Thursday, July 26, 2012

Banana Poke Cake

I love banana desserts. When I found this recipe on Pinterest, I knew I'd be making it sometime this summer. The opportunity came a few weeks ago and it was amazing!

This is a perfect summer dessert. Cool and light to beat the heat!

I didn't layer any banana slices in the cake. Instead I added them to each slice. Don't forget the banana slices...they truly make the cake amazing! I've tried it with and without banana slices and you definitely want that fresh banana slice.

Banana Poke Cake (recipe source)

1 (10 oz.) box yellow cake mix
ingredients needed to make cake (eggs, oil & water)
2 (3.4 oz.) packages instant banana pudding
4 cups milk
1 (8 oz.) tub frozen whipped topping, thawed
vanilla wafers, crushed

Bake cake according to box directions in a 9x13 dish. When the cake is done, remove from the oven and poke holes all over the cake -- is easiest to use the handle of a wooden spoon. Make sure the holes go down to the bottom of the cake.

In a separate bowl, mix together milk and pudding mix. Once the mixture is smooth, allow it to set for a minute and then pour over the top of the cake. Make sure the pudding settles down in the holes on the cake.

Refrigerate cake until it is cooled and the pudding is set. Once it is cooled, top with whipped topping. Add crushed vanilla wafers just before serving.

Serve cake with fresh banana slices.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Copy Cat Pizza Hut Pan Pizza

I have a confession. I've never baked anything that involved using yeast (unless it was in my bread machine) because I've always been afraid of the science behind it.

I tossed that fear to the wind when I found this recipe on pinterest!! As soon as I saw it, I knew I would definitely be making it...yeast dough and all!

This pizza is so simple and the most amazing pizza we've ever eaten. Seriously, it's that good!! We thought it was even better than Pizza Hut's because it wasn't nearly as greasy.

If you have yeast or dough fears, please, please toss them aside and MAKE THIS PIZZA!!!!

We made our's as a supreme, but you can definitely add your favorite toppings.

Recipe Yields: Two 9" pizzas

Pizza Dough (recipe source)
2 1/2 cups all purpose or bread flour
1 tsp salt   *I only used 1/2 tsp because I only had salted butter)
1 Tbsp baking powder
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 cup warm water
1 (1/4 oz) packet yeast

Dissolve the yeast in warm water and set aside. Mix the flour, salt and baking powder together. Add the softened butter and cut into the flour mixture using a pastry blender or fork. Add the yeast mixture and stir together to combine.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until well blended and the dough is no longer sticky. Place the pizza dough into a oiled bowl and turn the dough to coat. Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap while the dough rests in a warm place for 20 minutes.

Divide dough into two balls. In two 9″ cake pans add enough oil to cover each pan make sure to spread the oil evenly. Using a rolling pin, roll out each dough ball to about a 9″ circle. Place in cake pans.

Cover each pan with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with non stick spray. Let rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes - 1 hour.

Pizza Sauce (recipe source)
1 (7 1/2 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/8 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
Pinch of black pepper
1/2 whole bay leaf

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan. Heat till boils and lower heat to simmer and cover. Cook for 30 minutes – stir occasionally.

Pizza Ingredients
2/3 cup jarred or homemade pizza sauce (1/3 cup per pizza)
4 Tbsp oil
pizza toppings
mozzerella cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spoon 1/3 cup pizza sauce on each pizza and spread within 1" of dough edge. Sprinkle cheese on sauce.

Add toppings. Top with additional cheese. Bake 15-18 minutes or until bubbly.



**I doubled the sauce recipe and was able to freeze three (1/3 cup) baggies of sauce for future use.

**When I purchased the yeast envelopes, I notices a pizza crust yeast. I did not use this; I used the active yeast.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Crock Pot Baked Potatoes

To say that I love baked potatoes would be an understatement!! I love, Love, LOVE them!! Always have. My mom used to make baked potato dinners with all the toppings...cheese, sour cream, steamed broccoli, sauteed mushrooms and onions, bacon. Oh yum!!!

I've never understood how my hubby and siblings never cared for baked potatoes. I always choose a potato as my side when we eat out.

Recently, I was eating a potato and hubby asked for a bite. He tried it and decided that it was pretty yummy :) I asked if that was ok to start making them for dinner...he agreed!!

I had heard about cooking baked potatoes in the crock pot, so I recently tried it. I will never go back!! These are the best potatoes...just like a restaurant!

Wash potatoes and dry. Wrap in foil and place in crock pot. Cook on low for 8 hours.

{I'm sure you can also coat potatoes in olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt before cooking.}

Serve with your favorite toppings.