Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Best Banana Bread

Favourite Banana Bread

My husband loves banana bread. So over the years, I've experimented with numerous recipes. One of the best ones I've ever found is one I've tweaked and tweaked to perfection. This is it...

1 cup butter — softened
1/2 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
3 cups brown sugar
4 large eggs
3 cups bananas — mashed ripe (I used 8 ripened bananas)
1 cup sour cream — (I used light sour cream)
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups flour
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Turbinado sugar or brown sugar to sprinkle on top of batter

1. With a mixer combine butter, oil, sugars, and eggs until smooth.
2. Add mashed bananas, sour cream, and vanilla, stirring together well.
3. Mix in flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring until it is blended. Do not over mix.
4. Pour into 3 well-greased standard loaf pans to about 3/4 full.
5. Sprinkle Turbinado or brown sugar generously over top of batter, using your hand to gently pat some of it into the batter.
6. Bake at 325° F for about 1 hour or until the center of the loaf reaches 205° on an instant read thermometer.
7. Allow bread to cool in pans for about 20 minutes.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Nutella Popsicles

Decadent! Make these, make these right now!
3/4 cup of Nutella
1/2 cup of Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 cup of Whole Milk
1/2 cup of Heavy Cream

1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
2. Pour mixture into popsicle molds and pop them in the freezer overnight.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Most Decadent Chocolate Cake

This is a gooey, delicious, moist cake, and easy to make. Very decadent indeed. It's also known as a Texas Sheet Cake, but when I made it in the Jelly Roll sheet, the cake overflowed in my oven. Goodness, they must have bigger jelly roll pans in Texas than they do here in Canada. Now I make it in a casserole or rectangle cake pan. Trust me, it's OMG Good!


1 cup butter
1 cup water
1/4 cup cocoa
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla


1/2 cup butter 
1/4 cup cocoa 
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk 
1 box (1 pound) confectioners' sugar, sifted (4 1/4 cups sifted) 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla 
1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional


Combine 1 cup butter, water, and 1/4 cup cocoa in saucepan over medium heat; heat until butter melts. Add sugar, flour, salt, eggs, soda, sour cream, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla; mix well. Pour into greased large cake pan. You can use a 15x10x1-inch jelly roll pan. Bake at 350° for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Frost while still hot.
Combine 1/2 cup of butter, 1/4 cup of cocoa, and milk in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Add the confectioners' sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla mix well with electric mixer. Stir in pecans, if using, and pour over the cake. Spread to cover the hot cake.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Best Pizza Dough

I have spent years searching for a great pizza dough recipe - one that is moist and has a bit of a chewy texture, and honing it until I was satisfied. Here it is:

5 1/2 cups flour (I use bread flour but all purpose works well too.) 
2 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
16 gm yeast (2 packages)
1/2 cup semolina (If you don't have semolina, adjust the flour to 6 cups)

Dissolve salt and sugar in warm water. Add flour to water and mix on low speed for 2 minutes. Let sit for 30 minutes. Add oil and yeast and mix on low speed for 2 minutes, and then on high speed for anothr 2 minutes. Dough should be tacky but not wet. Divide into 4. Roll into balls, but don't overwork because this will toughen the dough. Cover and proof overnight in fridge. Don't proof any extra balls of dough. These can be wrapped in plastic and frozen for up to 6 months in zip lock bags. Defrost at room temperature for 3 hours or in fridge overnight.

Use my recipe for great pizza sauce! Together they make a great restaurant quality pizza. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Brown Sugar Pound Cake

3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened, plus additional for greasing the pan
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
5 eggs

1.  Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.

2.  In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt and stir with a fork; set aside. Into a small bowl, pour the milk and add the vanilla; set aside.

3.  With a mixer, beat the butter at high speed until light and fluffy. Add the brown sugar in three batches then add all of the white sugar, beating after each addition. Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition.

4.  Reduce the speed to low and add half of the flour mixture and then half the milk, beating until the flour or milk has disappeared into the batter. Add the rest of the flour and the rest of the milk in the same way. Quickly scrape the batter into the tube pan and bake until the cake is nicely browned at the edges, springs back when lightly touched at the center, and a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

5.  Remove the pan from the oven and leave it on a wire rack for 20 to 30 minutes. Loosen the cake from the pan with a table knife and turn it out onto a wire rack or plate, then leave it to cool completely. When cool, glaze with caramel glaze.

Carmel Glaze
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons of milk or Bailey’s Liquor

Combine in a saucepan and bring to a boil. You can double the recipe if you like lots of sweetness!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Chicken Breasts in Sweet Chili Sauce


2 tablespoons Thai style sweet chili sauce
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 boneless chicken breast halves (or you can use an equivalent amount of chicken tenders)
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice


Pound chicken breast to an even thickness.

In a small bowl, combine the sweet chili sauce, mustard, and lemon juice, set aside.

Season both sides of the chicken breast with salt and pepper.

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat, when foam cooks down, add chicken breast.

Cook 5 minutes on each side.

Add 1 tbs. water and shake skillet to loosen browned chicken bits.

Push chicken to one side of skillet.

Add sweet chili sauce mixture.

Shake to coat the chicken with the sauce.

Cook until the sauce is reduced to just a glaze. (30-40 seconds).

Transfer chicken to a serving dish and serve with vegetables and rice.

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Great Pizza Sauce

One of my best friends, Sandra Falconi, gently reminded me yesterday, that it's been a while since I've posted a new recipe.  So Sandra, this one is for you.

I'm trying to perfect my pizza, so I've been experimenting with pizza sauces.  Here is a recipe I've been experimenting with that turned out great. 


1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce.  I used Primo Hot and Zesty 

1/4 cup broth or water

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 whole bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Pinch of cayenne or chili pepper


1.  Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan. 

2.  Cook over medium heat until the sauce reaches a boil.

3.  Turn down the heat to simmer.  Cover the pot and cook for 45 minutes more.

4.  Sauce makes enough for two large pizzas.  For a wonderful pizza crust, click here:  Mamma's Pizza Crust


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