Coconut Lime Scones

Coconut Lime Scones

Coconut Lime Scones

By now it’s no secret how much I like coconut, and I have been having a craving that just won’t quit.  Just when I think I’ve reached the end of my coconut obsession, another recipe pops up,  I start to salivate, and then you know what happens….I bake!



I’m head over heels for coconut and seem to have gone bonkers for it.  I just hope you are not bored by the number of recipes I’ve  posted that contain coconut, because here is another one. These scones contain a match-up of coconut with lime and they are incredibly good.  Their texture is not quite as crumbly as some scones, leaning more toward cake-like, but served warm from the oven, plain or with raspberry jam they are perfect.  You can also serve them for dessert with fresh strawberries or coconut sorbet for a special treat.  My idea for dressing them up was to make a glaze from confectioners’ sugar and lime juice .    I hope you enjoy these scones.


You will note that the recipe calls for heavy cream in the dough and for brushing the tops.  I thought that with the butter they contain, more fat from the cream was not needed, so I substituted buttermilk and still got a very tender scone.  Since these are made primarily in the food processor, you must be careful not to over-process the dough or the scones will not be tender.  If the dough seems wet, that’s OK, work in extra flour by kneading lightly on a floured surface.


  • 2  1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1  1/2 cups unsweetened coconut
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold butter, cut into chunks
  • zest of 2 limes
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream (or buttermilk)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons cream for brushing tops

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice


Preheat the oven to 425*F. and prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper or silicon mat.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, coconut, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Pulse it together just to mix.  Add the cold butter and pulse until the butter has been cut into the floor and you have a coarse crumb. Add the lime juice and about 2/3’s of the zest and pulse.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the 1/2 cup cream (or buttermilk) and egg.  Add it to the mixture and pulse until you have a dough that comes together but is still crumbly and wet.

Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface, and using the extra flour, work it into the dough and pat the dough into a round disc. Using a floured knife cut into 8 wedges.

Brush tops of the scones with the 1-2 tablespoons cream (or buttermilk).  Bake for 10 minutes until slightly golden around the edges.  Let the scones cool for a few minutes and firm up before removing them from the pan.  While they are cooling, make the glaze.


In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar  and lime juice   Whisk together to get a thin glaze.  Drizzle over the tops of the warm scones and sprinkle with remaining zest.




SOURCE:   adapted from a recipe by Heathercristo. com



My Non-Cake Birthday Cake

My non-cake Birthday Cake

My non-cake Birthday Cake

Do you love cinnamon rolls, but don’t like to work with yeast dough?  I hear this from of lots of my women friends.   They love that yeasty flavor and texture of baked breads and sweet rolls, cinnamon buns included, but don’t have the time or knack for working with yeast dough.  Well here’s good news…..

These are cinnamon rolls made from dough without yeast!  In the food processor, no less.  So ease of preparation can’t be beat, and the resulting tender sweet, cinnamon rolls are luscious indeed.   The inclusion of cottage cheese and non-fat yogurt, plus a small amount of butter guarantees a tender dough.


The back story here is that my birthday occurred this past weekend, as it does every year right around Mother’s Day, and having no-one around to bake a cake for me,  I made one for myself.  Only it wasn’t really a cake.  It was these sweet rolls.  When they are turned out of the baking pan onto a serving dish, they look like a single layer cake.  Frosted with a maple flavor glaze, they are great for breakfast, but we sampled them while still warm from the oven, and had a tiny birthday party just for me.  Ha!


Yield:   Makes 12 rolls



  • 3/4 cup small curd cottage cheese
  • 1/3 cup non-fat plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (if using salted butter, use 1/4 tsp. salt)


  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or other nuts
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


  • 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract



1.  In the bowl of a food processor, combine the first 5 ingredients.  Process briefly until smooth.   In a separate bowl whisk together the dry ingredients (flour through salt).  Add the flour mixture to the processor bowl.  Cover and pulse to form a soft dough.


Easy so far, right?

2.  Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead 4 to 5 times.  It comes together and feels just right.  Now with a rolling pin, roll out to a 15″ x 12″ rectangle.



Brush the dough with the 2 Tablespoons of melted butter to within 1/2-inch of edges.  Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture all over the butter.


3.  Preheat oven to 400*F.   Lightly spray or grease a 9-inch round baking pan.

4.   Starting from the long side, roll up the dough like a jelly roll, keeping it as tight and even as possible.  Pinch edges to seal.   Cut dough into 1 1/4-inch slices.


Lay the slices cut-side down in the prepared pan.



5.  Bake at 400*F. for 20 – 25 minutes.  Test for doneness with a toothpick.  Remove from oven and cool for about 5 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a serving plate.



6.  Make the glaze and drizzle over the rolls.  Don’t they look fantastic?  I dare you not to eat one right now!

Yummy cinnamon rolls, still warm from the oven.

Yummy cinnamon rolls, still warm from the oven.



Pizza Puffs

Pizza Puffs

Pizza Puffs

These are little bites that contain all the flavors that you love about pizza!   I made these awesome nibbles as part of a brunch buffet and everyone loved them.  They are extremely easy to make, and you can vary what you put into them according to your taste.  Whatever you like for pizza toppings can go into these delicious little morsels.   I’m going to keep these in my file as an appetizer or a great snack when game watching, or having an outdoor barbecue. These delicious little puffs will have everyone wanting more.


I used some crumbled pre-cooked sausage and chopped pepperoni in mine plus I added some pizza dough flavoring to the batter.  I also included shredded mozzarella cheese because, really, what is pizza without the cheese?  When you serve these you will want to have a bowl of warm marinara sauce nearby to spoon over the puffs, or for dipping.


Yield:   24 mini puffs


  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flourIMG_7200
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. pizza seasoning (optional, but good)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 ounces, shredded mozzarella cheese (about 1 cup)
  • 2 ounces chopped pepperoni,  about 1/2 cup
  • 4 ounces italian sausage, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce


1.  Preheat the oven to  375*F.  Grease 24 mini muffin cups.

2.  In a large bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients. (flour through pizza seasoning)

2.  In another small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the milk and egg.   Add to the dry ingredients.  Mix to incorporate, then stir in the cheese, pepperoni and sausage.


Let stand 10 minutes.  (This is important, it’s what makes them really puff up)

3.  Stir batter again, and divide among the muffin cups.   Bake till puffed and golden, 20 – 25 minutes.




4.  Warm the pizza sauce and serve with the puffs for dipping.



It occurred to me after making these that they could be well suited to a breakfast menu by substituting bacon and chopped ham for the meats, and cheddar cheese for mozzarella.    I must try that next time I make these.


SOURCE:   adapted from a recipe from Little Kitchen

Skinny Chocolate Strawberry Frappé

Skinny Chocolate Covered Strawberry Frappé

Skinny Chocolate Covered Strawberry Frappé

Has anybody besides me come to the realization that it’s time to get serious about shedding some pounds and inches in order to fit into the summer wardrobe.  I mean really serious.   😦  I thought I would begin with this beverage which is delicious, but low in calories, fat and carbs.  The end of this post will give you the specifics on that.  You will be amazed.

This yummy, frappuccino is really rich and flavorful.  It’s a copycat of the McDonald’s one with a fraction of the cost and calories of the original.  Full of real fruit and chocolate, this is one drink you won’t want to miss! It reminds me of chocolate covered strawberries.

Before making it I decided to research the original Strawberry Frappé to find out what it was made of.  Before too long, I learned that this beverage had earned many negative reviews.  Two things became glaringly apparent :  the strawberry flavor tasted completely artificial; and chunks of chocolate clogged the straw, making it impossible to drink.


Ahaa!  I knew I could do better than that.  So, I pulled my trusty blender out and started measuring out ingredients.  Mr. D. was at home and he was willing to be my official “taste tester”.   I have to admit my first go at it left something to be desired…it was very unsweet with a prominent chocolate flavor.  I remedied that by adding more strawberries, and more sweetener.  My choice, and what I had on hand, was agave syrup.   I added about 2 Tablespoons to each drink, and this was adequate for us.

You can whip up this ridiculously easy recipe with only 5 ingredients:   dark, strong coffee, milk, cocoa powder, strawberries, and some sweetener.  You probably have all of these in your pantry -and fridge- already!


I strongly recommend using frozen strawberries instead of fresh ones.  Fresh strawberries, with their juice, will add too much liquid to the frappuccino.  Frozen strawberries are generally picked at their peak of ripeness and flash frozen which preserves their bright fruity taste.  In addition to flavor, the frozen strawberries also act as ice and help thicken the drink without watering down the taste.

To fix the second problem of chocolate chunks clogging the straw, I opted to use cocoa powder instead of pieces of chocolate.  It still adds a whole lot of chocolate flavor, but as a fine powder, it won’t plug up the straw.  Cocoa powder also has a greatly reduced number of calories and fat without sacrificing any flavor.


Yield:  Makes about 16 ounces.  Enough for 1 hugh drink or 2 smaller ones.


  • 3/4 cup double-strength coffee, chilled
  • 1/2 cup skim milk (Any kind of milk will do, I used almond milk.)
  • 1  1/2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup frozen unsweetened strawberries
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes
  • sweetener to taste  (agave, honey, etc.)


1.  Add only the coffee, milk, and cocoa powder to your blender container to begin.  You want to thoroughly mix those together before adding the frozen ingredients, so the cocoa gets uniformly mixed in, avoiding any little pockets of cocoa powder.

2.  Pour in the frozen strawberries and ice, and any sweetener desired, and blend till smooth.  Pour into a large glass and serve with a straw.   YUM!


Here’s the hugh payoff—-when compared with McDonald’s, my version contains 621 fewer calories, 26.6 fewer grams fat, 89.9 fewer grams of carbs, and 89.8 fewer grams of sugar.

I am also going to keep this recipe in mind when hot weather arrives, and make it to pour into my popsicle molds.  I think this is going to be a delicious summertime cool-down treat.



Banana Chip Muffins

Banana Chip Muffins

Banana Chip Muffins

It’s hard to know when would be the best time to eat these wonderful muffins.  Certainly, for breakfast, but they make a mighty fine dessert or snack as well.  I tested out this recipe last weekend because I plan to make them for an Easter Bake sale.  Muffins are always great with coffee on Easter morning, when you know there will be a big meal sometime later in the day.

When I was a teenager our youth group always got up really early to attend an Easter sunrise service.   At that hour of the morning, it was quite chilly outside, so when the service was over we always went to someone’s house or back to church for hot chocolate and whatever other goodies were provided.  Moving and beautiful as the service was, I always looked forward to the refreshments that followed.  These muffins are the essential accessory  to a hot beverage, and would be perfect served at an early morning function, or maybe an early meeting at the office.

Muffin and a hot beverage.

Muffin and a hot beverage.

These are sturdy muffins chock full of flaked coconut, chocolate chips, and nuts if you care to add them.  The tropical taste of the coconut blends beautifully with the banana flavor and develops the batter along the way; the inclusion of  chocolate chips is a necessity for those  individuals who require chocolate in every bite of muffin.


What makes the texture of these banana muffins somewhat cake-like and soft is the process by which the batter is assembled: the butter and brown sugar are creamed together until fluffy and smooth.  This builds the batter’s creamy quality and prepares the mixture for the addition of the whole eggs.  Once the eggs are added, the flavoring extract and the mashed bananas are incorporated, followed by the final mix-in of the dry ingredients and enough buttermilk to moisten the whole.  The batter is now ready to accept the shredded coconut, mini chips and nuts.

Spooned into lined muffin cups and baked, the batter bakes up into plump muffins that have lovely rounded tops.  When you break open a warm muffin, you’ll find a tender, moist, “crumb” holding chocolate chips and coconut, all wrapped by the taste of banana.  Sigh!!

Can anything make them better?   Yes, butter!!

Can anything make them better? Yes, butter!!


Yield:   12 muffins


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1 cup white whole wheat and 1 cup regular flour.)IMG_7014
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons ( 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large bananas)
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup flaked coconut
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips ( I used mini chips.)



1.  Preheat the oven to 375*F.  Line 12 muffin cups (3-ounce size)  with paper liners, or grease lightly.

2.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and the brown sugar for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.

3.  Beat in the eggs to incorporate,  add in the banana and vanilla.   The mixture may look curdled.   Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, continuing to mix just to combine.

4.  Reserve 2 tablespoons chocolate chips.  Add the rest of the chips, the coconut, and nuts, (if using) to the batter and stir in to distribute evenly.

5.  Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.  Sprinkle the tops with the reserved chocolate chips.  Bake 25 – 30 minutes until a toothpick into the center of one muffin comes out clean.


6.  Remove the muffin tin to a wire rack.  Cool the muffins in the pan for 5 minutes.  Remove muffins from the cups and finish cooling on the rack.  Serve warm or cool completely and store the muffins in an airtight container at room temperature.


Happy Easter!  :)

Happy Easter! 🙂


SOURCE:   Chocolatier Magazine


Candied Orange and Golden Raisin Scones

Candied Orange and Golden Raisin Scones

Candied Orange and Golden Raisin Scones

As I’m sure you know by now I really love scones. I’ve never eaten a scone I didn’t like, but if they include dried fruits or ginger that scone and I will be friends for life. So this particular recipe had me at “candied orange” and when you add golden raisins and then soak all that in orange liqueur overnight before baking, then let me tell you these are the best scones imaginable.


They become crisp and golden with a light, flaky interior. The fruit offers a slightly chewy contrast. Orange zest and Grand Marnier, or any orange flavor liqueur, flavor the scones. Slather them with butter and enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea for breakfast. But really they could be dessert. The other aspect of this recipe that got me was the total yield is around 15 or 16 scones. So you can bake once, and freeze half of them to enjoy at a later date. These scones keep for 2-3 days in an air-tight container at room temperature.

Flaky and tender inside.

Flaky and tender inside.


Yield: about 16 2-inch round scones


  • 1/2 cup diced candied orange peel
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zestIMG_6578
  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier or other orange-flavored liqueur
  • 2 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • coarse salt
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 1 large whole egg plus 1 large egg, separated
  • fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling


1. Stir together candied orange peel, raisins, orange zest and liqueur in a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 day.

2. Preheat oven to 350*F. Whisk flours together in a large bowl. Transfer half to a processor and add butter. Pulse to cut in butter (the largest pieces should be the size of small peas.) Add granulated sugar, baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt to remaining flour in bowl; whisk to combine. With pastry blender or your fingertips, work in the flour-butter mixture until mixture resembles coarse meal.

3. Whisk together cream, whole egg, and egg yolk. Make a well in the center of flour mixture, and pour in half of cream mixture. Draw dry ingredients over wet ingredients with a rubber spatula, scraping bottom of bowl to incorporate all dry crumbs. Add remaining cream mixture, and gently mix just until incorporated–do not overwork dough.

4. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface, and press dough into a 6-by-9-inch rectangle. Sprinkle dried fruit mixture evenly over dough. With a short side facing you, fold rectangle into thirds, as you would a letter. Rotate dough a quarter-turn clockwise. Roll out dough to a 6-by-9-inch rectangle, folding and rotating once more.

5. Pat dough into a 1 1/4-inch-thick rectangle with floured hands, and cut out as many rounds as possible with a floured 2-inch round biscuit cutter. Gather scraps, reroll once, and cut out more rounds ( you should have a total of 16).

Note: In order to avoid rerolling scraps and cutting twice, I rolled my dough out to approximately 6-inch-by-10-inch rectangle, then with a sharp knife cut out 2″ squares, getting a total of 15.


6. Place scones 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Lightly beat egg white and brush tops; sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cool on sheets. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Fresh from the oven and smelling delicious.

Fresh from the oven and smelling delicious.



SOURCE: Martha Stewart Living

Maple Bacon Oatmeal Muffins

Maple Bacon and Oatmeal Muffins

Maple Bacon and Oatmeal Muffins

These are the best breakfast muffins, ever.   You read that right.  These muffins are for all of you who can’t make up your mind in the morning.  These muffins are like four breakfasts rolled into one:  they are a stack of pancakes, a bowl of oatmeal, bacon and eggs or just a muffin, thank you very much.


Just when I’m trying to avoid eating greasy things like bacon, or pancakes slathered with butter and maple syrup, here I go combining them.  No, I’m not trying to kill you, or me either, I’m just full of contradictions.  But there is meaning in my madness:  the oatmeal is in there for a purpose.  Oatmeal provides fiber, and the fiber cleanses out the greasy bad stuff.  Oh, the power of oatmeal.  It’s feeling the weight of responsibility on its shoulders.  But I know it can handle it, else I wouldn’t be using it.   Maple syrup?  It’s there to take the place of sugar.  You know, sweeten things up a little.  And living in maple syrup country as I do, I try to include it when ever possible.  Bacon?   Well what can I say about bacon that hasn’t already been said by a million  other people.  Bacon makes everything better.  That’s all there is to it.


You must try these muffins —- and think how healthy they are for you!


Yield:   This recipe makes about 17 -18 muffins.  It can easily be halved for a yield of about 8-9 muffins.


  • 1  1/4 cups quick cooking or regular rolled oats

    A trio of great ingredients:  maple syrup, oatmeal and bacon.

    A trio of great ingredients: maple syrup, oatmeal and bacon.

  • 1 1/2 cups milk  (any kind, I used almond milk)
  • 2 cups flour (I recommend using 1/2  white whole flour and/or spelt flour for additional nutrition and fiber)
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 egg ( when making half a recipe, I still used 1 whole egg)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
  •  2 Tbsp. maple syrup for brushing tops


1.  Preheat the oven to 350*F.   Line muffin tin(s) with paper liners and set aside.

2.  In a large bowl, combine milk and oats, then let it sit while you cook the bacon to allow the oats to soften.

Cooking the bacon.

Cooking the bacon.

3. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.

4.  Whisk maple syrup, melted butter, and egg into the oatmeal mixture.  Lightly stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients along with the bacon.

5.  Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups until each is about 3/4 full.  Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until they are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.


Transfer to a cooling rack and brush the tops with the reserved maple syrup, using a pastry brush.

Brush the tops with maple syrup while still warm from the oven.

Brush the tops with maple syrup while still warm from the oven.

Be sure to “taste test” one while it is still warm.  😀


SOURCE:   an adaptation of Oatmeal Muffins from Taste of Home

Cherry Scones

Cherry Scones.

Cherry Scones.

When you want a baked treat for brunch or afternoon tea, this scone recipe will fit the bill.  I made these for the first time recently, and we couldn’t wait for them to cool before having one.  They were so flaky and tender, they just fell apart in our hands.  The dried cherries lend just the right amount of sweetness.  These are perfect with a cup of coffee or tea, for breakfast, brunch, snack, afternoon break;  anytime at all is the best time to enjoy one.


If you want a good basic scone recipe to rely on, this one is it.  You could replace the dried cherries with so many other dried fruits like cranberries (change lemon zest to orange zest),  apricots, golden raisins, snipped dates, etc.



Yield:  Makes 8 scones


  • 1  3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 2  1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2  1/2 Tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 large egg
  • 5 Tablespoons heavy cream, plus more for brushing scones  (You may substitute buttermilk or light cream, but heavy cream will give you a richer scone)


1.  Preheat oven to 425*F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat;  set aside.

2.  In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.  Add butter and pulse 3 to 6 times until mixture resembles a course meal.  Transfer mixture to a large bowl; stir in cherries and lemon zest.

Add dried cherries and lemon zest to dry ingredients.

Add dried cherries and lemon zest to dry ingredients.

3.  In a small bowl, beat together egg and cream.  Add to flour mixture; stir gently with a fork until mixture just comes together.  If dough seems too dry, add a splash of cream;  mixture should not be too sticky.

A very "shaggy" dough, but it will come together. Add a drop or two of cream if needed.

A very “shaggy” dough, but it will come together. Add a drop or two of cream if needed.

4.  Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface.  Shape dough into a 6-inch circle, about 1 inch thick.  Using a sharp knife, cut dough into 8 equal wedges.

Cut dough into 8 wedges. Brush with a little cream.

Cut dough into 8 wedges. Brush with a little cream.

Place scones on prepared baking sheet; lightly brush tops with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar.

Sprinkle tops with sugar.

Sprinkle tops with sugar.

Bake until golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes.

5.  Let cool slightly on baking sheet before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.  These scones are best eaten the day they are made.

Enjoy with coffee or tea.

Enjoy with coffee or tea.




Morning Glory Oats

Morning Glory Oats

Morning Glory Oats

I love warm oatmeal for breakfast, and I also love  Morning Glory muffins,  those big ones you see in coffee shops and bakeries, just bursting with grated carrots, raisins and coconut, too.  They remind me of carrot cake, but call it a muffin, and I’ll eat it for breakfast, thank you.  I couldn’t believe my luck when I found this recipe that smooshes all of that together in one filling and nourishing dish.  Warm creamy oatmeal crammed with all those yummy things I love in the muffin.  WOW!


My new cookbook, Whole Grain Mornings, has this recipe.  There are others I’m also craving, so be prepared for more  goodness like what you see here….

It all starts with steel cut oats, followed by brown sugar, grated carrot, spices, raisins and coconut.  The oats start with a combination of gently boiling milk and water.  Add the oats!  After that toss in the sugar, spices, carrots, and raisins.


The oats take about 25 minutes to cook and soften.  At the same time the carrots become tender and everything blends together sending out an aroma that is cinnamon-y and dreamy.  Creamy oats, that still have some “tooth” to them, soft, sweet carrots, and plump raisins;  just about perfect, you’d think.  But there’s more to come—add in the coconut flakes and orange zest.  Don’t leave out the orange zest, it’s what seals the deal.  Heaven!

I  made this recipe on the weekend, when I had time for the cooking, and it makes a large enough quantity for four generous servings.  What I love about it is that you can store the cooked oatmeal in the fridge and reheat it in the morning with a bit more milk to loosen it up.  This is a breakfast you don’t have to feel guilty about eating because it is so nourishing and good for you.



Yield:    serves 4 – 6


  • 3 cups /720 ml water**
  • 1 cup/ 240 ml milk, plus more for serving **
  • 1 cup/175 g steel-cut oats
  • 1 cup/100 g  grated carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
  • 2/3 cup/90 g raisins
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 3 Tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup/ 25 g unsweetened coconut flakes

** The important thing here is a total of 4 cups of liquid.  It can be all water, or half water and half milk.  I used almond milk when I made it, but I think coconut milk would be great also and further accent the coconut flavor.  Be adventurous!


In a saucepan bring the water and milk to a gentle boil.  Stir in the oats, carrots, raisins, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt and return to a boil.  Decrease the heat to low and partially cover.  Cook the porridge until it begins to thicken, stirring once or twice, and the oats are soft yet chewy, 25 to 30 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the coconut flakes and orange zest.

Coconut and orange zest added in to the cooked oats.

Coconut and orange zest added in to the cooked oats.

Cover and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.  Serve warm with an extra bit of warmed milk if you would like.


Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container and they will keep for 5 days.  Reheat by adding a few tablespoons of additional water or milk and warm on the stovetop or in the microwave, stirring well.


SOURCE:   Whole Grain Mornings, by Megan Gordon

The Morning After the Night Before

Are you planning a cozy dinner at home for your sweetie and you this Valentine’s Day?  Skip the crowded restaurant this year and make a romantic dinner for two.   I’m not here today to help you plan your date-night menu, but instead to remind you of the morning after, when you may want to keep that special “glow” going.

Cheesy Potato and Sausage Breakfast Casserole

Cheesy Potato and Sausage Breakfast Casserole

Here’s the plan:  the next morning when you wake up, quietly go down to the kitchen, and prepare that first cup of coffee, and while you’re there surreptitiously slip this Cheesey Egg, Sausage, and Potato casserole into the oven.  While it’s baking you and your honey can enjoy your coffee(s) snuggled under the covers.  In about 30 minutes or so you will notice a wonderful aroma coming from the kitchen.  That’s when you say ” let’s go see what we can find for breakfast”, and surprise!! you find this enticing breakfast casserole already to serve, hot out of the oven.


He will be amazed at your  talent for coming up with such a wonderful breakfast.  The first slice of it will reveal a bottom layer of potatoes, made from frozen hash browns, then an eggy layer, on top of that a layer of spicy breakfast sausage and onions, all topped off with melted cheese.  How did you accomplish this so fast?  Only you will know that it was all prepared the evening before while you were making dinner, then hidden away in the refrigerator over night, ready to pop into the oven in the morning.  Oh, you clever girl, you!



YIELD:  6 servings


  • 1  pound bulk pork sausage
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cups hash brown potatoes, thawed
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • dash or two of hot sauce, optional
  • 1 cup grated cheese of choice, cheddar, Colby, Jack, swiss


1.  Lightly grease a baking dish.  This may be a round deep dish 9″ pie dish, or an 8 or 9-inch square pan.

2.  In a large skillet over medium heat, crumble the sausage, and cook to brown and render the fat.  Add the chopped onion and cook until onion is translucent.  Set aside.

Cooking up the sausage and onion.

Cooking up the sausage and onion.

3.  In the same skillet, leave any drippings in place, and add the hash browns.  Cook just briefly, to remove any iciness and brown then up a little.   Transfer potatoes to the prepared baking dish, spreading them out in an even layer to form a crust.

Spread the potatoes out to form a crust.

Spread the potatoes out to form a crust.

4.  In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and hot sauce if using.  Pour over the potatoes in the baking dish.

Pour the egg mixture over the potatoes.

Pour the egg mixture over the potatoes.

5.  Layer the sausage-onion mixture over the eggs, and sprinkle with grated cheese.  Cover with foil.

Layer on the sausage and onions.

Layer on the sausage and onions.

Top with grated cheese.  Cover with foil.

Top with grated cheese. Cover with foil.

6.  Bake for about 35 minutes.  Remove the foil and leave in the oven another 5-6 minutes to brown up the top and crisp the edges.


Cut into wedges or squares and serve hot with a side of fruit or fruit salad, and toast or biscuits.



When I served this to my husband all he could say was “Mmmm-mmmm.  Wow!”