Monthly Archives: November 2015

Whole Wheat Buttermilk and Honey Biscuits

Homemade biscuits are very quick and easy! These are super special because the honey used in them was harvested by my husband’s good friends parents. They go perfectly with applebutter or pumpkin butter and also biscuits and gravy. 

Biscuits and gravy are one of my family’s favorite breakfasts so that is what we had them with today. 

This recipe yields 15 biscuits


2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, sifted 

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 cup vegetable shortening or coconut oil

1/2 tsp kosher salt

4 tsp baking powder

1 egg

2/3 cup buttermilk 


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a half sheet pan with parchment paper. 

2. In a large bowl sift flour, salt, and baking powder. Add shortening. Cut the shortening in to flour with pastry cutter or two knives. 

3. In a small vessel mix honey, buttermilk and egg. 

4. Pour liquid minute into the dry ingredients. This will be a very sticky dough.

5. Place dough on well floured pastry mat (this just makes for way clean up). Roll out to 3/4 inch thick. I made mine thinner to yield more biscuits. 

6. Cut biscuits with either a glass drinking cup or I found a beautiful gem of a biscuit cutter at an antique store (as pictured). 

7. Place biscuits spread evenly on a loner half sheet pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. 

8. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Or slightly cool before adding your favorite topping…. Applebutter, jam, honey or biscuits and gravy. 

Vanilla Bean Cake with Vanilla Buttercream 


My nephew is turning 4 years old in a few days! Wow I cannot believe it. He is growing so fast! Today we celebrated his birthday family style at my mom and dad’s with a pizza party! 

This year the cake design was a hot ever changing subject which kept me on my toes. At first my nephew wanted a robot cake and than one with motorcycles. 

He also loves batman right in the moment so eventually we made him a batman on a motorcycle cake. 

I searched high and low for the perfect vanilla cake recipe, which was hard to locate. I couldn’t find a vanilla cake note worthy but now have one for keeps. 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prep 2, 9 inch baking pans lined with parchment paper and sprayed with bakers joy.

Yields 16 serving

Cake Ingredients:

2 cups All Purpose flour

1/2 a vanilla bean (seeds)

1 tsp high quality pure Vanilla extract 

3 Large eggs room temperature 

1 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 TB baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter,room temperature


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

2. In a small bowl whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. 

3. Beat with paddle attachment in a stand mixer on medium speed the butter and sugar until white pale and fluffy. Reduce the speed and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time mixing after each addition and scraping down sides often. 

3. Decrease the speed of mixer and slowly add the dry ingredients and milk alternating between dry ingredients and milk. Beat until just combined. Be careful to not over mix.

4.Divide the batter into 2 prepared 9 inch baking pans. I weighed my and it was about 521 grams for each pan. Make sure to allow the air bubbles to release by slightly picking up the pan and dropping it onto the countertop gently. 

5. Bake both pans at the same time for 17 minutes or until toothpick comes out with little crumbled and no wet residue. 

6. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool on wire rack for remainder of time. 

**Once the cake has cooled completely I like to wrap it in plastic wrap and place it bake in the cleaned 9 inch pan and place in the deep freezer overnight. This helps when you go to frost the cake so the crumbs don’t go everywhere in the frosting later.**

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Ingredients:

1 # or 4 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature 

8 cups of sifted powdered sugar 

2 TB pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup heavy cream

Blue food coloring gel (optional)

**Sprinkles for center layer is optional


1. Cream the butter  in a stand mixer and gradually add sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and beat to incorporate. 

2. Add heavy cream and food gel coloring. Beat for an additional 3-4 minutes. 

3. Place the pan side down on a cardboard cakeboard. Top with generous amount of buttercream. (I actually saved some white frosting for the center to layer with sprinkles). My nephew loves sprinkles.  Spread the frosting evenly. Top with second layer of the cake. Place the round side ontop of the frosting. Make sure to center and level. Place generous amount of frosting on top and fill in the sides. Remove excess frosting and decorate as you wish. We used a some black fondant for the batman and city. 

Enjoy I know this little guy did! Happy 4th Birthday Max! Aunt Nelli loves you!  


Pumpkin Banana Bread


My sister loves hempseeds! So this one’s for you Jenna Lynn. I like that it gives the bread a bit of a nutty texture without the nuts.

Yields 4 mini loaves

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

2 tb wheat germ

2 tb hemp seeds

2 tb Canola oil

2 tb buttermilk

1/2 cup egg substitute 

1 tsp pumpkin spice

1 cup puréed bananas (2 med banana)

1/2 cup puréed roasted pumpkin

1 cup raw sugar

1 vanilla extract 

1. Preheat the oven to 325. Cooking spray for mini loaf tins. Set aside. 

2. In a medium to large bowl place whisk together what ingredients. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl whisk together dry ingredients. Slowly incorporate the drying ingredients into the wet. Mix by hand until no dry residue remains. 

4. Pour 1 cup of the batter into each greased mini loaf pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Or until toothpick comes out with crumbles. 

5. Wow loves to cool in pan for five minutes then remove and allow to cool on wire racks for the remainder.

Enjoy with a homemade pumpkin spice latte!

Pumpkin Oat Cranberry Bars

Pumpkin! Fall! Need I say more with dried cranberries ?! Bonus these bars are vegan too! 

Yields: 16 bars

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup puréed pumpkin (roasted)

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup raw sugar

1 tb pumpkin pie spice

2 cups 100% old fashioned oats

1/2 cup dried cranberries


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 by 9 baking dish with foil. Set aside.

2. Mix together in a large bowl first 6 ingredients and then fold in the cranberries. 

3. Pour batter into prepared baking dish. Spread batter evenly into the baking dish. 

4. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. 

5. Allow to cool, cut into 16 bars, and enjoy!

Garlic Roasted Pumpkin Seeds in the Actifry


I just finished roasting half a dozen pie pumpkins in the oven. One of the best parts of making the purée is roasting the nutritious pumpkin seeds. Today I used the actifry! 

1 cup of dried pumpkin seed

1/2 tsp garlic salt

1 tsp olive oil 

1. Place all the ingredients in the actifry and turn on the “frier” for 10 minutes. 

2. Allow to cool and enjoy!

Bacon, Egg & Pepper Tart

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! As I always say! This one is quick and so simple. And will satisfy any savory tooth! 


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

3 oz of soft reduced fat (1/3)cream cheese

1 tsp pasta sprinkle or Italian seasoning

1 tsp chopper freeze dried chives 

1/2 tsp freeze dried chopped garlic 

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 small green pepper cut into strips

3 eggs

2 slices of bacon (precooked) cut in half lengthwise and then cut into thirds 

1 sheet of puff pastry (thawed)


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 

2. Place rolled out puff pastry onto parchment paper. Roll up sides slightly and crimp the corners to prevent egg from running. Bake puff pastry for 14 minutes. 

3. Meanwhile in a small bowl mix cream cheese with pasta sprinkle, garlic, salt, and pepper. Spread the cream mixture on the warm puff pastry. 

4. Strategically place the cut pepper randomly on the tart. Crack eggs and place ontop of the cheese in or around the corners. Add another egg if you want one in each corner. 

5. Now place bacon strips around the pepper strips and eggs. 

6. Sprinkle with chives and additional salt and pepper if you wish. 

7.Bake for 7-10 minutes or until egg is opaque. 


Grandma Harper’s No Bakes Cookies


I am working on making a cookbook of my grandmother’s recipes. This recipe will definitely be added to one of the cookbook’s pages. 

Yesterday one of my cousins asked me if I had gramdma’s no bake cookie recipe. I looked at the several recipes I had scanned a few months ago and sure enough I had it. This was one of his favorite treats my grandma used to make for us growing up. I almost forgot about this classic cookie thay used to fill  her cookie jar and our hearts and stomachs years ago. 

She always had homemade treats in her cookie jar for the grandkids and for grandpa too! I can honestly say I don’t ever recollect the jar being empty. 

This recipe yields 51 cookies using a 60 scoop
Ingredients :

1/2 cup unsalted butter (grandma used margarine)

1/2 cup peanut butter

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup skim milk

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

3 cups old fashioned mother’s oats

6 tb Dutch Processed Cocoa (grandma used Hershey’s cocoa

1/2 c marshmallow fluff


1. Mix together cocoa, butter, sugar, and milk in a 5 or 6 quart sauce pan. Place mixture on high heat and bring to a boil.

2. One sauce is boiling remove from heat and stir in vanilla, peanut butter, and marshmallow fluff. Once sauce incorporates fold in the oats. 

3. Scoop the cookies using a size 60 scoop on wax paper. You can place them fairly close together. If you can resist allow the cookies to fully set. The resting period can take up to an hour but this will depend on the temperature in your house.

4. Enjoy!