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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.

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:)





Jake’s parents joined us for 9 great days in Alaska – this means we ate very well:) While here they got to go out on Jake’s boat and try their hand at catching some unlucky halibut – and that they did! As a result we had the best fish tacos I’ve had this summer (and maybe ever). The simple fish fry recipe was snagged from some friends here in Alaska, the Moyers…so thanks for that little secret!

I had no part in making these but have full faith that I could repeat it. Kelli & John King were the greats in this one.

fresh halibut tacos!

1. Make Sweet Slaw (great addition to your taco!)

– Chop up a small head of savoy cabbage

– mix together and add to cabbage: 1/2 c. mayo, 3 tbsp milk, 3 tbsp vinegar and 1 tbsp sugar


2. Lime Cilantro Sauce – mix together following:

– 1/2 c. minced cilantro

– 2 c minced up tomatoes

– juice of one and a half large limes

– half a jalepeno (no seeds) minced

– salt

-1/4 tsp cumin

– 5 minced spring onions


3. Fry up your fish!

– cut up something fresh if you can, if not just buy some cod. We did these with halibut.

– mix pancake mix (the just add water kind) with beer! You want it to be a little thinner than if you were making pancakes.

– heat up 3/8 in. of olive oil ( you aren’t deep frying, but pan frying)

– fry each fish chunk about 5 min on each side (depending on thickness)


4. Heat up tortillas with a bit of oil in a frypan.


5. Put together your tacos, pour the wine and eat at least 2!

The Kings feasting on their creativity.


Deckhand Jake and an unlucky halibut.




Hello friends! So we don’t have an oven in our yurt – but we do have access to one on occasion. We do have ample access to a grill so we shall be doing a lot of that.

This is an EASY and fun dessert to add to your grilling menu.

A fun dessert! We will let chocolate melt more next time.


Bananas (1 per person)

Dark Chocolate Chips

Peanut Butter

(Could add Nutella, Marshmallows, Coconut, Honey, etc. etc. etc. – whatever you like)


Cut skinny ‘v’ lengthwise of entire banana. Scoop out the ‘v’ guts and eat. Keep peel attached.

Fill ‘v’ with whatever you want. We did dark chocolate chips and peanut butter because that is what we had. Each person could fill their own banana if they want.

Replace peel over top of ‘v’.

Wrap each banana in til foil, having it fold over the slit (so you can easily check when it’s done).

Stick on the grill! It’s done when the chocolate is melted – just keep an eye on them.

Eat while hot. Tasty.

This recipe came from some camp recipe site – not sure where exactly:)

Satisfied customer.

On our travels we have been staying with many friends. To thank them for their hospitality we often try to leave a little gift, buy some beers or make dinner. We love when we can make dinner! For the last couple nights we’ve been staying in Abbotsford, BC with some friends serving through MCC.

We decided to make pasta one night – Jake’s favorite. We used some local smoked salmon and some other tasty ingredients and had a quick and easy hit!

1. Boil your water for the fettuccine. (Make this as you normally would).

2. Mince up a clove or two of garlic and saute with olive oil, salt and oregeno.

3. Chop up some kalamata olives and add to the pan along with some chopped smoked salmon.

4. Throw some crusty bread in the oven to broil a bit while you finish cooking the fettuccine and salmon saute.

5. Throw a handful of spinach in with the salmon for a few minutes – don’t let it get too mushy.

6. Mix saute with fettuccine and add a generous helping of chopped up goat cheese.

7. Serve with crusty bread and salad! (we made spinach salad since we didn’t use our whole bag for the pasta, and made olive oil/goat cheese spread for the bread – which is something I learned from Jen!).

My mother has been making these a lot lately. The family likes them. I have no idea where she got the recipe – out of some magazine that’s now missing a page.

Makes 12

You need:

½ c (1 stick) cold butter, cut into small pieces (plus 2 tbsp melted)

¼ ounce active dry yeast

1 c warm water

2 tbsp sugar

2 c cake flour (not self-rising)

2 c all-purpose flour

1 ½ tsp salt

1 ½ c sour cream

2 tbsp FRESH thyme leaves

  1. Lightly butter 12 cup muffin tin.
  2. Stir together yeast, water and sugar – let stand 5min until foamy. Stir until yeast dissolves
  3. Whisk flours and salt in large bowl. Cut in butter pieces (they suggest with a pastry blender – which I do not own) until coarse. Stir in yeast mixture and sour cream and thyme.
  4. Spoon 1/3 c. dough into each muffin tin. Cover with buttered plastic wrap (what?), let rise about 1 hour in warm place – should be about double in size.
  5. Preheat oven to 400.
  6. Bake 10 min, remove from oven and brush on melted butter. Bake 16-18 minutes until golden.
  7. Immediately pop out onto wire rack. Serve warm.

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