This may be hard to believe, but when I was a young child, I didn’t like cheese. Wait, what? What kind of kid turns their nose up at grilled cheese, cheeseburgers, and the coveted mac & cheese? This kid. I hated it. Gagged at the thought. I even remember a time when a babysitter fixed me a cheese and mayonnaise sandwich, which I refused to eat. I threw it in the trash, and GET THIS, she retrieved it out and made me eat it anyway! I still remember the taste of Miracle Whip and sliced American filling my mouth as I fought the urge to hurl it all back up. Ick!

But somewhere along the way, I actually came across some good cheese. Some real cheese, not that nasty, processed, fake yellow stuff. That somewhere was my grandparent’s home at …

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Mmm…I can just smell the chocolate and cinnamon.

When it comes to baking, I’ve learned a valuable lesson. If it’s good, I have no self control. Shoot, even it’s a little better than edible I have no self control. If I whip something up in the kitchen to be shared by only my little family, you can bet I’ll be “sneaking” bites long after dessert time is over. I. Just. Can’t. Stop. My oldest also has a sweet tooth, and if there’s something yummy in the house, it consumes her every bit of attention. She whines. She negotiates. She makes me wish I’d never made the darn thing in the first place.

So whenever possible, I try to infuse as many healthy ingredients as I can, and use sneaky swaps to pack in extra nutrients and …

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The girls enjoyed the cake almost as much as Uncle Jake. And did I mention it has VEGETABLES? 🙂

If you were expecting a follow-up post to my last one (a gut wrenching confession of my worry during early pregnancy), I’m sorry to disappoint you. I just don’t feel like doing that yet. What I do feel like is sharing with you a recipe for an AMAZING cake I made over the weekend. It’s a fantastic way to use those zucchinis up you’ve got sitting around your kitchen. It’s a little bit of a twist on a recipe I found here (and frosting from here). I made it as a triple-layer birthday cake for my brother-in-law, who turned the ripe old …

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This is what it’s all about. The joy of gingerbread magic! And I can’t make the toddler stay still enough for a non-fuzzy picture.

When I was nine or so, I happened upon a booth at our local Fall Festival, one that displayed delicious, artistic Gingerbread houses. I was mesmerized. Miss Paula, the master gingerbread architect, was a familiar face seen at my church, my school, and even taking our softball team pictures in the summer. So, I felt completely comfortable asking (begging) her to puh-lease make a gingerbread house with me some day. And being the generous person she is, she agreed. So, from then on, it was our little inside story, and every time we saw each other, we’d talk about making a house someday. But we never did. The years went …

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I was lucky enough to have all of these ingredients sitting around, and when I threw them together, I was extremely happy with how it turned out! This recipe is very forgiving. You can use more or less of nearly all of the ingredients, or use chicken or turkey (or no meat) instead of the pork (the pork had great flavor, though.) My youngest daughter gobbled this up!

1 cup prepared brown rice
2 cups prepared white rice
1 cup cubed seasoned (and cooked) pork tenderloin
1 cup chopped bing cherries
1 small container of crushed Dole pineapple (or equivalent)
1/4 cup of chopped almond
1/2 cup carmelized onion
2/3 cup Kikkoman Stir Fry Sauce (or equivalent)

Directions: Stir all ingredients together (you may want to add some roasted garlic for taste), heat …

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Looking through my fridge and pantry for something to take to a barbecue tonight, I was at a loss. I had fresh pineapples and bananas, but couldn’t find any recipes online that sounded good, or that I had ingredients for. So, I whipped up my own creation. It’s summery, yet has substance (and isn’t particularly healthy, so enjoy in moderation).


1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple, cut into small pieces
2 bananas, sliced
1 cup brown sugar
Dash of cinnamon
Dash of vanilla

Simmer on medium heat until all ingredients are well-blended. Pour into 8×8 pan.


Here’s where I cheat a little. I love the shortcake recipe on the Bisquick box.

2 1/3 cups Original Bisquick mix
2/3 cup milk
3 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp butter, melted

Stir all ingredients together until dough forms. Drop by large spoonfuls onto cobbler filling. …

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