July 6, 2018

My Go-To Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This is my go-to banana cake recipe.  I have been making it for several years and I always get recipe requests for this.  Sometimes I switch up the frosting.  I've tried vanilla buttercream, cream cheese frosting, Nutella frosting and all are fabulous.  I've been a bit obsessed with cream cheese frosting lately.  That tang from the cream cheese just hits the spot :)

Next time you have some brown bananas lying around, you have got to try this.  The cake is dense and loaded with flavor.  Top it with whatever frosting you prefer and you might just find yourself buying bananas and letting them go brown on purpose, so you can make this sweet dessert.

You might also like:

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
(Printable Recipe)

2 Tbl. unsalted butter, softened
2/3 c. sugar
1 large egg
1/2 c. non-fat plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas, mashed (about 3/4 cup)
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Cream Cheese Frosting
4 Tbl. unsalted butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (or 1 Tbl. vanilla bean paste)
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
milk, enough to reach desired consistency

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  For the cake: Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add the egg and mix to combine.  Add the yogurt and vanilla and mix well.  Mix in the mashed banana.  Add the flour, salt, baking soda and stir together just until combined.  Pour into a greased 8x8-inch baking dish.  Bake for 25 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly touched or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely and frost.  Store leftover cake in the refrigerator. 

For the frosting: Beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy.  Add a pinch of salt and the vanilla and mix until blended.  Add one cup of powdered sugar and mix until combined.  Add remaining powdered sugar and enough milk, as needed, to reach desired spreading consistency.  Beat until smooth and fluffy and spread over cooled cake.  

Base cake recipe adapted from: Butter Yum 
Frosting from: Jenn@eatcakefordinner

June 29, 2018

Burnt Almond Fudge Ice Cream

How's Summer treating you so far?  I am loving every minute of it and trying to soak up the sun as much as possible.  It's been really hot this past week.  My freezer is constantly stocked with ice cream and popsicles to help me cool down.  
I had a giant carton of whipping cream in my fridge, so I decided to make a double batch of ice cream.  I made Chunky Brownie Ice Cream and this Burnt Almond Fudge Ice Cream.

This thick and velvety smooth ice cream is rich and creamy with crunchy toasted almonds.  I used my go-to, absolute favorite, base for chocolate ice cream and I added toasted almonds and topped with fudge sauce.  This ice cream is absolutely divine and you will want to eat the entire batch by yourself.  
You might also like:

Burnt Almond Fudge Ice Cream
adapted from: 101 Gourmet Ice Cream Creations
(Printable Recipe)

2 large egg yolks
3/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 c. heavy whipping cream
1 c. 2% milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. chocolate chips (I use half semi-sweet and half milk)
1 c. toasted almond slices
hot fudge sauce, for serving

In a large saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and cocoa powder until well combined.  Gradually whisk in the cream, milk and vanilla until smooth and creamy and no lumps remain.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Heat over medium heat, whisking frequently, until mixture reaches 160 degrees on an instant read thermometer.  Remove from heat, pour into a large container with a lid and chill in the refrigerator until completely cooled, overnight is best.

When ready, pour ice cream mix into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions.  When ice cream is done, stir in toasted almonds.  Pour into a 9x5-inch loaf pan (or plastic container) and freeze until completely firm.  Scoop into a bowl and top with hot fudge sauce.  Serve.  

June 12, 2018

Strawberry Oreo Frozen Fruit Dessert

This four-ingredient dessert is so delicious.  It tastes like ice cream, yet it is the easiest thing to make ever. 

My mom told me about this dessert a long time ago and about how amazing it is.  I should have learned my lesson and listened to her.  Remember when I told you about this Honeybun Cake and she kept telling me how good it was and then when I finally tried it, I was blown away and it instantly became a favorite?  Well, same thing with this frozen dessert.  I didn't realize it was seriously yummy until I tried it.  

All you do is combine a carton of thawed whipped topping, sweetened condensed milk and strawberries.  Then, I like to pour mine into a loaf pan, so I can slice it once it's frozen.  Last, top it off with some crushed Oreos and freeze.  Couldn't be easier.  
You might also like:

Strawberry Oreo Frozen Fruit Dessert
From: Mom
(Printable Recipe)

1 (8 oz.) carton Cool Whip, thawed
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
16 oz. (around 2 cups) fresh strawberries, washed, dried, hulled and chopped
10 Oreos, crushed 

Line a 9x5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving a slight overhang for handles.  Pour sweetened condensed milk into a medium bowl and fold in the thawed Cool Whip.  Fold in the chopped strawberries.  Pour into loaf pan and top with crushed Oreos, pressing down slightly.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and freeze until firm.  Pull on the parchment paper and remove from dessert from pan, slice and serve.  

June 4, 2018

3-Ingredient Ranch Dip

I'm sure you have all had the classic ranch dip with sour cream and ranch mix, but I bet you have never had this version of that dip.  By adding cottage cheese, it takes it up to another level.  Plus, you get all that added protein from the cottage cheese.  

This is my current favorite snack.  I have already made it three times in the last month.  I started out eating this with potato chips, which is my favorite, but in an attempt to be a little more healthy now that it is Summer, I have been eating it with sliced cucumber and celery sticks.  Both ways are really really good.  I've also make it with both full-fat ingredients and low-fat ingredients and I love it both ways.  Use whatever you prefer.  
This makes a lot of dip, so it's great to take to a party or just keep it on hand to snack on during the Summer.  It's nice and cool and totally satisfies.  

You might also like:

3-Ingredient Ranch Dip
adapted from: Amy D.
(Printable Recipe)

1 (16 oz.) container sour cream
1 (16 oz.) container cottage cheese
1 (1 oz.) packet dry ranch dressing mix

Stir together all ingredients until well combined.  Refrigerate for at least one hour or more before serving.  Serve with chips, vegetables or crackers.

May 6, 2018

Frozen Strawberry Watermelon Lemonade

I originally posted this recipe back in 2012 and I've been making it for the past 6 years.  
Time to re-share it with all of you.  

Here is my original post:

It definitely quenched my thirst.  I even got a few brain-freezes a long the way.

I threw everything in the food processor and pulsed away.  Then, I stopped it to taste and see what adjustments needed to be made.  It needed nothing - it was PERFECT!  I should have made a bigger batch.  Who knew homemade lemonade could taste so good.  I'm 100% sure I will be making this a lot in the next few months.  

I love the flavor the fresh strawberries added.  It ended up thick and smooth and creamy - not icy at all.  Some people might find this overly sweet, since the fruit is fairly sweet on its own, but I love sweet things, so I thought it had the perfect sweet/tart balance.  If you don't care for super sweet things, I would start out with less sugar and add more if needed.    
This would be the perfect beverage to serve at your next barbeque.  Or even just to go with Sunday dinner.  If you are worried about serving it at a barbeque and having it melt.  Don't worry, it tastes really really good regular too.  I whipped up a batch and put some extra in my fridge.  A few hours later, I went to drink the rest and even though it was no longer frozen, it was still AMAZING.

Between this lemonade and this Watermelon Frosty, you have no excuses to not use up every last bit of that watermelon in your fridge.

Frozen Strawberry Watermelon Lemonade
8 c. watermelon, cubed and seeded, frozen
1 c. strawberries, halved  (I used way more)    
1/2 c. fresh lemon juice
1 c. granulated sugar
2 c. water or Sprite (I used Sprite)

Combine all the ingredients and blend until smooth (you may have to do it in two batches).  You can also skip freezing the watermelon cubes and make regular Strawberry Watermelon Lemonade.    

Jenn's Notes: I cut this recipe in fourth and made it in my food processor.  I added quite a bit more strawberries than the recipe called for, because I wanted a strong strawberry flavor.  I also used the juice of an entire lemon.  Fourth of a batch made enough for two medium-sized glasses.  It is pretty sweet (which I like), but I think you could cut back on the sugar and it would still be yummy.  It tasted great frozen and it tastes great not-frozen too.       

April 15, 2018

Slow-Cooker BBQ Ribs (Fall off the bone tender)

My Father-In-Law makes the best ribs.  He spends all day smoking them and then grilling them to perfection.  They taste absolutely amazing and can't be beat.  

This recipe is for all of us rib lovers that need a super easy recipe that has great results with very little hands-on time.

These ribs start out with a dry rub and are cooked in the slow-cooker without adding any additional liquid.  The ribs will release their own liquid as they cook and there is no need to add any extra.  Then, once they are tender, you brush them will barbecue sauce and broil until they are charred and absolutely perfect.

These ribs are so so so tender.  You can pull the bone out without any effort.  These will definitely satisfy that rib craving.  I served mine with My Favorite Twice Baked Potatoes and it was an incredible Sunday dinner.  

Slow-Cooker BBQ Ribs
(Printable Recipe)

1 1/2 Tbl. smoked paprika
1 Tbl. packed light brown sugar
1 Tbl. kosher salt
2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 (2 1/2 - 3 Lb.) racks St. Louis-style spareribs, cut each rack in half
1/2 c. favorite barbecue sauce, or more, if desired

In a small bowl, combine paprika, brown sugar, salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder; set aside.  Pat ribs dry with paper towels and coat all over with rub.  Arrange ribs vertically with thick ends pointing down and meaty side against interior wall of slow-cooker (ribs will overlap).  Cover and cook until ribs are just tender, around 6 to 7 hours on low.  

Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set a wire rack in pan.  Using tongs, carefully transfer ribs, meaty side up, to prepared rack.  Let ribs sit for 10 minutes to allow surface to dry out.  Adjust oven rack 3 inches from broiler element and heat broiler.  Liberally brush ribs with 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce and broil until sauce begins to char, about 4 minutes.  Remove ribs from oven, brush with additional sauce, if desired.  Tent with foil and allow to rest for 20 minutes.  Cut ribs in between bones to separate and serve.  

Jenn's Notes:  This also works if you want to cover the ribs with the rub the night before, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.  Then, add to the slow-cooker in the morning.  

Cooking method and rub adapted from: Cook's Country