Category Archives: Recipe Makeovers

Baked Apple Pie Spiced Cider Donuts

Apple Cider is a highly anticipated seasonal beverage in our household and an assist to many fall home cooked dishes.  I can find a way to add it to just about anything. Whether the recipe be a sweet baked good or savory dinner dish. 

A breakfast of donuts must be one of my husband’s favorite morning treats. He also loves fresh cider. This breakfast donut combines the two for a satisfing starter for the fall weekend. 

This recipe yields: 14 Donuts using the Wilton Donut baking dish

Prep time: 30 minutes  Cook time: 9-10 minutes


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and generously spray baking pan with cooking cooking, set aside. 


2 cups whole wheat pastry

1 teaspoon apple pie spice 

1 teaspoon baking powder 

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 kosher salt

1/2 cup apple cider reduction (directions below)

1/2 cup sugar 

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 Tablespoon of canola oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla

1/2 cup low fat buttermilk 

1 egg

Apple Pie Spice Sugar, recipe below

Apple cider reduction ingredients:

1 1/4 cup 100% apple cider 

1 (3 inch) cinnamon stick)

Directions for reduction:

1. Place apple cider, cinnamon stick in a 1 quart sauce pan and place on low to medium heat for 30 minutes until product yields 1/2 cup reduction. Discard the cinnamon stick.

Apple Pie Spice Sugar:

3/4 cup sugar 

1 teaspoon of apple pie spice 


1. Place the sugar and apple pie spice in a shallow container and mix thoroughly. Set aside.

1. Place the first 5 ingredients into a medium bowl. Whisk together thoroughly & set aside. 

2. In a large bowl, mix the cider reduction, sugars, vanilla, canola oil, and buttermilk. Lastly add in the egg & mix. 

3. Add the dry ingredients into the wet. Mix enough to wet all ingredients; however, caution not over mix. 

4. Place the batter into a piping bag with large round tip. Portion out the batter evenly into the donut pan. 

5.  Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 9-10 minutes. 

6. Allow Donuts to rest in pan for 1-2 minutes before inverting the pan and placing the on wire rack. 

7.  Dip the warm Donuts into the apple pie spice sugar bath. If the sugar dust does not want to stick spray the Donuts with some cooking spray prior to dipping. Dip both sides of the donut.

*Tip the Donuts taste the best the day they are made. Make sure to store in a sealable container. 

Classic Coffeecake Remake




My mom growing up always made coffeecake on the weekends. I love the smell of the cake baking in the oven. I find it ironic years later to learn there is no coffee in the actual cake (how disappointing!!). The baked good just pairs so nicely with a strong cup of coffee, is where I am sure the name stemmed from.


Today is an eventful day,  we are finally planting our garden.  My grandfather provided us with a lot of starter plants this past week. We just recently came back from vacation and have not had time to put in a garden.  He is visiting us for a father’s day picnic next week. I want to make sure we get everything planted before he reviews our garden. My husband tried to start the rototiller Friday and  it would not budge. Luckily our neighbors are going to let us borrow their tracker rototiller attachment. As a jester of gratitude, I baked this breakfast treat for them.

This cake is fairly large and I baked the coffeecake in my pampered chef stoneware bunt pan. I love, love stoneware for baking. Stoneware makes all baked goods cook so much more evenly. I also cut the sugar down significantly and swapped out the sour cream for nonfat greek yogurt. I did decrease the butter by half as well and used unsweetened applesauce in it’s place, which adds moisture and sweetness but also helps cut down on the saturated fat.

This recipe yields 16 to 20 servings


2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

2 cups AP flour

1 3/4 cup of sugar, push 1/4 cup later for cinnamon and sugar swirl

2 TB of ground Vietnamese Cinnamon

4 Eggs

2 cups of plain greek non fat yogurt

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 stick of unsalted butter (1/2 cup); softened to room temperature

1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce

2 tsp of high quality pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously cooking spray a large bunt pan and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl mix together thoroughly the flours, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. Place in a stand mixer bowl the butter, & 1 & 3/4 of the sugar, using paddle attachment cream the two together. Add in applesauce and vanilla and continue to mix to incorporate the ingredients together. On low speed, add in the egg one at a time. Allow for each egg to incorporate into the batter before adding another egg.
  4. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the egg batter, continue the mixer speed on low. Once incorporated add 1/3 of the greek yogurt, repeat until flour and yogurt are gone.
  5. In a small bowl take the cinnamon and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and mix together, set aside.
  6. Take 1/3 of the batter and spread with rubber spatula on the bottom of the greased bunt pan. Sprinkle evenly with 1/3 of the cinnamon sugar blend. Repeat the steps two more times, until no batter and cinnamon blend remain. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 60 -65 minutes or until cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Place the bunt pan on a wire rack, allow the cake to remain in the hot pan for 15 minutes to cool slightly. After the 15 minutes have elapsed, remove the cake from the pan and allow to cool on wire rack until you are ready to serve the cake.





Unstuffed Peppers Remake



One of my goals this year is to post more dinner recipes. This recipe made me happy because I did not have to stuff peppers. The original recipe is a TOH recipe. I modified the recipe to incorporate more whole grains, lower fat dairy, and lower saturated fat protein as well. I don’t honestly think anyone will miss the extra calories and fat.

Predirections: Preheat oven to 350 degrees

This recipe yields six servings


2 Medium Green peppers (chopped)

1/2 a medium onion or about 1/2 cup of yellow onion chopped

1 (2 cup ) jar of your favorite marinara sauce (we used our favorite homemade sauce)

1 1/2 tsp of spicy Mrs. Dash

pinch of salt

a few clicks off the pepper mill

3 large cloves of minced garlic

1 pound of 93/7 ground beef or turkey

1 cup of instant uncooked brown rice

1 cup of 2% mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup of whole wheat bread crumbs

1 cup of very low sodium beef broth

cooking spray

2 quart oven safe casserole dish 



  1. Place a large skillet on the stove on medium heat and spray with canola oil or olive oil spray. Place meat, peppers, garlic, and onion in skillet make sure to cook the meat until no longer pink. Season meat with pepper, salt and Mrs. Dash.
  2. In meantime bring the broth to boil in a small sauce pan add in the rice and decrease temperature & cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Once the rice has cooked thoroughly add it to the meat mixture along with the marinara sauce. Mix the ingredients together well. Add about half of the cheese and stir. 

4. Carefully pour the ingredients into the 2 quart casserole dish. Pat the top with a spatula to make sure the mixture is spread evenly.  Top the dish with the bread crumbs and remaining cheese.

5. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

6. Enjoy!

Oatmeal Raisin bars


We had our monthly NST meeting today. I decided to make some whole grain oatmeal bars for the meeting since these are super quick and easy. They are also perfect for an after lunch snack! They remind me of an oatmeal raisin cookie but without the butter !

Yields 20 bars


2 TB Ground flaxseed 

2/3 cup raw sugar 

1 TB pure maple syrup

1/2 tsp allspice

1 tsp baking soda 

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 cup 100% quick oats

1 cup 100% old fashioned oats

1/4 c canola oil

1/2 c unsweetened applesauce

1 c  whole wheat pastry flour

1/2  cup of raisins

9 by 13 baking dish 

Parchment paper

Cooking spray

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees and parchment line a 9 x 13″ baking pan. Spray with cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a large bowl mix together with whisk both oats, flour, flaxseed, sugar, allspice, baking soda, & salt . Add applesauce, maple syrup, canola oil, and mix to incorporate. 

3. Lastly fold in raisins. Pour batter into 9 x 13 pan and press the batter into the pan evenly. It helps to spray a spatula with cooking spray to prevent sticking and smooth the bars prior to placing in the oven.

4. Bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on wire rack. Allow to cool completely before cutting.


Enjoy! I know my husband and the team did!

Ginger Oatmeal Raisin Bars

These are a sample of whole grain goodness. My kitchen smells amazing while these are baking in the oven! 


3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/3 cup raisins

1/3 cup chopped toasted pecans or slivered almonds (I used a combo since I had some roasted pecans leftover from another baked good)

1/4 cup canola oil

1/2 cup raw sugar

1 egg 

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp kosher salt

2 TB crystallized ginger

1/4 cup ground flaxseed

1 1/3 cup 100% old fashioned oats

1 TB honey

1 tsp good quality vanilla extract 

1/4 tsp almond extract

8 by 8 glass baking dish

Parchment paper

This recipe yields 8 bars or 9 squares


1. Whisk together oil, honey, sugar, flaxseed,egg,extracts in a large bowl. Mix well to incorporate. Add in flour, salt, soda, and oats.  Use spatula to incorporate the dry ingredients throughout. Fold in raisins and nuts. 

2. Place parchment paper into baking vessel. Pour batter evenly (it will be thick pasty like) into dish press with spatula. 

3. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes befor cutting into bars. 

4. Enjoy! 

Old Fashioned Shortcake 


We celebrated Father’s Day today with a family picnic at my mom and dad’s. My mom requested I bake a shortcake to pair with my grandpa’s amazingly delicious homegrown strawberries. I can honesty say this was always a favorite growing up! My sister and I would swim all day long in our grandparents’ pool. We would really work up and an appetite and after swimming my grandpa would fix us a bowl of strawberries and vanilla ice cream on shortcake. Yes that is what summer tastes like to me. Today I thought I’d share the memory with you. 

I like this dessert because I was able to decrease the sugar by 66% and add cinnamon to naturally sweeten the dish. Plus I add some whole wheat pastry flour without anyone noticing. I substituted the butter for a heart healthy alternative as well. I challenge you to do the same when you are following old passed down family favorites. 

Yields: 18 servings 


1 1/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/2 cup ap flour

4 large eggs

2 tsp pure vanilla

1 cup buttermilk

2 TB canola oil

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt 

1/2 tsp ground vienmesse cinnamon 

Predirections preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 9 by 13 pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray to prevent sticking.


1. In a stand mixer beat eggs for 3 minutes on medium speed. Gradually add in sugar, vanilla, and oil to incorporate. Set aside. 

2. In a seperate bowl mix together flours, cinnamon, salt, baking powder. Whisk together well to incorporate throughly. Set aside.

3. On low speed, gradually add one third of the flour mix to the liquid batter and mix until incorporated then add1/3 of buttermilk and mix. repeat until no ingredients remain. Mix well enough no dry residue remains. 

4. Pour batter into the 9 by 13 baking pan. Make sure to pound the pan on the counter 1-2 times to release the air bubbles. I used a dark pan and baked it for 25 minutes at 350. When the timer went off my cake was done. A toothpick came out of the center clean. 


5. I made this cake a day before the party and it turned out very well. I let it cool completely then wrapped it with saran wrap. Prior to plating the cake, we cut the cake in half and stuffed it with homemade whip cream, strawberries, and our favorite local ice cream store’s vanilla.  

Banana Oat Cookies


I picked up a 1970’s cookie cookbook at a local loved flea market. I was reviewing the recipes this past weekend. I found many that peaked my interest. I found one in particular that I just couldn’t wait to try since I have an abundance of ripe bananas. I made many modifications to make the recipe more up to date and less sugar and transfat. I also added more whole grains as well. These cookies are crisp on the outside and light and fluffy in the inside.

1 1/2 cup mashed ripe banana

1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 3/4 cup 100% old fashioned oats

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil 

1/4 cup canola oil 

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 chopped walnuts

2 TB grounded flaxseed

1 egg

1 tsp kosher salt 

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground vietnesse cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place parchment paper on 1/2 sheet pan and set aside.

2. In a medium to large bowl, mash bananas, coconut oil, and canola oil together. Add vanilla and egg to mix & whisk to incorporate. Set aside

3. In a separate medium bowl whisk together oats, flaxseed, flour, salt, soda, nutmeg and cinnamon. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet batter. Use spatula to fully incorporate the ingredients together leaving no dry residue. Lastly fold in walnuts until evenly distributed thought cookie batter.

4. Using a number 60 scoop portion out cookies 12 to 14 to a pan. Place the pan in oven for 10 minutes or until cookies form a light golden color on the exterior.

5. Remove from the pan immediately and cool  the cookies on wire rack.



Apple Coffeecake

An apple a day keeps the doctor away! But  unfortunately I don’t count the ones in baked goods. I did try and cut some of the extra sugar that the original recipe called for. 

This recipe makes 4 servings 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cooking spray an 8 by 8 oven safe  glass dish. Set aside. 


1/2 cup Ap flour

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 TB raw sugar 

3/8 tsp baking soda 

1/4 tsp kosher sat

1 tsp ground Vietniemesse cinnamon

1/4 tsp allspice

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

1/8 cup canola oil

1/4 cup puréed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) or unsweetened applesauce 

1 large egg

1 extra extra large apple (I used jonnygold but use what you have) about two cups (diced & cored but not peeled) the peel is where the nutrition is and fiber! 

1/4 cup canned pecans chopped 

Cooking spray

8 by 8 baking dish 


  1. Place flours, candied pecans, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, allspice, 1/2 tsp cinnomon, 1/2 cup raw sugar in large bowl. Mix to fully incorporate all the dry ingredients.

2. In a separate small bowl mix oil, pumpkin, and eggs to incorporate.

3. Add wet ingredients  into dry, along with apples. Mix until no dry ingredients remain. The batter will be chunky.

4.  Place in cooking sprayed pan and spread batter evenly. And sprinkle with remain 1 1/2 TB of raw sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon.

5. Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees! Or until tooth pick comes out clean.

Most of all enjoy!

Salted Chocolate Caramel Baked Donuts


Salted Caramel Baked Chocolate Donuts

Salted Caramel Baked Chocolate Donuts


I try and make something special on the weekend for breakfast or brunch for my husband. I saw a recipe for salted caramel donuts and was intrigued. The recipe that inspired me was from Country Cleaver. I did make a few modifications to add some whole grain and cut down on the saturated fat.

This recipe yields 17 donuts using a wilton donut pan.

Donut Ingredients:

1 cup cake flour

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

3/4 cup and 2 tb of skim milk

1/2 cup cocoa powder

2 eggs (I like eggland’s best or farm fresh)

2/3 cup of raw sugar

1/2 cup fat free sour cream or plain fat free greek yogurt

3 TB canola oil

2 Tsp of baking soda

3/4 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp Mexican vanilla extract


Caramel glaze ingredients: (there will be 1 cup remaining for another baking adventure)

2 cups of brown sugar

3 tb unsalted butter

1/2 cup and 2 tb of heavy cream

2 tsp of vanilla

Sea Salt or course salt to sprinkle


Prep work: Preheat oven to 425 degrees and spray with cooking spray wilton pan to prevent sticking. Even though this is a nonstick pan it really needs a good coat of a canola oil spray.


1. Mix  thoroughly with whisk cake flour, whole wheat pastry flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, and baking powder in a large sized bowl.



Set aside.


2. In a medium sized bowl mix with whisk eggs, vanilla, milk, canola oil beat until incorporated together smoothly.




3. Add  the liquid mixture into the dry ingredient mixture.



4. Optional place batter into a piping bag with an ateco 808 tip to pipe perfectly into the donut pan. This can be messy but it does do the trick. Make sure the batter is even before placing in the preheated oven. I like to tap the pan on the counter to help speed up the process. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.




5. Remove from pan immediately  and allow to cool on wire rack.




In the meantime prepare the caramel sauce.

Place the sugar in an even layer over the bottom of a heavy 2 quart nonstick saucepan. Heat the sugar over medium-high heat, whisking it as it begins to melt. Just keep whisking and as it continues to cook, the sugar will melt back down. Keep cooking until temperature reaches 350 degrees. Once temperature reached add butter, once the butter is melted gently pour in the heavy cream and whisk until combined. Remove from heat and add in the vanilla, stir to incorporate. Allow sauce cool for 10 minutes off heat and this will provide time for the sauce to thicken.


Dip cooled donuts into the sauce and sprinkle right away with sea salt. If you wait too long the caramel with harden and the salt will not stick. I like to place parchment paper under the cooling rack for easy clean up.







Chai Spice Muffins



Last night we watched the movie the 100 Foot Journey which was probably the best movie I watched all year. The movie inspired me to use some of my favorite spices (Cinnamon, Cardamom, Clove, Pepper). In fact I start my day every day with a hot Chai Tea with a splash of skim milk.

1 cup All-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground Vietnamese cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup skim milk
1/2 tsp Mexican vanilla
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup natural applesauce (no sugar added)
1/4 cup canola oil
2/3 cup raw sugar
1 large egg (farm fresh or England’s best)

This recipe yields 12 standard size muffins using a size 16 scoop and filling with scant amount of batter.

Preheat the oven to 350 and 23 muffin tins with paper liners and spray with cooking spray to prevent sticking.


1. Mix with whisk all dry ingredients ( spices, salt, baking powder, flours) together in medium bowl. With the exception of the sugar.




Set aside.

2. In a medium to large bowl mix together oil, applesauce, vanilla, sugar, and milk.


Add egg and whisk to incorporate.




3. Add dry ingredients into wet using a spatula.



Mix well to incorporate.


4. Portion out perfectly the batter into the prelined muffin tins.






5. Place in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.


6. Remove muffins from pan right away be carful not to burn you hands and set the muffins on wire rack to cool.


Enjoy with your favorite chai tea ! It cannot think of a better way to start the New Year… let’s spice this year up!