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Puttering around my world


Cream Cheese Filled Banana Nut Bread

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Cream Cheese Banana Nut Bread

1 c. mashed bananas [usually 2-3 bananas]
½ c. oil
1 ½ c. granulated sugar
¼ c. buttermilk [or ¼ t. lemon juice in ¼ c. milk]
1 t. vanilla
1 t. banana flavoring
3 eggs
1 ½ c. all-purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
½ t. salt
1 c. chopped nuts

Cream Cheese Filling:
2 large eggs
1 t. vanilla
8 oz. cream cheese , softened
½ c. granulated sugar
6 T. all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place bananas on foil covered cookie sheet and bake until they’re black, about 25 minutes. Cool, cut open and squeeze bananas into a bowl; add the liquid from the cookie sheet. Mash the bananas. Often, two bananas aren't quite enough and three bananas is a bit more than a cup. I add them anyway. A little extra mashed banana makes it better.  

Combine filling ingredients and set aside.

Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees. Grease or spray two 9" X 5" loaf pans and dust with granulated sugar. 

Combine the bananas, oil, sugar and buttermilk in a large mixing bowl, and mix thoroughly.  Add the vanilla and banana flavoring. Sift dry ingredients; add to wet ingredients, and mix just until blended. Add nuts. Mix just until the nuts are incorporated. Add ¾ of the batter to the two pans. Gently spoon cream cheese filling over the batter. Then gently spoon the rest of the batter over the cream cheese filling

Bake at 350 degrees F for 55-60 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean. 

Cool for 10-15 minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the pans and turn the bread out onto wire racks to cool completely. 

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Comments (5)

  • Aug-24 - Bud (BLorimer)These look very good good.
  • Aug-13 - Linda (LRuthers)I'm so glad you like it, Jill!!
  • Aug-13 - niteowl410As soon as I saw this, I knew I had to make it. Thank you for the inspiration. This is so good!
  • Aug-12 - Linda (LRuthers)Dave and the kids and the grandkids thought it was really special. The Bacon Tomato Pie? Not as...  Show Full Comment
  • Aug-12 - Kid (Kidmagnet)Neat idea -and it looks so interesting!

Sweet & Spicy Pickle Relish

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Sweet & Spicy Pickle Relish

4 c. finely chopped pickling cucumbers
1 c. finely chopped jalapeno pepper
2 c. finely chopped onions  
1 c. finely chopped red bell pepper
1/3 c. Kosher salt
3 ½ c. granulated sugar
2 c. apple cider vinegar
1 T. celery seed
1 T. mustard seed


      Place chopped vegetables in a large bowl. Add salt, and cover with cool water. Mix to dissolve salt, cover and let stand for two hours. Drain thoroughly and squeeze out excess water. 

       In a large pot, add sugar, vinegar and spices. Bring to a boil and add drained vegetables. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes. 

       Turn heat off, ladle into sterilized jars to within half an inch of the rims, add sterilized lids and rings. Do not tighten all the way. Place in a large pan with water up to the necks of the jars. Bring to a boil, and process for twenty minutes. Allow to cool. Remove to cooling rack, tighten rings, and check that each jar has sealed. If any don't seal, they should be reprocessed or refrigerated and used within two months. 

      This recipe made me a relish lover. My daughter made this about 8 years ago, and I've been making my own ever since. This is an essential ingredient in every tuna, chicken, turkey, egg, or ham salad...macaroni salad, cole slaw, and deviled eggs. And when I make potato salad, it'll be in that, too. 

      If you like heat, add the seeds and membranes from the jalapenos. This is where the heat is. A few years ago, I used them and the relish won 2nd place at the Ohio County Fair. But Mom said she thought it was a little too hot. This year, I'm leaving them out and we'll see what happens at the fair. 

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     I place the vegetables on a large dish towel to wring out the last of the water. 
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     I capped 'em and put 'em in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes, up to their shoulders [obviously, at different times], and then listened to the summer music of the popping of sealing canned food. It may seem like a lot of work for a small amount, but this lasts me a year, and I even give a jar away once in a while..
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Comments (6)


Chicken Rice Soup

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Chicken Rice Soup 

1/4 c. turkey or chicken schmaltz, or butter 
1 c. diced carrot
1/2 c. diced celery 
1 c. diced onion 
6 sprigs fresh thyme, or a few dashes of ground dried thyme, to taste 
2 fresh Bay leaves, or dried 
1 container Knorr Chicken Stock Concentrate 
1/2 t. Sriracha, or Tabasco, sauce 
4 c. water 
3/4 c. medium grain rice 
2 c. chopped cooked chicken 
Fresh ground pepper

     As you dice the vegetables, add carrots, celery, and onion, in that order, to the fat simmering in a 1 1/2 quart saucepan over medium heat. Add thyme and bay leaves and let them bloom. Add chicken stock. and stir to dissolve. Add water, chicken, and rice; bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes. Check after 10 minutes, and add more water if needed. Check that the rice is cooked and simmer longer, as needed. Remove sprigs of thyme and bay leaves, and add pepper to taste. 

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Comments (2)


2014 Yard getting Started

     Buying the plants is the fun part. Planting and mulching aren't as much fun, but the long chilly spring seems to be over. The new plants are ready. 
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     I move things around here all summer long. I never get it perfect. The plants continue to grow, changing the landscape. 
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     The caladiums from previous summers are always the last to grow, so their pots look empty for a long time.....
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     Getting the succulents slowly acclimated to brighter sunshine over these first few weeks...11 photo 012800x600_zps2e4a4106.jpg

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     Dave's been mulching and trimming since about 8:30 AM. I get to drink coffee while watering. 
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     Dave likes "his flower bed" in neat rows. This is where he sits and watches the humming bird wars. The shrubs had to be cut back in front of the porch, so things look pretty sparse there. I think the porch needs more container beds. [I think I just heard Dave groan.]
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Comments (5)


Pecan Pie Muffins

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Pecan Pie Muffins

1 c. brown sugar
½ c. all-purpose flour
¼ t. salt
2 c. chopped pecans
2/3 c. butter, softened
2 eggs, beaten

     Preheat oven to 350 degrees; grease muffin, cupcake or mini muffin pans.

     Combine brown sugar, flour, salt and pecans and set aside.

      Cream butter; add eggs. Blend dry ingredients with a spatula until combined. Batter will be thick. Fill cups two-thirds full. Bake 16-18 minutes for the large muffin pans; centers will be loose. Cool 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the muffins and pop them out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. 

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     The recipe makes enough for 6 large muffins, but they're really too rich for such a large portion. Next time, I'll make them in a cupcake pan. 
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Comments (5)


Cherry Cheesecake

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Cherry Cheesecake

2 c. graham cracker crumbs
6 T. butter, melted 
1/4 c. sugar or Splenda

Filling: [Have all ingredients at room temperature or softened]
24 oz. cream cheese
1 c. sour cream
4 eggs
1 c. sugar or Splenda
1 t. vanilla vanilla bean paste or 2 t. vanilla extract
3-4 drops of LorAnn Bavarian Cream Essence oil, optional


     Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Fill a roasting pan that is large enough to hold a 9 inch Springform pan about one-third full with hot water and place it in the oven.

      Pulse graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a food processor a couple of times; add the butter and pulse until combined. Press mixture evenly onto the bottom and up the sides of a greased 9 inch Springform pan.

     Wrap the Springform pan in one large sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil, just to the top edge, and refrigerate it while preparing the filling.

     Whip the cream cheese until it’s smooth. Add the remaining ingredients, and mix thoroughly. Pour the batter into the chilled Springform pan and carefully place the pan into the hot water – roasting pan. Bake for one hour or before top begins to brown and while the center is still a little loose.

     Remove the roaster from the oven and carefully remove the Springform pan. Allow to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate.  

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     Top with one can of cherry pie filling which has been mixed with 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. 
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Magic Cake

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Magic Cake


4 eggs (separate yolks from whites) at room temperature
1 t. vanilla extract
¾ c. sugar
½ c. butter, melted
¾ c. all-purpose flour
2 c. milk, lukewarm
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting cake


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking dish.

Separate eggs. In a small bowl, beat egg whites until they are stiff. Set aside.

Beat egg yolks with sugar until light. Add butter and vanilla extract; beat two minutes. Add flour and mix until fully incorporated. Slowly add milk and beat until well mixed. Add egg whites, a third at a time and gently fold them in using a spatula, repeat until all egg whites are folded in. Batter will be very loose. Pour batter into baking dish and bake for 40 minutes until the top is lightly golden. Cool completely; Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.

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     The yolks rolled down the sugar and got coated with it. I love the way they look 

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     This is not really a cake. It's a thin crust with a custard filling and a cooked meringue top. It's very good. 

     The recipe comes from a link in this blog. The blog is for the chocolate version, but Dave gave up chocolate for Lent. So, I made the original version. This is VERY easy to make and is special! 

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Comments (4)

  • May-11 - Linda (LRuthers)LOL Thassa!! I've heard that the chocolate version is especially tasty!
  • May-11 - Thassa (doedoggg)lol I didn't even see that you had made this when I posted at Cooks! Its very yummy!
  • Apr-23 - Linda (LRuthers)Oh, yum! Peanut butter frosted brownies sound scrumptious to me, and Dave is a freak for cherry...  Show Full Comment
  • Apr-22 - Cats (NancyMI)I find it interesting how different everyone's cake turns out. You call the top layer a meringue...  Show Full Comment

Tennessee T- Cakes

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     These incredibly moist and buttery confections aren't a cake or a cookie. They're crunchy topped chewy, butterscotch-y heaven, and they're so easy to make.  

     In Nashville, where they were born, they're often served with iced sweet tea, but they're even better with coffee, hot tea, or milk.

Tennessee  T- cakes

1 ½ c. packed dark brown sugar
½ c. white sugar
1 c. salted butter, melted and hot 
2 large eggs
4 t. vanilla
1 ½ c. all-purpose flour
Powdered sugar, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add the brown sugar and white sugar to the melted butter and set aside (some of the brown sugar will melt). In mixer with paddle attachment, gently mix the egg and vanilla. Add the butter and sugar mixture to the egg mixture and beat on low until mixed well. Add flour all at once to mixer.  mix well until ribbon-like.

Bake in 24 paper lined cupcake cups for 22 minutes, turning at 11 minutes.

Dust well with powdered sugar when cooled.

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Comments (5)


Perfect Rump Roast & Horsey Sauce

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Perfect Rump Roast

     Allow the rump roast to come to room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Cut 4-5 small slits in roast and insert half a garlic clove in each slit. Salt and pepper all over. Rub with rosemary, thyme, or other herbs, if desired, and place on a rack over a metal pan. 

     Sear in oven at 500 degrees for 20 minutes at 500 degrees. Add 1-2 cups beef broth and a large, sliced onion to the pan, lower the temperature to 275 degrees, and roast for 20 minutes per pound until temperature in the thickest part of the meat is 125-130 for rare or 135-140 for medium rare. 

     Strain the drippings for au jus.

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Creamy Horsey Sauce

1 1/3 c. sour cream
6 T. prepared horseradish
1 1/2 t. Dijon mustard 
2 t. fresh lemon juice 
1/2 t. sugar 
1/2 c. whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks

Combine sour cream, horseradish, mustard, lemon juice and sugar. Gently fold in whipped cream. Cover and refrigerate at least 60 minutes to allow flavors to mingle. 

Comments (2)


Chocolate Covered PB & Nutella Crackers

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     These are so easy to make and so addictive. The university's basketball team is in the final four, so the PCM luncheon tomorrow has a tailgate theme. Their colors are black and gold, so I came pretty close. 

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Nutella Crakers

3 sleeves Ritz crackers 
1 small jar each creamy peanut butter and Nutella 
2 bags Wilton Milk Chocolate Candy Melts

     Gently melt chocolate wafers over a double boiler, stirring occasionally. Spread half the crackers thinly with PB and the other half with Nuttella, and place them together. Using chopsticks or forks, dip crackers into melted chocolate and place on waxed paper; decorate to suit your tastes or a theme. Allow 1-2 hours to harden completely. 

     Store at room temperature in an airtight container. 

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     If you plan to take them anywhere, do not taste them first. Most of them won't make it to their destination if you do. 

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     If you have any leftover chocolate, which tastes AMAZING on it's own BTW, dip individual crackers in it for another tasty treat. 

Comments (5)

About the Author
Linda (LRuthers)



     I'm convinced that there are many more bad recipes than there are bad cooks. The problem is that sometimes decent cooks use bad recipes and then believe that the poor results are their fault.

     When people print recipes in cookbooks, magazines, etc. or when they post them online, they seldom tell the pitfalls or the little tips needed to make the recipe turn out well. And, too, quite a few printed recipes contain typos!

     I search for recipes that are good. Dependable. I'm not a chef. I'm a mother and grandmother who's been cooking for >45 years.

     I believe that any recipe posted for the general public should be one that I can master. If not, there's something wrong with the recipe.

     I post my successes and my failures, and tell what I learned when following each new recipe. I learn more from my mistakes. I don't know what that says about me.

     The very best recipes are the ones that are inexpensive, delicious AND easy. And there are a lot of those.

     Sometimes, I spend a little more and work a little harder for a recipe that seems to be one that will make people really happy.

Thanks, Linda

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