Banana Zucchini Bread

Banana Zucchini Bread

Banana Zucchini Bread

I haven’t made a “new” bread at my house in quite sometime.  I have to be honest I have been playing with/obsessing over new essential oils for my peeps….yup going all earthy on you guys!  😉  Well, I am only half kidding.  I mean this whole idea of less chemicals and less medicine is really something I am aiming for.  Nothing against it but I am not a big fan of popping a pill for every little ache and pain….but this isn’t about me hugging trees and making magic potions….although a good quick bread could be considered a magic potion that would heal many many ailments if you ask me.  Then again I think food is love so what do I know?

Let’s not waste anymore of our valuable time and let’s see what this magical bread is all about!




1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

3/4 cup oats (regular not quick)

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

3/4 cup butter melted

2 bananas, mashed

2 cups shredded zucchini

1 cup (or more depending on how crazy your day has been going, see note) semi-sweet chocolate chips

How to:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a loaf pan, set aside.

In a medium bowl combine your flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves and oats.  Set aside.

In a large bowl mix your melted butter and your sugar.  Add your eggs and combine well. Add your mashed bananas.  Add your flour mixture at once and mix until just combined.  Using a spatula fold in your shredded zucchini.  Finally add your chocolate chips (if using).  Pour your batter into your prepared loaf pan and bake in your preheated oven for 60-70 minutes.  Let cool completely.



after!   <3

after! ❤

Note: I was going to say the chocolate chips were optional but by 6am I was dealing with: broken TV, an over-flowing toilet, two cranky teenagers, one crazy dog and spilled coffee….then by 10am: went for a run, fell at mile 1, broke skin on hands and right leg, kept on running (and bleeding…gross) to 5 miles, broke my favorite water bottle, 3 phone calls from the Canadian Passport office (as if I am applying to be the Prime Minister!)…this day needed CHOCOLATE!

AND THEN….I got stuck on the phone with the TV guy for what seems like an eternity and he told me his life story…I wish I was kidding: he has a wife named Miracle and a daughter named Isabelle….what are the chances?!

this may not have fixed my day but it sure helped  ;)

this may not have fixed my day but it sure helped 😉

Printer Friendly: Banana Zucchini Bread

Peace and This Day Needed Some Magic,



Pumpkin Bread with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread

This pumpkin bread has a story.  It’s my salvation for making cookies that were so bad even I couldn’t bring myself to eat them after it took me almost a whole day to make them.  I should have known, cookies this complicated and tidious aren’t usually worth it.  My opinion don’t send hate mail!  It’s just that sometime you spend so much energy and time on something that in all reality should be extra simple….hmmmmm like COOKIES!  And the end product is less than stellar.  Case and point these cookies.

AND YES….I followed the exact recipe!  You know that’s a pet peeve of mine to complain about a recipe if you haven’t followed it exactly.  Well I did.  And the cookies didn’t work out.  Oh well.  Better luck next time!

So in order to redeem myself and make my peeps happy I decided to try my hand at Alton Brown /Captain Know-it-all’s recipe for pumpkin bread.  It has actual toasted pumpkin seeds in it! YUMMY!

confession...I didn't let the bread cool and sliced it for this light is a pain right now!

confession…I didn’t let the bread cool and sliced it for this pic….day light is a pain right now!

You have to try this recipe, it is absolutely divine!  Such a simple addition….pumpkin seeds….genius!


2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup vegetable oil

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups shredded fresh pumpkin (regular pumpkin works but NOT pumpkin pie mix)

1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (also known as pepitas)

How to:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Spray or butter & flour a 9X5X3-inch loaf pan.  Set aside.

Combine your flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.  Set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix your sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla.  Combine both mixtures and fold in the shredded pumpkin and pumpkin seeds.  Once the ingredients are all incorporated pour into your prepared loaf pan.

stunning batter

stunning batter

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  At this point a knife inserted into the middle of the loaf should come out clean.  Cool for 15 minutes and turn out onto a cooling rack.  Cool completely.

ready!  Smells like pumpkin heaven!

ready! Smells like pumpkin heaven!

Smear with loads of butter and enjoy!

time to dig in/slice in :)

time to dig in/slice in 🙂

Note: my bread took longer, approx 1hr 45mins, Alton’s pan is larger than what I have.  Just make sure a knife or toothpick comes out clean, that’s the key.  Also I had organic pumpkin (that I roasted and froze) but again I think you may be OK with organic canned pumpkin.

not too photogenic at this time of year with limited daylight but it is absolutely amazing!

not too photogenic at this time of year with limited daylight but it is absolutely amazing!

Printer friendly: Pumpkin Bread

Peace and Redemption is sweet,


Mellark’s Secret Banana Bread

Mellark's Secret Banana Bread

Mellark’s Secret Banana Bread

If you remember (or maybe you are new to my world!) I have a weird “thing” about not reading books that are recommended to me.  Especially if the book is a best seller.  This leads me to The Hunger Games Books (the trilogy) I fought it and fought it…so much so that my 13 year old daughter started to call me names (you know…names like: mom, mommy, ma, momster…) eventually I did give in and read the books.  They are fabulous.  I know these books are not news to anyone, especially since they have been made into a movie.  Our kids being who they are, (at times due to questionable parenting) decided that I should own the “Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook”.  They gave me the book for Christmas.  I decided to share a recipe with you today so you can get the full sense of how lovely this little cookbook is.  Of course, I went with a classic “Isabelle”: banana bread, a favorite around here….why change?  I mean you can’t go wrong with banana bread, right?

The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook

The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook

Note: if you don’t know the series, Mellark is the last name of Peeta, a character whose family owns a bakery.


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Pinch of kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

4 ripe bananas, mashed

1/2 cup melted butter

3/4 white sugar

1/4 turbinado sugar

1 egg, beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

How to:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease or spray an 8X8 square pan.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl combine your flour, salt and baking soda.  Set aside.

In a large bowl (or in your mixer) mix together mashed bananas and butter.  Add both sugars, egg and vanilla.  Add your flour mixture and mix well to combine.  Fold in your chocolate chips.

Pour your mixture into your prepared pan.  Bake in your preheated oven for 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool on rack.  Remove bread from pan and serve.

Ready to bake

Ready to bake

Smelling Delicious!  I had to tell the kids to WAIT about 10 times!

Smelling Delicious! I had to tell the kids to WAIT about 10 times!

I simply love a good banana bread...this is looking perfect!

I simply love a good banana bread…this is perfect!

Lots of banana flavor and sweet chocolate, perfect union!

Lots of banana flavor and sweet chocolate, a perfect union!

Note: mine took the full 60 minutes but if your oven has  a raging personality it might take less.  Don’t pick a battle with your oven…let it do its job 😉

This bread was GONE in less than an hour….gone…the kids attacked it and the adults were left dumbfounded!

I think my next recipe from this fun cookbook will be: Rue and Katniss’s Apple-Smoked Groosling or Gale’s Bone-Pickin’ Big Game Soup  🙂

Printer Friendly:  Mellark’s Secret Banana Bread

Peace and Gone,


Go check out this lovely linky party as well:

Holiday Gifts & Treats. Part Two: Savory

For this second installment of my homemade holiday treats/gifts, I wanted to touch on the “usually” forgotten savory treats.  I love to give cookies but at times, I want to give something a little more suited to each individual.  Which means that for some, sweets are not the right fit…gasp!…who doesn’t like sweets?  😉

Here are my top ten homemade savory items.

#1: Homemade Pesto: whether you make Classic Pesto, Arugula or Kale Pesto, this is a great gift full of delicious flavors.  I would usually add a high-end dry pasta (or fresh if you know they will use it soon).

Lovely many possibilities

Lovely Pesto…so many possibilities

#2: Cocktail Pecans: so simple to make and perfect for the Happy Hour Fanatic!  A nice bottle of wine would be a lovely touch!

Let's get a little nutty for the Holidays :)

Let’s get a little nutty for the Holidays 🙂

#3: Homemade Taco Seasoning: a little out of the box perhaps but I would include a recipe card, some homemade salsa and you have yourself a lovely gift.

I would love to receive this as a gift! By the way also GREAT in chili!

I would love to receive this as a gift! By the way also GREAT in chili!

#4: Le Creuset Bread: I would bring this to a dinner party or with some homemade jelly for a breakfast treat the day after.

gorgeous and yummy and yummy and....EASY TO MAKE!

gorgeous and yummy and yummy and….EASY TO MAKE!

#5: Smoked Salmon Dip: so many possibilities with this treat, perhaps a cute little serving dish and platter, some imported crackers, a 6-pack of cool Alaskan beer…

Lovely smoked salmon

Lovely smoked salmon dip

#6: Oat and Cheddar Crackers: in my original post, I simply cut the crackers into square little bites but you could easily change it up and get very creative with the designs.  Include a favorite bottle of wine for a special touch.

Let's be creative...little Christmas trees?  Ok maybe too cheesy...LOL...get it...oh I need to go stop typing...

Let’s be creative…little Christmas trees? OK, maybe too cheesy?…LOL…get it… cheesy….oh I need to go stop typing…

#7: Pepper Bacon Jam: they may think it’s a joke until they taste it.  Don’t forget to include the recipe…then again you may want to keep it a secret and look like a superstar!

Gorgeous and ridiculously good Pepper Bacon Jam!

Gorgeous and ridiculously good Pepper Bacon Jam!

#8: Riley and Cooper Special Treats: (dog treats!) Evidently, this is for the animal lover!  Although completely edible for humans you may want to refrain and let it be a gift for the canines.

For the animal lover in all of us...well 99% of us! ;)

For the animal lover in all of us…well 99% of us! 😉

#9: Tomato Sauce with Butter: I would make this sauce for my friends that are true Pasta Lovers.  I would include some delicious pasta, a bottle of red and a loaf of bread.

Probably not the best pic but by far the best pasta sauce EVER!

Probably not the best pic but by far the best pasta sauce EVER!

#10: Lemontini Set: Of course making the Lemontinis unless you are home won’t work but giving them all the ingredients, especially the homemade Lemon Simple Syrup, a great gift.  If you wanted to add a couple special Martini glasses, then you would be a rock star…or a martini star!

Be creative! You will be remembered!

Be creative! You will be remembered!

As always I hope you enjoyed these different holidays’ treats/gifts.  Please feel free to send me photos of your creations at I love to see what you guys make!

Peace and Happy Special Treating,


Unbelievable Cornbread

In honor of Thanksgiving I am bringing back my very secret (!) and one of my first culinary creations: My Cornbread.


This was the very first recipe I posted on my blog.  Why am I bringing it back?  Simple; it never received the recognition it deserves.  Trust me when I tell you this corn bread is absolutely the best corn bread you will ever eat.  It is moist, flavorful and with just enough sweetness to blow your mind!

Not only was this my first post and by reading it you will notice how “green” I was, but I really didn’t talk (will I ever shut up!) enough about the loveliness of this recipe.  I left the original post , feel free to go check it out and compare….remember to be nice 😉

It’s fairly easy to make, if you know how to bake a cake then you can’t mess this up.

It uses real corn not just cornmeal.

It is moist.

It has cheese in it!

It makes a nice big pan of delectable cornbread.

It freezes well (although rarely do we have leftovers).

Once you make it, you will be assigned to make it over and over again.

take a closer look at this little marvel!


1 cup flour
1 cup corn meal
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

6oz of butter
1 cup white sugar
4 eggs
1 small jar of green chilies not drained (optional)
1 8.5oz canned corn drained (drained)
1 15oz canned cream of corn
1 cup shredded cheese (Mexican blend or sharp cheddar)
How to:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter an 8X10 pan.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl combine your flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

In your mixer cream your butter with your sugar.  Add your eggs and combine well.  Add your chilies (if using), cream of corn, corn and cheese.  At this point you will notice your mixture will look somewhat curdled but pay no attention, this is all good!  Finally add your dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Pour into your prepared pan and bake in your preheated oven for 1 hour.

creamy perfect batter

golden and smelling amazing

Let cool and serve at room temperature.

one last look before we go stuff ourselves full of Turkey!

Simply delicious…but be warned, once you make it you will have to make it over and over again….often making 2 pans of this cornbread just so there is plenty for people to take home!

Printer Friendly: Isabelle’s cornbread

Peace and Happy Turkey Day,


Green Tomato Bread

Green Tomato Bread

I know, it’s like I am trying to see how far I can take my weird ideas.  BUT in my defense this is not truly my idea.  Matt decided that since we have an ever-growing amount of green tomatoes from our “garden” (which in fact is really big plastic/rubber tubs around the chicken coop…real classy I must say!) we should make yummy stuff with all these tomatoes that don’t seem to get their beautiful red colors.

oh my tomato heaven!

The fact that it is getting colder at night made us bring in all those tomatoes.  We don’t want them to freeze.  But now because they lack the bright sun, they don’t ripen…oh the tomato drama!


3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups finely chopped green tomatoes (2 medium)
1 1/2 cups of chopped pecans
How to:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour two 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 loaf pans.
Combine the first 6 ingredients in large bowl.  Make a well in the center of mixture.
Combine the eggs, oil, and vanilla; stir well.  Add to dry ingredients and stir just until moistened.  Fold in the tomatoes and pecans.
Spoon the batter into your prepared pans.  Put in your preheated oven and bake for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely on wire rack.

ready, set….


lovely sweet tomato bread

Note: the recipe actually called for 2 cups of regular sugar, this seemed too much for me, I decided to reduce to 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar.  Do as you wish….you are masters of your kitchens 🙂

Printer Friendly: Green Tomato Bread
Here is where Mr. Man found the recipe:
Peace out dudes,
Recipe also shared on here, please go check it out:

Chicken Saffron Rice Soup and Country Bread

Isn’t that cool? That’s my hottie hubby on the paddle board. This is the view from our friends backyard! Simply perfect!

Back home after a week-long in Florida.  What do I want to do?  Well it’s not clean my house if you were wondering but COOK…OK so you probably already knew that, but it was worth mentioning.  I have to admit that even at Dan and Janine’s I did my fair share of cooking but I still love to get back home and cook for us.  We had a wonderful time in Florida and it truly was perfect to spend time with our dear friends.  I made plenty of banana bread for my little Janine.  We had some delicious home-cooked meals.  We had fun playing Dominos….I lost a LOT…I talk too much and I tend to enjoy my wine….a LOT!  But I had fun trying…that’s the spirit, right?

Note: according to Dan I am a very sore loser but that didn’t stop him from kicking our butts almost every single game!

My first craving is soup.  Although it is so hot, humid and still feels very much like summer, I am craving soup.  Not one to ignore my craving I decided we should embrace it for supper tonight.

Note: this is enough soup for about 8-10. Feel free to cut the recipe by half.  I just love having leftover soup in the fridge for a quick-lunch.

Chicken Saffron Rice Soup with Country Bread


4-5 cups cubed or shredded chicken (leftover or about 2.5 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts)

2 medium onions finely chopped

2 garlic cloves finely chopped

2 cans 14-ounces each of roasted diced tomatoes (or 1, 28-ounce, can but I can never find them) *do not drain

1 cup chopped roasted sweet red peppers (I use the jar stuff, feel free to make your own)

4 cups frozen corn (or leftover fresh)

4-5 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or homemade)

2 “big” pinches saffron

Brown or wild rice for serving (depending on how many you serve I would count on 1/2 cup cooked rice per serving)

Fresh Basil for serving, roughly chopped

How to:

In a medium pan heat your chicken broth with your 2 pinches of saffron.  Bring this to a gentle boil and reduce to a simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Keep warm until ready to use.

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil.  Add your onion and cook until soft and fragrant.  Add your garlic and cook 3-4 minutes more.  Add your chopped roasted red peppers, tomatoes, corn and chicken.  Stir everything well and add your reserved chicken broth.  You may choose to only add 4 cups at this time depending on how thick you like your soup.  I added all 5 cups.  Let this simmer on medium-low for about 30 minutes.

smelling delicious!

To serve, put 1/2 cup of rice in the middle of your bowl and ladle your soup around the rice.  Sprinkle with basil and add a nice slice of thick country bread.

nothing like satisfying a craving!

Speaking of bread here is the EASIEST bread to make at home.  It is so delicious and makes your house smell amazing.  From Le Creuset website: here

The Bread recipe:


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1 1/2 cups water

How to:

Get your biggest mixing bowl and mix together your flour, salt & yeast.  Pour in your water, little by little, stirring until your left with a mixture that looks like this:

starters are never really pretty 😉

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it somewhere warm for about 12 hours, it’s best if you make it in the evening and leave it overnight.  When you come back you should have a bubbly mixture, about twice the size.

and look something like this

Heat the oven to 450 degrees F and put your Creuset pot (or medium size dutch oven) in to preheat for 30-45 mins.
While things are heating up, scrape your dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball.

in case you were curious!

Set aside to rest until your “creuset” is heated.
Get your “creuset” out and carefully place your dough inside.  Using your mitts, place the lid back on top and place it back into the oven.
(Note: You don’t need to oil, grease or butter the dish)
Bake for 30 mins.  Remove lid and bake for a further 15 mins.  Oh! Sweet bread heaven!  So delicious with a little bit of butter or toasted for breakfast! YUM!

seriously??? this is insanely mouth watering!

gorgeous and yummy and yummy and….

Printer Friendly (soup): Chicken Saffron Rice Soup

Printer Friendly (bread): Le Creuset Bread

Peace and Oh Dominos!


Go check out my recipe on this lovely linky party:

Chai Banana Bread

Banananananana Bread….YIPPIE

Note: as you read this I am already in Florida. 🙂 I just ran out of time to post…..

My week is getting away from me.  I have a lot going on, a lot I want to get done prior to my parents’ arrival, a lot on my mind with Janine dealing with more dreadful cancer crap (yes I said crap…cancer is crap!).  Bottom line I am on the fast track to Florida so I can help my buddy.  Mr. Man will join me shortly.  I am lucky to have such wonderful parents who come (all the way from Canada!) and stay with our daughters so I can be a friend.
Meanwhile I just had a revelation…(yes HUMOR helps me deal with stuff!)

My mom once said to me: “You know toddler years are a perfect way to show you how the kids will act/be in their teens”


#1. Bathroom Privacy: May I please use the bathroom without interruptions?  Come on, I don’t need an audience, and this is NOT the right time to tell me the school’s most dramatic story of the day!

#2. My “stuff” is theirs.  My shower, my bed and all my stuff is not YOURS.  Oddly enough we have provided you with your own shower, bathroom, bed, shoes…

#3. Food.  When they are little they get weird ideas: no green food, no round food…etc..when they are teens they get weird ideas: I am only eating yogurt for the next 3 days, I am no longer a meat eater, I can only eat when it’s dark outside! WHAT?

#4. Sleep Deprivation: yours and theirs.  Yours: suddenly teens need to go to bed at 3am…meanwhile you are old and need to go to bed at 9…problem…who keeps an eye on them???  Theirs: if teens don’t get enough sleep they are nasty ugly mid-size humans!

#5. Clothes: as toddlers suddenly they cannot wear anything red (example…) as teens they can AND will wear the same darn t-shirt or pair of jeans…every single day of the week…bottom line: like toddlers somewhat GROSS!

To ease my pain and make my family forget that my mind is somewhere in the middle of Florida, I made a new banana bread.

Chai Banana Bread

Recipe from Cooking Light Magazine, found: here


1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3)

1/3 cup plain fat-free yogurt

5 tablespoons butter, melted

2 large eggs

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons milk

How to:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray (or grease if you prefer).  Set aside.

Combine flour, soda, and salt in a medium bowl.  Set aside.

Combine bananas, yogurt, melted butter, and eggs in a bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed just until blended.  Add sugars; beat at medium just until blended.  Add flour mixture to banana mixture; beat just until blended.

Combine cardamom, cinnamon, ground ginger and allspice.  Stir 1 1/2 teaspoons spice mixture and 1 teaspoon vanilla into batter.  Pour into prepared  loaf pan.  Bake in preheated oven for 65 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes in pan on wire rack.  Remove from pan.

Combine remaining spice mixture, remaining vanilla, powdered sugar, and milk.  Drizzle over bread.

look at the lovely “drizzeeeeling” I did 🙂

Try to be patient…try…I wasn’t nor was my family.  It was like a bunch of vultures destroying a banana bread!  Delicious!

moist, with a marvelous hint of spices…give me MORE!

Printer Friendly: Chai Banana Bread

Peace and I can’t pronounce Chai,


Life is Messy: Have Some Beer Bread

4:15am Couldn’t sleep.  I laid there until the alarm sounded off at 5:35.  It was OK to just lay there.  It was peaceful and quiet.  I didn’t have to get up, I simply laid there listening to my husband breathing and sleeping.  All is good in my little world…..then I got up!

It’s a rainy ugly cold day.  Matt has to work an extra 24 hour shift and won’t be home until Monday!  (well he’ll be home for a few hours tomorrow but still)  Went to wake Bear up, she has a fever and a migraine.  She’s not going to school.  I live with a teenager.  I opened up the chicken coop and fed the girls, in the rain, in my pjs and the smell was a bit much this morning….

So I thought, no gym today, I’ll workout here.  I am staying home.  I have laundry to do.  A lot of catching up on a few awards (blog awards) I was given.  I need to thank people for their kindness.  I can pay bills. (awesome!)  Look for new recipes.  Write.  Eat.  oh yeah….eat!  Weirdest craving: I want Beer Bread!  I love Beer Bread.  I want Cheesy Beer Bread!

If you don’t like the cheese idea then you must go check out  my friends at Carolina HeartStrings, they have an amazingly simple and delicious Beer Bread Recipe: CarolinaHeartStrings Beer Bread  I make it a lot.

But today, I decided to try something new.  I hope it’s good otherwise I will be a  sad puppy all day!  I want to make a Cheesy Beer Bread!  Here goes nothing!

Here's a little preview of my finish bread.... YUM

Here’s a little preview of my finish bread…. YUM


3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

3 tablespoons sugar

1 12-ounce beer (you can use non-alcoholic….I don’t judge!)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 cup shredded cheese

1 tablespoon fresh chives finely chopped

4 tablespoons butter melted

How to:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease or spray a loaf pan.  Set aside.

In the bowl of your mixture, blend your flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.  Add your olive oil, beer, shredded cheese and chives.  Blend well.  The dough will be extremely sticky, that’s a good thing.  Pour your sticky dough in your prepared loaf pan.  Using a spatula spread the dough evenly.  (I was told that you should spray your spatula with cookie spray to make your life easier…evidently I must like my life complicated because I always forget to do that!)  Pour your melted butter oven the beautiful mess.  Bake in your preheated oven for 1 hour.

life is messy and evidently so is my cutting board!

life is messy and evidently so is my cutting board!

sticky dough

sticky dough

before the gold....liquid gold that is

before the gold….liquid gold that is

aaaah liquid me it's worth it!

aaaah liquid gold…trust me it’s worth it!

amazing smell and perfect crust....that's the ticket!

amazing smell and perfect crust….that’s the ticket!

my favorite is always the end part...then the next and on and on....

my favorite is always the end part…then the next and on and on….

Serve with love and lots of butter!

Note to self: if home all day and you decide to make a yummy tasty cheesy beer bread….be ready to eat the whole thing!  DELICIOUS!

Printed friendly: Cheesy Beer Bread

Peace and All Is Still Good In My Little World,


Note: I wanted to tell you (again) how great I think the book :Ratio by Michael Ruhlman is, without it I wouldn’t always know how to correctly put quantities of ingredients so they work together.  Go check it out, you’ll be amazed.

Stuffed Grilled Pork Chops and an uneasy morning!

This might be one of those TMI post….I apologize in advance.  BUT this is typical me and if you have been reading then you will just get a good laugh and know this is just another day in the life of Isabelle….

I am getting back into the swing of things after a few days fishing and doing pretty much nothing but soaking up too much sun.  Today has been a long day, oddly enough I am enjoying every minute of my chores at home.  Even though it all started pretty early.  I decided that since I wanted to get a lot done today, I should go to the bootcamp workout at 6am, which meant I had to get up at 5:30…so I did.  I was miserable for the first 2 minutes until my friend Jill made me laugh with her Elmo juice story….guess what she puts in her Elmo juice? vodka…yep, that’s my kind of girl!  Maybe Jill should write a guest post on how to make great martinis with juice boxes!

OK OK enough about drinks….So here’s where my day took an interesting turn.  After too much laundry folding, laundry hanging, chicken checking, watering this and that….and let’s not forget the workout PLUS another 1 hour of elliptical workout at home, I thought maybe I should have breakfast.  I got all excited about this great bread I have, plus the delicious pate I get to spread on it (don’t knock it till you try it) AND an extremely hot cup of coffee….I take ONE bite.  My youngest daughter Bear looks at me and says: “uh, mom? Cooper smells like poop, I think he rolled in it, you need to wash him.”  She then turns around, sits down and start eating her lovely breakfast.  I freeze, darn it, I don’t want to wash a dog, I want to eat…eat ….eat…

To make the situation more pleasant (imagine my sarcastic tone!) the dog is not cooperating.  AT ALL!   He is trying to run away from me.  I am spraying myself with the hose, soap gets in my mouth (I was hungry…), the dog is trying to get back in the house soaked and sudsy…this is ridiculous.  Glad my kid is enjoying her breakfast!  My appetite’s pretty much…gone!

How can I be mad at such a cute face?

Pay back: I am making Mr. Man and I a delicious dinner and since the girls have friends over (again!) they are having pizza and breadsticks!

For us: Stuffed grilled pork chops, fresh pasta with homemade pesto. YUMMY 🙂


4 pork chops (5 if small)

1 medium tomato diced small

1/2 cup fresh basil roughly chopped

1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1 slice country bread (stale is better) cut into very small pieces.

1 garlic clove finely diced

olive oil

salt and pepper

How to:

First you must make a pocket in each pork chop.  I like to use a small paring knife and carefully make the incision (I am NOT a doctor!).  I try to keep the opening as small as possible but still have a nice pocket on the inside.  This takes some practice and it’s not a problem if you mess up because we can tie the chop with cooking twine and all the good stuff will stay inside!

Make sure you 'run" your knife on the inside to make a large pocket

Next, you need to make your stuffing.  This is the flavor factory part.  Once you know the flavor you are looking for, go ahead and try new combinations.  In a medium bowl mix your tomato, basil, parmesan cheese, bread, garlic, 2 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper.  Stir to combine and set aside.  Time to start your grill.

Stuffing, similar to a panzanella salad

While your grill is heating up, start filling your pork chops with your stuffing.  Your pocket should be full but not overflowing.  Secure your chops with toothpicks or cooking twine.  I like to do a criss cross pattern with my toothpicks.

Filled to the brim and ready to go!

Place your chops on the grill and cook until no longer pink, about 10 minutes per side.  Make sure you heat on medium-low so you don’t burn your pork.

Slow and raging inferno here 🙂

Time to serve, as I said, we ate ours with pesto pasta…to keep the italian flair going!

So delicious and moist....don't forget about your toothpicks!

Here’s a look inside:

Ins't that pretty? The flavor was so fresh, we could taste it in every bite.

Printer Friendly:  Stuffed Grilled Pork Chops

Peace and easy does it,


Note: for my Aunt Suzanne: TMI means Too Much Information (when you share too much personal information!)  🙂

Recipe also linked on: Simply Gourmet Photography &