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National Donut Day 2014 ~ and a Happy Birthday!

National Donut Day 2014 ~ and a Happy Birthday!

Today is a double good day! First, it is Daughter Number Two’s 19th birthday! Happy Birthday! Second, it is National Donut Day. She texted me the other day, “Coincidence? I think not.”

Morgan Donut Day

She had wanted to go on a ‘donut run’ at 12:01, but anyone who knows me knows that I am always asleep well before midnight! I don’t like disappointing my girls, but know my limitations.

I did get up this morning and MAKE donuts. I had thought about making risen donuts or filled donuts. In the interest of time and health I decided to make cake donuts. They were mixed, baked, and glazed in about 30 minutes!  I had some extra batter after filling my donut pan, so used my mini muffin pan to make ‘donut holes’. All of the mornings baking adventures were a big success!

baked donuts


donut holes

For the donut holes, I baked them in the muffin pan, rolled them in the glaze, and then rolled them in a mixture of cinnamon/sugar. Oh, these were sooooo good!

If you are craving donuts I definitely recommend these. They are good and oh, so fast!

Happy National Donut Day!

Baked Cake Donuts

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup nonfat powdered milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1 Tablespoon honey (melted)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 -4 Tablespoons Evaporated Milk
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a donut pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl combine flours, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a 2 cup measuring combine dry milk, water, and vinegar. Let sit.
  4. Whisk eggs in a small bowl. Add milk mixture to the egg mixture and combine.
  5. Add the butter to the 2 cup measuring cup and heat slowly in the microwave until soft. Add honey and microwave for a few seconds until the butter and honey are liquid.
  6. Add to the egg, milk mixture and combine. Add vanilla and stir to combine. Pour the milk mixture over the flour mixture and stir gently until just combined.
  7. Using a measuring cup or spoon, fill the wells of the donut pan about 2/3 full. Tap the pan gently on the counter to get rid of bubbles.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes, or until donuts spring back when touched.
  9. Remove pan to wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes. Turn donuts out to cool for a few more minutes, and then dip in glaze, if desired.
  10. For glaze combine milk and sugar slowly, whisking until smooth. If you desire a thicker glaze use less milk. For a thinner glaze use more milk.
  11. Place a baking sheet under the cooling rack. Dip the donuts in the glaze and let the glaze drip off.


Posted by on June 6, 2014 in Baking Recipes


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Memorial Day 2014

Memorial Day 2014

I am back to a healthier style of eating. My promise is this does not mean I am not going to be cooking (eating) amazing foods, or even less healthy and unhealthy foods. What this does mean is that I am at the very least going to be adding much more healthy foods to my diet (again?).

Let me tell you about my newest attempts at some healthy eating recipes.

First, let me give you a short backstory. I got a text message around 10:15 this morning from one of my sisters-in-law. Apparently my 2nd brother (the one who loves to cook) had gone to the meat shop and picked up a few things and decided to grill them up. In addition to grilling ribs, pork shoulder, and hamburgers he had baked some homemade buns to serve them on. He made a pot of baked beans (Hobie’s) and some deviled eggs. He was hauling it all to mom’s house around 1. We were all invited.

I don’t eat pork and neither does Daughter Number 2. If she and I were going to be able to eat I had to make something for us. I decided to whip up some healthy deviled eggs, coleslaw, and one of my all-time favorite side dishes for grilling season: pickled red onions.

The eggs were really pretty easy. I just substituted Greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise and added some dill weed.

I got out my Moosewood Cookbook


to make the Pickled Red Onions, and then looked up some non-Mayonnaise based healthy coleslaw recipes. My parents used to make one using oil, but as I recall it had to be cooked. I didn’t have time for that. I found one that seemed easy and tasty and started there.

I adapted it a bit, and came up with what was a big hit with a few of the family who aren’t afraid of coleslaw.

It felt great to have some healthy options with dinner. The addition of the apple was a huge success. I will definitely be making this again, and may try some variations.

I hope you had the opportunity to spend time with loved ones today and also spend at least one moment thinking of our service men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our Freedoms. Happy Memorial Day.

Fresh, Healthy Coleslaw

  • ½ head cabbage (shredded)
  • 2 carrots (shredded)
  • 2 green onions (thinly sliced)
  • ½ apple (shredded)
  • 1 lemon (juiced)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon celery seed
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  1. In a small bowl, mix lemon juice, olive oil, and honey. In a large bowl toss cabbage, carrots, onion, and apple. Sprinkle over celery seed and black pepper. Pour over lemon and oil mixture and toss. Refrigerate until chilled and serve.


Posted by on May 26, 2014 in Recipe


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Wholesome Nut & Grain Pancakes

Wholesome Nut & Grain Pancakes

Healthy Pancakes

I am a carboholic. Not new news. Don’t praise me for coming to terms with it. I’ve known this for over thirty years now. I love bread, pasta, rice, grains, and most things made with grains. That is probably why ‘breakfast food’ is my absolute favorite. When I say breakfast food I do not mean bacon, sausage, and eggs. I mean pancakes, waffles, French toast, crepes, blintzes, bagels, English muffins, scones, oatmeal, cold cereal, farina, and mush – to name a few. I could (and do) eat these foods morning, noon, and night. Out of this love came a healthy pancakes recipe.

That breakfast carb love is why I am constantly on the lookout for a healthier version of these dishes. Probably fifteen years ago I came across a cookbook that contains Low-fat recipes. The book by Dean Ornish, Everyday Cooking has a Wholesome Pancakes recipe in it that I come back to from time to time. It has oatmeal and whole wheat flour in it, so it is definitely a little more dense than, say, a buttermilk pancake. I love them.

Several weeks ago I was at a restaurant whose name actually has the word ‘pancakes’ in it! Yes, IHOP. I tried the ‘Harvest Nut and Grain’ pancakes and it was love at first bite. (overdone?) They were reminiscent of the Ornish pancake, with a little more substance. I, of course, wanted to do my best to replicate these at home.

My first try was a success. I altered the Wholesome Pancakes recipe by adding some chopped walnuts and pecans. The girls liked them, too.

A short while later (2 or 3 days) I was hungry for pancakes again. So I whipped up the Wholesome Nut & Grain pancakes, and added a new twist; pureed spinach. I worried that the girls would NOT want anything to do with them. To my surprise the girls liked them. They even asked for seconds! So, I found a healthy way to get greens and nuts into the girls without feeling bad about eating pancakes! Win-win!

I have several people in my family who do not like syrup on their pancakes (or waffles, French toast). Some use peanut butter or eat them with cut up fruit. This makes the health pancakes even healthier. That is one of the best parts of pancakes, is the versatility! If I make extra, I can wrap them in foil or plastic wrap (I know about the environment!) and have a great easy breakfast (or lunch) for the following day.

I hope you enjoy these morsels and feel compelled to try these healthy pancakes experiment with your own healthy options.


Wholesome Nut & Grain Pancakes

  • ½ cup rolled oats (quick are fine, not instant)
  • 2 ½ cups almond milk (soy or nonfat if preferred)
  • ½ cup baby spinach
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 egg whites (or liquid egg substitute equivalent, beaten)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup walnuts and pecans (chopped)
  1. Preheat an electric griddle or nonstick skillet over medium heat.

  2. In a blender combine ½ cup milk with spinach and puree. 

  3. In a medium bowl, combine oats with spinach mixture and remaining milk. Stir gently and set aside. 

  4. In a large bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Stir until well blended. Add egg whites and vanilla to oat mixture; stir to combine. Add wet ingredients to flour mixture and stir until all ingredients are moistened. Gently fold in nuts. Do not over mix. 

  5. When griddle is hot, pour pancake mixture, using ¼ cup per pancake. When bubbles on top of pancake begin to pop, flip pancake over. Cook until both sides are browned.


Posted by on December 12, 2013 in Recipe


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Chicken Pot Pie – healthified

Chicken Pot Pie – healthified

Winter weather has come to Kansas! It is cold outside, folks. As I sat at my kitchen table Monday I watched the skies turn grey and the leaves start to drop off the trees like rain from the skies. A cold front was coming through. The temperature dropped about twenty degrees in a matter of three hours, in the middle of the day! As I sat shivering I decided that I needed to make some ‘comfort food’ for dinner so I immediately set out to find a healthier Chicken Pot Pie Recipe. I polled The Hubs and Daughters Three and Four to see if the preferred a pie crust style pot pie or a biscuit style pot pie. They did not care.

I came across a recipe at that was similar to what I was looking for. I made a few changes and came up with the recipe below. It was a colossal success. Everyone liked it; really liked it. It was piping hot, even after sitting for 10 minutes. It was hearty and creamy. What more could anyone ask for? Cheese. It was suggested by an unnamed inhabitant of my house that cheese would have been a good addition. Other than that there were no suggestions to make the chicken pot pie recipe better.

I took leftovers for lunch Tuesday and the rest was eaten by The Hubs and girls for lunch. They must have liked it or they would NOT have eaten leftovers! Especially after I announced that each serving was only 350 calories and 8 grams of fat! Now that’s success.

I discovered late yesterday that my brother who is the super cooker made a chicken pot pie with biscuit topping Monday evening, too. He DID add cheese to his biscuit crust. I think one serving of his probably had the caloric content of my entire dish so I think I’ll stick with mine!

If you are in the mood for something to warm you up and give you a big hug of deliciousness give this chicken pot pie recipe a try. It definitely did the trick for my group!

Chicken Pot Pie


  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • ½ cup onion (minced)
  • 1 cup carrots (diced)
  • ½ cup potatoes (diced)
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups cooked chicken (diced)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 servings homemade cream soup mix


  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cold butter (cut into small pieces)
  • 1 cup nonfat buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large oven proof skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions and carrots; cook, stirring, until golden brown and tender, about 7 minutes. 

  2. While onions and carrots are heating, parboil potatoes in hot water on the stove, or in the microwave. Drain the potatoes and add to the pan. Cook for 3-5 minutes to mingle flavors. 

  3. Add 2 cups vegetable broth and bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer. 

  4. Mix dry cream soup substitute with the remaining 1 broth; add to the pan and cook, stirring, until thickened. Remove from heat. Fold in chicken and peas. Set aside.

  5. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  6. In a large mixing bowl whisk flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and thyme. Cut butter into the dry ingredients using your fingertips, 2 knives, or a pastry blender until coarse like corn meal. Make a well in the middle and add buttermilk and oil. Stir until just combined.

  7. Drop the dough onto the filling in 6 even portions. Pat the tops gently with floured hands. Bake until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling, 30 to 35 minutes. 

  8. Remove from oven to a cooling rack. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.


Posted by on November 13, 2013 in Dinner Recipes


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Chicken Enchilada Recipe

So, after a morning of watching my girls cheer for and play basketball, it was a pretty relaxing afternoon yesterday. We couldn’t watch our Jayhawks play on tv due to a problem with the local station. So we left the 3 girls at home and drove in to the grocery store to get the ingredients for a new Chicken Enchilada Recipe. That way we could listen to our team on the radio! Clever…I know.

I had been really hungry for enchiladas for about a week. Not the peas and potatoes kind of enchiladas, but the chicken and creamy sauce kind. My mom used to make a chicken enchilada recipe when we were growing up, and I wanted to do something similar. I wanted to make it a little healthier…but similar. I also had to keep my own families tastes in mind. So, with all of those restrictions I set out to make chicken enchiladas. Here is what I came up with!

I served mine with rice and corn.

This definitely came close to fitting my nutrition parameters, however the little girls weren’t overly fond of it, and neither was the hubs. So, I guess I won’t be making this part of the normal lineup!  I hope that YOU enjoy this healthier chicken enchilada recipe, though! I did.



Chicken Enchiladas with Sour Cream Sauce

Nutrition per enchilada: Fat 10.4g, Saturated Fat 4.9g, Cholesteral 59mg, Sodium 718 mg, Carbohydrates 28.6g, Protein 24.7g

  • 3 boneless (skinless chicken breasts; stewed or poached)
  • ½ tablespoon butter
  • ½ tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup light sour cream
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup (lower fat and sodium)
  • ½ can diced green chilies
  • 4 ounces grated 2% cheddar cheese
  • 10 medium flour tortillas
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a small saucepan melt the butter. Whisk in the flour to make a roux. Stir in the chicken broth and stir until it starts to reduce. Add n the sour cream. Continue to stir until slightly thickened. Set aside.
  2. Shred the cooked chicken into a bowl. Add the chicken soup, green chilies, and ½ of the sour cream sauce.
  3. Warm the tortillas, one at a time in the microwave, just until they are pliable. Place the warmed tortilla in a 9×13 pan. Place about 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture in the center of a tortilla. Roll, enchilada style. Continue until all tortillas are filled. Cover tortillas with grated cheese and the remainder of the sauce. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until heated through.



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Posted by on January 22, 2012 in Dinner Recipes


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Tuna Noodle Casserole, for those days!

We all have “those days”. Well, I’m pretty sure I just had two of those days, rolled up into one! Sometimes we need some quick comfort food. That’s why I love recipes like this old-fashioned but lightened up Tuna Noodle Casserole.

I had an 8 am conference call, which I took mostly from home because of a 9 am Doctor appointment. Just a check-up; no need to feel bad – I’m not sick. Preventative. When I was called out of the waiting room to be measured and weighed the nurse told me there had been some computer issues and they were running behind. Daughter number 3 texted me around the same time and told me that she had forgotten to take money to school today for the out of town basketball game. So over an hour and a half later, I left the Doctors office. Healthy!

Rather than call the hubs to see if he could run some money to the school, I chose to stop at Starbucks, pick up 2 coffees, one for me and one for him, get some cash at the bank and drive 17 miles to the high school and then the 5 minutes home. The Hubs works from home.

I was going to drink my coffee and head to work. Then I realized that slow little leak under the kitchen sink that I had been handling by letting the drips be caught in a gallon ice cream tub for me to dump, had gotten entirely out of control. Reluctantly I mentioned this to the hubs. He reluctantly acknowledged that he heard me. We are neither one plumbing aficionados. Hence the ice cream bucket under the drip.

Not sure quite where to start the hubs went under the house to check the pipes. They looked fine. So, I mentioned that it might be easiest just to cut out the sheet rock under the sink and expose the pipes so we could get a better look. He did. We found the leak and had come up with a vague plan.

We needed a pipe cutter. I went to my dad’s house to borrow one. He couldn’t find it (no surprises). I went back home and told the hubs that I would pick the 2 little ones up from school. After that I would drive to a nearby town to a small lumber yard home improvement store where my younger brother works. There I could buy a pipe cutter and we could take the cut pipe somewhere and they would tell us what to do. I was a bit worried about my plan, for some of the obvious reasons.

My brother showed me a pipe cutter that was more workable in my little space. I was thrilled! Then he talked to me about the kind of pipe I have (I did know that I have copper pipe) and showed me a new product that can take the place of soldering pipe connections, in certain circumstances. Mine seemed to fit the criteria.

I headed home and gave the hubs the pipe cutter. He cut out the piece of pipe with the leak, and I drove the five miles back to show it to my brother. There they had the pipe and two of the three connectors that I would need. My brother wasn’t sure if the hardware store in my town would have them or not. This means I might have to make the long drive (17 miles) into “town” as the locals say.

I was thrilled to discover the local hardware store had a comparable product! With a little bit of work and maneuvering and a couple of tries, the hubs and I got it all put together! I had to do the attaching at the wall, since it was such a small space and have smaller hands. It was cramped, even for my 5’1” and small hands…

When the water was turned back on and we were more than satisfied with the results I quickly fed daughter number 3 some Tuna Noodle Casserole so the hubs could run her over to basketball practice.

I had managed to whip up a light version of Tuna Noodle Casserole while we were working on the pipe repair. It’s a good thing we had put some water into containers before we shut it off to fix the pipe!

So, I didn’t get all of the grand cooking or baking done that I had planned for today, nor did I get any real work done on the personal or professional front. I did, however, get my leaky pipe fixed which needed done. An added bonus is that I got to work with my husband to solve that pesky problem. I know from my childhood how frustrating remodeling and fix-it projects can be. We made it through. I think we both have newfound respect for each other when it comes to plumbing. Oh, and for my little brother!

As for the tuna noodle casserole. I liked it. The hubs and daughter number 3 actually thought it was the best I’ve ever made. Daughter number 4 wasn’t too thrilled about any aspect of it. She didn’t like the shell-roni that I used or the crunchy stuff on top. Furthermore she couldn’t believe that I had put TUNA in it. I tried to make her understand that it wouldn’t be tuna noodle casserole….oh, never mind!

I hope you enjoy!


Tuna Noodle Casserole (light)

  • 8 ounces shell macaroni
  • 2 cans tuna (light, in water; drained)
  • 1 can healthy cream soup (or cream soup substitue)
  • ½ cup skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon prepared mustard
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 ounce grated parmesan cheese
  • Butter flavor nonstick cooking spray
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. 

  2. Cook the noodles according to the directions. 

  3. Mix soup, Worcestershire, mustard and milk in a small bowl. 

  4. Place cooked noodles in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Flake and stir in drained tuna. Pour soup mix over the top of the noodles. Stir to combine. Sprinkle panko over the noodle mixture. Sprinkle grated cheese over panko. Spray with cooking spray. 

  5. Bake for 30 minutes, or until cheese is melty and the casserole is hot throughout.

Peas may be added to the casserole, or served as a side dish.

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Posted by on January 17, 2012 in Dinner Recipes


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Potato soup recipe

Sorry it’s been a few days since I’ve posted anything.  One of my little ones was sick, so most have my time has been spent caring for her and holding her.  There was little cooking or eating being done. This Potato Soup Recipe was just what we needed.

Yesterday was better on the tummy front, so I thought I had better make dinner.  Nothing too heavy, though.  The unseasonably warm winter weather had decided to leave us for more seasonable snow and cold Kansas wind.  Definitely soup weather.

Growing up, my mother’s comfort food was potato soup.  As a child, I didn’t really care for it.  After discovering other potato soup recipes I have become very fond of potato soup. It is not my first choice of comfort food, though.

I decided last night was perfect for potato soup and sandwiches. Something else I picked up from my mother is that potato soup goes with grilled cheese sandwiches.  So does tomato soup. I didn’t want to spend hours making soup and I didn’t want a fat laden overly creamy soup because of health reasons; both mine and the still not all-together better flu child.

So I came up with this quick potato soup recipe and grilled the sandwiches while it simmered.  It was nice.  Just what was needed on a cold Kansas night.

I served the Potato Soup with grilled cheese or turkey and cheese sandwiches.  Everyone enjoyed the dinner, and it wasn’t too heavy for anyone!

Quick  Potato Soup

  • 4 baking potatoes (microwaved until done)
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • ¼ – ½ onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 medium carrot (grated)
  • 2 cans non-fat evaporated milk
  • ½ cup 2% milk
  • Thyme
  • Ground black pepper
  • Sea Salt
  1. Wash the potatoes.  Poke with a fork or knife and microwave until done.  Do not overcook.  Potatoes will cook more in the soup. 

  2. In a soup pot or Dutch oven melt butter. Add onion and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally. Add carrots and cook for a few minutes. Add evaporated milk and sir. 

  3. Remove skins from the cooked potatoes and chop into bite sized pieces. Add potatoes to the soup. 

  4. Reduce heat. Add milk and seasonings. Cook until warm through. Stir well before serving.

Garnish with crisp bacon, shredded cheese, green onion if desired

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Posted by on January 12, 2012 in Soup Recipes


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