Chocolate Banana Muffins

Chocolate Banana Muffin

In my baking and cooking, as in my personal life, I try to avoid pain.  I don’t like to hear things such as: “this tastes like card board”, “I feel like I am eating a tree” or “it’s not only ugly but ugly flavors to boot”…you get the gist of it!  So when I make healthy food for my kids’ breakfast I try to make it as flavorful as possible, hence the banana and chocolate.

I like to have muffins, yogurt and fresh fruits at breakfast for my girls.  It’s quick, easy and can be prepared half asleep wearing my pineapple PJS.  🙂  I have many friends who prepare pancakes, waffles, french toast etc…ahead of time and freeze it all for an easy breakfast.  I have tried that approach a couple of times.  Unfortunately, I forget about it and it stays in my freezer for so long I end up having to throw it all out because of freezer burns.  I don’t bother with that anymore.  I hate throwing away food.  It is just not in my DNA.  There is a lot of other questionable stuff in my DNA but wasting food isn’t one of them.

What’s in my DNA?  You ask?  Well, you probably didn’t ask and now you are rolling your eyes with my non-stop sharing but I digress…where was I?
OH yea…in my DNA:  wine, cookies, claustrophobia, chips, roasted vegetables, stubborness, running, working out, running for wine, sarcasm, list making….uh….forgetfulness!


1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole-wheat flour (you could do 2 cups whole wheat but I get complaints…I don’t like that)

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

3 over-ripped bananas

1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup granola cereal (optional)

How to:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a 12 muffin pan with paper or grease generously.  Set aside.

Combine your flours, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

In a large bowl blend your sugars, bananas, eggs, Greek yogurt and vanilla until smooth.  Add your dry ingredients, mix until well combined.  Divide your dough evenly.  Top with your granola, if using.  Bake in your preheated oven for 20 minutes.

ready for the occasion!

back from the occasion 😉

my kids like the little crunchy bits of granola…yours may not.

My girls really like these muffins.  I like it because honestly at 5:45am it’s not easy to make eggs, bacon and sautéed potatoes.  This works for us.

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Peace and DNA,



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!

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Peace and I can’t pronounce Chai,


Cream Cheese Muffins

I thought this recipe would be all over the internet….it isn’t!  So I had to do some homework!

I received a text from my friend Aislinn, well in fact it was from her oldest boy Junior (one of Bear’s best friend) and it said: “hi, this is Junior”.  I replied: “hi, buddy, how was your day at school?”  He: “great, thank you (so polite), could you please find the recipe for Meijer’s Cream Cheese Muffins?”  Direct and to the point, I love that!

Meijer, for those who don’t know, is our local mega grocery store, it is mostly in the Midwest….because we are so hip around here 😉

So I went online looking for possible recipes to share with the lovely young man…not much out there.  So in an effort to be accurate and look somewhat professional I went to the store to see what the magical muffins were made of….I know you will not be surprised to find out that there is no actual cream cheese in their cream cheese muffins but rather cream cheese flavoring…lovely!

THEN: I got a text from Aislinn, the boy (being a boy) broke his humerus bone last night…in his words, to the lovely lady in the front office at school: “I broke my humerus bone which isn’t really funny…”  LOL, that’s a funny kid!

I found a decent recipe on:  But the recipe is really my own wild creation!  I had to have a special cream cheese surprise inside!

Cream Cheese Muffin



3 cup all-purpose flour

4 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup softened unsalted butter

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

8-ounce cream cheese, at room temperature (low fat is OK)

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla


1/2 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (I did however use salted….that’s what I grabbed!)

How to:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.  Line your muffin pans with liner or grease, set aside. (this makes 18 muffins approximately)

In a large bowl mix your flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl combine your cream cheese with your brown sugar (1/2 cup) and vanilla.  Set aside.

In your mixer cream your butter and sugar, until light and fluffy.  Add your eggs.  Combine well.  Add your milk and 1/2 of your cream cheese mixture.  Add your flour mixture and combine well, but do not overmix.  Fill your prepared muffin pans only half full, using a small scoop divide your other 1/2 cream cheese batter between your muffins. (about 1/2 teaspoon or so)  Top the cream cheese batter with the remaining muffin batter.  The idea is to have your cream cheese in the middle of your muffin while it bakes. Don’t fill your muffin pan too full, otherwise you will have a hot cream cheesy mess on your hand….I speak from experience 😉

bottom layer/first layer of muffin dough

cream cheese filling….yumminess happening right HERE! 😉

top layer of muffin dough….almost ready for the oven

Mix your topping: combine your flour, brown sugar (3 tablespoons) and butter.  I like to use a fork and mix until I get a crumbly mixture.   Sprinkle your mixture on top of your muffins.  Put in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.

beautiful crumbly topping, ready for the oven

OH MY GOODNESS….my house smells like a baking shop…YUM!

Enjoy….and let’s hope I did OK in Junior’s young eyes.

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Peace and Boys Will Be Boys,


Note: I had to make these twice, I burnt the first batch, oven was too hot and I left them in there way too long.

Note #2: Bear and I dropped off the muffins yesterday late afternoon and Junior said: “these are better than the Meijer Muffins” HURRAY FOR ME! 🙂


Eggs in Purgatory

    Eggs in Purgatory

Eggs in Purgatory

I have to tell you a recipe with a name like that, kind of scares me a little.  I am a good little catholic girl after all!  The purgatory is not a place I aspire to be in!

Purgatory according Merriam Webster On-Line Dictionary:
1: an intermediate state after death for expiatory purification; specifically : a place or state of punishment wherein according to Roman Catholic doctrine the souls of those who die in God’s grace may make satisfaction for past sins and so become fit for heaven
2: a place or state of temporary suffering or misery
(thank you MWOLD)
So I have to say, if I go according to this recipe then wow! these eggs must be in a serious state of trouble.  I am only kidding.  The eggs were good little eggs and caused no harm or pain to anyone to deserve going to the purgatory.  I believe it is simply a take on the red sauce and the “devilish” look of it all 😉
Heavenly Eggs

Heavenly Eggs

This is a simple way to prepare eggs.  You can easily make it for 1, 2 or really any number of people you have in mind.  It can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  I must say it is especially good with a nice glass of red wine, curled on the couch watching your favorite TV shows.  I speak from experience!
Note: this is for 1 lovely person….multiply as you see fit!
1 egg
1 garlic clove finely chopped
1/4 onion thinly sliced
3/4 cup leftover marinara sauce (your favorite will work)
A pinch of dried pepper flakes (optional)
1 teaspoon fresh oregano finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh basil (separated)
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
How to:
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Preparing the sauce:  In a medium saucepan heat 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Add your onion and garlic.  Cook on medium low for 3-4 minutes until soft and fragrant.  Carefully add your marinara sauce and gently stir.  Let this cook for a few minutes while you prepare your ramekin (or any small oven proof dish)  You want your sauce to reduce slightly and thicken.  Butter your ramekin or use cooking spray.  Set aside.  Add your dried pepper flakes (if using), fresh oregano and 1 teaspoon of your basil to your sauce.  Gently stir to combine.  Let this cook 1-2 minutes more.  Salt and Pepper to taste.
Option #1:  Add your hot sauce to your prepared dish.  Carefully break your egg on top of your sauce.  Add more salt and pepper if desired.  Put a little foil tent over your dish.  Put in your preheated oven  for 10-12 minutes or until egg is set to your liking.
The Sauce

The Sauce

The Egg

The Egg

    The Tent! ;)

The Tent! 😉

Almost there.....

Almost there…..

Top with Parmesan cheese and additional 1 teaspoon fresh basil.  Serve with buttered toasts.

Option #2:  If you don’t want to mess with ramekins and using your oven you could easily break your egg into your saucepan and cover for a few minutes until egg is set to your liking.  Serve the same way.

Note: if you are making more than one and want to use the saucepan option simply use a larger pan and add all your eggs, try to keep them from touching each other.

OH MY so good.

OH MY GOODNESS….so so good.

Why I use ramekins….presentation I guess, I think it is a nice way to serve individual dishes.  It’s pretty….I like pretty!
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Peace and Expiatory!
Expiatory:1. obsolete : to put an end to
2 a : to extinguish the guilt incurred by b : to make amends for
Come check out my recipe on:

Aunt Rhonda’s Coffee Cake

If you have a recipe you are famous for, sometime it will be your own worst enemy.  I love to make my corn bread but honestly at times I wish people would request other things.  Aunt Rhonda (Matt’s Aunt aka Aunt Joyce’s younger sister) makes this Coffee Cake that the entire family loves.  So much so that I have seen her make 3 or 4 for family gatherings.  One to eat that day, one for the host to hide somewhere, and one to split and take home between all of us.  There has been hurt feelings over this cake.  There has been firm requests for this cake.  When Aunt Joyce had her cooking camp for kids in the summer, EACH kid got to make a cake and take it home to his/her family.  How cool is that?  She also gave the family a copy of the recipe….that’s how I got mine, because the girls went to her camp.  Otherwise I would still be waiting!

Aunt Rhonda's Coffee Cake


For Cake Batter:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 sticks butter at room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup sour cream

For Sugar Topping:

6 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 cup chopped pecans

How to:

Preheat your oven to 350F

Grease a Bundt cake pan.  Set aside.

In a small bowl prepare your sugar topping by mixing your 6 tablespoons of sugar, cinnamon and pecans.  Set aside.

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

In your mixer, cream your butter and sugar until soft and pale yellow.  Add your eggs, one at a time.  Add you vanilla and mix well. Add your sour cream and mix.  Add your flour mixture at once and mix, do not over mix.  Remove your mixer and finish by hand, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to combine everything well.

Start by putting 1/3 of your cake batter in your prepared pan.  Sprinkle with a 1/3 of your sugar mixture.  Repeat 2 more times.  Put in your preheated oven for 1 hour.

In the oven we go...well the cake goes, I don't go in the oven

Too hot to me...LOL

Serve at room temperature.  Also delicious heated in the microwave and topped with a little butter.

Super Moist and Lovely Marbling...pic doesn't do it justice!

Note: this cake freezes very well.  Make sure to let it thawed at room temperature.

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Peace and New Recipes,


Find my recipe here as well:


Homemade PopTarts because I am stubborn!

As I have mentioned more than once, and sorry to be so redundant, but I refuse to buy poptarts.  At this point, it has almost become a fight to the death combat between the girls and I.  OK so maybe not that bad but I won’t buy them.  It’s pretty apparent to me that the girls love the taste, but I can’t get over all the chemicals they use to make them.  It just doesn’t seem normal.  So I was pretty excited to see the Food Network Magazine share a homemade version of Pop Tarts, they call them Breakfast Tarts.  I was willing to give it a try.  And it’s an easy way for me to sneak in some wholewheat flour.  Also fairly easy to change the flavors to what your kids will enjoy.

Homemade Tarts with Fresh Strawberry Glaze

Here is the link to the Food Network (magazine) Breakfast Tarts: Grape Jelly Breakfast Tarts

I decided to make our Strawberry Breakfast Tarts, simply because I have strawberry preserves and fresh strawberry I can use for the glaze.


For the tarts:

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting (I did 2 cups all-purpose and 1 cup whole wheat, it’s your choice)

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons cold shortening, cut into small pieces

2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1/2 cup jelly (flavor of your liking I did strawberries)

1 large egg beaten

1/3 cup milk

For the glaze:

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

2-3 strawberries sliced

1 teaspoon sugar

3-4 tablespoons water

How to:

Make the tarts: Pulse the flour, granulated sugar and salt in a food processor until combined. Add the shortening and about one-quarter of the butter and pulse until they disappear into the flour, about 30 seconds. Add the remaining butter and pulse a few times, until the mixture looks like coarse meal with pea-sized bits of butter. Add 1/2 cup of ice water and pulse once or twice, until the dough just comes together. Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, form into a disk and wrap tightly; chill at least 1 hour and up to 1 day. (For quicker tarts, use refrigerated pie dough and skip this step.)

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 10-by-14-inch rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick. Cut out ten 4-by-3-inch rectangles using a paring knife. Transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Chill at least 15 minutes.

Note: this dough recipe makes way more than what they suggest you need.  You could actually cut out 20 rectangles and make 10 tarts.  I started with 5 and I will try 5 more in a different flavor.

Cut dough ready to go for chill #1

Spread 5 of the dough rectangles with a heaping tablespoonful of jelly each, leaving a 1/2-inch border all around. Brush the edges with the beaten egg, then cover with the remaining 5 dough rectangles. Crimp the edges with a fork or use the toaster pastry press to seal. Chill at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Tarts filled and ready for chill #2

Bake the tarts until flaky and golden, 20 to 25 minutes, brushing with the milk after 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Just chillin'...well just coolin'

Meanwhile, make the glaze:  in a small saucepan place your sliced strawberries with 1 teaspoon sugar.  Add 1 tablespoon water and cook on low-medium heat for 5-10 minutes until soft.  Let cool.  Place your cooked strawberries in a large bowl and add your powdered sugar.  Adding one tablespoon of water at a time start mixing your glaze until your get a smooth consistency.  Glaze your cooled tart with your glaze.

Rustic...a word I like to use instead of not perfect!

My tarts were definitely more rustic looking than Food Network.  Also the wholewheat flour added a bit of nuttiness to them.  I love the glaze with the chunks of strawberries, very pretty.

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Peace and I’m rustic,



A little bit of everything…and an egg sandwich :)

Well, you knew it would happen.  I have started my egg recipes’ quest.  It was only a matter of time.  I say everything happens for a reason.  We plan our family vacation, get a house sitter, get organized….and the crazy chicks decide it’s time to start laying eggs.  REALLY?…I mean REALLY!  So, in good Isabelle fashion I get all worked up and excited only to have to leave my house (remember I am a  BIG homebody…loooooove my home, my stuff, my food, my life…..)

It was worth it, we had a lovely time.  Even though we didn’t catch any fish worth talking about.  Too hot, even the fish were passed out from the heat!  We did take the girls to an amusement park….all I have to say about that is: I am too old for roller coasters but I will gladly sit with my husband and people watch while the girls do EVERY single ride (4 or 5 times each) and close the place!  Why? Because I know that airports and amusement parks are the BEST people watching places ….ever!

Here are some pics from our fishing spot…simply gorgeous:

Sunset, our first night at Lake Patoka

Our first sunrise, quiet and perfect.

calm, peaceful and serene all in one sunrise

my Mr. Man 🙂

moi 😉

girls fishing and talking....

OK, so back to my eggs.  I have been “saving” this great recipe I found on Cooking with Mel‘s blog.  As soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to make it with my “first” eggs.  The lovely Mel said I could “re-blog” her recipe.  But please take a moment to go check out her blog when you have a chance.  She is not only funny but so darn pretty and witty!  Gotta love that in a girl.

Mel’s post about the Eggies in the Hole Grilled Cheese Sandwich:  Cooking with Mel


2 pieces of bread

2 eggs

4 slices of cheese – 2 Cheddar; 2 American

Salt and pepper

Garlic powder


How to:

Over medium heat, heat a large skillet.  With a cookie cutter, cut a whole into the middle of each slice of bread, being careful not to break the bread on the sides.  Butter both sides of each bread slice.  Crack each egg in its own individual dish.  Once skillet it hot, add each slice of bread to the skillet.  Immediately add one egg to each hole.

Season with salt, pepper and garlic to taste.  Let it cook until egg is completely fried/set on the bottom and the bottom of the bread is a golden color [like grilled cheese].  Carefully flip each piece of bread over, ensuring that the egg does not break and repeat the frying process.

Re-season if you desire.  Once flipped, add cheese to each slice of bread and cook until melted (which should coincide with the egg being fully cooked and the bottom part of the bread being golden).  Stack the bread together like a sandwich, so that the cheesy sides are together like a grilled cheese sandwich!

Please excuse this picture….I can’t see straight, I am too tired:

half of my sandwich with MY 2 eggs...and lots of cheese!

CONFESSION: I am so tired from trying to get back into the groove of things at home that I really did copy Mel’s instruction…unless she tells me to change it all….I am leaving it…I am too tired to retype!

ALSO the lovely Mel awarded me this cool award:

I have to pass this lovely award to 10 lucky bloggers….that’s a though one because I love so many and I hate to leave anyone out…..darn I don’t like this part but here goes:

A Little Lunch

Cooking Healthy For Me

carolina Heartstrings

Sweet as Sugar Cookies

Delightfully Dowling

Mia\’s Domain

The Devilish Dish

Rich and Sweet

Deelicious Sweets

Spiced with Love

Peace and EGGS!



Hash Brown Pie…because I didn’t want cereal!

Let me explain and please don’t think too poorly of me and my decisions making.  My friend Lisa is hosting our monthly Euchre night.  Lisa is the sweetest person you will ever meet.  She also tries to accommodate and make everyone’s life easy.  So, to make it easy on everyone she decided to have cereal as our “theme” for food this month.  Plain and simple, cereal…of any kind.  Little bitty problem for me, I don’t really eat cereal.  Another little problem is that we usually have wine or cocktails when we play Euchre….therefore wine and milk= sick tummy for me.  (No worries I won’t elaborate)  Also I was planning for the past 2 Euchre months that I needed to get my act together and make my Lemon-Ginger Martinis .  Needless to say martinis and cereal is a recipe for disaster in my mind/body!

So I took it upon myself to branch out of the cereal/breakfast for dinner…OK I know what you are thinking: “Always going against the grain.”  No, I just think outside the box…the cereal box that is.  (yea, I know, not real funny…)

Hash Brown Pie...breakfast for dinner!


3 cups shredded potatoes (you can use fresh of any kind or frozen)

1/3 cup melted butter

1/2 cup chopped onions

1 cup finely chopped ham

1 cup shredded cheese (I had cheddar…this time)

1/4 cup mushrooms, sliced

3 large eggs, beaten

3/4 cup milk or half and half

2 tablespoons fresh herbs (I had parsley and thyme)

Splash hot sauce

Salt and Pepper

How to:

Preheat your oven to 425F

Make sure you remove as much moisture as possible from your potatoes, especially if you are using frozen potatoes.  You may want to squeeze your potatoes in a dish towel until you remove all the water.  Press your potatoes into the bottom and side of a 9-inch pie plate.  Drizzle with your melted butter.  Bake in your preheated oven for 25 minutes.  Cool for 10 minutes.

Crust ready for the oven

Baked Hash Brown Crust...a bit too much in my opinion!

Reduce oven temperature to 350F.

In a pan, add 1 teaspoon olive oil and cook your onions for 5 minutes until soft and fragrant.  Add your mushrooms and cook 2-3 minutes more.  Remove and let cool 2-3 minutes.

Combine your ham and shredded cheese.  Sprinkle evenly on the bottom of your pan.  Top with your onion and mushrooms mixture.  Set aside.

Filling is in!

In a bowl combine your eggs, milk, herbs, salt and pepper.  Pour your egg mixture over your vegetables and ham.  Bake in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Custard has been poured and ready for the oven!

I was going to take a picture of a serving but alas it’s all gone!  Success!  I didn’t even get in trouble for not having cereal! 🙂

So here is another picture of the finished product!

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Peace and outside the box,


Recipe also on:



This is not at all what you might first think it is.  I read someone’s blog not too long ago and although the post was interesting, what caught my attention more than anything else was her words: Not.Appropriate.Behavior.  She said this with such anger and conviction….what am I to do?

I am guilty. I tend to say or mostly think the wrong thing at the wrong time.  I can’t help it.  I have a lot of brain farts (YES, I just said brain farts)…take a moment…it will be OK.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this lady went on for quite some time about a serious topic and as much as I want to give her full credit…well this is not the place nor time.  Life’s not that complicated.  I mean, it has some serious fall on your behind kind of moments but it’s life.  We all have to deal with it right?  It is what it is.

What if?

I made breakfast for dinner for a whole week.

I ate dessert first for a month.

I stopped using utensils.

I used my good china everyday.

I poured our milk in crystal glasses.

Here’s to us, with all our little breaking points and most annoying habits!  Way to go real people!

We are having egg casserole for dinner.  I am using my china.  I will however use my utensils! 😉


2 tablespoons butter
1 leek thinly sliced (only white and light green parts, cleaned of little sandy bits)
Salt and Pepper
8 large eggs
1 quart milk ( 4 cups)
8 thick slices bread  cut in 1/2 (I use country bread and slice it about 1/2 in. see above pic.)
1/2 package bacon cooked (not too crispy)
2 tablespoons fresh thyme (if using dry use only 1 teaspoon)
1 cup grated Swiss cheese
1 cup grated cheddar (mild or sharp)
How to:
Preheat oven to 330F
Butter a 9×13 casserole dish
In a large pan, heat your butter. Add your onions and leek, cook  until nice and soft (on low heat) you don’t want to burn them. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
Whisk eggs and milk, add thyme, salt and pepper. Set aside
Layer bread, bacon, onion & leek mixture and cheeses (shingle style…at an angle/overlapping) See pic:

Pour your eggs & milk batter over top. Pressing gently so the bread absorbs the liquid.

Before the oven:

Bake in your preheated oven for about 1 hour. It will get golden brown.  It will “puff” up but somewhat fall down once you pull it out of the oven.

You can prep most of it the night before, assemble but do not put your egg and milk just before you bake it.

***This is my china…in fact, it was my mom’s which she was given on her wedding day 43 years ago this week! Isn’t that something!

This recipe was inspired by a Martha Stewart (the Queen of all things!) recipe.  I love Martha but unfortunately I do not live where “fancy” ingredients are readily available i.e. brioche (bread), fontina cheese, etc…  I would love to cook with these ingredients and for you guys to try them.  I know they are not always easily available.  Which is why I changed the recipe with ingredients we can all find at our local grocery store.

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Peace and not appropriate,



Pumpkin French Toast

I have a lot of pumpkin in my freezer.  A whole lot of it, this is due to the fact that out of nowhere our compost “grew” a bunch of pumpkins last summer!  We carved them, we decorated with them and of course I roasted them.  I make pumpkin bread a lot, but I have a little confession….when I froze the pumpkin I just put it in containers, I never looked at the quantity in each container, therefore I have quite the selection of “quantities”.  As you can imagine, I have uneven portions leftover when I use some for a recipe!  What to do with the rest?  Well, in good Isabelle fashion: make it up as you go!  I present to you: Pumpkin French toast.


1/2 cup of pumpkin puree

1 egg

1/2 cup of cream or milk

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon of ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon of ground allspice

1 tablespoon of sugar

8 slices of bread

powdered sugar and maple syrup (for serving)

In a large bowl mix your pumpkin, egg, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice and sugar.  Heat your griddle or large pan.  If you are using a large pan you will have to work in batches.  I would suggest you start your oven at 250F to have a warm place to put the French toasts while you are finishing up.  Grease your griddle with some butter.  Dip your pieces of bread one at a time (flipping them so both side get wet).  Place on your hot griddle, until golden brown on each side.

Serve your French toast with powdered sugar and maple syrup.

This is a very flexible recipe, you can double or even triple it.  You could also use leftover bananas (see another use for “old” frozen bananas!).  Also it is great to use homemade bread, the more rustic the better.

Printer friendly version: Pumpkin French Toast

Great for a lazy Saturday morning.