I found this recipe 3 years ago and after making it at least a dozen times since, it has proved to be my favorite, hands down.  I’ve tried out numerous chili recipes over the years, but this one just seems to keep making it back into our regular rotation.  It has just the right flavor, seasonings, consistency… everything is just spot on.

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A harmonious combination of spices is key to a good chili, otherwise, you’re just eating a pot of cooked ground turkey with crushed tomatoes.  Doesn’t that sound appetizing.

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Every time I go to make this chili, I have a terrible feeling that I’ve misplaced the paper recipe from the last time.  Now, I fear not, as it has been posted on the Internet… where everything ever written stays forever!

My Favorite Turkey Chili with Kidney Beans

Recipe adapted from AllRecipes.com (August 2013)

Yield: About 8 servings

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 c. green bell pepper , diced (optional)
  • 1 tbs. tomato paste (optional)
  • 1 tbs. garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 c. water
  • 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (16 oz.) can kidney beans; drained, rinsed and partially mashed

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Place turkey in pot and cook until evenly browned.  Stir in onion and bell peppers (if using), cook until tender.  Add garlic, stir until just fragrant.  Add tomato paste (if using) and stir.
  2. Add spices (chili powder through black pepper) to browned turkey and stir until well-coated.  Add water, tomatoes and kidney beans.
  3. Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add more water if necessary.
  4. Serve in bowls with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and diced avocado on top.  We like ours with Fritos corn chips at the bottom of the bowl, before ladling chili on top (similar to a Frito pie).

Enjoy!

When it comes to food, few things are more simple and comforting as a nice slice of warm coffee cake with a glass of cold milk.  The recipe below belongs to David Lebovitz, the immensely talented professional cook, baker, blogger and cookbook author who currently resides in Paris, France.  In his blog post, he describes this coffee cake as “A yogurt-enriched batter gets covered with a brown sugar topping, which melds into the cake while baking.  When done, you have yourself a nice square of crumble-topped cake with a whisper of cinnamon”.

In short, this cake is perfect.  I insist that you give it a try.

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First, make the topping.  Flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt are combined with melted butter and vanilla.

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Mix until well-combined and crumbly.  I ended up using my hands as the wooden spoon just didn’t cut it.  Set aside.

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Next up, the cake batter.  Softened butter is creamed with granulated sugar.  This is perhaps my favorite part in all recipes.  1 egg and 1 egg yolk are then added.

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In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.  Mix the yogurt with vanilla extract.

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Stir in half of the dry ingredients, followed by the yogurt mixture, then end with the rest of the dry ingredients.  Don’t overmix!

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Drop batter into a prepared 9″ pan.  I used shortening followed by a light dusting of flour, but you can also line the bottom with parchment.  Spread batter as even as possible making sure it reaches into the corners.  Next, strew the topping over the cake batter, gently pressing down as you go.

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Ready for the 325 degree oven for about 45 minutes.

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Take the pan out of the oven and let cool before slicing.

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Slice and enjoy!

 

Coffee Cake

Recipe from David Lebovitz (April 2015)

Yield:  One 9-inch square cake, about 9 servings

 

Ingredients:

 

Topping

  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 c. light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 tbs. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

 

Cake

  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 c. plain whole milk yogurt OR sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

 

Method:

  1. To make the topping, mix together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.  The add the melted butter and vanilla.  Mix until well-combined and crumbly.  Set aside.
  2. Butter (or use shortening) a 9-inch square cake pan and dust it with flour.  Tap out any excess.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  3. To make the cake batter, in a medium bowl, whisk together the 2 c. flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda, until well combined.  Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, combine yogurt and vanilla.  Set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, cream 1/2 c. softened butter and granulated sugar with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy.  Add egg and egg yolk, mix well.
  6. Stir in half of the dry ingredients, then the yogurt and vanilla and lastly stir in the remainder of the dry ingredients.  Mix until until the dry ingredients are just moistened.  Don’t overmix.
  7. Drop the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly, making sure batter reaches into the corners.  Batter will be thick.
  8. Going by handfuls, strew topping over the cake batter, gently pressing down as you go.
  9. Bake on middle rack of the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cake cool before slicing into squares.
  10. Storage: The cake can be kept at room temperature for up to 4 days, well-wrapped.  It can also be frozen for up to 2 months.

Enjoy!

Hello again and happy Halloween!  It has been quite some time since I’ve posted a recipe, but this one was too good to not share it with you.  These caramelized apple oatmeal cookies are perfect for Fall and wonderful in every way.  A familiar favorite, the chewy and delicious oatmeal cookie, is crossed with the flavor of apple pie and warm cinnamon.  This recipe is a keeper!

Caramelized Apple Oatmeal Cookies from Simplified Feast 1

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Caramelized Apple Oatmeal Cookies from Simplified Feast 7

Caramelized Apple Oatmeal Cookies

Recipe from Liv for Cake 

Yield: Approx. 24 cookies (depending on size of scoop)

Ingredients:

Apples:

  • 2 c. granny smith apples (approx. 2 medium) peeled and diced
  • 3 tsp. butter, salted
  • 4 tsp. light brown sugar

Cookie Dough:

  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. salted butter (room temperature)
  • 1 c. light brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 c. old fashioned rolled oats

Glaze:

  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • 3 tbs. water

Method:

Apples:

  1. Place butter, sugars and dices apples into a medium frying pan.  Cook over med-high heat, stirring occasionally, until tender and slightly browned.  Spread on paper towel lined baking sheet to cool.

Cookie Dough:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat softened butter and sugars on med-high until pale and fluffy (approx. 3 minutes).
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating after each addition.  Beat on high for 1 minute.  Add vanilla.
  4. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined.  Add oats.
  5. Fold in caramelized apples and mix until just combined.
  6. Cover bowl and chill in fridge for at least 1 hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Using a medium cookie scoop, place cookies on baking sheet 2″ apart.  I did 6 cookies per sheet.
  9. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until edges are browned, but center is still soft.
  10. Cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to cooling rack.  Cool completely.

Glaze:

  1. Combine sugar and water in a bowl.  Drizzle over cooled cookies with a spoon.

Enjoy!

As we all know, people can be jerks.  Sometimes they mean to be, sometimes they don’t.  It’s nothing I can control.  Maybe you’re the jerk?  Maybe I’m the jerk?

I try hard to keep cool, but things have a way of crawling under your skin where negativity doesn’t belong.

I understand you’re battling some kind of inner struggle and this is your way of coping.  Or maybe it’s something else bugging you.  Please excuse me, I’ll just step aside while your righteous high horse passes by.  Do you feel better?  Good.  I do too.  Let’s move on.  Let’s move on to donuts…

They’re fun to make and fun to eat.  Do something that you like.  Do something that you’re good at.

Baked Double Chocolate Donuts from Simplified Feast

Baked Double Chocolate Donuts

Recipe slightly adapted from Buns In My Oven

Yield: 10 donuts

Ingredients:

For the donuts:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar or corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, chocolate chips and baking soda.
In a small bowl, whisk together the vanilla, egg, sour cream, milk and oil.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined.
Spoon in a greased donut pan.
Bake for 8 minutes or until the tops spring back when you touch them.
Let the donuts cool on a wire rack before spooning on the glaze.

To make the glaze:  Put the chocolate chips and agave in a small bowl.  Heat cream in microwave on 50% power for 3 minutes.  Pour hot cream over chocolate and whisk constantly until smooth.  If consistency is too thin, wait 10 minutes and glaze should thicken on it’s own.

Note:  A muffin pan can be used if you do not have a donut pan.  Fill cups half way full with batter.

Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Adobo Chicken

February 26, 2015

I made this adobo chicken a few weeks ago and I’ve been dreaming about it ever since.  We ate tostadas for 3 consecutive days, most times for lunch and dinner.  It was delicious and I highly recommend this recipe to you and your Mexican food-loving family.

Tender pulled chicken, slow cooked in a spicy adobo sauce.  The chicken can be used as filling for tostadas, enchiladas, quesadillas, nachos, served over rice with roasted veggies… It’s versatile and the options are endless.  Go for it!

Slow Cooker Adobo Chicken from Simplified Feast 9

Slow Cooker Adobo Chicken from Simplified Feast 1

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Slow Cooker Adobo Chicken

To print this recipe, click here: Slow Cooker Adobo Chicken from Simplified Feast

Recipe from Le Crème de la Crumb

Yield: 8 or more servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, roughly chopped (use only 2 peppers for a milder spice)
  • 4 tablespoons adobo sauce (approximately)
  • 1 (15-oz.) can tomato sauce

 

Method:

In a medium bowl, stir together all ingredients, except chicken. Place chicken breasts in slow cooker and pour the tomato mixture on top. Carefully stir so that sauce covers the chicken evenly.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours.

45 minutes before serving, use two forks to shred chicken. Stir the chicken in the sauces inside the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for another 30 minutes. Chicken can be used as filling for tostadas, enchiladas, quesadillas, nachos, served over rice, etc.

Enjoy!

Seeing as my last post was in November, I think it’s high time for another.

I bring you a recipe for a very old-fashioned, but delicious shortbread thumbprint cookie.  It’s mixed with a lot of arm muscle, dipped in egg whites, rolled in chopped pecans and filled with a fancy blackberry jam.  When they’re baked, the jam becomes firm and chewy, while the nuts turn toasty.

I found this recipe in an old cookbook of mine from High School.  It’s handwritten on a recipe card, lovingly titled “Nana Wilson’s Cookies”.  These cookies are very dear to my Mom’s friend’s Grandmother who I presume made them all the time for her.  They taste like they’re made with love and that’s exactly how it should be.

Blackberry Pecan Thumbprint Cookies from Simplified Feast 1

Cookie history, for those that care:  This humble pastry is actually called “Hallongrotta”, which sounds pretty terrible, but means “raspberry cave” in Swedish.  They are typically filled with raspberry jam.

Blackberry Pecan Thumbprint Cookies from Simplified Feast 2

I used a Blackberry & Poppy Flower Preserve that I found at World Market, but you can use whatever jam or preserve you fancy most.

Blackberry Pecan Thumbprint Cookies from Simplified Feast 3

Blackberry-Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

also known as Nana Wilson’s Cookies

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

 

Ingredients:

1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room-temperature

1/2 c. brown sugar, lightly packed

2 eggs, separated

Pinch salt

2 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. finely chopped pecans

Jam or preserves  (any flavor)

 

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add beaten egg yolks and a small pinch of salt.  Mix until combined.  Stir in flour, 1 c. at a time, until well incorporated.

Roll into teaspoon sized balls (maybe a little bigger).  Dip balls in egg whites that have been beaten a little and thinned with a splash of cold water.  Roll in chopped nuts and transfer to a parchment-lined cookie sheet, 1-2 inches apart.

Make a thumbprint in center of each cookie and fill with preserves.  Bake on middle rack for 13 minutes.  Transfer to a cooling rack lined with paper towels.  Let cool.

Enjoy!

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

November 1, 2014

I realize that Halloween and prime pumpkin carving season have passed, but if you still have one of those big, orange, un-carved gourds sitting on your stoop… then this recipe is for you.

I’ve toasted pumpkin seeds every October, but this time I tried something new.  I found that by boiling the seeds first before toasting, it makes for a crunchier and even more enjoyable seed.  Give it a try!
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds from Simplified Feast 1

 

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds from Simplified Feast

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Recipe slightly adapted from Bon Appetit
Yields about 1 cup, depending on size of pumpkin
 

Ingredients:

Seeds from 1 pumpkin

3 Tbs. salted butter, melted

Salt and Pepper, to taste

 

Method:

Scrape seeds and any attached fibers from pumpkin using a large metal spoon. Place seeds in a colander and rinse well to help separate seeds from fibers. Set seeds aside. Cook seeds in a medium saucepan of boiling salted water until beginning to look translucent, 5-7 minutes. Drain and transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet; pat well to dry.

Preheat oven to 425°. Spread seeds on a rimmed baking sheet, toss with butter, and season with salt and pepper. Roast until golden and crisp, 15-20 minutes. Let cool completely.

Enjoy!

 

I woke up this morning thinking about baking cookies.  That’s probably a sign that I should go on a juice cleanse or something of that nature so I can rid my thoughts of brown sugar, vanilla, and molasses.

It’s not the actual eating of the cookies (of course, I won’t deny 1 or 2 warm ones right from the oven), I more so enjoy the making of the cookies.  I’d rather cream butter and sugar together until fluffy than do anything else on an early weekend morning.  Sifting flour and folding in chocolate… yes please.

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies from Simplified Feast 2

Brown butter and a little sprinkle of sea salt makes these cookies rise above the rest.  Plus, the recipe is from Joy the Baker.  If you don’t know her by now, I recommend you head over to her blog and start reading.

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies from Simplified Feast 1

Brown butter is delicious and nutty.  Definitely worth the extra bit of stovetop time and pan swirling.  The milk solids in the 1/2 c. butter are browned over medium heat and create the most beautiful flavor.

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies from Simplified Feast 3

Not too flat, not too fluffy.  Crunchy edges with a chewy center.  Just the right amount of salt and sweet.

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies from Simplified Feast 4

Enjoy your Sunday and go bake some cookies!

 

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe slightly adapted from The Joy the Baker Cookbook
Yield:  About 24 cookies
 

Ingredients:

1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon molasses

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Coarse sea salt, to sprinkle on top

 

Method:

1) Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
2) Place half the butter (8 tablespoons) in a medium skillet. Melt the butter over medium heat, swirling it in the pan occasionally. It’ll foam and froth as it cooks, and start to crackle and pop. Once the crackling stops, keep a close eye on the melted butter, continuing to swirl the pan at intervals. The butter will become fragrant, and brown bits will form in the bottom. Once the bits are amber brown (about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes or so after the sizzling stops), remove the butter from the burner and pour it into a small bowl, bits and all. Allow it to cool for 20 minutes.
3) Beat the remaining 1/2 cup butter with the brown sugar for 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture is very smooth.
4) Beat in the vanilla and molasses.
5) Pour the cooled brown butter into the bowl, along with the granulated sugar. Beat for 2 minutes, until smooth; the mixture will lighten in color and become fluffy.
6) Add the egg and egg yolk, and beat for another minute.
7) Add the flour, salt, and baking soda, beating on low speed just until everything is incorporated.
8) Use a spatula to fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
9) Scoop the dough onto a piece of parchment paper, waxed paper, or plastic wrap. Flatten it slightly into a thick disk, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. About 15 minutes before you’re ready to begin baking, preheat your oven to 350°F, with the racks in the center/upper third.
10) Scoop the dough in 2 tablespoon-sized balls onto the prepared baking sheets. Each will weigh about 1 ounce (28g). Leave about 2″ between the cookies; they’ll spread as they bake.
11) Sprinkle the cookies with sea salt, to taste — as much or as little as you like.
12) Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and allow them to rest on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before moving them.
13) Serve warm; or cool completely, and store airtight at room temperature for several days. For longer storage, wrap well and freeze.

 Enjoy!

Summer Garden

August 24, 2014

With August coming to a close, I thought I’d do a post showing some pictures of our backyard harvests.  I should just call this the Summer of Tomatoes, because we sure had A LOT of them.  Most pictures are from my Instagram page.

At this point, I’ve stopped trying to tame the weeds.  All of our zucchini and yellow squash plants have withered away.  I also now let Mother Nature do my watering for me, because truthfully if you spend more than 5 minutes in the garden, any exposed skin is attacked by mosquitoes.

Right now, we’re receiving bountiful amounts of jalapeno peppers, 3 kinds of tomatoes, okra, mint, and basil.  I have plans to make pesto as soon as I can dig my stash of pine nuts out of the freezer and dust off the food processor.

I’m now looking forward to homemade soup, roasted brussels sprouts, and the crisp days of Fall.

garden 8

 

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Forget everything I’ve ever said about a good banana bread.  I think I’ve finally found the most delicious version that uses up your ripe bananas sitting on the counter.  Behold, a cake with just enough banana taste, speckled with crunch poppy seeds and slathered with cream cheese frosting studded with real vanilla bean.

I think it tastes best refrigerated and with a hot cup of black tea (with honey and a splash of milk, of course).  Just be sure to check your teeth after, those poppy seeds are sneaky.

Banana Poppy Seed Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting from Simplified Feast 1

This recipe makes a small, 8×8-inch cake that’s about 1.5 inches high.  It’s the perfect size to have a taste of something sweet, but not feel overwhelmed by the quantity of cake still left over.

Banana Poppy Seed Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting from Simplified Feast 2

What you see is what you get for the cake; A little bit of butter, turbinado sugar, SOUR CREAM (AH!), 1 egg, mashed banana, poppy seeds, vanilla, flour, salt, and baking soda.  Easy peasy.

Banana Poppy Seed Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting from Simplified Feast 3

This  frosting was something of a first for me.  I had never bought, split, and scraped the seeds from a vanilla bean before.  If you’ve never done it, I recommend you splurge and try it.  Super fun and oddly satisfying.  The black specks swirled in the frosting make everything worth it.

Banana Poppy Seed Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting from Simplified Feast 4

Here are the notes from The View from the Great Island blog, where I got this recipe.  She describes this cake better than I ever could: There’s a lot going on in this simple, old fashioned cake.  What makes it special?   A more pronounced than usual banana presence, for one thing.  The poppy seeds add crunch and visual interest, and then the tangy cream cheese frosting gives it a final zip.  And real vanilla bean makes anything special.”

 

Banana Poppy Seed Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting

Slightly adapted from The View from the Great Island
Yields: 1 8×8-inch cake
 

Ingredients:

Cake:

2 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup turbinado sugar

1/2 cup sour cream

1 large egg

2 ripe bananas, mashed

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup poppy seeds

Frosting:
4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
Seeds from 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
Milk for thinning the icing

 

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 8×8-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Cream the butter, sugar, and sour cream together in a medium bowl with electric mixer.  Beat in egg, mashed bananas, and vanilla.

Sift the flour, salt, and baking soda into the wet mixture.  Mix together just until combined.  Fold in the poppy seeds.

Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan.  Bake for about 25 minutes until a toothpick just comes out clean.  Cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting, mix together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla seeds until smooth.  Add 1 cup of sugar, stir until combined, then add remaining cup.  Thin if needed with milk and mix until you have a thick, creamy, spreadable frosting.  Spread onto the banana cake in an even layer.  Cover cake and store at room-temperature or in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!