Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Pakoras.......finally! and Ribs too.

Just when I thought we would never get together to make pakoras, we found a break in the action this past Saturday morning. Although I am not used to eating spicy deep fried appetizers for breakfast, I could hardly wait to bite into the little darlings. It has been sooooooo long since my wonderful friend and I donned aprons and prepared to feast! This recipe came over from England by way of India with my friend and her family in the 70's, where she knew pakoras as philoories, and that is what I'm sticking with!

Pakoras (don't mess with me, Philoories!)
heat about 6 inches veg oil in a med saucepan over med-high heat
Chop fairly fine:
1 onion, 3 slices fresh ginger, 3 cloves garlic, 1 chili pepper (we used 3 small thin red chili peppers, my friend is a fire blower, lol) and add
a few small florets of cauliflower, chopped celery and red pepper
3 c Dhall flour ( we used Chana flour)
1 tsp turmeric, cumin, salt, red chili powder
1 beaten egg and 1 small container plain yogurt
Mix all together and add enough water to make a med thick batter about 1/2 cup (see picture)
Drop batter by large tablespoons into hot oil about 4 at a time.
Cook until golden, about 5 minutes, drain on paper towels.

We gobbled several right away. 
Rated: Five fiery stars, not really too hot, just bursting with spice and flavor. 
Thank you, thank you, thank you, friend! 
Now I know why I was driving you crazy all these years to make these again. (hugs)

It was a rainy day and I was wanting to get in the garden but seems like Spring is fading away in a puddle! But just when I was feeling sorry for myself we spotted a mother deer at the back of the house and there was a little Bambi scampering ( I exaggerate, barely able to stand Bambi baby) beside her mother. Then I lost sight of Bambi. I went outside with my camera and the little sweetie was lying very very still with her nose under a log. My first thought was that the log had rolled on her. (gasp) I went over, mother watching me cautiously. I snapped a picture, picked up a stick and gently stroked her back and she let out a huge breath. I left but was upset, worried that she was hurt. Let nature take her course, calm down, wait. About an hour later, I ventured down the hill and she was gone. Whew!

In the evening instead of heading to barbeque, it was just too wet and windy. I decided to do the ribs in the house my old way, a very good old way. This sauce is wonderful, rich and works on country style ribs as well.
Ribs- Oven Baked
set oven to 250 degrees and bake 3 hours in shallow roasting pan, uncovered
2-3 lbs pork spareribs
1/2 c dark brown sugar packed
1/2 c ketchup
1/2 c white vinegar
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 tsp chili powder ( 1 regular and 1 ancho for some heat!)
1/4 c water
Mix sauce ingredients together and pour over ribs which you can cut in serving chunks.
My husband likes his ribs with rice and baked beans and I prefer a fully loaded baked potato and salad.

 It was a satisfying weekend!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Day after Mother's Day and I'm still eating...

I trust you had a wonderful Mother's Day. If you're not a mother I hope you had someone special to wish a Happy Mother's day to! I talked with my mom (86) who said she said a little prayer to her mother in the morning. Isn't it amazing how much a mother's love transcends all else? My mom said it in a very matter-of-fact explanation but I could hear her voice break, her emotions seep out. I felt so close to her at that moment. I have been blessed to have had wonderful women in my family, as friends and co-workers and they have helped shape me and given me encouragement when I've needed it most.
This little tag came with my flowers yesterday.
It was a warm and fabulous day to get out in the yard and I saw my bachelor buttons were in bloom and who could pass by that purple explosion!

I enjoyed steak, salad and baked potato yesterday and today I was craving Chinese, so it was stir fry to the rescue. A simple dish with pork tenderloin, baby bok choy, baby portabello mushroom I had on hand, served over steamed noodles and rice.

Pork Stir Fry (no recipe, so approx measurements)
1 pork tenderloin sliced down the centre and cut in 1 inch chunks
1 inch chunk fresh ginger rough chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 onion chopped
2 baby bok choy sliced in 1/2
2 c chopped baby portabello mushrooms (any mushroom will do fine)
1 red pepper in large chunks
dash sesame oil, several dashes soya sauce
In med high frying pan or wok heat 2 tbsp oil and add onion, ginger and garlic until onion begins to carmelize about 4 minutes, stirring. Add pork chunks and cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Put aside. Add another 2 tbsp oil to wok and add mushrooms, stirring for about 2 minutes, add bok choy and red peppers stirring often. Add pork and spices. Whisk about 2T cornstarch, sesame oil and soya with 1/3 c chicken stock and add to wok. Let it thicken and add more stock if necessary. It should cover veg and meat with a thinnish glaze.
I steam about 2 c steamed noodles and about 3/4 c cooked Basmati rice each and ladle pork mix over. Add another dash of soya and hot sauce if you like. Quick, Fresh and Flavorful!
Of course in Chinatown there would be a large dish of fresh oranges and a fortune cookie but I had made Rhubarb Streusel Muffins so we had those instead.
Rhubarb Streusel Muffins

1/2 c plain yogurt
1/4 c veg oil
1 egg
1 1/3 c flour
1 c diced fresh rhubarb
2/3 c dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
Blend yogurt, oil and egg and set aside. Stir rest of ingredients together and add yogurt mix, combine until moistened. Fill 12 greased muffin tins 2/3 full.
1/4 c brown sugar, 1/4 c chopped toasted pecans, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp melted butter all stirred together. Spoon onto each muffin and bake 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. Test for doneness.
Ode to Spring!

Friday, May 7, 2010


There is just so much to learn as we blog and I am realizing that my food pictures are not as good as some of my favorite bloggers. Perhaps it's my camera but I think it's that I am not using all the functions on my camera to the best advantage. Do you have this problem as well? I can't tell the food to 'smile' or 'change that pose' or 'I think it would look better with the blue sweater'. Food is there, waiting, plated and ready for me to make the most of it. My camera lacks 'smell-o-vision', which would help immensely! So, I must learn more from my fellow bloggers.
This is entirely different than cooking. Cooking is fun, relaxing, invigorating, an excuse to try new spices, new serving dishes, new arrangements. 
I made a lovely chicken strata for dinner and hope you can tell by my pictures just how tasty it was.

Chicken Strata ( based on an Anna Olson recipe for Rockwell Bake)
350 degree oven, greased 9 inch springform pan or 9x13 or bundt pan
2 T olive oil
1 c finely diced onion
1 c finely diced celery (I used lovage as well)
1/2 c finely diced carrot
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 apple grated
1 T crumbled sage
2 t fresh thyme
1 t poultry seasoning or rosemary
1 c dried cranberries
1/4 c dry vermouth (I used half vermouth, half chicken broth)
5 large eggs (my gf chickens eggs are smallish so I used 6)
3 c milk (I use skim, your choice)
1 T dijon mustard
1 1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
8 c diced day old bread (I used French but you can mix white and wheat) 1 inch cubes
3 c chicken breast, cooked, 1/2 inch diced
2 1/2 c grated cheese (recipe calls for Swiss (not my fave) I used Gruyere and cheddar mixed

In a saute pan add oil and saute onion, celery and carrot about 4 minutes, add garlic and herbs and continue cooking another minute. Add cranberries and vermouth and simmer another minute or so until most of the liquid has evaporated. Cool to lukewarm.
In a large bowl, while veg mix cools, whisk eggs and milk and add mustard, salt and pepper. Add bread cubes and toss to coat well and let sit for about 15 minutes.
Stir the veg and diced chicken in the bread mix, add 2 c cheese. Spoon into prepared baking pan and sprinkle with 1/2 c remaining cheese. Bake for 1 hour or until the top is golden brown and center springs back when pressed. In the bundt pan I cooked 1 hour 15 minutes as it was thicker.
Let rest at least 15 minutes before serving. If using springform pan, remove side ring after 15 minutes.
This served 6 with a side salad and sweet potatoes. We had cranberry sauce on the side.

Of course all this eating of the savory strata meant I would be craving something sweet to balance the meal. I had baked a Lazy Daisy cake earlier in the day. You remember the old hot milk standby cake with the lovely coconut, brown sugar topping that is put under the broiler at the last minute to 'candify' the topping.
However, I had also made a chocolate self-saucing pudding cake and knowing how dh loves his Reese peanut butter cup ice cream, I thought the chocolate would be the better combination. I like my cake warmed a little first so the pudding layer melts a little more and softens the ice cream.
What I really mean is that I wanted whipping cream but I didn't have any.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cinco de Mayo

I Twittered earlier about eating an entire bag of tortilla chips from Fresh Is Best and honestly I could barely manage dinner tonight. I had all good intentions of preparing a Mexican inspired feast, but my heart just wasn't in it. I could imagine myself sitting on the beach in Puerto Vallarta at sunset, sipping on my second Margarita with no problem. In fact, I had my white gauze shirt and short shorts on, a cute straw hat and big smoky sunglasses and my skinned was bronzed from a day at the pool. Oh yes, this part is easy.
So what can be done to get through the day without celebrating the 5? How about a trip down memory lane? I was being all nostalgic thinking of how our family centered every occasion around food. I never ever wanted to miss a meal at home, even as a teenager. My mom was a remarkable cook, still is actually. I remember the macaroni with bran muffins, the vinegar marinated beef made into stew with heaps of mashed potatoes on the side, the rich tomato gravy smothering the Swiss steak loaded with peppers and onions , walnut butter horns, molasses brown bread, butter tarts and apple pies. Seriously, every single meal was home made, from scratch, no shortcuts. Who in their right mind would miss a meal? Exactly. Even the days, maybe weeks, I hardly communicated with my parents more than a grunt, I was home for dinner.
One of the recipes was not so homemade, but I do remember it well and always called it Mom's Casserole. In a way it was a relief to have this dinner and take her off the pedestal for just a brief moment. Silly to think of that just now.

Mom's Common Casserole
1 tin cream of mushroom soup
1 tin cream of chicken soup
1 c sour cream
1 c drained corn or frozen niblets
1/2 tsp pepper and paprika
3 c cooked med wide egg noodles
2 lb hamburger
1 c chopped onion
1 c buttered breadcrumbs
Fry and drain the hamburger and onion
Mix the 4 ingredients together and add pepper and paprika
Add hamburger, sauce and noodles, mix well and put in buttered casserole. Top with buttered breadcrumbs.
Bake at 350 degrees for approx 30 minutes

Since I'm on the oldies but goodies kick, whenever I make bran muffins I always go back to my tried and true recipe from Roger's Foods, simple and perfectly bran.

Classic Bran Muffins
1 1/2 c Rogers Wheat Bran
1 c buttermilk
1/3 c veg oil
1 egg
2/3 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 c Rogers all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda and baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c raisins or dates, optional
375 degree oven, greased muffin tin, makes 1 dozen. Cook 15-20 minutes
Mix together bran and buttermilk and let sit. Combine oil, egg, sugar and vanilla and add to bran mixture. Combine flour, b soda, b powder, and salt and stir well. Add this to the first mixture and stir until just blended.

So the '5' is almost over, it's early evening. I wish you all a colorful, musical fiesta evening!

Here's lookin' at you!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Peas Poking Through...

Last night the sound of some mysterious creature compelled me to throw on my shoes, grab a flashlight and go outside. I found 2 beautiful peacocks on the neighbors roof, they weren't the colorful kind, but they let out the craziest sounds somewhere between a goose, a wild cat and a crow. They were back this morning so I'm going to search them out again. A radical change from bears and deer.
Back to my little garden. It is criminally slow, and I am not the most patient cultivator. If the sun would shine a little more and the rain cease there might be more action. Can't blame the seeds for staying below the surface.
You learn to appreciate the beauty in small things when you spend a few minutes outdoors. Like the moss growing randomly on the dead tree stump or how my concrete heron who think he's real, stands guard over the garden.

Or, how the light hits the wet wood on the chair and bench my dh put together for me just because i asked him!In fact, he had so much fun creating that he built 5 of them and now I have them situated throughout the yard, and I love them.
I know you must find pleasure in day to day encounters as well. Challenge yourself to grab your camera and take a few shots of what gives you a reason to be thankful.

Flat Out Chickster!

I saw on a few blogs that 'spatchcocking' (An old British term, spatchcocked, refers to the removal of the backbone of a bird so that it can be flattened prior to grilling or roasting, according to the turkey farmers of Canada website) a chicken flat would cook it faster and keep it juicy. I like that idea since I am the white meat fan and nothing could be worse than eating a rubber chicken. So I flattened it! Actually, cut through and took out the back bone, seasoned it all up with olive oil (Greek Olive Oil), my Greek seasoning spices which I loaded with mint, oregano, dried lemon zest, sea salt and cracked pepper, a little garlic under the skin.

Smelled terrific in about 40 minutes in a 375 oven. On a separate roasting pan I drizzled olive oil, sea salt, cracked pepper and thyme over my asparagus spears, Yukon gold potatoes, yam and cauliflower. 
                                                                                                                                                                              Easy oven cooking although my heart was yearning for barbq, the weather was not cooperating.

In spite of the weather, there is always yard work and I was anxious to see what might be showing in my raised garden beds. The peas were up! So dependable every year. Little bits of onions, turnip, squash, beans but nothing to get excited about. Still a little early when temperatures are dropping to low 40's overnight. Sigh..

And my dh has a confession (that's my word since he has no idea I'm writing this!! haha). No matter what divine dessert I may have made, how I labored over some recipe or baked a 7 layer cake, his meal ends with a honking bowl of ice cream. Not just any ice cream but his flavor of the past year...drum roll...Reese by Breyers (Ice Cream and more). Oh yes, every night, no exceptions. Kinda cute.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Breakfast for Dinner

Sometimes the beauty around us goes unnoticed. It can be as simple as the lovely golden yolks of a farm fresh egg. Earlier today, after the rain subsided and Ms Sunshine poked her head over the clouds, I took my camera outside and randomly shot a few pictures in the yard. Everywhere I looked, something that hadn't been there 2 days ago was smiling back at me in 'dizzyingly delightful' (like it!?) shades of Spring! You won't need a recipe for bacon, eggs, fried potatoes and toast with marmalade but make it anyway, it's comfort food with a little carb hit.

The yellow rhodo yearning to show off.
The pink rhodo turning all pastel after showing off magenta.
The pine looking like a brush bottle waiting to scrub away the clouds! Oh Yes! Work your magic.

Plum Cake
The day would not be complete without something sweet, would it? This recipe was lovingly shared by my BFF who makes it for her SO very often! You can sub apples or any other fruit or raisins, but the tangy, sweet plums are divine and traditional in plum kuchen.
9x13 pan, greased, 375 degree oven, check after 40 minutes
1 c room temp butter
1 c sugar
1 pkg vanilla  sugar (in the baking section in small packages)
beat until creamed about 2 minutes
Add 4 eggs, 2 c ap flour, 2 tsp baking powder, pinch of salt.
Beat on low for 3 minutes and pour into prepared pan
Oh yes, don't forget the plums!
Place halved plums, pitted, cut side up on top of the batter and sprinkle with topping mix.
1/4 c sugar
1/2 pkg vanilla sugar
Bring out the whipped cream for me but if you like ice cream, be my guest. Enjoy your day. This will help.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pizza for 2 on a lovely day...

What can I say? Lots! The day started very early with birds singing outside the bedroom window. I always think it's a good sign when birds are happy...the sun might be shining, there might be time for exercise before church or breakfast even. I have decided it doesn't always matter if a meal is fancy to enjoy it. I felt like cereal so I did just that. A bowl of raisin bran, a sprinkle of granola, sliced banana and almond milk and I sat gazing out the window thinking how fortunate I am to live right here, right now. The camellia bush is in full bloom and every other perennial is fighting to open and be seen. The little Japanese Maple is unfurling those beautiful deep burgundy leaves.
Remember yesterday I had the pizza dough (Williams-Sonoma recipe that never fails me) waiting in the fridge? I made a big 14 inch pizza and loaded each half with different toppings. Husband likes meat (beating chest noises here) so I packed it with ham, salami and pepperoni and I (delicate creature that I am) chose red pepper, kalamata olives, fresh tomato, feta and onion. Tossed together a coleslaw with apple, cranberry and standard mayo, sugar and white vinegar dressing topped with lots of fresh Italian parsley.
We had the burn permit and decided to clear the path that goes to the river so there was a lot of heaving and wheezing as we loaded the fire (safely, of course) with branches and debris. I took a little break before I broke a sweat and headed to the garden to put in 2 tomato plants and tidy up the beds. The neighbor cat showed up. This cat is at least 50 lbs, a real slow moving sloth of a cat, who stops every few feet to catch his breath but still manages to find kitty stops in my yard. Annoying. Unfriendly, but I always talk to him as if he would listen or change his mind. It's not happening. I had a few peanuts in my pocket for the chipmunk and a woodpecker decided to tap on the telephone pole. I felt so.. so.. connected with nature. jk, it was a great day. Hope yours was too.
oops my day wouldn't be complete without dessert. Had a big ol peanut butter cookie which is loaded with peanut butter cups and milk chocolate. There, now that concludes my great day! 

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Soup least for lunch

It's the end of the week and it's raining. I feel caught somewhere between monsoon season and drizzles. Let's call it April! 
I had made us a pot of chicken noodle soup the other day and put leftovers in the fridge. It seems all my friends that called during the week were complaining of scratchy throats and headaches. Not taking chances, the soup is out today for lunch and this time I'm adding some ginger and chili garlic sauce to it!

While I was in the fridge (not literally but it gave you pause, right?), I remembered that I had an old standby, Boiled Raisin Cake, waiting for me. You know I love my sweets, so after sharing my peanut butter cup with dh, I brought out the cake to thaw for dinner. 

The pizza dough I made yesterday (from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking Cookbook always) is waiting in the fridge for later this evening. I love the weekend because there is simply no stress, no fuss. 
Back to the cake, it may have been a hardship during the war to think of recipes that didn't have eggs or milk and butter and sometimes even sugar. This cake has stood the test of time. It is moist and rich with the flavor of spices and I personally want to thank the war brides who did whatever was humanly possible to bring healthy meals to their table during WWII. Cheers.
Boiled Raisin Cake
350 degree oven. Bake 1 hour, test.
2 c raisins
1/3 c shortening (I used butter but remember this is the 40's!)
1 c dark brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg, cloves, ginger
1 c hot water
2 c flour
dash salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 c orange juice, zest of orange
1 tsp vanilla
Put raisins, shortening, sugar, spices and hot water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer 6 minutes uncovered and cool.
Add dry ingredients, orange juice, zest and vanilla to raisin mixture, mix well (runny batter)
Use small tube pan or loaf pan, greased.
Enjoy the weekend whether you have sun or rain, look for the rainbow!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mexican Chicken Kebabs and friends

I'm beginning to dream of summer, aren't you?  I first had this served to me at my girlfriends home in the Gulf Islands on a warm summer evening. We had chilled white wine and feasted on kebabs. What better way to enjoy the company of friends? Ole! Discussing the menu for our getaways is half the fun of going and an intrinsic part of the much anticipated mini vacations together. Girlfriends, I heart you!

Mexican Chicken with Spicy Yogurt Sauce
2-3 Tbsp fajita seasoning* (recipe follows)
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in 1 inch chunks
1 large garlic clove
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp evoo
1 c plain yogurt
1 each red, green and yellow pepper cut into chunks for skewers
1 red or white onion cut into chunks
whole mushrooms
In a large bowl combine heaping 2 tbsp of fajita mix and chicken Toss well to coat, cover and chill for 2 hours.
Yogurt Sauce

Using a mortor and pestle or a smooth flat surface, grind the garlic and salt to form a paste. Place in a small bowl with olive oil. Mix in yogurt (and dash of cayenne to taste) and the remaining fajita seasoning.
Alternate chicken, peppers, onion and mushrooms on prepared skewers. If using wooden skewers, pre-soak in water for 30 minutes so they don't char on the grill.
Grill 10 minutes over hot grill.
Serve with rice and drizzle spicy yogurt sauce over all.
Fajita Seasoning*
1/4 c cumin
1/8 c oregano

1 T salt, pepper, garlic powder or granules, onion powder and cayenne pepper.
(1/2 tsp celery seed, basil, nutmeg, marjoram, thyme, rosemary and chili powder all optional)
Mix well.

Stuff it! With a smile...

I bought the big bag of peppers the other day and must have hidden them in my fridge, because I totally forgot about them! The choices were chop and freeze or cook, girl, cook! 
I suddenly remembered an old, old boyfriend and a trip to Greece and bingo! stuffed peppers were on the menu. I had 2 big slices of meatloaf from the night before so the protein part of the meal was taken care of. Honestly, I prefer the vegetarian style stuffed peppers anyway. The mint and parsley flavors are so much more distinct. 
The only olive oil I use is Greek, thanks to the wonderful Koutalianos family at, and it all fell into place. Have you used Major's chicken base? It's wonderful and rich with chicken flavor. My ever so talented niece told me about it. A little rice, stock, chopped tomatoes, so you have enough liquid, with sauteed onion, lemon, oregano and garlic and you're ready to stuff those peppers and enjoy the taste of Greece.

Stuffed Peppers (2 very large)
Oven temp 350 about 60-70 minutes
1/2 c rice (I use long grain white)
1 c rich stock ( I use Major's)
2 chopped tomatoes (I use Roma)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 chopped onion
1 clove garlic diced
1/4 c fresh mint and parsley
1/2 tsp oregano
Cut pepper lid off and scrape seeds from inside, season with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until soft, add rice and stock and stir occasionally, about 4 minutes.  Only partially cook the rice as it will continue cooking once in the oven. Stir in spices, tomatoes and gently fill peppers about 3/4 full. Put in ovenproof dish ( I used my Anchor Hocking 1 Quart glass mixing bowl and it was just right for bracing up the tall peppers)with fairly high sides and add 1/2 c liquid stock to the bottom. Drizzle olive oil peppers. Do not cover the rice with the lids until later. The rice will swell in the pepper to fill it. Test after 1 hour. My peppers were huge so I needed the full 70 minutes. In the last 10-25 minutes I put on the lids so they would soften and brown up a little for presentation. The minty vegetable aroma was divine and I think I could visualize myself sipping ouzo and peeling shrimp just before I had a reality check and realized I was in my little kitchen with the rain beating on the skylights. Sigh.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Olive Oil Cake after a great weekend away ♥

Everyone deserves a little reward or two. Before leaving for the Women's Retreat on Friday afternoon, I baked a lovely Orange Olive Oil Cake based on an Anna Olsen and Bon Appetite recipe. Does Anna ever disappoint? I loved the moist and very flavorful cake and wolfed down a couple of still warm slices before wrapping it up for dh to enjoy whilst I was enjoying myself in the company of women. 
Our destination was in the forest at a camp for disabled children and their families. It was a wonderful place, and looking at the drawings and pictures of very smiley faced campers, I would say every child who is fortunate enough to attend this facility comes out refreshed and rewarded. The bedding was super soft and the rooms were pleasant enough, but it was the camaraderie and the fresh outdoors that were the best! We participated in an interpretive obstacle course which had most of us howling with laughter! I know I was only 6 inches off the ground but when you're blindfolded, perception is reality.
The rain stopped long enough for us to wander to the lake and stop to talk to the animals at the petting zoo. Gisele and Billy were born 4 days earlier to a frisky goat, chickens wandered about doing their little dance and the burro and horses were content. Well, I take that back. The burro proved to be a stubborn a** when the ranch hand tried to pull him away from the grassy area. 
But, lest I regress more, I came home to overripe bananas and decided to carry on with the olive oil cakeathon. Today I baked a very simple cake and topped one with milk choc chunks and toasted pecan pieces strewn with abandon over the top and left the other plain, only because my guilt overtook me. I added a little shot of amaretto to it instead of vanilla. Love the almond anything! See how pretty the dessert fork is, a gift from my late mother-in-law.

This cake is the easiest recipe and if your home is like mine, we always have bananas that get too ripe, too quickly.
Set the oven to 350, I use 2 pie plates but you can use a 9x13 greased.
2 1/4 c flour
1 2/3 c sugar ( I use 1/2 white 1/2 brown sugars)
1 1/4 tsp baking powder, baking soda
1 tsp salt
2/3 c evoo
2/3 c buttermilk
3 eggs
3 large bananas, mashed (1 1/4 c or more)
shot of bourbon, amaretto or vanilla
and 2/3 toasted walnuts, pecans optional
Blend all together for 3 minutes in a large mixing bowl. Bake in greased containers 45-50 minutes. If you use the cake for lunches it is very moist and doesn't need icing but, if you are having company or it is for a special dinner, then a cream cheese icing is wonderful on it. Keep in fridge, if iced. It just doesn't get any easier than this! 
Since the cake has that 'comfort food' feel to it, I decided to make meat loaf, acorn squash, fried potatoes and broccoli for dinner. 'Sufficiently suffunctified' as my dad would say, bless his heart. Where did that expression come from?
I planted the second raised bed with lima beans, green beans, purple beans, golf ball carrots, mixed lettuce, beets and filled containers with purple onions, cherry tomatoes, turnip and leeks. The third raised bed now has summer and winter squash and peas. 
Hope I'm not too early for everything, but I was in the mood for planting. 
Today has been a good day, I hope yours was as well. ;)