Banana Carmel Cake

Last March I made this cake for a Book Club I was hosting at my house. It was scrump-diddly-umsious. And they told me to email them the recipe. And I never got around to it (sometimes I’m LIKE that unfortunately) I just made it again this past week. And I thought I’d finally post it and send it along to all those lovely Book club ladies who I miss and wish I could attend. Instead maybe they can eat my cake πŸ™‚ A little late. But better than never. Try it. I promise you’ll love it!

(from the Essence of Chocolate by John Scharffenberger & Robert Steinberg)
3 cups sifted all purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 canola oil
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
3 ounces semi sweet chocolate chopped into chip sized chunks
1 1/2 diced ripe bananas (about 2)

1/2 cup firmly packed lightly brown sugar
2 Tbsp whole milk
4 Tbsp unsalted butter cut into chunks

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350ΒΊF. Butter and flour a 12-cup (10 inch) Bundt pan.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt and baking soda.
In the bowl of a mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla and almond. Mix on medium speed til combined well, stopping to scrape the sides if needed. Mix in the dry ingredients, about 1/2 at a time, stopping to scrap the bowl if necessary.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in pecans and chocolate. Carefully fold in the bananas; do not over mix.

Pour into the prepared pan/ Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Meanwhile, about 5 minutes before the cake is done, combine the brown sugar, milk, and butter in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally as the butter and sugar melt. Once it is amber in color, remove from the heat.

Remove the cake from the oven and immediately, using a long skewer, poke holes all over the surface of the cake. Pour the hot caramel over the top, poking more holes and pushing the cake slightly away from the sides of the pan as necessary to allow the caramel to soak into the cake’s top and sides. Place on a cooling rack to cool slightly.

When the cake has cooled, but is still warm to touch, unmold to a serving platter.

Serve either warm or at room temperature.

**Don’t add more bananas as it will make it a gummy cake.**
And I added a chocolate ganache on top just for a little extra va-va-va-voom.

MSBH Challenge: 33(Baking Powder Biscuits) 34 (Parker house Rolls) 35 (Cranberry Zucchini Muffins


And there is a new family up on my photo blog if you wanna see them.
A lovely neighbor I have.

Christmas Bingo

All over the net lately I’ve been seeing projects that are made inspired by stores that are expensive. So I thought I’d put my touch on these types of projects. This cute game is from Anthropologie. Amazing store. Not so cheap.
Here is my take on this cute Christmas game.

My version.
christmas bingo cards 1

Best part is I made it so you can download it and play with your kids and family too!
Just cause I love ya! There are six cards (two on each page) and then the key.
Two ways to download it.
If you have a flickr account just open them and download the largest size.
If you don’t then you can try these, Click on them and they should take you to another screen where it says download these.

Download them and print them onto cardstock and cut them out.

Let me know if you download it and how it works for you!!
I’d love to hear if anyone uses it πŸ™‚

There are a TON of things on Anthropologie. I would love love love to get!
But not in the budget.
So I think I’ll be doing a bit more of this knock off thing.
Next up something a little more challenging…..either a shirt or a necklace!

Dixie’s Donuts

Now my momma (and my grandma and me) are all those kind of bakers. You know those ones who don’t exactly know the amounts of things that are put in. It’s more about how the dough feels and all that. But I’ll do my best in posting amounts! πŸ™‚

Now this is also a BIG recipe. It makes 10 dozen donuts. So you can use it to make donuts, long johns, cinnamon buns, dinner buns, or scones. Or you can cut it in half (which I do often!)

Dixie's Donuts | Just Rhonda

2 liters of warm water (like warm like the bath warm)
1 pound melted margarine (or use 2 cups oil)
8 eggs
3 Tbsp Salt
3 Tbsp instant yeast (quick rising)
2 cup sugar
Flour (? a lot hahahaha)

Put your water and salt in a large bowl and stir to let the salt dissolve.
And set it aside.
In a different bowl mix the eggs and sugar until frosty.
Combine into the biggest bowl. Add 1/2 of the melted margarine (or oil).
Stir well.
Start adding flour until it gets hard to stir with a spoon. Like it isn’t dry yet… but it looks lumpy with flour (does that make sense?) It’s sloppy and super sticky.
Sprinkle yeast on top and stir it in.
Now start adding flour until the dough comes together and you can handle it. Knead it a bit with your hands. (If you are using a Bosch or a kitchen-aid it will start to pull away from the sides.) It should be a nice clean dough that you poke your hand into and it just leaves a dent that pops back out. (make sense?)
Turn the dough over so the smooth side is on the top. Then pour the rest of the margarine (or oil) over top and grease the sides of the bowl with it too.
Let rise in a warm spot until doubled.
Punch down once.
Let rise in a warm spot again.
Once doubled again use it.

Now to make it into donuts, you lay the dough out onto the counter squishing it with your hands until is in a rectangle shape (like you would for cinnamon buns) then cut out your donuts (I have a rolling pin that is a donut cutter outer. So I lay my dough out and then roll it over it and it cuts out constant donuts. It’s cool. And it was my mom’s. It takes me like 3 minutes to cut out 80 donuts (which is what I did this morning.)

Deep fry them in hot oil (I always use the stove but you could use a deep fryer).
Then drain them.
As soon as you can touch them without burning your hands, drop them into a glaze. (my glaze is just icing sugar with vanilla and some warm water til it is runny. I have no idea the amounts….. just til it looks right. hahahaha)
Then let them drain again.
Then eat them. πŸ™‚

The more often you make this dough the easier it will be. It’s a bit second nature to me as I used to make this dough weekly to make buns and whatever else. I did it on baking mondays. It sounds like a lot of work but it’s really not.


MSBH Challenge 25 (Banana Carmel Cake), 26 (Tart Dough), 27 (Lemon Curd), 28 (Pate A Choux), 29 (Cream puffs), 30 (Chocolate Eclairs), 31 (Vanilla Whipped Cream), 32 (Pastry Cream).

Hmm that’s a lot of stuff…… but a lot of them went together. As in the lemon curd and tart became a french lemon tart. The Pate A Choux is the dough that starts cream puffs and chocolate eclairs and the vanilla whipped cream and pastry cream fill them.

And a funny side note to all this baking? I’ve lost a little weight lately. hahahaha. Kind of ironic eh?

Cafe Rio Salad

I have had quite a few people ask for this recipe. And I’ve never gotten around to posting it. (Sorry it took me so long Brett!) This really is one of my very favorite meals! I made it this past week on Thursday for a group of ladies I had over for lunch. And it was marvelous! πŸ™‚ I don’t have a picture of it…. but here is the recipe

Cafe Rio Salad:

Put in your crockpot:
3-4 pound Pork Roast
1 cup Pace Picante Sauce
1 cup Brown Sugar
Cook it until you can shred it with a fork.
(For a frozen roast about 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high)
Cook some rice with zest from 1 lime.
Blend and chill:
1 1/3 cup light sour cream (I use 500ml of sour cream)
3/4 cup mayo
1 bunch of cilantro
1 package Ranch Dressing (you know that powdered stuff)
4 Tbsp Safeway Salsa Verde
1-2 cloves of garlic
1/8 tsp Tabasco (I always leave this out so my kids will eat it)
Juice of 1 lime
Add milk if too thick
Guacamole: Use your favorite recipe or
2 mashed avocados
2 Tbsp lime or lemon juice
1 diced tomato
add to taste: hot sauce, garlic powder & cayenne pepper

To eat it pile it in this like a taco on your plate:
Black Beans
Shredded Pork
Romaine Lettuce
Diced Tomatoes
Corn Chips (Optional)
**Eat it like a salad, breaking off tortilla as you go or wrap the whole thing like a burrito (that’s what we do)**

and here is a random photo from last weekend!
Some people think that this time of year is ugly around here. I completely disagree! I LOVE the yellowness of this season!! Love the hay bails in the fields. Love the crisp blue sky. I think it’s beautiful!!!

MSBH Challenge 23 (Herb Baking Powder Biscuits), 24 (Fudgy Chocolate Brownies)


I have one Jewish friend.
Well technically he is Regan’s friend.
From Medical School.
(And some times he reads this thing…. so Hi Asaph!!!)

I mean I grew up in Southern Alberta.
There isn’t a big Jewish population in Hill Spring.
When I grew up there it was Mormons and a few not any religions.
I don’t know about know since when I visit there I don’t know half of the people there. And even the ones I did know, I don’t recognize them. (Actually a young adult came up to me and said hello today and I was thinking he was being overly nice to a tired-yoga-pant-pony-tail-not-much-makeup mother carting around three kids. But he was a (a very handsome) guy (which is weird to call him that since the last time I saw him he was like 12) from Hill Spring walking by and noticed it was me and stopped to say hello and let my kids pet his beautiful chocolate lab dog.)

Anyways, back to my Jewish friend.
(Since we are friends on facebook I can call him my friend right?)
Today I made something for my MSBH challenge called Rugelach.

It is very different from anything I’ve ever made before! The dough kind of felt like too soft sugar cookie dough. waaaay to soft. Like add more flour soft. But I did what the recipe said. And let the dough sit in the fridge overnight. You can add dried fruit, nuts or chocolate (or a combo of all three) for the filling. The chocoholic in me opted for nuts and chocolate. πŸ™‚


I have no idea if I made them right.
I need my one Jewish friend to try them out. And tell me if they are close to what they are supposed to be.
Too bad you live in Calgary Asaph! πŸ™‚

Alden trying one. He seemed to enjoy it.

And just cause they were looking cute after the bath, a blurry but still cute photo…

MSHB Challenge #6