This cake – oh my. It’s perfect for summer (no bake) and most especially for July 4th celebrations.
When I was a teenager, I worked at Dairy Queen where the Banana Split was a special for July 4th weekend. I made so many during my tenure there that I’ve never really had one myself. You know, I was completely burned out on it.
And when I would make this dessert for the family, I never did eat it. Still burned out on it! Well, all that changed a few years back when I made it for a special work celebration. It is absolutely delicious! I truly was missing out all those years.
I have wondered though, why there is no chocolate. I did a quick Google search before posting this and found similar recipes drizzled with chocolate syrup. This is definitely something you can try. Perhaps just have a bottle of Hershey’s on hand and let your family or guests try it.
Either way, with or without chocolate, this dessert will wow everyone who eats it!
Mix graham cracker crumbs and 6 tablespoons softened butter. Pat into 9 x 13 pan. Mix 1/2 cup softened butter, confectioners’ sugar, and egg whites. Beat until smooth. Spread over crumbs. Slice bananas over this layer. Place drained crushed pineapple over banana layer. Spread whipped topping over pineapple and bananas. Sprinkle chopped pecans over whipped topping. Place maraschino cherries over pecans. Refrigerate.
Who doesn’t love boiled peanuts? Yes, I know there are some people who can’t stomach them but being from the South, I absolutely adore them!
Of course picking up a bag from a roadside stand is the ideal way to savor this Southern delicacy and is how I was introduced to boiled peanuts when I was a kid. Since then, I’ve learned to always have a roll of paper towels in the vehicle in case you come across one of those roadside stands. You just never know!
But if you aren’t in an area where that is possible, this recipe is the next best thing and it is so very easy. You just dump the washed green peanuts into the crock pot, add the water, and then the Kosher salt. Cover and then forget about them until 18 hours have passed! It couldn’t be any easier.
See the notes below if you prefer a spicier boiled peanut. You just can’t go wrong with this recipe. Perfect for afternoon TV binge watching or a baseball or football game!
1 1/2 pounds Raw peanuts 3/4 cup Kosher salt (or to taste) 14 cups water
Combine peanuts, salt, and water in a tall, oval 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH 18 hours or until peanuts are soft. Drain peanuts before serving or storing. Store in zip-top plastic bags in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
If you want to spice it up a bit, add 3 sliced jalapenos, 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes, 2 tablespoons creole seasoning and 1 tablespoon garlic powder. Yum yum!!
Recently my boyfriend and I started a lifelong dream for both of us – we became beekeepers! YES! It’s something he had always wanted to do and the same for me. I’m so thrilled and fascinated by these bees.
It isn’t easy as all hives are different. Within a month we purchased a second hive and another Nuc (5 frames of bees) from a local beekeeper. When he left that day after installing the Nuc for us he said to me, “Now you’re official beekeepers”. I guess having more than one hive does that!
We are thrilled beyond belief. I can often be seen in the garden area (where the hives are located) just talking to the bees and talking to the bees. They really are nice bees. You can tell when they get aggravated and then I stay clear but otherwise, they get a morning pep talk and an evening job well done talk. I monitor their sugar water to be sure they always have what they need.
Bees are simply fascinating and the art of beekeeping is the same. It IS an art, I’m convinced of it. We are learning so much, in fact, within the first week and a half with our first hive, we experienced something we had hoped not to experience so early on – a swarm. We were in the garden weeding and both heard something above us that sounded like, well, a roaring swarm. We looked up and our bees were high in the sky preparing to take off to parts unknown. There was nothing we could do. The queen did not take the entire hive as some of the bees were out of the hive doing “bee things” but we suspect we lost at least 80% of our first Nuc. I was devasted, feeling as if we had let our bees down.
It was very strong Nuc so they apparently grew quicker than we had anticipated and swarmed because they had outgrown the space. A day or two later we added a second brood box. The remaining bees seemed happier after that although they were queenless at the time. A new queen has certainly emerged by this point.
We will do another hive inspection on Sunday to see where we stand and see how the hives have progressed.
Our first two hive inspections produced enough beeswax to make these little wax bees. They aren’t perfect as I am learning how to render the wax (clean it of impurities) but these are perfect for our “memory jar” that we began when we first became a couple. I suspect soon we’ll have enough wax for our first candle! I cannot wait.
I’ll end this post on one personal observation – I wish many more of us would keep bees. It is a fascinating hobby and without bees to pollinate, we would starve. I also think most humans could learn a great deal from the inner workings of a happy bee hive.
Oh, I almost forgot! We need your help! We want to come up with a logo and a name for our Apiary (a place where bees are kept; a collection of beehives). This would then be designed and utilized on our products (candles, lip balm, and honey) that we will eventually sell to the public. Contact me privately if you have suggestions or use the Contact Me form on this site. Thank you!
While growing up, my family enjoyed boating around the bays and Gulf around Panama City, Florida where I was born and raised. Our boat was a 30-foot Trojan cabin cruiser which we docked at the downtown marina in a private berth.
One day my brother decided to drop a crab basket off the dock just for kicks. He checked it one day and no crabs. He checked it again and alas, no crabs but instead there was a little seahorse inside the basket. He pulled it up and we took her from the basket and placed her into a cup full of salt water. We called the seahorse a “her” but I am not certain how we decided that she was indeed, a she. I have since read that the males have a brood pouch and the females do not but at the time, I don’t recall if we even noticed that or not. In any event, we decided she was a she and henceforth named her Charlene.
We took Charlene home with us and put her into a very small aquarium, complete with a long mixing spoon so she would have something to hang onto. I don’t remember if my Mom ever put any plants in there to dress up her landscape or if any other creatures were added. I don’t believe so as I remember Mom taking such special care of Charlene and just Charlene. She would drive down to the bay and scoop up a pail of salt water and bring it home for her. You see, the water would be swimming with brine shrimp and plankton which is what Charlene liked to eat. Sometimes Mom would go to the pet store and buy her some brine shrimp but she much preferred the fresh stuff.
I remember being fascinated watching Charlene eat and just hang out. She really didn’t do much else mainly because her living quarters were so small and she had no friends to play with. We suggested we get her a boyfriend as we thought it would be cool to watch them have babies. Mom and Daddy didn’t think so. We once found a baby octopus in a scallop shell and wanted to take it home to be with Charlene but it was decided that would be a bad idea since the thing would probably ink constantly in the tank. Charlene would be miserable!
At some point, a hurricane came our way and we were evacuating. We decided to take Charlene back to the dock and let her go. Daddy figured she’d be safer there than in her tank at home. I couldn’t see how that would be the case but we took her anyway. It was sad – no more Charlene to feed and watch.
But you know something, I am so forever grateful to have had that experience and the many other experiences we had growing up around the salt water – boating, snorkeling, scuba diving, skiing, you name it, if it had to do with salt water, we were doing it! We would hop in the boat and head to Pensacola for lunch or head over to Apalachicola to eat at the Greasy Spoon (I truly think that was the name of the restaurant or it might just be what my Dad called it) or take weekend trips to Carrabelle or Mobile. We would travel to places in and around Panama City by boat so often that it would be years before I would actually know how to get there by land. Oh, I can’t forget the yearly trips to Islamorada in the Keys where we’d go lobstering which was very awesome. We ate lobster for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was great fun!
It’s all we knew and quite frankly, was the best childhood anyone could ever want. As you can tell, I feel quite privileged. Thanks to my wonderful parents for being so good to us and providing such wonderful experiences and memories.
Having been born and raised in Florida, I don’t have alot of experience making soups. Well, that is until lately. There are a few that I make regularly every winter like Chili and Taco Soup but this winter I found this recipe and thought I’d give it a try. It’s delicious, hearty, stick to your ribs, Loaded Potato Soup.
I once did a waitress stint at O’Charley’s where they served Loaded Potato Soup. Obviously, I had my fill of it while working there and really hadn’t had it much since those days. Well, until now. And I am hooked on this recipe. It’s very easy – you throw it into a crock pot before you leave for the day and when you get home, you have dinner.
The first time I made it, I used my stick blender to make the soup smooth. That’s how I remember it from O’Charleys. The next time, I left the potatoes chunky and I have to say, I much prefer the chunkier soup. It seemed to me to have more personality than the smooth version! Either way, I’m sure no one will complain!
It is most certain to please everyone in your family. And with these cold temps, it’ll surely warm everyone as well!
Like most people, I love the movies, love going to the movies, love watching movies at home and, yes, you could say I am enamored by the movies. This is why I especially love Oscar night as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hosts the most spectacular event of the year. The gowns, the makeup, the handsome actors in tuxedos, the beauty of everyone in the room!
But as many Americans feel these days, I feel the award shows have lost their luster due to the tumultuous political climate we live in today. I don’t begrudge anyone sharing their thoughts and views on any subject. Our first amendment gives us that right. However, I do believe there is a time and place to express political views, hold protests, etc. If I want to engage in any of those activities, I can do so at my choosing. Not during an award show or sports event.
The Oscars (and any award show for that matter) used to be entertaining, providing a little escape from reality where we could just enjoy a bit of Hollywood ambiance. Quite frankly, much as when I watch a movie, I simply want to enjoy the show and be entertained. Isn’t that the point?
So tonight I will enjoy this wonderful Bacon-Wrapped Filet Mignon! I’ll steam my asparagus and will make a loaded baked potato. For dessert, I think I’ll have a piece of Chocolate Kahlua Swiss Roll which I’ll pull from the freezer.
I’ll sit down to enjoy my meal and hopefully will enjoy watching the Oscars, as well. Of course, if the monologue and speeches get completely out of hand, I can always turn the channel. It’s my choice! It’s great to be an American!
Mix all Compound Butter ingredients in a bowl then spoon onto a parchment paper or plastic wrap. Roll into a log of about 2 inches diameter and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Preheat your grill at maximum temperature. Season the steaks on both sides with the coarse sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper
and dried onion flakes; Wrap 1 or 2 slices of bacon around each steaks and tie them securely using butcher string.
Grill the steaks over high heat for 4 to 6 minutes per side with the lid closed; Flip the steaks of a quarter turn for the bacon to face the grate and grill for 15 seconds per side or until the bacon is brown and lightly crisp.
Use an instant read thermometer toward the end of cooking to achieve desired doneness: 120°F for rare, 130°F for medium rare; Remove steaks from the grill.
Cut four slices of compound butter of 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick and placed them on each steak. Let the butter melt over the steaks for 8 to 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy.
As much as we want warm weather to be here for good, I suspect we have a few more days of cold temperatures. At least for the evenings, with it being warmer during the days. That’s what we’re looking at in the Atlanta area for the coming days.
Which makes it an opportune time to make this wonderful beef stew. I mean it is really good. I could eat it everyday for weeks, and well, being single, I think I did! The flavor is just really good. And instead of stew meat, I purchased a rump roast that was on sale (cost less than the stew meat) and cut it up into chunks. It was the tenderest meat which I think also added to the overall deliciousness of this stew. A definite “winner, winner, best beef stew dinner”!!
2 pounds beef rump roast, (cut into bite-sized pieces)
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp pepper
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, sliced
2–3 cloves of garlic, minced
6oz can tomato paste
32oz beef broth
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cups baby carrots carrots
4–5 small red potatoes,cut into bite-sized pieces (about 3 cups)
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon oregano
1 cups frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
¼ cup flour
¼ cup water
Combine beef, celery, carrots, red onion, potatoes, salt, pepper, garlic, parsley, oregano, Worcestershire sauce, beef broth, and tomato paste in the crock pot. I used a 6 qt crockpot for this stew. Cook on LOW for 10 hours or on HIGH for 6-7 hours.
About 30 minutes before serving, mix the flour and the water together in a small dish and pour into the crockpot. Mix until well combines. This will add a nice thickness to the stew. Next add in your frozen peas and corn. Continue cooking covered for 30 minutes.
Yes, they are square biscuits. I probably never would have cut a biscuit like this if Bobby Flay hadn’t done it first! I adore him and anyone who knows me, knows that! So, if it’s good enough for Bobby, it’s good enough for me. This is his recipe, by the way.
These biscuits are much like the recipe I’ve already posted here on my food blog except these just seem a bit heartier and sturdier, if that even sounds right. They can definitely hold up to adding a scrambled egg in between those wonderful layers without any issue. Add a slice of crispy bacon and a bit of cheese and you’re breakfast on the go is ready.
12 tablespoons unsalted butter; cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups buttermilk; cold
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons melted Butter
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet with butter or line with parchment paper.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Combine until the ingredients are incorporated. Cut in the butter using your fingers or a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the buttermilk and gently mix until the mixture just begins to come together.
Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured counter. Pat the dough into a 10 by 12-inch rectangle about 3/4-inch thick. Cut into 2-inch squares or use a 2-inch round cutter to cut out biscuits. Press together the scraps of dough, and repeat the process. Place the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops with cream and sprinkle with the black pepper. Bake the biscuits until lightly golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Brush the tops with the melted butter. Cool on a baking rack.
This wonderful dessert is just as delicious as it looks. And it’s a perfect time to try it, just in time for Valentine’s Day. The rich chocolate taste with the hazelnut undertones will surely please your special Valentine.
I’ve made this cake on several occasions and it always is a hit. You can even serve it à la mode and definitely with a nice cup of coffee. It can be a bit rich all by itself! But well worth the time and calories!!
4 ounce Semisweet chocolate; melted and cooled (Ghirardelli)
1/2 cup Heavy cream
1 tablespoon Frangelica
4 ounce Semisweet chocolate; Ghirardelli
2 ounce Hazelnuts; whole, toasted and cut in half
Preheat oven to 350 degrees; butter a 9-inch spring-form pan. In a large bowl (preferably metal), whisk the egg whites and salt until stiff. In another bowl, cream the butter and Nutella, then add the Frangelica, egg yolks, and ground hazelnuts. Fold in melted chocolate.
Add a large tablespoon of beaten egg whites to the chocolate batter, and mix gently until well-combined. Fold in the remaining whites, one-third at a time, very gently but thoroughly. Pour into spring-form and bake for 35-40 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting tester, which should come out mostly clean; lightly pressing finger into top to check for a slight bouncing-back; and observing edges beginning to separate from pan. (My cake was done in 35 minutes). Let cool completely, in pan, on a rack.
Toast the hazelnuts in a dry skillet, or toaster oven shaking them around frequently. Do it for about 4 minutes, or until they are lightly browned, then let cool completely. If hazelnuts came with skins on, put them in a towel after toasting and rub around; this will remove most of the skins. Cut in half. (again, I use the pre-chopped hazelnuts from the nut aisle and I didn’t toast them – still scrumptious)
Chop chocolate, and add to sauce pan with heavy cream and Frangelica over medium-low heat. Once chocolate is melted and components are combined, whisk until mixture reaches desired thickness, then cool. Remove rim of cake pan and pour cooled ganache over, spreading lightly to create a smooth, shiny surface, and apply hazelnuts all over.
This cake is at its best when served at room temperature.
Doesn’t that just look scrumptious and oh, so decadent? Well, it is both!
Several years ago I received Martha Stewart’s book, “Martha Stewart’s Cooking School” as a gift one year for Christmas. In it are all sorts of wonderful recipes including one for Chocolate Rum Swiss Roll. This is that recipe adapted using Kahlua (homemade, of course) instead of the rum. I also added a bit of Espresso powder to the cake batter. I like both versions but because I adore coffee, this Kahlua version is my preference.
Try it for an upcoming special dinner or birthday or anniversary. You’ll impress your guests more than you’ll ever know. And don’t be afraid of the “roll”. It’s really quite easy, just follow the directions and you’ll end up with a beautiful cake to showcase your cooking talents!
Adapted from Chocolate Rum Swiss Roll recipe by Martha Stewart, “Martha Stewart’s Cooking School”.
1/4 cup sifted unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, plus more for pan
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sifted cake flour (not self-rising), plus more for pan
1 teaspoon espresso powder
Pinch of salt
3 large whole eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled completely
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons Kahlua
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
Prepare oven and baking sheet: Heat oven to 450 degrees, with rack in bottom half. Coat a 12 1/2-by-17 1/2-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper; coat with cooking spray. Dust with cocoa powder and tap out excess.
Combine dry ingredients: Whisk together cocoa powder, flour, espresso powder, and salt in a bowl.
Combine eggs and sugar: Bring about 2 inches of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over (not in) simmering water, whisk eggs, yolks, and granulated sugar until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch. Attach bowl to mixer fitted with whisk attachment; beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. Raise speed to high; beat until mixture is pale and thick, about 4 minutes more.
Add dry ingredients: Sift cocoa mixture over egg mixture; using a large rubber spatula, carefully fold. When almost incorporated, pour melted butter down side of bowl; gently fold to combine.
Bake: Using an offset spatula, spread batter evenly into prepared sheet. Bake cake until golden brown and springy to the touch, 6 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, dust a clean kitchen towel with cocoa powder. Run a knife around sides of cake. Invert onto prepared towel, and remove parchment.
Roll into log and cool: While the sheet cake is still warm, gently roll, starting from one short side, into a log, incorporating the kitchen towel. Let the cake cool completely, rolled. (This will give the cake a “shape memory,” so it will be easier to roll again with filling.)
Meanwhile, make Kahlua syrup: In a small saucepan, combine the water and 1/4 cup sugar. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer until sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat; add Kahlua, then let cool completely.
Fill cake and reroll: Unroll cake. Brush entire surface generously with cooled Kahlua syrup. Whip cream and remaining tablespoon sugar until soft peaks form; spread over cake leaving a 1/2-inch border all around. Roll cake to enclose filling (without towel), starting at a short end. Wrap the towel around rolled cake, securing with clips or clothespins to help retain the shape.
Chill and serve: Refrigerate 30 minutes (or up to 3 hours). Dust with cocoa powder, cut into slices with a serrated knife, and serve.