January 22, 2018


What to do with two clearly overripe bananas that are hanging out in my kitchen?  Banana Sticky Toffee Pudding.  Even the name sounds wonderful.  This delectable little dessert tastes part banana bread and part bread pudding.  Pretty ingenious, don't you think?

It is baked in the oven (just like banana bread)  and has overripe bananas in it (just like banana bread), but has a sauce that is added after the baking process is done.  And . . . more (warm) sauce added before serving (also known as eating), which makes it like bread pudding.

Each yummy piece is served with a generous topping of unsweetened whipped cream.  I mean, this is heavenly.

I made this yesterday.  I poured the remaining sauce over the top of the remaining cake, covered the pan with aluminum foil and placed it in the refrigerator.  I also refrigerated the whipped cream.  You can then cut a piece and place it on a microwave-safe plate and microwave it for 15 to 20 seconds.  Spoon some whipped cream on top, and there you have it:  Perfection.


Banana Sticky Toffee Pudding

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
Butter for greasing pan
1/3 cup boiling water
1 cup (or less) of raisins
1/4 to 1/2 cup of bourbon (optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1-3/4 cups light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 medium-size overripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup heavy cream

Unsweetened whipped cream for serving.

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9 x 9 inch metal baking pan with butter.

2.   Soak raisins in a bowl with bourbon.  After soaking, pour any excess bourbon off.  

3.  In a small (heatproof) mixing bowl, pour the boiling over the raisins.  Stir in the baking soda.  

4.  In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and baking powder together.
In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat 1/4 cup of butter with 3/4 cup of brown sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, for 4 minutes.  Beat eggs in, one at a time.  Turn mixer on low speed and add flour mixture a little at a time until just combined.  Add in the raisin mixture and bananas and beat on low speed until just incorporated.

5.  Scrape and spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes (or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean).

4.  In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup of butter, 1/2 cup of heavy cream, and 1 cup of brown sugar.  Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat and cook until slightly thickened and golden.  (Approximately 3 minutes).

5.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack.  Using a toothpick, poke holes over the top of the cake.  Pour half of the sauce over the cake and let stand until the sauce is absorbed.  Serve warm with the remaining sauce and whipped cream.

I made my unsweetened whipped cream by pouring some heavy cream into the mixing bowl on my stand mixer and whipped it until it made whipped cream.  I stored what was left over in the refrigerator.

Soaking the raisins in bourbon is entirely optional, and this step can be skipped.


Slightly adapted from FOOD & WINE Magazine.


January 16, 2018


I just stepped outside to get the mail out of the mailbox, and it is frigid!!  We have a couple of inches of snow on top of sleet and ice.  No chance for anything to melt.  I am blessed to be inside and warm.  As I look out my kitchen window, I can see our back yard is full of Cardinals eating the sunflower seeds I spread on the ground for them yesterday along with a couple of squirrels.   We also have a couple of cats in the neighborhood that show up every day to hunt,  Molly doesn't like cats at all and enjoys chasing them off.

This truly wonderful chocolate pie is like a molten chocolate cake in a pie crust.  It has very little flour in it.  The original recipe does not call for flour, but I added 1/2 cup.  Next time, I will live dangerously and try it without the flour!  I have had this recipe in my personal recipe binder -- you know the kind where you slip a handwritten or typed card into a sleeve -- and have never made this delicious pie.  Me-oh-my I love pie!

I heated some seedless raspberry preserves in a small pan with added a bit of water and spooned it on the bottom of the plate and placed a piece of pie on top.  The absolute best combination for me with chocolate is raspberry,  If you're snowed in today, or if you're not; or if it's just too cold to brave the below zero wind-chills factors or if it's not, stay in and make this awesome recipe!

This one will not disappoint, and it is quite easy, especially if you use a refrigerated pie crust, which is exactly what I did.

If you try this recipe, I would love to hear back from you!   Tell me what you think.

(While typing this recipe, I am listening to The Black-Eyed Peas on my Echo.  Oh, how I miss them!!)


Hot Fudge Pie

3 1-ounce bittersweet chocolate squares (I used Ghirardelli)
1/2 cup of butter (1 stick)
3 tablespoons of Karo Light Syrup
3 large eggs (beaten)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1-1/2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup of flour
1 pie crust (I used a refrigerated pie crust)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Place the pie crust in a pie dish, crimping edges and piercing unbaked pie crust with a fork.

1.  In a small saucepan, slowly melt 3 1-ounce bittersweet chocolate squares and one stick of butter over low heat.

2.  In a large mixing bowl, mix 3 tablespoons Karo Light Syrup, 3 eggs (beaten), 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and 1-1/2 cups of sugar.

3.  Mix well.

4.  Add chocolate mixture.  Mix well.

5.  Pour mixture into an unbaked deep dish pie shell and bake 30 to 40 minutes.



January 11, 2018


Baking for me is like therapy.  I mean, seriously.  I LOVE to bake.  And the smell of bread or rolls baking is one of the most comforting, delicious smells of all.  Add cinnamon to it, and voila!  It smells like comfort and joy!

It has been a very cold December and January for us in the southern part of the Midwest.  December started out so mild, playing golf wasn't out of the question, but when winter decided to show her face, wow, she showed it with a frigid roar!  And tonight and tomorrow we are under a Winter Storm Warning:  ice, sleet, and snow.  Well . . .

. .  .  baking cinnamon rolls is a great way to spend a cold, snowy winter day.

 They are best while they're still warm.  This recipe makes a lot of rolls and would be perfect to share with family, friends, neighbors, or co-workers.  I put them in Ziplock bags and warmed them individually when I wanted one.

And, yes, I ate the middle roll.  



Cinnamon Rolls

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup boiling water
2 packages of yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
6 cups all-purpose flour
Butter for spreading on rolled-out dough
Sugar and cinnamon for sprinkling on top of buttered dough


1/2 stick of butter
3 to 4 cups of powdered sugar

1.   Combine butter, salt, and boiling water.  Let stand until warm.

2.  Dissolve yeast in 1 cup of lukewarm water.

3.  Beat eggs and sugar together.  Add yeast and butter mixtures.

4.  Work in flour.

6.  Cover bowl and let rise in a warm place until double in size.

7.  Roll out dough with a rolling pin into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle.

8.  Spread with soft butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.  (You can also add raisins or nuts.)

9.  Roll up and cut into one-inch slices and place in prepared pans.  Cover and let rise.

10.  Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes.

To Make Icing:

Melt butter.  Add powdered sugar and milk to desired consistency.
  Frost rolls while they are still warm.