Thursday, October 27, 2016

Pumpkin Oat Squares

Last week, a friend of mine shared with me that she recently made these delicious banana oatmeal chocolate chip squares and loved them.  I agree; they are a great snack and just sweet enough to be dessert. 


I wanted to make them, but needed to make them more fit for fall.  So, I subbed the banana out and replaced it with pumpkin.  Everything is better with pumpkin! These are my new favorite.  I hope they will be yours! 


Pumpkin Oat Squares – Adapted from Finding Joy in My Kitchen


  • 2 1/2 C pumpkin puree (or sweet potato puree)
  • 1/2 C unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/8 C molasses
  • 1/8 C maple syrup or brown sugar
  • 4 1/2 C old fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 C chocolate chips, divided


Begin by pulsing the 4 1/2 C of oats in a blender or food processor until finely ground.  Mix in 1 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. cinnamon and 1/2 tsp. salt. 


Blend together the 2 1/2 C pumpkin, 1/2 C applesauce, 2 tsp. vanilla, 1/8 C molasses and 1/8 C brown sugar/maple syrup. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together.  Stir until moist.  The batter will be thick.  If it is really stiff, add in a 1/4 C more pumpkin or applesauce. 

Stir in 2/3 of the chocolate chips, reserving 1/3 of them for the top of the squares.  IMG_6508IMG_6507

Pour into a lightly greased 9x13 baking dish and top with the remaining chocolate chips. 

Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes until the edges are lightly browned and the center is set.


Cool and slice into squares. 

Serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Beer Marinated Chicken with Sweet Potato and Brussel Sprouts Salad


This flavor filled dinner was a hit at our place.  Our little one gobbled up the Brussels sprout sweet potato salad, and the chicken was tender and enjoyed as well. 


Beer Marinated Chicken – Adapted from Plain Chicken


  • 12 oz beer
  • 6 T lemon juice
  • 2 T Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Sweet Potato and Brussels Sprouts Salad – Adapted from Kaelyn’s Kitchen


  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 pound of fresh Brussels sprouts
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 C Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste


In a large bowl (that can be covered and refrigerated), pour together the beer, 6 T lemon juice, 2 T Italian seasoning, 1/4 tsp. minced garlic, 1 tsp. salt and stir well.  Then, add in 4 chicken breasts.  Cover and refrigerate 4-6 hours, or overnight.


When you are ready to cook, fire up your grill.  Grill chicken over medium flame for 15-20 minutes, flipping often.  Cook until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 180 degrees. 


Meanwhile, place your Brussels sprouts into your food processor, along with a splash of balsamic vinegar and half of the Parmesan cheese; shred.  Set aside. 


Take your cubed sweet potatoes and place them into a large skillet that has been heated and has 1 tsp. olive oil in the bottom.  Toss and sauté over medium heat for 5-6 minutes.   


Add in the shredded Brussels sprouts and continue cooking until sweet potatoes are soft and the Brussels sprouts are tender. 

Sprinkle over 1 T balsamic vinegar and remaining shredded Parmesan cheese. 


Serve warm.   


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Our little E loves bananas.  Every morning she eats one, saying “nana” and signing it at the same time.  Inevitably, we end up with leftover bananas that are past their prime.  Please tell me I am not the only one that ends up with that scenario! 

But, these muffins make me want to end up with over-ripe bananas.  In fact, since we’ve made these, I’ve even picked up the “red-banded” clearance bananas at the store just so I could make these again.  Bananas and chocolate chips – a delightful combination.   

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins – Adapted from my mom’s banana bread recipe


  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1 T butter, melted
  • 1/3 C applesauce
  • 3 mashed overripe bananas (about 1 C of mashed banana)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 3/4 C white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 C dark chocolate chips


In a large bowl, combine 1 3/4 C white whole wheat flour, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. baking soda and stir well.  In a second bowl, mix together 1/3 C applesauce, mashed bananas, 3/4 C sugar and 1 T butter.  Mix in 2 lightly beaten eggs and 1/2 tsp. vanilla.  Then, stir in the chocolate chips.  If desired, reserve 1-2 T of chocolate chips to sprinkle on the tops of the muffins.   

Using a cookie scoop, measure out batter into 12 lightly greased muffin cups, filling them 2/3 of the way full.  Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips, if desired. 

Bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes, checking with a toothpick after 18 minutes for doneness.  The toothpick should come out clean when the muffins are done.  Don’t over bake! 

Cool for 2 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.  Store extras in the freezer so they don’t dry out! 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Great Lakes Crisp

There is a little spot off the highway in north woods of the Frozen Tundra that makes the best pies.  Of course, they use nuts, so I’ve never been able to eat one, but Frog Prince tells me they are the best.  Inspired by their menu, I decided to come home and make myself a Great Lakes Crisp using their medley of rhubarb, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and apples. 


It was delightful!  A new summer favorite for when you want something off the beaten path. 


Great Lakes Crisp – Inspired by Betty’s Pies


  • 1 medium, tart apple (e.g., Granny Smith)
  • 1 C sliced rhubarb
  • 3 C mixed berries (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries)
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 2 T corn starch
  • 3-4 T butter, softened
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1 C oats, old fashioned
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/3 C flour


Begin by mixing all the fruit in a large bowl.  You can use fresh or frozen berries, apples and rhubarb.  I used frozen because that is what I had on hand when I decided to make this!  You’ll want about 5 C of fruit. 


Stir in 1/4 C sugar and 2 T corn starch. 


In a second bowl, mix together 1/2 C brown sugar, 1 C oats and 1/3 C flour.  Stir in 1 tsp. cinnamon.  Cut in the 3-4 T softened butter with a fork until well combined. 

Arrange the fruit mixture in a lightly greased 9x13 pan.  Top with the oatmeal topping. 


Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes, until bubbly and the topping is crisp. 


Cool for 30 minutes before serving, then add that ice cream and enjoy! 


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