A Time of Rest

Submitted by Christi

Whew, we made it through Christmas, Carnival, Mardi Gras and Valentine’s Day. Now, I feel like “resting” my eyes (and body) for a few weeks before Easter and the festival season. The Carnival/Mardi Gras decorations are all down (although, I did find a bit of tinsel that I missed this morning).

You may remember how the mantel looked for Mardi Gras:

Mardi Gras mantel

All tinsel, glitter, lights and sparkle. I loved seeing this every day. However, now it is a bit more serene:

Spring mantle

Green plants, the doves that have appeared in so many places in my home (and on my table and porch . . .) and a couple of colored candles. I did opt to leave the “JOY” letters in place that were added at Christmas. I just really like them there. Read more…

Walk in the Hood

Submitted by Christi

The weather has been gorgeous lately. The first weekend of Carnival parades was beautiful and now we are getting a brief break before the big Superbowl weekend before resuming with Carnival. Stay tuned for more posts about that. In the meantime, it was nice to just get out in the beautiful weather and enjoy. Here are a few things that visitors to New Orleans might see if they get out of the Superbowl “zone” and on to a streetcar and come up to the wonderful neighborhoods  here.

Beautiful blooming tulip magnolia trees . . .


that roll out, or rather drop a lovely pink carpet, just for you.

And . . . that is just the beginning.

Click for larger images and captions.

Welcome to New Orleans!

Outdoor Wedenesday

Outdoor Wednesday with A Southern Daydreamer

Winter Gardens

Submitted by Christi

In late December, my husband and I took a walk around a garden district neighborhood in New Orleans. We took pictures of a lot of the Christmas decorations, but I also enjoyed seeing all of the things that were in bloom here in New Orleans. The things that bloom change from month to month and I’ll have another post showing you what is in bloom soon. Here is what we saw that beautiful winter day: Read more…

Wreaths on a New Orleans Walk

Submitted by Cindy

I was very late in getting my Fall wreath up this year.  We were doing work on the house – a necessity for old homes, but I wouldn’t trade for the world.  I brought my camera on a recent coonhound walk to document what the neighbors were featuring.  There were a number of Halloween decorations still up, but lots of seasonal presentations.  Take a look – fall décor, sports teams, life announcements.  In New Orleans we love to broadcast on the front door!

I tried to zoom in to focus on the wreaths.  This is not doing justice to the inviting front door presentations offered by so many of the homes – a topic for another column!

Click to enlarge

Partying today with A Southern Daydreamer:

Outdoor Wedenesday

Outdoor Wednesday with A Southern Daydreamer

New Orleans Friends

Submitted by Christi

Since moving to New Orleans, I have so enjoyed meeting new people and making new friends. It is especially fun when I meet someone who I have much in common with, and who wants to share the New Orleans experience with the world, just as I do.

Cindy BushCindy Bush is a New Orleans native who shares my love of gardening, cooking, pets and, of course, New Orleans. Cindy and her husband, Ed, have helped me learn so many fascinating things about this city, and I can’t wait for Cindy to share some of those things with you. Cindy will be writing with me, here at A Southern Life, and I know you will love getting to know her.

Cindy has a sweet bluetick hound named Maizie and a cutie pie cat named Tex (notice his burnt orange coloring). She also has a horse named Ringo that lives on the ranch that she and her husband own in Texas. Oh, and I don’t want to leave out the box turtle and the Russian tortoise that also are a part of their family.

Beautiful Maizie

And . . . her friend, Tex

And . . . her friend, Tex

Sooo, without further ado . . . Here is Cindy’s first post for A Southern Life – enjoy!

Satsuma Season in New Orleans

by Cindy Bush

Years ago my father planted a satsuma tree in his small back yard.  He babied it along, counting each and every fruit he picked.  Today it seems to thrive despite total neglect, not even water during periods of drought.  It has grown unruly, and my mother keeps threatening to cut it down.  We protest, since an abundance of fresh fruit is such a treat.

satsuma tree
Not sure what  you call the “seedless and easy-peeling citrus species” in your part of the world.   Officially known as Citrus unshiu, they are also referred to as mandarins or tangerines, or variations of these.  They are a major South Louisiana crop, despite being susceptible to our occasional prolonged freezes.

I went over today to check the tree out.  The branches were so laden with fruit that some were almost touching the ground.  Time to pick!

New Orleans satsumas
Most of the time we just peel and eat, but satsumas are great in salads and other dishes.  Here is a tasty recipe for a fall salad.

Salad with Satsumas and Pecans

¼ cup olive oil
2 T red wine vinegar
2 T orange or satsuma juice
1 T maple syrup
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Greens  for six servings
2 satsumas, pealed and sectioned
¼ cup chopped green onions
½ cup pecans, toasted and chopped

Halloween in New Orleans | Part II

Submitted by Christi

Okay, I showed you a lot of the houses with their fun Halloween decorations yesterday. Today, I want to show you a really fun house on the corner of St. Charles Avenue and State Street. It is the Boneyard. There is an article in on the Tulane News site that tells about the family that puts up these fun decorations.

There are more than 50 cleverly displayed skeletons to entertain you. Here is a shot from the local Uptown Messenger at night, showing how fun they look all lit up:

Let’s take a closer look at some of these:

Click on “show as slideshow” to see full size.

Oh, I almost forgot this picture. The sun was shining brightly and, even though you can’t see the bones very well, I thought this picture was great. Do you see beautiful sunrays or spooky ghosts?

Happy Halloween!

Need something to sip as you are greeting the trick or treaters tonight? How about some Caramel Apple Cider?

Today’s Lagniappe: Caramel Apple Cider

1 Gallon apple cider
6 cinnamon sticks
6 cloves
3/4 cups jarred caramel sauce
whipped cream

Heat apple cider, cinnamon sticks and cloves. Before serving, stir in caramel sauce. Serve topped with whipped cream and a shake of cinnamon and a drizzle of additional caramel sauce. This can be made in a slow cooker as well to make your house smell all Autumn-y.

Halloween in New Orleans | Part 1

Submitted by Christi

I don’t think it is possible to get all of what I have to show you in one post, so this is one of those episodes to be continued . . .

Halloween in New Orleans is a BIG deal to put it mildly. In terms of celebration, it is second only to Mardi Gras. Lots of decorations, parties and fun. Now, me, I’m not so big into decorating for Halloween as I am for Fall in general. My one nod to Halloween is this Jack-O-Lantern:

Pretty scary, huh? I do have a lot of Fall decorations, just not so much with the ghosts and goblins. I do love seeing those things around town though. They are lots of fun and, of course, New Orleans is supposed to be one of the most haunted cities in America. Personally, I’m not looking for any ghosts!

Here are some pictures from Uptown and in the Garden District:

Click “show as a slideshow” for a better view and some pithy commentary. 🙂

Here is a cute spider that I thought would be fun to do with kids:

halloween spider

This was made with a black trash bag, some construction paper cutouts for eyes that had been drawn upon and then some black plastic plumber thingy’s (or whatever those things are called) for legs. How cute is that?

There are lots more pictures to show – particularly the “Bone House” that deserves its own post. Tune in for that tomorrow. In the meantime, here is a preview:

Bone Yard

You know you are going to have to have something to munch on while you are looking through those pictures. How about some Butterscotch Haystacks?

Looks like Bailey the wonder dog would like a bite. Sooo easy to make and they only take about 5 minutes to put together:

Today’s’ Lagniappe: Butterscotch Haystacks

Makes 12 large or 24 small “haystacks”

Melt 1 package of butterscotch morsels in the microwave (microwave in 30 second increments stirring in between until smooth). Add 2 – 3 cups of chow mien noodles to the melted butterscotch along with 1/2 cup of spanish peanuts. Stir to combine.

Using 2 spoons, drop “stacks” of the mixture onto wax paper or parchment paper or tin foil, or whatever you have handy. Let cool until set and then enjoy!

A New Southern Beginning – New Orleans Style!

Submitted by Christi

Things are looking different around here. With a new city and coming back after a long hiatus from writing at A Southern Life, it was time for some changes. I’m so excited to show you what is going on in my Southern Life that is now being lived in New Orleans. So, really, what’s not to love? New Orleans definitely has the Southern thing going on but it is also known as a Caribbean city, the Paris of the United States, the “City that Care Forgot,” and so, so much more.

Let’s start where we are now. It is officially Autumn. I’ve been decorating and enjoying the Fall colors that I’m getting inside from my Fall decorations and the mums that I picked up, because, let’s face it, New Orleans is a sub-tropical city and there just aren’t a lot of Fall colors here. It reminds me of when I lived in Dallas and Fall was 2 weeks in December and that was it. That is fine by me. The winters are also much shorter.

When we moved in, we had an empty dining room with a lovely (yet non-working) fireplace:

A room that we call either the living room or the library (because of the bookcase and all of the books to follow):

And lot and lots of boxes to unpack. It took some time to get that done and then, unfortunately, I spent a couple of months recovering from a rib injury and subsequently, pneumonia. Of course, then we had to get past hurricane Isaac (the hurricane that loved New Orleans so much, he just didn’t want to leave). Now, all that is past, and the weather is spectacular and fall has arrived!

Here is some of what is going on:

We are all set for some cooler weather. We don’t really need a roaring fire anyway so these candles will do nicely.

Lots of fall color. What about the table?

Then, of course, there is the porch and the courtyard to show you as well. I think I’ll save that for tomorrow and then, be sure to come back for all the fun Halloween decorations around town to show you. Sunday afternoon, we took the streetcar down St. Charles to see the fabulous decorations there. Can’t wait to share them with you.

Okay, off to get some hot apple cider on this cool Fall evening. Have a lovely week!


Be sure to check out the great before and after posts at Between Naps on the Porch

Metamorphosis Monday

Metamorphosis Monday with Between Naps on the Porch

Fall Dinner Party in New Orleans

Submitted by Christi

Since moving to New Orleans, I have really enjoyed making new friends and renewing acquaintances. I also enjoy having a roomy dining room that makes entertaining so much easier. Recently, we had some friends over for a casual, early fall dinner.

fall dinner party

I was busy getting things ready and didn’t get enough pictures of the table. I’ve gotten out the habit, but promise to do better. 🙂 Anyway, it was a fun evening.

fall dinner party in New Orleans

The china pattern is “Reynolds” by Spode. One of my favorites for late summer, early fall entertaining.

fall dinner party in New Orleans

Happy Fall Y’all! Hope it is off to a great start wherever you are.

For dessert, we had gingerbread with warm caramelized pears and spiced bourbon custard (topped with whipped cream). I came up with the spiced bourbon custard recipe by working with a standard custard recipe. Gotta say, it was pretty tasty. Here is the recipe:

Today’s Lagniappe: Spiced Bourbon Custard

Mix in a saucepan:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup flour

Stir in:

  • 2 cups milk

Cook over medium heat, stirring until it boils. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir about half of this mixture into 4 beaten egg yolks.

Blend into hot mixture in saucepan. Bring just to a boiling point. Cool and blend in 1 tsp. vanilla, 3 tablespoons bourbon and 1 tsp. pumpkin pie mix.

Cover with plastic wrap, pushing down the plastic wrap to touch the custard and refrigerate until ready to use.

I layered this with gingerbread and pears that had been chopped and then cooked down with sugar and cinnamon and then topped it all with whipped cream.

Southern Dogwood

Submitted by Christi

The dogwoods are blooming beautifully here. Love dogwoods and how inspirational they are.

dogwoods easter

Have you hear the Easter legend of the dogwood?

dogwood easter

When Christ was on earth, the dogwood grew
To a towering size with a lovely hue.
It branches were strong and interwoven
And for Christ’s cross its timbers were chosen.

Being distressed at the use of the wood
Christ made a promise which still holds good.
Not ever again shall the dogwood grow
To be large enough for such a tree, and so,

Slender and twisted it shall always be,
With cross shaped blossoms for all to see.
Petals shall have bloodstains marked in brown,
And in all the blossom centers a thorny crown.

All who see it shall think of me,
Nailed to a cross from a dogwood tree.
Protected and cherished the tree shall be
A reflection to all of my agony.

Author Unknown

Happy and blessed Easter Season to all!


Outdoor Wedenesday

Outdoor Wednesday with A Southern Daydreamer

Southern Snow Day

Submitted by Christi

It started snowing here this morning and is still steadily snowing at mid-day here in my neck of the woods in Arkansas. Got some pics to share with you as well as a recipe!

I love asparagus. Of course, we usually cut off the top part and throw the woody part away. I’ve always seen cooking channel people do this and then say to save the woody part for another use. Well, while I’ve always thought I should do that, I never had – until today. I actually just served the tips last night for supper (roasted with lemon, garlic and olive oil) and saved the rest to make some soup. Turned out to be a great lunch for a snowy day!

Set on the coffee table in front of the fire and I even had a little mini-tablescape!

I’ve also been feeding the birds. Watching them is not only entertaining for me, it also keeps Calli-cat occupied. I’ve got covered bird feeders in the front. My bird feeder in the back is unprotected, so it is covered with snow. I made a makeshift bird feeder on the back porch and then scattered a little seed on the porch. The birds have really enjoyed it.

I have had cardinals, bluejays, wrens, chickadees, tufted titmouse, robins and red finches, mourning doves, a couple of woodpeckers and, of course, squirrels. What fun it has been to watch them. I’ve been trying to get pictures. Of course, the beautiful red cardinal is just as pretty as a picture but always seems to fly off just as I get the camera focused on him!

As I am typing this, a big Bluejay is feeding as a robin waits on this fence for his turn. Don’t you just love snow days!

Today’s Lagniappe: Asparagus Soup
This recipe makes 8 – 10 servings. I quartered the recipe (I didn’t even need half) and it turned out great! I also skipped the step for the tips of the asparagus since we had them the night before 🙂 This is based on Emeril Lagasse’s recipe. YUM!
* 3 pounds fresh asparagus, rinsed
* 8 cups chicken stock
* 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 1 cup chopped onion
* 1 tablespoon minced garlic
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
* 1/2 cup heavy cream
* 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan, garnish

Trim the attractive top tips from the asparagus, about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in length. Cut the woody stem ends from each spear and reserve. Cut the remaining tender stalks into 1/2-inch pieces.

In a medium pot, bring the stock to a boil. Add the tough woody stems, lower the heat and simmer to infuse with asparagus flavor, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and discard, reserving the stock.

Add the decorative tips to the stock and blanch until tender, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Remove with a strainer and refresh in an ice water bath. Drain on paper towels and reserve for the garnish. Reserve the stock.

In a medium stockpot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. When foamy, add the onions and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chopped asparagus stalks, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the reserved broth and simmer until the asparagus are very tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat.

With a hand-immersion blender or in batches in a food processor, puree the soup until smooth. Adjust the seasoning, to taste. If serving right away, return to medium heat and add the cream and reserved asparagus tips. Cook, stirring, until the soup is warmed through, about 3 minutes.

Alternatively, if serving the soup later, do not add the cream and let cool at room temperature (or in an ice water bath). Cover and refrigerate. Before serving, add the cream and asparagus tips, and warm the soup gently over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Tablescape Thursday with Between Naps on the Porch

with Between Naps on the Porch

Foodie Friday

With Designs by Gollum

Southern Autumn 2010

Submitted by Christi

Well it is a FALL PARTY DAY! Today we are joining:

Tablescape Thursday with Between Naps on the Porch

Fall Open House with Hooked on Houses

Fall Mantle Party with The Nester

So much fun today!!! Here we go – click on the 1st picture to start the show!

First off a Fall Tablescape

Hmmm, got to find a great fall recipe to serve on the fall table.

Now on to some decorations. I have a fireplace, but alas, no mantle. Luckily, Miss Nester was nice enough to include those of us without mantles in her party. I just decorated a little bit everywhere!

Happy Fall, Y’all!

Today’s Lagniappe:  Christi’s Favorite Banana Nut Bread
Heat it up and slather with butter or cream cheese and enjoy on a cool autumn morning with a steaming cup of coffee!

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
3 mashed bananas
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Cream sugar and butter, add eggs, beat well. Sift in flour, soda, cinnamon and cloves, beat well. Mix in bananas and nuts. Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake 1 hour at 325 degrees.

Southern Wonder

Submitted by Christi

I can’t believe that it is already Labor Day, which to me means the end of summer. We even had a bit of a cool down in the weather here for a few days so it really felt like fall was arriving. Of course, it will still be a couple of weeks before fall really arrives. However, I’m already kind of getting in the mood. You know, once football starts, even though we still have some hot days, fall is on our doorstep! It fills me with a sense of wonder.

I’ve already been thinking about getting out some of those fall decorations. Can you believe it? I haven’t done it yet, but I was looking back at some of my pictures from last years fall decorations to kind of get some inspiration.

A little Autumn on top of the tv cabinet

A little Autumn on top of the tv cabinet

A few pumpkins on the coffee table

A few pumpkins on the coffee table

Scarecrows in the house plants

Scarecrows in the house plants

And this guy is just hanging around in the kitchen waiting for Thanksgiving!

And this guy is just hanging around in the kitchen waiting for Thanksgiving!

Happy Fall Y’all!

See what others are up to in their homes on this Met Monday with Susan.

met monday

If you haven’t checked out my nephews audition for the History Channel program, Top Shot, here it is:

Today’s Lagniappe: Oatmeal Scotchies
One of my fall favorites

* 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
* 3/4 cup granulated sugar
* 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
* 2 large eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or grated peel of 1 orange
* 3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
* 1 2/3 cups (11-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Butterscotch Flavored Morsels

PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in oats and morsels. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 7 to 8 minutes for chewy cookies or 9 to 10 minutes for crisp cookies. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Prepare dough as above. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until light brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Makes 4 dozen bars.

Southern Summer Birds

Submitted by Christi

While summer is in full swing we have fewer birds at the feeder. There are abundant insects and berries for the birds to feast on. Now is a good time to make some plans for fall feeding and maybe just add a little extra for the few birds that do regularly visit the feeder in summer.

We have doves and cardinals and blue jays that are regular visitors right now. Occasionally, a robin will stop by as will the little red finch couples. Here are a couple of projects for adding some critter attractions to your yard.

Metamorphosis Monday

Metamorphosis Monday with Between Naps on the Porch

From one of my bird books is this cute and easy idea for chipped teacups. You may have some around your house or can find some pretty ones at garage sales, flea markets or thrift stores. Just screw some hooks in a board and hang them up and then fill them with bird seeds. There are lots of things you can do with this idea. You could cup the board in the shape of a teapot and paint it. You could arrange the cups in a pretty decorative pattern. What ideas do you have?

teacup bird feeder

Here is one for the squirrels. It is called a squirrel IQ Test. Just take an empty, clean soda bottle, remove the lid and fill with peanuts in the shell. Hang up by wiring it to a post or fence and watch the squirrels work at getting the peanuts in the right position to remove them! Fun and inexpensive entertainment!

Squirrel IQ Test

One thing that is good for attracting birds any time of year is moving water. Apparently, they love the sound of water. It is easy to make your own fountain. Just search on line for easy directions or look here. All you need is a waterproof container, a pump and some tubing.

garden fountain

Even a sprinkler will do, and they make some very decorative ones these days.

decorative sprinkler

What do you do in your yard and garden to transform it into an attractive place for birdwatching? Would love to hear your ideas!

Today’s Lagniappe: Hummingbird Cake
The ultimate Southern cake. I’ve run this recipe before but I thought it would go well with this post and who can ever get enough Hummingbird Cake?

* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 cups granulated sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 3 eggs, beaten
* 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
* 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1 can (8oz) crushed pineapple, well drained
* 1 cup chopped pecans
* 2 cups chopped firm ripe banana
* Cream Cheese Frosting:
* 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
* 1 cup butter, room temperature
* 2 pounds confectioners’ sugar
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1/2 to 1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350°. Sift flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon together into mixing bowl several times. Add eggs and salad oil to the dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until ingredients are moistened. Stir in vanilla, pineapple and 1 cup pecans. Stir in the bananas. Spoon the batter into 3 well-greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes,or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn onto cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
Combine cream cheese and butter; cream until smooth. Add powdered sugar, beating with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla.

Frost the tops of all 3 layers, stack and then frost sides. Sprinkle top evenly with the 1/2 to 1 cup chopped pecans.

Southern Summer

Submitted by Christi

Late July and Early August are really hot around here and also very humid. It has been said that the humidity is what gives Southern girls their wonderful complexions! It may also be responsible for some really bad hair days. I don’t even try to fight the curls in the summer. Just not worth it. My summer do is definitely of the naturally curly variety.

This is also a great time to harvest all that wonderful goodness from the garden or at least the farmer’s market. I’ve been putting up okra.


Gather it from the garden (get 3 or more pods)

Some people use a buttermilk batter when they fry their okra. That is not the way I grew up eating it. The way my mother made it is by just cutting it in to  slices and tossing it in a mixture of cornmeal with a little flour and salt and pepper (I also add garlic powder to mine). It is easy to prepare to freeze that way as well. Just process it and put it in freezer bags and in to the freezer and it is ready whenever you are.

okra to freeze

When you are ready, just heat up some oil with a bit of bacon grease to around 350 and gently drop the okra in the pan and fry until golden. YUMMY!

This is also the time of year when there is a good harvest of tomatoes. In my case, this year I have cherry tomatoes in pots with basil.

cherry tomatoes

Looks like a bird dropped a sunflower seed from the bird feeder in this pot.

We have been making frequent trips to Jonesboro, Arkansas this summer for our business. One of the fun/scary sights of summer, we see on our trip over. It is KUDZU! Yes, the kudzu that is eating it’s way across the South!


photo courtesy of dmott9 via Flickr

The kudzu transforms trees and power poles into giraffe like figures and an ordinary bush looks like a green leafy monster. Lots of fun!

This time of year is also when the morning glory really comes in to it’s own.

morning glory

Yes, it is really hot and really beautiful and quite tasty as well!

Today’s Lagniappe: Bananas Foster Cheesecake
Saw this recipe and thought is sounded fabulous!


  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • 2 8-ounce packages creme cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups puréed bananas (from about 4 bananas)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt


  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 17-ounce jar caramel sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 2 bananas, peeled, sliced

For crust:
Position rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Wrap outside of 9-inch diameter springform pan with 3-inch -high sides with heavy-duty foil. Combine flour, pecans, butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in large bowl. Mix well. Press mixture onto bottom of prepared pan.

For filling:
Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese in large bowl until smooth. Gradually beat in sugar. Beat in cornstarch. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until just blended after each addition. Add puréed banana, sour cream, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Beat just until combined.

Transfer filling to crust-lined pan. Place pan in large roasting pan. Add enough hot water to roasting pan to come 1 inch up sides of springform pan. Bake until center of cake is just set, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove cake from oven. Maintain oven temperature.

Meanwhile, prepare topping:
Mix together sour cream, sugar and vanilla in small bowl until well blended. Spread topping over cheesecake. Bake until topping is set, about 10 minutes. Turn off oven. Let cake stand in oven until cooled to room temperature, about 2 hours. Refrigerate cake until well chilled. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Cut around cake to loosen; remove pan sides. Transfer cake to platter. Warm caramel sauce in small saucepan over low heat, stirring often. Mix in rum. Drizzle some sauce decoratively over cake. Arrange bananas top cake.


Visit Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday and Smiling Sally for Blue Mondays. You will find wonderful and talented bloggers with fantastic posts!

Also check out:

Balancing Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday

Blessed with Grace’s Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

The Gypsy’s Corner’s Three or More