Frosted Banana Pecan Cakes

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Moist and tender cake with pecans and cream cheese frosting.
 simple bar cake that can easily be adapted just by adding your favorite nuts, chocolate and frosting.

1/2 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed banana
2 teaspoons of banana rum, or regular rum or banana extract if not available
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
Cream sugar and butter together, beating around 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in eggs and banana's along with flavoring. Mix well. Pour in to a 15x10 inch x 1 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees till brown and set around 25 minutes. Cool completely.

1/2 cup butter
1 8 oz package of cream cheese
4 cups of confectionery sugar
2 teaspoons of banana flavored extract or banana rum or regular rum
Cream together till smooth in mixing bowl. Spread over cooled bars.
Top with whole pecans. Makes 3 dozen.

Breakfast Quiche Recipe

Quiche is a French delicious egg baked into a crust with lots of cheese in it.  We love this dish.

Breakfast Quiche

1 pie crust to fit 9 inch deep dish quiche pan. Homemade or store bought crust. (You can also use phyllo dough which is a buttery flaky crust.)

Quiche Filling: 

4 eggs

1 - 1/2 cups  Swiss (preferred cheese), Parmesan, Monterrey Jack,  Mozzarella. provolone or a medley of all them.

1 cup heavy cream (or in a pinch half and half)

Mix together above ingredients.

Garnish: Parmesan cheese 

Suggestions for meat lovers if using:

Use 1/2 cup of any of these chopped meats or in combination. Italian cooked loose sausage drained, ham, crumbled fried bacon, Canadian bacon, country style sausage, pepperoni, capicola, prosciutto . Quiche however is usually meatless.

For those that like vegetable quiche:

Suggestions: 1/2 cup of any of these chopped vegetable in combination. Eggplant, spinach, broccoli, broccoli rabe cooked,  tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, roasted peppers, grated hash browns potatoes, escarole, jalapenos, or olives. Any other favorites can be added to this basic recipe.

Any combo's go together well, however, (using all vegetables you will need to squeeze out the juice of several of them before adding as this will make it too runny ) pick your choice. Add to egg mixture.

Spread dough to fit thinly in a greased assorted style pans,  IE: greased Quiche' pans with removable bottoms, or you can also use cupcake pans, even a deep flan pan works well. Roll out dough to fit into your preferred pan and  pre- bake dough for 7 minutes on 350 degrees till set not browned.

Take out and pour your quiche' mixture over the dough. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake on 400 degrees until brown...let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Note: Quiche is a savory open pastry crust with a filling made with eggs milk or cream with more than one cheese usually. You can add meat, vegetables or seafood. Serve hot or cold.

Sausage or Hotdogs Dough Appetizer Recipe

Saturday, August 29, 2009

               A fast appetizer that is a great way to please any crowd at any party gathering, game day, picnics or the kids will love them in their lunches! No matter how old you are these are still a favorite little treat!

These little bundles are an all time football day favorite. A piece of your favorite sausage, wrapped around a blanket of dough actually now a vintage recipe. Meat and dough,  hence the name pigs in a blanket.

1 package of your favorite cooked Italian sausage or suggestions, beef hogs,
kielbasa, bratwurst, cheddar hotdogs, smoked sausage.
1 pound of pizza dough, frozen or homemade or you can use refrigerator dough like crescent rolls
cut in half you will need two tubes for a package of hotdogs.
Mustard of choice, dijon, spicy or tomato Sauce and if you like,
Honey flavored or plain barbecue sauce.
Spices: cayenne pepper, parsley, garlic powder, black pepper
grating cheese
extra virgin olive oil

Take a tablespoon of dough roll out to a 1/4 inch thick. Put a dab of your favorite sauce on the dough I usually use( hot mustard for hotdogs or tomato sauce for Italian sausage, or barbecue for cheddar brats).

Add a piece of the sausage that is cut about 1/2 inch thick, roll up. Sprinkle the top with grated cheese, garlic powder drizzle olive oil over the top a little black pepper and cayenne pepper and parsley. Place on a cookie sheet that has been greased, with side seam down. Bake at 400 degrees until brown.

Serve warm with more mustard of choice. So, easy and sure to please those fans!



Friday, August 28, 2009

Sometimes you just may be in the mood to try something different. This is a great choice. Re fried beans, ground sirloin, melted cheddar and sour cream......I think you'll like my version.


1 can re fried beans
1 envelope of chili seasoning
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 pounds of ground sirloin
1 package of flour tortilla's
16 0z. of sharp cheddar shredded
lettuce, chopped tomatoes, olives chopped, sour cream and shredded sharp cheddar
Taco Sauce

Mix meat, water, seasoning and saute in a pan with a little non stick spray, until brown. Add beans and mix well.
Put two tablespoons or more of filling in flour tortilla, roll up and place on a greased cookie sheet.
Bake around 15 minutes till toasted. Broil for around 5 minutes to brown tops.

Garnish with chopped lettuce, tomatoes, olives, sour cream, shredded sharp cheddar and taco sauce.
* If you want the cheese melted, put in a glass bowl and microwave shredded cheddar with 2 tablespoons of milk stir until melted around 30 seconds, pour over tortilla.

Homemade Chicken Marsala Pot Pie

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Homemade Pot Pie, you can use any veggie you like and make a delicious healthy meal. The Marsala is a sweet wine that gives this a smooth delicious flavor.

Shown is chicken, potato, mushrooms,broccoli and carrots.

2 chicken breasts saute'd in olive oil until lightly chop into square pieces.

chicken gravy either homemade or canned

1 large potato

1/2 cup of crinkle carrots

1/4 cup of vegetable of choice broccoli, corn, mushrooms, pea's, green beans and/or medley, work well.

Microwave raw veggies in a glass bowl for 10 minutes till tender.

1 top and bottom pie crust

Line pie plate with crust brush with butter. Layer chicken, veggies, and gravy. Fold over crust on top. Dot with more butter. Bake at 350 until browned.

Home made gravy
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp paprika, black pepper, parsley
1/2 cup Marsala wine and 1/2 cup chicken broth ( 1 cup chicken broth if you don't want the marsala.)
mix till smooth and cook till thickened .
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt Mix
2/3 cups shortening cut in
4 1/2 tbsp ice water

Mix till dough forms a ball...Roll out on floured board two 9 inch crust and line pie plate.
Brush bottom of crust with 1 tbsp melted butter.

Linguine with Fish and White Wine

A fresh taste from the Sea. You pick your favorites, scallops, shrimp, crab, lobster, calamari,white fish, clams, mussels, the list goes on and on. Any combo or all will due. A delicious sauce with pasta.

Fresh fish, white wine, and a taste of the sea....

1 pound shrimp cleaned
1 pound scallops
2 large pieces of white fish cut up ( haddock, cod or tilapia do well) or any kind you would like
optional 1 cup chunk crab meat, you also can use lobster


1 can chicken broth low sodium

3 cloves of fresh garlic sliced like sliced almonds saute's in olive oil until golden.

1/2 tsp garlic powder

2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped

1/2 cup olive oil

1 stick of butter melted

1/2 cup of white wine ( recommend Chablis)

3 tbsp of wondra flour mixed with 1/4 cup of chicken broth from can.

Fresh basil for garnish

Melt 1/2 stick of butter add with flour in a 3 quart saucepan heat throughly till smooth. Add broth, spices, oil and remaining butter. Make sure the fish is throughly cleaned and dry. Bring the sauce to a boil. Put the fish in. Cook about 15 minutes, add wine cook 5 more minutes. Sauce will be thin.

Pour over the 1 pound of linguine** that has been seasoned with grated cheese and saute' garlic slices, sprinkle more parsley and fresh basil. Pour fish over linguine.

pound of linguine cooked seperately... in boiling salted water.

Shrimp and Scallop Margarita Pizza

If you're a seafood lover this shrimp and scallop margarita pizza is fabulous!


 Reminds me of a garlic pizza with seafood on it in flavor. The tomatoes accent the flavors with richness. Then with garlic shrimp and scallop and basil perfection!  


Shrimp with tails on for presentation or off if you don't care!
1 pizza shell store bought  or homemade
Bay or sea scallops small
Plum tomato slices
fresh bay leaf
dried oregano to taste
fresh garlic chopped fine.
fresh parsley
grating cheese
mozzarella cheese sliced thick
olive oil

Rise dough to around 1/2 thick, prebake... bake for 10 minutes 430 degree hot oven.

Grill, broil or pan fry the shrimp and scallops Add around 1 tablespoon each in a small bowl: melted butter, white wine, 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook for 2 minutes on each side set aside to drain or until the shrimp turns pink in color. 

On top of the pizza dough, place slices of mozzarella,  then add  thinly sliced tomatoes, top with fresh garlic, spices, adding salt, pepper to taste and grating cheese. Drizzle olive oil all over the top. Bake on 430 until tomatoes are soft, around 10 to 15 minutes.. Take out add the seafood, top with basil, and fresh parsley.

Insalata Caprese Recipe

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Caprese and Sweet Cheese Peppers go famously together! The Authentic style is tomatoes, fresh buffalo milk mozzarella and fresh Italian basil leaves. You can add whatever you like to your dish but the real way is just tomato, cheese and basil.

Insalata Caprese (salad in the style of Capri) is a simple salad from the Italian region of Campania, made of sliced fresh buffalo mozzarella,fresh plum tomatoes and basil. It is seasoned with saltblack pepper, and olive oil.

Insalata Caprese

 Authentic Recipe

fresh buffalo mozzarella
extra virgin good grade olive oil
garlic cloves
salt, pepper
fresh basil leaves, fresh parsley and oregano if you like it
balsamic vinegar
sliced plum tomatoes

Arrange mozzarella around the plate, drizzle with olive oil, spices and serve with crusty Italian bread.

Optional salad:  make this the same way except add the sweet cherry peppers to the middle and alternate with cucumber slices.

Italian Lemon Peppered Garlic Chicken

Monday, August 24, 2009

This chicken comes out very moist and tender, always perfect..and delicious.

Italian Lemon Peppered Garlic Chicken

1 chicken (3 1/2 - 4 pounds)

2 fresh lemons

1/2 teaspoon of oregano

1/2 teaspoon of parsley

pinch of thyme and rosemary

1 teaspoon garlic powder

3 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon pepper divided

4 tablespoons butter softened

7 cloves garlic

1/2 cup white wine Chablis is what I recommend

In a small bowl, grate the zest from 1 lemon and mix it with 2 tsp. of salt and the pepper. Add the lemon zest mixture to the butter and stir with a fork until the all the ingredients are evenly mixed. Set aside.Salt the cavity of the chicken with the remaining 1 tsp. of salt. Cut the lemons into wedges and place them in the cavity of the chicken. Peel the cloves of garlic and place 5 of them in the cavity of the chicken along with the lemons. Tie the legs tightly together, if you are using a rotisserie you will need to make sure legs are tied tightly. Apply the lemon and butter mixture to the chicken. Rub approximately 1/2 of the butter under the skin of the chicken, spreading it out evenly. After rubbing the butter under the skin, place the remaining 2 garlic cloves in different places under the skin. Use remaining lemon butter mixture on the chicken. Set in roasting pan, pour 1/2 cup of white wine on the bottom of the pan. Bake at 350 tented with aluminum foil for 2 hours or until browned, if wine evaporates, add 1/4 cup water extra to keep moist. For rotisserie omit wine, cook to manufacturers instructions on the grill or free standing unit. Garnish with more lemon and fresh Italian basil.

Citrus Muffins Filled With Lemon Pudding Recipe

Some of us love the pudding while its still hot...mmm
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup shortening

1 large egg
1/4 cup milk
2 oranges peeled and finely chopped (mandarin canned oranges work and taste great)

1 package of lemon pudding already prepared, do this first and cool.
Prepared whipped cream.

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Sift together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, zest and spice. Cut in shortening until the mixture is crumbly. Add egg and milk; mix just until moistened. The batter will be thick. Fold in peeled, chopped oranges. Spoon into greased muffin tins about 3/4 full.

Bake in 350*F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the muffins are done.

Combine 1/4 cup brown sugar and cinnamon.
Dip muffins with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Cut the center of the muffin out and fill with a prepared packaged lemon pudding. Put tops back on and garnish with whipped cream.

World's Best Chocolate Cake

Thursday, August 20, 2009
This is a rich chocolate cake, the center is filled with heavy cream whipped together adding 2 tablespoon of unsweet cocoa powder and 3 tablespoons of sugar...Chocolate curls for garnish. For variations, this cake is wonderful with sliced strawberries added to the middle layer.

This is a rich chocolate cake, the center is filled with heavy cream whipped together adding 2 tablespoon of unsweet cocoa powder and 3 tablespoons of sugar...Chocolate curls for garnish. For variations, this cake is wonderful with sliced strawberries added to the middle layer.

Cake Batter

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup boiling water

CHOCOLATE FROSTING(recipe to follow)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round non stick pans or a bundt cake pan 13x9 or cupcakes.

Stir together sugars, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl.
Add the liquids except for boiling water, beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).
Pour batter into pans of choice . Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Completely cool, frosting below.

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar or more to add extra if using to decorate in parchment bag
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating till consistency is easy to spread. Add small amount additional heavy cream and confectionery sugar to desired thickness, if needed. Stir in extracts. decorate with almonds, chocolate curls, sprinkle or just plain.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

These can be a little tricky, make sure you follow the recipe amounts exact. Use good porcelin bakeware.

Some tips:
Brush with butter and sprinkle the white ramekins with sugar before baking.
Place the ramekins in a water bath(roasting pan with water 1/4 inch deep, set them in this while baking.

Don't overfill as they will double in size. The secret of a good souffle is ribboning the egg yolks before the whites.


3 tbsp. butter

1 tbsp. flour

1 cup very cold milk

3 tbsp. sugar

4 tbsp. Grand Marnier

1/4 tsp of vanilla extract

4 eggs,( extra large )separated

Pinch of salt

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease ramekin souffle dish with butter then sprinkle sugar on the bottom, set aside.

Heat butter in large saucepan, careful not to turn brown. As soon as it begins to foam, pour in very cold milk all at the same time. Beat continuously with a hand whisk until it comes to a boil. Simmer a few seconds, remove from heat. Add to the saucepan, sugar, liquor, and egg yolks, stirring constantly. Beat egg whites with salt until stiff peaks form. Fold them delicately into the egg yolk mixture. Pour into souffle dish 3/4 full (as they will double in size). Smooth over the top with a smooth knife. Bake in oven about 30 minutes. Serve immediately, dusted with confectionery sugar and whipped cream.

Grandma's Italian Style Green Bean Recipe

Grandma's Green Beans were the best. We had these all through the summer months freshly picked. I remember picking beans for more than 7 hours a day, blanching them, freezing them for the winter months. I miss those days alot.

2 lbs cleaned green fresh picked beans (or store bought)
extra virgin olive oil
3 finely minced garlic cloves
red pepper flakes
salt and black pepper
fresh or dried oregano, basil and parsley

Rinse and snip the ends of both sides of the beans. Boil them in salt water to your desired doneness, we like them a little on the soft side. They are wonderful roasted in the oven as well on 350 degrees until wilted with a drizzle of olive oil. I usually put them on parchment paper.

Drain the cooked beans. Place in a bowl. Sprinkle with fresh or dried herbs, around 1/2 teaspoon of each if dried. Just a little red pepper to taste along with salt and pepper. Drizzle olive oil over the top around 1/4 cup. Mix and serve cold or hot.

Prosciutto e Melone (Italian Ham and Melon)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Italian Prosciutto and Cantaloupe Appetizer

An Italian favorite appetizer, easy to make and a wonderful party appetizer.

1 cantaloupe - seeded and cut into 12 wedges
12 thin slices prosciutto

Remove the outer skin of the cantaloupe; wrap each piece of cantaloupe with a slice of the Italian ham. Secure with toothpicks..........Serve cold.

Crepes for Dessert Recipe

1 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 cups milk

Put in food processor until smooth....
Heat 6 or 8 inch pan sprayed with non cooking spray non stick pan, on stove top...
Test batter, put a drop in pan and if it starts to fast cook its ready.
Keep spraying in between crepes.

Pour with a measuring cup 1/4 cup of crepe batter in pan, swirl pan all around to coat bottom. Cook on one side 1 minute, take a non stick spatula flip and cook other side around 30 seconds. Stack in between wax paper each one until all crepes are made with batter.

Filling Suggestions:

Caramel ice cream topping
Chocolate ice cream topping
Miniature chocolate chips
Assorted chopped nuts of choice
Maraschino or fresh cherries with stems
Whipped cream
Vanilla pudding
Chocolate pudding
Lemon pudding
Coconut pudding
Cream cheese whipped
Confectionery sugar to dust tops.

Assembly, lay out crepe, fill with pudding of choice or cream cheese, add fruit of choice, top with confectioners sugar or whipped cream, garnish with nuts and cherries glaze with toppings of choice.

For dinner crepes use same recipe.... using only one tablespoon of sugar.

In a saucepan melt 4 tablespoons of butter, 1 cup heavy cream, add 2 cups of your choice.. crab meat, chicken or salmon, chopped. Add 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 3 tablespoon of white wine. Cook till slightly thickened. Spoon into crepe roll with sliced of tomato, peppers as a garnish, spoon more creamed sauce over top with shredded mozzarella cheese, bake until melted.

Another alternative:
Chicken and Mushroom Crepes
3/4 c. milk
1 c. chicken broth
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 c. butter
2 c. cut up cooked chicken
1 1/2 c. sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup marsala wine
Mix milk, chicken broth, wine, flour, salt, pepper and butter in 2 quart saucepan. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil and stir one minute. Stir in chicken, mushroom. Bake in oven to 350 degrees. Spread about 1/4 cup chicken mixture down center of each crepe; roll up. Place seam side down in baking pan. Pour remaining chicken mixture over crepes. Bake 15 to 20 minutes.

Kahlua Chocolate Chip Pie with Caramel & Whipped Cream

Thursday, August 6, 2009

One 9 inch unbaked pie shell
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter melted
2 tablespoons Kahlua
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup nuts chopped (walnuts, pecans of hazelnuts)
**Caramel prepared ice cream topping

Preheat oven at 350 and bake pie shell for 10 minutes. Take out of oven.

While that's cooking. Beat eggs and sugar till light. Add flour butter and Kahlua.
Stir in chips and nuts. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.
When cooled, slice in pie wedges, line plate with Caramel, top with whipped cream and drizzle more Caramel topping on pie slice.

Pecan Peach Blueberry Glazed Shortcakes

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Pecan Peach Blueberry Glazed Shortcakes

This is a combo of fresh peaches, blueberry shortcake
and a peach preserve glaze.
Whipped cream and pecan garnish.

1 egg

3 tab sugar

2 tab shortening

1 cup sour cream

Beat ingredients above together till light...

Add1 1/3 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

Stir all ingredients till moistened.

Fold in 1/2 cup blueberries.Fill muffin cups, bake till golden brown on 400 degrees 20 to 25 minutes. Makes 12.

3 fresh peaches peeled sliced long slices

whipped cream fresh or cool whip

1/2 cup peach preserves

1/2 cup whole pecans

Assembly, place muffin on plate.. Arrange with sliced peaches around muffin and on top, heat peach preserves in microwave for 10 seconds, pour over muffin. Top with whipped cream and garnish with pecans.


Strawberry Amaretto Glazed Pie

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Strawberry Amaretto Glazed Pie

1 (8 inch) baked pie shell recipe below or store bought prebaked

2 pts. strawberries
3/4 c. water
3 tbsp. cornstarch
1 c. sugar
1 tsp Amaretto
Red food coloring

Whipped cream or Cool Whip

Simmer berries, water, cornstarch, and sugar until clear. Add Amaretto and red coloring; cool. Pour over berries.

Almond Crust prebake before assembly:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup salted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg slightly beaten
1/2 cup crushed almonds
Mix all together to form a dough refrigerate for 30 minutes.Place in pie plates (makes two pie shells), pokes holes on the bottoms bake at 350 untill brown, set aside till cooled. Place cooked almond crust on the bottom on a glass deep dish pie plate, drizzle with 3 tablespoons of Amaretto. Spoon whipped cream next and make a well in the center. Pile on the strawberries that have been mixed with glaze.Carefully place not to overload. Refrigerate until ready to serve.