Sunday, August 30, 2015

1-2-3 Banana Bread & Browning Your Own Bananas

I think this recipe is all over the net and internet.  I just had to try it for myself. 

I've been making/selling baked goods this summer at our local farmer's market, so this was a great recipe - quick and easy - to whip up to sell. 

I'm amazed how folks 'scarf up' my table-full of goods so quickly.  It's been fun to visit with hometown friends too, and make some new friends as well. 

I renamed this recipe...just so folks might remember it better. 
It's ONE yellow cake mix...
TWO eggs...
THREE ripe bananas...

I threw in a few chocolate chips as well.  

I made one medium, one small, and several mini muffins with this simple recipe. 

(Hover over image to pin)

I have to say I give this about a 4 rating, out of 5.  It wasn't as moist as my Sour Cream Banana Bread but it was very tasty. 

It's perfect for when you want something quick...especially if you have ripening bananas.  (Or if you're like me, I throw brown bananas...peel and the freezer, then let them thaw when I'm ready to use them). 


1 (16 - 18 ozs) yellow cake mix
2 eggs
3 ripe bananas, peeled & mashed
chopped nuts or chocolate chips, optional

Preheat oven to 350. 

Grease and flour 2 loaf pans or 4 small (6" pans). 

In large bowl, combine first 3 ingredients; mix with mixer until
smooth.  Stir in chips or nuts.  (I suggest lightly coating choco chips with flour first so they don't sink to the bottom). 

Pour into prepared pans. Bake 25 - 35 minutes, depending on size of pan. 

Remove from oven when toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean; let stand 10 minutes; remove from pan to cool on rack. 


Here's a tip that has come in handy for me...just in case you didn't know, you can bake yellow bananas to 'brown' them up, so the insides get nice and soft, making them perfect to mix up in some banana bread...

Preheat oven to 300. Break bananas apart and spread on a cookie sheet. Place in oven; After 40 minutes, the bananas will be blackened. Just cool, then squeeze out of the peel and you're ready to rumble....

You might also like these...

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Self-Frosted Chocolate Zucchini Cake & Weekend Potluck #185

Always so happy you joined us...pour some coffee and pull up a chair
and stay a while...(It looks like this is dessert week...almost! =)


When I share something worth sharing...again...

A simple zucchini cake with brown sugar and chocolate chips over the top to make it's own crunchy frosting on this moist and delicious cake.

Now, let's take a quick peek back at last week...

The recipe with the most clicks was ~

Recipes that caught our attention ~

German Chocolate Pie by Cooking with K

Apple Butter Bundt Cake by Served Up with Love

And, a personal favorite ~

Crockpot Cheeseburgers  by Everyday Mom's Meals

Your hostesses ~

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Gift Giving Idea - Everyone Needs a little "Dough"

So...everyone DOES need a little 'dough' huh?

For a long time, we've been matching our kids and grandkids birthday number,
giving them that number in dollars. Money is always good, right? =) 

But how fun to dress things up a little when presenting it...

I was tickled to be able to give this special gift to our oldest grandson, Ethan,
who just turned 18 on August 19th...his first day of the school year!

He's a guy of few words, so I felt really good when he said
"That's pretty cool". 

This is a lot more fun than just putting cash or a check, in a card! 

You can use glue dots (I used Plasti-Tac - also called Mounting Putty) 
to hold the bills in place, and then to 'glue' the quarters on top of them. 

I just happened to meet a friend for lunch at Pizza Hut the same day we 
were going to take his gift to him, so I didn't have to make an extra
trip anywhere for a box.  They GAVE me one.  Nice!

I printed the sign and tacked it to the inside top of the box...added some 'confetti' on top of the bills and a bow...then put a stretchy ribbon around the outside of the box. 

When Kym, E's mom, read the note, she said 
"I do think HE COULD live on pizza alone"....*-* 

He got home from football practice while we were there and really
did eat some cold pizza then.  

I was mad at myself because I didn't get a fresh picture of him to add here! =(
He's a senior in high school and is 6' 5" and over 300#.  But truly he's such a gentle spirited guy...and is much loved. A big teddy bear! 

It's so great to be able to do a little something special when gift giving cash. 

I saw this idea some time ago at Making Memories with Your Kids who has
many simple gift giving ideas....go check them out!

Here's another fun idea I've done from the same site...

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

3 Perfect Ways to Jazz up Pretzels {Blast from the Past}

Pour butter flavored oil over pretzels; sprinkle with dry ranch dressing, mix and let stand until oil is absorbed. No baking involved...can you say ADDICTING??? 

This is similar to the saltine cracker candy that is popular.  
A wonderful sweet & salty treat! 

Mix 3 simple ingredients - pour over pretzels, mix and bake.
Folks are always commenting they can't believe how easy this recipe is. 
And tasty too!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Pineapple Beets

I've been making this delectable dish since my kids lived at home...that's a long while ago!

(Hover over imagine to pin) 

I always loved 'dressing up' veggies...sure, anyone can cook carrots or beans, add some butter, and serve them, but
we enjoyed things like Cheese Scalloped Cabbage and 

I just had a hankerin' to add some 'love'....and we all enjoyed it.
We always had lots of company and it was fun to serve something with a 'special touch'....

My kids weren't fussy eaters at all...
I think they would tell you they ate pretty good around our table growing up. 

Fresh beets are in season right now and hubby and I have enjoyed them a couple of times already - they're SOO tasty.

I was reminded of this special dish and wanted to share with you so you could enjoy these 'dressed up beets' only takes a few simple ingredients.

You can use fresh or canned...either way they are out of this world wonderful!
If you like beets, you are going to LOVE this dish. 

For those of you who have my first cookbook..."Recipes & Recollections"...
this recipe is on page 36. 


1 (12 ozs) can pineapple chunks
1/2 c. water
1/4 c. cider vinegar
3 - 4 Tb. brown sugar
1 TB. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
2 (15 ozs. each) cans sliced, drained beets
(or use about 3-1/2 c. fresh cooked) 

Drain juice from pineapple; mix with water and vinegar.  Combine brown sugar, cornstarch, salt and ginger in medium saucepna; add vinegar mixture.  Cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Add beets; heat to boiling.  Just before serving; mix pineapple into hot mixture and warm. 

Yield: 6 - 7 servings 
(or 3 or 4 if you REALLY love beets) 

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Product Review: Island-Ware Half Sheet Jelly Roll Pan

I was so excited to be sent a lovely Half Sheet Pan by Island Warein exchange for a review. It is very high quality, excellent for baking and far surpasses other sheet pans I've used over the years. It's heavier and thicker, so it won't ever warp. And one of my favorite things about this lovely pan - it's made in the USA!!

(prepared pan prior to baking sheet cake)

I am a grandma to 8, food blogger, newspaper columnist and author of 2 cookbooks, so I have done plenty of baking in my lifetime. 

The first thing I baked was a sheet cake.  It baked perfectly even and I was impressed with the results. I've had other pans that warp while baking, but this pan is too strong for that. I also baked cookies and they turned out great. 

Be aware that the pan holds heat longer and therefore, baking requires a shorter time, by a few minutes. The pan also cleans up very nicely.

I like that it has no seams, which tend to collect water...and rust. 

I also appreciate the oversized ends that are like handles, which makes it easier to move to and from the oven. 

The only negative thing I can think to say about this pan, 1" in depth, is that I wish it was just a little deeper. Otherwise, it's perfect for me and will be used often and I know it will last for my lifetime too. Makes for a great serving tray also. 

*Disclosure:  I received this pan for the purpose of providing a product review.  I promise I will only provide my honest review on this blog.  This post includes my amazon affiliate links. You are not obligated to purchase, but when you do through one of my links, I will make a small percentage on the sale. Thank you for supporting my site.

To order your own pan, click the image below:


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Skinny Meatloaf 'Cupcakes'

I have always had a special love for meatloaf.
It was the first meal my hubby asked his mom to make for him when he returned home from Vietnam. (I knew he was the one for me right then too!=) 

I'm also wild about single servings, so when I saw these
adorable and delicious 'cupcakes' at Skinny Kitchen
well...we ate them soon after and really enjoyed the idea of having the
mashed taters on top. 

DE-LISH!!! Very filling and satisfying too. 

They're easy and can even be (mostly) made ahead. 


1 # extra lean ground beef or turkey
1 slice whole wheat bread
1 c. onions, diced
2 egg whites
3 Tb. ketchup
2 Tb. Worcestershire sauce 
1 Tb. spicy brown or yellow mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
fresh ground pepper, to taste

1/4 c. ketchup
1 Tb. mustard
2 tsp. brown sugar


3 c. (1#) baking taters, peeled and cubed
1/3 c. (reduced sodium) chicken broth
1 Tb. reduced-fat butter or Smart Balance Light
1/8 tsp. salt
fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Using non-stick cooking spray, coat a 12-cup muffin tin; set aside. 

Remove crust from bread; add to blender or food process. Process until crumbs.

In large bowl, add ground beef, bread crumbs, onions, egg whites, ketchup,
mustard, worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Mix together well, using your hands if necessary. 

Measuring about 1/3 c. of mixture, fill 9 muffin cups. In small bowl, mix topping ingredients.  Spread about 1 Tb. over each meatloaf.  Bake for 40 minutes. 

While baking, make the mashed potatoes.  In a medium saucepan, cover potatoes with water; bring to boil; simmer until fork tender. Drain well; mash with fork, adding butter, broth, salt & pepper. Mash until smooth, keeping warm over burner. 

Remove meatloaves from pan; place on paper towel to drain.  Top each with 2 rounded Tb. of mashed potatoes. Serve. 

Yield: 9 'cupcakes' 

From Skinny Kitchen's website:

Weight Watchers (old points) 3
Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS 4
SKINNY FACTS: for 1 meatloaf cupcake
154 calories, 3g fat, 0mg chol, 13g prot, 17g carbs, 2g fiber
FAT FACTS: the skinny and fat facts are the same for this recipe

Linked to Weekend Potluck

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Leader Enterprise - August 19, 2015 - Healthy Foods for Kids

After seeing these recipes, among the "Top 10 Healthy Kid Recipes" at Taste of Home online, I decided they would be good to share with you so the kids can enjoy some healthy food to help them study and learn at their best in this new school year.  


1/4 c. butter, softened
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 egg
2 Tb. ground flaxseed
2 Tb. honey
2 c. old-fashioned oats
1 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. raisins

In a large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until crumbly, about 2 minutes. Add egg; beat well. Stir in flax and honey. In a small bowl, combine the oats, flour, cinnamon and baking soda; stir into creamed mixture just until blended. Gently stir in raisins. Press into an 11-in. x 7-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 14-18 minutes or until set and edges are lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars.Yield: 1 dozen.


1 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. all purpose flour
2 Tb. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder 
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1-1/4 c. (fat free) milk
3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1-1/2 c. fresh or frozen blueberries
Maple syrup, optional

In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. Combine the egg, milk, bananas and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a hot griddle coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with blueberries. Turn when bubbles form on top; cook until second side is golden brown. Serve with syrup if desired. 
Freeze option: Freeze cooled pancakes between layers of waxed paper in a resealable plastic freezer bag. To use, place pancakes on an ungreased baking sheet, cover with foil and reheat in a preheated 375° oven 6-10 minutes. Or, place a stack of three pancakes on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 14 pancakes. Note: If using frozen blueberries, do not thaw.


1/3 c. egg (or substitute)
1 Tb. prepared mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 c. dry bread crumbs
2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. paprika 
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper 
1 lb. chicken tenderloins 

In a shallow bowl, combine the egg substitute, mustard and garlic. In another shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs, basil, paprika, salt and pepper. Dip chicken in egg mixture, then roll in crumbs. Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown and juices run clear. Yield: 4 servings.


1 (8 ozs) container spreadable cream cheese
1 c. creamy peanut butter
1/4 c. (fat free) milk
1 Tb. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. (unsalted) peanuts, chopped 

In a small bowl, beat the first five ingredients until blended. Stir in peanuts. Serve with apple slices. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 2-1/2 cups.

    Dave Willis has said "Show respect even to people who don't deserve it; not as a reflection of their character, as a reflection of yours". 

    Friday, August 21, 2015

    Cherry Pie Cream Cheese Coffee Cake & Weekend Potluck #184

    We're so happy you joined us! 


    When I share something worth sharing...again...

    One of my all-time favorite dishes....nothing like having dessert for breakfast!
    Crescent rolls makes this a breeze to make! 

    Now, let's take a quick peek back at last week...

    The recipe with the most clicks was ~

    Cheese & Beef Party Burgers by Sunflower Supper Club

    Recipes that caught our attention ~

    Sour Cream and Chicken Enchiladas by Oregon Transplant

    Snickers Cheesecake Bars by Five Heart Home

    And, a personal favorite ~

    Best of Long Island and Central Florida 

    Your hostesses ~

    Remember that when you link up, it shows on all FIVE blogs. Plus…

    We TWEET. We PIN. We LIKE.

    Linky Guidelines:

    If you wish to be a featured recipe or for us to promote your recipe either on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, you MUST follow these instructions.
    1. Please link up to your exact post and not the main page to your blog.
    2. LINK BACK HERE from your post so that others can find the fun. 
      When you are kind enough to follow our guidelines, we work hard to get you as much exposure as possible so that your time here is well invested. We want this to be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone!

    Tuesday, August 18, 2015

    Butterscotch Cookies (cake mix)

    My favorite kind of cookie....crispy on the outside, chewy in the middle!

    If that's your favorite kind you go....

    Using a cake mix (stock up when they're on sale!) to make cookies makes it easier to whip them up. These cookies were made and enjoyed by 2 granddaughters as we made them for a tea party one summer.

    I love being able to 'doctor up' a cake mix...for this recipe you add a little brown sugar, melted butter, baking cocoa and eggs.  MMMMM! They also have butterscotch chips. 

    They were a hit when I sold them recently at our local farmer's market also. 
    Just to open the container I stored them in filled the room with a fantastic aroma. 

    These are definitely butterscotch-y cookies!!! 


    1/2 c. butter, melted

    1/4 c. (dark) brown sugar

    2 large eggs

    1 (16 - 18 ozs) box yellow cake mix

    1 Tb. baking cocoa

    1 c.  butterscotch chips (or your favorite)

    1/2 c. chopped nuts, optional

    Preheat oven to 350. In large bowl, combine butter, brown sugar and eggs; beat until smooth. Add cake mix and cocoa; mix well. Stir in butterscotch chips and nuts. Drop by tablespoonsful on ungreased baking sheet and bake 10-12 minutes. Allow to stand 1 minute before removing from pan.  They will rise during baking, and fall during cooling, but that's perfectly fine to get the wonderful texture. 

    Yield: about 2-1/2 dozen

    Linked to Weekend Potluck

    You might also enjoy these cookies from a cake mix...

    Easy Snickerdoodles

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