Banana Bread with Sour Cream ;-)

Try out this recipe for Banana Bread, its a little different from the usual but yummy!


2 cups flour

3/4 cups sugar

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

3 bananas (ripe so you can mash well)

6 tbsp butter (melted and cooled)

2 eggs

1/4 cup sour cream

1.  Preheat your oven to 350 Fahrenheit.  Grease an 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf pan (or grease 3 mini-loaf pans)  
2.  In a large bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients.  Set aside.  In a medium bowl, combine bananas, butter, eggs, sugar and yogurt.  Gently fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture with a rubber spatula (do not overmix). The batter will look thick and chunky.
3.  Scrape the batter into the prepared pan(s) and smooth the top. 
4.  Bake until golden brown and only a few moist crumbs cling to a toothpick inserted in the center (about 50 minutes for a regular pan, about 20 minutes for mini pans). Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Allow to cool for 1 hour before serving.

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Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting

For her birthday this year Kate did something a little different, she made her own cake, her own cupcakes to be exact!! Lemon filled Raspberry Iced CupcakesSometimes, when you know you can do it better, store bought just doesn’t cut it.


We decided to make a night out of it and invited our sisters over for some baking fun.  Kelly, Kate’s sister, served the white wine and antipasti platter while Krissy, Kate and I got busy with the baking. Alongside the lemon cupcakes we whipped up chocolate ones too, however I must say the lemon ones, hands down, were the favourite by far.


Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting

For cupcakes:

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
zest and juice of three lemons
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup milk
Lemon Curd filling

For Frosting
8 oz cream cheese, room temp
1 stick butter, room temp
1 lb powdered sugar
4 tbsp raspberry preserve

Pre-heat oven to 350F.

Cream together butter and sugar.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Add lemon zest and lemon juice and sour cream.  In a bowl, combine dry ingredients.  Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet.  Alternate between adding the flour mixture and the milk.  Mix until just combined.

Pour batter into lined cupcake pan.  Bake 17-20 minutes (depending on your oven).  Mine took 17 minutes.  Also accidentally wayyyy over baked the first 12 and had to throw them away.  Beware!  These might not look done on top but poke them with a toothpick after 16ish minutes to see when they’re ready!

Allow the cupcakes to cool completely, then cut holes in the top using a knife and scoop some out.  Then put some lemon curd in a ziploc bag, cut off an end and pipe some lemon curd into each cupcake.

Next make the frosting, throw all the ingredients in a bowl and let your hand/stand mixer do the work.  If it’s too stiff, add some liquid (or more raspberry preserve), if it’s too runny, add more powdered sugar.  Adjust accordingly.

Frost your cupcakes and serve them up.  They don’t have to be perfect or uniform.  They’ll be delicious either way.

Raspberry Icing! photo 2


















Sassycakes Cupcakes. Oooh La La…

Anyone who knows me well, knows I prefer to do my own baking over ordering from a bakery/cupcake shop, etc.  With my Dad’s 70th birthday coming up, I had to decide, will I bake him a cake or cupcakes or order from somewhere local?  There were a lot of preparations to be done so I decided to order the cupcakes from a local Naples shop and take that stress off myself!  I did my research and decided to go with Sassycakes!  What a treat!  These cupcakes were phenomenal – peanut butter chocolate, carrot cake, key lime, red velvet, oreo, etc.

So fresh and moist, flavorful and not too sweet.  All ingredients tasted like good quality ingredients.  Absolutely as good as homemade – in fact I’ll bow down here…Bayah and Sassycakes would kick my butt in the cupcake kitchen!  🙂

Thank you Bayah for the beautiful assortment of cupcakes!  We are still eating them 3 days later.  Everyone at the party raved about them and were asking where they were from!  Hope you have some new visitors to the shop soon!  See you next time (my birthday is just around the corner 😉 !)

ROLO cookies – if you haven’t ruled out sweets in the new year, here’s a great cookie recipe!

Very easy to make…batter can be whipped up in no time and then rolling the dough around a rolo is the only assembly required!  Your kitchen will smell like heaven and you’ll have some tasty treats to eat with a glass of milk!  Fresh out of the oven are the best time to eat these treats!  Mmmmmmmmmm…my office is going to love me today – that’s where my double batch has ended up!  🙂

Rolo Cookies

Yield: 3 dozen cookies

Cook Time: 7-10 minutes


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cocoa
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Bag of Rolo candies, unwrapped
Sugar (for rolling the cookie dough balls in)


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat. Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa. Set aside.

3. With a mixer, cream butter and sugars together until smooth. Add in eggs, one at a time. Next, add in vanilla extract. Mix until blended.  (I didn’t feel like taking my mixer out, so I used a hand mixer instead)

4. Slowly add flour mixture to sugar mixture and blend well. Take a spoonful of chocolate cookie dough and wrap around one Rolo candy. Make sure Rolo is completely covered with cookie dough. Roll dough ball in sugar and place on prepared baking sheet. Continue until you run out of cookie dough.

5. Bake cookies for 7-10 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit on cookie sheet for 3-5 minutes. Move to a cooling rack and cool completely.

Rolo Cookie

REALLY good Banana Bread!

Last April, in Naples Florida, I took a baking class at “Sur La Table”.  In this class, we were given a cookbook called “The Fearless Baker” and I finally got around to trying a recipe from it!  It’s the perfect banana bread recipe.  Sweet, buttery, full of banana flavor!  I added chocolate chips and pecans to my recipe.  You can add blueberries if you like instead!
Ingredients (please see instructions in photograph below):

Kierin Baldwin’s Coffee-Cream Pie – For Serious Bakers Only!!!

On Thanksgiving weekend, I made plans with my Dad to have a Prime Rib dinner with him at his house the following Sunday!  He e-mailed me  a recipe from the Wall Street Journal with a message that read: “Do you think you can make this?”  Pfffffff….do you think I can make this?  Is that a challenge!!!  I like to think there isn’t a recipe I couldn’t handle…this one nearly kicked my A*S!!!  I have a fully stocked baking pantry…there were still ingredients I didn’t have to pull this off.  I’ve never worked with Gelatin, I needed dark Rum, etc.  I woke up early on a Sunday morning and got to work.  In all honestly, I hated this recipe.  There were sooooo many steps, cook, setting, straining, blending, etc.  I never thought all this work could be worth it!  Was I ever wrong!  What a satisfying dessert!  The chocolate crumb crust is outstanding but it’s the crust/filling/cream combo that make this a perfect dinner dessert!  I won’t be making this again any time soon, but it will be a recipe a pull out once a year for sure!  If you are looking for a challenge in the kitchen, this is your recipe!  Enjoy!
Side note: I made one mistake but it didn’t ruin the outcome.  The rum/gelatin step at the end didn’t end up in my whipped topping.  It solidified before I could use it and I didn’t know I had to melt it again to incorporate it into the cream.  After the cream topping was layered on the pie, I melted the rum/gelatin in the microwave ( I googled “how to save solidified gelatin”) and drizzled it on top on the pie simply to get a bit of the rum flavor on the pie.  You could taste hints of the alcohol, but it will be better next time when I get it just right!  Live and learn…

Hands-On Time: 1 hour 15 minutes Total Time: 3½ hours Serves: 8 (makes one 9-inch pie)

For the crumb crust:

12 Oreo sandwich cookies

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons cocoa nibs

3 tablespoons ground coffee beans

¼ teaspoon fleur de sel (or other medium-grained sea salt)

2 tablespoons butter, melted

Nonstick oil spray

What To Do

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Shatter Oreos in a food processor, using pulse button. Add other dry ingredients and pulse again, then add butter and pulse until combined.

3. Lightly coat a 9-inch pie plate with oil spray and pour crust mixture inside. Press mixture down to form an evenly thick, lightly compressed crust.

4. Bake until firm to the touch, 12-14 minutes.

For the coffee-cream filling:

2 cups espresso beans

½ cup plus ¼ teaspoon granulated sugar

½ vanilla bean, split and scraped

3 cups whole milk

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 egg plus 1 yolk

1 (3-teaspoon) package unflavored gelatin

2 tablespoons cold water

¼ teaspoon baking soda

3 tablespoons butter

¼ teaspoon fleur de sel (or other medium-grained sea salt)

2 tablespoons dark rum (or Frangelico)

1¾ cups heavy cream

Cocoa nibs, for garnish

Orange zest, for garnish

What To Do

1. Using a food processor or coffee grinder, grind espresso beans into lentil-size pieces. Place grinds in a large bowl.

2. In another bowl, combine ¼ cup sugar with vanilla bean.

3. Place a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. After a few minutes, add a third of vanilla sugar and stir with a heatproof spatula. Allow to melt and just begin to brown. Repeat with remaining vanilla sugar until you’ve used all the sugar, which will begin to bubble and then smoke as it turns to caramel. Once it smokes, turn off heat. Slowly whisk in milk to dissolve caramel. (Be careful: Caramel can splatter and burn.)

4. Turn heat to medium-high and cook until caramel mixture is just shy of boiling, about 2 minutes. Immediately pour caramel mixture over coffee beans, submerging them. Stir, then let steep for 5 minutes.

5. After 5 minutes, pour mixture through a fine-mesh strainer. You should have about 2 cups coffee caramel milk.

6. Mix ¼ cup sugar with flour and cornstarch in small bowl.

7. Lightly whisk egg and yolk in a large bowl. Add sugar-flour-cornstarch mixture. Whisk until paste forms.

8. Mix 1½ teaspoons gelatin and cold water in small bowl.

9. Return infused milk to a saucepan set over medium-high heat and bring it to a heavy steam. Just as bubbles start to rise to the top, whisk in baking soda. It will bubble quite a lot. Continue to whisk until baking soda is incorporated. Slowly add infused milk to bowl with egg-and-starch mixture, then return it all to the saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and whisk continuously for 2 minutes. Add dissolved gelatin, butter and fleur de sel. Whisk to dissolve. Pass mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a glass or metal bowl and press plastic wrap over surface of the mixture. Refrigerate until set, or overnight. Once set, beat until loose.

10. Mix remaining gelatin with rum in saucepan. Set over low heat until gelatin has dissolved, about 2 minutes.

11. Pour coffee cream into a mixing bowl. Add ¼ teaspoon sugar and a pinch of salt. Place bowl inside of another bowl filled with ice water.

12. Make whipped cream: Whisk heavy cream until it forms soft, billowy peaks.

13. Pour rum and gelatin into whipped cream. Quickly whisk to incorporate. Fold half of whipped cream into coffee-cream. Pour coffee-cream into chocolate shell and smooth down. Top with remaining whipped cream. Chill for at least 2 hours. Garnish with cocoa nibs and orange zest, if desired.

SKOR Trifle

This dessert always impresses. Easy to make. Can be made a day ahead of time. Presents beautifully. What are you waiting for?!
Bake cake in 2 round pans (I use a homemade recipe or Duncan Hines Devil’s Food Chocolate Cake)



Unsalted butter, for pans

1 1⁄4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for pans

2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour

2 1⁄2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 large eggs, plus an additional egg yolk

1 1/2 cups milk

1⁄2 Cup + 2 Tbls. vegetable oil

1 1⁄2 Cups warm water

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees;. Butter round or square cake pans, and line bottoms with parchment; butter parchment, and dust with cocoa.

2. Into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, sift cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low, stir in eggs, 1 1/2 cups warm water, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla until smooth, about 3 minutes.

3. Divide batter among prepared pans. Bake, rotating once, until tester inserted in center comes out clean.

4. Let cakes cool in pans on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely, right side up on rack
Cut each cake through the middle once it’s cooled, so you have 4 thin layers total.

Place 1st layer on the bottom of a deep round bowl (I use a glass salad bowl). Mix a package of instant chocolate pudding. Use 1/4 of the chocolate pudding mixture on the first layer of cake. Take a 500ml container of 35% whipping cream and whip until the cream turns into whipped cream. Take 1/4 of the batch of whipped cream and spread on top of the cake and pudding. Sprinkle 1/4 to 1/2 cup of broken Skor bar on top of whipped cream. Repeat these steps 3 more times. Cake, pudding, whipped cream, Skor. To serve, scoop servings with a spoon.