Banana Split Layer Dessert

This past Wednesday, I met with some ladies from our church for a planning meeting. I am so excited about this women’s ministry. The older women teach the younger women about Biblical parenting. Titus 2:3-5

When I offered to bring a dish to the meeting, I was asked to make a dessert that was light and cool.

I chose to make Banana Split Layer Dessert, using light ingredients.  This dessert is not only delicious, but makes a pretty presentation for any occasion. I had fun decorating with the topping.

Banana Split Layer Dessert



  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup pecans (chopped)
  • 1 stick butter (melted)

Cream Cheese Layer:

  • 12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip

Fruit & Toppings:

  • 3 to 4 bananas, sliced
  • 1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained well
  • 16 ounces strawberries, hulled, and sliced
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Maraschino cherries

banana split dessert 009Directions:

1. Mix flour, chopped pecans, and butter together and press in 13 x 9 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Crust will be thin. Let cool.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the Cool Whip until thoroughly combined. Spread the cream cheese mixture on top of the graham cracker crust.

3. Arrange the banana slices in a single layer on top of the cream cheese filling, top with an even layer of the crushed pineapple, and then an even layer of the sliced strawberries.

4. Cover with Cool Whip on top. Sprinkle with the chopped walnuts. Drizzle with chocolate syrup and top with maraschino cherries. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Roasted Okra

Because we are not fans of slimy boiled okra, this delicious roasted okra recipe was a big hit with all of us. My husband grew okra in his garden this summer and shared his produce  with our daughter, Melinda, when she came up for a visit. Melinda was so excited about this quick and easy roasted okra recipe, she passed it on to me, so I will pass it on to you…mmmm!

Roasted Okra


  • 20 okra pods
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut off tips of okra on the big side. Discard tips.
  3. On a foil lined cookie sheet, arrange okra closely together.
  4. Dip fingers in the olive oil and coat each okra.
  5. Sprinkle Salt and Pepper to taste.
  6. Bake at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

Chicken Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole (without soup)

Andra Bond, a homeschool mom, kindly shared her delicious version of Chicken Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole. I just cooked it for my family. It is yummy! Great for church pot luck dinners too!

Andra said, “I had some leftover veggies and cheese from Alex’s graduation, as well as some rice from a recent meal. I had no idea what to fix for supper that night, and I googled those ingredients on a whim. I found a recipe that I adapted to come up with the final creation. It was very good, and Ricky even asked me to keep the recipe. That’s always a good thing.”

Chicken Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, chopped or shredded into bite-size pieces
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cups cooked rice (1 cup uncooked)
2 cups broccoli florets, cooked, drained (fresh or frozen)
1 chicken bouillon cube*
1 small can mushroom stems & pieces, liquid included* (or fresh mushrooms microwaved with 1 cup water)
Cream Sauce* (recipe below)**
3 ounces cheddar cheese, grated or chopped into small chunks
3 ounces deli American cheese (NOT plastic-wrapped American), grated or chopped into small chunks

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease 9×13 pan.
3. Saute onions in olive oil until transparent.
3. Prepare cream sauce, then add onions and cheese pieces. Stir over low-medium heat to melt thoroughly.
4. Spread cooked rice evenly on bottom of baking dish.
5. Spread cooked broccoli over rice.
6. Pour 1/3 of the cheese sauce mixture over the broccoli rice and spread evenly.
7. Spread out chicken on top of cheese sauce and top with remaining sauce.
8. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Sauce~photo taken after onions and cheese added-I then stirred it until melted.
Sauce~photo taken after onions and cheese added-I then stirred it until melted.

**Cream sauce: Melt 1/2 cup butter or margarine or combination of the two in a large skillet. Stir in 6 Tbsp. flour. When blended, slowly add 2 cups milk. Add bouillon cube and mushrooms with liquid. Stir until thickened and bouillon cube is completely dissolved. (In this step, heavenbound homemaker added pepper to taste.)

Pam & Edie’s Broccoli Salad

Broccoli Salad
My friend, Pam Thimsen and her mother, Edie Stoltzfus enjoyed Broccoli Salad at a local restaurant. Pam said that she and her mother would come home and try different combos to see what tasted the most like what they had eaten at the restaurant. She recalls these times as treasured memories with her mother.
I made Broccoli Salad for Mother’s Day and used Miracle Whip instead of mayonnaise….my son-in-law was saying, “Mmm” with every bite. You can also add sunflower seeds for an extra crunch.

Pam & Edie’s Broccoli Salad
1 large head broccoli (about 4 cups)
½ c. red onion, diced
10 slices bacon, cooked

1 c. grated cheese
2 or 3 boiled eggs (optional)

Dressing (I often make extra dressing)
1 c. mayo
2 T. sugar or splenda
2 T. apple cider vinegar

Mix dressing and refrigerate.
Mix remaining items. Toss broccoli mixture with dressing just before serving.

Artichoke Bisque Recipe

Artichoke Bisque

I had a very pleasant ladies luncheon at Karen Ray’s house. Five ladies were treated to Artichoke Bisque as an appetizer. The bisque was fabulously tasty… right on up to the last spoonful. Karen shared her recipe with my blog readers.


delightful sandwiches

We were also served sandwiches, which Karen sliced before serving. Beautifully stuffed red bell peppers were delightful too. Can you tell Karen is gifted in presentation?
It was a picture perfect time of good food and fellowship.
Stuffed Red Bell Peppers
Artichoke Bisque Recipe
(pictured in upper right corner)
4 Roma tomatoes
1 red bell pepper
4 whole artichoke hearts or 1 large can
½ of an onion
olive oil
salt and pepper
Toss veggies in oil and spices.  Either roast or grill until soft.
1 tbsp butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ c veg or chicken stock
1 c cream
chopped cilantro, to taste
1 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in small amount of cold stock
salt and pepper
In a large pot, sauté garlic in butter.  Put the vegetables in a food processor until desired consistency.  Add to the pot with the stock, cream, cilantro and spices.  Bring to a simmer.  Add cornstarch to the mixture.  Thicken to your liking.
May garnish with pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and/or cilantro.