On this page, you’ll find several recipes that help make life more interesting, from time to time. I will post some of my Caribbean favorites – Day O! – closer to the holidays, but for now, here are a few from my permanent, greased, dog-eared collection.
BANANA NUT (AND RAISIN) BREAD
This isn’t exactly a healthy version. Make your own healthy substitutions if you feel so inclined. I sometimes do. Otherwise, enjoy!
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2/3 c. sugar
2 tbsp. milk
1 c. mashed ripe bananas (3 medium)
1/4 c. chopped pecans or walnuts (I skip this one. Kids are allergic.)
1/3 c. shortening (I always substitute butter, minus some of the salt called for by the recipe)
Raisins (1/2 – 1 cup)
Stir together flour, baking powder, salt and soda; set aside. In small mixer bowl, cream sugar and shortening until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and milk; beat well. Add flour mixture and mashed banana alternately to creamed mixture, beating smooth after each addition. Fold in nuts. Turn into lightly greased 8 x 4 x 2 inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 until a wooden pick (butter knife, ok?) inserted near center comes out clean, 60-65 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan. Cool on wire rack. Wrap and store overnight. Make 1 loaf. Enjoy!
I take no credit for this recipe, but I’ve been using it for over 13 years, and it works every time!
CARROT CAKE & FROSTING
from Joyce Hoffman (Pennsylvania Grange Cookbook)
1 1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 c sugar
2 c grated fresh carrots
1 c crushed pineapple with juice
1 c chopped nuts
2 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cnnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Blend oil, eggs, and sugar in large bowl. Stir in carrots, pineapple, nuts and dry ingredients. Turn into greased and floured pan and bake. Makes one 13×9 rectangular cake, 3 round layers, or large tube (bundt) cake. Bake at 350 for one hour (325 if making 3 layers).
8 oz cream cheese
1 TBSP vanilla
1 lb powdered sugar
Soften cream cheese at room temperature; beat all ingredients together. May require a few drops of milk to bring to easy spreading consistency. Spread on cooled cake.
I obtained this one from one of the women that worked in the admissions office of the grad school I attended (ca. 1994), and it has been good to me. Note that I did not say good for me.
HOMEY BREAD PUDDING*
This one was taken straight out of an Essence magazine. I swear by it. The next time I try it, I’m going to cross-dress it with some cranberries. I bet you it will be delicious!
*Warning: This recipe requires at least an hour of “wait time” before you actually put it in the oven for another hour or so, but it’s well worth the wait.
1-pound loaf day-old white or whole wheat bread, torn into pieces (I always use whole grain varieties)
1 quart warmed milk (I’ve always used skim milk.)
3 large eggs
1 1/2 – 2 c. granulated sugar (a healthy substitute, or combination would be wise)
2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 c. raisins
3 tbsp butter
Optional garnishes: caramel sauce, pecan halves
Heat oven to 350. In large bowl, pour milk over bread. In medium-size bowl, mix eggs, sugar and vanilla. Stir egg mixture and raisins into soaked bread; mix well. Generously butter 9×13 baking dish; pour in pudding. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Bake until firm and golden brown, about 45 minutes. Makes 16 servings or more.