Best Banana Ice Cream

4 cups half-and-half cream
2-1/2 cups sugar
Dash salt
4 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups heavy whipping cream
1 can (5 ounces) evaporated milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups mashed ripe bananas (4 to 5 medium)

In a large heavy saucepan, heat half-and-half to 175°; stir in sugar and salt until dissolved. Whisk a small amount of hot mixture into eggs. Return all to the pan, whisking constantly. Cook and stir over low heat until mixture reaches 160° and coats the back of a metal spoon.
Remove from the heat. Cool quickly by placing pan in a bowl of ice water; stir for 2 minutes. Stir in the whipping cream, milk and vanilla. Press plastic wrap onto surface of custard. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Stir in bananas. Fill cylinder of ice cream freezer two-thirds full; freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. Refrigerate remaining mixture until ready to freeze. When ice cream is frozen, transfer to a freezer container; freeze for 2-4 hours before serving. Yield: 3 quarts.



Vanilla Pear Coffee Cake


1/2 cup butter, plus more for pan
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
3 cups canned pears, drained and chopped
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 tbsp. butter, room temperature


Preheat over to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper {or butter and flour your pan} and set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed to low, and add egg and vanilla. When combined, alternate adding reserved flour mixture and milk to the mixer, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Remove from mixer.  Gently fold in pears. Pour batter into prepared pan. To make streusel topping, mix cinnamon, salt, brown sugar and flour together; cut in butter using a pastry blender or fork until fine crumbs are formed. Using hands, squeeze together most of the mixture to form large clumps. Sprinkle topping generously over batter.

Bake for about 60 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes before removing sides of pan. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.


Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies

2 medium apples, peeled, diced {I used granny smith}
1 cup {2 sticks} unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 cup raisins
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 cup oats, old fashioned or quick cooking
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugars. Add the eggs and the vanilla. Stir until nice and smooth. Set aside.

In another bowl combine the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Slowly add the dry mixture into the wet and stir until just combined. Do not over mix. Next, stir in the raisins and apple bits. Chill for 30 minutes.

Using a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop, drop cookie dough on to a lined cookie sheet and bake for 11-13 minutes until the cookies are lightly browned. If you like cookies on the crisp side add another minute or two.

Remove the cookies from the oven and cool on a wire rack before placing then in an airtight container.

This recipe makes 4 dozen cookies.


Key Lime Pie Cupcakes

1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs 
2 cups cake flour 
2 teaspoons baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/3 cup speculoos spread 
1/2 cup granulated sugar 
1 large egg 
1/3 cup oil 
1/3 cup sour cream 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
2/3 cup cup whole milk

Key Lime Curd 
2 large egg yolks 
1/3 cup granulated sugar 
2 teaspoons finely grated key lime zest 
1/4 cup fresh key lime juice 
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

8 ounces (1 package) cream cheese, softened 
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened 
2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar 
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
2 ounces white chocolate, melted 
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped toasted macadamia nuts 
1/4 cup toasted flaked coconut

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line 12 muffin cups with liners; divide graham cracker  into bottoms.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.  In a large bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together speculoos, sugar, egg, oil, sour cream and vanilla until well combined – about 1 minute.  Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually beat in flour mixture, alternating with milk, until just combined.  Divide batter into cups.  Bake 15-17 minutes or until well risen, and light golden brown.  Cool 5 minutes before transferring cupcakes to wire racks to cool.

To make the key lime curd, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, lime zest and lime juice over a double boiler.  Whisk and cook until until mixture becomes thick.  Transfer curd to a medium bowl and whisk in butter until combined.  Cover and chill in refrigerator until cold.

To make the frosting, in a large bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese and butter until creamy – about 1 minute.  Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and white chocolate until combined.  Increase mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes, or until creamy.

To assemble the cupcakes, remove “core” from cupcakes using a knife (this is to make room for the filling).  Place the key lime curd in a piping bag and pipe into the centers of cupcakes.  Place frosting in a piping bag and decorate tops of cupcakes.  Sprinkle toasted macadamia nuts and coconut on top (optional).


Toasted Coconut Cookie Bars


for cookie bars—

2 sticks butter, room temperature (1 cup)

3/4 cup powdered sugar

2 egg yolks

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

for toasted coconut frosting —

3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut

2 sticks butter, room temperture

2 cups powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 12″ pan well with nonstick cooking spray.

Beat together the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and egg yolks and keep beating until well combined. Add the flour and salt and mix until a soft dough forms.

Press dough into the bottom of your pan and prick several times with a fork. Bake for about 20-23 minutes until edges are golden brown.

Let cookie bar base cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, toast the coconut in a small pan over medium/high heat. Watch this — it burns quick! You want nice golden brown bits of coconut.

After the coconut has been toasted, set aside. Cream together the butter and powdered sugar until very light and fluffy. Add the coconut, reserving two tablespoons. Mix well. Spread frosting over bars and sprinkle extra toasted coconut on top. Slice into little squares and serve!


Orange Vanilla Cheesecake Bars w/ Gingersnap Crust


    • 2 3/4 c gingersnaps (1 1/2 c fine crumbs)
    • 3 Tbsp expeller-pressed grapeseed or canola oil
    • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg light cream cheese, at room temperature for 30 mins
  • 1 c nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 large orange, 2 tsp grated zest and 3 oz juice
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla bean, slit open lengthwise, inside bean paste scraped out)
  • Make it clean by using natural gingersnaps and granulated raw sugar (evaporated cane juice).


Preheat oven to 350 and spray an 8×8 or 9×9 pan.

To Make the Crust: Whir the gingersnaps in a food processor until they are fine crumbs. With the motor running, drizzle in the oil and sprinkle in the salt. Mix until blended completely. Spread crumbs evenly into the pan and about 1/2 inch up the sides. Press crumbs firmly. Bake for 11 minutes until fragrant and surface appears dry.

To Make the Filling: Beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer until smooth. Add yogurt and sugar and beat until smooth. Whisk in the eggs one at a time until incorporated completely. Add flour, orange zest and juice, lemon juice, and vanilla. Pour the filling onto the crust and bake for 10 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 325 and bake for an additional 35 minutes until only the center jiggles when shaken. Place pan on a cooling rack and gently run a knife around the top edge to release the cheesecake from the sides of the pan. (This will help to prevent cracking.) Allow it to reach room temperature; then chill for at least 4 hours or up to 3 days. Cut into bars and serve!


Coconut Bread

Image2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups (295 ml) milk
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups (315 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon table salt (see Note)
2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
1 to 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (Bill calls for 2 but I preferred 1, so that it didn’t dominate)
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
5 ounces (140 grams) sweetened flaked coconut (about 1 1/2 cups)
6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted or melted and browned, if desired
Vegetable oil or nonstick cooking spray for baking pan

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Add sugar and coconut, and stir to mix. Make a well in the center, and pour in egg mixture, then stir wet and dry ingredients together until just combined. Add butter, and stir until just smooth — be careful not to overmix.

Butter and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan, or coat it with a nonstick spray. Spread batter in pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, anywhere from 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Cool in pan five minutes, before turning out onto a cooling rack.

Serve in thick slices, toasted, with butter and confectioners’ sugar.