Easy, simple/cheap ingredients and I actually liked them! Great way for Rivers to eat black beans too:) I might try again and sneak some flax seed and even spinach in. Kate reminded me that Jen made these at a Circle Weekend – not sure how different the recipe is but feel free to add variations/tricks! 


1 1/2 cups black beans (1 15-oz can, drained and rinsed very well) 
2 tbsp cocoa powder- dutch or regular 
1/2 cup quick oats
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup honey or pure maple syrup or agave
2 tbsp sugar (or omit and increase maple syrup to 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil 
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup to 2/3 cup chocolate chips (Not optional. Omit at your own risk.)
optional: more chips, for presentation

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients except chips in a food processor, and blend until completely smooth. Stir in the chips, then pour into a greased 8×8 pan. Optional: sprinkle extra chocolate chips on top. Bake 15-18 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut. Makes 9-12 brownies.

Original recipe here


A Savory Sweet Appetizer!

Pastry Puff Sheet (in frozen section)
olive oil
d’anjou pear
honey goat cheese
mozzarella (shredded)
balsamic vinegar
brown sugar

oil cookie sheet
lay out one pastry puff shell (follow thawing directions on box)
drizzle with olive oil
sprinkle on mozzarella
add dollops of honey goat cheese
add thinly sliced pear
add arugula
combine balsamic vinegar, brown sugar and olive oil and drizzle over the whole thing

bake in oven @ 400 for about 15 min (go longer if needed, you don’t want it to be doughy!)



Don’t forget to oil sheet first or it’s a nightmare to get off (learned this lesson the hard way).

One of the best things about going to see my husband’s family in Goshen, Indiana are waking up to my father in-law’s scones! He makes these every time we visit and they are so delicious to slice in half, toast a bit and smother in jams. There are always some for us to take on our 10 hour road trip home when we leave – such a great tradition!

Here is John King’s recipe. I made these recently and didn’t have honey so I omitted that. We also used vanilla yogurt, whole wheat white flour & vegetable oil as substitutes. I made half with currants and half with dark chocolate chips. Great for guests and then to have on hand for the week! I like to make small ones for a little snack (my go to when the hunger pains set in at a 3am breast feeding with my baby boy).

king scones


Orange marmalade, jams and lemon curd are all delicious on these.

Lately I’ve been craving lots of pumpkin. I like to blame that desire on this baby that’s been in my belly for 32 weeks now. So out of desperation and lack of desire to leave the house, I see what I can make with what I have around.

I found this recipe for bars and since I didn’t have enough cream cheese I decided to combine it with the pie recipe on the back of a Libby’s Pumpkin can.

They turned out to be just what I wanted.


Recipe (Carrie version):

1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
8 tablespoons butter (softened)
3/4 cup chopped pecans
Pulse together in food processor til crumbly. Press most in 9×11 pan but save a bit for topping.
Bake at 350 for 15 min.
1 can of pumpkin
1 can of evaporated milk (12 ounce)
2 eggs
Softened cream cheese (3 ounces or more)
1 tsp. nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon, allspice (whatever you have of these)
pinch of salt, ginger, cloves
3/4 C. sugar
Mix together with hand mixer and pour into baked crust. Top with the rest of the crumbly toppings. Bake at 350 for 45 min.
Cool. Eat. Add whipped cream/ice know the drill.

I bought some off brand sugar and found a recipe on the back for soccer practice bars. Well that sounds kinda healthy right? I changed it to make it even better for you…and they turned out great! Still a lot of butter and sugar but at least you are eating whole wheat flour and steel cut oats.

Recipe (Carrie version):

  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 c. natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 c. steel cut oats (I used Irish style?)
  • 1 c. dark chocolate chips (optional – I would have added if I had them!)

Preheat oven to 350.

Cream butter and sugars. Add egg and PB and mix well. Stir in soda, salt, flour and oatmeal. And choco chips!

Spoon onto cookie sheet. I ended up baking these for about 20 min, but check and bake to your liking.


This is a recipe I adapted from Taste of Home.  It’s very flexible, and I usually change up the ingredients every time I make it.

Yields 8 servings


1/2 c. reduced-sodium soy sauce

1/4 c. packed brown sugar

2 T rice vinegar

2 T canola oil

2 T orange juice

1 T minced fresh ginger

1 tsp. sesame oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tsp. sriracha Asian hot chili sauce (or 1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce)


2 cups frozen shelled edamame, thawed

10 oz. Japanese soba noodles or whole wheat linguini (you can find soba noodles in the Asian section at the grocery store; the original recipe calls for 8 oz., but I’ve found that you have too much dressing with 8 oz. of noodles.)

1 pkg. (14 oz.) angel hair coleslaw mix

1 cup shredded carrots

1 cup thinly sliced green onions

3 T sesame seeds

2 T fresh basil leaves (optional)

2 T lightly salted, chopped peanuts

Optional ingredients: I’ve also added 1 cup snow peas and broccoli slaw (in addition to the coleslaw).


1. In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients; set aside.

2. Cook edamame and soba noodles according to package directions; drain.  Rinse noodles in cold water, and drain.

3. Just before serving, combine the coleslaw mix, carrots, green onions, noodles, and edamame in a large bowl.  Add dressing; toss to coat.

4. Garnish with sesame seeds, basil, and peanuts.

I’ve also found that if you have to mix up most of the ingredients beforehand, they taste great after sitting in the dressing.  Serve cold.

Recipe compliments of Wendell’s Aunt Nancy-she gave me a batch of already-made wipes, along with the recipe for a shower gift:)

  • 1 Roll of good, thick paper towels
  • 2 Tbsp. Baby Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Baby Shampoo
  • 1 1/2 c. Warm water

Cut roll of paper towls in half (I use a sharp bread knife).  Set one half aside for your next batch.  Squish roll together and pull our cardboard center.  Place roll in container.  Wisk together oil, shampoo, and water.  Pour mixture over towels. Cover, turn upside down for 15 minutes.  Use wipes by pulling from center.

Note: A Rubbermaid #6 container works well.  Or the container in the pifture (from Walmart)- I love this one because I can leave 2 flaps open and leave a small corner of the next wipe hanging out so I can get it without taking the lid off each time.

Original Recipe Found HERE

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup milk
1 (16 ounce) package frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crusts
Beat together cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar. Mix in peanut butter and milk. Beat until smooth. Fold in whipped topping.
Spoon into two 9 inch graham cracker pie shells; cover, and freeze until firm.

So my friend Mo and I got this idea off of Pinterest and decided to make them for book club. They are amazing and so easy! Just make two pans of brownies (or one pan and cut them in half like I did) and spread ice cream in the middle and freeze. You won’t regret it. They are to die for.

Like a flat tasty pie:)

Jake and I are back in Lancaster for a spell and helping out with the family business – produce stand at a farmer’s market. This means we get LOTS of delicious fruits and vegetable that we rarely splurged on while we were in Alaska, although our little arugula garden grew splendidly there. While boxing up beautiful arugula at 4am I had the urge to make some kind of pear tart/pizza. So that is just what we did – sort of made it up from a hodge podge of recipes.

It was GOOD. More like a pie that got steam rolled, this hit the spot. We didn’t have bleu cheese or gorgonzola so we substituted sharp white cheddar – but I ended up loving it. Here we go…

To make one small flat tart (light dinner for two): 

– handful of fresh arugula

– thin slices of a ripe bosc pear

– sharp white cheddar – shredded (or gorg or bleu)

– dough! we didn’t have yeast so ours became more like a pie crust – but I recommend this! You will need flour, water, salt, flax seed (optional), baking powder, veg oil.

1. Mix together a cup of flour (we only had white), 1/3 c. water, 1/2 tsp salt, small handful of flax seed, 1 tsp baking powder and 1/8 c. veg. oil. Mix, roll up into a ball and flatten. Place this on a cookie sheet and brush with a mix of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

3. Top dough with cheese, pear, arugula, and then a bit more cheese.

4. Bake for 10-15 min at 350. You can change this depending on your preferences of crispiness.

5. Remove, cool a bit, and drizzle with more olive oil/ balsamic vinegar.

6. EAT!

OPTION: wait to add arugula after it comes out if you want some of that bitterness to stay – otherwise it gets baked out:)





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