Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bread


I am so sick of being sick.  I feel like an elephant is sitting on my face.  Thought I was getting over it, but turns out I was wrong.  I know shocker.  I have absolutely no medical degree or background and my diagnosis of myself turned out to be wrong.  I may need to suck it up and go see someone with an actual medical degree... you know, those people who slaved at med school...Doctor's I think they call 'em.  I am to sick to care.

051I really wanted a bread with oatmeal and chocolate chips.  I tried one that sounded ubber promising and it turned out to be too dry to consume, and I even cooked it 5 minutes less than the suggested time.  Why anyone would put a recipe like that on a blog and say it was good is beyond me. 

 I found this recipe over at tasty kitchen.  The addition of bananas made it a winner.  Very moist and very tasty.  I would not say this makes 2 loaves.  I mean, I made 2 loaves, but they were not very big.  Next time, I will make one loaf and muffins with the rest. 


adapted from: tastykitchen


  • 2 cups White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 cup Rolled Oats
  • ½ cups Organic Cane Sugar (I used reg.)
  • ½ cups Brown Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 1-½ cup Buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 whole Eggs, Lightly Beaten
  • ¼ cups Butter, melted
  • 1 cup Ripe Bananas, Mashed (about 3 Medium)
  • ¾ cups Semi-sweet (or Dark!) Chocolate Chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9×5 inch pans with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, both sugars, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
In a medium bowl, mix together buttermilk, eggs, butter, vanilla and bananas. Pour into dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
Pour batter into prepared pans, sprinkle with turbinado sugar, and bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Note: You can also use the batter to make muffins. You can make one loaf and use the remaining batter for muffins. The muffins will need to bake for about 20 to 25 minutes.

Post Workout Berry Smoothie

nov 2012 297
I love to make smoothies after I work out. There is something so refreshing about them, and I feel like I am sucking up pure goodness.  I sometimes just do a shakeology, but they are very expensive, and my kids like to partake in the shake with me.  I get a little possessive with shakeology, which is not in my nature.  I am all about sharing my food normally.  I have been making smoothies for a fun dessert for years, but I feel like I have perfected it since I make them more often.  My kids watch me put "salad" in it and are unfazed because they know it tastes great.
A few weird ingredients, that you can click on the links to learn more about.  Chia seeds are packed with protein and omega fatty acids.  Flaxseed meal is full of omega fatty acids as well.  You want the meal verses the seeds, because our body can not break down the seeds to get all those fatty acids.  You will get fiber from the seeds, but that's about it.
Kale is a superfood, like spinach, packed with antioxidants and can be found prepackaged near the packages lettuces usually, and can be found in almost any supermarket.
Stevia is a natural sweetener that is better than many alternative's out there, is calorie free and leaves no aftertaste in my opinion.
Greek yogurt is packed with protein, which is needed to help repair muscles after a workout.
I buy my frozen berries from Sam's Club in bulk, because I am making this for 5-6 of us at a time.
Last thing, when your bananas are about to go bad, peel them, throw them in a baggie and freeze them for smoothie's. 


nov 2012 296

makes 3-4 large smoothies

Throw all, except for spinach/kale, in a blender or smoothie machine and blend. Add spinach/kale and blend until smooth adding milk if necessary to thin.
I calculated the nutrition below by using a nifty calculator.  

Nutrition Facts
Serving size 1/3 of above recipe

Amount Per Serving
240    Calories from Fat 51
                                          % Daily Value*
Total Fat 5.6g                           9%
Saturated Fat 2.8g                    14%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 14mg                      5%
Sodium 91mg                            4%
Total Carbohydrates 36.1g        12%
Dietary Fiber 7.1g                     29%
Sugars 24.2g
Protein 14.0g

Vitamin A 45% Vitamin C 66%
Calcium 27% Iron 8%
Nutrition Grade A-
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Mini Pumpkin Bran Muffins with Chocolate Chips

nov 2012 307
These were tasty little morsels.  The chocolate pumpkin combo is a bit of a surprise, but the kind I like!  I made these for church and they were gone!  I opted to leave out the raisins, and also, made some big ones as well.
Have lots to post so I amnot going to say much more.  I liked this muffin...  different with the bran, pumpkin, chocolate combo, but very good!


1 1/4 cups buttermilk

1 cup unprocessed wheat bran
1 cup pumpkin puree

1 cup raisins or dried cranberries
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
4 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
2 tbsp light molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt


Preheat the oven to 375F and generously grease 24 mini-muffin tins and 6 regular muffin tins. Or use just the 12 larger muffin tins.

In a large bowl, stir buttermilk and bran together and let sit for 5-10 minutes. If you are using buttermilk powder, simply add 5 tbsp to the bran and then stir in 1 1/4 cups of water. Whisk in pumpkin, raisins, chocolate chips, brown sugar, egg, melted butter, molasses and vanilla.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Gently fold flour mixture into the bran mixture with a rubber spatula until just combined.

Spoon batter into prepared tins, to just the top of each tin. Bake until tops are set and a tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 14-18 minutes for mini-muffins, and 20-24 minutes for larger muffins.

Spinach Anrtichoke Brie Stuffing



The festivities are complete.  Now we are on to preparations for Christmas.  Isn't that how it is? My kids are already asking about presents and are so excited for the next holiday to come.  Of course to them, watching all the Black Friday ads, Black Friday was a holiday as well.  Black Friday just got out of hand this year.  I am all for the deals, but this year I think some retailers went too far.  



Anyway, Thanksgiving food... This ain't you mama's stuffing! I love this stuffing!  There is something so comforting about bread and cheese.  Add garlic, cream, spices, artichokes and spinach, and you got a meal!  I have been eating the leftovers as a meal.  




  • 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups spinach, washed and chopped roughly (or 1 frozen pkgs., squeezed dry)
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped garlic
  • 1/2 TBSP plus 1 tsp. Emeril's Italian Essence, or other Italian seasoning blend
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2(8 1/2-ounce) cans quartered artichoke hearts, any tough outer leaves removed
  • 1 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cups chicken stock
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • 6-7 cups cubed (1-inch) day-old French bread (1 loaf)
  • 8 oz. Brie, rind removed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus some for topping
  • handful fresh parsley leaves


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2- 9 by 13-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the spinach and cook until just wilted, about 30 seconds. Drain and rinse with cold water. Once cool, squeeze as much water from spinach as possible, then roughly chop, and reserve.Or thaw, and squeeze frozen one dry.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until golden brown and tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, 1  teaspoons of Italian Essence, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the artichokes and cook, stirring, another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and reserve.
Combine the eggs, cream, chicken stock, lemon juice, remaining  Italian Essence, remaining salt, and remaining pepper in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the bread, spinach, artichoke mixture, brie, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and parsley and stir to combine. If bread does not absorb all of liquid immediately then let rest until this happens, about 20 minutes.
Pour the bread pudding mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan over the top and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Bake until firm in the center and golden brown, about 1 hour. Serve warm.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Southwest Egg Rolls with Cilantro Cream Sauce

 Back in the day when I didn't care about the difference between fried and baked food, I LOVED Chili's Southwestern egg rolls.  I mean, they were little bites of heaven to me.  Then I found our the difference between fried and baked and that ruined them for me forever.  I can't stomach fried foods, quite literally.   Don't agree with me.
So, I was one happy girl when I saw this baked version on pinterest.  And my, oh my, these egg rolls were delicious.  They were very popular in a sea of other foods I made for a party.  Delicious other foods.  Would be an awesome superbowl food and I could just eat them for dinner.  Love them with the cilantro dipping sauce.
Yield: 10-12 Egg Rolls
adapted  from: mrshappyhomemaker

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts – diced
  • 1 medium-large onion, minced
  • 1/2 red or orange pepper, diced
  • 1 cup frozen corn (I used roasted frozen)
  • 1 (14.5oz) can black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 2.5 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 jalapenos, seeded & minced
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese(I used cheddar)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 10 taco sized flour tortillas

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium. Add in the chicken, season with salt & pepper to taste, & saute for 5 minutes. Stir in the diced onions and peppers & cook until the chicken is cooked through. Stir in the spices, jalapeno, black beans, corn, & baby spinach and cook until the spinach has wilted. Remove from the heat, and stir in the cheese.
Spoon about 1/4 cup of filling into the center of each taco sized flour tortilla, and roll up like a burrito, folding in the top and bottom, then rolling tightly. Brush each side with a good coating of oil, and place in a baking dish. Bake for 25-35 minutes, flipping halfway through, until crispy.
Serve with Cilantro Cream Sauce, if desired.

NOTE: Next time I would cook these at a higher temp to get them crispier.  Also, even with brushing them with oil, they take a long time to crisp up.

Yield: About 2 cups

  • 1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 (7oz) can tomatillo sauce or salsa (same thing, different companies label them different)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2-4 jalapenos, seeded (or leave the seeds in for extra heat)
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • the juice of half a lime

Combine all the ingredients together in a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth. Transfer to a jar with a tight fitting seal, and refrigerate for up to 1-2 weeks.

Blueberry Syrup (sauce)

 Been having some technical difficulties with blogger.  They limit the number of photos you can upload apparently, and I was over my limit.  Seems to be a theme in my life.  I overfill my quota of lots of this... like calories.  Which bringing me to this yummy treat.  Let's be clear.  I usually eat 1 pancake... max 2.  And only 1 waffle...  I make these plates up and pass them to my husband.  But still, over my limit.  *sigh*

 We had some frozen blueberrries that were just about begging to be used up.  I had been making smoothies and all sorts of stuff with them, but my husband requested some blueberry syrup before he deployed (boo-hoo... cry break).  I did my search on the net and found this.  So dleicious! This would be amazing with lemon pancakes as well.  The reviews on allrecipes all said it was better to make and let sit for an hour for the orange flavor to mellow, and they were accurate.  We loved this syrup and I would make it again and again.

 recipe from: allrecipes.com

  •  2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries 
  • 1/4 cup water 
  • 1 cup orange juice 
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
 In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the blueberries, 1/4 cup of water, orange juice, and sugar. Stir gently, and bring to a boil.  
In a cup or small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and 1/4 cup cold water. Gently stir the cornstarch mixture into the blueberries so as not to mash the berries. Simmer gently until thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the almond extract and cinnamon. Thin sauce with water if it is too thick for your liking.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Peanut butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

 I love banana bread, love peanut butter anything and love chocolate, so I knew this would be a winning combination.  If you are not expecting peanut butter, it makes it a bit of a surprise when you bite into this, but it was yummy.  The bread was very moist, and the peanut butter makes it stick to your ribs, as mama used to say. 
 Now, the original recipe does not call for any butter, making peanut butter the only fat in the bread.  I added a few TBSP of softened butter because I was too nervous not too.  It would probably have been fine without, but the neurotic in me just couldn't let it be, okay?!?  I have issues, I know. I mean obviously I have food issues, because I am a baking maniac. If you only knew the half of it.
 I also added stresel because my neurotic behavior doesn't let me make a bread without it.  If you are looking for a delicious, easy and a little bit out of the ordinary quick bread, then whip this up.  It's delish.


adapted from: recipe girl

Yield: 2 loaves
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 50 min


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 TSBP butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
Streusel Topping:
  • 3 TBSP soft butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour   


Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray two 9x5-inch loaf pans (or muffin tins) with nonstick spray.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In another bowl, combine mashed bananas, milk, peanut butter, vanilla and egg. Add to flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 50 to 55 minutes (give it a check at 40 minutes), or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

TWD:BWJ Buttermilk Crumb Muffins


These muffins were fantastic!  Super easy and I was not expecting such a plain, and simple muffin to be so tasty.  But they were great.  I am not a huge fan of baking with shortening, so when I make them again, I will make them with butter.  They were also very sweet, even for a sweet tooth like mine, so I my try to ease up on the sugar next time.  If you use butter, line the pan with muffin liners as they stick!

Recipe was tried "as is", except for adding a bit of vanilla, which I make no baked good without.  Thanks for hosting Alisa from Easier than Pie for hosting!  For the recipe, head to hear blog!

Friday, October 19, 2012

BBQ Chicken Quesadillas

 I LOVE BBQ pizza!  Really love it.  Problem is, I love regular pizza more.  So, if I can choose between the two, I will almost always choose regular. Sometimes I will have a slice of both. 

On the way home from church the other day, my husband asked if I could come up with a recipe for these.  This was completely his brain child, for which I am thankful.  I think my husband's looming deployment has taken the wind out of my sail, or caused a slow leak of creative juices for in the kitchen.  So, I took the inspiration and ran with it.  And boy was I pleased!

These are awesome. Gave me that "fix", as I was craving BBQ chicken pizza.  SUPER easy, and delicious.  I will be making these again and again as a quick family meal. 
Do not skip the sour cream bbq sauce mix.  It is amazing with these and would be on many other things as well!


per quesadilla
  • 1/3 cups  chopped grilled BBQ chicken per quesadilla (about 4 chicken breasts total for all the quesadillas)
  • 1/3 cup cheddar cheese
  • few red onion slices
  • 1-2 TBSP sweet BBQ sauce
  • 1 TBSP fresh cilantro
  • avocado (opt.)

Mix equal parts sour cream with BBQ sauce.


For our family, we used about 4 chicken breasts, 1/2 an onion, 2 cups of sharp cheddar and a handful of cilantro.  Dice chicken up to 1/4-1/2" dice.
 Preheat a large skillet (preferrably iron one) on med- med low.  

 If you would like, you can lightly butter the tortillas to prevent sticking.  Place a tortilla on and layer, cheese, then chicken, onion, cilantro, a bit more cheese and the drizzle of BBQ sauce. Top with another tortilla.  Cook until golden brown and carefully flip.  Cook the other side until golden.  Slice and serve topped with sour cream bbq sauce.  Enjoy!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Chicken Rice Crispy Casserole

 I have several recipes to post.  Blogspot and I have been having issues with photos.  We seemed to have worked out our differences, so I am going to try to post a few.

This dish is super easy and one that brings me back to my childhood.  My mom used to make it, and the yummy rice crispy topping remains my favorite part.  I am not a rice fan, but in dishes like these, which is comfort food at it's best, I enjoy it.  It is kinda like mac n cheese goodness in a rice and chicken form.  My kids all devoured this dish and loved the buttery rice crispy topping. 


  • 3 TBSP butter, divided
  • 2 cups rice crispies
  • 1 sm-med, chopped onion
  • 2 c. dry rice, cooked (I use brown)
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can cheddar cheese soup
  • 1 can (use the soup can) of skim milk
  • 1/2 roaster chicken or 3 cups chopped baked chicken
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese
  • paprika

Cook rice.  Meanwhile, melt 2 TBSP butter in fry pan.  Pour over rice crispies and mix gently to coat.  Set aside.  In same skillet fry pan, melt 1 TBSP butter and add onion.  Cook until tender.  Add soups, milk and 1 cup of cheese and cook over med/med-low until cheese is melted.  Add rice and chicken.  Stir to coat.  Pour into lightly greased casserole dish or 9x13 casserole.  Bake for 20 minute at 350.  Remove from oven, cover with remaining cheese, add Rice crispies and cook for another 10-15 minutes, or until warm through.  Sprinkle with paprika.

Some variations:
Add sliced green olives to rice part.
Add slivered almonds to rice crispy top.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

TWD: BWJ Cheddar Cheese Bagels

So, I was excited about this recipe.  Homemade bagels is something I might not attempt if it weren't for the baking group that I am a part of.  Maybe because there are bunch of steps, or maybe because I am just lazy.  Regardless, of the gazillion of reasons I could come up with for why I would not make them, I had to make them.  And my family and I are so glad that I did.

I read the recipe carefully this time, so I wouldn't do a major screw up.  And of course, I could not make  just a plain old bagels.  First, I subbed half whole grain flour because I don't do white if I can help it. To make up for the loss of gluten, I added 4 tsp. of vital wheat gluten the mix.  I didn't get the rise I wanted in an hour, but it seems like that is the trend with me right now.  Wondering if my house is too cool, or my yeast is on its way out???

I split my dough in half and mixed cheddar cheese in half, sprinkling some on top for baking.  The other half, I kneaded 1tsp. of cinnamon and 1/3-1/2 cup of raisins in at the end, then made a yummy streusel topping for baking.  My kids loved the topping.   I also made the holes a little smaller so it would hold a bit more of the topping while baking.  I was going for a Panera like bagels, and uhile it fell short, it was still certainly delish.

One last thing, I did not bake for the initial 25 minutes it called for, but reduced it to 20, because it was getting a bit too brown for my liking.

For this recipe, buy the book.... or you check our host Heather's website.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pumpkin Bread (better than Starbucks)

 Pumpkin Season had begun.  AHHH!  I am glad my husband will be here to share in a little bit of it before he leaves (sob!).  Drowning my sorrows in pumpkin baked goods and pumpkin pie creamer sounds about right.

Which brings me to Starbucks pumpkin bread.  Moist, dense, sweet, soooo good.  I could eat it everyday and not tire of it.  I have tried a few recipes to fine my own version and have been disappointed.  So, here I went and adapted one to become my own.  It is better than Starbucks.  Yes... hard to beat, big claim.  But seriously, this bread was so good.

Now it took FOR-E-V-E-R to bake.  Just remember, good things come to those who wait!

yield: 1 glorious loaf

  • 1 1/2 cups flour (I used my mixed grains)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup sugar, plus 2 TBSP
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup canola oil (I subbed less than half of oil for drained applesauce)
  • 1 small package cook and serve vanilla pudding
Top with seeds or streusel.

1/4-1/3 cup chopped pumpkin seeds, optional

 FOR THE STREUSEL (optional, this bread is still amazing without it)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup pepitas (or pecans, walnuts, or any other nut, chopped)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, room temp (or margarine for vegan/dairy free*)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour (or grantulated sugar) 1 bread pan.
Drain applesauce if using.  Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, pudding mix, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and sale.  In a separate large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, pumpkin puree, and oil (and applesauce is subbing).  Dump dry ingredients into wet.  Stir until flour disappears.
Pour into prepared loaf pan.  Top with pumpkin seeds (Pepitas) or streusel.   (For Streusel: mix it all with your fingers until coarse crumb.  Sprinkle over generously.

Bake at 350 for 70-80 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

TWD:BWJ Pumpkin Pecan Loaves


P-R-O-C-R-A-S-T-I-N-A-T-I-O-N.  yup.  That is what I did.  I meant to make this last week.  Then this weekend... then yesterday I finally delved in.

 Now I knew this was a yeast bread, because I had looked at the pictures.  And I even read the recipe.  But when I read cranberries, I thought craisins.  A blond moment perhaps.   Or maybe a Polish moment.  No matter what kind of moment it was... I obviously was not all there.  So, the obvious thing...  I used craisins.  A whole lotta them.  So my loaf is about 50% dough, 50% raisins, craisins and nuts.

Now to the bread.   First off, I hate walnuts.  Really don't like them.   Serisously...  makes me do the "eww!" shiver thinking about eating them.  But I love pecans.   Easy substitute.  Walnuts out, pecans in. 

Next, 3 small loaves? Crud!  I don't have small bread pans.  A medium and normal one will have to do.

Made the dough.  Shoot!  It needs to chill overnight.  How did I miss that?  I can still post it on Tuesday.  So here, I am.  Posting.  See?

One last hiccup.  My bread was not rising.  The dough feels glorious, and looks good.  How can it breath with no air?!? (short musical intermission- Jordan Sparks... how can it {the bread} breath with no air?)  Sorry, back on track here.  Rising.  None.  Got it?  Good.

So this is my story.  This is a lovely, though lengthy, recipe.  And I am sure if I could follow directions it would have been incredible.  Alas, I can't.

Glad it was forgiving, and still tasted delightful.  It did rise enough so it was light, and not a brick, so bonus there.  Glad I have more than one loaf too, because if I had only one, I might not share.  ;-)  I would love to make this one again with the real cranberries.  Really yummy!

Anyway...  Thanks to Rebecca, from This Bountiful Backyard, who was our lovely host, who can follow directions a whole lot better than this Rebecca.  If you want to see how good you are at following directions, head on over to her website for the recipe.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pumpkin Bread (Starbucks)

I think my third pumpkin bread recipe that I have posted.  This recipe is the one I used to spawn off of for my "better than starbucks" recipe.

This is a great recipe for Pumpkin bread.  Not as good as the other I posted, but pretty darn good.  The texture was moist and flavor was very good.  I felt mine was a bit truer to the texture of starbucks, which is what I really wanted to nail.  Anyone else, would make this bread and say it was like starbucks...  I am a bit more picky than the average joe (who is that anyway!?), but this is a fantastic loaf.  Bonus is, it takes less time than "my version", so you can be enjoying pumpkin bread that much sooner. 

 adapted slightly from: likemotherlikedaughters


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup canola oil (I sub. some drained applesauce)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pumpkin seeds, optional or Streusel
 FOR THE STREUSEL (optional, this bread is still amazing without it)
  • 1/2 cup ( 127 grams) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (63 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (half a stick or 56 grams) unsalted butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan.
Combine the flour, soda, powder, spices and salt in a bowl.
Beat the eggs, sugars and vanilla together in an electric mixer on high speed for 30 seconds. Add the pumpkin and the oil and mix well.
Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour into prepared loaf pan and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds, or streusel if desired.
Bake 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool in pan 10 minutes, and then turn onto cooling rack to cool completely.
Cut into 8 thick slices for a Starbucks pumpkin experience!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Hot Potato Salad

 There are those old recipes you have in your recipe collection.  You know, the ones you have forgotten about, or haven't made in um-teen years,  because you got caught up in another cooking rut where you made the same things over and over again, in a never ending rotation, that seemed to go on forever, much like this sentence.

Well, this is one of those recipes I have had forever.  My mom and and aunt made this all the time when I was growing up.  A very simple recipe that is perfect for potlucks.  A definite crowd pleaser.


  • 8-10 large potatoes, peeled, diced and boiled
  • 8 oz. Velveeta cheese
  • 1 cup light mayo
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar
  • 1/4 cup milk (more to thin)
  • 1 finely diced sweet onion or 4-5 sliced green onions
  • 1/2 lb. bacon, cooked very crisp

Clean, peel, dice and boil potatoes.  Preheat oven to 350.  Cube Velveeta, and in a saucepan, mix cubed Velveeta, mayonnaise, onion, cheddar and milk.  Melt over medium low heat until all the cheese is melted and smooth.  Place potatoes in a lightly grease 9x13 or casserole dish.  Pour cheese mixture over potatoes and stir to coat potatoes.  Sprinkle cooked bacon over the top (or stir in if you desire) and place in oven. (or you can chill until you want to bake)  Bake for 30 minutes (longer if coming from fridge) or until browning a bit and hot through. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tomato Galette (Or Pie)

So, way back when I had my cook-off at the Ronald McDonald House, my competitors made a tomato pie.  I didn't think much of it as "competition" until I tasted it.  It was tangy, sweet, salty and a wonderful balance of all those things.  It tasted of the peak of summer and was satisfying and almost refreshing.  I asked her how she made it, and listened carefully to what she did so I could make it and eat it when I was not so full.

I had to make a galette for my baking group, but decided to double the dough recipe so I could make this.  It was very good and we really enjoyed it.  It is also super easy, especially if you use a store bought crust like my competitors did (which being the purist that I am, I felt like it was cheating ;-).  But at home, cheating is good.  Especially with the busy lives we all lead.  Anyway, enjoy!


  • 1 pie crust recipe
  • 3 cups sliced tomatoes (I used 3 large, 5 medium, and a handful of halved grape)
  • 2 TBSP Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup light mayo
  • 1 cup mozzarella
  • 1/3 cup cheddar
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan
  • 8-10 leaves of fresh basil, chopped
  • salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350.  Slice tomatoes, place on paper towels and sprinkle with about a tsp. salt.  For a galette, roll dough and slice around edges with a sharp knife or pizza cutter to make round.  Place on parchment lined baking sheet.   Spread mustard oven the crust (for galette- leave 1" on edge clean for folding over)  Place tomatoes in/on shell, layer a bit.  Season with pepper and sprinkle with basil.  Mix mayo with cheeses and crumble/spread/sprinkle over tomatoes.  Fold edges up on galette and pleat as needed.  Bake for 30-40 minutes, until crust is golden and top is golden brown and yummy looking.For the galette dough recipe, you can go here.

For pie crust, roll and place in pie tin, and parbake for 10-15 minutes.   Layer just like with galette.  Bake.

TWD: BWJ Whole Wheat Loaves


So, after my last complete failure with a recipe from Baking with Julia, I was looking forward to something I couldn't screw up.  Well, I spoke, or thought, too soon.  I added 1/2 cup too much flour, so I had to go back and add a few TBSP of water to make it a bit more pliable.

 I had to hand knead this bread because my kitchen aid was seizing up (may have had something to do with the excess flour),  and after 20 minutes of kneading, I am happy to report that my arms are now bigger than my husbands.  Just kidding, but I did get a great arm workout.   If I had known, I might have skipped the gym.

Anyway, I opted to make one of my loaves cinnamon raisin swirl, rolling it into a large rectangle, slathering with butter and sprinkling with cinnamon, sugar and raisins.  My kids ate it for dessert tonight.  We really loved both the plain and cinnamon swirl loaves (my kids preferred the cinnamon swirl treat), and even with my little hiccup, they both rose up and baked up beautifully.  A very tender bread, that had a very good flavor.  I did not have the malt extract that the recipe called for, but used a TBSP of molasses instead.

This is a pretty easy recipe that I could see myself making again and again.  Because of copyright, we are encouraging people to buy the book.  But if you want the recipe, go on over to our hosts blog reels.  Thanks to Michele and Teresa for hosting.