No-Bake Banana Split Cake

No-Bake Banana Split Cake

     Here’s my newest creation.  No-Bake Banana Split Cake.  It’s very good, and simple to make! No fuss, no muss.  One bowl, one beater, and a spatula.  Kids will go crazy over it, trust me.  I’m just a big kid and I snuck a piece way before dinner.  Well?  I had to try it, didn’t I?

     A couple of fun facts:  The inventor of Ice Cream Sundaes (1892) is credited to a druggist by the name of Chester Platt who hailed from Ithaca, N.Y.  It was common in those days to have a soda fountain, Ice Cream counter in pharmacies.  Cornell students loved them and spread the word until ice cream shops near and wide began to sell Sundaes.

     In 1904 a 23-year-old student at the University of Pittsburgh worked as an apprentice pharmacist.  David “Dog” Strickler was challenged to make something different.  He came up with a split Banana, a scoop each of Strawberry, Chocolate, and Vanilla Ice Cream.  He added the Syrups, Whipped Cream, and a Cherry.  And there you have a Banana Split. *

Variations:  If you’d like to vary the topping, or pudding flavors, feel free.  You can do topping sections of the cake with one flavor, or mix them all up.  Get creative!  Other than Hot Fudge, Pineapple, Strawberry or Caramel would be awesome! You can also vary the crust by using the crushed Vanilla Wafer Crust or regular golden Graham Crackers.  Go crazy!

INGREDIENTS:   Yield 9” x 13” pan – Feel free to cut the recipe in half.

2 small (3.4 oz) packages of Instant Vanilla or French Vanilla Pudding

2 ¾ cups milk

8 oz. Cool Whip, thawed and divided

Chocolate Graham Crackers (2 sleeves)

2 Large Bananas, coarsely chopped

¼ Cup Hot Fudge Sauce

Maraschino Cherries for Garnish

OPTIONAL:  Crushed Peanuts

PREPARATION:

      In a mixer bowl, beat Pudding and Milk on low speed for about 3 minutes, stopping once to scrape bowl and beater.  Add approximately ¾ of the thawed Cool Whip, reserving about 1 ½ cups for garnish.  Beat only until thoroughly mixed in. 

     9” x 13” pan, no need for greasing.  Layer Graham Crackers to cover bottom of pan.  You’ll have to cut a few in order to avoid any bare spots. 

    Pour half of Pudding mixture on top of the Graham Crackers.  Evenly spread all the chopped Bananas on top.  I used a large spoon and a butter knife.

     Place remaining Pudding mixture on top and spread evenly.  Warm Hot Fudge Sauce in the microwave (Try 15 seconds, stir, and heat again) so it can be drizzled, and then go ahead and drizzle over the Pudding mixture. 

     Fit a large star tip on a Pastry Bag and fill the bag with the remaining Cool Whip.  Squeeze Bag to make designs on the cake.  If you’re using Peanuts, sprinkle them on now.  You can do just half the cake if you want.  Place a Maraschino Cherry on top of each.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2020

Quick Homemade Baked Beans (4 Ways)

     We love Baked Beans, and I have never found a recipe that was just the right blend of sweet and savory.  I had no choice but to make my own.  We’re very happy with how they turned out – not too sweet, not too spicy, they’re just right!  I included three variations at the bottom of the recipe.  One is a Spicy-Style, the second is BBQ-Style, and the third is Hobo-Style.

INGREDIENTS:  YIELDS 4-5 Servings

One 15.5 oz can Great Northern Beans, drained

3-4 slices Bacon

¼ cup Sweet Onion, chopped

1 Sweet Mini Pepper, chopped

2 TBSP Brown Sugar

2 TBSP Molasses

1 rounded TBSP Spicy Brown Mustard

1 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar

1 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce

¼ cup Ketchup

3 TBSP Water

PREPARATION:

     In a small Cast Iron or other oven-safe pan, cook Bacon until crisp.  Remove Bacon and reserve 1 TBSP Bacon Grease in the pan. 

     Sauté Onions and Mini Sweet Pepper until soft.  Add remaining Ingredients and cook for 5 minutes over low/medium heat.  Add Bacon.

     Cover with Aluminum Foil and bake at 375° F for 30 minutes.  Remove Foil and bake an additional 5 minutes.  Serve.

Like em spicy?  When Sautéing Onions and Sweet Pepper, add 2 chopped Jalapeno Peppers and a few dashes of Cayenne Pepper.

Rather have BBQ style?  Replace the Ketchup with BBQ sauce.

Want em hearty?  Cook the Bacon as directed above.  Remove from pan along with most of the grease.  Add ½ lb Ground Beef and cook about halfway, chopping it as you go.  Add the Onions and Sweet Mini Pepper.  Continue cooking until Beef is no longer pink.  If a lot of grease remains, drain it.  Continue with recipe as directed above.

By Tika 6/19/2020

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2020

Quick Steak and Mushrooms

Steak, Mushrooms, Onions, and Gravy

     Looking for an enjoyable, yet super quick meal?  Even for hearty appetites, this is totally satisfying.  And the big surprise?  It’s inexpensive!  Yep.  I used something called Sizzler Steaks.  They were designed probably for Philadelphia Cheese Steaks, but you know me.  Gotta mess around with everything.  So, here’s what I did:

INGREDIENTS: Yields 5-6 Servings

1 ½ – 1 ¾ LBS Steak Sizzlers (or very thinly cut Steak)

Fresh Mushrooms (As many as you want)

1 Large Onion, Sliced from top to bottom into strips

Butter and Olive Oil for Frying

½ can Beef Broth

2 TBSP Corn Starch

Salt/Pepper

Optional Steak Marinade:  1/3 cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce, 3 – 5 cloves Garlic, chopped, 1/3 cup Olive Oil, 1” piece of Ginger Root (peeled and chopped), 1 ½ – 2 TBSP Honey, Black Pepper, ¼ cup Onion, chopped

PREPARATION:

     I marinated the Steak for a few hours, but not necessary.  I love my Asian flavors, so I did it.  If you don’t want Asian flavors, you could marinate in a bit of Olive Oil, a couple TBSP Cider Vinegar, Garlic, Onion, Salt and Pepper. 

     Preheat a 10” – 12” cast iron skillet.  Add a pat of Butter and a TBSP or so of Olive Oil.  Cook the Mushrooms and Onions until done to your liking.  Remove to a bowl. 

     Add a little more Butter and Oil, and drain the Steak, reserving the Marinade if you used it.  Fry two Steaks at a time over medium/high heat.  It only takes a minute or so on each side.  Then remove and just stack them up on your cutting board or a plate.  Continue until all the Steaks are cooked. 

     Leave the drippings in the pan, add ½ can Beef Broth, reserved Marinade, 2 TBSP Corn Starch.  Cook until thickened the way you like it.  Add Steak and Vegetables just long enough to heat through.

     Serve over Egg Noodles, Linguine, plain Rice, Fried Rice, or Mashed Potatoes.

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