's holy, not that nasty grated stuff!
1 clove of garlic VERY finely chopped. I would even approve to use of a garlic press for this sauce. I hate garlic presses.
6 Tbsp cream cheese
1/4 cup prepared pesto of choice

melt your butter and add garlic. Let the garlic saute just until it is fragrant. Add cream and when it is warm add the cream cheese and the parmesan. cook on low-ish heat until it is smooth. It may take a little bit. Be patient. After the sauce is smooth, add the prepared pesto stir well and serve over your favorite pasta with chicken (prepared however you prefer, baked if it makes you feel better about ingesting so many calories in the sauce, it will still require an extra mile on the treadmill, but hey) Note that it will thicken more as you take it off the heat. I could eat it every day. I better not.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Chocolate Crepes

These crepes weren't super sweet or very chocolatey... but after they were loaded with nutella, bananas and/or strawberries. They were wonderful!

Chocolate Crepes:

1 cup flour
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
5 Tbsp butter melted
1/2 cup cream
non-stick spray for the pan

combine dry ingredients and mix together well. in another bowl whisk eggs and milk together. Slowly stir into the dry ingredients. pour in a slow and steady stream to help prevent lumps. whisk in butter then cream. Make sure it is smooth. Strain if you need to. It is best if you can refrigerate the batter for a few hours before using, but who has that much patience? Cook on medium heat using a medium frying pan. Pour a small amount (less than 1/4 cup batter) into the center of the pan and swirl it around to make a thin round layer. cook and then flip. I liked mine a little over cooked. with a tiny bit of crisp around the edges, but that's not really how they are supposed to be. Good thing crepes are forgiving. We used nutella and bananas and some yummy homemade cream on ours. also some strawberry sauce. Use any of your favorite ingredients... the sky is the limit. This recipe made enough batter for us to have crepes for Sunday brunch and then again Monday.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Key lime Truffles

Oh so good....

12 ounces white chocolate
1/2 cup cream
1/4 cup butter
4 Tbsp key lime juice

12 ounces white dipping chocolate.

put white chocolate and key lime juice in a bowl. In a small saucepan heat the cream and butter to boiling. Pour cream over the white chocolate and mix until smooth. Put it in the fridge to let it cool (about 2 hours) stirring occasionally.
Once ganache is completely cooled use your hands to roll into about 1 inch balls. if the ganache is still a little soft you can add a little powdered sugar. Then put into the freezer. It is super soft so if you don't completely freeze it, it is super hard to dip.
Once the balls are completely frozen melt your white chocolate and dip them. Easy and really yummy.


This is adapted from my awesome sister-in-law Jaimee's Cheesecake recipe. Super yummy....

First you need to wrap your 9 inch springform pan in a double layer of heavy foil. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1 1/2 cups shortbread cookies. I like to use pecan sandies.
1/4 cup melted butter

Put shortbread cookies in the food processor and mix until fine. then add the melted butter and pulse to just combine. (before I had my wonderful food processor I smashed them in a ziploc bag with a rolling pin and stirred butter in with a fork)
then bake at 350 for 9-11 minutes

1 1/2 cups sugar
4 pkg cream cheese
4 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
pinch of salt

The key to this recipe is to have all of the ingredients (eggs and cream cheese) for the filling at room temperature or it will never be smooth. While the crust is baking, whip the cream cheese until light and fluffy then slowly pour the sugar in a slow and steady stream. Once that is incorporated add eggs one at a time mixing throughly between eggs. Then add vanilla.

Remove the crust from oven, reduce the temperature to 325 and pour the filling into the foil wrapped springform. Bring water to a boil on the stovetop and set your roaster in the oven. Place the springform into the roaster and ladle the boiling water into the roaster around the springform to about halfway up the pan.
Bake at 325 for 60-65 minutes
Once it is baked turn off oven, open door and allow to sit for about an hour. Let stand in the firdge overnight. Or at least 6 hours.

The cheesecake is wonderful all by itself and you can top it with anything. I usually make a Dulce de Leche Sour cream layer and put it on top after a few hours.

For my dulce I take a can of sweetened condensed milk and put it in a pressure cooker covered with water and cook for about 25 minutes once it is up to pressure. That stuff is amazing and I can eat it with a spoon and be perfectly happy. But then I take 1 can of the dulce and mix it with about 12 ounces of sour cream. That, on top of the cheesecake is best enjoyed while you are locked away in a quiet room with a good book.
I am salivating now....... :)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce

I didn't get a picture of this one but I wanted to write this down so I don't forget what I did. The kids actually ate squash this way because it looked like cheese sauce. Way to fool them... I did it over spaghetti noodles and with baked chicken breast.

1/2 of a baked butternut squash
1/2 of an onion diced
2 tbsp butter
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup half and half
Salt and Pepper to taste

I baked my squash on about 375 for 30-40 minutes until it was fork tender. I just quartered it, brushed it with olive oil and salt and pepper. You can also buy it already baked and pureed in the freezer section of the grocery store.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan and saute onions on medium heat until they are transparent 5-7 minutes. Add the chopped cloves of garlic and saute for an additional minute. Add flour to that mixture and stir until smooth then slowly add broth and half and half stirring so it doesn't go lumpy. Take the skin off off the squash and add the squash to the sauce until it is all hot. Then put the mixture into my food processor and blend until smooth. You can use a blender or even a stick blender depending on what you have. After it is smooth add salt and pepper to taste (I think squash needs lots of salt) and enjoy!