Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Here is the awaited post!

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yummy and Delicious Banana Cake topped with an even yummier Cream Cheese Frosting! If you haven’t picked up on it by now…I LOVE cream cheese frosting!!

The Recipe was very simple. I made the two round cakes one day, then frosted them the next day when I intended to use/eat them.  It didn’t take very long and made a delicious dessert. I will definitely pull this one out again! If you’re interested, you can find the original recipe here.

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

-3 cups all-purpose flour
-2 cups sugar
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/2 tsp salt
-3 eggs, beaten
-3/4 cup vegetable oil
-4 large ripe bananas, mashed
-1 cup pecans, chopped
-1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, room temp
-1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temp
-1 lb powdered sugar
-1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Grease 2 round cake pans and set aside. Preheat oven to 350F or 175C
2. Mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Then add the beaten eggs and oil. Stire until the dry ingredients are just moistened – don’t go crazy here, less is more.  Stir in the banana, and pecans and 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla.
3. Divide up the batter between the two pans and back for approximately 25 minutes – until a toothpick or knife comes out clean.
4. Cool the cake layers in their pans for 10 minutes, then turn them out on the rack to cool completely. While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting.
1.  Blend together the cream cheese and butter. Gradually add in the powdered sugar and beat until it’s all light and fluffy. Beat in 1 tsp of vanilla.
2. Put a layer of frosting on top of one layer of cake, then put the next cake on top. Then frost the top and sides!
3. Top with nothing or anything (more pecans, sprinkles, chocolate, etc)

-If you don’t have pecans, you can substitute for any other type of nut, or nothing if you prefer.


Clean Eating Day 11

(This blog includes recipes for Crock Pot Beef Taco Salad)

Today was a day of temptations! I was away all day at an event – which was a catered event. Now some of you are going to think what I did was a little over the top and, honestly, I agree with you. However, because this is only a 14 day challenge, I thought I need to stick to this 100% and give it my all, even when it’s inconvenient. So after these 2 weeks, while I will still try to eat clean and healthily, I know there will be days that it is more practical to not – or days of going out for meals. However, today…I packed my own bread, so transferred the fillings from the catered sandwich to my own. I made my own flapjack last night and brought that with me instead of eating the store bought kind. I brought plain raisins instead of eating chocolate covered raisins. And I ate a healthy, clean, banana bread bar instead of a Krispy Kreme donut that was bought for me. I also resisted the temptation when a certain friend literally trying to force feed me store bought flapjack! Granted…it’s not all that tempting to eat something from someone else’s fingers while being shoved into your lips!

BREAKFAST: Homemade Granola and Milk

SNACK: Smoothie
This was so good to have today. While everyone else was munching on chocolate covered raisins and goodies, this kept me full but also satisfied any sweetness craving.

LUNCH: Sandwich, flapjack, fruit
Ham and lettuce on my own wholewheat bread. My homemade flapjack, and thankfully they did cater in fresh fruit kebabs!

SNACK: Banana Bread Bar

Banana Bread Bar

Banana Bread Bar

My mother-in-law bought me these for this week, which was very kind of her! She searched Tesco to try to find some type of “clean” snack! And they are, there is nothing “unclean” in the ingredients.

DINNER: Crock Pot Beef Taco Salad

I got the basic idea for this recipe from Eat, Live, Run, but adapted it for my own use. This recipe is for actual tacos, but I didn’t have any wraps on hand, so I just turned it into a salad.  Here is the recipe I used and this was enough for 2 people. It might be enough for 3-4 when you add in the wrap calories, but they would probably be smaller portions.

Crock Pot Beef Taco Salad

-1 Tbsp chili powder
-1 1/2 tsp cumin or smoked cumin
-1/2 tsp onion powder
-1/4 tsp garlic powder
-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
-1 tsp salt
-300g Rump Steak
-1 green bell pepper

1. Mix all the spices together then rub into each side of the steak. Use all the mixture. Place the spice covered steak into the bottom of a crock pot.
2. Add in peppers (and onions and jalapenos if desired).
3. Cook for 7-8 hours on low.
4. Once cooked, remove the steak and shred with two forks.
5. Serve as desired – hard tacos, soft tacos, salad. Top with desired elements – cheese, salsa, veggies, etc

-I have a bad habit of not properly measuring spices when cooking, I tend to just go on what looks good. But that is partially the point of spices, so the measurements are adjustable depending on your taste buds!
-I used Rump Steak, but you can use almost any kind of steak. Because it’s done in a crockpot, even the typically tougher meat cuts will be just fine!
-If you use a lean meat, you may need to add a bit of beef stock so that it doesn’t dry out during cooking.
-Once you’ve shredded the meat, you can serve immediately, or return it to the crock pot for up to a few hours until you are ready to serve
-I would add in the green pepper later in the cooking. I’m sure it added some extra flavouring to the meat, but I found they were just a bit too mushy for my taste with a full 8 hours in there.


Clean Eating Day 3

(This post contains recipes for Wholemeal/wheat Pizza)

Here we are on day 3.  Doing well so far. I’ve had some cravings for some sweets and chocolates – especially at our kids club when the counter just has a mini sweet shop on display. But I think these cravings are due more to the fact that I know I’ve said I can’t have it! So here is what I’ve had today.

Breakfast: Homemade Yoghurt topped with Homemade Granola, a dash of maple syrup and Chia seeds.

Yoghurt & Granola

Yoghurt & Granola

This was delicious by the way. I was wary of trying the homemade yoghurt as I just didn’t know what to expect. Admittedly, I half expected it to just taste like milk gone off, and to be clumpy and gross. BUT IT WASN’T! It was so delicious! I will, if not always, very often make Yoghurt this way now!

Here’s the recipe for the Yoghurt and Granola

LUNCH: Baked Potato with Butter and Cheese

Sorry, didn’t grab a picture of this one. As nice as it tasted, I didn’t assemble it in a photogenic way. You’ll just have to wait until next time.  This was just the left over from last night’s dinner, and will probably be lunch tomorrow as well. I love it when dinner goes so far!

DINNER: Whole Wheat Pizza

I learned a very valuable lesson while making this pizza….never underestimate the value of parchment paper.  I tend not to have this in the house…not for any “moral reason”…I just simply never think to buy it. I’ve always just figured I can put more flour down so the dough/cookies/whatever don’t stick. However…when avoiding the use of flour…parchment paper is a must! There is no picture of this pizza as it did NOT turn out pretty! It was a mess trying to get the pizza from the counter top to the tray! The taste was fine…but it looked more like an explosion rather than a pizza. Mental note – invest in parchment paper!

Here is the recipe for it anyway.  Also, I didn’t get the “cleanest” pepperoni for it. I will need to do some hunting to find a place that sells pure pepperoni without some of the natural flavourings and preservatives.

This recipe is originally from Bless this Mess, and there is a much better picture there to show what it is SUPPOSED to look like!

Whole Wheat Pizza

-3 cups whole wheat (meal) flour
-2 tsp sugar (use brown sugar, or some honey, or just nothing if you really don’t want sugar)
-1 1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp yeast
-1 1/3 cups cold water
-1 Tbsp olive oil
-Pizza Sauce (or home-make with 1 tin crushed tomatoes, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 2 cloves Garlic)

1. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Add the water and olive oil and mix until a soft dough forms.  It will be sticky and quite a bit wetter than a traditional yeast bread dough, don’t fear, this is how it’s supposed to be.

2. Cover bowl with cling film and refrigerate for at least 24 hours or up to 3 days.  The dough won’t rise much in the fridge..this is okay!

3. When ready to make, take dough out of the fridge and let sit at room temp for one hour before using.  Preheat your oven to 500 degrees F while you’re waiting (also a good time to make sauce, grate cheese, chop toppings). If you have a baking stone, heat it up in the oven. If you don’t have a stone, a pizza tray or cookie tray is fine as well. Heat the stone 30 minutes prior to putting the pizza on it or the tray 15 minutes prior to putting the pizza on it.

4. Once the oven heats up, cut the dough in half. Put half of the dough on the PARCHMENT PAPER (do not miss this step!). Tear the paper slightly larger than the stone/tray. Roll the dough (on top of the paper) into a 12-14 inch circle. It will be pretty thin, and sticky.

5. Add sauce, cheese and toppings as desired.

6. When it’s assembled, slide the pizza (which is on the parchment paper) on to a rimless cookie sheet or an upside down one – this step will help you get the pizza into the oven without burning yourself!

7. Open the oven and slide the pizza (paper and all) onto the hot stone/tray. Please do be careful as your oven is very hot right now! Don’t burn yourself.  Just give the paper a gentle tug and it should slide from the tray in your hand to the hot tray in the oven.

8. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the top is bubbly and edges are starting to brown. Use the same tray you used to get the pizza into the oven and re-tug on the parchment paper to pull the pizza out of the oven onto the cool tray.

9. Repeat with second half of the dough (remember the parchment paper!)

EVENING SNACK: Chopped Veggies, Raisins, Spicy Roasted Chickpeas, Hummus, Flat bread, Sweet Potato Crisps

Had the girls over this evening, and instead of indulging in chocolate bars and cake, we had some very appetizing and tasty healthy snacks.

I will post the recipe for Sweet Potato Crisps another day when I perfect them a little more.
The Hummus and Flat Bread were store bought so I don’t have a recipe for them.