Dessert

Banana Cheesecake

banana-pudding-cheesecake-3-768x1152I continue to be on a mission to find as many banana desserts as I can that only use ripened bananas. I always have bananas in the house and want to build a repertoire of recipes that I can use them in. There is nothing worse to me than artificial banana flavor so I promise that any recipe you find on my site will steer far clear. I was really impressed with this cheesecake recipe. I had never seen a banana cheesecake recipe before and this one turned out perfectly. I served it with strawberry and blueberry compote. Recipe and photo courtesy of bakingbeauty.net.

  • 3 cups crushed vanilla wafers
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 4 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 4 8 ounce blocks of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 powdered sugar

For the crust, preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch cake or springform pan. Wrap the outsides with aluminum foil. Set aside. Place vanilla wafers into a plastic bag or food processor. Process/crush until you have fine crumbs. In a medium bowl, combine wafter crumbs and melted butter. Press vanilla wafer mixture evenly into pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool completely.

For the filling, mash bananas with a for until smooth in a small sauce pan. Stir in brown sugar and lemon juice. Cook for 3-5 minutes until sugar is dissolved and bananas are cooked. Remove from heat. Stir in 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Let cool completely. In a large bowl mix cream cheese til light and fluffy. Cream in sugar until fully combined, scraping the bowl as necessary. Stir in eggs and vanilla. Stir in banana mixture until just combined. Evenly pour filling into prepared crust. Place cake pan into a roasting pan. Fill pan around halfway full with hot water. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45-60 minutes or until the center is firm. Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.

For the topping, in a large chilled bowl, whip cream with a chilled whisk. Whisk until thickened. Stir in powdered sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Whip until soft peaks form. Garnish with whipped cream, sliced banana, and vanilla wafers if desired. Store in the refrigerator.

Dessert

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

unnamedThis banana cake was the best combination of banana bread and cake. It rose beautifully, was light and fluffy, but still hearty like banana bread. Topped with cream cheese frosting it is a sure-fire crowd pleaser. Recipe courtesy of yellowblissroad.com.

  • 3 ripe bananas mashed
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice divided
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda*
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Cream cheese frosting

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease and flour and 9×13 pan. Measure 1 1/2 cups of milk, and add 1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice. In a separate bowl, mix the mashed bananas with the other tablespoon of lemon juice and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the 2/3 cup vegetable oil with the granulated and brown sugar. Then add the eggs one at a time, stirring well after each egg. Add the teaspoon of vanilla and mix well. Add 1 cup of the flour along with the 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda to the large mixing bowl. Mix well. Add 1/2 cup of the milk/lemon juice mixture and blend. Add another cup of flour and mix. Then another 1/2 cup of milk and mix. Repeat with the remaining one cup of flour and 1/2 cup of milk. Fold in the bananas, and pour into your prepared 9×13 pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs (Mine was finished in 50 minutes). Let the cake cool completely, and then frost with the Cream Cheese Frosting.

*If baking at altitude, reduce baking soda to 1 teaspoon and add an extra 1/4 cup of flour. You could also sub buttermilk for the sour milk mixture.

 

How To

How To: Tzatziki Sauce

tzatziki-sauce-with-pita.jpg.839x0_q71_crop-scaleI have come to love making my own sauces for things, whether it’s ranch or barbeque and this homemade Tzatziki sauce is no exception. It was perfect with the gyros and I will definitely be making it again. One note I did have is the amount of sauce made by the recipe will far outstrip the amount of meat in the recipe as written so next time I will halve the recipe. Courtesy of 365daysofcrockpot.com.

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup diced or shredded cucumber, seeded
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill or 2 tablespoon fresh dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and pepper

Cream together all of the ingredients until well combined. Serve with your favorite Greek dishes.

Entree

Instant Pot Beef Gyros

slow-cooker-gyros-with-beef-and-tzatziki-sauceEver since I gave myself an Instant Pot for Christmas I have been in love. Every single recipe I have made has turned out wonderfully and I haven’t even scratched the surface of what it could do. This next recipe is for one of my favorite sandwiches, the gyro. Traditionally lamb meat is used, but as that can get expensive quick, I used flank steak. I also made homemade Tzatziki sauce which I will include in a separate post. Recipe and photo courtesy of 365daysofcrockpot.com.

  • 1 1/2 lbs beef chuck roast or beef cross rib roast, sliced into thin quarter inch strips across the grain
  • 1 large onion, sliced very thinly
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoon oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup beef broth
  • Soft pita bread
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Feta
  • Tzatziki sauce

Add beef, onion, oil, garlic powder, oregano, salt, pepper, lemon juice and broth to the Instant Pot. Cover and turn the valve to “sealing.” Press manual/pressure cook button and set the timer for 25 minutes (high pressure). Once the time is up let the pot sit undisturbed for 15 minutes. Then move the valve to venting. Open the pot and stir. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Make the tzatziki sauce. Serve beef over pita folds with Tzatziki sauce, onions, tomatoes, lettuce and feta.

Dessert, Pie, Uncategorized

Chocolate Pie

chocolate-meringue-pie-20This pie is a favorite of my mother and father-in-law. They make it at Thanksgiving and it never lasts very long. I got the hankering for it the other day and had my mother-in-law send it to me. You can use a pre-made pie crust or use my all butter pie crust recipe. Either way, make sure to use pie weights when blind baking to ensure the crust doesn’t shrink.

  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/3 cups milk, scalded
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • pinch of salt
  • 9″ pie crust

Preheat your oven to 400. Bake your prepared pie crust for 10 minutes, using pie weights to prevent shrinking. In a sauce pan, heat your milk until scalding. In a small bowl, mix the cocoa, flour salt and sugar and then add to your scalded milk, stirring constantly until thickened. Add in the vanilla. In a separate clean, dry bowl, beat your egg whites and cream of tartar until they start to get foamy. Slowly add in the sugar and salt until soft peaks form. Pour your hot filling into the baked crust and top with the meringue. Bake at 400 for 4-5 minutes until the top is lightly browned. Allow to cool and set before serving.

*You might notice that as the pie cools there is a liquid that seeps onto your crust. This is the meringue losing some of its moisture. There are a number of reasons that this can happen, but don’t worry, your pie will still taste great.

How To

How To: Cream Cheese Frosting

downloadThis next post is another entry in my how to series. I use this for basic frosting or garnish recipes that can be used for any recipe. Cream cheese frosting is delicious on some many different desserts: carrot cake, pumpkin muffins, banana blondies.

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, or to taste

Cream together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add in vanilla and mix until incorporated. Gradually add in the powdered sugar until you reached the desired sweetness. I tend to use less powdered sugar than most recipes call for, but be sure to taste as you go so you can make it just how you like it.

Cookies, Dessert, Uncategorized

Carrot Cake Cookies

carrot-cake-cookies-with-cream-cheese-frosting-main-newThese cookies came together very quickly and were so delicious. Make them today! Recipe and photo courtesy of twosisterscrafting.com

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups grated or chopped raw carrots
  • 1 batch cream cheese frosting
  • 1  cup chopped pecans

Grate and chop 2 cups of raw carrots. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Mix in cinnamon, baking powder, baking sold and salt and mix well. Add flour and mix until combined. Add in 2 cups of carrots. Bake the cookies in a 375 degree oven for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Allow cookies to cool. Frost with cream cheese frosting. Apply chopped pecans around the edges of cookies.