Strawberry Banana Jam

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This is stupid good.

1/2 cup butter, melted and browned
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed banana very ripe (approx. 3)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup strawberry jam (equal parts sugar and strawberries boiled for 15 minutes and cooled)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease loaf pan.

Chop nuts and mix with brown sugar.

In saucepan, heat butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until brown bits form. Remove from heat.

Mash bananas, set aside.

In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed 2 minutes. Stir in eggs until combined.

Add bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla. Stir. Add flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir until combined. Fold in strawberry jam. Pour into pan. Sprinkle over nuts mixture.

Bake approximately 1 hour 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes then remove from the pan.  Cool.

K&D’s Pistachio Bread


Pistachios, walnuts, lemon, cranberries. BAM!


1/2 cup pistachios
1/2 cup walnuts
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, (cold is okay)
3 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Slightly heaped 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour

1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

Heat oven: To 325 degrees F. Line the bottom and long sides of a loaf pan with a sling of parchment paper. Coat paper and exposed short sides of loaf pan with nonstick spray or butter.

In the work bowl of your food processor, grind pistachios, walnuts, sugar and salt together until as powdery as you can get them without it turning to paste. Cut butter into small chunks and blend with pistachio mixture. It’s going to be lumpy at first, and then balled for a minute, but keep running the machine until the mixture loosens up into a frosting-like consistency, i.e. smooth and shiny. Add eggs, one at time, blending briefly between each, scraping down sides as needed. Add milk, blend to combine. Add vanilla and baking powder and blend to fully combine, scraping down workbowl. Add flour and pulse just until it disappears.

Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread top smooth. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes.

Let cake cool in pan on rack for 10 to 15 minutes, then run a knife around cake and transfer to cooling rack. Let cool completely.

Glaze: Bring cranberries, sugar, zest, and juice to a simmer in a small saucepan; simmer for 2 to 3 minutes then pour over cooled cake.

I worked with this recipe.

Mocha Muffins


Chocolate and coffee are a good team.


1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tablespoon espresso finely ground
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons  butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate milk

1-2 tablespoons espresso
2 cups powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour insides of 12 muffin cups or insert paper liners. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter with sugar until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla extract. On low speed, alternately add dry ingredients and milk to the batter, stirring until incorporated.  Evenly divide batter between cupcake molds. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pans. Cool completely before icing.

For icing, add espresso slowly to powdered sugar until desired consistency.  Pour over muffins

Isabel’s Birthday Cake claims it is the ultimate vegan chocolate cake. If the frosting is anything to go by we are in luck. 


Dry ingredients:

cups all-Purpose flour
cups white sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Wet ingredients:

2⅔ cups non-dairy milk (such as soy or almond)
cups light oil (such as canola or vegetable)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Frosting Ingredients:

cup vegan butter (Earth Balance)
cup powdered sugar
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 – 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk (if needed)

To Make the Cake:
Preheat your oven to 350F (180C). Prepare two 8″ round baking pans by lightly greasing them, and then cutting a circle of parchment paper to fit into the bottom.


In a large bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients, then set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together all of the wet ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Don’t over mix. Divide the batter into the prepared pans, then pop them in the oven. Bake for about 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool completely before frosting.


To Make the Frosting:
Use a mixer to blend all of the frosting ingredients except for the non-dairy milk. Blend until whipped and creamy. If the frosting is a bit too stiff, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of non-dairy milk as needed until desired consistency is reached.


To Assemble the Cake:
Run a knife around the edges of the cake pans, and flip the pans over to remove the cakes. Remove the parchment paper and discard. Place the first cake on your cake plate, and spread about half of the frosting on top. Place the second cake on top of the frosted cake, and spread the remaining frosting on top of that cake. Add swirl patterns with your spatula to make it pretty. Store the cake in the fridge or a cool place until you are ready to serve.

Morning Corn Muffins


Corn muffins are best eaten out of the oven.  Just thought you should know that.


3/4 cup cornmeal
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons honey
3/4 cup half and half
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Raspberries, optional


Preheat the oven to 350°F degrees. Line a muffin pan with paper liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.

In a separate bowl, break up the eggs with a whisk. Whisk in the honey and then the milk. Add the milk mixture and melted butter to the dry ingredients. Stir until just blended. Do not overmix. Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared muffin pan, you can top with a raspberry if desired. Fill each cup almost full. Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until the tops are set and golden. Cool the muffins for a few minutes in the pan, then serve warm.


I worked with this recipe.

Crunchy Top Banana Bread



1/2 pound softened butter
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
2 ⅓ cups (about 5) ripe bananas

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt


1/2 cup chopped walnuts

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 2 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Using electric mixer, cream butter until smooth and fluffy. Add sugar and cream together 2 minutes more. One at a time, mix in eggs. Mix in bananas until only small lumps remain.

Stir dry ingredients together and mix into banana mixture just until combined. Pour into prepared pans. Sprinkle topping over batter.

Bake about 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Let cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack and let cool completely before wrapping tightly for storage.

I worked with this recipe.

Real California Milk Lemon Custard Tart


There are some good recipes on the Real California Milk Facebook page.  I played with this one a bit.

6 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups flour

5 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup sugar
zest of one lemon
tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Have a removable tart pan ready.  In a skillet combine butter, oil, sugar, water, and salt. Melt over medium heat.  Add flour and mix.  Mixture will be crumbly.  Take off heat and press into tart pan.  Prick holes in the bottom of the crust and bake for 10 minutes.

Add egg yolks, vanilla, sugar, cornstarch, zest, juice, and salt to a saucepan and use whisk to blend. Add milk and whisk again.  Turn on medium heat and keep whisking until it thickens (only a few minutes). Take off heat and add butter, store until melted and incorporated. Pour into pie crust and refrigerate to set.

Dolci di Noci

Like most Italian foods, so simple, and so good.


2 1/2 cups walnut halves or large pieces
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 large egg

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with baking mat.

Combine the walnuts, sugar, and cinnamon in a food processor and process to make a fine meal the texture of sand. Transfer to a bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the egg. Use a fork to briefly whisk the egg, then begin incorporating the nuts until everything is thoroughly combined, finishing the mixing with your hands. The dough will be quite moist and a little sticky.

Divide the dough into quarters. On a flat surface, shape one piece of the dough into a 6-inch log about 1 inch high, flattening the sides to make a bar about 1 inch on each side. Cut the bar into 3/4-inch segments to make eight pieces.

Space the cookies evenly on the prepared baking sheet, standing upright (not on a cut side) with 1 inch of space all around for spreading. Repeat with the remaining bars to make thirty-two cookies.

Bake the cookies on the upper oven rack for about 15 minutes, until they are golden all over. Let cool on the pan.

I worked with this recipe here.

Salted Caramel Brownies


Sweet, salty, chocolatey, gooey.



1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
½ cup heavy cream
¾ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
¼ cuP sour cream


2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes, more for greasing pan
1 ¼ cup  flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces dark chocolate coarsely chopped
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup  firmly packed light brown sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Coarse sugar and flaky salt, for sprinkling

Make the caramel: In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and corn syrup with 1/4 cup water. Bring to a boil and cook over high heat, stirring gently, until an instant-read thermometer reads 350 degrees or until the mixture is dark amber in color, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat, slowly pour in heavy cream and salt (it will foam up) and whisk. Whisk in sour cream (it may look lumpy at first) and set aside to cool. Taste and add salt if needed to give the caramel a good balance of salty and sweet.

Make the brownies: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Use butter (or baking spray) to lightly grease a 9-x-13-inch baking pan. Line the bottom with a sheet of parchment paper, and butter or spray the parchment.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt and cocoa powder.

Melt chocolate and butter together, either in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water, or in a microwave at low heat, working in 30-second bursts. Stir until chocolate and butter are melted and combined. Whisk in sugars. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Using a sturdy whisk, add eggs one by one, whisking just until combined. Stir in vanilla.

Gently pour chocolate mixture over flour mixture. Using a spatula, fold together just until few streaks of flour are visible; do not overmix.

Pour batter into the pan and let settle. Drizzle caramel sauce over batter until batter is almost covered. (You may not use all the caramel.) On the surface, use the tip of a butter knife or icing spatula to swirl the batter and caramel together. Don’t worry if it looks messy.

Bake 30 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time. At the 30-minute mark, shake the pan gently to test for doneness. When done, the brownies will be barely set in the center and puffed, but not dry, around the edges. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with coarse sugar and salt.

Let cool to room temperature before cutting. After cutting, if desired, drizzle any remaining caramel over the top. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

I got the recipe here.


Not Your Ordinary Whole Wheat Muffins

These are light and have flavor. 😉

1/2 cup melted butter
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk


Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease two 6-cup muffin tins or fill with liners. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in coconut and sunflower seeds. In another bowl, whisk together the melted butter, egg and buttermilk. Fold wet mixture into dry mixture and stir until just combined.

Fill muffin tins or liners; bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until muffins are puffed and turning golden brown on top. Serve warm if possible.