Easy Peasy Homemade Banana Cake

So many times I hear people tell me that they can’t bake or decorate cakes. I wanted to create a recipe so easy, everyone can make this cake and be a rockstar. This is one moist and flavorful banana cake and that was my goal. Mix up the ingredients, cool and spread on the frosting. Easy Peasy.

Look at all of the yummy bananas in this recipe.

Ingredients:

4 large ripe freckled bananas, mashed

2 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

3 eggs, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9 x 13 pan with butter or your favorite baking spray.

In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients, flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.

In your mixing bowl, combine sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Mix in eggs one at a time. Add in vanilla. Add dry ingredients and alternate with buttermilk until all is incorporated together. Mix in bananas. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour until cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely and frost.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 stick of butter, room temperature

1 8 ounce block of cream cheese

1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla

1 pinch of salt

1 pound of powdered sugar

Blend cream cheese and butter together. Add vanilla and combine. Mix in powdered sugar until combined. Frost cake. Cover and store in refrigerator. Set out about 30 minutes before serving. Easy Peasy. Enjoy!

*About buttermilk. Buy it. You cannot make buttermilk with lemon juice or vinegar. You only make sour milk and that my friends is not buttermilk. Buttermilk is the best thing about how delicious this cake is.

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Cheesy Garlic Bread

The key to good garlic bread is good bread. I always use sourdough. With that being said, use your favorite bread, but do not use thin slice.

1 loaf of your favorite bread cut regular to thick
1 container of Lawry Garlic Spread
Parmesan shreds
Mozzarella cheese
Smoky paprika or regular paprika

Preheat broiler. Spread each slice of bread generously with Lawry Garlic Spread. Sprinkle on Parmesan cheese. Put mozzarella directly on top of Parmesan. Sprinkle paprika on top of cheese. Place under the broiler until cheese is melted and bubbly. Enjoy!

I am not a paid spokesperson for Lawrys. I grew up eating garlic bread like this as a child. My parents used the powdered Parmesan. I use real cheese. You should be able to find Lawrys in the spice section of your supermarket. It does not come cold but needs to be refrigerated after opening.

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Georgia’s Cranberry Chicken

I have enjoyed this recipe twice at my friend Georgia’s house. She makes it with chicken thighs, I made this recipe with chicken breasts. I have had several variations of this recipe, one being made with apricot preserves instead of cranberry sauce. I have also had this with orange marmalade instead of cranberry sauce. Both of the Jelly versions were sweet. The cranberry has a tang and is less sweet. That’s what I prefer.

The cast of characters

Cranberry Sauce Mixture

Ingredients:

1 can of cranberry sauce, whole berry or jellied cranberry works, I used whole berry

1 envelope of Lipton’s Onion Soup Mix

1 8 ounce bottle of French or Russian dressing, Deluxe French is what I used and prefer

2 pounds of chicken thighs or breasts

Right before I covered the chicken and placed it in the oven.

In a large bowl, whisk cranberry sauce, onion soup mix and dressing together. Place chicken in a 9 x 9 pan. You might want to use a 13 x 9 pan if you use chicken thighs. Pour the cranberry mixture over the chicken and cover tightly with foil. Place in refrigerator for 24 hours.

Out of the oven.

Bake covered at 250 degrees for 2 hours or until sauce is hot and bubbly. Using 3 large chicken breasts, I baked mine for 2 hours 45 minutes. If I had pounded them flat, or flatter, they would have cooked faster. I served my chicken with brown rice and veggies. I will make mashed potatoes the next time. The sauce is delicious, not too sweet and has a great tang. The sauce is excellent on the chicken and mashed potatoes. I poured some over my rice. This is a delicious family recipe and perfect if you are entertaining company. Enjoy!

White Chicken Chili

To be honest, I had never made white chicken chili and I had never eaten any. This was my first rodeo! I think I read 50,000 white chicken chili recipes before I came up with my own. I must say that I really enjoyed it both ways. The original crockpot version was more like a broth, tonight I thickened it with half and half and cornstarch. Both ways were delicious.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast

2 teaspoons of cumin

2 teaspoons oregano

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon chili powder

3 cans white chili beans, great northern, I used Bush’s

2 small cans of chopped green chilies

1 32 ounce carton of chicken broth

I onion diced

1 bell pepper, diced, I bought a package of tri colored peppers already chopped

Corn chips, crushed, optional

Sour cream, optional

Lime juice, optional

Shredded Mexican Cheese, optional

Cook on high for 4 hours, shred chicken and return to crockpot.

Thicker Chili

1 cup of half and half

2 – 4 Tablespoons of corn starch

Blend together and add to the chili.

For thicker, creamier chili, add 2 – 4 Tablespoons in one cup of half and half.

Confetti Macaroni Salad

I call this confetti because there is yellow, green, red and orange ingredients in the salad. The dressing is unique because it’s one part mayonnaise and one part sour cream. Please feel free to add hard boiled eggs and/or olives to this salad if that is your preference. This will brighten up your summer BBQ’s and family gatherings.

Ingredients:

16 Oz elbow macaroni

4 ounces chopped pimentos, drained

1 yellow pepper, chopped

1 1/2 cups celery, chopped

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1 3/4 cups of grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise**

1 1/2 cups sour cream**

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook macaroni to package directions. Remember to make your pasta water salty like the sea. Drain cooked pasta and cool it off with cold water. Add pimentos, yellow pepper, celery, onion and grated cheese. Stir to combine all ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix mayonnaise and sour cream together. Season dressing (mayonnaise and sour cream) with salt and pepper.

** Everyone likes a different amount of dressing on salads. If you feel like this is not enough, it’s one part mayonnaise and one part sour cream.

Blueberry Hill Cobbler

You will definitely find your thrill with this Blueberry Hill Cobbler. So fruity and yummy. This was a family favorite when I served it. It disappeared very quickly as seconds were requested by two people. We love it served hot with vanilla ice cream.

Ingredients:

4 quarts of blueberries

1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup sugar, divided

4 heaping Tablespoons of cornstarch

1 1/2 cups of flour

2 teaspoons of baking powder

6 Tablespoons of cold butter, cut into pieces

3/4 cups plus 4 Tablespoons of heavy whipping cream

Vanilla Ice Cream, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 9 pan with nonstick spray. Wash the blueberries in a colander. Combine 1/2 cup sugar with the cornstarch. Gently add that to the berries and combine. Place blueberries in your prepared pan. In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Add butter to the flour mixture and cut in the butter using a pastry blender, or with two knives or grate frozen butter. It all works. The flour should resemble fine crumbs. Pour in whipping cream and mix to form dough. The dough will be very sticky. Drop by teaspoonfuls on top of the berries. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Bake for 50 minutes or until top is brown and the blueberries are bubbling. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy.

Southern Macaroni and Cheese

My Dad found a recipe for Macaroni and Cheese in Southern Living Magazine. He asked me if I would make it for him. This is very creamy and cheesy, just the way I love macaroni and cheese. I realized at the grocery store I was going to have to modify this recipe because they did not have the tools and equipment to make it just like the original recipe. For example, no way to grate cheese and my grocery store did not sell a grater. So here is my version, a modified version.

Ingredients:

1 box (16 ounces) large elbow macaroni remember to make your water salty like the sea

6 Tablespoons of butter

1/2 cup of grated sweet onion

2 teaspoons of dry mustard

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper or more for heat

6 Tablespoons of All Purpose Flour

3 1/2 cups whole milk

1 3/4 heavy cream

2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce

16 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, divided

8 ounces mozzarella cheese, divided

Preheat heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare pasta al dente according to directions on the box. Spray 13 x 9 pan with nonstick spray.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, mustard, nutmeg, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and flour. Cook 2 minutes until golden. Slowly whisk in milk and cream. Bring to a boil and whisk occasionally. Reduce heat to medium low and whisk occasionally until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in Worcestershire Sauce. Add 1 1/2 cup of sharp cheddar cheese and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Stir until melted. Add in pasta and combine. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cover the top with remaining cheeses. Place baking rack about 6 inches away from broiler. Put macaroni and cheese under broiler for about 2 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Let sit about 10 minutes after it’s removed from the broiler. Yields 10 generous servings. I paired my macaroni and cheese with a Caesar Salad and garlic bread. Enjoy!

Recipe inspired by Southern Living Magazine.