Monthly Archives: May 2015

Banana Crumb Breakfast Cake

I do have to admit I love baking early in the morning before my husband gets up. I always like having something in the oven before he walks out into the kitchen and wants to pour a bowl of cereal. I like to think the aroma of homemade goodness helps place him in good spirits for the remainder of the day. Baking early also helps clear my mind and plan my day. 

I had quite a few dozen bananas leftover. I thought I was going to need more for cupcake order but didn’t end up using all of them. I think today I’ll be eating bananas breakfast lunch and dinner and maybe dessert too. I will probably individually freeze some as well for banana ice cream!

Preheat oven to 350 degree and spray a 8 by 8 oven safe dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

Yields 9 servings 

Cake Ingredients:

1/4 cup canola oil

1/2 tsp ground Vietnamese cinnamon

One and a half teaspoons of baking powder

Half a teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of vanilla pure extract

Half a cup of whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup of regular all-purpose flour

2 ripe bananas mashed well

1/2 cup skim milk

1 egg or 3 TB egg substitute 

2/3 cup granulated sugar

Crumble Topping:

1/2 cup Ap flour

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

2/3 cup brown sugar (not packed)

6 TB unsalted butter

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Optional powdered sugar dizzle:

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 TB skim milk


1. In a small bowl mash bananas set aside.

2. In a medium bowl whisk flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

3. In small bowl whisk canola oil, granulated sugar. Add egg and vanilla whisk to combine. 

4. Add in milk to liquid ingredients and whisk to incorporate. 

5. Add the dry ingredients  to the wet and whisk together until no dry residue remains. 


6. Fold in mashed bananas using spatula.  


7. Pour the batter into a cooking sprayed 8 by 8 baking dish. Set aside.

8. In medium bowl mix  all the crumble topping ingredients using a butter cutter cut butter into pea size wet sandlike texture. 


9. Bake for 35 to 38 minutes or until toothpick comes out of the center clean. 


10. Allow to cool on wire rack for ten minutes before cutting into or frosting with powdered sugar dizzle. 

11. For powdered sugar dizzle place skim milk and powdered sugar in bowl and whisk add more milk if necessary to reach desired constancy. Pour on to crumble. I didn’t use the entire amount. 

12. Enjoy with some coffee!


Rhubarb Custard Bars


Today I picked my first batch of rhubarb. I have been wanting to make these bars for a while but didn’t have quite enough rhubarb in the freezer. So once my rhubarb was ready to harvest this was the first recipe I had to try. The original is on taste of home, I couldn’t leave well enough alone as my mom would say so I had to cut down on the saturated fats by swapping out some of the heavy cream, eggs, and butter. I also decreased sugar, & added whole grain to the crust.


This recipe yields 36 bars 


Crust Ingredients:

1 cup ap flour

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

6 TB unsalted butter (cold) cubed

1/4 cup sugar

Custard ingredients:

1 3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup fat free half and half 

5 cups chopped rhubarb

1 Tsp vanilla pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup egg substitute 

Cream Cheese Topping

1 (8 oz block of reduced fat cream cheese)

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup fat free half and half

1/2 cup whip cream 


Mix with hands mix butter, sugar and flour. Until the mixture resembles wet sand.

Press the mixture into 9 by 13 glass pan (sprayed with cooking spray). Bake for 10 minutes. 

Take out of oven and set aside.

In the meantime mix half and half, cream, egg substitute, sugar, & vanilla. Add in rhubarb mix to combine.

 Pour over crust. 

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

Set aside and allow to cool. In the meantime whip up cream and fat free half and half until thickened. Mix on high speed in a large mixing bowl with whisk attachment until thick. Place in refrigerator . In a separate bowl beat cream cream, sugar, and vanilla. Fold in cream mixture. 

Spread over cooled bars.  



Meatball Pockets


Need a quick dinner or snack try these little meatball pockets. 

This recipe yields 10 minutes mini pockets


2 cans of pillsbury small flaky biscuits (one ones that usually come in a 4 pack)

10 frozen regular sized meatballs  (thawed & cooked as directed according to package) ***vegetarian meatballs work well***

2 sticks of part skim mozzarella cheese string cheese (cut into chunks)

1-2 TB Fresh parm cheese grated (optional)

1 cup of jarred pasta sauce (homemade or your favorite)

Pasta sprinkle to taste (Italian seasoning) *** optional**


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

2. Spray with cooking spray 10 large sized muffin tins. 

3. Press one biscuit into each of the 10 molds.

4. Press the dough down into the tin & top biscuit with scant 1 TB of tomato sauce and 2-3 pieces of the string cheese.

5. Now top with one meatball each. 



6. Sprinkle with pasta sprinkle and top with additional biscuit. Flatten biscuit slightly and  drape around meatball.

7. Bake for 12-18 minutes or until golden brown.

8. Remove from oven and grate with some fresh parm cheese for added flavor.



Banana Nutella Overnight French Toast


1 loaf banana yeast bread TOH ( cup into 1 inch cubes) or any sweet bread

3/4 cup Nutella 

2 bananas ( cut into slices)

4 cups of skim milk

2 eggs

6 egg whites

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup pure maple syrup 

1/2 tsp ground Vietnamese Cinnamon  

9 by 13 oven safe pan and spray with cooking spray 


1.  Place half the cubed bread into 9 by 13 dish. Take every other piece and apply scant Nutella. Face Nutella side up.  

2. Place slices of banana on top of bread. Spread evenly.  


3. Take the remainder of bread cubes and spread scant amount of Nutella on one side of the place and face down. 


Set aside.

4. In a large bowl whisk milk, egg, egg whites, vanilla, maple syrup, and cinnamon.  


5. Pour liquid evenly overtop the casserole and cover overnight in refrigerator. 


6. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes prior to placing in oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake uncovered for an hour to 1 hour 15 minutes or until an knife comes out clean. 

Rhubarb Strawberry Coffee Cake

coffee cake

Recipes yields 16 pieces!


We made this for the Mother’s Day brunch. My mom saw the basic recipe in the local newspaper back home. I wanted to use up some rhubarb and try to decrease some of the fat in the recipe. I don’t think it will be missed. Not to mention there was not a piece left ! No joke…

May 2016 UPDATE: 

This recipe was also featured in Taste Of Home Magazine April/ May 2016. I made it again for our 2nd Annual Mother’s Day Brunch May 7th. Taste of Home suggested freezing this cake, if you want to make it in advance. This year I did, I made the cake a few days before the brunch. Once the cake cooled completely out of the oven, I wrapped the entire cake (still in the springform pan) with plastic wrap and placed it in the deep freezer. I took it out 3 hours before our event, and allowed it to cool at room temperature, it was still very cold and firm similar to a cheesecake. Which was okay, but if you want to thaw the cake out completely I recommend taking the cake out the night before and letting it thaw in the refrigerator.



The Mother’s Day Menu for this year 2016 was:

Rhubarb Coffee Cake (recipe below)

Yogurt Bar with Greek Vanilla Yogurt, Homemade Maple Granola, Fresh Raspberries, Blackberries, and Strawberries, Fresh Cantaloupe & Freshly Whipped Whipped Cream

Caramelized Onion, Bacon & Kale Strada made with Homemade Bread

Hash brown Quiche Cups

Cucumber Mint Water

Mini Pink Lemonade Muffins & Mini Key Lime Muffins


Cake Ingredients:

2 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (Or 1 Cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour and 1 Cup AP <last years 2015 recipe I did this> )

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/2 cup cold cubed unsalted butter

3/4 cup fat free sour cream

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 egg

Cream Cheese

1 (8 oz ) 1/3 fat reduced Cream Cheese block (room temp)

1 egg

1/4 cup sugar

Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce

3/4 cup diced fresh strawberries

3/4 cup chopped rhubarb (fresh or frozen)

1 TB water

3 TB Sugar

1 1/2 tsp corn starch

one 8″ springform pan


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 inch springform pan with parchment paper and spray with baking joy.  Set aside

2. Prepare the strawberry rhubarb compote. Combine in a 2 qt. sauce pan the cornstarch, sugar & water mix well. Add the strawberries and rhubarb and place on low heat until strawberries and rhubarb juices release. Stir occasionally for 5-10 minutes until thickened. Set aside off heat to cool to room temperature.

3. In a stand mixer, prepare the cream cheese filling by beating the cream cheese on medium high speed. Add sugar and mix, then add egg and mix to incorporate. Set aside.

4. Prepare the cake by adding flour, and butter to a large bowl. Use your hands to cut the butter into the flour until the flour resembles wet sand. Remove 3/4 cup of the flour mixture and set aside. With remaining flour add baking soda, salt, and baking powder whisk well to incorporate. Set aside.

5. In another small bowl, beat by hand the sour cream, egg and vanilla until well incorporated. Set aside.


6. Gently add the sour cream batter to the dry flour ingredients. Be careful not to over-mix (the batter will be lumpy). 

7. Pour the batter into the greased springform pan. Make a well with the batter, at least enough to go up the sides a 1/2 inch. Also leaving an 1/2 inch border to prevent the cream cheese filling from going to the edge of the cake.

 8. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the center of the well, make sure to leave a 1/2 inch border.

9. Now spread the strawberry and rhubarb compote on the top of the cream cheese filling.

Finally sprinkle the remaining flour mixture on the top of the strawberry and rhubarb compote. Bake for at least 55 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees.

10. Take the pan out of the oven and let rest on a wire rack for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes have elapsed remove the springform pan shell.

11. Allow to cool.

12. Dig in!

Fig Granola Engery Bites


This  recipe yields  33 bites


1 1/2 cup 100% old fashioned oats

1 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)

2 tablespoons of wheat germ

1/2 cup of chopped finely figs

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

1/3 cup local honey

1/4 tsp ground Vietnamese cinnamon

pinch of salt


1. Place honey and peanut butter in a microwavable safe small bowl.  Microwave for one minute then add vanilla . Set aside.
2. In a medium to large bowl place all the dry ingredients. Toss to mix.

3. Add in the liquid ingredients and incorporate thoroughly throughout the dry ingredients.

4. Cover and place batter in freezer for 15 to 30 minutes.

5. Scoop using a size 60 scoop and portion out 33 bite-size granola and bits. 

  6. Cover and place in refrigerator overnight. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Chip Donuts with Vanilla Glaze

What to bake? What to bake? The first item that came to mind was donuts! My husband loves donuts but generally the fried kind. This morning I decided for something a little lighter for spring. 

This recipe yields 9 donuts using the Wilton donut pan. 

Predirections spray donut pan with cooking spray and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Donut Ingredients:

1/2 cup AP flour

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 baking soda

1/4 cup skim milk

1/4 cup fat free sour cream or Greek yogurt

1/3 cup raw sugar

3 TB egg white substitute or 2 egg whites

2 TB canola oil 

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Vanilla Glaze 

4 1/2 tps fat free half and half

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup confectionary sugar

(2-3  TB Optional cinnamon chips)

1. Mix flours,baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg into a medium to large sized bowl.  

Set aside.

2. Place egg substitute, vanilla, milk, sour cream, raw sugar, and canola oil into medium sized medium. Stir to incorporate.  


3. Pour dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix to combine however be careful not to over mix. 


4. Add batter using spatula to fill a piping with large round tip. Fill greased donut tin.  


5. Bake for 8-9 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean. Bake at 350 degrees be careful this little circles of love bake fast! 


6. Remove from pan and let rest for 5 minutes. In the meantime prepare the glaze. 

7. Place glaze ingredients in a shallow bowl, whisk.  


8. Dip each donut into the glaze and swirl to prevent excess glaze from running down the donut.  

9. Add cinnamon chips if you wish.