Friday, December 28, 2012

This is such a good flavor combination! I saw a recipe some time ago using  Dulce De Leche, but in my little town in Virginia, I could not find it. So, I had to find a way to make it my own.

Caramel Banana Tart

Start out with a basic 9' pie crust recipe You can find mine here:  Scroll down till you get to the pie crust recipe.


  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup dark-brown sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 medium ripe banana's 


  1. On a lightly floured work surface, roll pie crust to 1/8-inch thickness. Fit into a 9-inch pie dish.( I used a tart pan) Trim edges, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Tuck overhang under dough so edges are flush with rim, and crimp edges. Lightly prick bottom of dough with a fork. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line dough with parchment, and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until edges begin to turn gold, 15 to 18 minutes. Carefully remove weights and parchment. Bake until crust is golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. (Crust can be stored overnight.)
  3. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until butter browns. Stir in sugar until it dissolves, about 5 minutes. Slowly pour 1 cup cream down the side of the pan, stirring constantly until smooth (caramel will bubble). Remove from heat.
  4. Whisk cornstarch, salt, and milk in a small bowl until smooth. Whisk into butter mixture until well combined. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until bubbling and thick, about 7 minutes total (about 2 minutes after it comes to a boil.)
  5. Whisk yolks in a medium bowl until combined. Pour in milk mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking until completely incorporated. Return mixture to the saucepan, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it returns to a boil, 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Immediately remove from heat, and stir in vanilla. Let custard cool in saucepan on a wire rack, whisking occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  7. Cool for 30 mins in the refrigerator 
  8. , then  spoon a thin layer of Caramel onto bottom of crust and then a layer of sliced banana and  repeat layering finishing with caramel.
  9. I topped with cool whip. 
  10. This is so good! I did have just a bit of filling left over, so I might have had just a taste! :)   I hope you Make this and love it like I do!! Till next time , Nana Nita 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Maple Biscotti !!

I love Biscotti! It is crunchy, not to sweet and so versatile! Once you have a basic recipe you can make them just about any flavor you like! Add nuts dried fruit,a glaze or sprinkle with sugar. Here is what you will need:
Add dry ingredients to large bowl and in a smaller bowl add oil, eggs Maple flavoring and beat to mix slightly, pour over dry. With a fork start incorporating wet into dry. This is going to seem like it is too dry, but keep working it, it will come together.
Turn it out on a lightly floured surface and knead until it becomes smooth, about 5 minutes. Cut dough in half and roll into a log.
 roll it out to 8 inches,
And flatten it out to about 1/2 inch thick. Place both logs on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper,

and bake at *350 for 30 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes
Then slice on the diagonal and lower temperature to *325 and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes.
I made a maple glaze to go on top, with 1 cup powdered sugar and maple flavoring ,cream and a splash of coffee.
These were so good, all you need is a cup of coffee!

 Maple Biscotti

2 3/4 cup four
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp maple flavoring
3 eggs
1 Tbsp soft butter

In large bowl mix together dry ingredients, in a smaller bowl stir together eggs oil and maple flavoring. Pour over dry mixture, add butter and mix with fork until comes together enough to work with your hands, it will take a bit but keep working it. When it comes together put out on lightly floured surface and knead it for 5 minutes. Divide in half and roll into logs about 8 inches long and then flatten to 1/2 inch and put on  parchment lined cookie sheet. Pre-heat oven to *350 and bake for 30 minutes . Lower oven temp to *325
Let cool for 15 minutes and then slice on the diagonal,lay on cookie sheet and bake again for 10 to 15 minutes . Drizzle with glaze and sprinkle with almonds. (If you like them really dry and crunchy turn them over and bake again for another 10 minutes)

1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp maple flavoring
 1 to 2 Tbsp cream
a splash of cold coffee
mix until it is the pouring consistency

1/4 cup sliced almonds for sprinkling on top

You should smell these cooking! 

Monday, December 3, 2012

My First Giveaway ! A Recipe and Fun with Rosemary!

I have a great recipe for you! Chicken Calzone!  It is really easy, you can do it ahead and refrigerate until ready to bake.  I am calling this Greek cuisine, Or you can just call it tasty!
I made this really easy pizza dough using 2 ingredients !! It will make one pizza or two medium  calzones . No waiting to proof, no yeast, fool proof!

Easy pizza crust
1 cup self rising flour (plus extra for board)
1 cup Greek yogurt (I did not have greek so I used regular yogurt and just poured off the whey that comes to the top, it turned out fine. May need a bit more flour)
 Stir together and turn out on floured surface and knead for about 5 to 8 minutes. Bang you are done!
I just set it aside so I could get my filling together, But you can just roll and make a pizza at this point.

Here is what you will need for the filling: Feta cheese, Parmesan, Ricotta, black olives, garlic, 1 egg, red onion, mozzarella salt/ pepper, oregano, basil. And...
2 Chicken tenders (this has salt and pepper and olive oil over it) You can use rotisserie chicken if you prefer

 Preheat a grill pan to cook your chicken

Just cook until you get nice color on the chicken (You don't have to cook it all the way through because it will bake in the oven)

In small skillet, saute onion,garlic and I added mushrooms at the last minute! Cooks prerogative ! Do you ever do that ? Just add stuff you think would taste good?
Okay back to the recipe...
In a bowl combine ricotta,beaten egg, chopped black olives, feta, Parmesan, mozzarella and the sauteed vegetables and chopped chicken.
Add oregano and basil,stir to combine.
Roll out half of the dough on a floured surface
Put all of the filling on half of the dough,
Make sure to leave about a half inch of dough on the edge.
Pull other half of the dough carefully over and crimp edges to seal, transfer to greased cookie sheet sprinkled with about a tsp of cornmeal.

Cut slits in the top and brush with olive oil and sprinkle with herbs (rosemary,oregano) and grate a bit of Parmesan cheese on top. At this point I covered it and put it in the refrigerator and I will bake for dinner tonight.  Bake at 400* for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Chicken Calzone

Filling for the calzone
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan (grated)
1/2 cup mozzarella (grated)
1 Tblsp feta cut up
1/4 cup red onion chopped fine
1/4 cup mushrooms chopped
1 large clove garlic (grated)
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup chopped black olives
salt and pepper
1 egg beaten
2 chicken tenders or Rotisserie chicken about a 1/2 cup chopped ( if using tenders (season) use grill pan and brown and then chop up.
 Saute onion, garlic, mushrooms ,set aside. In bowl add cheeses and chicken, sauteed vegetables, egg and salt and pepper and herbs, mix together. Put in half of calzone and fold over and crimp. Cut slits in top and brush with olive oil and sprinkle with herbs and parmesan cheese. Bake in pre-heated oven 400* for 20 to 30 minutes .  Yummy!

 I made my own rosemary wreath for my kitchen today and it smelled so good in here! My hands still smell like rosemary! With just a few cuttings of fresh rosemary, some twine and green wire some ribbon and you can make one too!

You'll need 6 fairly long cuttings, what I did was braid 3 together and then used the wire to hold that and braid 3 more and wire those. Then I put the 2 of them together with wire, forming the circle. I used some cookie cutters and ribbon and hung it with twine! I love how it looks and smells!
I had some leftover, so an old bottle and ribbon (put water in it and change every couple of days to keep fresh) And there you go, so pretty! Would make a great  hostess  gift!

Now did I forget anything??? Oh yeah... My first giveaway!!  I am so excited !!  You can enter today, it will go till Monday December 10th! Winner will be announced that evening at 8:00 p.m. E.S.T.
Here is what you can win:
 Rooster Cutting board trimed in red,
A 7 piece rooster towel and potholder set and a package of paper straws!   I can't wait to see who will win! All you have to do to win is enter the Rafflecopter!  Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 29, 2012

It Is Soup Weather, And Favorite Gadget...A Day Late And well you know...

It is chilly here in Virginia ! My favorite time of the year....Soup season!  It is the end of the month and funds are short, time to use the canning pantry for some awesome vegetable soup!
 I love to can and my husband likes to garden so... we were meant to be together!  Our tomatoes went nuts this year, but the green beans dried up so I have had to buy green beans for the first time in 3 years!
I found potatoes on sale and canned those up with celery and onions, I call this my soup base.
Just have to add stock and a few other vegetables and you have soup!
Put all of this in a pot and simmer for a few hours and you will have some tasty soup that will warm you on a cold fall day! You can add whatever herbs you like ,I put a sprig of rosemary.

Add some crackers and sliced cheese ! Crusty bread would have been better but ...I am trying so hard to not make and EAT so much bread! Hope you enjoy!

This weeks favorite gadget is late ...I am so sorry, I was not feeling my best this week. The gadget is not so much a gadget but ...A system.
 This is the best thing I have ever put in my kitchen!! Before everything was stacked and you know the pan you needed was always on the bottom!  To get anything I had to get down on my hands and knees... A miners hat...cover me I am going in!
 Now everything is right at my fingertips! The racks pull out so easy!
 And I have plenty of room for MORE pans!!  Hmmmm more pans!
Love it!  What is your favorite gadget?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Melt In Your Mouth Butter Rolls!

I don't even know where I got this recipe and I have made my own changes to it over the years. They are very versatile. If you shape them in rounds and space them so they are not touching, they make great Hamburger buns!
These rolls just melt in your mouth and make you want to eat way more than you should, but hey, It's Thanksgiving you can jog on Friday!
 Butter Rolls

2 Pkgs active dry yeast (4 1/2 tsp)
pinch of sugar
2 cups warm water (110-115*)
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup melted butter
2 tsp salt
6-7 cups all purpose flour

Proof yeast: put yeast and pinch of sugar, warm water and  in bowl and let set for 5 minutes.
Whisk eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, oil, butter, salt  together.

Pour in large bowl with 3 cups of the flour and stir with wooden spoon
It will be lumpy, that's fine.
Add flour 1/2 cup at a time stirring with a wooden spoon.

See It is thicker, but still lumpy. Add  more flour, Sometime it takes all the flour and sometimes not,
I can't stir it with the spoon anymore, so turn it out onto a floured surface and knead by hand,

The best technique is to push dough away from yourself and fold over and push it away. Adding more flour until it is no longer sticky but not dry.
Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes (you may also do this in a stand mixer)

See how this is still a bit shaggy looking? Needs a little more kneading.
This is perfect! See how smooth? 
Now at this point I put it in a buttered bowl and covered it with plastic wrap sprayed with pam,  and put it in the fridge,(Or if you do it on the same day you plan to bake , continue with out refrigeration)   I will get it out Thursday Morning and let it rise( it will take longer because it is cold) about 2 hours or until doubled. Then shape in to golf ball sized rolls and place on buttered sheet pan about 1/2 inch apart. Cover with towel and let rise till doubled in size (1 hour) Pre-heat oven to 350* and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Immediately after they come out of the oven brush with butter (they are called butter rolls you know) at this point you may sprinkle with herbs . They are so good!
Enjoy!! Happy Thanksgiving!
See you next time ! 

Nana Nita! 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Black Bean Soup!

What can you fix that does not take alot of time , because you need to do all of that homemade baking and cooking? Well I fixed Black bean soup. It takes very little ingredients and most of them you will have on hand. It can be fixed ahead of time and then heated when you need it!
  Black Bean Soup

Here is what you need ,(not pictured :cumin,salt, pepper) Can also be done in the Crock Pot.

Here is what you do:
Add just a bit of olive oil in a pan and saute onion and garlic and jalapeno (if fresh) until onion is translucent.
Next add beans and salsa (I have home canned) about 1 cup and cumin and enough stock until the soup is your desired thickness.  Squeeze a half lime in soup,Simmer for about an hour for flavors marry.
Here is what I serve with it : Chopped jalapenos, shredded Monterrey jack cheese, Guacamole  and corn chips and Sour cream ( I did not serve sour cream, I am trying to cut back.)   So tasty and good! I did not add meat but, you could add browned hamburger to it.

Here is the complete Recipe

Black Bean Soup

2 cans black beans
beef stock
1 large clove of garlic
1/2 onion chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 lime
1 jalapeno chopped (optional)
1 cup salsa
salt /pepper to taste

Saute onions garlic, jalapenos until translucent . Add beans, salsa, cumin, 1/2 lime (juice) and broth, salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer for about 1 hour and serve or cool and store to serve during the craziness!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Homemade Primitive

I have fallen in love with the primitive style of decorating! I didn't used to, but a dear friend of mine decorated her house in all primitives and it just grew on me! Her look is all primitive but, mine is a little bit eclectic.
 I have made a lot of  my wall art myself, I could not find or afford the things I wanted so I would see it at flea markets and think, "I can make that". Here is a collection of things that I have made that have transformed my French country into Eclectic Primitive:

This is a old board that was on the ceiling on the back porch that we attached 4 of the old door knobs that no longer worked. I love the way they look ! Kind of whimsical on an angle, the neat thing about it is, that it was part of our house and it is a one of a kind.!

This is another board from the ceiling, it could not be reused the way it was,so of course it was art! I love how it is kind of beat up. I have fallen in love with crows! I don't know why, they are kind of ugly, but I love to paint them on all kinds of things. This is one of my favorite pieces.

 Do You have a band saw? My father gave me one some years ago and I love it.
A few minutes cutting it out and some paint and twine and your good to go! Do you like Roosters? I love them,
It is not perfect but, that is the beauty of it!

!Skip To My Lou
Made by you Monday!

 These shelves are my favorite things in my living room, I bought one of them years ago and my Dear Husband made the other one to match. I was told the more stuff you put on it the better it will look!
What is your style? Do you like primitives or do you like modern? How about the soft whites and pastels ? Let me know!
Next week I will share some Turkey how to's and how I brine my Turkey