April 25, 2016

Banana Split Cake

This banana split cake was inspired by a recipe I read in the The Cake Mix Bible cookbook that I bought years ago and has basically set on my cookbook bookcase untouched.  I have actually never made one single recipe from this book, but I was looking for inspiration and came across a recipe in this cookbook for banana split cupcakes.

This cake starts with a cake mix with the addition of mashed ripe bananas and the standard changes I make to a cake mix.

I like to use cake mixes because they are foolproof.  They work every, single time.  The only thing you can mess up is if you over bake the cake, and I watch it very closely so this won't happen.

This cake is very moist and not overpowering with the flavor of the bananas.  

It is frosted with a marshmallow creme butter cream frosting and sprinkled with sprinkles because, well, they're pretty!

Banana Split Cake

(This is a layer cake using 6-inch cake pans.)

1 package of white cake mix
1 cup milk
1 cup mashed ripe bananas 
3 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup of butter, room temperature
Semisweet chocolate chips
maraschino cherries, drained and rinsed and patted dry

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Grease and flour cake pans.

2.  Combine cake mix, milk, mashed bananas, eggs, and butter.  Beat at low speed with an electric mixer until moistened.  Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.  

3.  Divide batter evenly between the three cake pans.  Bake for 28 minutes, checking frequently towards the end so as not to over bake the cakes.  Remove to wire racks and cool completely.

Marshmallow Creme Butter Cream Frosting

1/2 cup of butter, softened 
6.5 ounces marshmallow creme
(I used half of a 13-ounce container)
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
4 tablespoons milk
Pinch of salt

1.  Whip butter and marshmallow creme together.
2.  Add sifted powdered sugar in one cup at a time, mixing between additions.
3.  Add four tablespoons of milk in one tablespoon at a time, mixing between additions.
4.  Add in a pinch of salt.

Assembling and Decorating the Cake

1.  Remove cakes from cake pans.  Cut off dome from cake to make them as flat and even as possible.  Place the first layer on a paper doily on a cake plate.  Frost the top of the first layer.  Add the next layer, frost, and the last layer and then frost the entire cake.

2.  Using a decorating tip and decorating bag, decorate the edges of the top of cake.  Place cherries around the edge of the top of the cake.  Add sprinkles to top and sides.

3.  After melting a small amount of semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave oven, drizzle chocolate across the top of the cake.

Serve to family and friends!!


April 18, 2016

Praline Bars

Butter, sugar, pecan pieces, and chocolate chips on a graham cracker base.  Oh, how sweet it is!

I lined a jelly roll pan with graham crackers and sprinkled the pecan pieces over the top of the graham cracker layer.  

The butter and sugar are melted in a sauce pan on top of the stove and cooked for three minutes and then poured over the top of the graham crackers and pecan pieces.

Bake at 325 degrees F for 12 minutes.  Remove from oven and spread chocolate chips on top so they melt slightly.

Break into pieces.

These are very rich, and it is hard to eat just one!!  

Praline Bars

1/3 box Honey Graham Crackers
1 cup butter (no substitutes)
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup broken pecans or pecan pieces
1 package of semi-sweet chocolate chips

1.  Line the bottom of a 10 x 15 1/2 inch jelly roll pan with graham crackers.  

2.  Bring butter and sugar to a boil and boil for three minutes, stirring constantly.

3.  Pour evenly over crackers and add pecans.

4.  Bake at 325 degrees F for approximately 12 minutes.

5.  Add 1 package of semi-sweet chocolate chips to crackers after baking by sprinkling on top while crackers are hot.

You don't have to add the chocolate chips.  (These bars are delicious with or without the chocolate.)

Serve to family and friends!!


April 12, 2016

Earthquake Cake

Do you like chocolate cake and cream cheese?  Then this is the cake for you.  The original recipe calls for coconut.  But I don't like coconut; so I left it out.  

It is definitely best when served warm; so, if you want the very best piece, cut your piece right out of the center of the cake after you've let it cool slightly.  Creamy, chocolate goodness.

If you have a piece later, then warm it in the microwave oven for around 10 seconds.  (You know your microwave oven better than I do).  

This is the first time I have made this cake.  I liked it . . . but I'm not sure I liked it enough to make it again.

Just being honest here.

If you would like to give this cake a try (because you may really, really like it) here's how I did it:

Earthquake Cake

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
Spray a 9x13-inch cake pan with a non-stick spray

You will need:

1 chocolate cake mix
1 cup of milk
1/3 cup of butter, softened
3 eggs (room temperature)
1 8-ounce cream cheese
1/2 cup of butter
4 cups of powdered sugar, sifted

The method:

1.  Pour one 12-ounce package of chocolate chips in the bottom of the prepared cake pan.

2.  Make the chocolate cake mix according to the directions on the cake mix box.  I substituted milk for water and butter for the oil, but you don't have to do this.

3.  Pour the cake batter over the chocolate chips.

4.  Place the cream cheese and butter (which I cut into cubes) into a  medium-sized pan over low heat.  Stir constantly until it is melted and mixed together.  Remove from heat.  

5.  Stir in the powdered sugar.

6.  Spoon powdered sugar mixture on top of cake batter and spread over top of batter.

7.  Bake the cake for 40 minutes.

Serve to family and friends!!


April 9, 2016

Fried Potatoes with Onions - For Two

I don't fry foods often, but you wouldn't know it from this post and my last one.  I usually opt for a more healthy version by cutting the potatoes into cubes, adding a little olive oil and seasonings and baking them in the oven.  

Tasty -- and better for me and Cudjoe.

We were grilling pork chops for supper one evening last week, and I had some fresh asparagus for a side.  Oftentimes, that's just enough, but I wanted potatoes, and not broiled in the oven but fried.

So easy to do.  There's really no "recipe",  more of a method.

I peeled and sliced two Idaho potatoes.  I heated some canola oil in a non-stick skillet and added in the potatoes, salt and pepper, and let the potatoes cook for approximately five minutes.  While they were cooking, I chopped up half of an onion and added it in with the potatoes.  I let the potatoes cook until they were golden brown.  I didn't really watch the clock for an exact time, but I would guess approximately 15 minutes.

These were delicious!  And just enough for two.

April 7, 2016

A Cheeseburger and a Fried Egg

I follow a couple of people on Instagram who have posted pictures of Cheeseburgers with Fried Eggs.   And then my #1 Son recently told me he had eaten a cheeseburger with a fried egg on it for lunch at a local restaurant, and it was great!

So . . . this week we had a cheeseburger with a fried egg for supper.

Cudjoe proclaimed it to be the best cheeseburger he had eaten in a long time.  I am taking that as a compliment!

I am playing around with different settings on my camera, and I took these pictures very hurriedly because we were sitting down for supper, and I didn't want our supper to get cold.  

I am really, really considering taking a photography class to learn how to use my DSLR at a local junior college.

All but one of these pictures are taken with the close-up setting on my DSLR and one of them on the manual setting.  The sun was very low in the sky; so I had very little natural light.  

There's really no recipe involved here.  I fried a ground chuck patty in a frying pan with a little butter added.  Why not, right?  I melted a slice of good, old American cheese on top of the burger.  Again you might ask why American cheese?  Because that's what Cudjoe likes.

I used brioche buns, and after I fried the burgers and removed them from the frying pan, I toasted the buns just a little bit in the pan.

I placed a piece of Romaine lettuce on the bottom bun, then, the cheeseburger, a slice of onion, a slice of tomato, and then the fried egg.  (By the way, I sautéed the onions for my cheeseburger because I do not like raw onions).

Cudjoe fried the eggs for me because I don't do a pretty job of frying eggs.  Probably because I rarely, almost never eat fried eggs. I like mine scrambled or poached, thank you very much.  And he does the egg poaching as well around our house because, well, he's better at it!

I added Miracle Whip to his burger because that's what he likes and mustard to mine and added the bun to the top.

And as they say in Hollywood, that's a wrap!