Pinterest Post Party: 4-Ingredient Banana Bread

Well, I guess I’m just continuing the breakfast food theme here this week as part of Mindee’s Pinterest Post Party {every Tuesday and Thursday in May if you want to join in}!

When I see the words “easy” and “bread” in the same recipe title on Pinterest, I get very excited.

Carbs sure are wonderful, aren’t they?

Not only did this banana bread recipe claim to be easy, but it also involved a cake mix! Cake mix recipes are some of my favorites because they require so much less measuring!

{Sometimes I just want to be a lazy baker, ok?!}

This Easy Banana Bread recipe from Artsy Fartsy Mama lived up to its “easy” claim one hundred percent! And I would add YUMMY to the title, as well!

Just a few notes for you and for myself next time I make this bread {because there WILL be a next time}:

1. In the recipe, she says you can use two small loaf pans or one large one. I used one loaf pan and needed to bake it much longer than the suggested time.

2. I used three ripe bananas and 3/4 chocolate chips.

3. I think these would make excellent muffins {with a shorter cooking time}!

4. This banana bread is more dense than most recipes I have tried. It was nice to not have it fall apart everywhere when I picked it up!

I highly recommend you give this a try!

And please share any other treats you like to make using a cake mix {because I really need more sweets to tempt me, right?}!

P.S. After two years without, we entered the smartphone world once again this week.

Hello lovely…

Maybe I’ll do an iPhone-related Pinterest post next week! Now, excuse me while I go back to obsessively taking pictures on Instagram…

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Pinterest Post Party: The Most Important Meal of the Day!

 I am oh-so excited to share with you today that I am joining my in-real-life friend Mindee’s Pinterest Post Party on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the month of May!

This is a chance to actually DO those things we keep pinning on Pinterest and share our results!

Mindee asked a few of us to join her to kick things off, but you can join in on the fun as well and link up every Tuesday and Thursday over at her awesome and hilarious blog, Our Front Door!

I’m starting off with recipes today because I have actually made several that I found on Pinterest lately! Yay for follow-through!

Most of the recipes have been breakfast-related {trying to add a little more variety and little more homemade to our breakfast routine} and, amazingly, all of them have been a success! And by success I mean that I really liked them – I can’t speak for anyone else in the house – they still like their old breakfast routines!

Without further ado, three yummy Pinterest-inspired breakfast recipes…

Banana Oat Breakfast Cookies


The words “breakfast” and “cookie” go so well together, don’t you think?! These breakfast cookies were easy to make and full of only good things – no added sugar, oil, etc. Head on over to Watching What I Eat for the recipe!

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Squares


I loved the idea of having these squares ready to grab and eat in the morning, so I’m really glad I liked them! I like to have one of these with a smoothie for a filling breakfast! You can find the recipe over at Gingerbread Bagels!

And then there is my favorite Pinterest find so far this year…

Brownie Baked Oatmeal!


Oh my deliciousness. Oatmeal that tastes like dessert and is actually kind of healthy for you! I put some in a bowl, added a splash of milk, and savored every last bite. Even Big J liked it! Thank you, Thriving Home, for this life-changing breakfast recipe! YUM!

Have you discovered any yummy new breakfast foods on Pinterest? Please share!

And don’t forget to link up your own posts over at Mindee’s Pinterest Post Party!

You can follow happy pinning by clicking here! And get my posts sent directly to your email for FREE by clicking here!

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Day 25: What’s Cooking Girl?

I know this isn’t the same for every woman, but I love being the person who cooks and bakes for my family.

However, we all have different tastes and for most meals I like to cook things the hubby and the boys will enjoy. Don’t get me wrong, they have to be things I like as well 🙂

Today it’s all about the ladies though…

By that I mean recipes that are a little fancy or pretty – this just seem like fun “girly food” to me!

And once again, I’d like to thank the wonder that is Pinterest for the inspiration…

Top Ten Girly Foods I Can’t Wait to Make

1. The Peach Flip – seems like a fun brunch drink!


2. Butterfinger Chocolate Covered Strawberries – candy + fruit = yummy!

Source: None via Erin on Pinterest



3. Strawberry Nachos – so pretty!

Source: None via Erin on Pinterest


4. Crock Pot Baked Apples – a woman’s dream: easy AND lovely to look at!

Source: None via Erin on Pinterest



5. Chocolate Caramel Potato Chips – you must try these. The PERFECT blend of salty and sweet.

Source: None via Erin on Pinterest


6. Bacon Baked Potatoes – Ok, bacon isn’t really a girly food but I just love it too much to not mention it here. And these really do look impressive, don’t you think?!



7. English Toffee – I have a severe weakness for toffee. I really should not try to make this.

Source: via Erin on Pinterest


8. Pumpkin Fluff Dip – such fun for a fall girls’ get-together!



9. Raspberry ice cubes – Not a recipe, but a GREAT idea to make pretty drinks. Would be fab in lemonade!

Source: None via Erin on Pinterest


10. Pumpkin Spice White Hot Chocolate – hello, gorgeous!

Source: None via Erin on Pinterest



What foods do you like to share with your girlfriends or indulge in by yourself?

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Meals for New Moms {Top Ten Tuesday}

Top Ten {Tuesday} I have so many friends due with little ones in the next nine months, it’s hard NOT to think about how to help them all out! And every new mom, whether first time or repeat, appreciates not having to cook! It is my favorite way to bless these dear friends!

I’ve got a list of my favorite go-to meals to make for these families – some are freezer meals, some are not. The biggest thing is to not make spicy or heavily-tomato based meals for the nursing moms. That can be hard when the easy things to make are spaghetti, tacos, lasagna…but it IS possible!

Here are my…

Top Ten Meals to Bring to New Moms

1. Chicken Stuffing Casserole – This recipe has comfort food written all over it AND it makes two casseroles at once! I think of it as more of a fall dish, but stuffing is good anytime of year!

2. Brinner – Whip up some waffles or pancakes or even a breakfast casserole!

3. Mom’s Updated BBQs – Yes, these have some tomato soup and a little ketchup in them, but they are very mild. If you have a really sensitive newborn, you might steer away from this, but it has worked ok for others! Just take along buns, chips and some fresh fruit!

4. Kahlua Pork – Just bring the buns, chips and fruit along here as well!

5. Cranberry Chicken – Again, with this one, a very sensitive newborn tummy might not like this one, but the cranberry balances out the Catalina dressing really well! I always get rave reviews on this one!

6. A favorite soup – pick something seasonal – a fresh veggie soup in the summer or a beef stew in the winter! Add some fresh baked bread or rolls to complete the meals!

7. Chicken Veggie Pasta – Friends brought us this meal when we had Big J and it is still a family favorite! And you can customize the veggies to what the family likes!

8. Steak Salad Again, there are lots of salad recipes out there, but this one {without the tomatoes} would be nice and hearty! Pick your favorite!

9. Honey-Glazed Chicken Stir Fry – Or a stir fry of any kind! Pick your favorite recipe and bring rice along!

10. Food from their favorite restaurant! Most places have curbside pick up now, so ask the new parents what they would like, call ahead and pick it up from the restaurant!

A few bonus ideas…

*Make them some bread! Fresh bread is such a treat and with Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day you can have that in no time! I was skeptical about this book at first, but it is seriously easy and delicious!

*Put together a crockpot meal and take it to them in the morning! It is always a tad stressful to try to take a meal to a family AND get your own family fed at the same time. You can put all of the ingredients for the meal in the crockpot, then drop it off and plug it in during the morning so it will be ready for the family at dinner time! Less hassle for everyone! My favorite crockpot cookbook is the Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook!

*Bring lunch instead! Lots of new moms get meals for dinner, but when there are other little ones in the house and the husband is gone to work, someone has to feed those hungry mouths some lunch! There are tons of great family-friendly lunch ideas in Erin Chase’s The $5 Dinner Mom Breakfast and Lunch Cookbook!

What is your favorite meal to share with a new mom and her family?


Also linking up to…

And Tasty Tuesday at Beauty and Bedlam!

*This post contains affiliate links.

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A Little Cooking for the Freezer

I posted last week for Gussy’s Inspiration Workshop about getting inspired in the kitchen and wanting to do some more freezer cooking. I was inspired enough that I actually DID some freezer cooking!

Last week I made:

*Mom’s Updated BBQs {aka Sloppy Joes}
*Hawaiian Pork Sandwiches
*Chicken Taco Meat {made in the crockpot using Myra’s homemade taco seasoning mix}

And since I caught the bug, I decided to keep going tomorrow! I want to have some more things on hand for healthy, hearty breakfasts and lunches, plus some easy summer meals!

Here is tomorrow’s list:

*Corn Dog Muffins
*Kahlua Pork
*Popcorn Chicken
*Applesauce Bread
*Overnight Honey Nut Granola {making that tonight from $5 Dinner Mom Breakfast and Lunch Cookbook}
*Breakfast Burritos or Pancake Sausage Muffins – haven’t decided which one yet!
*And maybe some Whole Wheat Waffles!

I’ll try to take pictures and let you know how it goes Friday!

If I don’t get it all done, I don’t get it all done but…I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…

{Is it weird that I am really excited about this?!}

What are your favorite freezer meal recipes?

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Tasty Tuesday: Homemade Italian Nachos

Ok, no one expects a whole lot of health food around the holidays, right?

I actually did really well not overeating this year – until New Year’s Eve. And then I sat around the food table with the girls – BIG mistake. Sitting by the food, not sitting with the girls.

But it was all so yummy…

PW’s Holiday Bacon Appetizers, which friends have nicknamed “Meat Candy”

Martha Stewart’s White Chocolate Gingerbread Blondies

Crescent Pizza Rolls – a treat for the hubby

And the next day, I decided to make a little treat for the hubs as well, which I’m linking up to Tasty Tuesday with Jen over at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam (FABULOUS blog)!

The hubby loves the Italian Nachos at Old Chicago, but we try not to eat out very often and I knew I could throw together something similar at home!

Get ready – this is a really technical recipe…(yeah, right!)

Homemeade “Italian Nachos”

I started with a layer of festive holiday tortilla chips on my baking stone and topped them with a sprinkling of shredded mozzarella.

Next, I added some crumbled turkey sausage ( I LOVE turkey sausage!)…

And a layer of pepperoni.

Sliced black olives…

And sliced mushrooms were next…

Before one last thicker layer of mozzarella!

I baked all of this on the pizza stone at 350 degrees until the cheese was nice and melty, about ten mintues or so and…

Voila! Homemade Italian Nachos! To add to the “Italian” flavor, these are great served with warm marinara for dipping sauce!

Did you make or eat anything delightful for New Year’s? I love new party food recipes, so please share!

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Tasty Tuesday: Chicken Chili

Oh fall, how I love thee…

I MUST repost this recipe on this Tasty Tuesday because I cannot WAIT to make the first pot of the season! And I’m linking up to Jen’s Tasty Tuesday over at Beauty and Bedlam for the first time! Check out all the great recipes over there!

And I hope you enjoy this one as well!


In honor of the cold and wind that has taken over our area, I am posting my mom’s Chicken Chili recipe today. Yes, it makes a LOT but it freezes well and is SO yummy. Here is the original recipe with some notes at the end about how I have modified it. This recipe just fits into my 8-qt. stock pot. (The picture is a double batch.)

I don’t have any witty remarks or fabulous pictures like PW or Mindee, but I do think this is one darn good chili and totally worth the effort – just ask my husband.

Chicken Chili
8 cups chopped onion (6 onions)
¼ cup good olive oil (plus extra for chicken)
¼ cup minced garlic (8 cloves)
4 red peppers, cored, seeded & large diced
4 yellow peppers, cored, seeded & large diced
2 tsp chili powder
½ tsp dried red pepper flakes
2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp pepper (plus more for the chicken)
4 tsp kosher salt (plus more for chicken)
4 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes in puree, undrained
½ cup minced fresh basil leaves
8 split chicken breasts, bone-in & skin-on


Cook onions in oil over medium low heat for 10-15 minutes. Add garlic and cook one more minute. Add pepper, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, pepper & salt. Cook one minute. Add crushed tomatoes with puree and basil to the pot. Bring to boil, then reduce heat & simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rub chicken with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with kosher salt and pepper. Roast chicken 35-40 minutes. Separate the meat from bones and skin. Cut into chunks. Add to chili and simmer uncovered 20 more minutes. Serve with optional toppings: chopped onion, corn chips, grated cheddar, sour cream, etc.

Again, this makes a huge recipe but it freezes well.

***I use cayenne pepper instead of red pepper flakes and dried basil rather than fresh basil. The amount of dried basil is much less than ½ cup – follow your instincts. We also cut the amount of onion in half. Make sure you use coarse kosher salt (like you find on pretzels). It comes in a box. I also roast and cut the chicken the night before I make this to make life easier. Enlist someone to help chop the onions and peppers – trust me.

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