Tag Archives: baking

Diet- friendly Banana Oat Cookies


Hello and Happy 2015!  I don’t know about you, but I can’t hardly believe it’s the year twenty-fifteen, the year we have been anxiously awaiting since the first time we saw Back To the Future II.  Well, Doc, it took us 30 years longer than you, but we finally made it, lawyers and all.  We may not have hover boards and self-drying jackets (Though, I hear that tennis shoes with automatic laces will be hitting the market soon.), but we do have a plethora of clean-eating, healthy diets.  And, just in time to aid in your personal vow to loose weight and get healthy this year, I am sharing this recipe I was shown on Facebook.  It’s supposed to be egg, dairy, and wheat free.  However, I did use whole milk and semi-sweet chocolate chips in my particular version, so it’s not dairy-free.  It’s a simple recipe that’s easy to alter to your particular tastes and preferences.  You can add coconut, nuts, or other dried fruits – just whatever you’re craving.

These cookies do have a different texture, an almost spongy quality because there is no flour.  They taste pretty good, however, despite that.




  • 3 mashed, ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 2 cups oats (I used quick oats, but I imagine old fashioned ones would work just as well.)
  • 1/4 cup milk (The recipe I followed called for almond milk, but I just used whole milk.)
  • 1/4 cup raisins (The recipe called for half a cup, but I substituted some of that for chocolate chips.)
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon


  1. Mash bananas in mixing bowl.
  2. Add applesauce, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and oats.  Mix well.
  3. Fold in raisins and chocolate chips.
  4. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.  (They will stick if they are in there too long.)  Once the bottom edges are browned, they are done.


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Chocolate Chip Muffins

choc chip muffins

I made these a few days ago for breakfast.  Connor loves them, and I’m mighty fond of them myself.  I’ve even gotten Nic to say he will try them tomorrow morning.  🙂  They are just a basic muffin with chocolate chips mixed in the batter.  Yummy and simple.  Mmm!



  • 1 3/4 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips


  1. Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Make a well in the center.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine egg, milk, and oil.
  3. Add all at once to dry ingredients, stirring just till moistened.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Fill greased or paper lined muffin tins 2/3 full.
  6. Bake at 375-degrees for 18-20 minutes.
  7. Makes about a dozen muffins.


From Better Homes and Gardens Quick Breads Cook Book, copyright 1975.

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Buttermilk Pie

buttermilk pie

If you’ve never made a pie before, here’s a good starter pie for you.  Basic and simple, it is what folks around here might call a “hard times” pie.  There’s nothing fancy about it, but it is oh so tasty.  I found this recipe at http://www.chindeep.com/2012/04/05/buttermilk-pie/.  I used my step-mom’s recipe for the pie crust.  Give it a shot; you won’t regret it.



*Makes 3 crusts.


  • 3 cups AP flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup shortening
  • Approx. 10 tbsp. water (I used 7 or 8 this time around.)
  • 1 tbsp. white vinegar


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine flour and salt.
  2. Cut in shortening until it forms a coarse meal.
  3. Add vinegar and about 3 tablespoons of water.  Use a fork to mix into dry mix.
  4. Add the rest of water one tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together.  Do NOT over-mix.  The dough will become hard and make for a tough crust.
  5. *If the dough does not seem firm enough, you can add one egg to the mix.
  6. Divide dough and roll out.
  7. Once it is rolled out nice and flat, carefully roll it around the rolling pin and place into the pie plate.  Gently, press it into the plate, and trim the edge with about a 1/4-1/2 inch overhang.
  8. Crimp the edge of crust, and prick the bottom of the crust several times with a fork.
  9. Weigh down the crust with dry beans or a pie weight.
  10. Place pie plate on a cookie sheet (especially if using a disposable pie plate).  And place in a 350-degree oven for 15 minutes.
  11. Make pie filling while baking and cooling crust.



  • 1 prebaked 9-inch pie shell
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 & 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  1. Mix together flour, sugar, and salt.
  2. Whisk in melted butter.
  3. Whisk in eggs.
  4. Add buttermilk, vanilla, and nutmeg.
  5. Pour into cooled pie crust.
  6. Cook at 350 for 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of pie comes out clean.  The pie will still be wiggly, but it will set up as it cools.
  7. Cool on wire rack.
  8. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
  9. For fun, add some chopped fruit as a topping.  Enjoy!


pie crust


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Apple Cinnamon Loaf

apple cinn loaf 2

I believe I first saw this recipe on Facebook.  The link led me to this webpage:  http://radicallyrural.wordpress.com/2013/09/05/apple-cinnamon-loaf/.  This is a nice little quick bread.  Apple, cinnamon, brown sugar…mmm…  This loaf is put together in layers, which always makes things a bit more tedious, but none of it was hard.  When it’s finished, you’ve got a tasty treat to eat with a glass of milk.  A nice cozy food.  Enjoy!



  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (not packed)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 apple, peeled and chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
  2. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Beat white sugar and butter together in a bowl using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
  4. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until incorporated; add vanilla extract.
  5. Combine flour and baking powder together in another bowl; stir into creamed butter mixture.
  6. Mix milk into batter until smooth.
  7. Pour half the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
  8. Next add half the apples and half the brown sugar cinnamon mixture. Lightly pat apple mixture into batter.
  9. Pour the remaining batter over apple layer.
  10. Top with remaining apples and add more brown sugar/cinnamon mixture. Lightly pat apples into batter.
  11. Swirl brown sugar mixture through apples using a finger or spoon.
  12. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes.

apple cinn loaf 1


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Banana Bran Muffins

banana bran muffins

Hello!  Happy New Year!  I hope your holidays went well.  I also hope you haven’t turned into human popsicles during this polar vortex we’ve had swallowing the country for a week.  Thankfully, here in Arkansas, it is on it’s way out.  Granted, it’s being followed by three days of rain, but the temperatures should be much warmer, above average, even.  Only in Arkansas….

Anyway, I have a new recipe for you today.  I found this one on the back of a Target brand (Market Pantry) box of Raisin Bran.  My Grandma M. likes to put fruit in the stockings she has for us, and this year, along with some apples and oranges, we wound up with some bananas.  Of course, we also got candy, cookies, treats, snacks, and left-overs.  Needless to say, the fruit was getting forgotten.  Well, I happened to notice the recipe on the back of my cereal box called for one ripe banana, and we just so happened to have one last banana left, getting a bit over-ripe.  I took that as a sign, and whipped these breakfast yummies up.  They are easy to make and taste good, even Connor helped me eat them.  He would put a big bite in his mouth, growl like a dinosaur, and grin, eyes closed and everything.  I’m pretty sure he liked them.

I do have one little hint, though, maybe give the bran flakes a quick crunch with your hands.  You don’t have to grind them to powder, just one little crunch to make them a bit smaller because when the flakes get put into the wet batter, they get soggy.  Then, once they are cooked, they are rather chewy.  Having the flakes in smaller bits will cut down on some of that chewiness.

And here’s the recipe.



  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cup raisin bran cereal (crunch after measuring)
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (added by me)


  1. Preheat oven to 400-degrees.  Line 12-14 muffin cups or grease well.  (I got 14 good-sized muffins from this recipe, but the box claims it only makes 12.)
  2. Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl.  Mix well.
  3. Stir in milk, oil, and egg just until dry ingredients are moistened.  (Batter will be lumpy.)
  4. Stir in banana and chocolate chips.
  5. Stir in cereal.
  6. Spoon into muffin tins.
  7. Bake 18-22 minutes until golden brown.


  • For a healthier muffin, make with half whole wheat flour and half white or all wheat.  The muffin will be denser, but still taste fine.
  • For extra texture, add more raisins or other dried fruit.  Even add a small amount of chocolate chips or nuts.

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Chocolate Revel Bars

chocolate revel bars 1

Do you like chocolate?  Do you like granola?  Then, you will like this tasty treat.  It’s an incredibly unhealthy, chocolate-ly granola bar.  I made it recently for a pot luck at church, and it was lapped up.  Thankfully, it’s a big recipe, and I had a whole pan still waiting for me at home.  😀  I hope you enjoy it!



  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 3 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans*
  • 2 tsp. vanilla


  1. Set aside 2 tablespoons of butter.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat remaining butter for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add brown sugar and baking soda.  Beat until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl.
  4. Beat in eggs and 2 teaspoons of vanilla until combined.
  5. Beat in as much flour as you can, and mix in the rest with a spoon.
  6. Stir in oats.
  7. For the filling, in a medium saucepan, combine reserved butter, chocolate chips, and sweetened condensed milk.  Cook over low heat until chocolate is melted, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat.
  8. Stir in nuts* and 2 teaspoons of vanilla.
  9. Press 2/3 of the oat mixture (about 3 1/3 cups) onto the bottom of an ungreased 15 x 10 x 1 inch baking pan.  (I don’t have one, so I actually used two 9-inch cake pans and one 8-inch cake pan.)
  10. Spread filling evenly over the oat mixture.
  11. Dot remaining oat mixture on top.
  12. Bake at 350-degrees for about 25 minutes or until top is lightly browned (chocolate filling will still look moist).
  13. Cool on wire rack.  Cut into bars.

Makes about 60 bars.  (I told you it was a big recipe.)

*I forgot to add the nuts, so they’re optional.

chocolate revel bars 2

>> From Better Homes and Gardens Our Best Recipes Cook Book

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Lemon Drops

lemon drops

Last weekend was my oldest niece’s fourth birthday party.  It’s hard to believe that she is that big, but that’s life, I suppose.  Anyway, after the party, my grandma was trying to give away some cookie dough she had bought from some kids for a fundraiser.  She gave us a bucket of macadamia nut, and she said she was going to keep the lemon drop.  Well, Nic mentioned that he would probably eat the lemon drop.  (He won’t eat the macadamia nut, but I will.)  Grandma tried to give that to us, too, but I insisted that I could find a recipe and make some lemon drop cookies for him.  She finally said she would make hers for Christmas, and that was settled.

Well, since I had promised him lemon drop cookies, I had to produce lemon drop cookies.  I thought I would have to do a little inventing (or maybe just some googling) to get an actual lemon drop recipe, but much to my surprise, I found one in one of my cookbooks, the ever-helpful Better Homes and Gardens Our Best Recipes.  (Seriously, I think it has been one of the most useful wedding gifts we received.)  These little shiny gems are moist, soft, sweet, and citrus-y.  Really, they are quite good.  Even Nicholas likes them, despite the lemon zest.  😀




  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel (lemon zest)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup dairy sour cream
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups AP flour


  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice



  1. In a large mixing bowl, whip butter with mixer for about 30 seconds.
  2. Add sugar, lemon peel, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Beat until combined, scraping sides often.
  3. Beat in egg, sour cream, and lemon juice until combined.
  4. Beat in as much flour as you can with mixer.  Stir in remaining flour with a spoon.
  5. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons 3 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  6. Bake at 350-375 degrees for about 8 minutes or until tops are firm.  (Watch them closely.  They burn easily.)
  7. Transfer to wire racks.
  8. Brush warm cookies with Lemon Glaze.  Let cool.

Lemon Glaze*

  1. In a small, microwaveable bowl, stir together sugar and lemon juice.
  2. Microwave for about 30 seconds until warm enough for sugar to dissolve.
  3. Stir together until sugar dissolves.
  4. Brush or drizzle over warm cookies.

*If you would rather, you can also use 1/4 to 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.  Do not microwave it.  It makes a creamier glaze than using granulated sugar.  I did some cookies with the powdered sugar glaze and some with the other.

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