Crazy Banana Cake

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups very ripe bananas (3 fresh bananas or 4 thawed, previously frozen bananas) 
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour / plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup soft butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1.5 cups buttermilk (OR milk soured with one tbsp vinegar or lemon juice)

Directions
Pre-heat oven to 275 degrees. Grease and flour (or spray), a 9 x 13 cake pan. Mash banana and mix with lemon juice. Set aside. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. If you’re making your own buttermilk, combine milk and vinegar (or lemon juice) in a small bowl, and set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir in vanilla. Beat in flour mixture alternately with buttermilk. Stir in bananas. Pour into cake pan. Bake 1 hour and 10 mins (or until knife comes out clean). Immediately place in freezer for 45 minutes. (if not completely cool upon removal from freezer, let cool further before icing).

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Bundt Cake Breakfast

Ingredients

  • 1 cup diced ham, sausage or bacon, cooked and drained
  • 2 c tater tots, frozen
  • 1 dozen eggs, whisked
  • 1 can (8) Pillsbury Grands biscuits, cut into small pieces
  • 2 c. shredded cheese (I used cheddar)
  • 1/4 c milk

Directions

Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl.  Pour into greased bundt pan. Bake on 400 degrees for 45 mins. When done, flip onto platter and cut and serve.

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Potato Puffs

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups of mashed potatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup sour cream (optional extra for serving)
  • 1 heaping cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives or parsley
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease with butter 8 – 9 of the wells of a nonstick muffin pan. In a medium mixing bowl whisk the eggs then mix in the sour cream. Stir in both cheeses and the chives. Add potatoes and mix well.  Spoon them into the pan filling the cups to slightly below the top.  Bake 25- 35 minutes until they pull away from the sides of the cup and are golden brown. Remove from oven and let them cool 5 minutes in pan. Serve with sour cream if desired

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Homemade Kentucky Blackberry Cobbler (Mary Stone)

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Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 c blackberries, washed
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 c flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 c milk
  • 1/2 c unsalted butter, melted

Directions

Stir together just the berries and sugar in a large bowl and let it sit out for 25-30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375º. Stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and milk with a wooden spoon. Next, stir in the melted butter and hand-mix it until the ingredients are well incorporated and you have few clumps.  Pour batter into medium baking dish and smooth it out. You can choose to line it with parchment paper or not, but don’t grease the pan.  Finally, pour the macerated blackberries on top with all the sugar included and evenly distribute it over the batter.

Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on how golden you prefer it to be. Let it cool for  5 minutes so it will hold its shape.

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge

INGREDIENTS

Chocolate Layer

  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 can evaporated milk (2/3 c.)
  • 5 T butter, cubed
  • ½ t salt
  • 1 jar marshmallow crème
  • ½ t. vanilla
  • 2 c chocolate chips

Peanut Butter Layer

  • 2 c sugar
  • 1 can evaporated mils (2/3 c)
  • 5 T butter, cubed
  • ½ t salt
  • 1 jar marshmallow crème
  • ½ c peanut butter
  • ½ t. vanilla

DIRECTIONS

Line a 13×9-in. pan with foil; grease foil with 2 teaspoons butter.

For chocolate layer, in a large heavy saucepan, combine sugar, milk, butter and salt. Bring to a rapid boil over medium heat, stirring constantly; cook and stir until a candy thermometer reads 234° (soft-ball stage), about 4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in marshmallow crème and vanilla until blended. Stir in chocolate chips until melted. Immediately spread into prepared pan.

For peanut butter layer, in another large heavy saucepan, combine sugar, milk, butter and salt. Bring to a rapid boil over medium heat, stirring constantly; cook and stir until a candy thermometer reads 234° (soft-ball stage), about 4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in marshmallow crème, peanut butter and vanilla until blended. Immediately spread over chocolate layer. If desired, sprinkle with peanuts. Refrigerate 3 hours or until firm, covering when cooled.

Using foil, lift fudge out of pan. Remove foil; cut fudge into 1-in. squares. Store between layers of waxed paper in an airtight container.

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Mini Olive Oil and Almond Cakes

INGREDIENTS

  • ¾ c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 t. extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ c. sliced almonds
  • ¾ c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • ½ t. kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 t. orange zest
  • ¼ c. orange juice

DIRECTIONS

Heat oven to 350 degree F. Coat three 5 ½ by 3-inch loaf pans with oil; line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the long sides. In a bowl, toss the almonds with 1 tablespoon oil and 1/3 cup sugar.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and remaining ¾ cup sugar until light, fluffy, and more than doubled in volume, 4 to 5 minutes. With the mixer on high, gradually add the remaining ¾ cup oil.

Reduce the mixer to low and beat in the orange zest and juice. Gradually add the flour mixture, beating just until incorporated.

Spread the batter into the prepared pans. Sprinkle the almond-sugar mixture on top and bake until golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let the cakes cool for 15 minutes, then, using the overhangs, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Red Wine Beef Ragu

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ c. red wine (I prefer James River Cellars Rad Red)
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 4 clove garlic
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 ½ lb. lean beef stew meat
  • 12 oz. pappardelle or other wide noodles
  • ½ c. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ¼ c. grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

DIRECTIONS

In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, whisk together the crushed tomatoes, red wine, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Add the whole tomatoes, breaking them up with your hands. Stir in the garlic, carrots, onion, and rosemary.

Add the stew meat and turn to coat. Cook, covered, until the beef is cooked through and shreds easily, 6 to 8 hours on low or 4 to 5 hours on high.

Twenty minutes before serving, cook the pasta according to package directions. Remove and discard the rosemary. Skim any fat that has risen to the top. Using a fork, break the meat into smaller pieces, then stir into the cooking liquid; fold in the parsley. Serve the beef ragu over the pasta and sprinkle with the Parmesan.

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