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Best Banana Split

banana Split Recipe

Best Banana Split

In 1904, the first banana split recipe was made in Latrobe, Pennsylvania by David Strickler, an apprentice pharmacist at a local drug store.  Here is his original recipe.

 

Super Easy To Make

1 Banana, peeled and split lengthwise

1 Scoop of each vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream

2 Tablespoons sliced fresh strawberries or 1 tablespoon of strawberry ice cream topping

2 Tablespoons pineapple chunks or 1 tablespoon of pineapple ice cream topping

2 Tablespoons whipped cream

1 Tablespoon chopped peanuts

1 Tablespoon chocolate syrup

2 Maraschino cherries with stems

Place peeled/split banana in a dessert dish, and place scoops of ice cream between bananas.  Top with remaining ingredients. 

peeled and split lengthwise.  Scoop each vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream.  Although, Tablespoons sliced fresh strawberries or 1 tablespoon of strawberry ice cream topping. in conclusion, 

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National Cupcake Day

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National Cupcake Day

Cupcakes hit the scene in 1796 resemblance to English Fairy Cakes but in 1828 cupcakes became official which written reference to the cupcake appears in Eliza Leslie’s “Seventy-Five Recipes for Pastry, Cakes, and Sweetmeats”.  Hostess starts mass-producing its first snack cake in 1919.  In 1950 Winston Churchill was the first person to suggest cupcakes should be frosted.  Make your cupcakes plain or adorn them with edible embellishments. So, remember December 15th is a national cupcake day.

 

    Christmas Tree Cupcakes

 

For the cupcake

½ cup vegetable oil

¾ cup sour cream

¾ cup heavy cream

4 eggs

1 box of chocolate cake mix

¼ cup cocoa powder

 

For the frosting

2 cups butter; cold and cut into chunks

10 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons vanilla

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream

Pinch of salt

 

Additional Items you will need

Green food coloring

1M piping tip

Piping bag

Golden star sprinkles

Holiday sprinkles

 

How to make the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325. Line your cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  2. Mix together, either by hand or in a stand mixer, the oil, vanilla, sour cream, heavy cream, and eggs. Then mix in the boxed caked mix and cocoa powder.
  3. Scoop the batter into your cupcake liners, use ¼ measuring cup.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Make sure to bake all the cakes on the same oven rack so they bake evenly
  5. Let the cupcakes cool for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire cooling rack. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

 

How to make the frosting:

  1. In a stand mixer, whip your butter chunks on medium-high speed until the butter is light and fluffy.
  2. Add in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time.
  3. Once the powdered sugar becomes hard to incorporate add in the vanilla, heavy cream, and salt, allowing the ingredient to be incorporated fully.
  4. Add in green food coloring until you get the green you are looking for.

 

How to decorate cupcakes:

  1. Using your 1M piping tip and the green frosting frost your cupcakes. You want to build the frosting up while moving the bag and tip in a circular motion.
  2. Place a star at the top and then use other sprinkles to decorate the tree.

 

Tips:  Add sprinkles immediately after you make the tree.  If the frosting sets up the sprinkles will not stick.  To make a darker green-colored frosting stir in a tiny bit of blue and black food coloring to the green frosting.

Also, learn about spring cleaning.

Check out another one of our many dessert recipes.

 

 

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National Cookie Day

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National Cookie Day

 

Now, this is a day I LOVE!!!  December 4th. I will take cookies over any dessert.  Does not matter if the cookies are crunchy or soft, I love them all.  In 1853 The original Keeble elf Godfrey Keebler opened his neighborhood bakery in Philadelphia.  1912 came to Oreos, which was a knockoff of the first chocolate sandwich cookie called Hydrox.  In 1930 along came Ruth Wakefield from Whitman Massachusetts who ran a popular restaurant “Toll House” which brought Chocolate Crunch Cookies to her patrons, which is considered the first chocolate chip cookie.   1963 Chips Ahoy! Debuted their cookies in America.

   Old Fashion Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup butter, room temperature – very soft

½ cup light brown sugar

½ cup sugar

½ cup raisins

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup oats (old fashion oats not instant or quick-cooking)

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together, and set aside
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a handheld mixer, cream butter, brown sugar, white sugar, egg, and vanilla until mixed and fluffy. Add whisked dry ingredients, a little at a time, and combine well.  Add the oats and raisins and mix just until combined.
  4. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12 to 14 minutes until lightly browned.  Let cool for 1 minute and then remove to wire rack to cool completely. – makes 2 dozen

 

Variations – Add pecans, chocolate chips, cranberries

 

 

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French Toast Day

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French Toast Day

November 28th is National French Toast Day. Enjoy this delicious recipe and our many others. Make it with the kids as a fun project. Teach the kids how to bake and maybe they will understand how fractions actually work.

The French do not call this French toast.  It’s called “pain perdu” or “lost bread” because you can literally use stale bread to make it.  French toast dates to ancient Rome.  A French toast recipe can be found in the book of Apicius from the 5th century BC.  The Romans dipped bread slices into milk and sometimes eggs before frying the toast and called it “Pan Dulcis”.

I have made Overnight French Toast for large overnight family gatherings, and everyone loves it.  With the holidays fast approaching this is a morning favorite by all.

Overnight Blueberry French Toast Casserole

For the Casserole

12 slices of French or Italian bread (1 loaf of bread)

1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (do not thaw if frozen)

12 ounces cream cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes

10 large eggs, beaten

2 cups milk

¼ cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup maple syrup

For the Syrup

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoon cornstarch

1 cup water

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1 tablespoon butter

Instructions for the casserole

  1. Lightly grease or butter a 9×13 inch baking dish. Arrange half the bread cubes in the dish.  Sprinkle 1-1/2 cups of blueberries over the bread and top with remaining bread cubes.
  2. In a blender, combine the cream cheese, eggs, milk, powder sugar, vanilla extract, and syrup. Pour the mixture evenly over the bread cubes.
  3. Cover, and refrigerate overnight
  4. Remove the casserole from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover, and continue to bake for 25 to 30 additional minutes, until the center is firm, and the surface is lightly browned.
 Instructions for the Syrup
  1. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, mix the sugar, cornstarch, and water. Bring to a boil.  Stirring constantly, cook for 3 to 4 minutes.  Mix in 1 cup of blueberries.  Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, until the blueberries burst.  Stir in butter.
To Serve

Serve the blueberry syrup over the baked French toast.

You can use any kind of fresh or frozen fruit that you and your family love.

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National Cook for Your Pets Day

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National Cook for Your Pets Day

The least we can do to return the unconditional love, companionship, and attention that our pets give us is to cook for them one day a year. November 1st Is National cook for your pets day.

In 1860 an Ohio salesman James Spratt invented the world’s first dog biscuit after seeing British sailors throwing “dog cakes” at their dogs.  In 1922 the first tinned dog food was produced by Ken-L Ration, mainly consisting of horsemeat, which was an acceptable ingredient at the time.  In the 1980s The US National Academy of Sciences started publishing nutritional requirements for animals to complete and balance your pets’ nutritional needs.

Check with your vet is the best way to learn what foods to avoid giving yourself, but the big no-nos are anything milk-based, chocolate, avocados, nuts, onions, leeks, chives, mushrooms, and walnuts.  Dogs love a mix of cooked protein, vegetables, and rice.  A cat, meanwhile, is exclusively carnivorous, so you’ll be looking at giving cats a nice piece of protein.

Always consult with your vet before changing your animals’ diets.

Turkey and Veggie Dog Food

¼ pound lean ground turkey

¼ teaspoon chicken liver, finely diced

¼ medium carrot, coarsely chopped

¼ cup green beans, diced

¼ cup cauliflower florets

¼ tablespoons olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Add 1-1/2 cups water to a double boiler, place vegetables in a steam basket over the pot, and cover. Heat until boiling, reduce heat to a low boil, and steam until veggies are tender about 10 minutes
  2. In the meantime, add the turkey and chicken liver to a large skillet and cook on medium-high heat until done. Drain off any fat and discard.  Chop veggies or pulse them in a food processor.  Add veggies to cooked turkey and liver.
  3. Add the olive oil and toss with the turkey and veggie mixture. Allow cooling before giving it to your dog.
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National Dessert Day!!

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National Dessert Day!!

 

Yes, it’s National Dessert Day. Yummy…. My favorite day of the whole year.  On October 14th. Calories do not count!!  After a year like we have had you deserve a day without guilt, toss that salad and enjoy a dessert that you have been dreaming of eating all year long.  A hot chocolate lava cake with ice cream on the side.

The term “Dessert” originates from the French word desservir, which translates to the action “to clear the table”.  This is because dessert is served after a main meal’s dishes have been cleared. 

 

 Chocolate Lava Cake

Butter as needed

2 egg yolks

2 eggs

3 tablespoons white sugar

3 ½ ounces chopped dark chocolate

5 tablespoons butter

4 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

3 tablespoons flour

1 pinch salt

1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

  1. Generously butter the inside of 4 (5-1/2 ounce) ramekins. Place them in a casserole dish.
  2. Whisk together egg yolks, eggs, and sugar in a bowl until light, foamy, and lemon-colored.
  3. Melt chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring after each melting, 1 to 3 minutes.
  4. Stir melted chocolate mixture into egg and sugar mixture until combined.
  5. Sift cocoa powder into the mixture; stir to combine.
  6. Sift flour and salt into the mixture; stir to combine into a batter.
  7. Stir in vanilla extract into the batter
  8. Transfer batter to a resealable plastic bag. Snip one corner of the bag with scissors to create a tip.
  9. Divide batter evenly between the prepared ramekins, tap gently on the counter to remove any air bubbles.
  10. Refrigerate for 30 minutes
  11. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
  12. Arrange the ramekins in a casserole dish. Pour enough hot tap water into the casserole dish to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  13. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes
  14. Loosen the edges from the ramekins with a knife. Invert each cake onto a plate and dust with powder sugar.
  15. Add a scoop of ice cream and enjoy
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National Bologna Day

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National Bologna Day

Yes, it’s National Bologna Day!! October 24th. You either love it or hate it.

Its origin came from the city of Bologna, Italy. It’s also believed to have been introduced to America by the Germans.

Bologna as it is known in America, can be eaten as is or, fried. Throw it on some toasted bread with pickles, onions, tomatoes, and lettuce.  It can be served cold with cheese or chopped up and mixed with eggs, mayo, and veggies for a bologna salad.

The smell of fried bologna takes me back to my mom’s kitchen when she would make all my siblings and me a fried bologna sandwich for lunch.  Have a hot bologna sandwich today and reminisce about your childhood. Simple and delicious.

 

Fried Bologna Sandwich

Butter for frying

2 slices of toasted white bread

Mayonnaise (put plenty on each slice of toast)

5 slices of bologna (slice the middle of each bologna slice so it will not puff up.  Brown the bologna in a skillet)

1 Slice of cheese

Optional:  tomatoes, cooked egg, lettuce, onion, potato chips, or pickles

salute our veterans

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Pecan Pie Day August 20th

Pecan Pie, Clarkston Cleaning Services

Pecan Pie Day August 20th

Sugar pies were extremely popular in medieval Europe, and as Europeans started to immigrate to America, many sugar pie recipes were reimagined using local ingredients.  Pecan Pie is believed to be a variant of chess pie which also has a butter and sugar custard center.  While pecan pies were likely being eaten before the 1800s, the first official published recipe was in an issue of “Harper’s Bazaar” magazine in 1886.

 

Pecan Pie without Corn Syrup

“Filling only”

 

2 cups pecans

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

¾ cup maple syrup

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

 

Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and bake on the center rack until toasted, 10 to 12 minutes.  Cool completely.  Reserve 15 pecans, then roughly chop the rest of the pecans.

Bake the pie shell as directed (I use premade pie shell for a 9-inch pie)

While the crust is baking, combine the brown sugar, maple syrup, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat and, stirring constantly, continue to boil for 1 full minute.  Remove from the heat and stir in chopped pecans and vanilla.  Set aside to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.  Whisk the eggs into the filling until smooth, then pour the filling into a warm crust.  Top with the reserved pecans.

Bake on the lower rack until the filling is set around the edges but still slightly loose in the center, 40 to 45 minutes.  (If the edges of the crust begin to get too dark, cover the edge loosely with foil).  Cool on a wire rack completely before serving.

Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and bake on the center rack until toasted, 10 to 12 minutes.  Cool completely.  Reserve 15 pecans, then roughly chop the rest of the pecans.

n a wire rack completely before serving.

 

 

 

 

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Practical ways to prepare for college

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Practical ways to prepare for college

Practical ways to prepare for college. It’s a big world out there! We’re sure you have big dreams for your future and are ready to go get ‘em! Now that you’re leaving home, we have a few suggestions on practical ways to prepare for your freshman year of college!

Adulting is harder than it seems. A lot harder. As you learn to balance all the things in your life; work, fun, relationships, there will be falls and mistakes. Don’t take them personally and try to learn from them. You probably didn’t get the balance thing on a bike the first time, right? Neither will you as a grown-up. But you will.

Things to Keep in Mind

Preparation is never a waste of time and while you can’t possibly anticipate everything, talking with your parents or other trusted adults is a good start. Do you know someone already in college? Do you know someone who is at your college? Pick their brains on some of their experiences in their first year. Some questions to ask might be:

The “Not College” Stuff

Not only are you heading to school, but you are also leaving the comforts of home with your parents. You will be surprised at how much they do for you. Sometimes experience is the only way to learn. For example, there are reasons your mom hounded you about the dirty dishes or laundry in your room. Or that you have to buy things like toilet paper, ketchup, forks, knives, and spoons. Or that nobody will pile you out of bed for your classes anymore. Old habits die hard, and you’re bound to have to break more than one.

  • If you’re lucky enough to have your parents’ help, you’re very lucky. If not, and your financial skills are either lacking or non-existent, get busy with a course or two on budgeting and the reality of living in the world. Even if you have help, eventually you will need to be self-sustaining. You may need to get work and it’s important to know how much you need from that job to pay your way.
  • If you will be living in a dorm, you may have a food allowance that is included with your tuition. You may not. Either way, you gotta eat, right? Living on ramen and red licorice whips will get old, fast. A poor diet will drag down your ability to sleep, study, and pay attention in class. A balanced diet is not equal parts junk food and good food, just…FYI. Eat good food…greens, grains, and fruit.
  • Health. Of course, your overall health needs to be…overall. Often young people push past signals from their minds and bodies because of peer pressure and freshman college life is notorious for bullying and mob mentality. Your comfort zones will be challenged often. It’s ok to say “no”.

The college experience can be so exciting! You may change your mind on your major several times. You may decide to go in a completely different direction. Remember, nothing is set in stone. Allow yourself to make mistakes! You are learning not only about your career fields; you are learning to be an adult…it takes some time.

 

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Baking With The Kids

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Baking with the Kids

 

 

November!  The official ping on the grown-up calendar that the holidays, baking with the kids, and all things ‘family’ have begun.

If you bake for gifts, you know how daunting this can be.  There are people you work with, maybe employees and their families, friends, out-of-state/area family…the list can belong! One thing is for sure: cookies and homemade goodies are always a favorite!

Since cranking out a lot of tasty treats takes a fair while, get the kids involved!  It’s a great opportunity to score some fun family time and also teach them a few skills like measuring, mixing, frosting, and decorating.  Baking with the kids should take too much arm-twisting with all the sweetness and bowl-licking ahead!

 

Where to Begin?

First, gather the family around to make a list of everyone who will receive baked goods.  Are you mailing them?  Do you need gift bags or other kinds of packaging?  Do the kids have friends they want to include?  Their teachers? The neighbors?  Are you going to make special cookies for some people?  Here’s a checklist of to-do’s so all goes as smoothly (and as fun) as possible on a baking day:

  • It’s probably a good idea to make some freezer space to store some ingredients and finished products until they’re ready to be given out.
  • Do you need to clean the oven? Do this before it gets too cold outside to open windows for this process.
  • Mark the calendar for the day(s) you plan to bake, so all hands are on deck!
  • Clear space in the kitchen for mixing and decorating stations, and for cookies to cool.
  • Have a set of bulk recipes that can be done fast and furious for those “surprise!” people or if you’re not into baking that much.
  • Check that you have the right equipment or that what you have is in good condition.
  • Take the kids shopping for the ingredients. They love picking out big bags of chocolate chips or sugar. It can be a learning opportunity to understand how much things are, what ingredients go into making cookies, and why this is a cost-efficient way to give during the holidays.

Baking with the Kids

On the appointed day double check to make sure everything is ready:

  • Is everyone rested? This may sound odd, but things can devolve quickly if there has been some stress or illness. Is it a good day?  Or do we need to postpone?
  • Are our bellies full of good food first? Everyone is less likely to nibble away at the sweetness or have “hangry” outbursts.
  • Put on your favorite music! Do you like holiday music?  Show tunes? Rock and roll?  Turn it up and create a fun atmosphere.
  • Decide which child is in charge of what portion of the project. Do you plan to rotate to keep it interesting…and maybe keep kids from arguing? Of course, keep things age-appropriate, but also a little challenging so learning can happen.
  • Assembly lines help to make sure all the steps are followed properly, and you get good results.

 

Plan for mishaps like burned fingers or cookies, forgotten ingredients, and spills. Snap a few pics for holiday card making! It might be a good idea to have some backup cleaning help for the next day, but make it fun no matter what and you will make precious memories.

 

Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@americanheritagechocolate

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