Bananas Foster Upside-Down Cake

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I so love Bananas Foster, I actually make it every time I get down to the last banana…so good!!!
So why not make into an upside-down cake like pineapple but use bananas instead, I hope you will try this the next time you have some extra bananas!!

1 cup brown sugar
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. allspice
2 tbsp. dark rum*
4 yellow bananas, ripe, but firm, sliced 1/4 inch

Place brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice in a small saucepan, heat over medium-low heat until butter is melted and mixture is smooth, stirring occasionally.  Take saucepan off the heat and stir in rum, pour into a 9×2-inch round cake pan.
Carefully arrange the banana slices on top of the brown sugar mixture.

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 cup sour cream

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl add flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, baking soda, baking powder and salt, whisk together to combine, set aside.
In a large bowl add sugar and butter; beat at medium speed until light and fluffy about 4-5 minutes.  Add one egg at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in vanilla.
At low-speed, beat in flour mixture in 3 parts alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Spoon and gently spread batter over bananas.  Bake 45-55 minutes or until cake is golden brown and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes, run a small knife around the edge of cake; carefully invert cake onto serving plate.  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or with fresh whipped cream.
*you can use 1/2 tsp. rum extract instead.  Enjoy!!!!


Cucumber, Tomato & Mint Salad

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This past weekend I did a cooking event featuring recipes that use “Fresh Herbs”  Everyone loved this refreshing salad…hope you will try it… Enjoy!!!

Cucumber, Tomato & Mint Salad

1 seedless cucumber, cut into slices, if you want to peel it you can, or peel every 1/2 inch to make stripes
(about 2 cups)
1 container grape tomatoes, halved
3 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
1-2 tsp. honey

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

In a large whisk together vinegar, oil and salt, then add cucumbers, tomatoes, green onions and mint, toss to combine.  Let set for about 5 minutes before serving.

This can be served as a side dish, maybe with a piece of fresh grill fished, or serve with fresh-baked crostini’s as an appetizer, what a great summer appetizer serve  to your guest.

Spicy Mexican Brownies with Warm Mexican Chocolate Pudding


These brownies are moist and delicious and with the warm pudding on top takes it over the top.  Make this dessert to spice up the end of your meal or have the girls over with coffee it will be a hit for sure!!

 Spicy Mexican Brownies

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate (like Baker’s)
3 discs Ibarra Chocolate or Nestle Abuelita Chocolate

1 ½ sticks butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. Vanilla (Mexican if you can get it)
3 eggs

1 ¾ cup flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1/2 – 1 tsp. chipotle chile powder (depends on the level of spiciness you want)

In a small sauce pan add all chocolate and butter, whisk together until melted, pour into small bowl, set a side to cool for about 15-25 minutes.  In a large bowl add brown sugar and beat in chocolate until well combined, add eggs one at a time , making sure each egg has been fully incorporated before adding the next.  Add vanilla, then fold in dry ingredients, just until blended.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes in a 9×9 or 11×13 baking pan.


Warm Mexican Chocolate Pudding

1 egg                                                                  ½ cup sugar
2 cups 1% milk                                             
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. cocoa powder                                  1/8 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. cinnamon                                        1 tbsp. espresso powder
1 tsp. butter                                                    1 tsp. mexican vanilla, if you have it, but any will work
1 disc Ibarra Chocolate or Nestle Abuelita Chocolate                  

In a medium bowl add egg and sugar, whisk together, then add milk, cornstarch, cocoa, salt, cinnamon and espresso powder, whisk until combined.  Add mixture to a medium saucepan and cook on medium heat until thick and bubbly, whisking constantly for about 15 minutes.

Remove from heat add Iberra or Abuelita chocolate, vanilla and butter, whisk until chocolate has melted and pudding is creamy.  Set a side for 15-20 minutes before serving, can set longer to be a room temperature, store extra in an air tight container in the refrigerator, use with in 3 days. **Note – this pudding will not set up, it will be runny, this is because the lack of the amount of cornstarch used.

Add some spicy whip cream on top too.  Whip 1 pint of heavy whipping cream with 2 tsp. McCormick Cocoa Chile Blend, add a dollop on top of the brownie with that warm pudding…so so good…Enjoy!!!!

Spicy Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Corn & Tomato Salad

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I love using pork tenderloin, it really is a no fail meat.  This rub is nice and spicy with Cocoa and espresso powders, great for a nice thick steak as well.

I am pairing this with a Roasted Corn and Tomato Salad…hope you will try it!

Chef Amy’s Spicy Pork Rub

1 tbsp. chipotle chili powder
½ tsp. cumin
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. espresso powder
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
2 tsp. kosher salt

In a small container mix all together well, this will be enough for 4-6 pork tenderloins.  You can rub as must or as little as you want.

Pork tenderloin, fat and silver skin removed, rub spice blend all over pork, grill over medium heat, turning as needed until internal temperature registers 145 with a meat thermometer. 

Remove from heat, tent with foil and let rest for at least 10 minutes, then slice and serve with Roasted Corn and tomato salad.

Keep remaining rub in an air tight container.

Roasted Corn and Tomato Salad

3-4 ears of corn, grilled, kernels cut off (about 3 cups)
1 container of grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup queso fresco cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp. cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp. lime juice
zest of 1 lime
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
salt  and pepper to taste

If you don’t want to grill your corn, then just cut kernels off the cobs and in a large skillet over medium heat add 1 tbsp. oil, add corn and cook until soft, 3-5 minutes.  Cool corn slightly.

Whisk together lime juice, zest, vinegar and oil in a small bowl..
In a large bowl add tomatoes, corn, cheese and cilantro, toss with vinaigrette then season with salt and pepper.  Serve with Pork

Tortilla Soup

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This tortilla soup was a big hit, it doesn’t have a little kick from the ancho powder, you can cut back on that a little.  Great for a party with some Mexican Beer or Margaritas!!!  Enjoy!!

6 – 6 inch corn tortillas, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp. ancho powder
1 tbsp. cumin
6 cups chicken stock
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 can diced green chilies
1 ½ cup corn, fresh cut off the cob, frozen or can
½ cup cilantro, chopped
1 rotisserie chicken, skin and bones discarded, meat shredded or chopped
In a large stock pot add 3 tbsp. oil over medium heat, add tortilla pieces and cook, stirring, until browned, 2-3 minutes.  Add 1 tbsp. oil more then add onion, garlic, ancho powder, cumin and cilantro.  Cook, stirring until spices are fragrant and onion is softened about 7-8 minutes.  Add stock, tomatoes, green chilies, corn and bay leaves, bring to a boil, add chicken and lower to a simmer until ready to serve. Season with salt and pepper.

You can garnish the soup with tortilla chips, red onion, queso fresco, jalapenos, avocados and sour cream.

Beef Carnitas

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This recipe is my easy way of making beef carnitas in the crock pot.  It really is easy and something different that you can have cooking as you are going about your busy day.  You can also serve these at a party on a buffet, have different toppings that your guest can choose.  I made mini flour tortillas to serve, by using a 3.5-4 inch round cookie cutter, you can get 4-5 rounds out of a large tortilla round.

Hope you enjoy!!!

3-4 lb. chuck roast
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
 2 chipotle peppers, chopped
1 cup beef broth
2 can green chilies
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. salt

In crock pot add half the onions to the bottom, then place roast on top, then rest of the onions.  In a bowl add all the rest of the ingredients and mix together, then pour on top of roast, cook on low for 6-7 hours.

Remove roast, shred and set aside. Add to blender or food processor, all the good bits left in the pot (onions & chilies, leaving the liquid. Add only about ½ -1 cup as needed to make a thick sauce, add 1 tbsp. adobo sauce or 1 chipotle chopped if want more heat, blend again to mix. Pour over top of the beef and mix together.  Serve with warm tortillas, pico de gallo, queso fresco cheese, sour cream, cheddar cheese, diced jalapeno etc., really what ever you want.

Creamy Corn and Red Pepper Dip

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This fresh creamy dip was very refreshing, after making it the next day I thought it would be great as well with a chopped avocado in too!!

4 med – large size ears corn, cooked, cooled, then cut kernels off
1 red pepper, seeded, diced
1 jalapeño, seeded, ribs removed, diced
2/3 cup green onions, sliced
2 cups mild cheddar, shredded
8 oz. sour cream
¾ cup mayo
2 tsp. adobo sauce (from can chipotle peppers, want more heat add 1 chipotle pepper chopped)
½ tsp. coriander
1 ½ tsp. cumin
1 tsp. lime juice
¼ tsp. kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 tbsp. cilantro, chopped

In a large bowl add corn, red pepper, green onions, jalapeno and cheese, toss to combine.
In a small bowl add mayo, sour cream, lime juice, adobo sauce, cumin, coriander, cilantro, salt and pepper, mix well, then add to corn mixture, fully combine and chill for at least one hour or overnight is best as flavors will enhance the dish.
Serve with Tortilla chips.