Recipe: No Mess Fried Bacon


Before Ovenating

I love bacon. Who doesn’t? What I don’t love is standing by the stove for 20 minutes frying five pieces at a time. Even with a splatter guard I have to clean up a big splattery mess after standing there for what seems like ages. And if I forget to wear my apron? Arg!

Then I discovered cooking bacon in the oven. I was working as a caterer and we were providing a breakfast buffet for 100 utility workers. You can imagine how much bacon this group was going to eat. We laid out the bacon strips on lined baking sheets ahead of time, and were able to keep the chafing dishes full throughout the event with little effort.

Recipe: Orange Cardamom Coffee Cake

Coffee Cake has always been a favorite of mind. The sweet, crumbly topping; the excuse to eat cake when it’s not dessert. What more could you love?

Sometimes a new twist on an old classic is just the ticket. This Orange Cardamom Coffee Cake is different enough to make people notice, but traditional enough to still be coffee cake. It’s the perfect afternoon pick-me-up, with it’s combination of subtle coffee flavor, wake-me-up citrus and not so much sugar as to make it too sweet.

Orange Cardamom Coffee Cake

Orange Cardamom Coffee Cake


    For the Cake:
  • 2 C flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp instant espresso powder (I like Starbuck's Via)
  • 2/3 C sugar
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 C whole milk
  • 1/2 C cold coffee
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • For the Topping:
  • 1/2 C flour
  • 1/2 walnut pieces
  • 1/3 C sugar
  • 1 tbs orange zest
  • 1/2 instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 stick butter at room temperature, cut into 8 pieces


  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Line an 8x8 cake pan with parchment and spray with coconut oil
  3. For the topping:
  4. Combine all ingredients and use your fingers to blend in the butter
  5. Try and smoosh the butter so there are different sized crumbs, the largest the size of a lima bean
  6. For the cake:
  7. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl
  8. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl
  9. Whisk the wet ingredients together with the eggs
  10. Pour wet ingredients into the medium bowl with the dry ingredients
  11. Stir until just combined
  12. Pour into the prepared pan
  13. Evenly sprinkle topping and press lightly into the batter
  14. Bake at 400F for 30-35 minutes, until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. The middle might puff up and that is ok.
  15. Cool on a wire rack
  16. When ready to serve, use parchment to transfer the cake to a cutting board
  17. The cake keeps well tightly wrapped up to four days on the counter, a week in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer


Cooking With Kids



Franci got a super cute apron for Christmas, but she hasn’t had a chance to use it. I have yet to include her in any of my cooking or baking until now, because she’s not even two yet. After seeing a few holiday pictures of other toddlers helping their moms cook, I began to wonder what I was waiting for. She knows how to follow directions and loves to help with other house work. I’m sure she will be able to help pour ingredients into a bowl, even if she can’t yet stir them in.

Recipe: Sweet and Salty Pecans

Sweet and Salty Pecans

Sweet and Salty Pecans

I am usually a big cookie baker around the holidays. Each year I go through at least 10 lbs of sugar and even more butter. I decided months ago to not do any baking because I knew I would have my hands full with a newborn. Making that decision before the holidays were approaching was easier than getting sucked into it once Thanksgiving hit.

Just because friends, family and neighbors aren’t getting cookies this year doesn’t mean they aren’t getting something homemade! I decided to go the easy route and package up my popular Sweet and Salty Pecans. You can do two pounds with little effort and store them in the freezer for months.

Recipe: Cheesy Sweet Potato Bites

Cooked and Crunchy

Cooked and Crunchy

Feeding a toddler is never easy, even if they aren’t particularly “picky”. A favorite food one day may cause a crying fit the next. Franci is going through a stage where whole vegetables won’t even be given a second glance. No matter how smothered the broccoli is with cheese, she won’t venture a taste.

Ready to Cook

Ready to Cook

Being fall, I thought it was time to try out sweet potato once again. The offering of cooked bite-sized chunks resulted in lots of tears, so I decided to try out a couple of recipes. One in particular was a huge hit, but not with Franci! She thinks they are the devil reincarnate, but her father and I think they are the best thing to happen to sweet potatoes since the fry. Since neither of us like sweet potatoes, I’d say that makes this recipe a winner!

Recipe: Faux Oatmeal Cookies

Breakfast Cookies!

Breakfast Cookies!

Franci likes to use a spoon to feed herself and, as long as the food is thick or sticky enough, doesn’t drop too many spoonfuls down her front. She isn’t that great at getting the food on the spoon, however. The scoop is either too big or too small and as soon as she gets frustrated or distracted, she starts using her bowl as a drum and the spoon a drumstick. Or she pretends the spoon is a crayon and “draws” on the table.

I’m not really in the mood to sit at the table first thing in the morning and supervise breakfast, and four days a week I’m hurrying to get us both ready and I don’t want to take the time to help her eat or clean up any messes.

Top 5 Zucchini Recipes

Ready to cook!

Ready to cook!

Every year we end up with too much of one crop or another. It’s not always the same vegetable, so it’s hard to anticipate come springtime. However, it is often zucchini that overflows from the harvest basket.

In an attempt to not get sick of summer squash such as zucchini, I’ve tried many different recipes. Here are my top 5 favorites:

  1. Cook’s Illustrated’s Zucchini Bread
  2. Marinated Zucchini and Yellow Squash Salad
  3. Cook’s Illustrated’s Ratatouille
  4. Lemon-Zucchini Cornmeal Cookies
  5. Zucchini Salad

A recipe that isn’t in my top five, because I haven’t tried it yet, is Curried Zuzzhini Soup. I already used up all of my summer squash, but next time I have some I’m going to whip this up and give it a taste!

Recipe: Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies


Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

I’ve been making flourless peanut butter cookies for years (you know, the ones that have 1 C peanut butter, 1 C sugar, 1 tsp vanilla and 1 egg and take like, 5 minutes to make) so I can’t believe I just found out about this chocolate version.  I’m hooked!  I mean, just think of all the antioxidants from the cocoa powder!

My cousin brought these to a recent family gathering, and I immediately tracked down the recipe. I’m not sure it is the exact one she used, but it sure is easy and tasty just the same!

Stockpiling Redux

Let's get cooking!

Let’s get cooking!

We bought an upright freezer during my first pregnancy so I could prepare a bunch of meals ahead of time.  By the time Frances was born, we had 100 dinners and at least as many lunches stashed away.  Just over a year later, we finally finished them off.  

In retrospect, it was actually more helpful the older Franci got. When she was a newborn, I could just strap her to my back and cook away. It wasn’t until she got more active, and I went back to work, that the freezer meals really came in handy.

Recipe: Melt-in-Your-Mouth Puffs

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Puffs

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Puffs

A couple of weeks ago I posted a Baby Puff recipe that was pretty filling. It also required a bit of chewing (with gums at least, teeth not required).  In fact, they were really more snacks than they were your traditional puff.

Sometimes you want a snack that isn’t going to ruin your baby’s dinner. Or maybe you want a puff that melts in your mouth like the store-bought puffs. Here’s a recipe that will dissolve in your mouth and not fill you up:




Melty Puffs (adapted from Mommy-Opinion)

  • 2 C multi-grain baby cereal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • (more…)