Wednesday, May 31, 2017


I hope y'all like banana bread. I often seem to have ripe bananas left whenever I buy bananas and banana bread is my favorite "banana" thing to make. It doesn't hurt that there are so many recipes out there for banana bread. Everyone seems to be just a little bit difference so I always decide to try a new one.

Recently our younger son Patrick came over to see why the truck wasn't running and brought the kiddoes. I knew he was coming over but not when and I had just started mixing up this Blue Ribbon Banana Bread recipe when Madison and Tyler came in. Of course, they wanted to help. We had a fun time in the kitchen and made some quite tasty banana bread. Even though I think most banana breads should be wrapped up until the second day before you eat it, the kids couldn't wait. Madison ate her piece, Tyler's piece (he doesn't really eat much in the way of sweets, etc), and then wanted to take some home with them when they left. I will be sharing some pictures of them at the end of the post.

This Blue Ribbon Banana Bread recipe was from my Kitchen-Klatter Cookbook and was the first one listed in the Quick Breads section. Even though there was no added commentary with the recipe, the name couldn't help but catch my attention.


2/3       cup sugar
1/3       cup shortening
1/2       teaspoon Kitchen-Klatter butter flavoring (sorry had to use just regular butter flavoring)
2          eggs
3         tablespoons sour milk or buttermilk (I did use the buttermilk)
1          cup mashed bananas
1          teaspoon Kitchen-Klatter banana flavoring (I omitted)
2         cups flour, sifted
1          teaspoon baking powder
1/2      teaspoon soda
1/2      teaspoon salt
1/2      cup English walnuts, chopped (I omitted because of Tyler's nut allergy)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan. (I used one 8-1/2 x 4-1/2".)

Cream the sugar, shortening, butter flavoring, and eggs together thoroughly.
Stir in the milk, bananas, and banana flavoring. (If you do not have sour milk or buttermilk, add 1 teaspoon vinegar to enough sweet milk to make the 3 tablespoons needed.)
Sift the dry ingredients together and beat into the batter. Lastly, fold in the nuts.
Pour into loaf pan. Let stand in the pan at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking. (This improves the texture of the bread.)
Bake for 50 minutes.
Turn out onto a rack to cool.

Madison adding the mashed banana.
I wish I could have gotten a picture of Tyler sifting the flour. He was so cute turning the handle on the sifter. I had to hold the sifter with both hands because he was turning it so hard. That didn't leave me a free hand to take the picture. I should have had Madison take a picture but didn't think of it.

Madison wanted to help with cleanup so I had her wash while I dried.
Tyler afterwards.

They had fun swinging before it was time to go home.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


I saw this recipe for Cheddar Meatloaf over at Kevin Williams' . Since meatloaf is one of my husband's favorite dishes, I printed it so I could make it. 

Kevin doesn't know this but he saved us lots of money and probably 30 lbs of ground beef, about 5 - 10 lbs of chicken breasts, along with a lot of other things we had in our freezer. You see I had friends coming over for a fun afternoon of Farkle and remembered about midmorning that I needed to go down to the garage to the freezer to get out a lb package of ground beef to thaw so that I could make the meatloaf that night for dinner. Well, when I opened the freezer, I saw frost everywhere and noticed the can of frozen orange juice looked a little strange - a little bent. We realized the freezer had quit working and some of the things were already thawed. I quickly called Friend Fran to see if she had an extra freezer and if so, could we bring over some of the meat before it all thawed. 

We got back from Fran's house about 45 minutes before everyone was supposed to arrive at our house. (I gave Fran three lb. packages of the ground beef and told her to cook it and brought home three packages to do the same. Fortunately that was all that had completely thawed.) Just think what a loss we would have had if I had not seen Kevin's recipe and decided to make it that day. Thank you Kevin!

I didn't have Amish cheddar cheese and had to just use mild cheddar cheese that I grated. I don't know how it would have tasted differently, but I know, mine was really, really good. So juicy!  Our younger son, Patrick, also likes meatloaf so I know what I am going to make the next time we have them over for dinner.


1        lb lean ground beef
1/2    cup diced onion
1        cup (4 ounces) grated Amish cheddar cheese (I grated 4 ounces of mild cheddar cheese.)
3/4    cup milk
1/2    cup oatmeal (I used old fashioned oats)
1        egg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients well.
I did beat the egg in the milk before I added them to the mixture.
I used my hand and fingers to mix it up.
Place mixture in a loaf pan (I used an 8 x 4-1/2 - inch loaf pan.) and smooth out flat.

Bake for 40 minutes.

Meanwhile mix together:

2/3       cup catsup
1-1/2   teaspoon mustard
1/2       cup brown sugar (I did substitute 1/4 cup brown sugar blend)
dash of vinegar

Cover the partially baked meatloaf with the mixture and return it to the oven
and bake 15 more minutes.


Monday, May 29, 2017


My mother liked to make a Hummingbird Cake. I'm not sure if I have ever made one myself. I have a recipe for a lighter version of a Hummingbird Cake and when I find it, I am going to make it.

Friend Ellen made this one for us when the quilters' canasta group met at her house. She had never made one and she was very generous with her serving sizes. I was so proud of myself when I confined myself to just eating one layer. I took the other two layers home for my husband. It was just as good as I remember my mother's cake being.


3       cups flour
2       cups sugar
1        teaspoon baking soda
1        teaspoon salt
1        teaspoon cinnamon
3       eggs, beaten
1        cup vegetable oil
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1        (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1        cup chopped pecans
2       cups chopped bananas
Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below)
1/2    cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour three 9 - inch round cake pans.

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl; add eggs and oil, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. DO NOT BEAT!

Stir in vanilla, pineapple, 1 cup pecans, and bananas.

Spoon batter into the three pans.

Bake for 25 - 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing them to finish cooling on a wire rack.

Spread frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake, then sprinkle 1/2 cup chopped pecans on top.


1       (8-ounce) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2   cup butter, softened
1       (16-ounce) pkg powder sugar, sifted
1       teaspoon vanilla

Combine cream cheese and butter, beating until smooth.

Add powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until light and fluffy.

I took some pictures to share with you at Ellen's house. Enjoy.

Her dining room table decorated for spring...

I think she told me her husband gave her this for their wedding anniversary. So cute.....

These were Ellen's when she was a child. Love the cabinet she has them displayed in.  

One last look at her delicious cake.

Friday, May 26, 2017


I have been trying to find recipes for desserts that are lower in calorie than many I make. I do always try to reduce when I can, but some recipes just have a lot of calories. The picture of a serving of this Cherry Cinnamon Cobbler was just so delicious looking, I knew I had to make it. I just wanted to make it in a "lighter" version also. As always you don't have to if you aren't counting calories.

I made it for the quilters canasta group meeting at Friend Fran's house. (I always make the dessert for her when she hosts because she doesn't do that much baking anymore. She said she would just buy something and so I offered to make a dessert for her whenever she has any of our small groups over.)

I figured out my version only had about 170 calories per serving. That's not too bad. Everyone liked it also. It wasn't heavy tasting and not super sweet---just right. I used cherry pie filling that was no-sugar-added and reduced fat cinnamon rolls to reduce the calories. You can use other flavored pie filling also if you like.


1       can (1 lb. 5 oz.) prepared cherry pie filling (I did use a no-sugar-added pie filling)
1       can Refrigerated Cinnamon Rolls, with icing (I bought "reduced fat" ones.)
2       tablespoons butter, melted
1/4    cup chopped pecans
1/8    teaspoon grated lemon peel (I use California lemon peel)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Pour pie filling in an 8 - inch round layer pan. Heat for 15 minutes.

Separate cinnamon rolls
and dip edges in butter,
then in pecans.
Arrange, topping side up on top of the hot pie filling.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.

Combine lemon peel and icing in a small bowl.
Heat in microwave for about 10 seconds or long enough to thinner for easier spreading.

Spread icing over the tops of the rolls.

Serves 8. 

....a treasury of bake off favorites - Pillsbury

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


"An elegant dessert that's easy to whip up ahead of time." and it only has 123 calories per serving. I am loving this Better Homes & Garden Favorite Desserts Made Lighter cookbook. 

I made this "easy to whip up" dessert Monday morning to serve that afternoon for the NNL Farkle group. Monday I shared the Strawberry Cream Cheese Icebox Cake that I served Friday night for the Couples Bridge group. It was one of those "out of this world" desserts. It also probably had a bunch of calories even though I tried to reduce the sugar calories as much as I could. (Make it and take it somewhere so you only get one serving of it and then you won't feel guilty about all the calories.)

This Layered Strawberry Dessert was so delightful. It is the perfect dessert to make right now with fresh strawberries in all of the markets at such a good price.


3       cups fresh strawberries, sliced
1        8 - ounce container fat-free cream cheese
1/2    cup sifted powdered sugar
1/3    cup lemon nonfat yogurt
1        teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel (I use California lemon peel.)
2       cups reduced-fat frozen whipped dessert topping, thawed (I use sugar-free topping.)
cookies crumbs - 2 vanilla wafers or chocolate wafers or graham cracker

In a 2 - quart glass bowl layer half of the strawberries. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar, lemon yogurt, and lemon peel. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed until mixture is light and fluffy.

Carefully spread mixture over strawberries.

Arrange the rest of the strawberry slices on top. 

Spread with whipped topping.

Sprinkle crumbs on top. 

Cover and chill at least 2 hours before serving.

Spoon out into individual custard cups to serve.

TIP! When do you sift? 

When recipe calls for an ingredient such as powdered sugar or flour and uses the word "sifted", look for where the word "sifted" is placed. If the word is placed before the ingredient (as in this recipe), you are supposed to sift the ingredient before measuring. Remove an amount and sift it in a bowl, then measure it by spooning the ingredient into a measuring cup, and then add to mixture as directed. Any sifted ingredient you didn't use can just be returned to rest if the ingredient. 

Sift some....
Fill measuring cup with spoonfuls of ingredients. Don't pack or fill the cup by scooping it in the bowl.

If the word sifted follows the ingredient in the recipe, you measure the amount of the ingredient the recipe calls for and then sift it.

Sifting does make a difference in the amount of the ingredient you will be using.