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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

Ingredients
-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

Directions
Cake
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.
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)

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

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Chicken Divan

I tend to forget about this recipe…but when I do pull it out, it’s always a favourite!

Sadly, last night we had a “goodbye” dinner with a good friend. Unfortunately, her partner is in the army and they are being re-posted!  This is the problem with living near an army base – making friends who are only around for 2 years.  But we are excited for her as she’s starting the next part of her adventure – but we’ll miss her.

We thought to make it simple, so no one was stuck in the kitchen all night instead of chatting, we’d each just bring a part of dinner and come with it already prepared. Since I’m off on a Monday I volunteered to do the main course. So I pulled out this handy recipe! Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture as we were in a bit of rush, and then when we go there it didn’t last very long before I had an empty pan! Next time, I’ll remember to take the time to snap up a picture!

This is a recipe I’ve learned from my mom. I can’t actually find the original recipe anymore…so this may not be exactly as she makes it, but close enough and it still tastes delicious!

Chicken Divan

Ingredients

-1kg Chicken Breasts, chopped into bite sized pieces
-1 Package frozen broccoli
-1 Can of Cream Soup (Chicken, Broccoli, Mushroom, Broccoli & Stilton, etc)
-1 Soup Can of Milk
-Cheese, Grated
-2 cups Bread Crumbs
-2 Tbsp Butter, melted

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 450F.
2. Cook chicken in a frying pan
3. Once cooked, put the chicken and frozen broccoli into a large oven safe dish. Make sure they are fairly evenly distributed.
4. Mix together Soup and Milk then add over the chicken and broccoli
5. Put grated cheese over the top (however much or little you like)
6. Mix the melted butter and the bread crumbs. Then add over the top of the dish.
7. Put into the oven for about 25 minutes – Done!

Notes

-I’ve only ever made this with Cream of Chicken or Broccoli & Stilton soup, but I’ve seen other recipes using other ones. As long as it’s a cream based soup, it will go fine!
-You can make your own bread crumbs…even if you’ve forgotten to leave them out long enough to harden up…by taking a few slices of bread and breaking it up and leaving it out for a few hours and/or pop into a slightly heated oven. When ready to use, pull them apart even more then add the butter. The cooking process will make them crispy!

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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

Ingredients
-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)
-Cheese
-Toppings

Directions
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.