Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pumpkin Waffles with Apple Cider Syrup

Oh my goodness, these look FANTASTIC!  I cannot wait to get home to try this recipe!!


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter


  1. Preheat a waffle iron according to manufacturer's instructions.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, salt, and brown sugar in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together the pumpkin, milk, and egg yolks. Whip the egg whites in a clean dry bowl until soft peaks form.
  3. Stir the flour mixture and 1/4 cup melted butter to the pumpkin mixture, stirring just to combine. Use a whisk or rubber spatula to fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter, stirring gently until incorporated. Fold in the remaining egg whites. Cook waffles according to manufacturer's instructions.
  4. To make the syrup, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon in a saucepan. Stir in the apple cider and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to boil; boil until the syrup thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the 2 tablespoons of butter until melted. Serve warm.
Recipe Taken From

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Change in Weekly Meal Plan Day

So, I was going to try to put the weekly meal plan on here every Friday.  Well, this week I am going to Spokane for the weekend (to see my family and go to a Beth Moore Conference--SO excited), and I am not going to have time to do the plan before I leave.  I was really hoping I could, but this week was pretty busy and I just ran out of time.  SO, I plan on posting the meal plan on Monday.  I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend and a Happy Halloween!!  Let me know if you try any great Halloween recipes this weekend.  I would love to add them to my collection!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dessert Reviews

So, I made all four of my desserts on Monday afternoon in about 3 hours.  I needed the scones on Tuesday morning for Bible study and needed the rest of the desserts for a get-together Tuesday night.

I first made the Pumpkin-Cranberry Pecan Bread.  I forgot that I had doubled the original recipe, so it ended up having to cook for much longer than it says in the recipe.  I think I ended up baking it for about an hour and a half.  I never did make the "Tipsy Whipped Cream" because I think I already had too many sweets.  The bread was good just by itself.

I then made the Pumpkin Swirl Brownies.  I made these in an 13 x 9 pan instead of a 9 x 9.  I cut down the baking time to 35 minutes.  They turned out well.  I also only had "turtle" brownie mix on hand, so my brownies had walnuts in them.  Yum!  :)  I think out of all the desserts, this one has been consumed the quickest!

Then I made the Pumpkin Scones.  These turned out really well!  I did cut the triangles in half one more time because the triangles the recipe had you make are HUGE!  So, I ended up with 24 scones instead of 12.  The glaze looked like it was going to be WAY too sweet, but it actually ended up totally fine.  And the spiced glaze was super yummy!

The Hummingbird Cake was amazing, as usual.  I did forget to put how much cinnamon goes into the cake on the first recipe I posted.  I have gone back and changed that. 

Let me know if you made any of these and how yours turned out!  :) 

Monday, October 25, 2010

What to do with 40 pounds of Chicken!

For those of you who are buying the 40 pound box of Zaycon Foods chicken breasts, I thought I would do a mini-series on how to prepare, cook, and freeze your chicken over the next few weeks.  Today I will write about how to prepare and freeze your chicken.  Next Monday I will talk about different marinades and give you some great recipes to use for marinading your chicken.  The following Monday (the week the chicken comes!), I will put up some easy chicken recipes to make while you are prepping and freezing all that chicken!

Before you can do any freezing, you need to make sure you are going to have room in your freezer for the chicken, room in your refrigerator to store the raw chicken while you are prepping and cooking it and a bunch of Ziplock freezer bags on hand. You will also need a fairly good block of time to cook and prep the chicken before freezing.  Make sure it is within a day or two of receiving your chicken so that the chicken does not grow harmful bacteria.

What I normally do to make meal time much quicker is prep and cook some of my chicken when I get it and it is still raw.  A lot of the recipes I make call for cubed cooked chicken or shredded chicken.  It takes A LOT more time to defrost frozen raw chicken, then cube and cook it or cook and shred it, then it does to do it before hand and defrost chicken that is already cooked.  It does take more time at once to do this, but I promise you, it will save you time when you are ready to cook your meal.  And you can cook double or even triple batches of chicken at once if you do it ahead of time and split between freezer bags.

When buying bulk chicken it is hard to determine how much a pound is.  You can either weigh your chicken with a food scale (I use a postage scale if I absolutely need to know how much it weighs) or you can do it the way I normally do it.  I have found that most of the time, a large chicken breast weighs about half a pound and a medium one about a quarter of a pound.  The chicken breasts from  Michael's Meats (where I usually buy my chicken) are on the larger side and weigh about half a pound each.  I don't know how big Zaycon Foods' chicken breasts are, so I don't know how many breasts per pound.  I will weigh it when it comes in with my scale and let you all know.

If the chicken breasts I buy have any skin on them, I take all the excess skin off before doing any of my cooking.  I am sure that it would be okay to not do this, but I just really don't like how the skin looks, so I take the time to remove it.

Cooked cubed chicken is usually measured by the cup in recipes.  Two cups of cubed chicken equals about 1-1/2 pounds of boneless chicken breasts.  I cut up the chicken breasts into one to two inch pieces and cook them.  Normally, I do not season the chicken or put anything with the chicken since I don't know what recipe I am going to use it for.  If for some reason I do, I will go ahead and do what the recipe says when cooking the chicken (i.e. add onion, spices, etc.).  After it is cooked through (no longer pink in the middle), I drain any liquid and let the chicken cool.  Label the bag with what it is, what quantity and the date.  Put the chicken in the bag and get as much air out of the bag as you can while you are sealing it.  Air contact with food in the freezer is what causes freezer burn.  I try to eat my cubed chicken within two months of cooking it.

As far as shredded chicken goes, the weight and cup measurements are about the same as the cubed chicken.  I normally pound the chicken breast a little before I cook it so that it is easier to pull apart after cooking.  Bring a large pot of water to boiling on the stove.  Add the chicken breasts (do not season or add oil).  Boil the chicken until it is fully cooked, no pink in the center.  This is usually about 15-20 minutes.  You don't want to overcook the chicken, though, because it will be kind of rubbery if you do.  Let the chicken cool for about 5-10 minutes.  Don't let it cool too much or it will be hard to shred.  Hold the chicken in place with one for and pull pieces of the chicken off with another fork.  Label the bag with what it is, the quantity and the date.  Place the chicken in the bag and try to get as much air out of the bag as you can when sealing it.  As with the cubed chicken, try to eat it within two months of cooking it.    

I also prep the chicken breasts that I am going to freeze without cooking.  I cut them into individual portions so that when I am defrosting, it doesn't take as long.  I usually freeze two large chicken breasts (about 1 pound) cut into four portions per bag.  I label the bag with what kind of chicken (chicken breasts), how many portions there are (in case I have to add a couple more per bag), and the date.  Again, make sure to get as much air out of the bag as you can when sealing it to avoid freezer burn.  This raw chicken can be frozen for up to 9 months before you eat it. 

You can also add marinade to a bag with chicken breasts.  Always double bag these bags, though, in case one bag gets a hole.  Cleaning marinade with raw chicken juice that leaked all over your refrigerator when defrosting is NOT fun!  Next week I will give you some great marinading recipes to try out.  Again, label the bag with what is in the bag, what kind of marinade, how many portions and the date.  I try to eat these within 6 months.

Normally, I do not list what kind of chicken I have in my freezer (like I do with freezer meals) because I can usually see it all.  Normally I just buy about 10-15 pounds at one time.  However, when the Zaycon order comes in (I will be getting 60 pounds of chicken!), I will need to list what I froze and when I need to eat it by.

Defrosting is pretty simple.  If you have a microwave that has a defrost mode on it, do it that way.  My microwave is AWESOME when it comes to defrosting.  I can tell it what kind of meat it is and how much it weighs.  It normally defrosts it just right!  I do open the bag up a little bit to let any steam/air escape as it is heating.  Make sure you cook the chicken you are defrosting in the microwave immediately since some of it may have become warm and can grow bacteria if placed back in the refrigerator.  Also, I DO NOT defrost chicken in marinade in the microwave.  I am sure it can be done but I have had too many messes to do this anymore!  NEVER, EVER, under any circumstance, defrost your chicken on the counter!!  If you defrost your chicken in the refrigerator, use it within a day or two to ensure no bacteria growth.  If you are not going to be able to prepare it before then, you can safely refreeze it.  Here is a good reference for how to handle chicken safely:

Hope this article helps some of you who were wondering how to do all this.  It may seem kind of overwhelming and if so, take it slow.  I went from preparing a few pounds of chicken at a time to 10-15 pounds and now 60 pounds here in a couple of weeks!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Review of Polish Reuben Casserole

So, apparently I am striking out in the casserole department this week  Tonight I made the Polish Reuben Casserole.  This recipe (in my opinion) was worse than last nights!  It didn't take a super long time to make (probably about 25 minutes because I had to defrost the sausage and shred the cheese myself), but it did take an hour plus to cook.  And even after that hour, the sausages weren't cooked all the way through, so I had to microwave individual servings to completely cook the sausage.

I thought this casserole was a little heavy/thick.  I don't really care too much for Swiss cheese as it is and this casserole had a lot of it.  I don't really know what could have been done to change that, other than reducing the amount of cheese or cream of mushroom soup?  Maybe add some water instead of soup/milk.  I probably will not make this casserole again, so I won't be trying any of these.  Sorry.

Brian agreed that the casserole was a little thick.  He didn't care for it much either.  Cameron actually liked the casserole.  He gave it a 7 out of 10.  Connor ate the sausages and asked for more of those, but didn't like the rest of the casserole (big surprise!).

So, I hope this helps.  Hopefully next week will produce some better results as far as recipes go.  And this week better get better, also!

Labeling Your Freezer Meals

Labeling your freezer meals is really important in order to eat your meals before they go bad.  I don't know how many time in the past things have gone into my freezer not to be seen again for months (maybe even a year or so at a time!).  I have a labeling system that seems to work pretty good for my family. 

After I have covered the dish with at least three layers of foil (two going the length of the pan and then one or two going the width of the pan), I write on the foil what the dish is, when I made it, and how to reheat the dish.

Sorry this picture is sideways, but this is how I label the "top" of my freezer meals.

When that is done I label whatever side is going to be facing me when I open the freezer door with the name of the dish and the date I made the dish.  Also, if the meal is going to go bad before or after 3 months, I put the date I need to eat it by.  Most dishes are good in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

So, now I can add this to my stack of meals in the freezer.  I also have a list of meals that I have in the freezer on my refrigerator.

When it comes to labeling things like meat, I put it in clear Ziplock bags (quart usually) and I make sure I label it as descriptively as possible.  Examples:
Cooked Ground Beef, 1 pound, date
Shredded Chicken Breast, 2 pounds, date
Chicken Thighs, about 1 pounds, 6 thighs, date
Cooked Ground Beef with Onion, 1 pound, date
Cooked, cubed Chicken Breast, 1 pound, date

The ground beef I get comes frozen in one pound packages.  I keep them frozen if I am not planning on using them for a casserole (like if I am making meat loaf one day or meatballs).  I can tell from the package that they are one pound ground beef.  If I was to buy "fresh" ground beef (not frozen), I would split it into bags by the pound and label them accordingly before freezing. 

Hope that helps!  Let me know if you have any other labeling ideas.  I would love to hear them!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Review of Chicken Stuffing Casserole

I made the Chicken Stuffing Casserole tonight for dinner because it looked really fast and easy.  I had plans tonight and of course waited way too long to start my dinner and only had a few minutes before I had to leave.  It was pretty easy to throw it all together, especially since the chicken was already cooked and frozen (I will get into that some other time in a separate post).  It took me about 20 minutes to completely make the casseroles (this recipe made two) and I was able to throw it in the oven on my way out so my husband and kids could eat dinner.
As far as liking the recipe goes…eh.  I think I would give it a 5 out of 10.  I have definitely had and made better.  It was a little  “mushier” than I would like, and I think that was because it has the stuffing and the cream of mushroom.  Brian, my husband, said it was okay and that it seemed like it was pretty fattening (since it had all that cheese and cream of mushroom soup-even though I did use the lower fat version of cream of mushroom).  Cameron, my oldest son (almost 11) gave it a 4.5 out of 10.  He said it was ok, also.  Connor, my middle son (age 4) wouldn’t eat it, as usual.  He doesn’t like much of what I make for dinner usually.  Going to bed hungry again…sigh.  And Charlie, my youngest (age 3 months), obviously didn’t have too much to say about it.  :)
So…I don’t know that I will be making this recipe again.  I do have another one in the freezer and will use it probably some night that I REALLY, REALLY don’t want to cook.
Let me know what you think of it if you make it.  I would love to hear if someone makes it differently or has a different opinion of it!  :)

Chicken Asparagus Cassarole

Makes 12 Servings

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 cup frozen bell pepper strips
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic (or two cloves garlic, minced)
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 container (8 ounces) cottage cheese
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
2 eggs
1 lb chicken breasts, chopped and cooked
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped asparagus, thawed and drained
8 ounces egg noodles
Black pepper (optional)

1.   Cook noodles according to package directions until almost tender; drain.
2.  Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease 13×9-inch casserole; set aside.
3.  Heat oil in small skillet over medium heat.  Add pepper strips, onion and garlic; cook and stir until vegetables are crisp-tender.
4.  Mix soup, cottage cheese, 1 cup Cheddar cheese and eggs in large bowl until well blended.  Add onion mixture, chicken, asparagus and noodles; mix well.  Season with black pepper, if desired.
5.  Spread mixture evenly in prepared casserole.  Top with remaining 1 cup Cheddar cheese.
6.  Bake 30 minutes or until center is set and cheese is bubbly.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.  Garnish as desired.

Recipe taken and modified from “Favorite Brand Name Recipes, September 2010

Hamburger Goulash

Yields 12 cups

4 pounds ground beef
2 medium onions, chopped
4 cups water
1-1/2 cups ketchup
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
4 teaspoons paprika
2 to 4 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cold water
Mashed Potatoes

1.  In a large saucepan, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.  Add the water, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, sugar, salt, mustard and garlic powder.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
2.  In a small bowl, combine the flour and cold water until smooth; stir into the meat mixture.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Serve half over potatoes.  Cool the other half, put into a freezer safe container (Ziplock Gallon Freezer Bag), label with name and date and freeze for up to 3 months.

TO USE FROZEN GOULASH:  Thaw in the refrigerator; place in a saucepan and heat through.

Recipe taken and modified from Taste of Home, Fall Freezer Meals, October 2010

Polish Reuben Casserole

Makes 8-10 Servings

2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1-1/3 cups milk
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 jar (32 ounces) sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
1 package (8 ounces) uncooked medium egg noodles
1-1/2 pounds Polish sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
3/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted

1.  Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease 13×9-inch baking dish.
2.  Combine soup, milk, onion and mustard in medium bowl; stir well.
3.  Spread sauerkraut in prepared dish.  Top with noodles.  Spoon soup mixture evenly over noodles; cover with sausage.  Top with cheese.
4.  Combine bread crumbs and butter in small bowl; sprinkle over casserole.  Cover dish tightly with foil.  Bake about 1 hour or until noodles are tender.

Recipe taken and modified from Favorite Brand Name Recipes, September 2010

Chicken Stuffing Casserole

Yields 2 Casseroles (6 servings each)–Or Combine into one 13×9-inch casserole dish to make one larger casserole

2 packages (6 ounces each) chicken stuffing mix
2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 cup milk
2 lbs cubed cooked chicken breasts
2 cups frozen corn
2 cans (8 ounces each) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
4 cups (16 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 350°F and grease 2 8-inch square baking dishes
2.  Prepare the stuffing mixes according to package directions.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine soup and milk; set aside.  Spread the stuffing into prepared dishes  Layer with the chicken, corn, mushrooms, soup mixture and cheese.
3.  Cover, label and freeze one casserole for up to 3 months.  Cover and bake the second casserole for 30-35 minutes or until cheese is melted.

TO USE FROZEN CASSEROLE:  Remove from the freezer 30 minutes before baking (do not thaw).  Bake at 350° for 1-1/2 hours.  Uncover, bake 10-15 minutes longer or until heated through.

Recipe taken and modified from Taste of Home, Fall Freezer Meals, October 2010

Moist Meat Loaves

Yields 4 loaves (6 servings each)

8 eggs, lightly beaten
2-2/3 cups milk
6 cups (24 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
12 slices bread (white or wheat), cubed
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 cups shredded carrots
7-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
8 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)

1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon prepared mustard

1.  Preheat oven to 350°F.
2.  In two very large bowls, combine the eggs, milk, cheese, bread, onions, carrots, salt and pepper.  Crumble beef over mixture and mix well.  Pat into four ungreased 9×5-inch loaf pans.
3.  Cover and freeze two meat loaves for up to 3 months.  Bake the remaining loaves, uncovered, for 1 hour.  Combine the brown sugar, ketchup and mustard; spread over loaves.  Bake 15-20 minutes longer or until no pink remains and a meat thermometer reads 160°.

TO USE FROZEN MEAT LOAVES:  Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.  Remove from the refrigerator for 30 minutes before baking.  Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 1 hour.  Combine the brown sugar, ketchup and mustard; spread over loaves.  Bake 30-35 minutes longer or until no pink remains and a meat thermometer reads 160°.

Recipe taken from Taste of Home, Fall Freezer Meals, October 2010

Starbucks Pumpkin Scones

Yields 12 Scones

4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup and 2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 cup cold butter
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons half-and-half
2 large eggs

Powdered Sugar Glaze
2 cups and 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/4 cup whole milk

Spiced Glaze
2-1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 pinches ground ginger
2 pinches ground cloves

1.  Preheat oven to 425°F.  Lightly oil a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
2.  Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices in a large bowl.  Using a pastry knife, fork or food processor, cut butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly and no chunks of butter are obvious.  Set aside.
3.  In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, half and half, and egg.  Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients.  Form the dough into a ball.
4.  Split dough in half.  For each half, pat out dough into a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle (about 9 inches long and 3 inches wide).  Use a large knife or pizza cutter to slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal portions.  Cut those three slices diagonally so that you have 6 triangular slices of dough per half.  Place on prepared baking dish.
5.  Bake for 14-16 minutes.  Scones should begin to turn light brown.  Place on wire rack to cool.
6.  Make the plain glaze: Mix the powdered sugar and 1/4 cup whole milk together until smooth.
7.  When scones are cool, use a brush to paint plain glaze over the top of each scone.
8.  Make the spiced glaze: Combine the ingredients for the spiced icing together.  Drizzle thicker icing over each scone and allow the icing to dry before serving (at least an hour).  A squirt bottle works great for this, or you can drizzle with a whisk..

Recipe taken from

Pumpkin-Cranberry Pecan Bread with Tipsy Whipped Cream

Yields 2 loaves (12 slices each)

1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
4 eggs
2-1/2 cups canned pumpkin
1-1/2 cups milk
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups chopped pecans
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries

2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or orange juice
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1.  Heat oven to 325°F.  Spray two 9×5-inch loaf pans with baking spray with flour.
2.  In a large bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar with electric mixer on low speed until smooth.  Mix in eggs, pumpkin and milk.  Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices until blended.  Stir in pecans and cranberries.  Spoon batter into pan.
3.  Bake 65 to 75 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (crack on top surface should look dry).  Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack.  Cool completely, about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
4.  In chilled large deep bowl, beat topping ingredients with electric mixer on low speed until mixture begins to thicken.  Gradually increase the speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form.  Slice bread; serve with a dollop on topping.

Recipe taken from Betty Crocker, Fall Baking, October/November 2010

Pumpkin Swirl Brownies

Yield 16 Brownies

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 box brownie mix
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons water
1 egg

1.  Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan).  Grease bottom only of 9-inch square pan with shortening or cooking spray.  In a small bowl, beat all filling ingredients with electric mixer on low speed until smooth.  Set aside.
2.  Make brownie batter as directed on box, using 1/4 cup oil, 2 tablespoons water and the egg.  Spread 3/4 of the batter in pay.  Spoon filling by tablespoonfuls evenly over batter.  Spoon remaining brownie batter over filling.  Cut through batter several times with knife for marbled design.
3.  Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted 1 inch from side of pan comes out almost clean.  Cool completely.  Cut into 4 rows by 4 rows.  Store covered in refrigerator.

Recipe taken from Betty Crocker, Fall Baking, October/November 2010

Coconut Hummingbird Cake

Makes 16 Servings (One 9-inch 3-layer cake)

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1-3/4 cups mashed ripe bananas
1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 cup chopped pecans
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1-1/2 cups coconut flakes

1.  Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray three 9-inch cake pans with cooking spray with flour.  Set aside.
2.  Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.  Add the eggs and vegetable oil, stirring with a wooden spoon until the dry ingredients are moistened.  Do not beat.  Stir in the banana, pineapple with juice, pecans and vanilla.
3.  Divide the batter equally among the prepared pans.  Bake until a tester inserted into the center of each cake layer comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes.  Cool in the pan on wire racks for 10 minutes.  Use a knife to loosen the cake layers from the sides of the pans and invert the layers onto the wire racks to cool completely.
4.  While waiting for the layers to cool, make the cream cheese frosting.  Beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth.  Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the confectioners’ sugar, beating until the frosting has thickened and is smooth.
5.  Line the edges of a cake plate with 3-inch-wide strips of waxed or parchment paper and place a cake layer on top.  Cover with Cream Cheese Frosting and spread evenly; repeat with the second layer.  Top with the third layer and cover the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting and sprinkle coconut on top.  Remove the paper strips and serve.  Store refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


This is my very first time blogging and I am so excited to start!!  I have developed a love for making meal plans and freezing multiple meals as I make them and thought it would be fun to share this interest.  I find freezing meals makes meal time much easier to live with since I really don't actually like to cook very much at all.  If I can make two of one meal at a time, there will be one for another day when I am busy or I just really, REALLY don't feel like cooking. 

Since I have been making and freezing meals for about a year, I have had several people ask me how I freeze things, what things can be frozen, how I save time when making meals and what meals my family likes.  I thought I could start this blog so that those people who were interested in meal planning and making their meal time simpler could get some answers here.

I don't believe I am an expert at this in any way whatsoever and am constantly learning new ways to do things and trying out new meals.  There have definitely been disaster meals mixed in with the meals that I am definitely going to make again.  I plan on sharing all these ideas, meals, tricks, etc. on this blog so that hopefully we can all learn together!  :)

Another thing that I have tried to get better at is finding good deals on food, especially food that we eat a lot or food that is normally more expensive, like meat, cheese, etc.  I will be sharing deals I find on here as well.  Weekly ads have become something I am excited to get and look at so I can start to plan my meals!  :) 

What I am going to try to do is share with everyone what my weekly meal plan is, how I got that meal plan, what my shopping list would be for that plan and then the actual recipes.  As I make the recipes I will update to see how my family and myself liked the recipe and whether or not we would eat it again.  That is not to say is isn't a good recipe.  We just have our own taste. 

I am really looking forward to keeping this blog and hopefully being able to get some other ideas from people.  :)  Tomorrow I will post my very first meal plan!  :)