Quick Banana Blueberry Cake

photo by Alpha
How about a quick and easy cake for tonite’s dessert? Try this wonderful banana blueberry cake with walnuts! And…I’m doing a 2 for 2, I’ve got a quick vanilla glaze recipe too which you can use for this cake or something else. Bookmark this post in case you want to make it later! I’m really busy today so not a lot of talking right now. You understand…

3 lg. bananas, mashed
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. Mazola oil
1 c. walnuts
1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries
Vanilla glaze (optional, recipe below)

Put all ingredients in large bowl. Mix thoroughly and then fold in nuts. Grease 9″ x 5″ x 3″ loaf pan. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees. YUMMO!

Quick Vanilla Glaze:
2 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. butter, softened
3-4 tbsp. milk or heavy cream

In bowl, combine powdered sugar, vanilla, butter and milk until mixture has the consistency of a glaze. Use this method to glaze cakes, coffee cakes, and pastries.

Easy Blueberry-Topped Cheesecake

photo by Chris Gladis
This recipe couldn’t be more easy to make and it is sooooo good. You know I have to have something mixed with cheesecake to really enjoy it so this definitely qualifies for my tastebuds as well as for my sensitive tummy. I recommend this recipe as a go-to when you want something sweet to eat or to take to a party cause it takes such little time to make. 

I like desserts that look glamorous yet take hardly any effort. Makes it look like you slaved over the kitchen oven all day but you hadn’t! No one has to know just how easy it was…. so when they compliment you on how long it must have taken you to make this cheesecake, just smile as you shove a piece of cake in your mouth! hee hee!

2 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, room temperature
4 eggs
1 pt. sour cream
1-3/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 can blueberry pie filling, chilled
1 graham cracker pie crust

Combine cream cheese and 1 cup sugar; beat until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Pour into graham cracker pie crust. Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool for 10 minutes. Combine sour cream, 3/4 cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Pour over cheesecake. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool. Top with blueberry pie filling.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

photo by Megan Chromik
I can go for one of these right now! Cookies are one of those desserts I eat way too many of. Sometimes my hubby actually hides them away so I won’t eat them all at once, isn’t that a trip? I’m glad he does or I’d be having all kinds of weight issues. Still, I can look at the photo and wish hard, click my heels three times and maybe….well I can dream ! I think these also will make great gifts around Thanksgiving or Christmastime. The pumpkin and chocolate taste so good together!

1 c. pumpkin
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. oil
1 egg
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. milk
1 c. chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla
Chocolate Syrup for drizzling

Dissolve baking soda in milk; set aside. In large bowl add pumpkin, sugar, oil, and egg; stir. Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda mixture. Mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and vanilla. Spoon onto cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees 10 to 12 minutes or until done. Let cookies cool off and then drizzle chocolate syrup on top.

Lemon-Glazed Blueberry Cake

photo by Megan Chromik
Another wonderful Amanda recipe for this stunning cake! I do love the colors mix with the blueberries and yellow lemon. It’s also a light cake too so great for a slice at breakfast with coffee or orange juice. It’s amazing to me that Amanda has so many family desserts that she’s willing to share with me. It’s so hard to find great friends and even harder to find great friends who happen to be a extraordinary foodie bloggers! Thank you Amanda girl! Love ya! 😀

Loaf Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
2 tbsp grated lemon rind (I probably added about 3 tbsp)
1/2 cup milk
1-1/2 cups blueberries, lightly tossed in flour (I used almost 2 cups)

Lemon Glaze Ingredients:
3 tbsp granulated sugar
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice

For the Loaf:
Cream butter. Gradually blend in sugar and eggs. Beat until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, blend together flour, baking powder, salt and lemon rind. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Gently stir in blueberries.

Turn batter into a greased 5 x 9″ loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 55 – 60 minutes or until loaf springs back when lightly touched. Cool on cake ack for 5 minutes.
For the Lemon Glaze:
Combine sugar and lemon juice. Pierce loaf all over with a skewer and pour lemon mixture over the hot loaf. When cool, remove loaf from pan.

Baked Alaska for Mother’s Day

photo by Stef Yau
Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms out there! I would love to say “Happy Mother’s Day” to my mom and grandmom because those two ladies were certainly instrumental in helping shape the lady I am today but they passed away some years ago. This time of the year is still painful for me because we were so close in my adult years. I almost feel like an orphan now, but instead of focusing on that…I try to remember the great things they did. The laughter we shared in the kitchen and around the dining room. My grandmom, (“Groggy” she’s lovingly nicknamed by me cause when I was a little girl I couldn’t pronounce grandma so I called her Grogg Grogg. Later on, I added the “Y” to the end of Grogg and it stuck with her!) could cook up a storm and bake! All from scratch too. I got to live with her for a year while I was going to college. At that time, she was suffering from arthritis so she didn’t have the strength she once did, nevertheless I was able to cook in her kitchen and have her guide me. I learned a lot! My mom was also an incredible baker and cook too. She didn’t like to cook, but she loved to bake. I wished I had picked up as much of her baking skills as I did her cooking skills but oh well…

I still learned so much about growing up from both of them. I didn’t have a father in my life so I looked to them for a lot of things (I did have a step-grandfather who really tried to fill that void so I was blessed.). You don’t realize how much someone means to you until you don’t have them around anymore. Still, I’ve dedicated all my cooking to both of them! They were Grand Ladies! So, for today I thought something elegant would show tribute to them and when I saw this Baked Alaska cake photo, I thought, AHA! I’ve even included two different recipes for it. One is a shortcut starting out with a sponge cake and the other totally from scratch which would please Groggy very much! She did not like box or can anything! Also, it was ironic that I chose to post Baked Alaska because if any of you play Gourmet Ranch on Facebook, this is one of the dessert choices and one of my favorites to make in the game! I guess it was meant to be. So, I’ll post first the quicker of the two recipes:
1 eight inch sponge cake layer
4 egg whites
1/2 c. sugar
1 qt. firm ice cream (any flavor, I would use Neopolitan so I get all three of my fav flavors.)

Beat egg whites until foamy, add sugar and beat until stiff but not dry. Place cake on heavy unfinished wooden tray or heatproof platter. Spoon ice cream on the cake leaving a 1 inch border all around. Cover ice cream and cake completely with egg white meringue. Brown meringue lightly in a very hot oven (500 degrees) for 2 minutes. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Now to Make Baked Alaska from Scratch:
This recipe uses Strawberry, Vanilla ice cream with Lemon juice and zest!

Cooking-oil spray
4 large eggs plus 7 egg whites, divided
1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 tablespoons lemon zest, divided
3/4 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 pints premium strawberry ice cream, softened
1 pint premium vanilla ice cream, softened
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1. Preheat oven to 325°. Spray a 9-in. springform pan with cooking-oil spray and reserve. Pour 2 in. water into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer. Put 4 eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, and the vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer. Set bowl over simmering water, making sure bottom doesn’t touch the water, and whisk egg mixture constantly just until the sugar is dissolved and mixture is no longer cool to the touch, 2 to 3 minutes.

2. Add 2 tbsp. lemon zest to egg mixture and whip on high speed with whisk attachment until batter is pale in color, has thickened considerably, and drops in ribbons when whisk is lifted, 7 to 8 minutes.

3. Sift flour over egg mixture in several batches, folding after each batch just to incorporate. Add butter in 2 batches, folding just until incorporated.

4. Pour batter gently into prepared pan. Bake until cake is cooked through and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 26 to 28 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack, then remove sides of pan.

5. Meanwhile, line a metal mixing bowl (9- to 10-in. diameter) with enough plastic wrap to hang over rim. Chill in freezer 15 minutes. Put strawberry ice cream in cleaned bowl of stand mixer (now fitted with a paddle attachment) and beat on medium speed until ice cream is smooth and malleable (like taffy), about 1 minute. Using a rubber spatula, spread ice cream into chilled bowl, smoothing surface as flat as possible, and return to freezer.

6. Put vanilla ice cream, lemon juice, and remaining 3 tbsp. lemon zest in cleaned bowl of stand mixer and beat on medium speed until smooth and malleable (like taffy), about 1 minute. Spread over strawberry ice cream. Press cake on top of lemon ice cream, trimming to fit if needed. Fold edges of plastic wrap over cake. Cover with more plastic wrap and freeze at least 6 hours and preferably overnight.

7. Preheat oven to 475°. Put egg whites and cream of tartar in cleaned, dry bowl of stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment; beat on high speed until whites are foamy, about 1 minute. Add remaining 1 cup sugar and continue to beat until whites are stiff and glossy, 2 to 3 minutes.

8. Remove cake and ice cream from freezer and take off top layer of plastic wrap. Carefully dislodge ice cream layers from sides of bowl by pulling up on plastic-wrap liner. Invert bowl onto an ovenproof plate and peel off outer layer of plastic. Using an offset spatula, mound meringue on top of ice cream and then work downward, spreading meringue evenly over top and sides of cake and ice cream. Bake until meringue is browned and toasty, 6 to 7 minutes. Serve immediately.

Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits

photo by semarr from Flickr
Biscuits are a comforting food and to me qualifies as both going with a dessert as well as savory dishes. I grew up using biscuits sometimes as spoons for mopping up leftover gravy on my plate. My grandma loved dipping them into buttermilk and eating them just like that. Sometimes I even like frost them with cream cheese or vanilla, even chocolate icing. Basically, I think this little nugget is at home with Treats of Sweets!

2 c. all purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. shortening
2/3 c. buttermilk or sour milk

In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, baking powder, sugar, cream of tartar, salt, and baking soda. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles course crumbs. Make a well in center of dry mixture, then add buttermilk or sour milk all at once. Using a fork, stir just until moistened. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Quickly knead the dough by gently folding and pressing the dough for 10-12 strokes or until the dough is nearly smooth. Pat or lightly roll dough to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut dough with a floured 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter, dipping the cutter into flour between cuts.

Place biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until the biscuits are done. Remove biscuits from the baking sheet and serve hot. Makes 10-12.

Strawberry Cheesecake

photo by Alex Dugger

OH yeah baby! My favorite kind of cheesecake has arrived! Love, love, love strawberry sauce all over it! This is a slice of Heaven that I can have any day! And if you have extra strawberries left which I usually do, then make them take on a dual role by pairing them with ice cream or frozen yogurt!

2 cups soft coconut macaroon cookie crumbs
3 tablespoons margarine, melted
4 packages (8 ounce size) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar, plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
2 tablespoons grated orange peel
4 eggs
2 cups strawberries, hulled, quartered
2 teaspoons orange juice

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F if using a silver 9-inch springform pan (or to 300 degrees F if using a dark nonstick 9-inch springform pan). Mix cookie crumbs and margarine. Press firmly onto bottom and 1 inch up side of lightly greased springform pan. Bake 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, beat cream cheese and 1 cup of the sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add peel; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour into crust.

Bake 55 minutes or until center is almost set. Run knife or metal spatula around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim of pan.

Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

Place strawberries in blender or food processor container; cover. Blend until smooth; strain. Stir in juice and remaining sugar. Serve spooned over cheesecake slices and let run down the sides. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.

Quarter extra strawberries and pour over some ice cream or frozen yogurt and top with some whipped cream!

Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake

photo by Catherine Ford
Cheesecake is one of those desserts I have to be careful about. I’m not able to handle all types of cheeses…well at least my body can’t. I, on the other hand haven’t met a cheese I didn’t like. But to help my system, when I eat cheesecake it usually has to contain something like berries or in this case cinnamon. I think the mixture of these ingredients must balance out the cheese enough for my body to be happy.  I love the combination of this dessert as well and I believe cinnamon rolls and cheesecake is the PERFECT marriage.

This recipe is from Bakespace, one the places I like to go to for inspiration. Need to put them on my list here though, I’ll do that after I post this dessert!
Cinnamon Roll Batter:
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Cheesecake filling:
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. flour
3 eggs

Cinnamon Filling:
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp. cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
milk (if needed to thin frosting)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a 9-inch Springform pan. If you’re looking for a Springform, try The Baker’s Shoppe!

Cinnamon Roll Batter:
Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment (or hand mixer) cream together the butter and sugar for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla. Beat for another minute. Scrape down bowl.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Combine the sifted and creamed ingredients together. Mix on low speed until thoroughly combined.

Spread half of the batter onto the bottom of the Springform pan. It will be sticky and thick so spray your hands with baking spray and press down. It will be a thin layer, but trust me it will rise up during baking.

For the Cheesecake Filling:
Using a stand mixer (and a clean bowl) fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and sugar for 2 minutes on medium-high speed. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and flour and beat for another minute.

Pour all of the cheesecake batter on top of the cinnamon roll batter that is in the prepared pan.

Cinnamon Filling:
In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Drop spoonfuls of the cinnamon filling over the entire top of the cheesecake.
Take the rest of the base batter and drop spoonfuls over the entire top of cheesecake. Once finished, take a knife to swirl the ingredients together. This is hard to do as the batter is pretty thick, just do what you can.

Bake for about 50-55 minutes, cake will be puffy and lightly browned. Let chill for 20 minutes at room temperature and then cover and move to fridge for 4 hours. Remove cake and let it warm up to room temperature just a bit. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
Using a stand mixer (and a clean bowl) with paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together for 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and beat until desired consistency is reached. If too thick, thin out with milk.

Glazed Cinnamon Rolls w/Milkshakes

photo by Yumi Kimura
What better way to wake up to breakfast than a homemade baked cinnamon roll baking in the oven and maybe instead of coffee or hot chocolate, a milkshake! Take your pick between traditional vanilla, chocolate or strawberry! This is sure a treat for me since I don’t make milkshakes enough around here. I think that is about to change!
I’m using Betty Crocker’s recipe for these, the only thing I altered was the raisins, but if you want to add those in, you can and I added that part in the recipe so you’ll know how to apply it. It’s not hard to follow along and it won’t be an all day process. I hope you try it out !

Ingredients for the rolls:
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2-1/2 cups Original Bisquick® mix
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened

For the Glaze:
1-1/3 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk

Heat oven to 375°F. Grease bottom and sides of 13×9-inch pan. In small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon; set aside.

In medium bowl, stir Bisquick mix, 2/3 cup milk and 2 tablespoons sugar until dough forms. If dough is too sticky, gradually mix in enough Bisquick mix (up to 1/4 cup) to make dough easy to handle. Turn dough onto surface well dusted with Bisquick mix; gently roll dough in Bisquick mix to coat. Shape into ball; knead 10 times.

Roll dough into 15×9-inch rectangle; spread with butter. Sprinkle evenly with sugar mixture (add raisins as well if you choose to). Roll up tightly, beginning at 15-inch side. Seal well by pinching edge of dough into roll. Cut into 1-1/4-inch slices; place cut sides down in pan.

Bake 23 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Remove from pan. In medium bowl, mix powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons milk until smooth. Spread glaze over warm rolls. Makes 12 rolls. ENJOY!

NOW, for the milkshakes! Take you pick which one you want for breakfast! I think I’m taking the chocolate! 😀
Real Strawberry Milkshake
Choco Malted
2 c. milk
1 c. vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Sugar to taste
Blend in a blender until smooth. Add more or less ice cream for thicker or thinner milkshakes.
Top with cherry (optional).
4 or 5 lg. fresh strawberries,  hulled
1/3 c. instant nonfat milk powder
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Dash of salt
1 c. ice cubes and water
Combine all of the ingredients in a covered blender and blend until the ice melts. Top with cherry (optional).
1 cup Chocolate Milk
2 scoops Vanilla Ice Cream or frozen yogurt
1 tbsp Malted Milk Powder
Blend ingredients in a blender or drink mixer and enjoy. Adjust the ratio of milk to ice cream to make the shake thicker or thinner. Making chocolate milk shakes with chocolate milk, instead of chocolate syrup, provides for a smoother texture. Top with cherry (optional).

Plum Cake

photo by Frank Vincentz under the GNU license

I’m on a fruit dessert kick and in my research this morning, I came across this recipe. Have you had plum cake before? I think this cake will satisfy my taste buds. I love plums! I haven’t had any plums in awhile so I know what I will be looking for next time I’m shopping. And don’t worry…no boxed cake mix used here! haa haaa!

3 eggs
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 cups plums, pitted and sliced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9 inch tube pan. Separate the eggs. In a small bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter or margarine with the sugar. Beat in the egg yolks and the lemon zest. Stir together the flour and baking powder and then beat the flour mixture into the creamed mixture. Gently fold in the egg whites. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. There will only be a little over an inch of batter. Arrange the plums, skin side down, attractively over the batter.

Bake at 375 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 40 minutes or until cake tests done (toothpick trick*). Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool before serving. Makes 6 servings.

*Toothpick trick: When the cake is in it’s last few minutes of baking, stick a toothpick into the thickest part of the cake, if it comes out clean or just a few dry crumbs, the cake is done. In other words, the toothpick should not have wet batter on it.