Calla’s Chocolate Banana Cream Cake Deluxe

“I developed this recipe because I wanted something different and special for my Mother’s 85th birthday. It is based off my memories of Boston Cream Pie, but with a few extra modifications. Just remember: there are no calories in birthday cakes. Or at least we don’t count them!” – Calla Ferre

Calla’s Chocolate Banana Cream Cake Deluxe

Course: Cakes & Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • Two 8 Or 9 Inch Chocolate Cake Layers
  • 2 To 3 Bananas
  • 1 Recipe Banana Pudding
  • 3/4 Cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • Toffee Chips

Instructions

Cake Layers:

  • Make 1 recipe of your favorite chocolate cake. (I like Red Devils Food Cake. It tends to result in a more moist cake.)
  • Boxed cake mix may also be used. Make two 8 or 9 inch layers.

Filling:

  • Make 1 Recipe Banana Variation of Vanilla Pudding. You could also substitute Jello Banana or Vanilla Pudding.
  • If cake tops are rounded (generally they are) cut tops off so that layers will sit evenly. Or assemble cake layers with flat sides together in the middle.
  • Place first layer on serving plate. Slice bananas and arrange on top of the first layer. Top with banana pudding filling. Top with second layer of cake.

Ganache Frosting:

  • Place chocolate chips in a heat-proof bowl. In second microwavable bowl, heat whipping cream to boiling. Add half of the heated cream to chocolate chips. Let sit for approximately 30 seconds. Stir gently with rubber spatula until smooth.
  • Reheat rest of whipping cream and add to mixture. Stir until smooth. If necessary heat the entire mixture for only a few seconds in the microwave to get rid of any lumps.
  • Spoon frosting over the top of the cake, letting it drip artistically over the sides. No need to let it cover the entire side. Let some of the layers and filling peek out.

Topping:

  • Crush enough See's Toffee to create toffee chips to cover the top of the cake. Purchased Hershey's Toffee Bits may also be used, or several chopped Health Candy Bars.
  • While frosting is still warm, cover top of cake with chopped toffee.

2011 Original Recipe – Calla Ferre

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Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo

Course: Miscellaneous
Cuisine: Mexican

Ingredients

  • 4 Roma Tomatoes Diced
  • 1 Small Onion Chopped
  • 1 Serrano Pepper Finely Minced
  • 1/2 Cup Cilantro Coarsley Chopped
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Minced
  • 3 Tablespoons Lime Juice
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt

Instructions

  • Combine tomatoes and salt. Let stand 20 minutes; drain.
  • Combine tomatoes with remaining ingredients. Taste and season as needed.

2017 Original Recipe – April Ferre

April’s Restaurant-Style Fried Rice

“When I moved into my first apartment, I went on a Chinese cooking kick. I attempted to recreate my favorite restaurant-style dishes. I came up with both a good fried rice and chow mein recipe. Unfortunately, I was never able to reproduce the chow mein, but I was able to get down my fried rice recipe. The secret, surprisingly, seemed to be in the dried mustard. I think it really brings out all the other flavors.” – April Ferre

April’s Restaurant-Style Fried Rice

Course: Side Dishes – Rice & Beans
Cuisine: Chinese

Ingredients

  • Peanut Or Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Eggs Well Beaten
  • 1 Bunch Green Onions Chopped
  • Frozen Mixed Vegetables Optional
  • Chicken, Ham Or Pork Cooked And In Bite-Size Pieces
  • 1 Clove Garlic Or 1/8+ Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Slice Ginger Root Or 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 4 Cups Cooked Rice
  • Oyster Sauce
  • Dry Mustard
  • Soy Sauce
  • Sesame Oil

Instructions

  • Place small amount of peanut oil in small fry pan. (Other oils may be substituted, I just happen to like the taste of peanut oil.) Heat on high; add egg and cook until light, breaking up egg into small pieces. Remove egg to bowl and set aside.
  • Prepare green onions as well as meat and dethaw mixed vegetables. In large fry pan, add peanut oil to lightly cover and heat to high. If using fresh garlic and ginger, cook in oil and then remove with slotted spoon. If using garlic powder and ground ginger, add to oil and dissolve.
  • Add cooked rice and stir to coat. Add oyster sauce and dry mustard; mix well. Add enough soy sauce to turn the rice to a little darker than the desired color.
  • Add egg, meat and vegetables and cook long enough to heat through. Add green onions during last 30 seconds of cooking. Remove rice to non-metallic bowl and add sesame oil; stir well to blend.

2002 Original Recipe – April Ferre

Spicy Apricot Chicken

“I was playing around in the kitchen again, trying to find a new way to prepare chicken. We eat a lot of chicken. This was the result.” – Calla Ferre

Spicy Apricot Chicken

Course: Main Courses – Poultry

Ingredients

  • Chicken Breasts Cubed
  • Garlic Powder
  • 1 Cup Apricot Jam
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Chili Oil Or To Taste
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ginger Or To Taste

Instructions

  • Cook chicken with garlic powder.
  • Combine apricot jam, soy sauce, chili oil and ginger.
  • Pour over chicken and cook 1 to 2 more minutes until heated through. Server over rice.

2008 Original Recipe – Calla Ferre

Seasoned Chicken for Tacos or Kabobs

“One of my very favorite places to eat in Davis is Sam’s Mediterranean Cuisine, they have the most amazing chicken kabobs. This is my approximation of their seasoned chicken.” – April Ferre

Seasoned Chicken For Tacos or Kabobs

Course: Main Courses – Poultry
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Mexican

Ingredients

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts Cut Into Bite Sized Pieces
  • Salt
  • Lemon Pepper
  • Dried Mustard
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Curry Powder
  • Lemon Juice

Instructions

  • Toss chicken with spices, staying light with the curry powder.
  • In a fry pan, over medium heat, heat a small amount of oil. Add chicken and brown. Remove to bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice.
  • Sam's Kabobs: pita, tahini, yogurt sauce, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and onion. Or use for making chicken tacos or burritos.

2010 Original Recipe – April Ferre

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Sam’s Chicken Kabob

Mom’s Savory Cranberry Chicken

Mom’s Savory Cranberry Chicken

Course: Main Courses – Poultry

Ingredients

  • 1 Can Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Dried Minced Onions
  • 1/4 Cup Apricot Preserves
  • 1/2 Cup Orange Juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Light Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Granulated Garlic
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 4 Frozen Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients except chicken in sauce pan. Combine & place over medium to medium high heat. Warm, but do not boil.
  • Place chicken in baking dish and pour sauce over chicken. Cover and cook for 45 minutes. Uncover and baste, allowing some solids to remain on top of each chicken piece. Continue to cook until done, approximately another 45 to 55 minutes. Time depends on size and thickness of chicken pieces. Less time needed of course if chicken is not frozen; however, the dish comes out better if you start with frozen chicken breasts.
  • Serve with rice. Sauce goes wonderful over the rice.

2011 Original Recipe – Calla Ferre

Chicken & Dumplings with Secret Sauce

“I developed the recipe for ‘Secret Sauce’ trying to perfect a flavorful chicken gravy. Most chicken gravies are so bland. My husband started calling it ‘secret sauce’ and the name stuck. It is best made with chicken base, but if you must use bouillon, make sure it is low salt, so that the chicken flavor comes through and the gravy isn’t too salty. You don’t find too many low fat gravies. In fact, the definition of a gravy includes some sort of fat, so while this isn’t a true gravy, it is the next best thing and a nice healthy alternative.” – Calla Ferre

“One of the family favorites. It began just as a sauce for chicken, but remembering my Mom occasionally making dumplings when I was little from Baking Powder Biscuits, I requested them with this meal. I specifically remember helping to cut out the biscuits from the dough with a small glass. I was in Goodwill one time during Grad School and found the exact same type of glass we use to use. I picked it up for nostalgia’s sake, and still use it for cutting my biscuits.” – April Ferre

Chicken And Dumplings With Secret Sauce

Course: Main Courses – Poultry

Ingredients

  • Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • Granulated Garlic
  • Granulated Onion
  • 1 1/2 Medium Onion Chopped
  • 3/4 Cup Carrot Shredded
  • 1 1/3 Cup Water
  • 4 Teaspoons Chicken Base
  • 2 Cups Milk
  • Parsley Flakes As Desired
  • 1 Recipe Baking Powder Biscuits
  • – Or 1 Can Prepared Biscuits Pillsbury
  • Paprika

Instructions

  • Chicken: Sprinkle chicken breasts with granulated garlic and onion. Brown in large frying pan. Place in glass baking pan and add water halfway to cover. Bake in 375 degree oven until tender.
  • Secret Sauce: Drain fat from frying pan and deglaze. Sauté onion and carrot. Add water and chicken base. Stir until well mixed. Add milk and parsley flakes. Thicken with flour/water mixture.
  • Dumplings: Sprinkle biscuits with a little paprika and place in pan of secret sauce. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, then uncover and cook 15 minutes more. During last 5 minutes, spoon sauce over dumplings.
  • To serve: Remove chicken and dumplings to serving plate and spoon over copious amounts of secret sauce.

1998 Original Recipe – Calla Ferre

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Chicken with Apricot Sauce

“A sweet treat to spice up your mid-week meals. I developed this remembering the Apricoted Cornish Hens that my Grandma made for Thanksgiving one year.” – April Ferre

Chicken With Apricot Sauce

Course: Main Courses – Poultry

Ingredients

  • 1 Medium Onion Chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter Divided
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 to 4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • 2 Large Apples such as Gala Cored and Diced
  • 2 Cans Apricot Halves
  • Cinnamon To taste
  • Pinch Cloves
  • Sugar To Taste

Instructions

  • In large fry pan or Dutch oven, sauté onion in 2 Tablespoons butter and olive oil. When translucent, remove onion to bowl and set aside.
  • Cut chicken into bit-sized cubes. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Add chicken to pan and cook through, adding more olive oil if necessary. Remove chicken and add to bowl with onions.
  • In a medium sauce pan, sauté apples in 2 Tablespoons butter. Part way through cooking, sprinkle with cinnamon. When apples are tender and translucent, remove to bowl with chicken and onions.
  • In same saucepan, add canned apricots. Mash with a potato masher. Season to taste with cinnamon, cloves and sugar. Cook apricot sauce until heated through. Pour sauce over chicken and stir to combine. Serve hot.
  • For a beautiful presentation, this can also be done with Cornish game hens.

2002 Original Recipe, Revised in 2018 – April Ferre

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Chicken & Broccoli Stir Fry (Low Carb)

Chicken And Broccoli Stir Fry (Low Carb)

Course: Main Courses – Poultry

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Thicken Thin (not Starch)
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Chicken Base Or Bouillon
  • 1 Tablespoon Lite Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sesame Seed Oil
  • 2 Packets Splenda
  • 3 Cups Broccoli Florets
  • 1/2 Cup Onion Sliced And Quartered
  • 2 Cups Mushrooms Sliced
  • 1 Clove Garlic Minced
  • 2 Chicken Breasts Cooked And Cubed
  • 1 To 2 Tablespoons Cooking Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Butter

Instructions

  • Make sauce by combining first 6 ingredients. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside.
  • Steam broccoli. While broccoli is cooking, heat oil. Sauté onion and minced garlic until garlic starts to brown. Add butter, then mushrooms and cook until almost done.
  • Add chicken; cook until heated through. Add broccoli. Pour desired amount of sauce over cooked ingredients. Cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, making sure sauce covers all ingredients.

2005 Original Recipe – Calla Ferre

Chicken A’la Tom

“I figured this one out while trying to find something different to do with chicken. Tom particularly liked this, so I named it after him.” – Calla Ferre

Chicken A’la Tom

Course: Main Courses – Poultry

Ingredients

  • Chicken Breasts Boneless And Skinless
  • Prego Spaghetti Sauce
  • Ground Beef Cooked And Drained
  • Mushrooms Sliced
  • Butter Enough To Sauté
  • Parmesan Cheese

Instructions

  • Season chicken breasts with onion salt and garlic powder. Bake or microwave until done.
  • Add cooked ground beef to spaghetti sauce, enough so mixture is thick. Sauté mushrooms in butter. Drain off any excess liquid.
  • Place chicken breasts in baking pan or cookie sheet with enough space between pieces to keep servings separate. Cover chicken with a serving of thickened spaghetti sauce, top with mushrooms and sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese.
  • Place in preheated oven for approximately 10 to 15 minutes to blend flavors and melt cheese.

2002 Original Recipe – Calla Ferre