"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." Marthe Troly-Curtin

Monday, March 28, 2016

Banana Buttermilk Layer Cake

If you are a banana lover, this cake is for you!!!  It is flavorful and moist and no added spices so all you get is Banana!  I have not made a layer cake in years, mostly because I can never make a pretty cake!  I still can't make a pretty layer cake, the flavor takes the place of pretty..  I'm good with that,  The only thing I changed in the Cooking Classy recipe is I added 1 teaspoon of baking powder.  Link to her site is below.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (from about 4 medium bananas)*
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 9-inch round cake pans with aluminum foil, leaving a slight overhang of foil on two sides. Spray foil with cooking spray, then dust evenly with flour and shake off excess.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt for 30 seconds. Set aside. Mash bananas with 1 tsp lemon juice. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, whip together butter, 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, granulated sugar and light brown sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, occasionally scraping down sides and bottom of bowl, about 3 minutes. Stir in remaining 2 Tbsp vegetable oil. Blend in eggs one at a time, mixing until combined after each addition. Stir in vanilla and mashed bananas. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add flour mixture alternating with buttermilk in 3 separate batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing just until combined after each addition. Divide batter evenly among prepared cake pans and spread batter into an even layer.

Bake in preheated oven 45 - 50 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Allow to cool completely then frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.

*I tried this with both 1 1/2 cups and 1 3/4 cup mashed bananas and the 1 3/4 cup seemed to make the cake more dense and it didn't really need any of that extra moisture so I'd recommend that you measure the mashed bananas and use 1 1/2 cups.
Recipe Source: Cooking Classy

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Stuffed Bell Peppers

3 or 4 whole green (or red) peppers
1 cup instant rice ) not cooked
1 pound ground beef, turkey, or veal
1 medium onion, chopped
1 15 oz. tomato sauce
1/2 cup salsa (you can use diced canned tomatoes if you don't like salsa)
diced tops of the bell peppers...should be a little less than a cup.
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1 cup button mushrooms chopped
Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
Cheese of choice.
You may also add water to the mix if it seems too dry. You will need the extra moisture for the rice.

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees F.
2. "Core" the peppers (take the stems and seeds out) and scald them in boiling water for about 5 minutes, or until tender. **optional
3. On high to medium high heat, cook the meat in an ungreased, non-stick or well-seasoned skillet (the fat will keep the food from sticking).
4. When the meat is almost done, add the chopped onion, and continue cooking until the meat is done and the onion pieces are translucent (add olive oil if necessary). Add salt and pepper to taste.

5. Lower to medium heat and stir in the diced bell pepper tops, garlic, and mushrooms cooking just long enough for the veggies to start to soften. add tomato sauce and salsa. Stir until completely combined and simmering.
6. Add the uncooked rice. Stir.
7. Fill the bell peppers with the meat sauce. You will have extra sauce, leave it in the pan to surround the stuffed peppers.

8. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until the rice is fully cooked.
9. Turn off oven, uncover peppers. Add your favorite cheese to the top and put back into the hot oven to melt cheese. I used pepper jack cheese.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Rutabaga Yeast Bread

Just about everyone has had Potato Yeast Bread at least once...maybe even Sweet Potato Yeast Bread... well here is Rutabaga Yeast Bread.. It turned out sweeter than the average bread..In this batch I omitted the eggs, dough works well with or without.  Info about the Rutabaga .  I have also cubed and fried with potatoes and cabbage...The added flavor turned out amazing.

Yields: 2 loaves
Cook time: 35 minutes
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sweet butter
1 cup warm mashed Rutabaga
1/3 to 1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoon dry yeast
1/2 cup warm fresh apple sauce (unsweetened)
1/2 teaspoon honey or granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 eggs
2 teaspoon salt
6 to 7 cups unbleached white flour (may use more)
1 egg (for glaze)
In a large saucepan, bring the milk just to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the butter, mashed rutabaga, and honey; stirring vigorously with a wire whisk to blend. Let sit until it has cooled to lukewarm.
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm applesauce with the honey or sugar. Let it sit until frothing. Add the lukewarm rutabaga mixture to the yeast, along with the nutmeg, eggs, and salt; beat well.

Add 2 1/2 cups flour and beat 2 minutes with an electric mixer or at least 200 strokes by hand. Stir in the wheat germ, if using. Gradually add more flour, as much as it take to make dough that leaves the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic. Sprinkle on a little more flour if it remains insistently sticky, but expect some stickiness because of the potatoes. When it has become elastic, especially if blisters appear on the surface, you can stop kneading.

Put the dough in a buttered bowl, turn it over or brush the top with melted butter, cover with a kitchen towel and let rise until it has doubled in size.
Punch the dough down, turn it out onto the board, knead a few times to press out air bubbles, and cut in half. Cover with the towel and let rest about 10 minutes.
Grease two medium to large loaf pans. Shape the dough into loaves, put in pans, and brush the tops with melted butter. Cover and let rise again until about doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for 35 minutes. About 5 minutes before you expect them to be done, take the loaves out of the oven and brush with a egg beaten with 2 tablespoons milk or cream; return to the oven. They are done when the bottoms sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pans to cool on a wire rack. Makes 2 loaves.

I decided to make a pan of rolls with half of the dough and then make two small loaves of regular bread..(fits in my toaster)

Smoked sausage, fried potatoes, fried rutabaga and cabbage.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Apple Butter Scones

I will add step by step photos later.  The most important ingredient of the recipe is the apple butter. Use the best, it will make you happy  I had home made butter that I used.... it was awesome.  These scones were baked on a Cast Iron Grill pan.  Recipe was adapted from the Betty Crocker Apple Butter Scone Recipe.  Also, scones are a sweet biscuit and should be served warm with butter, jelly or in this case MORE apple butter.


2 1/4 cups Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup apple butter
1 teaspoon butter or margarine, melted
2 teaspoons prepared cinnamon-sugar


1 Heat oven to 425°F. In large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and brown sugar. Stir in 1/4 cup butter, the eggs, whipping cream, vanilla  and apple butter until soft dough forms.

2 On lightly floured surface, pat dough into 8-inch round, about 3/4 inch thick. Brush with 1 teaspoon butter; sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. Cut into 8 wedges. On un greased cookie sheet, place wedges 1 inch apart.

3 Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack.

Top with an Apple Butter - Powder Sugar glaze if you don't like the cinnamon sugar sprinkle or you could use both.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Fudgesicle Bars

We love Fudge Bars!  It is getting really difficult to find a GOOD premade bar in the frozen food section..  This recipe fixes that problem, a homemade pudding pop, thick rich and creamy. .  A creation from Brown Eyed Baker.   

yield: 8 fudge pops
prep time: 30 minutes
total time: 30 minutes
¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
2½ cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
8 wooden Popsicle sticks
1. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave on 50% power in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until melted and smooth.

2. Combine the melted chocolate, sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add the vanilla and butter, and stir until well combined.

3. Let the mixture cool slightly (it should still be warm but not hot to the touch), and then pour into 8 popsicle molds. Freeze for 30 minutes, and then insert sticks. Freeze completely before serving.

Note: I used the Progressive International Freezer Pop Maker.
(Recipe adapted from On a Stick! by Matt Armendariz)

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Kale Salad

Here is my version of "Killer Kale Salad" by Ree Drummond (Pioneer Women)  Like any other salad, make changes to the dressing and added goodies to make it your own.  My dressing, I added honey and orange juice.  I also added a couple crushed and finely diced garlic cloves to the mushroom while they were cooking.  I did not have goat cheese, I did have Mozzarella cheese.  Have fun making it your own.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Veggie Kale Chicken Bake

Hellman's keeps giving us a free package of Knorr Veggie Dip Mix.  We are not huge fans of "Dips", what to do?  I had chicken thighs in the freezer and fresh kale in the frig...let's give it a try,

Here's what you need.

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees

5-6 Chicken Thighs

1 cup real Mayo
1 cup sour cream
1 pkg. Knorr Veggie Dry Dip Mix
1 small onion finely diced
3/4 cup Parmesan grated cheese
1/4 cup milk if needed
2-3 cups of finely chopped fresh kale (stems removed)  Not pictured

In a medium bowl add the first six (6) items, mix completely.  Finally add the chopped kale mix until kale is completely coated.

Using a #8 Cast Iron Skillet (10")  coat the bottom of the pan with about 1/3 of the mayo mixture.  Place the chicken thighs on top of the coated pan.   Coat the top of the chicken completely with the remaining mayo mixture.  Cover the pan with lid or aluminum and place on the middle rack of your oven.   Uncover the last 15 to 20 minutes.  Bake for 1 hour or chicken tests done.  Enjoy!

For a little extra crunch you can add roughly chopped nuts when you uncover the chicken.

Kitchen Fact: The safe internal temperature for cooked chicken is 165° Fahrenheit (75° Celsius). A meat or instant-read thermometer is your best bet for determining the temperature of your chicken, and if you're cooking a whole bird, it should be inserted into the thickest part of the thigh but not touching bone.