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Banana Cake w/ Cream Cheese Frosting

Delicious is the only word to describe this cake. This cake plus the carrot cake I made recently would both be amazing desserts for any holiday gathering. We will be able to gather again eventually, and we will celebrate with cake!

This is a large batch recipe making it perfect for freezing or sharing with family and friends. 

Banana Cake w/ Cream Cheese Frosting Makes 2-3 cakes or 4 loaves

For the Cake
4 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup unflavoured oil
1/4 cup milk of choice
1/4 cup sour cream
6 mashed ripe bananas (about 2 cups mashed)
4 large eggs 
1 tablespoon vanilla
For the frosting
1/2 cup salted butter, softened 1 8oz package cream cheese, softened (full fat - brick form) 2 cups confectioners’ sugar 1/2 tablespoon meringue powder 1 teaspoons vanilla extract pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease & flour some cake pans. You can get 2 bundt, 4 loaves or a combination of ot…

Salad-e Olivieh (aka Salade Olivier) Persian Potato Salad

This dish comes together pretty quickly, but I recommend making it several hours before you want to eat it so the flavours can get to know each other. 

I use less mayonnaise than most Persian people would, but since I'm not Persian (just married to one), I guess that's acceptable.

Above:  You can see the difference between Persian pickles (on the left) and dill pickles. Persian pickles also have a special flavour to them that comes from fresh tarragon in the brine. Mmmm! They also come in a larger size and can be purchased in jars or cans. We usually get them at the Persian grocery stores but I've also seen them in the international aisle at my regular grocery store. They're worth looking for.

Above: Here's what the salad looks like all mixed up.

Above: Here's the pretty garden I made last night.

Above: It looks like watermelon but what I actually did was cut the middle out of a tomato and used the skin with a bit of flesh still on it. I used the seeds as the middles of the flowers (and then I ate the rest of the tomato).

Above: The butterflies are made from cucumber skin. You can also cut shapes out of cucumber slices.

Above: And here's the one I made around Christmas Time. Pickle slices make up the tree and a sprinkle of dill transforms it into an evergreen. Yellow peppers would have been a good choice for stars but I only had carrots.

Salad-e Olivieh (aka Salade Olivier) Persian Potato Salad
Makes 8 servings

  • 1 cup minced (or grated) Persian pickles
  • 1/4 cup pickle brine
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 small onion, grated (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 - 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 medium potatoes, boiled and peeled (I used yellow potatoes)
  • 6 large eggs, hard boiled
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed and drained
  • 2 cups shredded chicken (I used drumstick meat)
  • In a large bowl, combine pickles, brine, lime juice, onion, 1 cup of mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Using a standard box grater, grate potatoes and eggs into the bowl. Add the peas and chicken.
  • Mix everything together very well. If it seems a bit dry, add more mayonnaise. Taste it and season with more salt and pepper if needed. Place the salad into a serving dish (I just use a glass casserole) and spread a tablespoon or two of mayonnaise over the top.
  • Decorate with carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes or whatever else you can find in your fridge. I used small cookie cutters to cut flowers and butterflies and used tomato seeds as the centres for the flowers. I've also used pickles to create a Christmas tree and cut stars out of slices of carrot. Here's your chance to get creative and festive.
  • Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight before eating. It's one of those dishes that tastes better the next day. Serve with fresh pita or on a fresh bun as a sandwich. Extra pickles on the side doesn't hurt either.
  • I had chicken drumsticks that I needed to use up, but you would normally find me at the deli counter buying a rotisserie chicken for this recipe.
  • You can use breast meat or leg meat, it doesn't matter, but roasting the chicken adds good flavour so don't be tempted to boil your chicken. I just roasted the drums in the oven for about 45 minutes, removed the skin and shredded the meat.


  1. You know, I have never seen a non-Russian make this salad. People look at me like I'm crazy when I tell them about it :)
    I didn't know that it was originated in Persia. I'm Russian and that salad in very popular there. I love the decorations you did on it!

  2. I am Persian and I don't think it is originated in Iran. I read it is originated in Russia.
    Anyway, it is popular in Iran and we love it.


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