Banana Coffee Cake

I had a couple of very ripe bananas on my counter and couldn’t decide what to do with them.  I saw a coffee cake recipe and just had to give this a try.  I made a few changes and reduced the size of the recipe and came up with this amazing recipe.  So moist like a crumb cake and the banana flavor was fantastic.  I had a bite a couple of hours out of the oven and enjoyed it for breakfast as well!  This recipe is definitely a keeper.

Banana Coffee Cake

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 4 o.z. cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 medium bananas
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 Tbs brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Cream together butter, cream cheese, and sugar.

Slice bananas and stir in mashing up a bit.

Add vanilla and egg and stir together. Combine flour, baking soda, and baking powder; stir into banana mixture.  In separate bowl combine brown sugar, pecans, and cinnamon.  Stir half of this into banana mixture.

In greased 9 inch pie pan pour batter, top with remaining pecan mixture.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 – 30 minutes or until browned and toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Strawberries and Bananas ~ Two Fruit Salad

I don’t know what it is about the combination but I love strawberries and bananas together.  I am not always good at eating my fruit so I try to find ways to mix it up a bit.  This is another easy recipe but it is definitely a good one to keep in mind when looking for a quick dessert or even adding some fruit with breakfast.

Strawberries and Bananas

  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs sugar

In medium bowl combine sliced banana, strawberries, lemon juice, and sugar.  Allow to chill in fridge for about 30 minutes or longer for sugar to dissolve and strawberries to get juicy.  The lemon juice with help keep the banana from browning; you also may want to stir again after it has chilled for a bit just to make sure bananas are coated well.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Homemade Ice Cream

I wanted to buy some ice cream the other day but then I started reading the labels; there are so many unpronounceable items in those containers even the ones that claim to be natural. I went home without any ice cream. For some reason today I picked up a container of ice cream salt and realized I should just make my own.  I remembered there was an ice cream maker in the basement that probably had been setting there for I would guess at least 20 years and likely was never used.  Well, turned out it was a yogurt maker so it must have been from the 90’s! Says it makes great ice cream too so I am ready to go.

Homemade Ice Cream

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • seeds from 2 inch piece of vanilla bean or 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cream

Combine egg yolks, sugar, and salt.

In double boiler add egg mixture to 2 cups milk.  Begin heating over medium heat.

Heat until it begins to thicken stirring frequently.  It took about 20 minutes to reach desired thickness; mixture will lightly coat a spoon when ready. Chill until ready to continue.

Meanwhile get the ice cream machine ready. This one worked relatively simply; no need for crushed ice just regular ice cubes and salt ~ follow directions for your maker before proceeding.

Once mixture has cooled add cream and vanilla.

Add to ice cream chamber of maker and begin churning as directed.

It took about 25 minutes for my first batch of ice cream to be ready.

This particular maker turned itself off when ready; simply follow directions for yours.

Freeze for at least an hour before serving.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Peanut Butter Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

It was time for another great cookie experiment.  I liked the flavor of these but they are perhaps a little moist; it is hot and a bit humid today so it may just be the weather.  One thing I do like is to use butter in my cookies since I have it on hand; I’ve found over the years though that shortening makes for a little more stable cookie so feel free to substitute if you prefer.  I also debated on the egg ~ 1 or 2; maybe a second egg would have added more stability too.  In any case the cookies are delicious so give them a try if you like!

Peanut Butter Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips ~ I used semi-sweet
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits

Cream together butter, peanut butter, and sugars.

Add vanilla and egg.  Stir in flour and baking soda. Mix in chips and toffee bits.

Drop by spoonfuls onto baking sheet.  I ended up with about 2 1/2 dozen. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

Allow to cool on baking sheet for a minute or two before transferring to cooling rack.  You will want to use non-stick pans if possible as the toffee bits get a little sticky.   I transferred some of the cookies right away and as you can see by the photo below they started to sink into the cooling rack so try to allow a minute or so for them to cool before moving but don’t leave too long or the toffee will stick.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

 

Strawberries and Cream with Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar

Just a quick post today.  A couple of weeks ago we sampled some wonderful balsamic vinegar.  I picked out a couple to bring home and one was a Dark  Chocolate Balsamic; sounded so strange but tasted oh so wonderful.  The vinegar was so thick; almost as if it was a simple reduction already.  The flavor made my mouth long for strawberries and today I finally had the chance to put the two together.  It was delicious.

Strawberries and Cream with Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar

  • 1 pound fresh strawberries
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1 Tbs dark chocolate balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/4 – 1/3  cup sugar

Wash, trim, and slice strawberries.  Add sugar and balsamic vinegar and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving

In mixer combine cream and sugar.  Beat together over medium high to high-speed until medium stiff peak form about 2 – 3 minutes.  Serve whipped cream with strawberries and drizzle extra sauce over top.  If you prefer this would be wonderful on ice cream too!

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Homemade Peach Cobbler

I decided it was time for another dessert recipe.  I couldn’t think of anything easier than this cobbler recipe.  It’s an adaptation of my Aunt Barb’s recipe from the family cookbook.  I remember making this when we were kids so who know who is the original creator; of course I can never leave well enough alone so this is yet another cobbler recipe for the family archives.

You will want to drain your peaches if using frozen or canned; I did not and it came out a bit saucy. I think it will still be good; besides if I find it’s too saucy I will just serve it with some ice cream and drizzle the extra sauce over the top.

Homemade Peach Cobbler

  • 1 pint peaches ~ or favorite fruit; can be canned, frozen, or fresh ~ for today’s recipe I used frozen sweetened peaches
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

Pour peaches into 1 – 1 1/2 quart casserole or small baking dish.

Combine flour, 1/4 cup sugar and baking powder in small bowl.  Add cream and stir together.

Batter will be thick a bit softer than a biscuit dough but not sticky; pat out into piece large enough to cover peaches.  I was able to pick up the dough and pat between my hands or use a piece of waxed paper to spread or roll out batter before placing on top.

Mix together remaining sugar and water.

Pour over top and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Blackberry Lime Cheesecake

I did put part of my blackberry sauce to work today; the cheesecake came out perfectly.  I cheated a bit and used pre-made mini graham cracker crusts, but delicious none the less!  I made 6 little cheesecakes and still have plenty of blackberry sauce to spare.  If you don’t want to make the sauce the cheesecake recipe could be adapted for pie filling, jam, or freezer preserves.

Blackberry Lime Cheesecake

  • 6 little pre-made graham cracker crusts
  • 1 package cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp fresh lime zest
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 egg
  • blackberry sauce, jam, or pie filling

Combine cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, lime zest, and lime juice.  Once combined mix in egg.  Place about 1 teaspoon blackberry sauce in the bottom of each prepared crust.

Divide cheesecake batter among each and add an addition 1/2 tsp sauce to the top of each.  Using toothpick swirl jam in random pattern.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until just set; cool on wire rack.

Refrigerate for at least and hour before serving.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Fresh Blackberry Sauce

Just a quick post today.  I picked up a pint of blackberries at the farmers market and couldn’t quite figure out what direction to take them.  I considered a cobbler but then I decided to give a sauce a try; I thickened it to a little softer than jelly I would say.  I’ve just made the sauce so far, but I picked up the stuff I needed to make some kind of cheesecake dessert so we will see where it goes from here.

Fresh Blackberry Sauce

  • 2 cups fresh blackberries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbs cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water

Combine berries, 1/2 cup water, and sugar in sauce pan.  Bring to boil over medium high heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and press through metal sieve to remove seeds; some seeds may pass through so use a cheese cloth to remove them all of the seeds if desired.  Return strained berry juice to pan and bring to boil.  Mix cornstarch and cold water;  whisk into berry juice and stir until thickened.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Homemade Toffee Bites

I was flipping though a Betty Crocker cookie cookbook the other day and thought I’d adapt a toffee bar recipe to make a sweet treat for Charles and me.  I scaled down a bar cookie recipe and made a few adjustments to create these toffee bites.  Mini muffin liners worked perfectly to make the bite sized treats.

The most interesting thing I did find in this book though was the emergency substitutions chart.  The “best substitution ever” was there; to substitute for one whole egg use two egg yolks …. now I hate to point out the obvious but if I haven’t an egg to begin with where on earth will I get the yolks in an “emergency”!

Homemade Toffee Bites

  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips ~ more or less if desired
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans ~ or nuts of choice; as with chocolate chips use more or less if desired

Mix together brown sugar, butter, vanilla, and egg yolk. Stir in flour.  Divide batter into about 2 dozen mini muffin paper liners; I just placed them on a baking sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Immediately after removing from oven divide chocolate chips between crusts; sprinkle nuts on top and press down gently with back of a spoon to firm in place.  Allow to cool on wire rack and refrigerate if desired.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Homemade Whipped Cream with a bit of Lemon and Fresh Strawberries

This was my first time making whipped cream.  I think I did pretty well; I should have followed a couple of tips I’ve seen since.  Having a chilled bowl is a great idea; especially if humid and watch it closely especially the last few seconds.  I think I over beat mine just a smidge but it was very delicious none-the-less. I liked the touch the lemon zest added; thinking of adding a squeeze of lemon juice too next time….

Homemade Whipped Cream with a bit of Lemon

  • 1 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

Whip cream, sugar, and lemon zest over medium high-speed for about 2 – 3 minutes until soft peaks form.  Whip another 30 seconds to stiffen up a bit not quite forming stiff peaks but a little beyond soft. Serve right away or refrigerate until ready to use.  Delicious with fresh sugared strawberries.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly