Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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We have a busy Sunday so I made an early dinner and this Banana Cake for dessert.  This cake is moist and delicious and the homemade frosting is the “icing on the cake”!!

Banana Cake

2 eggs

2/14 cups flour (all purpose)

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup mashed bananas

3/4 cup milk mixed with 1 TBSP. lemon juice

1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil (I used coconut oil)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Grease well a 13×9 cake pan or 2 round pans. Preheat oven to 350

Let eggs sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl stir the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.  Add the bananas, milk/lemon juice, oil and vanilla.  Beat with an electric mixer until combined.

Add eggs and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Pour into the pan.

Bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes (checking after 25 minutes or so for doneness by inserting a tooth pick in the center and if it comes out clean it’s done).

Remove and let cool.

Frost with homemade Cream Cheese Frosting!  This cake deserves the homemade instead of store bought because it’s so good!!

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8 oz brick cream cheese softened

1/2 cup butter

2 TBSP. vanilla extract

5 1/2 – 6 cups sifted powdered sugar

Beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until light and fluffy.  Gradually add the powdered sugar until it’s spreadable and smooth.

**This makes a large container of frosting which you can store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.  Or cut the recipe in half for the perfect amount for this cake**

 

Dinner Rolls

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These rolls are super easy to make. You can freeze them after baking which is a perfect way to grab a few dinner rolls when you need them as this makes 24 rolls (or you can make 18 larger size but I think 24 works best)

1 1/4 cups warm water

1 1/2 TBSP active dry yeast (or use 2 packets)

1 tsp. sugar

1/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup melted butter

1/3 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. salt

4 Cups of all purpose unbleached flour (or plain all purpose)

Mix the yeast and 1 tsp. sugar into the warm water and set aside to proof for 10 minutes

In a mixing bowl with your dough hook or in a regular bowl with a wooden spoon, mix together the oil, melted butter, sugar, 2 eggs and salt until combined.

Add in the proofed yeast mixture and mix just to combine

Add in the flour one cup at a time mixing slowly until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl

Flour a surface and scrape dough out of bowl. Sprinkle a bit of flour on top and knead the dough about a minute or two.

Pull apart into 24 pieces as even pieces as you can get (doesn’t have to be perfect) and roll into balls

Place into a greased cake pan or 2 round pans

Put into a warm spot to rise for an hour to 90 minutes or until doubled in size.

Bake in a 375 degree preheated oven for 15-17 minutes until lightly browned on top and remove from oven Let set for 5 minutes and then pour out onto a wire rack to cool.

Break apart and store in an air tight container or place in freezer bags and freeze!

The whole process takes about 15 minutes to get the dough into the cake pan to rise. Super easy and delicious flavor!!

I find if reheating from frozen state it’s best to let them thaw and warm in the oven.  You also can microwave them…either way, they are delicious!  I recently made 9 dozen for a Farm Market Feast dinner event with over 100 people and there was not a roll left over!

Italian Bread

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Making Italian bread (or any bread really) is much easier than most people think.  This recipe makes 3 nice size loaves.  The bread has a nice crust and soft center with great flavor.  It also holds up well if you freeze it for later use. (pictures at the bottom)

Ingredients:

3 cups of warm water

1 full Tablespoon dry active yeast (if you have packets use a packet and a half)

1 1/2 tsp. white sugar

2 tsp. salt

8 cups of all purpose flour (I used unbleached flour or you can use half white and half wheat)

Mix the water, sugar and yeast in a large bowl until dissolved and let sit for 10 minutes to proof.

Stir in 4 cups of the flour and mix it until smooth and set it aside for approximately 15 minutes.

Add 2 cups of flour and the salt and mix again.  Add more flour 1/2 cup at a time to form a stiff dough and pour out onto a floured surface.  Knead the dough adding flour lightly as needed until the dough is smooth and elastic (it should spring back when you press two fingers into it).

Put into a greased bowl and in a warm spot to rise approximately 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

Punch the dough down, turn out onto a floured surface and lightly knead for a minuted then place back in the greased bowl to rise again for 30 minutes.

Spray a cookie sheet lightly and sprinkle cornmeal over the sheet

After 30 minutes, punch the dough down again and separate into 3 pieces, forming them into a loaf (a football type shape) and place on the cookie sheet

Set back into a warm spot and let rise about 25 minutes or until correct loaf size.

I brush them lightly with water and place them in a 450 degree preheated oven and bake approximately 30 minutes (turning the pan after 15 minutes and sprinkle a bit of water again on top) and bake until the tops are lightly browned and they sound hollow when you tap on them.

It’s ok if they touch when baking as you can cut them apart.

Your family will LOVE this super easy bread.  My niece and daughter grabbed the first slices as soon as the loaves were cool enough to handle!

 

Apple Crisp

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It’s that time of year again and while apples are in season it’s the best time to make some yummy treats!  This is a pure comfort food dessert.  Super easy and the house smells amazing while it’s cooking!!

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6 large apples peeled, cored and sliced
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp white sugar
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
4 Tbsp melted butter

Combine all in a bowl and set aside to marinate together

Make the sweet buttery topping
½ cup quick cook oats
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
¾ cups heaping all purpose flour
1 ½ sticks of room temperature butter

Combine oats, sugars, and flour and mix until well incorporated. Add in the room temperature butter and use a fork or a pastry cutter to form crumbles

Place the apple mixture in a lightly greased 13×9 cake pan. Sprinkle the crumble top evenly over the whole top.

Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 32 – 35 minutes (or until evenly browned)

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Pie Crust

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Pie crust is one of the easiest things to make that many people think is not. I like making our crusts for everything from pies to pot pies. I know exactly what is in it and there are no preservatives or chemicals!

Seeing as I have 6 cherry pies to make and freeze I will share my pie crust recipe here:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 TBSP sugar (if making for fruit pies omit for meat potpies)
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening (if you buy the vegetable shortening sticks it’s 3/4 of the stick)
4 – 6 tablespoons cold water (I usually only need 4 full TBSP)

Make crust:

In medium bowl, mix 2 cups flour, sugar and the salt. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of small peas (crumbs). Add cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and sticks together when pressed.
Gather dough into a ball. Divide in half; shape into 2 flattened rounds about 1/2 inch thick. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold. This allows the shortening to become slightly firm, which helps make the baked pastry more flaky. If refrigerated longer or you have frozen it, let pastry soften slightly before rolling.
With floured rolling pin, roll one round into round 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch glass pie plate. Place in pie plate and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side. You can do the same with the other half for a topped pie or roll and cut it into strips for a lattice crust.

I make 2 batches of crusts and keep them in the freezer as they are perfect to pull out and let soften when you need them.

I also freeze our pies unbaked after assembling them. You heat them just as you would a frozen pie at 375 covering the crust edge after 20 minutes and continue until the crust is browned and the filling is bubbly.

Our family Cherry Pie recipe here:
https://chasenchanceranch.wordpress.com/…/cherry-pitter-be…/

Egg Muffins

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I know these are all the “rage” now. In our world, they are a perfect breakfast for our busy mornings. The kids can microwave them themselves for a change from cereal, I take one to work in the morning, and the Teen will usually heat one up for a snack if we have them.

I make them many different ways and today was ham, onion, kale and cheddar cheese. I use a jumbo size muffin tin and it’s the perfect serving.

I used 6 eggs, 1/4 cup of skim milk, and as much of the fillings as you like.

Spray your muffin tins well, layer the ingredients in, scramble the eggs and milk and pour over the filling. Sprinkle on the cheese.

Bake at 350 for about 25-30 minutes or until cooked through. Let cool slightly and tip onto a plate and cool completely before placing in bags and freezing or refrigerating.