Monthly Archives: February 2017

Valentine’s Day Trail Mix

I broke down, and had to purchase personalized M&M’s for my husband for Valentine’s Day. The process of ordering the M&M’s was too much fun with selecting any color, adding cute little sayings, and pictures. I was able to order them with Groupon one of my favorite apps which decreased the overall cost. My whole intent of ordering the M&M’s was to make him trail mix with these “melt in your mouth” American staples. 

I added all his favorite fixings into the mix.  Trail mix is one of his favorite snacks, and is great in between meals as a satisfying sweet and salty treat. 


1 cup dried cranberries 

1 1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds, lightly salted

1 cup whole cashews, lightly salted 

2 cup peanuts, lightly salted

1 cup M&M’s 

1 cup Ghirardelli 60% cacao chips

1/4 cup pepita seeds


1. Mix all the ingredients into a sealable container. Lock the lid on the container & give the container a few gentle shakes to distribute all the ingredients throughout. 

2. Store the trail mix in the sealed container or portion out into small sealable snack baggies for travel. 

Savory Caramelized Onion Monkey Bread


My husband loves bacon. On the weekend, I generally make him a dish with bacon. Everything in moderation right? If you are a vegetarian like me you can always use a tofu soy based alternative to make this recipe vegetarian. 

I saw the foundation of this recipe in the December 2016 issue of Taste of Home Magazine. The original is a good base for any savory Monkey Bread. But as you all know, what good is a recipe if I cannot modify it. No fun, I’ll tell you that. So here is my twist. 

Recipe Yields: 12 servings


1 can of reduced fat refrigerated canned biscuits

1 green pepper, seeded and diced

1 small onion, diced

1 garlic clove, minced

1Tablespoon freeze dried chives 

1/2 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese, 2% shredded

6 oz of bacon, cooked (roughly 6 strips), diced

Canolia Oil Cooking Spray 

Salt and pepper to taste 


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Graciously spray a bundt pan. I used my trusty stoneware one. Set aside. 

2. Quarter the biscuits and place them in a medium bowl. Spray the biscuits with cooking spray. 

3. In the meantime, spray a sauté pan with cooking spray, and heat the pan to medium heat. Once pan is to temperature sauté the onions and garlic until translucent. Add green peppers to the onion mixture, and continue sautéing for 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cool slightly before adding the contents to the prepared biscuits. 

4. Place all the remaining ingredients together in the prepared biscuit medium bowl. Fold everything together to incorporate all the ingredients together. Place evenly all the ingredients together in the prepared bundt pan. 

5. Bake for 30 minutes or until Monkey Bread is golden brown. 

6. Allow to cool in bundt pan for 5 minutes and then invert the dish into wire cooking rack. Enjoy! 

French Toasttins 

Since we are renting until our home sells. We don’t have our usual refrigerator & freezer space (which is killing me softly but I have to remind myself it is short term). I was organizing the freezer and came across my stock pile of leftover bread heels. I have a hard time throwing food away in general, which has leads me to be even more resourceful than usual with only one refrigerator. For years I have been up-recycling bread heels to make either my own bread crumbs, casseroles, or croutons. 

You can save money by throwing the heels into a large freezer bag every time you finish a loaf. Once I get a good amount, I figure out a way to incorporate them into a dish to free up freezer space. Today I thought what better way to start off the day with French toast… well French Toasttins :)

Yields: 9 French Toasttins


3 eggs

1 TB pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground Vietnamese Cinnamon 

1 cup vanilla unsweetened almond milk

2 tablespoon pure maple syrup 

1/2 teaspoon raw sugar

10 slices of light whole grain bread heels (35-45 calories a slice), cubed 


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cooking spray 9 muffin vessels in muffin tin. Set aside. 

2. In a large bowl whisk together the first 5 ingredients. 

3. Toss in the cubed bread. Fold with rubber spatula. Make sure the bread soaks up all the liquid. 

4. Take an 1/3 cup measuring device and portion out a heaping amount of the bread batter into prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle with raw sugar. Place in center rack in oven. 

5. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy as is or additional maple syrup or sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Vegan Buckwheat Chai Seed Waffles

After 9 1/2 years our trusty Cuisinart Waffle Iron bit the dust. Last night we made sandwiches in our new waffle iron we received as a gift from my parents for Christmas. This morning before putting it away, I thought we should also use the iron to make breakfast. 

This was my first time using chai seeds as an egg substitute for a leavening agent. The concept is a clever way to omit eggs if you have an egg allergy or follow a vegan diet. 

Chai seeds add antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids, and fiber to your diet as well!  Which everyone can benefit from that. 

Yields: 4 Servings using a 1/3 cup 

1 cup Buckwheat flour 

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground Vietnamese Cinnamon 

2 Tablespoons raw sugar 

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

2 tablespoon chia seeds, ground 

6 tablespoon water

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1. Take the first 5 ingredients and whisk together in a medium to large bowl. Set aside. 

2. Preheat the waffle iron according to the manufacturer directions. Spray the waffle iron grill generously with cooking spray. 

3. Take the chai seeds and grind them in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle. Add the water to the ground chai seed meal and allow to sit for 10 minutes to thicken. 

4. Add the liquid ingredients (chai paste, milk, & vanilla) to the dry ingredients.  Fold the wet ingredients into the dry. Mix until no dry residue remains. 

5. Take an 1/3 measuring cup and spray with cooking spray and fill with batter. Place the batter in the preheated waffle iron and set the iron according to manufacturer recommendations. 

Enjoy with some peanut butter or a light dust of powdered sugar. 

Cinnaliscous Apple & Cranberry Pull-Apart Loaf

My mom bought me some adorable tea towels for my birthday! I could not wait to display them. They are from the Loveless Cafe in Nashville, TN. The towels have sweet southern sayings on them which I love especially since we finally ventured to North Carolina.

This recipe was adapted from the Apple Pie  Pull-Apart Pillsbury recipe. I wanted to add some additional color, texture, and reduce the calories from the original recipe. 

Yields: 6 servings


1 teaspoon of orange zest

1 medium oranges, juiced

1/2 cup brown sugar (not packed)

1/4 cup melted unsalted butter

1 teaspoon ground Vietnamese cinnamon 

1/4 cup pepita seeds 

1/4 cup dried cranberries 

1 medium apple, cored & cut into thin slices

1 can of large reduced fat canned biscuits (8 biscuits to a can)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously  with cooking spray a non stick loaf pan, set aside. 

2. Place in a medium bowl & wisk together the melted butter, zest, orange juice, cinnamon, &  brown sugar. Add the apple slices, seeds, and cranberries to the batter, and fold into the batter to incorporate. Set aside. 

3. Open the biscuit can and place the 8 biscuits on a cutting board and slice each biscuit in half   longways. 

4. Take one of the biscuit segments and add a slice or two of apple slices and some cranberries and seeds. Make almost like a sandwich. Layer 4 biscuit segments to a stack with apple slices between each segment. You will end up having 4 stacks. There should be no apple slices remaining. 

5. Take each stack separately and line them into the prepared bread loaf pan. Once you have all four stacks in the pan. Pour the remaining liquid, cranberries, & seeds over the segments. 

6. Bake the loaf in the center of the oven for 40 to 50 minutes at 350 degrees. Check the loaf at 40 minutes. You want the crust golden brown. Mine did go for 50 minutes. Allow the loaf to cool on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes. Caution how long you leave the final product in the pan, the liquid goodness will caramelize and harden.