Monthly Archives: March 2013

Birthday Cake

LeanneTomorrow is my birthday and so I thought it would be appropriate to give you the recipe for one of my favorite cakes.  I have always loved banana cake.  I chose to have banana cake for our wedding years ago and my daughter Caroline baked this magnificent version two years ago for my fiftieth birthday party.  It was beautiful, as all her cakes are, and so delicious that people were requesting the recipe for months afterwards.  The original recipe was from Cooking Light but one look at the frosting recipe and you’ll know that we changed that up a bit. I hope this will add something scrumptious to your next wonderful spring celebration!

Banana Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cooking spray
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
⅛ teaspoon salt
1⅓ cups granulated sugar
⅓ cup vegetable oil
1¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
1 cup ripe banana, mashed
½ cup low-fat buttermilk
2 tablespoons pecans, toasted and finely chopped (Caroline just used coconut)
2 tablespoons flaked sweetened coconut, toasted
Cream Cheese Frosting (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350°F. To prepare cake, coat 2 (8-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray; line bottoms with wax paper. Coat wax paper with cooking spray.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Place granulated sugar, oil, 1¼ teaspoons vanilla extract, egg whites, and egg in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add mashed banana; beat well. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on wire racks; remove from pans. Peel off wax paper; cool completely on wire racks.

Place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread with ½ cup Cream Cheese Frosting (see recipe below), and top with other cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle pecans and coconut over top of cake. Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator.

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (Caroline used a vanilla bean)
Approximately 2½ cups powdered sugar

To prepare frosting, place cream cheese, butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy. Add powdered sugar; beat at low speed until smooth.

Categories: .Bayview School of Cooking!, Dessert | Leave a comment

Food Spell

LeanneI was going through some recipes and came across one of the first I ever cut out and kept.  I wasn’t much into cooking when I was 17 but I knew that my boyfriend (now my husband) loved seafood and I thought that I could make this for him sometime. I invited him over for dinner when my parents were on a vacation and this is what I made.  I set the table nicely, used a big round fishbowl to float flowers in for a centerpiece and had votive candles all over the dining room table. Apparently, the whole thing made a big impression on him, but especially this crab soufflé.  He mentions it to this day.  Never underestimate the power of food…..

Shilshole Bay Soufflé

2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
8 slices white bread
½ pound Dungeness crab meat
½ pound mushrooms, sliced and sautéed
½ cup green onions, sliced
2½ cups whole milk
4 eggs
8 ounces Tillamook medium cheddar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dry mustard
Freshly ground pepper

Butter 2-quart soufflé dish and dust with breadcrumbs.  Remove crusts and cube bread.  Combine crab, mushrooms and onions in a bowl.  Alternate bread cubes and crab mixture in several layers, ending with bread cubes.  Combine milk, eggs, cheese, salt, mustard and pepper in a blender.  Purée. Slowly pour mixture over bread cubes.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  Bake in preheated oven at 325°F for 1½ hours until golden and firm.  Soufflé is done when inserted wooden skewer comes out clean.  Makes 6 servings


Categories: .Bayview School of Cooking!, Entrée, Fish and Seafood | Leave a comment

Artichoke Arrival

LeanneWhen I was about 10, my mom started bringing home odd things from the produce department for me to try. My dad would carefully drill holes in a coconut so I could drain the watery juice out before smashing it on the patio. I ate the little jewels inside a pomegranate but thought I had to spit out the seeds encased in the bright juice. I adored the new recipe for ratatouille my mom made from the shiny purple eggplant. I cut into a star fruit to see the real beauty in the slices. The item that really caught my attention was an artichoke she brought home. She steamed it and we ate its leaves with melted butter and lemon juice—and I was hooked. Years ago I came across some baby artichokes, figured out how to prepare them and a new favorite was born. Just the other day I stepped into the produce department at Bayview to find a beautiful, heaping display of baby artichokes. I bought some of course and prepared them like this:

Baby Artichokes
1½ pounds baby artichokes
1 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
1 tablespoon extra -virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Take off enough of the outer leaves of each artichoke so that you can see pale green. Cut off the top tough part of artichoke and cut into halves or quarters. Drop into a bowl filled with water and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Continue with all of the artichokes. Place artichokes in a sauté pan with ¼ cup of the lemon water, put lid on and steam until water is all gone. Add olive oil and sauté until tender and golden. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Serves 4

Many of you may already know this but if you have big artichokes, strip off the small, tough outer leaves, trim the bottom and steam in about 2 inches of water with a tight-fitting lid until tender. Serve with low fat mayonnaise mixed with fresh lemon juice. You can also add chopped fresh or pickled jalapenos, smoked paprika or any kind of hot sauce.


Categories: .Bayview School of Cooking!, Vegetable | Leave a comment

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