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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


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.

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.

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.




This is another one of my photo-copied-from-mom recipes.  I don’t even know what magazine it comes from, but it was submitted by Amy VanGuilder Dik in Minneapolis.  It is one of those recipes that’s pretty easy, but seems impressive to guests.

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1 Tablespoon olive or canola oil
  • 1 jar (16 oz) chunky salsa
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 c water
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups hot cooked couscous (I prefer whole wheat)
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds (I’ve never actually added these, didn’t really noticed them until now)

In large skillet, saute chicken in oil until browned on both sides.  In a small bowl, combine salsa, cranberries, water, honey, garlic, cinnamon, and cumin; mix well.  Pour over chicken and cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until chicken juices run clear.  Cover each breast with some of the salsa mix, then mix the rest in with the couscous.  Enjoy!


Hey guys! Before you write me off as a freakish health nut (which regularly happens at work when I open my lunch bag), try this. It is easy and oh-so-scrumptious. I made it for the first time this week and within 5 minutes had eaten nearly an entire head (bunch?) of kale. It was intense. We’re talking like, dilated pupils, salivating, sitting in the corner munching on my hoarded kale, ready to fight anyone who would dare to challenge me. Dangerous stuff…beware.

Easy instructions:

Heat oven to 350º. Wash kale. Tear leaves off the center stem. Place them on parchment paper on baking sheet. (You could probably just put them straight on a greased baking sheet too). Spray lightly with cooking spray. I also drizzled on some sesame oil. Sprinkle on salt and any other seasoning you’d like (I’m thinking garlic or rosemary would be good – I just did plain salt). Roast in oven for 15-20 minutes or until slightly browned and crispy. Devour.

I found this recipe here:

and altered it.  It’s really tasty and is healthier than traditional cookies, so I feel better about indulging.  This was a great find when I was looking to use up some leftover granola.  I didn’t particularly like the taste, but the granola still tasted good in these bars.

1 egg

1 egg white (if doubled, just use 3 eggs)

3/4 c. packed brown sugar

1/4 c. canola oil

1 c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

2 c. granola (with or without raisins)

1 c. dried cranberries (omit if using granola with raisins)

1/2 to 3/4  c. chocolate chips

1. In a bowl, combine the eggs, brown sugar, and oil; mix well.  Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in another bowl, and stir into the sugar mixture.  Stir in granola, dried cranberries, and chocolate chips.  The batter will very thick.

2. Spread into a greased 9×9 pan.  I think it’s easiest to use a piece of wax paper to press it into the pan.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until golden and set.  Cool on a wire rack, and cut into bars.

I got this recipe from my mom, I think she adapted it from some South Beach Diet recipe.









  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes, drained (I will try with fresh tomatoes in the summer, but canned will have to do for now)
  • 1 or 2 onions
  • basil, oregano, salt, pepper to taste
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese

Cook spaghetti squash in oven or microwave.  (I cooked it in microwave by cutting in half and placing cut side down in glass dish with a little water in the bottom, then covering with plastic wrap.  I did the halves separately and cooked each for 10 minutes.)  While cooking the squash, dice the onion and saute in olive oil in large skillet until soft.  Add minced garlic and cook a few more minutes.  Add tomatoes and cook until warm.  Scoop seeds from squash and discard.  Scoop out contents of squash and add to pan, then saute for 10 minutes or so.  Top with Parmesan cheese.  This makes a pretty large amount, I’m wishing I only used one half and saved the other half for a different recipe.

This recipe comes from a random Giant Food Stores magazine that I picked up for free at the PA Farm Show this year.  I just made it for the first time and it is deliciously flavorful.  I think this soup tastes like summer because it reminds of the Roasted Vegetables from Simply In Season that I love to make on the grill.

  • 16 oz canned plum tomatoes or stewed tomatoes
  • 2 cups zucchini (1 medium size)
  • 2 cups yellow squash(1 medium size)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon finely minced garlic
  • 32 oz low sodium vegetable broth (I used homemade chicken broth that I had in the freezer)
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (the grated kind is fine too

Preheat oven to 400F.  Cut tomatoes, zucchini,  squash, and onion  into large bite-sized pieces and combine in large bowl.  Drizzle vegetables with olive oil and mix to coat.  Transfer vegetables onto a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven for 10 minutes.  Add the minced garlic, turn with spatula to mix and flip vegetables and continue to roast for 5-10 more minutes.  Remove vegetables from oven and cool slightly.  Meanwhile, bring broth to a simmer.  Add red wine vinegar, basil, oregano, and pepper; mix well.  Add the roasted vegetables and rice; simmer for 10 minutes.  Serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.  Makes 3-4 servings.

This recipe is adapted (only changed slightly) from the Simply in Season cookbook.  It comes from Kathryn Stutzman from Goshen.

  • 3 cups old fashioned oats (calls for rolled oats, I don’t know if there’s a difference)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger

Mix together in a large bowl.  Make a well in the center.




  • 1/4 cup applesauce (original recipe calls for oil)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins or other drive fruit or nuts (optional)

Pour into the well.  Mix thoroughly, making sure all loose flour has been incorporated (add another tablespoon of milk if necessary).  Spread onto a cookie sheet and bake in preheated oven at 300F, stirring every 10 minutes until light brown (about 50-60 minutes).  Store in airtight container up to a week, also freezes well.

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