Saturday, February 25, 2006

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese and Caramel Frosting

OK, peeps, here is the cake. It is a pain in my bunsies to make, but it is also un-freakin-believeable.

Cake: Butter and flour two parchment-covered 9" cake pans.

Sift together and set aside: 2 3/4 C flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt

In another bowl, mix the following together:
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 c) butter
1 2/3 C sugar

Add in 4 eggs, one at a time

With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture.

In another bowl, mash 3 really really ripe bananas, 1/4 C sour cream, 1 t vanilla

Fold banana mixture into main bowl

Divide mixture into two cake pans, bake at 350 for 35 minutes.

Cool completely.

Now for the tricky, messy part:

In a skillet, sprinkle 1/4 c sugar and heat on high, stirring or shaking occasionally, until carmelized. Add 3 T butter and stir constantly until butter is melted. Turn heat to medium and add three ripe bananas that have been sliced lenghtwise. Cook about 2 minutes on each side.

To assemble the cake:

One layer
Carmelized bananas
Other layer

Frost with any cream cheese frosting that you like, although I would make it instead of buy it, just because the store-bought ones tend to be very sweet, and this is a sweet cake already. Whatever.

You then want to pour caramel sauce all over the cake, and all over each piece that you cut. I made the sauce for this one but, in retrospect, would just use caramel ice cream topping next time because making caramel sauce chaps my hide.

Keep refrigerated while you are not eating this.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Creamy Lemon Chicken Soup

Creamy Lemon Chicken Soup
Submitted by: Pam Anderson

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes Ready In: 30 Minutes
Yields: 4 servings

"Spinach, chicken and lemon juice make this hearty Greek-style soup a one pot meal."

2 cups cooked shredded chicken
1 1/2 quarts chicken broth
3/4 cup orzo pasta (and I added some rice)
1/2 (10 ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry (I used fresh baby spinach)
3 eggs
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

1. Bring chicken and broth to a boil in a small soup kettle or Dutch oven over medium-high. Add orzo; cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add spinach, reduce the heat and simmer 8 to 10 minutes.
2. While soup simmers, beat eggs and lemon juice until frothy in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk several ladles full of the hot soup into the eggs, being careful not to curdle the eggs.
3. Turn off the soup kettle; return egg and soup mixture to the pot and stir well. Season with salt and pepper and serve at once.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2005 Printed from 2/19/2006

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Sauteed Shrimp and Vermicelli

Quick recipe. I include the nutrition info because I got this recipe from a Weight Watchers magazine. But really, who only eats one cup of pasta at a time.

Sauteed Shrimp and Vermicelli

2 tablespoons butter or stick margarine
1 (0.7-ounce) package dry Italian dressing mix
3/4 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp
4 cups hot cooked vermicelli (about 8 ounces uncooked pasta), cooked without salt or fat
Note: I add parsley and top with Parmesan cheese.

Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat; stir in dressing mix. Add shrimp; sauté 5 minutes or until shrimp are done. Combine shrimp mixture and pasta; toss well. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup). Cal 320, Fat 7.4g, Carb 41.7, Sodium 834mg.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Chocolate Cherry Bars

These are super yummy for Valentine's...or any holiday...or anytime because they are so yummy to eat.

Chocolate Cherry Bars

1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine
3/4 cup Hershey's Cocoa or Hershey's Dutch Processed Cocoa
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups plus 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, divided
1/3 cup chopped almonds
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup Hershey's Mini Kisses Semi-Sweet or Milk Chocolate Baking Pieces
(*I used 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips)
1 cup chopped maraschino cherries, drained

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
2. Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat; stir in cocoa until smooth. Remove from heat. Add sugar, 3 eggs, 1 1/2 cups flour, and almonds; mix well. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, whisk together remaining 1 egg, remaining 1/3 cup flour, sweetened condensed milk and almond extract. Pour over baked layer; sprinkle mini kisses and cherries over top. Return to oven.
4. Bake additional 20 to 25 minutes or until set and edges are golden brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Refrigerate until cold, 6 hours or overnight. Cut into bars. Cover; refrigerate leftover bars.
Makes about 48 bars.