Category Archives: Recipes

Real Food Banana Bread & McCall Trip

My original cookbook, Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. For the "cook of the 90's"
My original cookbook, Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. For the “cook of the 90’s”

Did you have a specific cookbook that you learned to cook from when you were younger? Maybe Betty Crocker or Joy Of Cooking? It was, after all, a time when there was no internet and the only way to cook was from a book or a recipe written on an index card. I used this book regularly to learn cooking skills and get basic recipes, especially the Banana Bread. I could whip a loaf up in no time, and it would be demolished in no time too. I prefered it still warm with a slab of melty butter or cooled with a slather of cream cheese. It was really good.

Recently I’ve been into Real Foods, which means making a lot of the basics, i.e. bread, crackers, soup stock, kombucha. It’s been a lot of fun to find new recipes and ideas from fellow bloggers on the internet. I’ve also gotten much more competent in the baking department.

Today I looked at my counter noticed 3 brown bananas just sitting there, much to my husbands chagrin no doubt. Having just done our budget, and trying my best to be frugal (hard) I decided I had to use those organic bananas one way or another. BING! Better Homes and Gardens to the rescue!

In looking over the recipes in my beloved cookbook, I noticed that while all the recipes are from scratch, they are pretty standard ingredients. If I’ve learned anything on my Real Food and weight loss journey, regular sugar and flour hold almost no nutritional value and aren’t metabolized in the body very well.

Since Porter was going to be eating this bread over the next week I wanted to adjust it to our Real Food needs. With the original recipe I would feel like I was serving him cake on a daily basis. No bueno in my book.

What I’ve done is taken the original recipe and made it with Real Food ingredients. I only had 2 bites, but it tasted wonderful. It had the right flavor and texture and was actually pretty good for you, if you don’t eat the whole thing in one sitting. Porter enjoyed his with a think slather of pastured butter, and ate every single bite.


8″x 8″ baking pan, or use this chart to convert to the baking pan of your choice

350* oven, farenheit

Ingredients, can all be found at your local natural foods store

1 3/4 cups sprouted organic spelt flour
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon pure baking soda
1/4 teaspoon real salt (I like Redmond’s Real Salt)
3 mashed bananas, as brown and gooey as you can get ’em
1/4 cup organic pastured butter
2 tablespoons pastured or raw milk
2 eggs, from pastured non GMO hens
1/4 cup nuts (optional)
coconut oil for oiling pan and measuring cup for honey, I prefer refined.

Preheat oven to 350* and make sure your ingredients are at room temperature.

Using the coconut oil, grease your baking pan and measuring cup for honey (this will facilitate easier pouring of honey).

In a smaller bowl mash bananas.

Add wet ingredients, including honey, to the bananas and mix.

In a larger bowl mix dry ingredients.

Add wet ingredients to dry  and mix until it looks like pancake batter. Mix in nuts.

Pour batter into baking pan.

Cook in 350* oven for 35-40 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. If you smell banana bread, go and check it.

Remove pan from oven and let cool on cooling rack ~20 minutes.

Turn loaf onto a cooling rack and try to resist it as long as possible. If you absolutely must cut into it before it’s totally cool, everyone will understand.

Bon appetite!

This post featured on: Tasty Traditions


Thanks to Luke’s co-worker we got to enjoy the long weekend in McCall, Idaho. It was a winter wonderland, complete with log cabins and sledding. Trips like this are wonderful and exciting and I can’t wait to do it again. Here’s the photo journey.

We stayed in the cabin on the left.
We stayed in the cabin on the left.
Moon with a view.
Moon with a view.
Pink snow.
Pink snow.
Cabin interior. Door on left, with bunk beds, gas stove in center with kitchen, on right of the divide a large jacuzzi tub and full bathroom, views out every window. Log cabins rule!
Cabin interior. Door on left, with bunk beds, gas stove in center with kitchen, on right of the divide a large jacuzzi tub and full bathroom, views out every window. Log cabins rule!


"Burrito buddies"
“Burrito buddies”


Frozen fog makes delicate ice crystals on all the branches, turning trees white.
Frozen fog makes delicate ice crystals on all the branches, turning trees white.
Long Valley, before sunrise.
Long Valley, before sunrise.
We left before the sun came up over the mountains, stunning.
We left before the sun came up over the mountains, stunning.
Big red barns everywhere.
Big red barns everywhere.


Play Dough Party! & Recipe

Last weekend we celebrated Porter’s second birthday with friends and play dough. It was a whole lot of fun and I’ve even got the DIY play dough recipe at the bottom of this post. Now get ready for the cuteness, cause it’s about to smack you in the face.








The following video is everyone singing Happy Birthday to Porter. Keep in mind we did this on his actual birthday and he asked us to sing it multiple times and then blew the candles out 3 times. The “NO!” you hear is him fleeing into Aunt Anna’s arms. He then refused ice cream and cookies. Last year he refused the cake. Maybe next year? He did recover and had the party continued in merriment.



Aunt Bug racing a car through the Lucy/Porter tunnels.




These people are the cream of the crop!
These people are the cream of the crop!


This is my recipe for DIY play dough. I use the cheap ingredients to save $$$ and considering it’ll be tossed in the trash, or composted outdoors maybe? I usually make it by hand, but I think it would work well in a stand up mixer with a dough hook. It has a perfectly soft texture and you can mix and match the colors. This recipe makes 4 snowball sized rounds. I divide and store them in plastic bags and use them over a week. It’s totally edible, but I wouldn’t eat it unless in was having a Bear Grills moment.


3 3/4 c. flour, reserve 1 3/4 cups on side
1/2 c. salt
1 Tbsp Alum or Cream of Tartar
2 c. hot water
3 Tbsp oil
food coloring

Mix 2 cups flour, salt and Alum in large bowl.

In separate bowl, mix hot water, oil and food coloring.

Pour wet into dry and mix with a spoon or hands until combined. It will be very sticky.

Add the reserved 1 3/4 cups flour and knead with your hands until smooth and play-able.

Divide and store in bags or plastic wrap and commence playing!

Real Food Cha Cha’s Chicken Sofrito

A Facebook friend, who I knew briefly in 7-8th grade, made a status update that spoke of a delicious Dominican dish, Sofrito. In the comments someone asked for the recipe and she gave a brief description of how her friend Chacha taught her how to make Sofrito in a small New York kitchen years ago. It sounded delish. I Googled “sofrito” and was presented with many different recipes, however, my FB friend’s sounded the best. As it turns out, Chacha has a new website, Chacha’s Kitchen, but this recipe isn’t on it yet. I’m reposting (my real food interpretation) here for you, for me, and because both Chelsea and Sarah wanted the recipe. I doubled the recipe and had lots of leftovers, which were even tastier. It’s a one pan wonder too, bonus! Thank you Chacha, for this fantastic Latin American dish.

Chacha’s Chicken Sofrito


1 whole chicken raised on pasture, cut into sections or 6-8 pieces of chicken. I used bone-in legs and thighs because they’re cheap, but boneless is certainly faster.
4 tbsp coconut oil
2 small onions chopped
6-8 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp oregano
salt/pepper to taste
2 tsp tomato paste, from a glass jar
2 bell peppers, chopped
4 small tomatoes, chopped with juice and all
2 handfuls cilantro, chopped
2+ tbsp capers
1/2+ cup sliced olives (I used green)
1 lemon, juiced
hot sauce to taste (Chacha recommends Cholula, I had Tapatio on hand)
avocado (optional garnish, but mighty good)

1. In a big pan brown the chicken in oil for 2-3 minutes per side. Remove chicken and set aside.
2. In the same pan saute onions and garlic until the onions begin to turn translucent.
3. Add oregano, salt/pepper, tomato paste and mix. Turn heat to low, cover pan, and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Add peppers, cilantro, diced tomatoes, capers, olives, lemon juice and hot sauce. Stir it up!
5. Add chicken back to the pan with the Sofrito and cook for 30-45 minutes, if you’re using boneless chicken cook for 10 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 165*F. Chicken should fall off the bone.I served the dish over rice with fresh avocado. It was REALLY good, tangy and savory. Every bite that Porter took he literally made the “mmm” sound as the spoon touched his lips. If my 19 month old can appreciate this meal, you will too.

This recipe featured on Tasty Traditions, Thank Your Body Thursday