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Entries in Breakfast (10)


Chocolatey Banana Bread 

Everyone, and I mean everyone, needs a go-to banana bread recipe. For starters, banana bread is quite possibly one of my most favorite things to consume. You can eat it for breakfast, a snack, or even dessert. In my book, if you can use a food for more than one meal, it deserves a gold star. It is also incredibly easy to cook. This recipe is an add-an-ingredient-mix-add-an-ingredient-mix kind of recipe. The preparation takes no more than 5 minutes of your time and it comes out equally tasty in muffin form as it does in loaf form. Because it is so easy, it also ends up being the perfect bread to make for a neighbor, friend, party, etc. And they will all like it. Which brings me back to my original point: everyone needs a go-to banana bread recipe. This is most definitely not the healthiest recipe (it isn't bad for you either, but I certainly wouldn't sit here and toot my healthy-recipe horn). There are plenty of other ways to make healthy and tasty banana bread, including substituting oats for flour, yogurt for oil, subtracting the chocolate chips, so forth and so on. While I can't guarantee this bread will help roll off the pounds, I can guarantee you that this recipe yields a moist, semi-sweet bread with just the right amount of banana flavoring.

Bananas at the slightly brown stage are the best to mash. If they are green or bright yellow, they will be far too ripe for this recipe. You can also freeze brown bananas and pull them out when you are ready to make banana bread.

 Banana Bread (Chocolate Chips Optional)

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mash 3 bananas with the back of a large spoon.
  3. Add 1 cup of sugar and mix.
  4. Add 1 tsp baking soda and mix.
  5. Add 1/2 tsp of salt and mix.
  6. Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a small bowl. Mix melted butter into banana mixture.
  7. Mix in 2 eggs.
  8. Add 1.5 cups of flour and mix.
  9. Add 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips if desired and mix.
  10. Lightly grease a muffin tin or a bread pan (9x5).
  11. Pour batter into the bread pan or muffin tins.
  12. If you are making muffins, bake for 20-25 minutes. Stick a toothpick or knife into the center to determine if they are done. If the toothpick comes out clean, remove from oven and let cool. If it doesnt, bake in 5 minute intervals, checking each time to see if it is cooked through. If you are making a loaf, bake for 45 minutes. Check the inside with a knife/toothpick to determine if the loaf is baked thoroughly. If it is not, let it bake in 10 minute intervals. If the loaf begins to brown, cover it with a piece of foil for the remainder of baking time.

Chocolate Chip Scones, Revisited

On Sunday, November 21, 2010, I posted a recipe for Chocolate Chip Scones. Fourteen months later, I finally decided to make these scones again. Armed with more knowledge about cooking and baking than a year ago, I tweaked the recipe slightly. I took out the cream and replaced it with Chobani 0% Greek Yogurt and I substituted regular white sugar for brown sugar. I sometimes worry that adding greek yogurt will lead to a bitter, sour cream taste. Without fail, the recipes using greek yogurt come out tasting marvelous. These scones are no exception. They are moist and soft, and the swap of greek yogurt for cream makes them that much healthier. It just goes to show, removing butter and whipping cream from recipes does not have to result in a flavorless food. And while you may think scones take a lot of work, I had these cooked and on the table within 30 minutes of waking up. Next time you crave a scone, skip Starbucks or the local pastry shop and try making them yourself. Remember, you can substitute chocolate chips for nuts, cinnamon morsel, and fresh or dried fruits.

Chocolate Chip Scones, Revisited

Servings: 8-10 scones

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, chilled and diced
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup 0% plain Chobani greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat together cream, egg and vanilla. In another large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, chocolate chips, baking powder, cinnamon, salt. Cut in butter in small chunks and mix.
  3. Slowly pour wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients, mixing with rubber scraper until dough forms. Knead dough 4 or 5 times.
  4. Lightly flour a surface.
  5. Shape dough into a circle, roughly 6-8 inches in diameter by 2 inches in height. 
  6. Cut the circle into 8-10 wedges. Place scones on lightly greased baking sheets.
  7. Bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.



Week 3 of SFHL52: Cook at Home

For some, cooking is a daunting, terrifying experience. Maybe you aren't sure where to start or what to cook. Or maybe you have children and spouses who are picky eaters. Others claim time, or the lack thereof, as the reason for not cooking meals at home. I understand; some nights, cooking a meal is just too overwhelming. Sometimes I am too tired or I'm not in the mood for anything I have in the refrigerator or cupboards. There are nights when what I want to eat is completely different from what my spouse wants to eat. There is always a reason, or an excuse, why you shouldn't cook dinner. Why eating out, or pouring yourself a bowl of cereal, are far easier things to do. That's why this week's challenge is all about cooking at home. There are thousands of recipes out there, on my blog, on other blogs, in cookbooks, the newspaper, and on the back of food products. Nobody said cooking at home had to be an elaborate affair. Take this week and try cooking. Make easy dishes, use a crockpot, have salad, cook some chicken, freeze soup. I always have a few meals that I have cooked and subsquently frozen available for a night where I just don't feel like cooking. I also always have the makings for a salad available. These things make my life easier when it's time to cook dinner. I know some people who plan out their meals, go grocery shopping on the weekend or one week night, and cook exactly what they have planned out. If that's the type of person you are, give yourself the time to plan and shop. Most nights, I don't spend more than 30 minutes cooking dinner. It doesn't take a lot of time, it just takes some strategic planning and a bit of confidence.

So for Week 3, check out some of my favorite blogs below. There are some wonderful (and easy) recipes on those sites. Go to your local library and check out a cookbook. Starting this week, I am offering meal planning services - for free. Contact me via email to discuss food likes and dislikes, family size, and dietary restrictions. I will provide a grocery list and 5 days worth of meals for you to cook for you and your family. Don't forget to check back tomorrow and link up with us for some great whole grain recipes from Week 2.

Budget Bytes: This blogger provides a breakdown of price per serving for the recipes she makes

Closet Cooking: Blogger Kevin has some fabulous recipes (and great pictures) ranging from beginner to advanced.

Green Kitchen Stories: Great recipes for the vegetarian chef.

Kumquat: A healthy mix of main dishes and desserts.

Sprouted Kitchen: An easy to browse side bar makes finding recipes by ingredients simple and fast.

The Kitchen Sink: Beautiful recipes for people from all walks of life.

The Parsley Thief: Some wonderfully unique recipes by a mother of boys.

Honest Cooking

Food Buzz

New York Times Dining & Wine

Washington Post Food


Link Up with SFHL as Week 1 of SFHL52 & Healthy Eats Challenges Come to a Close

Week 1 of the SFHL52 & Healthy Eats Challenges are coming to a close. For some people, seven days of eating breakfast is not a challenge. For others, it is a new way of eating; a substantial change to their daily routine. The health benefits of eating breakfast are undisputed yet, like so many other not-so-healthy habits, knowledge doesn't make change any easier. For me, breakfast is about routine. I wake up during the week and do the same thing: I put on a pot of water for tea, decide which of my two to three rotating weekday breakfasts I am going to eat, and get to making. Breakfast is also about simplicity. I do everything in my power to make my weekday morning meals easy, simple, and ready in under five minutes. This means I eat either a) a whole wheat bagel thin with peanut butter, bananas, and drizzled honey; b) oatmeal and fresh fruit or c) Chobani greek yogurt (in alternating flavors) and fresh fruit or a granola bar. In my house, we reserve weekends for breakfast madness and creativity. It provides excitement, knowing that on Saturday or Sunday I get to whip up something different like muffins, scones, pancakes, or waffles; it provides a break from breakfast monotony, an ever occurring problem for some folks. How to break the monotonous cycle and keep you on your toes? Rotate your meals. Have a few, go-to breakfast items that are quick and enjoyable. Have multiple types of fruits on hand. I generally keep three types of fruits available at all times (or at least I try to). I have also gotten hooked on V8 Fusion juices, all of which have full servings of fruits and vegetables, and are surprisingly tasty. When you change the scenery, you are more likely to enjoy the ride.

How'd you do this week? Any tips for us on how to make breakfast a part of your daily routine? Any great recipes? I'd love to hear from you. Feel free to leave a comment or join the discussion on the SFHL52 Inspire and Be Inspired page. Don't forget to sign up to take the SFHL52 Challenge and get ready for Week 2: Eat More Whole Grains.

To inspire you to continue making breakfast a daily part of your life, here's a look back on all the Simple Food Healthy Life breakfast posts. Don't forget to link up below with your ideas and recipes for how you make breakfast a daily happening. Just make sure you Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Peanut Butter and Apple Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

Apple Cinnamon Chobani Muffins

Freezer Friendly Muffin Tin Eggs: Sunny Side Up and Omelettes

Pumpkin Bread with Cinnamon Sugar Glaze

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Brown Sugar Waffles

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Muffins

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Oatmeal Coffee Cake Muffins

Strawberry Banana Muffins

Tropical Banana Coconut Bread

Gluten Free Oatmeal Banana Muffins

Chocolate or Cranberry Scones

Baked Apple and Pumpkin Oatmeal



Peanut Butter and Apple Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

I rarely cook anything for breakfast. A typical breakfast for me consists of a whole wheat bagel thin with peanut butter and honey, some days I top it with sliced bananas. On the side I generally have a glass of V8-Fusion juice and a cup of tea. In the spirit of the Healthy Eats January Challenge, I thought I'd whip up a healthy, easy and quick (only 20 minutes cook time) breakfast that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Seeing as it is National Oatmeal Month, it seemed fitting that oatmeal be at the heart of today's breakfast. Feel free to substitute another fruit instead of the apple or used dry ingredients. Just make sure that your dried fruit isn't loaded with sugar or other artifical ingredients.

Peanut Butter and Apple Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

Servings: approximately 10-1.5x7inch bars

  • 2 cups Quaker oats
  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 apple, peeled and diced
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease an 11x7 inch baking pan. If you don't have one, you can use an 8x8, 9x9, or if neceessary an 11x13.
  3. Place peanut butter and butter in a microwave safe dish. Heat in the microwave for 30-45 seconds or until butter is melted. Stir together.
  4. Place all ingredients, except fruit, into a bowl. Using an electric beater or KitchenAid mixer, beat ingredients together for approximately 1 minutes.
  5. Peel a whole apple and thinly chop into pieces, no larger than the size of your thumb nail.
  6. Stir the apples into the oatmeal mixture.
  7. Pour the mixture into greased pan and press entire mixture down firmly with your fingers.
  8. Place pan into the oven and cook for 25 minutes or until edges are golden brown. If you are using an 11x13 pan, it will take a bit less time because the mixture will be much thinner.
  9. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing into strips. Let the remaining bars cool entirely before you place in tupperware or wrap them in foil.