Resolutions Schmezolutions.

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Whew.

Now that the Christmas gatherings are over and the cookies are all (mostly) eaten, I now have time to sit down and take a breather.  So what do I do?  Share more delectable desserty recipes with you all.

That's right, I am feeding you more sugar folks.  No worries, it isn't the new year yet.  Just endulge a bit longer, why don't ya? 

I knew you'd agree.  Or maybe you don't.  Ah well, I'm sharing anyway.

I am about to divulge three of my time-tested, oft-made, no-fail, unanimously-loved sweet treats to you.  Be ready.  Are you?  Okay then.

First up: Salted Nut Roll Bars.



These sweet n' salty bars are actually a family recipe, passed down through my father's side.  My Aunt Phoebe makes these bad boys far better than I do.  Somehow mine never look as good, or hold up as superbly, but they always taste just as fabulous.  And I do believe that's all that matters.  I also think she's holding some little prep secret that she refuses to share.  I will get it out of her someday.

But alas, my friends, no worries!  You CAN make these- it's super easy and like I said, they taste spectacular every time.  And they taste much better than these drab things:


Yes.  Please just refrain from buying the above product.  SO not even worth it when compared to these bad boys.

Ingredients:

-1 package yellow cake mix
-1/3 cup butter, melted
-1 egg
-3 cups mini-marshmallows
-2/3 cup white corn syrup
-1/4 cup butter
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-One 10 oz package peanut butter chips (look like choc. chips only peanut butter)
-2 to 3 cups dry roasted peanuts

Instructions:

-Mix first three ingredients and pat into a greased 9x13 pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. 
-Remove pan from oven and immediately cover with marshmallows.  Place pan back in oven for 2-3 minutes or until marshmallow puffup.  Remove and cool COMPLETELY.

-In a saucepan put the following: white corn syrup and 1/4 cup butter.  Bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and add vanilla and peanut butter chips.  Stir until smooth.  Pour over cooled marshmallows.  Immediately cover with peanuts- press nuts slightly into peanut butter chip layer. 

-Let sit at least 2 hours before cutting.

-Take a bite and savor the salty-sweet combo.  Share them (or don't).  Your choice.  These also freeze well in an airtight container for up to one month.


Next up: Mock Peanut Buster Parfait

This is actually a dessert I sort of made up because I had a craving but didn't feel like driving to DQ.  Yeah, I'm lazy sometimes.  However not lazy enough to sit around and pine away.  I made my own version of the original masterpiece and...well, I've now come to prefer my own!  Take that, Dairy Queen.  I can make a whole pan of the stuff for far less than it would cost me to drive there and purchase it...and have more for later.  Shabam.  Forget about this:


When instead you can create this:


It's really quite simple, and can be moulded to your own preferred tastes.  I made this one with an Oreo crust but I think next time I will try pretzel for another salty layer.  Don't let this recipe be the be-all, end-all for you.  Feel free to tweak and change, add and subtract whatever you like.  I love recipes like these because they have endless possibilities.

Ingredients:

-26 (one package) regular Oreos (or knock-off brand, I actually use Newman-O's).
-1/2 cup butter, melted
-half gallon (or more if you like it towering high, like myself) vanilla ice cream- I like Breyer's
-2.5 cups unsalted dry roasted peanuts
-two small jars, or one large, fudge ice cream topping (or make your own)
-one 9 oz container whipped topping (or make your own)

Instructions:

-Crush Oreos in a food processor or place in large ziploc bag and crush with a meat mallet until pulverized.  Mix crushed cookies with melted butter, press into a 9x13 baking glass baking dish (I like glass because you can see the layers, feel free to use metal or ceramic!).  Freeze 20 minutes.  Take out ice cream and let soften on the counter.

-After pan has been in freezer 20 minutes, take it out and spread softened ice cream over top of the cookie layer.  Place back in freezer for another 20 minutes.

-Spoon fudge sauce liberally over top of ice cream layer, reserving 1/3 cup.  Top with 1.5 cups peanuts (press them into the fudge layer a bit).  Place back in freezer for 20 minutes.

-Take pan out (yet again) and top with whipped topping.  Sprinkle remaining nuts over top and drizzle remaining fudge sauce over top.  Freeze again, tightly covered with tin foil or plastic wrap, until ready to serve (at least one hour). 

- Enjoy the money you just saved NOT driving to DQ- and having plenty of leftovers to boot.


The two above treats are easy knock-offs of the originals.  And- to be quite honest, they taste a heck of a lot better than the prepackaged, pre-made, pre-blah versions.  Just take my word for it.

The final recipe is not my own (gasp).  It is my close personal friend, Ina Garten's (Ha.  I wish.).



Don't let the first two words fool you.  Though this sounds "light" and "healthy"- it's extremely decadent and not overly good for you (which should be a stipulation for all desserts, I mean really- who wants to eat a "healthy" dessert?!  Not me, no thanks).  However this one will make you feel slightly better about indulging because it's made with a fair amount of yogurt, citrusy lemon zest, and canola oil- which is heart healthy.  So there you go- justify it all you want!  Just don't look at the sugar content.  That will send you crashing back to earth.

However because I'm lazy...and because my fingers are tired of typing, I'm going to let you find the recipe for this one on your own via the link above.  Sorry- but it's easier that way!  Enjoy it though- it's a crowd pleaser.  The density of each bite is to-die-for.  The pop of lemony goodness refreshing and vibrant.  The finger-licking frosting will leave you slurping at your digits for hours after.  Ina knows her stuff.



Now go in peace, my friends.  And don't let the year-end holidays leave you full and dissatisfied.  Go ahead and have a few more treats on me and ring in the new year with flavor and pizzazz!

Here's to a succulent, flavorful, juicy, delightful 2011!

Happy New Year.

All I Want for Christmas....

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As I've grown older, my tastes have blossomed regarding Christmas gifts.  No longer are the days where all I want is my two front teeth (that was second grade- and I did comically lose both right before Christmas).  No, now I have refined my endeavors to include much more dignified, practical, inexpensive gifts.

Ha.  If there is anything I am not- it is overly practical.  That's my husband, and he does it well.  One of us needs to bring the spice and pizzazz.  I happily took over that role!

But I must say that Mr. K is loving, gracious, kind, and thoughful.  Each gift fom him is carefully considered and planned.  He isn't one to do things on a whim or get me something he know I wont use (that's the practicality coming in)- nor do I want something I wont use. 

Now I am not entirely impractical.  I will never buy a large, sprawling house (even if I had the money someday) because I don't want to furnish, clean, or heat/cool it.  I am not big into fashion- I buy timeless items that will work as trends ebb and flow (and my absolute favorite go-to store is Target).  I steer clear of wasteful spending (buying name-brand, going out to eat often, buying my son toys/candy/games that he will like for a second then forget about, etc).

That said, I am a gift-giver, I adore blessing others with little-somethings.  And I love receiving personal, thoughtful gifts.  You can always tell how much time/effort/thought someone put into your gift.  Homemade are the best kind, second are those gifts that you know the other person will just adore.  And you don't have to spend a ton of money. 

But I am getting off-subject.  Sort of.  I've been known to do that.

The gifts below are on my list this year.  And I must say- though I would use each of them, they are not entirely cheap or fully homemade.  But they are ones that would fit me to-a-T.  They are for the food-lover/baker/chef.  Or the non-chef.  Your pick.

Item #1:  Ina Garten's new cookbook.  Of course- I mean, is there anything else that would top my list? 


Because, really- who wouldn't want to make these delectable delights?

Like her herbed ricotta bruschetta:


Or spicy turkey meatballs.


Or her cran-apple gingerbread cake?
I am not even a fruitcake person and this looks goooood.
It makes me want to change my ways.


And since I already know I am getting this...
(My husband was no-so-secretive in his shopping persuits)
A Cuisinart ice cream/frozen yogurt maker (in white, not red),

  
I must then partake in making Ina's espresso ice cream


Yes, I must.
Or this intriguing flavor:


Vanilla-white-pepper ice cream.  It sounds interesting.

Thus, I will need these vanilla bean pods in my stocking:

And perhaps this, just for kicks:


Mmmm, that should be a sufficient start to my ice-cream making
persuits.  Now, for my addictions.

I actually bought myself one of these for my stocking but have since used it multiple times oops.  I am saving the environment.  Reusable cups are quite handy:


And this is always a stand-by, not-to-disappoint gift:
Cafe Verona, mmm.  Smooth, non-acidic.  Chocolatey.
Transports me to Italy, even for a second.


This another perfect stocking stuffer for this girl:


Anything Kashi brand.  I love it.  Fiber and protein.
And tasty.  And satisfying. 
When I don't have time to make this, I eat the above for breakfast. 
It's an almost-perfect substitute.

Some more practical, cost-effective, "give-back" gifts include:

Buy one pair, donate a pair.  Proceeds go towards helping children in developing nations have footwear of their own, all the while you get to wear these sweet duds as a remembrance of your support.




Snack Taxi snack bags. 
My sis-in-law clued me in  to these neat little things.  Reusable, chic snack bags that are handmade and washable.

This books is fabulous for creating a home that is entirely homemade, full of traditions and rituals, a home that doesn't need added "things" to make it full of life and love.  A great read!



Make your own Advent calendar.  I'll feature mine soon, but this one is just as cute!  You can put whatever you want on the backside of your cards.  Fun family activities to do together, scripture to read, anything you like!


Buy this sweet water bottle and every penny of the purchase goes to buying one person clean water for life in Africa and elsewhere.  It's a HUGE need in the world that most of us here in the U.S. have no concept of.  Matt Damon heads up http://www.water.org/- check it out!


Or you can purchase various goods & necessities for people who have none.  Things like sheep, goats, chickens, a water pump, clothing, medical supplies.  All of varying prices.  It's the perfect way to bless others while giving a bit of yourself.


What is on your list this year? 
It can be practical or impractical, cheap or over the moon, homemade or store-bought.  If I had everything on my dream list it would have included a trip to Italy to learn how to make pasta.  Or to India to see where Mother Teresa served.  Or France to perfect the art of baguette-making and eat artisan cheese.  Or to South America to pick my own fair trade coffee beans with the locals and learn how to roast them.  Or back to Africa to see all the friends we made and have a chapati-making party with them.

We can't have it all. 
But we are allowed to dream...
Or bring dreams to others.

Fall Flavors

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How do you define "autumn"? 

To some, it may be the smell of burning leaves, the first nip in the air, unearthing cable-knit sweaters and packing away the shorts.  To others fall is defined by the flavors it summons.  I am of the latter.

Apples, squash, pears, roasted chestnuts, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, hearty stews and the smell of cinnamon. Gingerbread, candy canes, caramel, baked ham, Brussels sprouts, chutneys, cranberry relish, and turkey roasting are soon-on-the-heels of the above.

It's my absolute favorite time of year.  Absolute.  Hands down.  No-other-season-comes-close.

I adore autumn.

I long for the first days of winter.  These chillier months cause us to seek the warmth of family, friends, food, and fellowship.  The cold beckons us in, among the hearth, where alluring aromas waft from the kitchen.

If summer is about being outside, about partaking in succulent fresh fruit and grilled veggies, then fall and winter are defined by staying in, by the savory, deep, rich flavors that come from the earth.  From the harvest.

During the summer I cook less, opting for quick meals that take little time to prepare so that we can get the most out of the warm weather.  But when autumn sets in I am beckoned back into the kitchen, among my dutch ovens and cast iron skillets.  The kitchen begs to be revisited, and I am ready.

This is it.  We have entered the season.  Welcome, fall-almost-winter.  I've missed you.

To celebrate, I'm sharing two of my all-time favorite fall treats.  Both are sweet-treats, but satisfying and light.

Enjoy, my friends!

Apple Praline Bread

This recipe is adapted from one I found here.  I've added/changed a few things to make it a bit healthier.

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2  cups  chopped pecans, divided
  • 1  (8-oz.) container plain, non-fat yogurt (or sour cream)
  • 1/2  cup  brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2  large eggs
  • 1/2 cup applesauce or apple butter
  • 1  Tbsp  vanilla extract
  • 1  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 2  tsp  baking powder
  • 1/2  tsp  baking soda
  • 1/2  tsp  salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2  cups  finely chopped, peeled apples (about 3/4 lb.)
  • 1/2  cup  butter
  • 1/2  cup  firmly packed light brown sugar

Instructions: 

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Toast 1/2 cup pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet 6 to 8 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring after 4 minutes.  Don't burn!

2. Beat yogurt and next 3 ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes or until blended.

3. Stir together flour and next 5 ingredients. Add to yogurt mixture, beating just until blended. Stir in apples and 1/2 cup toasted pecans. Spoon batter into a greased and floured 9- x 5-inch loaf pan. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup chopped, untoasted pecans; lightly press pecans into batter.

4. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or a touch longer until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean.  If you notice the top browning too quickly, shield with aluminum foil until finished baking. Cool in pan 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack.

5. Bring butter and brown sugar to a boil in a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly; boil 1 minute. Remove from heat, and spoon over top of bread; let cool completely (about 1 hour).  Makes 1 loaf.

Note: To freeze, cool bread completely; wrap in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil. Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature.
Here a few shots of the finished product:



The topping is quite sinful.
Don't.  Think.  About.  It.  People.
Really.


Just remember the wheat germ and flaxseed meal....
And yogurt.
All of which makes it somewhat better on the waistline.
Ha.


Next Up, Pumpkin Pudding!



Ingredients:

-2 Tbsp granulated sugar
-1 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-3 Tbsp cornstarch
-1 1/2 cups half-and-half
-3 large egg yolks
-1 Tbsp salt
-1 Tbsp molasses
-1/2 cup boiling water
-1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree (make sure it is pure pumpkin and not pie filling!)
-Your choice whipped cream

Instructions: 

1. Combine brown sugar and cornstarch in a large heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Add half-and-half, egg yolks, molasses, and salt; cook, whisking constantly, until mixture starts to thicken. Add the water in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Stir in pumpkin puree; cook until very thick, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool slightly.  Pour into desired serving dishes, refrigerate until set.  Makes 4 cups.
2. When ready to serve, top with whipped cream and savor the flavor of autumnal bliss! 


OR if you are fancy-schmancy and want to jazz up your pudding you can serve it in hollowed-out little pumpkins, a la Martha:


Or, you can create a lovely trifle.  I have actually done this (not my photo) and it is absolutely divine.  Just layer with crushed gingersnaps or cut up gingerbread, whipped cream, and/or your choice of nuts.  


There you go, my friends.
Enjoy every moment of this flavorful season.
Excuse me while I go sip my caramel brulee latte and ponder
what I shall delight you with next...



Life Lately.

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My life as-of-late has been a little harried.  To say the least.

That said, I have not cooked much (Mr. K can attest to this) and we have been surviving on [gasp] leftovers, mainly in the form of casseroles.

Now I hail from Iowa.  Thus, I was born and raised on casseroles.

There is nothing wrong with them.  Don't be a hater.

Whoever invented this brilliant idea was a genius.  One pot meals are a Godsend.  Yes. They. Are.  Especially for the working Mama.  Like myself.  I recently scored a long-term subbing gig and have since been spending the majority of my days in a junior high classroom.

Pray for me.

It has been good but I can honestly say you couldn't PAY me to go back to my pre-pubescent, hormonal, everything-is-drama days.  Oh Lord, why was middle-school created?

If someone could please inform me that would be fabulous.  Please and thankyouverymuch.

But I digress.

Casseroles.  And one-dish meals.

Lately I have been making the rounds with a few of my favorites.  Dishes that freeze well and taste justasgood, if not better, the second time around.

What are these?

Well let me share.

1) Lasagna.  One of the most popular "casseroles" around.  I am of the Italian-turkey-sausage-is-the-only-way-to-go camp but you can use whatever ground meat you like.  Or veggies.  Or whatever.




2) Chicken Corn Chowder.  Freezes beautifully, is mildly spicy and intensely flavorful.  It's one of Mr. K's favs.  Pair it with some good crusty bread and you have the perfect autumn meal.




3) Pulled pork.  This stuff is incredibly versatile.  If you make up a few pounds, you can use it for sandwiches, stews, quesadillas, on a BBQ pizza, the list is endless.  It's definitely a go-to.  Pair it with Rudy's BBQ Sauce and you have yourself a carnivorous feast.




4) Homemade pizza.  I pre-freeze the dough in portion-size balls and take it out, letting it rise throughout the day while I'm gone.  When I come home all I have to do is punch it down, roll it out, dress it up, and bake it!
The link will guide you to a friend's webpage- who featured my recipe a while back.




5) Meatloaf.  This is SUCH a comfort food in our family.  I like to pair it with some fresh, roasted brussels sprouts and some sort of potato (usually baked sweet potatoes or rosemary roasted fingerlings).  My son loves it.  Loves it, I tell you.  And Mr. K has come around- he now asks for seconds.  This is a big leap from previous years.  He's a work-in-progress.




So yes.  Those are my must-haves lately.  Or rather, my quick-fixes.

What meals do you go-to when life gets crazy?  And please don't tell me "takeout".  Boo!  I want to know what homemade meals you make in a flash.

Do share.

PS- I apologize for my lack-of-postage after the London trip.  Unfortunately I was not able to hit up The Cheshire Cheese.  I was quite depressed about it.  I may-or-may-not have cried.  Maybe.  But I did visit many yummy a la carte eateries!  I may feature one in particular in the near future :)

Merry Ol' London

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Wow.  Haven't seen or heard from me in a while, have you?  This summer has been particularly full of events and happenings.  Recently I returned from a week in the wooded peaks of Colorado- an enjoyable time with family, hiking and eating loads of comfort food.  It's always refreshing to return from a week in the mountains- my entire self feels rejuvenated and alive.

How does that happen?  Must be the fresh mountain air.

Anyway- next stop on this girl's traveling list is London.

Yes, London.

I will be leaving in a few short hours for my first jaunt in this cosmopolitan city.  I just realized I have never spent much time in a western, developed country that is not my own.  I have been to China, all over eastern Africa, and Mexico- but these are developing nations (save China which is rapidly becoming a superpower, if not already).

That said, I am thrilled to go.  More like, on-the-edge-of-my-seat giddy in anticipation.  I have already mapped out my entire trip, printed off gobs of info, read the travel guides, read other collateral books (Oliver Twist, Persuasion, 84 Charing Cross Road, etc) and now I. am. ready.

However, being the foodie that I am, I cannot go to a place and NOT make a meal plan.  With all of my world travels the very first thing I do is find a local hot-spot and eat like the natives do.

Which is why, of course, I had to find the quintessential English pub to dine in.

OF course.

I think I have found it in Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese on Fleet Street.  I mean, this place is a relic.

Check it out.


Samuel Johnson, Charles Dickens, Voltaire, and Thackaray all have sipped brews and eaten pub grub at this joint.  This tavern has been situated in this very same location since 1538.  

That's older than America, folks, by a few hundred years!



The place burned down during The Great Fire of 1666 but was rebuilt he very next year.
Here is a list, on the pub's wall, of all the monarchs who have reined during this 
establishment's existence.


How incredible is that?!


I am such a sucker for historical hot spots.

Another place I hope to enjoy is the local chain Marks and Spencer.


It's a department store of sorts with a nice selection of food and wine.
It's a great place to pick up supplies for a picnic lunch in Hyde Park.


And it too, has historical relevance having been first opened for
business in 1884 by Michael Marks, a Polish Jew and Thomas Spencer,
a cashier from Yorkshire.


They began as a retail business specializing in clothing
but soon moved on to bigger and better (and greater, in my opinion) merchandise.
i.e. FOOD.

And me-oh-my, don't these look tasty?


Yes, I would like me one of those and one of those 
and, OH!, how about one of those.

Yes, please.

There are also a few other places I plan to hit, such as the Wagamama
Noodle Cafe, an interesting-sounding place in itself, some good Thai
food (apparently they have a great deal of international  hot spots), 
afternoon tea at The Orangery in Kensington Palace or perhaps
in Bath when we attend the Jane Austen festival.

Oh, dear.  I am a Brit-at-heart already.

Hopefully I return.
Mr. K will send out a search party if I don't.

I'll keep you posted.

See you in a few!

Light and Sweet

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[Note: wrote this post back in June but for some odd reason failed to publish!  Ah well, here she is!]

Wow!  It has been a few weeks, hasn't it?  It's okay- I'm here.  Don't be worrying 'bout me.
Just in case you were.  Doubt it but thought I'd allow your mind to rest at ease anyway.

It's summer, things are a little more laid back.  Enjoyable.  Carefree.

I had a great weekend.  Mr. K and I celebrated doubly- our anniversary and my birthday- with a three day staycation, sans-child, doing things that we just don't do much of these days.

Eating out,
watching movies,
long walks without the stroller,
more eating out.
You know, those kinds of things.

Due to the vast amounts of restaurant-consumption I have not been utilizing my own kitchen lately.

For shame, I know.

Oh but it's lovely not having to cook sometimes, wouldn't you agree?

Yes, indeed.

However.  This little recipe brought my oven back to life.
I had a craving.  A monstrumental craving for something deep and rich, yet light and sweet.  Something that was healthy enough to make me not feel too badly about eating two large pieces in one sitting- but decadent enough to make my tastebuds swoon.

Yes, this is that thing.

And really, I suppose I had to use some beyond-their-prime bananas.
So, you know, naturally I chose to make something that would revive those suckers.

What is this thang?

It's Hummingbird Cake, my loves.

And it is mighty fine.

Hummingbird Cake:
Unsalted butter
parchment paper
2 1/4 C flour, divided (you can do part whole wheat, part white if you like- I did!)
1 C toasted pecan pieces
3 ripe bananas, finely chopped
1/2 C fresh pineapple, finely chopped
1/2 C shredded coconut (optional)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 C brown sugar
1/2 C honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 C vegetable oil

Frosting:
2 (8oz) packages cream cheese, softened to room temp
12 Tbsp unsalted butter, cubed, room temp
2 C powdered sugar
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350.  Butter two 8" cake pans, line with parchment paper.  Butter and flour parchment.

2. Toast pecans in oven by placing them on a cookie sheet and popping them in your preheated oven for 6-8 minutes- don't burn them!  Toss bananas, pineapple, coconut, and a half cup flour in a small bowl.

3. Whisk remaining ingredients (2 1/4 C flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, baking soda, and salt) in a bowl.  Beat the eggs, brown sugar, honey, and vanilla in a stand-mixer (or with a handheld) on high speed until thick and light, 5 minutes.  Gradually beat in oil.

4. Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture, add banana mixture & nuts, then transfer batter to pans.  Bake until firm and toothpick comes out clean, 50-55 minutes.  Cool 25 minutes then invert cakes onto rack to cool completely.

5.  Make frosting.  Beat cream cheese in large bowl until fluffy, gradually beat in butter until combined.  Sift sugar over cheese and beat until smooth.  Add zest and vanilla.

6.  Frost and serve.  Optional:  you can toast extra pecans, or save some for placing on top and sides of cake, like I did!  Makes it look purdier ;)  


So...normally I show you all the ingredients in a neat little 
group, all tidy and proper-like.
Not today.
This is the real deal.
Welcome to my (typical) beautiful mess:



Just keepin' it real, folks.

Line your buttered pans with parchment.
Butter and flour the parchment.
I feel like Ina every time I say "parchment".
This makes me tingle inside.
[tingle, tingle]


Toast your pecans.
There is nothing more  heavenly than the smell of toasted nuts.
Except maybe onion and garlic sauteing.
Or granola baking in the oven.
Mmmmm, love it all.



Mix up your dry ingredients in a bowl.



Chop up those elderly bananas.



Mix 'em with a the coconut, pineapple, and a 
bit of flour in a separate bowl.



Turn to your lovely KitchenAid
What would life BE like without my mixer?
Primitive.  
Or basically akin to my entire African experience...
but that's another story, or twenty, for another day.

Mix up those eggs, sugar, and honey.



Mmmm, all good things begin with eggs and sugar.
I'm reminded of this little beauty.
Just made that one this week.
I won't divulge how much I've eaten so far.



After the eggs and sugars are well-mixed, add in
the dry ingredients, mix well, then incorporate
your bowl of fruit, flour, & coconut.
Lastly, add in the pecans.



Divide and pour the batter into your two prepared pans.



Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in
the center of each comes out clean.


Pull those bad boys out of the oven, let cool a bit, then invert
onto a rack to cool completely.
While they are cooling, make your frosting.
Sorry- no photos on frosting prep.  Forgot!  It happens.
Once the cakes are cool, grab your frosting and start
assembling the cake.



Top it all with more toasted pecans, 
if you so desire.
I desired, therefore, I did.
Do as I do.
All the cool people are doing it.



Oh my.



Yes, yes indeed.



Light.  Sweet.  Desirable.



The perfect way to revive bananas.


The ideal way to spend a summer evening.

Or afternoon.
Or morning.

I promise I've NEVER had this for breakfast.
Ahem.
What?  It has nuts...and fruit.
And eggs.

It's justified.