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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lazy Woman's Banana Cake

I think we all know how much I love banana's.  I really wanted banana cake one night but was feeling lazy so I just whipped up a white cake and threw in some mashed banana's.  It turned out really good and it's very moist.  I added some canned buttercream frosting and it was finished.

Lazy Woman's Banana Cake
a Lacey Creation

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1 box of white cake mix
1 1/4 cup of water
1/3 cup oil
3 egg whites
4 mashed ripe banana's

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

In a bowl mix together the cake mix, water, oil, egg whites, and mashed banana's.  Spray a 9X13 pan with cooking spray and pour in the cake mixture.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Once cool frost with icing of choice.  I like the canned buttercream frosting but cream cheese frosting is great too.

French Bread Pizzas

 It's nice making pizza at home because I can put whatever I want on it and I don't have to spend a fortune.  And I like the veggies and Will likes the meat so this way we get what we want.  French bread pizza is so easy.  You don't have to hassle with making your own crust.

French Bread Pizza's
a Lacey Creation

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1 loaf of wide French Loaf Bread
1 cup of pizza sauce
cut up veggies (green peppers, onion, tomatoes, mushrooms)
4 cups of mozzarella

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Cut the French Loaf in half length wise.  Spread a 1/2 cup of sauce on each half.  On one half put veggies of choice.  On the other half put pepperoni.  Or do both halves the way you want them.  Top each half with 2 cups of cheese.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is nice and melted.


Blueberry Banana Bread with Walnuts

 This bread is so yummy!  Banana bread is great and then you add blueberries, genius.  I will be making this bread a lot.

Blueberry Banana Bread w/walnuts
adapted from Mom on Timeout

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4 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 stick butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

 Pre-heat oven to 325

In a bowl cream together the butter and sugar.  I use my Kitchen Aide mixer.  Add the bananas, egg, and vanilla.  Mix in the flour and baking soda slowly until incorporated. With a spatula mix in the blueberries.

You can make 1 large loaf of bread or 4 small loaves of bread.  Spray your pan/pans with cooking spray and pour the mixture in.

For one loaf bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  For the mini loaves bake for 30-40 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean.  Enjoy!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Banana Cake made Light

Have I mentioned my love of banana's lately?  I haven't.  Shame on me.  I <3 banana's!  I found this recipe on my Taste of Home app.  Have I mentioned my love of my iPhone?  Love it!  I made this cake several months ago but I have some banana's on my counter just begging to be made into this cake or maybe bread.  I haven't decided yet.

Banana Cake made Light
from Taste of Home

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3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
dash salt

For Frosting:
1 package reduced fat cream cheese
1/3 cup butter, softened
3 cups confectioner's sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until crumbly, about 2 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in the bananas, applesauce and vanilla.  Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into butter mixture just until blended.

Transfer to a 9x13 baking pan coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool in pan on a wire rack.

For frosting, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy.  Add confectioner's sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth.  Frost bars.  Refrigerate leftovers.

Blueberry Banana Baked Oatmeal

I love McDonald's Blueberry Banana Oatmeal. It is really yummy and you can get it all day long.  But as you know eating out can get expensive so I figured I could make this at home.  I found a recipe for baked banana oatmeal which I love baked oatmeal so I gave it a whirl.  I thought it was okay.  I like the peach blueberry baked oatmeal I make better so next time I might use that recipe and add banana's.  I was trying to eat healthy so I made up fruit bowls.  Fresh fruit is yummy and having it cut up and ready to grab out of the fridge is handy.

Blueberry Banana Baked Oatmeal
adapted from Kath Eats Real Food

4 jumbo muffins, 9WW points per muffin

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2 cups rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1 mashed banana
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 banana, sliced

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

In a bowl combine the dry ingredients.  In a bigger bowl combine the wet ingredients.  Mix together the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients.  Mix in the blueberries and walnuts.  Evenly distribute in a jumbo muffin tin.  Top with sliced bananas.

Bake for about 30 minutes.

I heart Owls

 I never used to be a huge fan of owls but I was a convert last year after going to New Orleans.  I saw quite a few pieces of owl jewelry there and fell in love with a necklace.  I just had to have it and so I bought it.  Now I have quite the owl jewelry and hair accessory collection.  The office I have now at work has a wall decal tree that I inherited.  But it's plain and I think it needs sprucing up.  After doing some research on owl wall decals I saw some patterns like what is below and I thought I can make that.  So that is what I did.  I used decorative card stock that you use for scrapbooking.  I will hang it on the wall with the sticky tacky stuff that is safe for walls.  I can't use nails or tacks or tape at work.  I found some flowers on Ebay that I think I might buy to add to the tree. 

Birthday Baklava

 For birthday's at the library I like to make a special treat for the birthday girl or boy and get them a card for the staff to sign.  For Helen's birthday I had over heard her talking about liking baklava and I figured, "I could do that."  I have a lot of confidence in myself, ha ha.  I do have to pat myself on the back because for never having made baklava before this turned out very well.  Baklava tastes really good too.  I have never had it before.  It's like eating crispy pecan pie.  Quite yummy.

Baklava seems very intimidating to make but I didn't think it was that bad.  If you are a beginning baker then you might not want to tackle baklava for your first project but sooner or later you should give it a try.  I used Pioneer Woman's recipe and I'm just going to leave you with her link.  The only thing I did differently was butter the phyllo sheets in the pan.  It was easier for me.  Enjoy!

Friday, August 3, 2012


I've been baking again.  Cooking healthy, not so much, but baking yes, yes, yes.  For my last book discussion I wanted to make an almond crumble cherry pie but didn't get around to it the night before.  So the day of I improvised and made tarts.  I have made streusel topping several times but I liked the idea of this one since it was different.  It called to use marzipan which is a mixture of almond paste, egg whites, and sugar.  I couldn't find marzipan so I just used almond paste and the crumble turned out fine.  The tarts turned out great.  They are so simple to make.  Since I have to keep my co-workers fed and happy I had to make the tarts again since not all of them got it the first time.  The second time around I wanted to make a strawberry tart as well.  I used a short cut and went with the pre-made glaze but I think it turned out fine.  Next time I'm going to make homemade.  My spoiled staff at CN got a taste as well.  Like I said I have to keep them fed.

Almond Crumble Cherry Tart
from Betty Crocker

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  • 1 box refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
  • 8 oz Almond paste
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cans (21 oz each) cherry pie filling
  •  1/2 teaspoon almond extract 
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

In a bowl place the almond paste and butter.  Cut together with a pastry blender or fork until well blended.  Add the oats and flour until crumbly.  You may need to add more flour until you get the right consistency. 

On a baking sheet unroll one of the pie crusts and place it on one side of the pan.  Open one can of the cherry pie filling and mix in 1/4 teaspoon almond extract.  Pour the cherry filling onto the middle of the crust.  Sprinkle half of the crumble mixture over the filling and fold up the crust around the filling to seal it in.  Repeat with the remaining ingredients.  You can fit two tarts on a large baking sheet.

Bake for 30 minutes or until crust is cooked through.


Strawberry Tart
A Lacey Creation

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  • 1 box refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
  • 2 pints fresh strawberries
  • 2 containers strawberry glaze
  • 1 8oz light cream cheese
  • 1 8oz light cool whip
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Slice strawberries in half.  Place them in a bowl and mix with glaze.  On a baking sheet unroll a pie crust.  Arrange strawberries cut side down all around the middle.  Spoon some more glaze over the strawberries.  Fold the crust over the filling to seal it in.  Repeat with the remaining ingredients.  You can fit two tarts on a large baking sheet.

Bake for 30 minutes or until crust is cooked through.

In a bowl mix together the cream cheese and powdered sugar until well blended.  Add the cool whip.  Once the tarts are cool garnish with the cream cheese mixture.