Thursday, August 8, 2013

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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Caramel Banana Upside Down Bread

It's a bread....... it's a cake! Who cares, it's yummy!  It taste like cake to really, really, good cake but it's cooked in a loaf pan so perhaps it's a bread?  

I am not even that big of a banana bread lover but this is like 'naner bread on flavor steroids!  The brown sugar mixed with butter and topped with sliced bananas is a great start, then topped with salty caramel sauce?  A complete show stopper!

NOTE: When I have over ripe bananas but no time to make something with them...I just toss the whole thing in the freezer...peel and all!

Caramel Banana Upside Down Bread - (adopted from

½ cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into several pieces
About 2 bananas, sliced in ¼ inch rounds
½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1½ cup whole wheat flour
¾ cup white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking power
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup mashed overripe bananas
2 large eggs
⅓ cup vegetable oil
⅓ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Caramel Glaze:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon kosher salt (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Coat a 9 x 5 loaf pan with non stick spray.
Melt butter in microwave.  In small bowl, combine with brown sugar. Stir the mixture until dissolved and spread evenly on the bottom of the pan. Place a single layer of the banana slices on top of the sugar mixture along the entire bottom of the pan.

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add all the remaining wet ingredients and beat just until combined. Do not over stir.
Pour the batter over the sliced bananas in the pan.
Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean but moist.
Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 20 minutes before inverting it on a cake platter.
 Caramel Glaze :
 Place the butter,  brown sugar and heavy cream in a microwave safe dish. (I find a Pyrex measuring cup works well).  Heat on high for one minute, stir and heat an additional minute until mixture boils.  Spread on top of upside down bread.  Sprinkle with salt if desired (I love the addition of salt!)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Raspberry Cordial

Nothing says summertime like fresh fresh fresh raspberry flavored booze!  Like Whoa! 

 I believe it qualifies as a serving of fruit as well...bonus point, sold!...cha-ching! (And yes, I've been sampling...what kinda cook doesn't taste her own wares?)

This takes about 2 minutes to throw together but needs to sit for about 4 weeks and can go as long as 8 weeks to achieve maximum raspberry booziness!  So if you get going right now, you could be sipping on this cordial by Labor Day...or is it Memorial Day?  Whas the one in Septmbr? Thas the one  I'mmm talkin' bout....
pee.eth: Thank you Jamie B. for this's wunnerful.  I love you man,,,,
Ingredients - Makes 3 quarts  - I let mine set for 4 weeks and it was yummy!
2 cups sugar
2 pint raspberries
1 quart vodka


Place sugar in a 3 quart Mason type jar.  Add the Vodka. Stir untik sugar is dissolved. Add Strawberries. Place in a cool dark place.  Once a week, open and stir.  After 4-8 weeks, strain through a fine sieve or cheese cloth.  Chill and serve!

 Beautiful rich color and very tasty!  Worth the wait!!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Peanut Buster Parfait Ice Cream Cake

This was such a hit!  Mr. LaughingSpatula had two, yes two pieces! 

Salty, sweet, caramely, chocolaty goodness...all served up over a cookie crumb crust. 

And how long does this masterpiece take to make?  Oh, 'bout 10 minutes to assemble.  Pop in the freezer for about an hour and you got summer yum!

NOTE:  You could use most any cookie for the crust.  I used Nabisco Chocolate Wafer cookies, but they are pricey.  Try Oreo's,Vanilla Wafers, Peanut Butter Cookies (dang, I wish I would have used those!).  Whatever you have hanging around will work.

Serves 8 regular people or 16 skinny people. (that is just an estimate...I really don't know what skinny people eat).


1/2 gallon Ice Cream  (I used Dryers Churned Light)
1/2 cup caramel Sauce
1/2 cup fudge sauce
1 cup salted peanuts (not dry roasted variety, although I would eat it anyway if that's all you had :)
About 10-15 Chocolate Wafer cookies  (I used Nabisco Chocolate Wafers)


Partially thaw ice cream.  About 15 minutes should do it. 
Spray an 8" spring form pan (or pie plate) with non stick spray.
Crumble cookies right into the pan.
Press into bottom of pan with a large spoon (no butter required)

Scoop half the vanilla ice cream on top of crumbled cookies.  Spread caramel sauce on top of ice cream.   Top with remaining ice cream.  Sprinkle with 3/4 cup nuts.  Spread fudge on top of nuts and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup nuts.

Freeze for about an hour or more before serving.  It's summer time deluxe!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Peach Cobbler Muffins

Summertime and the peaches are perfect!    I love fruit filled muffins and these are particularly yummy!
Easy (of course, or I wouldn't be bloggin' 'em), and perfect for breakfast or top with ice cream for a lovely dessert!

The recipe calls for buttermilk which I never have on hand, but you can use a mixture of milk and vinegar to get the same results! 1 tablespoon vinegar for every cup of milk should do it.  You will notice the vinegar will curdle the milk which is exactly what you want!


2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 cup buttermilk (or scant 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon vinegar)
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large egg
¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1½ cups peeled, sliced,  fresh or unthawed frozen peaches
Turbinado sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.    Lightly spray 12 large muffin cups with vegetable oil spray or line them with paper muffin cups.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and granulated sugar.

In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, egg,  and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Gently fold in the peaches, using as few strokes as possible; be careful not to overmix.
Fill muffin tins about 2/3 of the way full.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the muffins are golden brown.
The tops should be firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin should come out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Chicken Tamale Pie

Since I am such a Cooking Light fan, I'm not sure how I missed this recipe but I'm glad Pinchofyum brought it back to life! 

This will go into the weekly meal rotation file.  Perfect for work night's and another recipe for store bought Rotisserie Chicken! Whooo hooo!

NOTE: You can substitute the spice mixture for one package of Taco Seasoning mix using 1/2 for the cornbread and 1/2 for the chicken.


1/3 cup milk
1 egg
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 (14 oz) cream style corn
1 (8 oz) box corn muffin mix (I used Jiffy)
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies
1 (10oz) can enchilada sauce

2 cups cooked chicken - shredded
1 cup grated cheese
Optional: chopped fresh cilantro and Cojita cheese to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Spray 9" pie plate with non stick spray.
Mix together chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and set aside.
In medium bowl, mix together milk, egg, 1/2 of spice mixture, cream corn, muffin mix and chopped green chilies. Stirring just until moist.  Pour into prepared pie plate and bake 20-30 minutes or until top springs back easily. 
Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes. Toss shredded chicken with remaining spice mix.
 Pierce entire service of baked muffin mixture with fork (gets a little sticky but don't worry, nobody will notice!).  Pour enchilada sauce on top.  Top with seasoned chicken and cheese.  Bake an additional 20 minutes and sprinkle with Cilantro and Cojita cheese if desired. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Easy and Fresh Mango Chutney

Easy on the cook Mango Chutney!  If you've got a knife and can boil water, you can make this Chutney!  It's good on everything: chicken, pork, fish...your finger?
My Mom throws amazing dinner parties and this is her recipe. (via her friend Debbie who has been making it for years, who shared it with my Mom, who shared it with me,  shared recipes are the best!)
My Mom had a 'LaughingSpatula Party'...not kidding!  Almost everything she served was from my blog.  In fact she made so many desserts she created "Breakfast Bags" for her guests to take home. (how clever is that?).   She even tied my business card to each bag!   I love that she loves me...I am her favorite ya know, it's true.  Shhhhh, don't tell my sisters, they don't know.... 

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 1/4 # Mangos - chopped, about 4 cups  (here is a great tutorial on chopping Mangos )
1/2 jalapeno - seeded and chopped
1 clove garlic - chopped
1" fresh ginger - peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup dried fruit - I used golden raisins but you could use dried apricots, apples etc.
Combine sugar and vinegar in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer.  Simmer until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally - about 10 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients and simmer 40 minutes more.  Remove from heat.
Chutney will thicken as it cools.
You can store this in your refrigerator for up to a week and it is also perfect for canning. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Caprese Grilled Chicken

Apparently I need two new categories for my recipes: Titled RFM and RFR.  That would be 'Recipes from Mom' and ' Recipes from Rob'!  This one is an RFR but the next one will most likely be an RFM!

Doesn't get much better than this...easy, healthy, fast!  I'd say those are three requirements that make this a perfect recipe.  Great for weeknights but fancy enough for guests.  

I tossed some fresh asparagus in a bit of olive oil and threw it on the grill with the chicken.  Reduced a bit of Balsamic Vinegar on the stove to top it off and Chicken Perfection!


4 chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 thick slices of fresh mozzarella
4 slices fresh tomato
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar


Heat your grill to medium high heat.  Rub  chicken with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. As chicken is cooking, pour balsamic vinegar into sauce pan  and simmer until reduced by half. Set aside. (this takes only about 3-5 minutes once it starts to simmer).

When chicken is thoroughly cooked, top with mozzarella, basil, tomato slice and about a tablespoon of the balsamic reduction.  Serve warm or chill chicken and serve cold the next day...made a perfect lunch for me!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Fresh Corn Salad!

A summer staple!  All you need is fresh corn, peppers, maybe some onions...a little sour cream and you have a crunchy yummy summer salad!

I used Polano and Red Pepper but you could substitute most anything. Avacodo would be nice too!

I'm keeping this commentary simple...just like this salad!


6 ears of shucked fresh corn
1 Poblano pepper (seeded and chopped)
1/2 red pepper (seeded and chopped)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon sugar (add a bit more is  your corn is not very sweet)
Salt and Pepper

Mix it all together...chill for about 30 minutes to meld the flavor and done!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Homemade Lemoncello!

When life gives you lemons...soak 'em in booze! 

I love the idea of homemade booze...who knew?  When I think about all the stuff you could soak in Vodka it makes me all woozy!   Vodka is a neutral spirit, it goes with everything!

This is stuper easy (a little boozy  humor).  Steep lemon peels in your favorite vodka for about 5-7 days...add some simple syrup and you are locked and loaded (more boozy  humor)...crack myself up!  Oh yeah, fun photo shoot friends, very fun photo shoot...hicuup.


1 fifth Vodka
2 pounds lemons (about 10)
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
Sterilized container with tight fitting lid (like a large jar)

Peel yellow skin off of lemons being careful not to get the white pith (it will make your Lemoncello bitter and kinda pith ya off).

Mix Lemon peelings and vodka in large jar with tight fitting lid.
Store for 5-7 days in a cool dark place.  Give it a shake a day if you can...

Combine sugar and water in saucepan.  Heat to boiling and cook for 10 minutes until all sugar is dissolved.  Cool to room temperature.

Drain lemon peels from vodka and toss.  Pour desired amount of sugar mixture into vodka.  I used about 1 1/2 cups...but whatever tastes good to you!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Blueberry Pie Bars

If I were a Blueberry, I would want to land my big blue butt in this pan...what a way to go out...if your a Blueberry I mean.  Seriously, these are some killer bar cookies...and easy?...oh, get me started! 

 I found several variations of this recipe on Pinterest (cause' that's where all the groovy recipes are).   I eventually settled on Kleinworth & Co. version.  Why?.. well they had the best picture of course so they must be the best, turns out I was right!

 You can use fresh or frozen blueberries and I'll just bet you could substitute Raspberries, Apples or Peaches...oh yum, Peaches sound perfect for next time!

Blueberry Pie Bars


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2  cup sugar
pinch salt
1 1/2 sticks cold butter (cubed)


 2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sour cream
pinch salt
3 cups fresh blueberries


Grease 9x13 glass baking dish- set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Add flour, sugar, salt and cubed butter to mixing bowl, beat until combined and crumbly.

Take 1 cup of mixture and set aside. (I really tried to forget this step so I'm giving you a visual)

  • Take remaining mixture and firmly press into your baking dish, covering the bottom. Bake 15 minutes.
  • While crust is baking- whisk eggs in a large bowl.
  • Add sugar, sour cream, flour and salt.
  • Gently fold in blueberries. (if frozen, you may want to wait just until you are ready to pour into the crust so they don't go all purple on ya)
  • When crust is ready - remove from oven and add filling. Gently spooning over the top of the crust.
  • Sprinkle with remaining crust mixture you had set aside.
  • Bake 1 hour or until top is lightly browned.
  • Cool a bit before serving to make easier to cut.
  • Print and save this recipe...your going to be making it a lot!

Monday, May 6, 2013

BBQ Chicken Soup with Cornbread Croutons

Soup with a twist and a secret ingredient...I LOVE secret ingredients! 

 I've never heard of BBQ Chicken Soup until I had it at SODO Kitchen, a lovely restaurant located in the Seattle Starbucks Headquarters building. The food is fresh from local Farmers and the staff is lovely! The Catering Manager was nice enough to share this recipe with...Thank you Laura! 

 This has turned out to be one of my all time soup faves and I love me some soup so that says alot.

So, what is that secret ingredient??  It's a cup of brewed coffee and of course I used Starbucks...I got a few pounds of it hanging around.

  • This soup is as good as the BBQ sauce you be sure and use one you like.
  • Perfect recipe to use grocery store purchased Rotisserie Chicken!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Artisanal Crackers with Olive Oil & Rosemary

Every once in awhile you run into a recipe that makes all this blogging worth it!  And this my friends is it!
It is everything I want my recipes to be.    Simple, fresh, easy to make, versatile and yummy!  I can hardly wait to make them again! 

And where did I run across this piece of recipe perfection?  If you have read my blog at all, you will see my pal Rob's name throughout.  Rob is my Blog Muse.   But this recipe came from Rob's partner, David!  David is an uber talented decorator...their home is simply amazing...and apparently he is working on his culinary skills as well!   Thanks for sharing David!

 Couple notes:
  •  Roll  out as thin as possible.  They transfer to a baking sheet easily, even though they are paper thin. 
  • After topping with salt, use a rolling pin to gently press the salt into the dough before baking.
  • Use good salt (I used Kosher). Use good Olive Oil (Extra Virgin) and fresh Rosemary.
  • I made mine rustic, but you can cut into any shape you prefer.
  • Vary this recipe easily with any herb or leave plain...good no matter what! 
  • Oh and each large cracker only has 66 calories...munch on!

1 3/4 cups flour
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup good olive oil 
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat to 425

Mix all ingredients in your *Kitchen Aid using the bread hook.  Knead for 5 minutes or so until dough is silky smooth  
Let it rest for 20 minutes
 (*if you don't have a Kitchen Aid, your hands will work just fine! Just make sure you knead it well.) 


Cut dough into 8 small pieces. 
 Roll out each piece on well floured board until very thin. Each piece will make 2 long crackers. 
Place on silicone mat, parchment paper or spray cooking pan lightly with non stick spray.

Bake for 10-15 minutes or until lightly brown.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Jelly Donut Muffins

I've been making these for years.  The recipe is from my favorite cookbook of all time.  The Complete Cooking Light Cookbook.  They are called Raspberry Filled Cinnamon  Muffins in the book but they are so tender, like a donut, I changed the name and the filling!

The Complete Cooking Light Cookbook

I am not sure, but I think this was the first edition printed.  There have been several since, but none as good as this version from 2000.  I use this book more than all my cookbooks.... combined and I got a few books!  It's my moms favorite too.

These are tender, very delicate and super easy to make.  I use seedless strawberry jam to mimic the filling of a jelly donut but you could use whatever you have on hand.

When my daughter was little and had a bad day...we used to make muffins...because when the going gets tough, the tough make muffins!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Magic Cake - One Batter, 3 Layers!

The first time I tried to bake this I killed it, I mean that literally ...a total disaster!   I shouldn't have been near an oven that day, let alone a European recipe that I didn't understand!
After I put the cake in the oven and was cleaning up, it was not a big surprise to see the 2 cups of milk I should have added were sitting on the counter, still in the measuring cup.   Of course I took the cake out of the oven, (what else ya gonna do?) mixed in the milk and re-baked it...oh sure, that's gonna work!  I set the timer for 60 minutes but must have somehow turned off the oven when I set the hour later?  Raw uncooked cake....perhaps now is a good time to take up crochet?

Lucky for me my daughter is a killer cook and she not only baked the cake perfectly, she set up the photo shoot!  That's my girl! 

  I've re-written the recipe and made this a 'piece of cake' for you to bake!

NOTE: Eggs need to be at room temperature.  Take them out about 15-20 minutes before you start.