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Vanilla 1/2 Pound Cake

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There is nothing better than a “made-from-scratch” Sunday dessert. Pound cake is not only an easy recipe, but with slight ingredient varations, can be extremely versitle! Pound cake refers to how the cake was traditionally made. The recipe usually called for a pound of each of four ingredients: flour, butter, eggs, and sugar. Honestly, that’s a lot of cake —so I split the recipe in half. Here is my version on a vanilla 1/2 pound cake. Just as yummy on a much smaller scale. Enjoy!

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Ingredients

Baking Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan; set aside.

Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; add vanilla and salt. With mixer on low, gradually add flour, beating just until combined (do not overmix).

Bake about 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.  (tent loaf with aluminum foil if it’s browning too quickly). Let cool in pan 15 minutes. Invert onto a wire rack, and turn upright to cool completely.

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Finished with freshly cut strawberries and a vanilla bean soy whipped topping.
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Yummy Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

It’s been a while since I’ve shared one of my favorite recipes. This banana cake with cream cheese frosting recipes is one of my all-time favorites, but I must warn you, it’s definitely not light on the calories! Although, when you are enjoying such a decadent dessert, do calories really count? 🙂 Enjoy!

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Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

½ cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature

1 ½ cups sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup sour cream

1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 to 3 medium)

Frosting (see below)

Cream Cheese Frosting:

½ cup (1 stick) butter at room temperature

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 ¾ cups powdered sugar (sift if desired)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 15-by-10-inch sheet pan/cake pan.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar, then add eggs, sour cream and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to creamed mixture. Hand stir in mashed bananas.

Spread into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cake cool.

Prepare cream cheese frosting.

Spread on top of cake and store in refrigerator. Cake can be frozen.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Gradually beat in enough powdered sugar to achieve desired consistency.

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

There is nothing more comforting than a fresh batch of oatmeal raisin cookies in the cookie jar. This simple recipe, brings back all the feelings of childhood.  The flavor, the texture and the faint scent of cinnamon.

Ingredients

1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter

2 eggs

2 teaspoons water

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats

1 cup raisins

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How to make


STEP 1
Heat oven to 350°F.

STEP 2
Combine brown sugar and butter in bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add eggs, water and vanilla; continue beating until well mixed. Add all remaining ingredients except oats and raisins; beat at low speed until completely mixed. Fold in oats and raisins.
STEP 3
Form tablespoon-sized rounded balls and place 2 inches apart, onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 9-11 minutes or until lightly browned. Let stand 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely and store in air tight container.
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Recipe: Garlic Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

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This time of year my vegetable garden is quickly winding down. Most of my veggies are done producing for the season with the exception of that darn cherry tomato bush. This plant just won’t quit! By the end of the season, I’m pulling my hair out trying to come up with creative ways to eat the over abundance of my harvest. Cherry tomatoes being #1 on my list.

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I found this easy and savory recipe to help me use up all those maters. It uses a handful of ingredients (which are usually found in your pantry) and it takes minutes to make. My favorite way to eat this dish is on a nest of fresh pasta. Yum…it makes my mouth water just thinking about it! Add a glass of red wine and enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 (10 oz) containers cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss together tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet and spread into an even layer.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until tomatoes are soft and tender (but not mushy).
  4. Eat immediately as a savory meal side or top on your favorite pasta, homemade pizza or grilled chicken!

Need a dessert for after dinner?
Check out my recipe for
Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting >>

 

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Recipe: Homemade Taco Seasoning

It’s Tuesday which means only one thing… TACOS! Taco Tuesday! It’s my favorite dish, so it was a no-brainer that I was going to share my homemade taco seasoning recipe with you.

Taco salsaPhoto by: Mrsiraphol 

Store bought seasoning packets are quick and easy, but once you’ve made your own blend — you won’t go back! This homemade taco seasoning is quick, easy, inexpensive, and packed with way more flavor than it’s store bought counterpart. I personally have a sensitivity to high sodium foods. This was a perfect way to still enjoy my favorite dish, but tailor the recipe to my dietary needs.

Why you should make your own taco seasoning vs buying store seasoning packets?

  1. You can adjust the seasoning to your own taste. Make it spicer, make it less salt. Play with the mixture until it’s perfect for you.
  2. Make larger or smaller quantities to fit your needs. I like making a lot at one time so I always have it on hand. It keeps for quite awhile as long as you keep it stored in an air tight container.
  3. Cut out all of the unhealthy additives, preservatives, and food coloring. Who needs all that extra junk? Not only is homemade better for you, it tastes better too!
  4. Get rid of all of that extra sodium. The homemade version has a lot less salt than it’s store counterpart. If you’re on a low sodium diet substitute regular salt with a low sodium alternative.

To make this recipe even easier, the 8 ingredients are all equal parts. If you want to make an even bigger batch just make sure all eight parts measure out to be the same.

Taco_SeasoningFenway Taco Seasoning Recipe

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp chili peper

1 tsp Sazon Goya

Measure out all the ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well. Then taste and adjust the salt or spices as desired. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

More than just tacos!

This seasoning recipe is very versatile and can be used on so much more than taco meat. Here are a couple of great ideas:

  • Pan-roast some raw almonds with a tablespoon of  olive oil and a couple teaspoons of taco seasoning.
  • Grill marinate boneless/skinless chicken breasts with olive oil and a generous helping of taco seasoning.
  • Taco Dip! 8oz of sour cream, 8oz of room temp cream cheese, a couple tablespoons of taco seasoning. Blend until smooth and dip with your favorite tortilla chip. Yum!