Almond Butter Flaxseed Protein Shake

I’ve been drinking the peanut butter chocolate protein smoothies too much, and I want to try something different. I created this recipe below. After adding the protein powder, I blended the smoothie for 2 full minutes to achieve a thick consistency.


1 banana
1/2 cup Lactaid milk
1 tbsp almond butter
1/4 cup Quaker oats
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
2 tbsp flaxseed
1/2 cup ice



Pear Crisp

I had a couple of pears in the fridge and looked up pear crisps online. I found this recipe on The Pioneer Woman’s website. I halved the recipe, so here are the ingredients I used below:


2 cups pears (peeled, cored, and diced)

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/8 tsp salt

For the topping:

1 cup flour

1/6 cup granulated sugar

1/6 cup light brown sugar

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 stick butter, melted

1/4 cup chopped walnuts (she uses pecans in her recipe, but I didn’t have any)


Preheat the oven to 350F. In a bowl, stir the diced pears with the 1/3 cup granulated sugar and salt. Set aside.

In another bowl, mix together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans. Drizzle the melted butter on top and stir well.

Pour the pears into a baking dish sprayed with cooking oil. Top with the crumb mixture.

Bake for 30 minutes on the middle rack. Bake for an additional 10 minutes (I baked it for 20) on the top rack for a golden brown crust.




Nestle Toll House Butterscotch Chip Cookies

This is another tasty cookie recipe, if you like butterscotch. I made a few changes, listed in italics. I found this recipe on


2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar (white)

3/4 cup brown sugar (I used light)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup butter

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 eggs

2 cups butterscotch chips (I used 1 1/2 cups butterscotch chips and 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips)

1/8 cup shredded coconut

1/3 cup crushed cashews


In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt, and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the sugars and butter (softened) together, adding the vanilla.

Add the eggs one at a time.

Add the flour mixture.

Add the butterscotch chips (and the rest of the ingredients if you are using the coconut and cashews).

Drop by spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 375F for 8-10 minutes.

Note: I baked the first batch for 10 minutes and I thought they came out pretty crunchy. The bottoms were almost too brown. I baked the next batch at 300F for 22 minutes, and those came out chewier and tastier. 


photo 1(2)


Banana Butter Pancakes

For those who are lactose intolerant, LACTAID® has a great recipe for banana pancakes. I made them this morning, and they were very hearty and tasty. Definitely a keeper!


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups LACTAID® Reduced Fat Milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sliced bananas (1/4-inch thick)
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided, for cooking (I used Pam spray)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts ( I added this ingredient)


Preheat oven to 200F.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Melt the butter in the microwave (30 seconds) and set aside. Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl and add the milk, vanilla extract and 3 tbsp melted butter. Mix well. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture, stirring until smooth.

Heat the remaining 2 tbsp melted butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the banana slices and cook 3-4 minutes per side, until bananas are caramelized and golden brown. Allow them to cool for a few minutes, and then add half of the banana slices into the batter. Reserve the rest for pancake toppings. Add the walnuts to the batter.

Spray a skillet with Pam and heat over medium heat (I use medium low to low heat). Measure 1/2 cup batter and pour onto pan. Cook until bubbles appear on the edges of the pancakes, and then flip and cook until brown on the other side.

Remove pancakes from the skillet and transfer them to an oven proof dish covered with a piece of aluminum foil. Place in oven, where they will remain warm until ready to be served.

Serve pancakes and top with caramelized bananas!


Mrs. Fields Blue Ribbon Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have had the Mrs. Fields Best Cookie Book Ever since 1996, when I was ten years old. As a child I was obsessed with learning how to bake, but my cookies never came out quite right. At first I decided it was our old oven. But as the years went on I realized I was always trying to cut the recipes in half or quarters, or mixing the batters by hand (not a good idea!) and that’s where things started going wrong. This time, I was prepared with my stand mixer, determined to make the FULL recipe, even if it meant having lots and lots of leftover cookies. This recipe turned out to be extremely easy to follow, and I placed the leftover blob of cookie dough in the fridge, where it will stay safe until I’m ready to bake a new batch.

You can find this recipe for Blue Ribbon Chocolate Chip Cookies on page 6. I made a couple of minor changes, which I’ve listed below.


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter, softened

2 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

12 oz semisweet chocolate chips (about 2 cups)–Note: I used milk chocolate chips and the cookies came out great =)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (this is an extra ingredient I added)


Preheat oven to 300F. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix with a wire whisk and set aside. In a large bowl, blend sugars with an electric mixer at medium speed. Add the butter and mix to form a paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs and vanilla. Blend at medium speed. Do not overmix.

Add the flour mixture and chocolate chips. Blend at low speed until just mixed. Add the walnuts. Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 18 to 22 minutes (I baked them for 22) or until golden brown.

Yield: 3 1/2 dozen





Apple Banana Spinach Smoothie

Here are two versions of a healthy smoothie: one with spinach, one without.

For the spinach smoothie:

Blend 1 banana, cut into chunks, with 1/3 cup cold water and 1/2 apple, cut into chunks. Add 1/2 cup raw spinach and 5 chunks frozen mango.

Not the best picture =(

Not the best picture =(


For the next smoothie, I omitted the spinach. It didn’t change the flavor much.

Looks much tastier!

Looks much tastier!

DIY Day: Blue Lip Balm!

This will probably be my last DIY post for a while. I’m done with experimenting; of all the lip balms I’ve made, only one came out with a good consistency. Oh well. This one is worth trying, maybe with a little less beeswax next time.



1 tsp beeswax beads
1 tsp coconut oil
1 vitamin e caplet
5 drops vanilla oil
Loose pigment color (I used NYX loose pigment)
1 tsp olive oil


Roasted Russet Potatoes

If you have 30 minutes and Russet potatoes, you can make these. They make a great side dish for steak or pork!


  • 2 Russet potatoes
  • Salt
  • Trader Joes Everyday Seasoning
  • Olive oil


Wash and scrub the potatoes. Slice in half and then slice in half again. Cut each quarter into four more chunks until you have 1-inch wide wedges. Toss with olive oil in a bowl.

Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with Pam. Arrange the potatoes skin side down (some will topple over) and sprinkle with salt and everyday seasoning.

Bake at 450F for 30 minutes.

photo 3


BBB: Bananas, Brown Sugar, and Butter

Sometimes you feel like having Bananas Foster without the alcohol, and you want just a tiny bit of crunchiness. The sugar and flour will caramelize into a chewy texture if you cook it a bit longer. I will be making this a LOT more for my husband!


  • 1 ripe banana, peeled, cut in half, and sliced lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1.5-2 tablespoons butter
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon flour


Melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add the flour. Cook for about 1 more minute, allowing the mixture to thicken. Add the bananas and cook for 2 minutes per side, until bananas are covered in golden crust.

So easy to make!

So easy to make!