Category Archives: Bread

Cherry Almond Butter Breakfast Cake

My mom was always the coolest. Whenever we had some leftover, she let my sisters and I  have cake for breakfast.

I guess she figured that cake really wasn’t any worse for you than most sugary cereals out there. I actually agree with her on that one, yet I have never given The Dude cake for breakfast. Mainly because there is no amount of coffee in the world that could help me power through Sugar Dude first thing in the morning. Scary thought.

This weekend though, I decided I wanted to be cool like my mom. The Dude stumbled into the kitchen, rubbing her sleepy eyes as I was feeding Monkey some breakfast. I gave her a big hug and asked her what she would like to eat, “Monkey is having cake. Would you like some too?”

“Waaaahht?! Cake for breakfast?!

Needless to say, she was game; and I felt like the cool mom. Mission accomplished.

This here is a cake you don’t have to feel bad about feeding to the wee ones.

I am billing it as a breakfast cake because it runs circles around cereal (or leftover birthday cake, for that matter) in terms of nutrition. But really, it is great any time of day. It makes a nice mid day snack, or a grab and go lunch for anyone who has to chase around after kids who have boundless energy.

It is full of fruit, oats, whole wheat flour, Greek yogurt, flax seed, and as promised, the fabulous almond butter that we made over the weekend.

You will notice that for this recipe, I let my oats soak for a little while before I combined them into the batter. Basically I did this because The Dude has texture issues. Many times, if she sees oats peeking through baked goods, she picks them out and declares that “nuts are yucky.” I have never been able to convince her that the oats she sometimes finds are not in fact nuts. So a lot of times what I will do is soak them in milk for a bit before I bake with them. It helps the oats dissolve into the batter and adds a bit of softness to the whole wheat which can sometimes be a little grainy.

Here are my oats pre-soak.

And here they are after about 45 minutes.

And just a little heads up, this is not a very sweet cake so I made a little sweet drizzle to go over the top.

Come on now, even though it is healthy cake we have to have a little bit of fun. I mean…I am the cool mom after all…

Cherry Almond Butter Breakfast Cake

1 cup old fashioned oats

1/2 cup almond milk (regular dairy milk is fine too)

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

4 tablespoons milled flax seed

3/4 cup almond butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/2 tablespoon vanilla

1 cup dried cherries

Stir together oats and almond milk in a small bowl and let sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and flax seed. Set aside.

In a large bowl combine almond butter and brown sugar.

Fold in Greek yogurt and vanilla.

Stir softened oats into the almond butter mixture.

Add the dry ingredients to wet.

Fold in the dried cherries.

Press batter into a greased 8×8 in pan (it tends to be pretty thick and sticky, so you may want to press it down with your hands) and bake for 30 minutes.

Let cool completely before drizzling with glaze (2 tablespoons powdered sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons almond milk) and cutting into squares.

Cranberry Pesto Swirled Pumpkin Bread

Well here you go, guys. I submit to you my dutiful pumpkin bread recipe.

And it is pretty darn great if I do say so myself.

The bread is everything you would expect — warm, spicy flavors with a moist, tender texture. But the pesto is what really make this special. It is slightly crunchy from the pumpkin seeds, and a little sweet and slightly tangy from the cranberries. Then there is the zip and kick of the orange juice and zest. You are just not going to believe what it all tastes like together.

I am so in love.

To begin, you need to blend cranberries, pepitas, the zest and juice of an orange, and a little bit of olive oil in a food processor.

If Bing Crosby’s Christmas music had a smell and taste, this would be it. I know that seems like a weird thing to say but I think you will agree once you make it. It’s something about the orange. It just gives the whole thing this warm flavor and smell that is totally amazing. I wouldn’t blame you at all if you decided to just eat all of the pesto by itself on some graham crackers (Dude and I definitely didn’t almost do that) and said to hell with the bread.

But if you do decide to set aside the pesto and go on with the bread, first you will want to stir together your dry ingredients.

My little sous chef may be getting a little full of herself. She kept asking me to taste it and then pointed toward the pantry, demanding that I bring her more “greadients.”

Blend together all of the wet greadients except for the eggs in a mixer until smooth. Once it is well blended, stir in the eggs. Then dump in all of the dry ingredients, and let it come together.

Pour half of the batter into the loaf pan. I made the batter all uneven and higher in some places than others, just to enhance the swirled effect once it is sliced. Then dollop on half of the pesto mixture, and swirl it in with a knife.

Now spoon on the remaining bread batter and pesto using the same process.  When it was swirled to my liking, I sort of pressed it all down with the back of my knife just to make sure that the pesto was down in the bread.

I am so excited for this to perfume your whole house like it did mine while it is baking. Incredible. And I apologize if it gets you in a premature Christmas decorating kind of mood.

So check it out, even though it has a lot of flavor going on, it is still delicious to a three year old.

This would be a fantastic bread to serve up for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning (this bread + coffee = heaven). It would also be a great way to knock the socks off of your family on Thanksgiving evening for those who aren’t quite ready to step back up to the turkey and dressing leftovers. And if you can’t wait until Thanksgiving, I happen to know it tastes delicious whilst blog writing on a random weekday as well.

Cranberry Pesto Swirled Pumpkin Bread

For the pesto:

1/2 cup roasted, salted pepitas

1 cup dried cranberries

1/2 teaspoon orange zest

1/2 tablespoon orange juice

1/2 teaspoon olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

For the bread:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ginger

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cayenne, allspice, cinnamon, and ginger. Set aside

In a mixer blend together pumpkin, butter, honey, and vanilla on medium speed until smooth.

Stir in eggs.

Fold in dry ingredients.

Spoon half of bread batter into a well greased loaf pan. Swirl in half of pesto mixture.

Repeat the process with the remaining batter and pesto and bake for 1 hour.

Sweet Potato Banana Muffins

Well it is officially fall now!

(Which, if you live in the South, doesn’t really mean much. It is still pretty hot during the day…we get a little bit cooler nights though…)

If you pay any attention to food blogging trends, you will notice that around the end of August, people start throwing pumpkin recipes out at you left and right. While pumpkin is admittedly quite tasty, I prefer sweet potato.

So in honor of my first official fall food blog post, I give you one of my favorite sweet potato recipes.

These muffins are so super moist and tender. The sweet potato, cinnamon, and ginger give it a nice warm flavor and aroma. Perfect for fall baking. You are just going to love these.

And I want you to go make them.


So, no cutesy story or pictures of my kids.

…oh yeah…that’s right. I’m getting serious now…

In your mixer, beat together a ripe banana and a baked sweet potato, until fully combined.

While that those two are getting fully acquainted, stir all of your dry ingredients together.

Then add all of the wet ingredients to the banana sweet potato mixture and blend.

Now dump in the dry ingredients.

Fill up greased muffin tins with the batter and sprinkle them with a small handful of oats. It looks pretty, plus it adds a nice little bit of textural interest. Lightly toasted oats are ever so slightly crunchy and nutty.

Please set a few aside without oats on the top for The Dude. She thought that they were nuts, and consequently picked them all off or spit them out.

Some three year olds are just hard to impress I guess.

(Oops. OK. That’s the only kid story…)

These will make about 14 muffins, depending on the size of your muffin tins. Since I only have one regular sized muffin tin right now, I actually made up a dozen regular muffins and one dozen mini muffins with this recipe.

Sweet Potato Banana Muffins

makes 14 muffins

1 medium sweet potato, baked

1 medium ripe banana

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup old fashioned oats (plus additional for muffin tops)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup canola oil

2 eggs lightly beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 400.

Beat together sweet potato and banana.

In a medium bowl combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Set aside.

Stir honey, milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla into sweet potato mixture.

Fold in dry ingredients.

Fill greased muffin tins with batter and top with additional oats.

Bake for 16-18 minutes (12-14 minutes for mini-muffins).

Kielbasa Cheddar Beer Scones

I have a little bone to pick with these scones.

Pretty much ever since I made these, I have had the Tenacious D song “Kielbasa Sausage” stuck in my head.  I’m pretty sure The Hubs has too.

I have made these twice since last Friday (yes, they are that good). And every time something is said about them, either I or The Hubs starts in, “I love ya babeh!” Then we finish it together about as obnoxiously as we can, ” but all I can think about is…KIELBASA SAUSAGE!”

Now, this would be fine I guess, except that now The Little Dude has started singing it too.

If you are unfamiliar with this little ditty, then just keep on thinking it is cute. If you are familiar with it, then you will understand that it is probably not the most appropriate song for a child to sing.

Side bar: The Hubs wanted me to make sure to iterate that she is not singing the really offensive parts…just the first two lines.

Man, we are good parents.

Oh well.

I am going to try to power through noise in my head of Jack Black’s voice to try to tell you how to make these scones.

First, cut up your kielbasa into little cubes and fry them up. Set them on a paper towel to drain and cool down.

Sizzle. Sizzle.

(…”I love ya baby”…oh lord, here we go…)

Now try to ignore The Dude’s cry for sausage samples as you cut some cold butter into your flour mixture.

Then, stir in your cheddar and kielbasa.

For some reason this tickled The Dude. When I told her that I was about to toss the kielbasa in the flour, she laughed and said, “That’s readickaleous!”

Next, pour 1/2 cup of beer into a measuring cup and stir in 1/2 teaspoon of spicy brown mustard.

And depending on what time of day it is when you are making these, or how annoying you are finding the Tenacious D song stuck in your head and/or The Little Dude saying “can I have some more sausage??”, you may choose to drink the rest of the beer now or put a little tin foil over the top of the bottle and save it for a little later in the day.

Stir the beer mixture into the flour until it is just coming together and turn it out onto a floured surface.

Gently knead it for a couple of minutes until it is one solid piece, and then flatten it out into about a 1 inch thick disc.

It is tradition in our house, for The Dude to pat bread dough and tell it “good dough.” She may sing the occasional inappropriate song, but she is a sweet and supportive kid, what can I say.

Now, cut it into six even triangles and place on a a greased cookie sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes.

These are so full of cheese and butter that they literally melt in your mouth.

Then, you get those salty chunks of sausage and cheese. The beer adds a little sweetness, while making it rich and somehow lighter at the same time(…and what goes better with sausage than beer, anyway, right??) Plus, this teeny, tiny, tangy kick of the mustard.

These scones are readickaleously good.

Kielbasa Cheddar Beer Scones

3/4 cup cubed, browned kielbasa sausage

1 cup all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

4 tablespoons cold butter

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 teaspoon spicy brown mustard

1/2 cup beer

Preheat oven to 400.

In a medium sized bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.

Cut butter into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter or fork. Work the butter into the flour until it resembles corn meal with some pea-sized chunks of butter remaining.

Stir in the cheese until it is evenly coated with flour.

Repeat the process with the sausage.

In a measuring cup, combine mustard and beer. Stir into the rest of the ingredients until the dough is just starting to pull away from the sides of the bowl, but not in a complete clump yet.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and gently knead a couple of times until it is in one cohesive ball.

Pat down into a 1″ thick disc.

Cut into six triangles, and place on a baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes.

“…but all I can think about is KIELBASA SAUSAGE (and beer and cheese scones)!!”

Avocado Banana Bread

One of the things that I try to accomplish as a Mom, is to pack in as much healthy stuff into my kids (and on the happy, rare occasion, the Hubs) as I possibly can with any bite of food that goes into their mouths. Muffins and breads are a good resource for this purpose because you can sometimes hide things that would otherwise remain uneaten on plates.

Here is what I can tell you about the health benefits of avocado. (Because I am a Mama and I know these things…and because I know how to look up stuff on the internets. Be impressed.)

It contains a large amount of the healthy fats that you always hearing about. You know, the ones that are good for your heart, that can help reduce cholesterol, and can fight crime and such.

It contains more potassium than bananas.

It is high in fiber, and vitamins K, B, and C.

And you know what else? It tastes freaking awesome with bananas.

I started feeding mashed up avocados to the Monkey Mode about a month ago and on the days that I would mix it in with mashed bananas, I realized that I was having a hard time keeping myself from sticking my pinky finger in to sample another bite.

So naturally, my mind started wandering to the various ways I could add more avocado into what we are eating.

This is sooo yummy, ya’ll.

Moist, soft, sweet. You are going to want to lock yourself in a room away from screaming children, sit down with a cup of coffee, and savor each morsel.

And just in case avocados aren’t your bag, don’t worry. You definitely don’t take a bite and smack yourself in the forehead, screaming “AVOCADO!” It is really just more of a textural thing that happens here. It makes the banana bread even more moist and tender.

(And may I mention again, the lovely health benefits that the creamy, green fruit provides?)

You start off with basic quick bread ingredients: whole wheat flour (Oh yeah, that’s right. Whole wheat. And the bread is still delicious, and I bet if I hadn’t told you it was in there you wouldn’t have even noticed. So get over it!), baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and sugar. You mix them up in a medium bowl and set aside.

Then pour your Little Dude a little snack because baking makes her hungry.

Now you get to do the fun part. Mash up the banana and avocado (or “appocado” if you want to be more like the Dude) together.

“Soylent Green is people!!!!”

…yeah…sometimes I wish I cooked with people who are old enough to get that joke.

As it is, I cook with people who are more interested in Dora toys, than Mommy’s amazing wit and tireless knowledge of popular culture. As evidence, I give you exhibit A:

Dude and Map


Once the banana and avocado are well blended, add in the oil, vanilla, eggs, and honey. Mix until just blended, scraping the sides once.

Dump in the dry ingredients and gently mix together.

Pour this mixture in to a well greased loaf pan and bake for 65-70 minutes. I started watching mine around the one hour mark just to make sure I didn’t over bake it.

Wanna see a behind the scenes shot?

The steamy, fresh banana bread was understandably too much for the Dude to take so she begged me for a piece pretty much the entire time I was taking pictures. And once I felt satisfied with my images of the loaf I gave her a piece (don’t you feel bad that because of you, I made my child wait to eat??). Then, someone got jealous and tried to come snag a piece too….not yet my Monkey Mode…you have to wait a few more months.

But you, friend, you get to go bake this up and eat it today.

I’ll leave you it.

Avocado Banana Bread

2 cups whole wheat flour

3/4 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup (about 2 small to medium) mashed, ripe bananas

1/2 cup (about 1 medium) mashed avocado

1/4 cup honey

1/2 cup canola oil

2 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 325.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, bakind soda, cinnamon, and salt.

In mixer, beat together banana and avocado.

Blend in honey, oil, eggs, and vanilla, scraping the sides once.

Stir in the dry ingredients.

Pour in to well greased loaf pan.

Bake for 65-75 minutes, until toothpick or knife comes out clean.