Sunday, April 24, 2016

Banana Dog Cake

I'm so sorry that I have not posted in about 2 1/2 years, I can't believe it has been that long!  I definitely needed to take a break from blogging because it is time consuming so I give credit to all those bloggers who post on a regular basis.  Thank you for all those who continue to visit this blog!  I may try to post more but not as often as I used to.  But I really want to share this banana dog cake recipe!  My dog turned 14 years old and he absolutely loved this cake (along with his dog friends).  I decorated this cake using dog treats and dry dog food.  Hope you make this cake for your dog's next birthday! 

Banana Dog Cake

Ingredients for the Cake
2 cups water
2 bananas (mashed)
1 egg
2 tablespoons honey or agave sweetener (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

Ingredients for the Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese (at room temperature)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon honey or agave sweetener (optional)

Directions for the Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease an 8 inch round cake pan.

In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine water, bananas, egg, honey/agave, and vanilla extract. 

Next, mix in whole wheat flour (1 cup at a time) and baking power. 

Pour cake mix into greased pan.

Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Place cake on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting. 

Directions for the Frosting
In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine cream cheese, cinnamon, vanilla extract and honey/agave.  

Mix until smooth and creamy.

Store frosted cake in the refrigerator if not serving immediately.

Decorated with dog treats and dog food!

Waiting for cake!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Mushroom Lasagna

I loved this Mushroom Lasagna dish!  It is so delicious and also different from your usual lasagna with red tomato sauce.  I came across a Wild Mushroom Lasagna recipe in my Food & Wine magazine (December 2013 issue) and revised it to what I had on hand.  The original recipe calls for wild mushrooms, such as chanterelle, shiitake and oyster mushrooms, fresh lasagna sheets and Taleggio cheese.  Feel free to add those if you want but I just went the simpler route this time with no boil lasagna sheets.  Definitely use lots of mushrooms and cheese for this dish, no skimping allowed!  Enjoy!


Mushroom Lasagna
2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium shallots, minced
2 pounds mushrooms, sliced (I used cremini and white mushrooms)
freshly ground black pepper
½ cup dry white wine (I used a chardonnay)
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 box (9 ounces) Barilla lasagna sheets (no boiling required) or use fresh lasagna
4 cups of shredded cheese (I used an Italian cheese mixture and gruyere)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly butter a 9x13 inch baking sheet.

In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, melt butter in olive oil.

Add shallots and cook for 1 minute.  

Add in mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.  Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes until mushrooms are browned.

Add wine and boil until evaporated, about 1 minute.

Add 2 cups of cream and bring to a boil.  Simmer over medium heat until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.

Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

Arrange 4 lasagna sheets in the prepared baking dish.

Top with 1/3 of the mushroom mixture and ¼ of the cheese.

Repeat layering 2 more times and ending with a layer of pasta.

Brush top with remaining 2 tablespoons of cream and add remaining cheese on top.

Cover lasagna with foil and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove foil and bake addition 15 minutes or longer until top is golden.

Cover loosely and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.

(Note:  If using fresh lasagna sheets, prepare according to package directions.)

Serves 8.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

I made this delicious Roasted Butternut Squash Soup for a dinner party not too long ago.  This  soup is great if you make it ahead too, which is exactly what I did the day before the dinner party.   The butternut squash, apples and onions get roasted in the oven and the honey glaze gives a wonderful caramelization.  I love how warm and comforting this soup is and it is perfect for winter.  Sorry I've been a slacker posting recipes these days - I have been hooked on Netflix watching Gossip Girl...LOL I know!  It is so addicting and I can't stop now.  Also I've been attending and hosting holiday parties so life is busy these days.  Enjoy!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

3 to 4 pounds butternut squash, halved and seeds removed (I used 2 squashes.)
4 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored and quartered
2 onions, quartered
32 ounces chicken stock
1 cup half and half (or heavy cream)
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 ½ teaspoons black pepper


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with foil.

Place squash cut side up on baking sheet.  Place apples and onions on baking sheet.

In a small bowl, whisk oil and honey until combined. Brush squash, apples, and onions with the oil and honey mixture.

Roast in oven for about 50 minutes to 1 hour. 

When squash is cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh into a large pan (I used my dutch oven) with the apples and onions. 

Stir in chicken stock, nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.  

Reduce heat to low and slowly stir in cream or half and half.

Use a blender or food processor to puree the soup until smooth.   You may also use an immersion blender.  Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

Serves 8.