Friday, January 16, 2009

Celebrating My Mom's Birthday (the First Time!)

I say "the first time," because we celebrated her birthday on the actual day itself (January 9), while my mother-in-law was still here...and we will celebrate again this weekend when my sister and her family come down for the weekend!

Mike tried out a new slow cooker recipe (we love our slow cooker!), Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya (from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook). It was yummy--tasted better than it looks here:

I made my specialty banana cake. The recipe comes from The Silver Palate Cookbook (which we received from my friend Kristin as a wedding or shower gift!). I have fond memories of eating yummy banana cake at a little Indian-themed tea shop in Osaka, Japan, with my friend Tami. It was called Ganesh (the shop), and the cake was unfrosted, but delish. With cream cheese frosting and walnuts, it's even better.

To save myself from typing out the recipe, I looked for it online, and found an adaptation on another blog. This adaptation has RUM in it, which no doubt would make it even better, and similar to another banana cake I love (served at local Cuban restaurant Pambiche). Here is that recipe:


1/4 pound (1 stick) of sweet unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (I freeze bananas so I always have some on hand for baking)
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup buttermilk (can substitute plain yogurt)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (don't use fake vanilla)
1 or 2 sliced bananas

Here are the blogger's yummy-sounding additions--I will try next time!

  • some freshly grated nutmeg
  • cinnamon
  • somewhere between a capful and 1/4 cup of Jamaican rum

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans
3. Cream butter and sugar together
4. Add eggs and beat well
5. Add mashed bananas, mixing thoroughly
6. Sift dry ingredients and add to butter mixture. Stir until just combined in.
7. Add buttermilk and vanilla.
8. Pour batter into pans; bake 25-30 minutes or until knife comes out clean. Cool.

Cream-Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temp
6 tablespoons sweet butter, at room temp
3 cups confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
juice of 1/2 lemon (i've also used orange)

Cream butter and cream cheese together in bowl. Slowly sift in confectioner's sugar and continue beating until fully mixed. Stir in vanilla and juice from lemon.

Assemble the cake by putting one layer on a cake plate and frosting it. Then put a layer of sliced bananas on the top, before adding the final layer and frosting it completely. Apply chopped walnuts to the side of the cake by putting some in your hand and pressing them to the cake. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Enjoy!

Here is Mom getting ready to blow out the candles, with her admirers:

(Note the huge Cinderella!)

They love their grandma!
Happy birthday (the first time!), Mom!

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