• Healthy Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

    This muffin recipe is so darn good.  The original recipe is vegan but I use milk instead of nondairy milk, and I also use a dairy based light margarine.  But if you want to make it vegan go right ahead.  Everyone loves these muffins!!!


    • 1/4 c. skim milk
    • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
    • 1 c. all purpose flour
    • 1 c. whole wheat flour
    • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
    • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
    • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
    • 1/2 c. light country crock margarine
    • 1/2 c. brown sugar
    • 1/2 c. white sugar
    • 3 ripe bananas
    • 1 tsp. vanilla
    • 1 8 oz. can crushed pineapple
    • 1/2 c. mini chocolate chips


    1. Preheat oven to 350*; line muffin pan with baking cups and spray with cooking spray.
    2. In a small bowl, combine milk and vinegar.
    3. In a large bowl, combine both flours, baking soda, salt and spices.
    4. In a mixing bowl, cream the margarine and sugars; then add the bananas, vanilla, milk mixture, and pineapple.
    5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet; then mix in chocolate chips.  Stir until just combined.
    6. Pour batter in the muffin tins and bake for 25 minutes (if making a loaf instead, bake for 60-70 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
    7. Remove pan from oven and let cool slightly; then remove muffins and let cool on a cooling rack (if making a loaf, remove the pan from the oven and place on cooling rack for 10 minutes; then transfer the bread from the pan to the rack and let cool completely before slicing-preferably overnight).

    Healthy Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins:



  • French Toast Bake

    This is the perfect brunch dish or feed a crowd dish.  It is so delicious and so easy.  All the prep is the night before, and then you refrigerate overnight and pop it in the oven in the morning, and then pure yumminess!  Definite crowd pleaser.

    Original recipe from Rach’s Blog.


    • 1/2 c. melted butter (1 stick)
    • 1 c. brown sugar
    • 1 loaf Texas toast
    • 4 eggs
    • 1 1/2 c. milk
    • 1 tsp. vanilla
    • 1 TBSP powdered sugar
    • Brown Sugar and Cinnamon ( step 6 )
    • White Sugar and Cinnamon ( step 8 )
    • Cooking Spray
    • Powdered sugar for sprinkling
    • Maple syrup (optional)
    1. Melt butter in microwave & add brown sugar….stir till mixed.
    2. Spray 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray
    3. Pour butter/sugar mix into bottom of 9 x 13 pan….spread around
    4. Beat eggs, milk, vanilla, and 1 TBSP powdered sugar
    5. Lay single layer of Texas Toast in pan
    6. Spoon 1/2 of egg mixture on bread layer and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon
    7. Add 2nd layer of Texas Toast
    8. Spoon on remaining egg mixture, lightly spread butter on the bread, and then sprinkle with white sugar and cinnamon
    9. Cover & chill in fridge overnight
    10. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes (covered for the first 30 minutes)
    11. Sprinkle with powdered sugar
    12. Serve with warm maple syrup
    French Toast Bake:
  • Quick Corned Beef Hash


    The country club in the town where I grew up served an awesome brunch.  Every time I went there I would get corned beef hash.  The corned beef hash was not that minced mush looking stuff you get at some restaurants or out of a can.  They used big roasted potatoes, fresh corned beef, and eggs over easy.  The first time I had it I was hooked!

    A few nights ago we made a corned beef (you know, the kind that comes in the meat case with the seasoning packet).  Surprisingly both kiddos loved it!  We will certainly be making that again.  When I was thinking about how to use the leftovers, corned beef hash came to mind, so we had brunch for dinner.

    One word: delicious!


    • Tator tots, cooked according to package
    • Leftover corned beef, reheated
    • eggs, over easy


    1. Cook tator tots, reheat corned beef, cook eggs over easy.
    2. On a plate put tator tots, top with corned beef, top with eggs over easy.

    Quick Corned Beef Hash:


  • Curry Rice Salad


    This is a go to dish (albeit I haven’t made in a long time).  This recipe comes from my grandma Clark.  She makes it for brunches, baby showers, wedding showers, and all sorts of events.  This salad is a great way to use up leftover chicken or Turkey from Thanksgiving.  It’s also a great crowd dish because you can easily make a whole lot.

    It’s simple but tastes oh so yummy!

    Here’s my version of the Clark classic…enjoy!


    • 1 c. rice
    • 2 c. water
    • 1 TBSP curry powder (more or less to taste)
    • 1/2 tsp. salt (more or less to taste)
    • 1/4 c. onion, minced
    • 1 TBSP vinegar
    • 2 TBSP canola oil
    • 1 c. celery, chopped
    • 2 c. peas
    • 2 c. cooked chicken
    • 3/4 c. mayo
    • Lettuce or mixed greens
    • Other additions: sliced grapes, sliced water chestnuts, slivered almonds, or marinated artichoke hearts


    1. In a saucepan combine the uncooked rice, water, curry powder, and salt; cover and cook rice.  Once the rice is cooked add the vinegar and canola oil and stir.  Let the rice cool and then refrigerate for at least 3 hours (I usually do this step the night before).
    2. Now add the rice to a bigger bowl and add the celery, peas, chicken, and other other addins–my favorite is grapes.  Mix together and then add the mayo.  Taste and add salt, if necessary.
    3. Serve over lettuce or mixed greens.

    Curry Rice Salad:


  • Blueberry Crumb Coffee Cake


    I found this recipe at A Year in the Kitchen, and the recipe is adapted from a recipe by Dorie Greenspan.  This blueberry crumb coffee cake is really delicious, and even has enough crumb topping for -s!


    For the Crumbs:
    • 5 TBSP unsalted butter at room temp
    • 1/4 c. sugar
    • 1/3 c. light brown sugar (packed)
    • 1/3 c. all purpose flour
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 c. rolled oats

    For the Cake:

    • 1 pint blueberries
    • 2 c. plus 2 tsp. all purpose flour
    • 2 tsp. baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
    • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
    • 2/3 c. sugar
    • grated zest of 1/2 lemon
    • 3/4 stick (6 TBSP) unsalted butter at room temp
    • 2 large eggs, at room temp
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 1/2 c. buttermilk


    1. Preheat oven to 350.
    2. Butter an 8-inch square pan and put it on a baking sheet.
    3. To make the crumbs:Put all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse just until the mixture forms clumps and curds and holds together when pressed. Scrape the topping into a bowl, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface. Refrigerate until needed.
    4. To make the cake: Using your fingertips, toss the blueberries and 2 tsp. of the flour together in a small bowl just to coat the berries; set aside.
    5. Whisk together the remaining 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
    6. Working in the bowl of a stand mixer or in another large bowl, rub the sugar and zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and aromatic; then add the butter and, with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat the sugar with the butter at medium speed until light, about 3 minutes;then add the eggs one by one, beating for about 1 minute after each addition, then beat in the vanilla extract.  Don’t be concerned if the batter looks curdled — it will soon smooth out.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately, the flour in 3 parts and the buttermilk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients).  You will have a thick, creamy batter. With a rubber spatula, gently stir in the berries. Scrape the batter into the buttered pan and smooth the top gently with the spatula.
    7. Pull the crumb mix from the fridge and, with your fingertips, break it into pieces.  There’s no need to try to get even pieces — these are crumbs, they’re supposed to be lumpy and bumpy and every shape and size. Scatter the crumbs over the batter, pressing them down ever so slightly.
    8. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until the crumbs are golden and a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
    9. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool just until it is warm or until it reaches room temperature.

    Blueberry Crumb Coffee Cake:


  • Campfire Buttermilk Biscuits


    These biscuits are sinfully delicious.  The recipe comes from Stephan Pyles’ New Tastes From Texas cookbook.


    • 8 TBSP unsalted butter
    • 10 TBSP shortening
    • 3 c. self-rising flour
    • 1 1/3 c. buttermilk


    1. Preheat oven to 400*F  Place the butter in a 9 1/2 skillet and warm in the oven for 5 minutes to heat the pan and melt the butter.
    2. Using your fingertips, crumble the shortening in a medium bowl with the flour until crumby consistency, the size of small peas.  Add the buttermilk in 3 or 4 additions, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon or spatula until the buttermilk is thoroughly incorporated.  Do not overbeat; the dough should be quite sticky and hold together
    3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and lightly flour the top.  Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a circle about 1/2 inch thick.  Cut the biscuits into 2 1/2 inch circles.  Dip each biscuit in the melted butter, coating all sides thoroughly, and arrange biscuits in the skillet.
    4. Bake in the oven on the middle rack for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the biscuits have risen and are lightly browned on the bottom.  Turn on the broiler, transfer the skillet to the upper rack of the oven, and broil the biscuits for 4 to 5 minutes or until browned.  Turn out onto a rack to cool.

    Campfire Buttermilk Biscuits:


  • Buttery Cinnabun Cake


    This picture doesn’t do this cake justice. I found this recipe at Picky Palate’s site, and to say everyone enjoyed this cake would be an understatement! It was delicious, and would be perfect for a dessert or brunch. It’s super easy to make, and it’s just delicious. If you like coffee cake, you’ll love this, so give it a try.

    Cake Ingredients:

    • 3 c. flour
    • ¼ tsp. salt
    • 1 c. sugar
    • 4 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 ½ c. milk
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 tsp. vanilla
    • 1 Stick real butter, melted

    Brown Sugar Topping:

    • 2 sticks real butter, softened (I just used 1 stick, and it was plenty buttery)
    • 1 c. brown sugar
    • 2 TBSP flour
    • 1 TBSP cinnamon
    • 2/3 c. nuts, optional


    • 2 c. powdered sugar
    • 5 TBSP milk
    • 1 tsp. vanilla


    1. Preheat oven to 375.
    2. In an electric or stand mixer mix the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, milk, eggs and vanilla. Once combined well, slowly stir in melted butter. Pour batter into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
    3. In a large bowl, mix the 2 sticks of softened butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nuts until well combined. Drop evenly over cake batter by the tablespoonfuls and use a knife to marble/swirl through the cake.
    4. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out nearly clean from center.
    5. Place powdered sugar, milk and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle over warm cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.

    Buttery Cinnabun Cake:


  • Blue Cornmeal Pancakes


    We have the great luxury of living near the War Eagle Mill. They have a fabulous selection of organic whole grains. This past weekend we took the kids there to see the operating water powered grist mill, which they were fascinated by. We bought a whole bunch of the grains. We are also super lucky that since it’s local, even Walmart carries much of their grains, but the Mill has a huge selection.

    We bought some blue cornmeal , and right on the sack of cornmeal is a recipe for Blue Cornmeal Pancakes, and they were delicious!


    • 1 c. blue cornmeal
    • 1/2 c. flour or whole wheat flour
    • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
    • 1 TBSP sugar
    • 1 1/4 c. milk
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten
    • 1 TBSP vegetable oil
    • 1 + tsp. vegetable oil
    • Butter and Syrup


    1. In a medium size bowl, mix dry ingredients together; stir in egg, 1 TBSP oil, and milk.
    2. Preheat griddle on medium heat, coat with 1 tsp. oil. Pour out batter by 1/4 cupfuls to make a small griddle cake. Flip when edges are dry and cakes are bubbly.
    3. Serve with butter and syrup.

    Blue Cornmeal Pancakes:


  • Crumb Cake


    I found this recipe over at the Picky Palate food blog, and this afternoon my kiddos and I made it, and it was delicious. Not surprisingly it is grown up and kid approved! It’s really easy to make, but mine took a lot longer to bake than the directions indicate.


    • 1 Box Yellow Cake Mix (plus ingredients on back of box)
    • 2 Sticks cold butter
    • 2 1/4 c. flour
    • 1 1/2 TBSP cinnamon
    • 1 ¾ c.sugar
    • 1 1/2 TBSP vanilla
    • Powdered sugar (for dusting)


    1. PREHEAT oven to 350.
    2. PREPARE cake mixe in large bowl according to directions on box. Spray 9X13 pan with non-stick spray. Pour batter into pan. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until center is just barely set (mine was at the 25+ minute mark and wasn’t really set in the center). I’ll probably use my larger 9×16 pan next time–by the time the cake and topping is added it was nearly over flowing in the 9×13.
    3. WHILE cake is baking, prepare crumb topping. In large bowl of electric mixer combine, butter, flour, cinnamon, sugar and vanilla until all crumbly.
    4. IMMEDIATELY after cake is removed from oven, break crumb topping into marble size pieces with fingers, sprinkling over top. Put back in oven and bake an additional 10-15 minutes and the topping will begin to look a little less wet/raw (mine was in for 20+ minutes). Let cool fully then dust with powdered sugar, using a sieve.

    Crumb Cake:


  • Challah: Take 2


    Yes, I’ve made challah before, and now I’ve finally come to a recipe and process that is to all of our liking.  This recipe yields 2 loaves…use one and freeze the other for next week!


    • 1 c. lukewarm water
    • 3 envelopes yeast (totaling 2 TBSP + 3/4 tsp. yeast) (I like the Rapid Rise yeast)
    • 3/4 c. sugar
    • 1 1/4 c. lukewarm water
    • 3/4 c. vegetable oil
    • 1 TBSP salt
    • 3 large eggs
    • 8-10 c. bread flour
    • 1 egg for egg wash


    1. In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix the yeast in 1 c. water. Make sure the water is warm–not cold or hot. This allows the yeast to work properly–you’ll know it’s working of you see little bubbles on the surface. (If no bubbles, don’t worry, just continue.) Set aside.
    2. Combine sugar, 1 1/4 c. water, oil, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, beat 3 eggs. Then add the eggs to the sugar mixture.
    3. Add the yeast to the sugar mixture.
    4. Add 4 or 5 cups of flour and mix well. Gradually add 4 or 5 more cups of flour. By the time you add 6 to 7 cups of flour, it’s easier to mix the remaining flour into the dough if you put the dough on a floured surface. By judging the feel you will know how much more to add–if the mixture is sticky, add more flour; if it’s dry and stringy, add a little water. (The amount of flour you’ll need will vary every time, depending on things like the air temperature and humidity, so don’t worry about an exact amount of flour.)
    5. Knead your dough on a floured surface for 7 to 10 minutes…I only lasted 7 minutes. Add more flour to your surface as needed.
    6. Put some vegetable oil on a paper towel and wipe it around the inside of a large clean bowl. Put the dough in the oiled bowl, and flip the dough over so both sides get a little bit of oil on them. Then lay a piece of wax paper over the bowl and then place a dish towel on top of that. Let the dough rise for an hour, and it should double in size. (If your dough doesn’t rise much don’t worry, and continue on–trust me.)
    7. Punch down the dough to deflate it, and knead again for a few minutes to work out any excess air bubbles. Put the dough back into the bowl, and cover with wax paper and towel, and let rise for another half hour.
    8. Now you’re ready to braid. Take the dough out of the bowl and divide it into 2; working with one half at a time, divide the half into 4 equal chunks.  Roll the four pieces into snakes about 12 to 16 inches long. The length doesn’t matter, just make sure all 4 are the same length. I have found that if your snakes are too thick, the challah will be too thick and it won’t cook in the center, so it’s better to have longer thinner snakes than shorter fatter ones.
    9. Lay the 4 snakes on your work surface and pinch the ends together. Take the piece on the left and weave it over the roll of dough next to it, then under the next roll, and finally over the last roll, so that it finishes on the far right. Next take the piece that is now on the far left, and again, weave over, under, and over until it finishes on the far right. Continue to weave the left-hand piece until the pieces are too short to weave. Then pinch the ends together and tuck them under the loaf. Repeat with the second half.
    10. Step by step:


    Step 1: 4 equal snakes


    Step 2: Pinch ends together


    Step 3: Take far left snake and weave over, under then over the snakes to the right


    Step 4: Take the new far left snake and weave over, under and over the snakes to the right. Repeat.


    Step 5: Finished braided Challah and pinch the other ends together and tuck under the loaf

    10. Place parchment paper on each cookie sheet and put one loaf on each cookie sheet and place a dishtowel over the loaves and let rest for 10 minutes.

    11. Prepare egg wash–don’t dilute it with water! Brush the egg wash onto each loaf.

    12. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Mine was done at 40 minutes, so I’d start checking at 35.