OK. There are many sensational cheescake recipes from around the world. Connoisseurs will, no doubt have enjoyed baked versus cold, French versus New York cheesecakes and many more as well. Perhaps you are looking for a refreshing change. Why not try this traditional, sensational Aussie cheesecake!


250 grams of reduced fat cream cheese (room temperature)
1 cup of reduced fat condensed milk (room temperature)
juice of two lemons
lemon zest from one lemon
1 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

2 cups of finely crushed plain sweet biscuit crumbs
2 rounded teaspoons of cocoa powder
2-3 oz of melted butter

1 cup passionfruit pulp
2 rounded teaspoons of gelatin
2 oz of hot water



1. Thoroughly mix biscuit crumbs, sifted cocoa powder and melted butter.

2. Press firmly into the base of greased cheesecake pan.

3. Place in the refrigerator to set whilst preparing the filling.

Plain biscuits can vary in butter content. If you find the base does not form a ball when squeezed in your fist, add a little more melted butter to ensure the base will hold together when cold.


1. In an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until softened and fluffy.

2. Add condensed milk, lemon zest and vanilla essence until well combined.

3. In a separate container, with very clean beaters, whisk the cream until firm peaks form. Set aside.

4. Add the lemon juice to the cream cheese and condensed milk mixture. Beat well. The lemon juice will start to react and cause the mixture to thicken.

5. On a very slow speed beat in the whipped cream until just combined.

6. Pour mixture onto chilled biscuit base.

7. Place cheesecake into the refrigerator for 3 hours to firm up.


1. Dissolve the gelatin powder in the hot water according to manufacturer’s directions.

2. Mix dissolved gelatin into passionfruit pulp and place in the refrigerator in a small bowl.

3. When nearly set, but still pourable, pour passionfruit and gelatin mixture over the chilled cheesecase.

4. Return to the refrigerator and chill several hours before serving.

This special recipe has taken the best of both worlds, by adding some Eastern ingredients to this Western recipe. By using chillies, oyster sauce and chicken stock, mixed with the traditional pie sauces, the result is a delicious and moist meat base with just a tad of kick from the chillies. For more or less of the ingredients, its entirely up to the individual, but I would use the following estimates to suit my tastebud.

I have baked this on many occassions and it never fails to get people asking for the recipe.

500g minced meat; 1-1.5kg potatoes; 3-4 tbsp ketchup; 3-4 oyster sauce; 2-3 tbsp worchester sauce; 3 medium onions; 6 garlic ; 3-4 cups of mixed vegetables (green peas, corn, carrot); 4-6 tbsp milk; 4-6 tbsp buttter; 2 chicken cubes; 4-5 chilli padi (small chillies and hotter than the usual ones, if not available, normal chillis can still be used); sliced button mushrooms ; grated cheese; salt and pepper.

Methods to make the meat filling :
Saute/fry onions for a while, add the minced meat, stir till its almost cooked. Add the sauces, chicken cubes, oyster sauce, ketchup. Then add mixed veges, mushrooms, chillis. Salt and pepper. If you wish, you can remove the chillies from the mixture once cooked.

Methods to make the mash potatoes:
Boil potatoes and mash (without skin of course). Add milk and butter; salt and pepper. Ensure they are well mixed. (I always end up with just a bit more milk and butter).

For baking:
Place minced meat mixture in a baking tin, level it. Place the mashed potatoes on top and level it. Use a fork to make some designs on top,
when its brown, makes it look pretty. Then sprinkle grated cheese on
top, how much you desire , it’s up to you. Bake in pre-heated oven at
210C for estimated 30-40minutes, check in once in a while, as long as the
top is brown, you are done.

Some tips:
I used to mash potatoes by first boiling them with the skins, and then peel them and mash them, which was usually very hard work. Till I was
taught by a chef, who peeled the potatoes before boiling and cut them up
into cubes, add salt. They cook faster and so easy to mash, and does not
shortchange the taste. For the westerners, if you do not wish to use
chillis, use lots of pepper. For the Asians with fiery tongue, use chilli
padis for that kick, more if you wish but don’t get burned!

All the best!
Nora Maskuri
For more tips and recipes, visit http://mycookery.com/blog

A unique corporate gift like smoked sockeye salmon is well received for its’ taste, and it is a classy gift too. Alaska smoked salmon is a gourmet gift that some people would not normally purchase for themselves. It is remarkably affordable and a healthy alternative to chocolate.

Encouraged people achieve the best; dominated people achieve second best; neglected people achieve the least. – Author Unknown

Very few businesses stand completely alone. Partnerships are developed that utilize individual business strength to enhance the overall effectiveness of each. A manufacturer might link with a distribution firm allowing both to benefit financially from the shared arrangement.

This may be one of the best reasons to consider a unique corporate gift that acknowledges and celebrates the mutually beneficial relationship. A smoked salmon gift box lets your business partner know that you recognize and value a partnership that has allowed the targeted growth your company needs. Such a unique corporate gift is a well received symbol of respect and honor.

Each smoked salmon gift box is crafted with a natural cherry finish and the utmost in craftsmanship. A salmon is artistically inlayed in the wood and the result is an executive gift that includes 8 ounces of the finest Smoked Copper River sockeye salmon fillets. Your business partners will long remember your generosity and good taste. Such a gift lets your partners understand something important about you and your business – you exercise great care in both integrity and respect.

You have partnerships with people on your management team, peripheral business partners, customers and other inner office staff. Your business can not maintain optimal function without these team members participating in assisting in the success of your company. Any of these partners can be considered potential recipients of a value priced smoked salmon gift box.

The following recipe using smoked salmon may be used as an added personal touch when presenting this unique corporate gift to clients, staff or partners.

Appetizer Salmon Dip

1/6 cup extra Virgin olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 cloves garlic, minced
1 cups heavy cream
2 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1 teaspoon course black pepper
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
½ teaspoon hot chili sauce
8 oz. Smoked Salmon, chopped

Heat the oil in large saucepan. Sauté the garlic, onions, and green pepper for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables soften. Reduce heat, pour in cream and slowly bring to a simmer. Stir in the scallions, parsley, basil, thyme, and continue to simmer until the sauce has thickened and reduced by a quarter. Add the Salmon, and chili sauce and let cook for an additional 5 minutes. Then serve to your grateful guests.

Our smoked salmon gift boxes are packed without using preservatives and are fully ready to eat with a smoked flavor that will get noticed and remain a topic of conversation for time to come. It may, in fact, be the best received gift you have ever given.

Each individual you work with would love to have confirmation that their efforts are noticed and appreciated. Well timed and unique corporate gifts like smoked salmon may result in a renewed and energized workplace. You shouldn’t be surprised if productivity rises due to improved morale.

Any time of year can be a great time to dig into a bowl of ice cream. As the weather outside warms up, the luscious taste of ice cream can be a tantalizingly terrific way to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Two people who really know the scoop when it comes to ice cream are Ray Karam, the official Tastemaster, and Nola Krieg, Operations Manager of Product Development (aka Tastemaster Apprentice) of Cold Stone Creamery. With more than 25 years in the dairy industry, Karam is responsible for researching and developing the company’s indulgent combinations and flavors of ice cream, mix-ins and cakes. Krieg is fondly known as the Tastemaster’s right-hand woman, lending support and providing valuable feedback to development and operational tasks surrounding new products.

With Karam’s extensive background in food science and Krieg’s expertise in culinary arts, they have created this fun, anytime recipe for s’mores with a twist-taking advantage of one of Cold Stone’s new “to go” options, the 48-oz. Everybody’s.

Ice Cream Creation S’mores

Serves 4

1 Everybody’s (48-oz. size) Cold Stone Ice Cream Creation (suggested creations: Coffee Lovers Only, Peanut Butter Cup Perfection or Founder’s Favorite)

4 graham crackers (8 small squares)

4 teaspoons fudge syrup

4 teaspoons marshmallow fluff

1. Break a graham wafer in half, forming 2 squares.

2. Coat one square with a teaspoon of fluff and the other with a teaspoon of fudge.

3. Place a rounded scoop of the ice cream creation in the center of the fluff-coated wafer.

4. Place the fudge-coated wafer on top of the ice cream scoop.

5. Gently press down to spread out the ice cream.

6. Place on a tray and freeze for a minimum of 1 hour before serving.

A variation on the old campground favorite, Ice Cream Creation S’mores can be a cool way to tickle your taste buds.

A Look at Rice

When cooking rice the size of the grain is the most important thing. Due to the thousands of varieties of rice found all over the world which have differing flavors and aromas, it can be problematic to find the exact right one for your dish.

Long-grain rice usually runs four to five times long as it does wide. It is typically dry and fluffy after it is cooked. The grains do not clump. Some examples of long grain rice are Basmati (aromatic, having a rich nutty flavor; used a lot in Indian cooking), brown long-grain rice (husk removed with a nutritious bran layer, slightly chewy, mild nutty flavor), finishing off with white or polished long-grain rice (most widely used; has mild flavor). Uses for long-grain rice mainly are steamed, baked, pilaf, and a rice salad.

Short-grain rice has an almost round shape, is very starchy and tends to stick together after it has been cooked. It’s sometimes known as “sticky-rice”. Examples of short-grain rice are Arborio rice (creamy texture to dishes) and glutinous rice or sweet rice (very sticky after cooked; used in lot of Asian desserts and snacks). Short-grain rice is great for puddings, risotto, croquettes, sushi, stir-fried rice, and molded rice dishes.

Medium-grain rice has a size smaller than long-grain yet bigger than short-grain thus the name medium-grain rice. It is more tender than long grain rice and yet less moist than short grain rice. It is typically fluffy and separate when served hot and then starts to clump as it cools.

Cooking Rice

To Steam Rice: measure the water and salt amounts suggested for the type of rice you are cooking. This is usually found on the box or bag. Mix the salt and water together and pour it into a saucepan and then bring the combination to a boil. Add the rice to the boiling salted water and stir.

Bring the water to a boil again then cover the saucepan, steaming the rice, on a very low heat until the rice has engrossed all the salted water and is tender. This normally takes 15 to 18 minutes for white rice and 35 to 40 minutes for brown rice. Remove the pan from the heat and let set for about 5 minutes. Prior to rationing the rice to your troops fluff it with a fork. Troops love fluffy rice.
To Sauté and Steam Rice (pilaf): Measure some salt and water for your rice and bring to a boil. While waiting for the water to boil heat oil or butter in a saucepan at medium heat. You can also use a mixture of the two. Add the rice to the molten butter or what have you and rouse till the rice is fully coated.

“Sauté” for 2 to 3 minutes, rousing in a consistent fashion. Now add the salted water you have been boiling to the sautéed rice and bring the mixture to a boil. Again we steam the rice by putting a lid on the pan, turn the heat down to low or lower and then wait till the rice and soaked in all the water and has become a tender spectacle.

To Bake Rice: Preheat your sweet oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Get that salted water boiling, while waiting for boiling point add your measured amount of rice to a baking dish. When ready add the boiling water to the rice in the baking dish. Cover the dish tightly, for cleanliness, baking efficiency, and safety when removing the dish from the oven.

Use tin foil or an oven safe lid and bake at the preheated temperature until the rice has absorbed the water and is a tender delicacy. White rice takes about 20 to 30 minutes, while brown rice takes any where from 35 to 45 minutes. Baking times differ depending on you oven, altitude from the moon or sun, and how tightly sealed your dish is.

Almond Rice Recipe

4 cups rice (Long Grain)
8 cups chicken broth
4 Tbl parsley (substitute rosemary, sage, tarragon, or thyme, to taste of course)
1 ½ cup celery. chopped fine
1 ½ cup onion, chopped fine OR ¾ cup minced dried onion
1 cup slivered almonds

Sauté onion and celery in just enough broth to cover. Add 8 cups chicken broth. Add rice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let steam about 20 minutes. If there is too much liquid left when rice is cooked, take off lid and cook and stir until liquid is gone. Just before serving, add parsley and 1 cup slivered almonds. If you used dried parsley, add it while there is still a little water in the pan.

Save time and improve your health by going a little nuts-with almonds. Enjoy them for Breakfast. Sprinkle chopped almonds on granola or oatmeal. Stir them into yogurt. Use almond milk in a breakfast smoothie-it can be found in an unrefrigerated box at the supermarket, near soy milk.

• Lunch. Include crunchy al-monds in a green salad or creamy soup. Make an almond butter and jelly sandwich.

• Dinner. Add slivered almonds to rice, pasta, couscous or steamed vegetables. Grind roasted almonds and use them as a nutritious “breading” for fish or poultry.

• Snacks. Choose a handful of almonds and a piece of fruit.

• Dessert. Make fruit, caramel and chocolate desserts special with almonds.

Almonds can also be used in a range of cuisines. Try them in this authentic Mexican soup.



3/4 cup slivered almonds, roasted*, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish

6 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided

3 cups packed fresh cilantro, divided, plus a few sprigs for garnish

2 cups packed fresh parsley, divided

6 ounces cream cheese

1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves

1 tablespoon fresh marjoram leaves

8 ounces cooked and deveined (51-60 count) shrimp

Grind 3/4 cup almonds finely in a food processor or blender. Add 2 cups broth, 11/2 cups cilantro, 1 cup parsley and cream cheese; blend until smooth. Transfer mixture to a medium pot, and gradually stir in remaining 4 cups broth. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Transfer 1 cup soup, remaining cilantro and parsley, and oregano and marjoram to blender; puree until smooth. Whisk puree into soup in pan. Add shrimp and simmer just until warm throughout, about 3 minutes. Divide among bowls and serve, garnishing each bowl with a few slivered almonds and a cilantro sprig. Serves 8.

*To roast whole, slivered, chopped or sliced almonds: Spread in an ungreased baking pan. Place in a 350ºF oven and bake 10 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant; stir once or twice to ensure even browning. Note that almonds will continue to roast slightly after removing from oven.

The weather is getting warmer, which means the party scene is about to heat up. Welcome the season by building up your bartending repertoire with light, fruity cocktails.

Whether planning a luau, cocktail party or a little get-together with friends, a well-stocked bar is particularly important. For parties, make sure you have plenty of ice, about a pound for each guest, as most spring and summer drinks are served on the rocks or with crushed ice.

Having a few essentials on hand is key: A basic bar includes vodka, whiskey, wines and beer. If you’re feeling more adventurous or creative, you can also add gin, tequila, rum, bourbon, vermouth, sherry and brandy.

Mixers add a dash of flavor, or in some cases spice, to a summery cocktail. Orange juice, seltzer, tonic water, cola, ginger ale, tomato juice, Tabasco sauce, horseradish and Worcestershire will wake up your drink recipes.

Another great addition to your bar is Hair of the Dog, which has a light raspberry taste that can jazz up any drink. Using Hair of the Dog as a mixer will make a tasty drink that includes detoxifying ingredients to help the liver better process toxins. Thus it helps to counteract the negative effects of alcohol on the body. The sugar-free version also has no carbs.

Finish off your drinks with sliced lemons, limes, oranges or maraschino cherries. A curl of lemon peel can make an attractive finishing touch.

Try these recipes using sugar-free Hair of the Dog for a diet-friendly twist on familiar drinks:

Caribbean Dog

1 shot Malibu Rum

1 can Hair of the Dog

Blend ingredients with ice, then serve in a tall glass. Float a 1/2 shot of Chambord in the glass and garnish with an orange slice and a cherry.

Tex Mex Dog

(Hair of the Dog’s version of the margarita has fewer carbs -; approximately 40 grams less than traditional margarita mixes.)

1 1/4 shot tequila

3/4 shot triple sec

3/4 shot Grand Marnier

1/2 can Hair of the Dog

Combine ingredients and serve over ice in a glass with a salted rim. Garnish with a slice of lime.

Rice needs to be thoroughly washed. A good way to do this is to put it into a colander, in a deep pan of water. Rub the rice well with the hands, lifting the colander in and out the water, and changing the water until it is clear; then drain. In this way the grit is deposited in the water, and the rice left thoroughly clean.

The best method of cooking rice is by steaming it. If boiled in much water, it loses a portion of its already small percentage of nitrogenous elements. It requires much less time for cooking than any of the other grains. Like all the dried grains and seeds, rice swells in cooking to several times its original bulk. When cooked, each grain of rice should be separate and distinct, yet perfectly tender.

Steamed rice.

Soak a cup of rice in one and a fourth cups of water for an hour, then add a cup of milk, turn into a dish suitable for serving it from at table, and place in a steam-cooker or a covered steamer over a kettle of boiling water, and steam for an hour. It should be stirred with a fork occasionally, for the first ten or fifteen minutes.

Boiled rice (japanese method).

Thoroughly cleanse the rice by washing in several waters, and soak it overnight. In the morning, drain it, and put to cook in an equal quantity of boiling water, that is, a pint of water for a pint of rice. For cooking, a stewpan with tightly fitting cover should be used. Heat the water to boiling, then add the rice, and after stirring, put on the cover, which is not again to be removed during the boiling. At first, as the water boils, steam will puff out freely from under the cover, but when the water has nearly evaporated, which will be in eight to ten minutes, according to the age and quality of the rice, only a faint suggestion of steam will be observed, and the stewpan must then be removed from over the fire to some place on the range, where it will not burn, to swell and dry for fifteen or twenty minutes.

Rice to be boiled in the ordinary manner requires two quarts of boiling water to one cupful of rice. It should be boiled rapidly until tender, then drained at once, and set in a moderate oven to become dry. Picking and lifting lightly occasionally with a fork will make it more flaky and dry. Care must be taken, however, not to mash the rice grains.

Rice with fig sauce.

Steam a cupful of best rice as directed above, and when done, serve with a fig sauce. Dish a spoonful of the fig sauce with each saucer of rice, and serve with plenty of cream. Rice served in this way requires no sugar for dressing, and is a most wholesome breakfast dish.

Orange rice.

Wash and steam the rice. Prepare some oranges by separating into sections and cutting each section in halves, removing the seeds and all the white portion. Sprinkle the oranges lightly with sugar, and let them stand while the rice is cooking. Serve a portion of the orange on each saucerful of rice.

Rice with raisins.

Carefully wash a cupful of rice, soak it, and cook as directed for Steamed Rice. After the rice has began to swell, but before it has softened, stir into it lightly, using a fork for the purpose, a cupful of raisins. Serve with cream.

Rice with peaches.

Steam the rice and when done, serve with cream and a nicely ripened peach pared and sliced on each individual dish.

Browned rice.

Spread a cupful of rice on a shallow baking tin, and put into a moderately hot oven to brown. It will need to be stirred frequently to prevent burning and to secure a uniformity of color. Each rice kernel, when sufficiently browned, should be of a yellowish brown, about the color of ripened wheat. Steam the same as directed for ordinary rice, using only two cups of water for each cup of browned rice, and omitting the preliminary soaking. When properly cooked, each kernel will be separated, dry, and mealy. Rice prepared in this manner is undoubtedly more digestible than when cooked without browning.

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can help you ward off heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer. Include dark green, leafy vegetables, yellow, orange and red fruits and veggies, cooked tomatoes and citrus fruits. If you consume 2,000 calories a day, aim for at least nine servings or 41/2 cups of fruits and vegetables.

Try mangos and sweet potatoes. Mangos are high in fiber, have no cholesterol or saturated fat and are high in potassium and beta-carotene. They help replenish energy. Sweet potatoes are the most nutritious and heart-healthy vegetable, according to the National Center for Science in the Public Interest. They’re fat-free, cholesterol-free, low in sodium and high in fiber. Besides the great taste, the sweet potato is a wonderful source of vitamins A, C and E. Cumin is a good source of iron and cumin seeds promote a healthy digestive system.

Spring Salad with Chutney Dressing and Sweet Potato-Cumin Crisps

1 (9-ounce) bottle mango chutney (about 1 cup)

1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream or mayonnaise

1/2 cup plain lowfat yogurt

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro or mint

8 to 10 cups mixed spring greens

1 apple, thinly sliced

1 cucumber, sliced

Golden raisins and toasted cashews

Sweet Potato-Cumin Crisps

1 cup Bruce’s Sweet Potato Pancake Mix

2 teaspoons toasted cumin seeds

1/4 teaspoon Bruce’s Ma Cayenne Red Pepper

1 cup water

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Prepare Sweet Potato Cumin Crisps; set aside. For dressing, combine chutney, sour cream, yogurt and cilantro; mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve. At serving time, toss greens with dressing and arrange on salad plates with apple and cucumber slices. Sprinkle raisins and cashews over each serving and serve sweet potato crisps on the side. Makes 6 servings.

Note: For a main dish salad, toss 3 cups of cubed cooked chicken with some dressing and arrange on plates with greens.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl; mix well. Spray an 8-inch nonstick skillet or omelet pan with cooking spray and place over medium heat. When pan is hot, add 2 tablespoons batter and tilt quickly to spread evenly. Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes, then turn and cook on other side until golden brown and crisp around edges. Repeat with remaining batter, spraying pan as needed to prevent sticking. Place rounds in a single layer on paper towels after removing from skillet, then place in a single layer on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake in a 325° oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until crisp and dry. Cool before serving. Makes about 1 dozen.

Most Americans would agree that nothing beats a perfectly grilled steak, a tender pork loin or a delicious cut of lamb – especially when paired with just the right glass of full-bodied wine.

Australians also share a genuine passion for barbecuing. While the folks down under are reaching for their “shrimp on the barbie” or their pork, ribs or steak, they also tend to reach for their favorite glass of wine. Quite often, that wine will be a Shiraz, the hallmark grape of Australia. Shiraz, with its rich fruit character, seems perfectly suited to take on any of the big, bold tastes coming off the grill.

One Australian winery in particular has long been acknowledged for making approachable, award-winning Shiraz wines that are right for any time of the year, but are especially in season when it’s time to fire up the grill. The Wyndham Estate winery, located in Australia’s famed Hunter Valley winegrowing region, is known throughout the world as “the place where Australian Shiraz began.”

The following recipe is an example of the kind of entrée that pairs well with a full-bodied Shiraz, like Wyndham Estate’s Bin 555. Wyndham Estate wines are available nationally and imported by Pernod Ricard USA.


1 (5- to 6-pound) leg of lamb, boned and trimmed

3/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup mint jelly

1/3 cup minced fresh mint leaves (keep a few leaves for decoration)



In a 1 1/2 quart pan over medium heat, bring to a boil the vinegar and mint jelly. Stir in mint leaves and pour evenly over lamb. Cover and chill 2 hours or up to a day, turning meat over occasionally.

Barbecue over medium heat, turning meat to brown evenly; baste with marinade. For rare meat, cook about 40 minutes or until thermometer reads 140 degrees in thickest area of meat. Rest cooked lamb for 5 to 10 minutes. Garnish with mint sprigs. Slice meat thin. Season to taste with salt and pepper. – NU

Now here is a recipe that can be used during the Thanksgiving season as well as the Christmas season although when it comes to food and of course I know how to prepare all the recipes that I share with everyone everyday can be a holiday for me depending on what my taste is for a particular day.
Every persons taste is different and that is what makes the world go around, but there isn’t much that I don’t like when it comes to the sweet things.
Remember your ingredients should be at room temperature.

1-2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs slightly beaten
1 ½ cups sugar 1 ½ cups canned solid pack pumpkin
½ cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup each walnuts and raisins

Preheat your oven to 350 degrease. Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
In a 5 quart mixing bowl combine the first 5 ingredients then add eggs, sugar, pumpkin, oil and mix until well combined then add your nuts and raisins and mix until smooth.
Pour your mix into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 70 minutes or until a pick placed into the center comes out clean.
Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes then remove from pan and continue to cool on same rack.
Well now it’s time to eat it, get out the butter and coffee and “enjoy”.

As a child this was and still is my favorite cake, it is a really moist and tasty cake as well, ok lets get started, I assume that everyone knows that all ingredients should be at room temperature.

½ pound butter
4 eggs
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
½ cup mashed ripe bananas
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour

Cream your butter and sugar together then add your bananas and mix until smooth add your eggs one at a time now add your sour cream, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, and flour, mix on low speed for 1 minute and then on 2nd speed for about 2 minutes or until smooth.
Place your cake mix in a well greased and floured 10 inch x 3 inch tube pan and let bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 25 to 35 minutes, test cake by inserting a pick in the center and if it comes out clean then it is done.

Icing on the cake:
4 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
add the flour to the cold milk and stir with a wire whisk and then cook it on the stove until it is thick, remove from stove without burning it and let it cool.

In a mixing bowl add ½ cup butter, ½ cup shortening, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, mix all for 1 minute then add the mixture that you cooked and whip for 2 or 3 minutes or until it is as fluffy as you desire using a paddle on your mixer and not the whip.

Leave it to star female race-car drivers to come up with desserts that are not only fast, but incredibly tempting. Using the most iconic ingredients-Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Hostess Cup Cakes-IRL’s Danica Patrick, NASCAR’s Leilani Münter and the National Hot Rod Association’s Melanie Troxel easily made the cut for the Hostess Race Divas team.

Danica Patrick’s Speedway Shortcake Twinkie-Style

10 Hostess Twinkies

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

8 ounces frozen whipped topping, thawed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 to 6 cups thinly sliced fresh strawberries

Slice Twinkies in half horizontally and place, cut-side up, in a decorative or glass 9 x 13-inch dish. Twinkies will cover the entire bottom surface of the pan.

Beat cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk until well blended. Fold in whipped topping and vanilla.

Spread half of the cream cheese mixture over Twinkies; top with half of the sliced strawberries. Repeat layers. Refrigerate several hours.

Leilani Münter’s Fast Track German Chocolate Tarts

1 box Hostess Ding Dongs

11/2 cups chopped pecans

21/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut

1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk

11/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup (11/2 sticks) butter

4 egg yolks, slightly beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla

Using a serrated knife, slice Ding Dongs in half horizontally. Place on platter and set aside.

Spread the pecans and coconut on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes or until toasted. Set aside.

Place evaporated milk, sugar, butter, egg yolks and vanilla in medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick and golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in pecans and coconut. Allow mixture to cool for 30 to 45 minutes. Dollop a heaping spoonful on top of each sliced Ding Dong. Serve tarts at room temperature.

Tip: You can speed cooling by placing saucepan in ice water.

Melanie Troxel’s

Motoring Mud Pie

1 jar (11.75 ounces) hot fudge sauce

1 package (6 ounces) chocolate cookie pie crust

5 Hostess Cup Cakes

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

1 package instant chocolate pudding mix

11/2 cups milk

1/4 cup chocolate shell topping

Remove lid and microwave hot fudge sauce on High (100%) power 20 to 30 seconds. Spoon half of sauce into bottom of pie shell.

Cut Cup Cakes in half, vertically. Arrange in pie crust, with filling facing edge of crust and continue in circles to cover entire crust.

Beat cream until soft peaks form; add confectioners’ sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Whisk pudding mix and milk until thickened. Fold 3/4 cup whipped cream into the pudding. Spoon remaining whipped cream over top of pie. Refrigerate until set.

Spoon chocolate shell topping into center of the pie to resemble a mud puddle. Keep pie refrigerated until serving.

Secret Recipes

Here’s my secret recipe for one of my favorite places to eat, the Cheesecake Factory. Just about everything there is scrumptious but the Chicken Madeira in particular is wonderful.

I’m an advocate of entertaining at home. Save your self a lot of money by being your own chef. Surprise your family and friends with this meal the next time you have guests. It’s quick and simple.


1 tablespoon olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast fillets
8 asparagus spears
4 mozzarella cheese slices
Madeira Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
3 cups madeira wine
2 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


1. Heat up 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cover each chicken breast with plastic wrap then use a mallet to flatten the chicken to about 1/4-inch thick. Sprinkle each fillet with salt and pepper.

2. Sauté the chicken fillets for 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until the chicken has browned just a bit. Remove chicken fillets from the pan and wrap them together in foil to keep the fillets warm while you make the sauce. Don’t clean the pan. You want all that cooked-on goodness to stay in the skillet to help make the sauce.

3. With the heat still on medium, add two tablespoons of oil to the skillet. Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté for about two minutes. Add the madeira wine, beef stock, butter and pepper. Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until sauce has reduce to about 1/4 of its original volume. When the sauce is done it will have thickened and turned a dark brown color.

4. As the sauce is simmering, bring a medium saucepan filled about halfway with water to a boil. Add a little salt to the water. Toss the asparagus into the water and boil for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of your asparagus spears. Drop the asparagus in a bowl of ice water to halt the cooking. The asparagus should be slightly tender when done, not mushy.

5. Set oven to broil. Prepare the dish by arranging the cooked chicken fillets on a baking pan. Cross two asparagus spears over each fillet, then cover each with a slice of mozzarella cheese. Broil the fillets for 3 to 4 minutes or until light brown spots begin to appear on the cheese.

6. To serve, arrange two chicken breasts on each plate, then spoon 3 or 4 tablespoons of madeira sauce over the chicken on each plate.

Makes 2 to 4 servings.

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Two hard-boiled organic or local eggs (optional if you’re vegan or too impatient)
Organic bacon bits alternative
2 organic hearts of romaine
Organic shredded cheese or cheese alternative (your choice; either yellow or orange cheeses are great)
2 vegetarian breaded chicken patties
2 organic tomatoes
1 organic red pepper
Organic croutons

Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Meanwhile, thoroughly rinse romaine hearts, then pat them dry with a towel.

Tear off any brown areas to compost them, then bunch the romaine with your hand and cut it into horizontal slices, working from the tip to the butt. Repeat for second heart of romaine. Compost the butts.

Dice tomatoes and red peppers. Compost the tomato core and red pepper cap and innards. While you’re chopping, reflect upon a quote from Thich Nhat Hanh: “We have to eat happy eggs from happy chickens.”

When the water boils, gently drop in eggs. Boil for three minutes or until they’re hard-boiled. Meanwhile, spread the sliced romaine hearts evenly between two plates. (This serves two, in case you haven’t already guessed.)

Cook the vegetarian chicken patties according to package directions, either in the microwave if you’re super hungry and need to eat soon, or in the oven if you want them to be more crunchy. (Of course, if you cook them in the oven, make that the first step before boiling the eggs.) Cut the patties into slices when they’re done, then arrange the slices on each plate of romaine.

Rinse the eggs under cold water until they’re cool enough to handle. Chop the eggs, or use an egg slicer and pretend it’s your least favorite politician’s head.

Sprinkle organic bacon bits alternative, cheese or cheese alternative, red peppers, tomatoes and croutons evenly onto each salad. Actually, don’t do it evenly–sneak just a few more goodies onto your salad.

You can use pre-packaged organic croutons, or you may be able to find crunchy organic or local baguette chips that you can crumble onto the salad. And if you’re in a pinch, you can simply crumble some organic crackers or tortilla chips that you may already have on hand.

The organic produce you use in this hearty salad is as limitless as your imagination. You can also try diced cucumber, shredded carrots, sugar snap peas–the list goes on and on.

This organic salad is really great with organic thousand island dressing. Or try mixing organic ranch and organic French dressing! Chow down!

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