Bunny Island Key West


Chocolate Chip Banana Cake

It drives me crazy to toss away any of the sacred bananas that grow in my yard but they all ripen at the same time!

I started with about 70 bananas and this is what is left:

If I am lucky enough not to have them stolen, this is a favorite cake. It has everything – it’s easy to make looks complicated,impressive and tastes wonderful. The trick to this is the long cooking time, covered with foil for the first 30 minutes so it doesn’t dry out.

First assemble all ingredients and move your laptop to the kitchen counter. If you need motivation to start, listen to this ode to bananas. Timeless!

Now get to it!



  • 4 oz butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Mash bananas; cream sugar & butter until fluffy; add eggs, vanilla & mashed bananas.

Combine dry ingredients; add to the wet until just moistened then fold in chocolate chips.

Pour batter into greased & floured bundt pan. Or loaf or whatever you have.

Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake at 325 for 30 minutes.

Remove foil and continue baking for an additional 30-40 minutes or until wooden pick comes out clean.

Cool for ten minutes if possible. Drizzle with basic glaze: mix 1 cup of icing sugar with 1 tbsp of milk and 1/4 tsp vanilla.














I don’t remember where I got this recipe but it gave me the confidence to tackle homemade baked goods. It’s still one of my favorites. No fancy ingredients, equipment, time and no talent whatsoever! This is so good that even family members who dislike me are driven to sneak seconds when no one is looking!

Here’s why: It’s lemon, tastes fantastic and looks complicated. It requires no dough rolling, no cooking the filling on the stove top. You simply pat the crust in a pan, bake it, then mix the filling in a bowl, pour it over the crust, bake for 15 minutes and voila! I have been making this for years and it always gets raves.


Fresh Lemon Bars

1-1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons flour

1/2  cup plus 1 tablespoon icing sugar

3/4  cup (1-1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces

2 large lemons

3 large eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt



1.         Preheat oven to 350F.  Line 13” by 9” metal baking pan with foil; lightly grease foil.

2.          In medium bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups flour and 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar.  With pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

3.          Sprinkle crumb mixture evenly in pan. with floured hands, firmly pat crumbs into bottom of pan to form a crust.  Bake crust 15 to 17 minutes until lightly browned.

4.          Meanwhile, grate peel from lemons to equal one teaspoon and squeeze lemon to equal 1/3 cup juice. In large bowl, with mixer at high speed, beat eggs until thick and lemon-colored; about three minutes. Reduce speed to low; add lemon juice, lemon peel, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt and remaining 3 tablespoons flour and beat until blended, occasionally scraping bowl.


Dry ingredients mixed together


Add to wet, mix well!

5.         Pour lemon filling over warm crust.


6.         Bake 15 minutes or until filling is just set and golden around edges.  Remove pan to wire rack or wherever.


7.        Place remaining 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar in sieve and use to sprinkle over warm filling.  Cool completely in pan over wire rack.

8.          When cool, cut lengthwise into 3 strips, then cut each strip crosswise into 12 bars.  To store, cover and refrigerate.  Makes 3 dozen bars.




Roti de Rob or RobRoast

Okay, admittedly this is a bit neanderthal but tastes really, really good! It’s a traditional, beloved French-Canadian recette – oops I mean recipe. First buy a large, cheap slab of meat . . . .

1x roti de palette  – Chuck roast, blade roast, whatever. About 4-5 lbs

1 pouch Knorr onion soup

olive oil

potatoes & carrots

1. Spread a little olive oil over the roti

2  Spread the soup mixture evenly over the roti

3. Peel veggies (5-6 potatoes and lots of carrots) and place them at the bottom of the foil.

4. Place roast over  veggies

5 Wrap tightly in aluminum foil and bake at 225-2250F for 10 hours.


Here’s what it will look like when you remove it from the oven.

Like Christmas!

Look, the carrots are peeking out.

Ohhh . . .

Perfect every time. The juice from the meat cooks the veggies through – scrumptious!

Thanks Rob – it’s delicious!



2 comments for “Recipes

  1. Michele Giesler
    January 16, 2012 at 5:21 am

    OK Jessica I’ll give them both a try. Can I cook the roast in a crockpot though as I hate to heat up my whole oven for 10 hours? See you soon.

    • January 16, 2012 at 5:34 pm

      Yes, just don’t take the top off for a peek!

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