Tag Archives: chocolate

Cocoa Banana Bran Muffins


Let’s just say that I’m a bit Type A.  You might even use the word perfectionist. I’ll take it as a compliment.

That’s all fine and great… And, when it comes to developing recipes, it can be a good thing.

Enter the toddler.

Too tired to walk all the way over to the couch? Why not just lie down in the middle of the floor! Don’t want that last bite of your snack? Just put it on the counter. Partially chewed. Messy hands? No problem. Wipe them on the clean kitchen towel. Or on the cabinets. Or on your shirt. Hey, you have options!

Toddlers are not Type A.

(I can say this with assurance because I have plenty of first-hand experience. Sticky hands all over my countertops… and clothes… and walls… You get the idea.) Continue Reading

Chocolate Banana Snack Cake


Some News…

I let the cat out of the bag a few weeks ago on Instagram… We’re expecting! For those of you wondering, it’s a baby. Though, I’m pretty sure the kiddo thinks she’s getting a puppy. She might be a bit disappointed in July.

We’re excited. We are. But, I’ll be honest with you… I’ve spent the better part of the past 3 months on the couch under a blanket.

I was sick the first time around… For most of the first half of my pregnancy. But, this time around has felt different. Sure, I’ve had the constant nausea and I’ve been exhausted. That’s to be expected, I think. Perhaps it’s the fact that I chase a toddler around all day long, but this time it’s hit me much harder than I remember from before. Continue Reading

Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies with Pecans


There is an ongoing debate in my house regarding chocolate chip cookies. I suppose there are much worse things that we could fight over… But, this chocolate chip cookie battle has been going on for years, and there is no end in sight.

You see, my husband and I have different definitions of what constitutes a chocolate chip cookie. I believe that the chocolate chip cookie is a blank canvas just waiting for inspiration to strike… Why not add oats? Or mix it up with some whole wheat flour? Perhaps we could add nuts? Or cocoa powder? Or peanut butter? My mind is just spinning with ideas.

My husband just wants a plain chocolate chip cookie. Give him the recipe on the back of the bag of chips. Every. Single. Time. Perhaps you can see where this is going…

I often bake cookies as a treat to go with our weekly pizza night on Fridays… And, it never fails that when I ask him what kind of cookies he would like, he will tell me that he wants chocolate chip cookies. Not those “fake” chocolate chip cookies that I make, mind you… He wants the “real” ones, which he claims I never make. (I do… More often than I’d like.)

So, a few weeks ago, when I came up with these chewy oatmeal cookies studded with chocolate chips and pecans and jazzed up with just a bit of cinnamon, he wasn’t impressed. We had friends over for dinner that night, and everyone ate the cookies happily (including my hubby, though he did protest the “fake” cookies). Of course, now I owe him a batch of “real” chocolate chip cookies.

If you’re like me, I think you’ll love these cookies… They are perfect for late summer/early fall when the sun sets a bit earlier, and the weather is just starting to turn, but you aren’t quite ready to dive in with a pumpkin pie yet. There’s just enough cinnamon to be noticeable, but not so much that it overpowers the chocolate chips. The oats and pecans make the cookies just a bit heartier than a typical chocolate chip cookie.

Of course, if you’re like my husband, you can just skip over this recipe and make my “real” chocolate chip cookies. I won’t judge… At least, not too much.


Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies with Pecans
Makes 26-28 cookies

This recipe makes nice big chewy oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips and pecans. They are great for snacking or dunking. They’ll keep for up to a week in an airtight container, but I doubt that they will last that long.

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in the vanilla extract and beat again for about 30 seconds.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon.  Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, beating on the lowest setting until they are just incorporated.  Stir in the oats, chocolate chips, and pecans.

Cover the batter and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or overnight).

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F. Line your baking sheets with parchment or a silicone mat.

Scoop out ¼ cup of dough for each cookie (I have a ¼ cup ice cream scoop that makes this job simple!).  Press the cookies to flatten them just a bit on the pan before baking.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes, until the cookies are golden but still soft. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Chocolate Cherry Granola


Sometimes I find that the actual writing of a blog post is the hardest part. This week, that is certainly the case.

I made this granola earlier in the week… I even managed to find the time to take some photos (hooray for nap time!), and got them processed and ready to go.

Since then, however, I’ve barely had a moment to even think about writing a few sentences and sharing the recipe. I’ve got a little girl who doesn’t want to sleep and wants to be held all day (which, while sweet, isn’t very practical when I’m trying to get things done!). And, I’ve also got a few other projects going on this week. It’s all good stuff, but sometimes I find that sitting down to write falls through the cracks. Continue Reading

On Gluten-Free Eating… An Important Distinction (and Miniature Chocolate Banana Loaves)


Let’s talk about gluten-free eating today, shall we?

It seems that gluten-free is the latest craze and it’s everywhere. There are no shortage of gluten-free foods at the grocery store these days. Some of them are great, but many of them are merely junk food lacking gluten. There are plenty of books and diets that promote a gluten-free lifestyle for health… Many of them are based in actual scientific fact. Sadly, some aren’t.

With all of the gluten-free hype, I’m guessing you know a few people (even dozens, perhaps) who have “gone gluten-free” recently. Unfortunately, I’m guessing that there’s at least one of them that can’t even tell you what gluten is or why they stopped eating it. Herein lies the problem.

If you’re a regular reader, you may know that I recently cut back on gluten.  (I cut back on processed foods, sugar, and dairy, as well… But, that seems to draw much less attention.) In the process, I’ve gotten a lot of questions and plenty of blank stares. There are also a handful of people who think it’s just a joke. (A few late night TV hosts have also tried to make a joke out of it lately.) Continue Reading