Breakfast Food

When life gives you rotten bananas–make banana bread!

Rotton Bananas

Okay, that doesn’t flow quite like the lemons to lemonade quote.

The only time life has given me rotten bananas was the time the grocery store bought too many. They were selling bags of black bananas dirt cheap!

We buy bananas on a fairly regular basis around here. Folks like them in cereal or smothered in peanut butter.

When they start to go to the “dark side” I usually chop them up and freeze them for smoothies. Sometimes I squish them up and freeze them in a baggie.

Usually, they get black and leaky and I end up throwing them away! Wasteful!

This time I actually had time to make banana bread. Not just ordinary banana bread–

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread!

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Banana Bread

I made it to eat for breakfast. The kids ate it as a dessert and a snack. The loved it!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed, ripe bananas (about 2 bananas)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter ( I used crunchy Jif.)
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, divided (I used semi-sweet.)
  • 1/3 cup chopped peanuts

Preheat oven to 350˚F.

Spray the bottom of a loaf pan with cooking spray.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. I find that using a whisk to combine dry ingredients works well.

Add bananas, milk, peanut butter, oil and egg. Stir until moistened.

Stir in 3/4 cup of the chocolate chips.

Spoon batter into prepared pan.

Sprinkle chopped nuts and the rest of the chocolate chips on top of the batter. I press the topping into the batter a little.

Bake about 60 minutes. After checking with a toothpick, mine took a bit longer.

Cool in the pan 10 minutes. Loosen sides from pan-remove to a cooling rack. Cool completely.


Critics’ Corner

Chip: Simply fantastic. I’ve always been an advocate for putting peanut butter on bananas. This bread does it for you — plus it has chocolate, too.

Megan: If this stuff was illegal, I would be incarcerated. Seriously-it’s that good!

Katie: This bread is INSANELY EPIC! If people were immune to sickness, I would strongly consider eating it All.Day.Long. (and then some!)

It’s funny the things you save.

I was recently going through a stack of papers, okay–recipes, when I came across this…

Kindergarten Kaleidoscoope

This was the weekly newsletter sent out by Megan’s kindergarten teacher–2002!!! Yes, I have a senior!

We loved Union Elementary. It was a small school in the country. We moved back to Arkansas right after school dismissed for the summer. Our only experience there was Kindergarten, but we loved it!

I remember the Fall Fun Fest. I remember the kids being excited. Grammy had sent Halloween shirts. They arrived just in time for the Festival. Megan wore her orange headband. Of course, Katie had to have one too, even though she hardly had any hair.

halloween sisters

kindergarten party

scary face


scary face 1

Oh, we had such fun! We were so busy having fun, there was no time for pictures. Seems like Chip was helping some of the other Dads with some of the games. I was doing good to keep up with the kids.

On the back of the weekly newsletter was a recipe. That is why I saved it, of course!

Pumpkin Pancakes with Pumpkin Maple Sauce

Some of our weekend plans got cancelled. The air was cool and crisp. It was the perfect day to try out the Pumpkin Pancakes recipe. It only took me 12 years!

Pumpkin Pancakes topped with nuts

from above

We took advantage of the weather and enjoyed breakfast on the porch. Ahhh, fall!

Pork Chop Tuesday on the porch

Pumpkin Pancakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 3/4 cups milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • a little butter for the pan

Mix the dry ingredients. Mix the wet ingredients. Mix the wet with the dry.

Pour on a hot, greased skillet. Turn when you start to see bubbles.

Pumpkin Maple Sauce

  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/4 cups pumpkin
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Heat ingredients in a saucepan until warm.

(The Sauce seemed more like a pumpkin butter to me. I bet if you added a little cream to it, it would be more “saucy”.)

Top with toasted pecans!

The second course at our lovely tea party was scones. If you follow this blog regularly, you might remember me testing out the scones recipe. (click here)

They turned out great!

scones with clotted cream and jam

scones plate 1

I used Martha Stewart’s recipe for Blueberry-Buttermilk Scones. I just left out the blueberries. This was the only recipe I tested. It was so yummy, I figured, why bother with another one? It was simple enough, too.

First, mix all your dry ingredients together.

Then you are going to cut in your butter. (Cold ingredients will be best.) The butter needs to be cut into small pieces. That is how you get even distribution of butter.

butter, small pieces

cutting butter

I have read that if you don’t have a pastry cutter you can use two knives to cut in the butter. Personally, I have never liked that method. You can pick up a cutter fairly inexpensively.

Next, whisk together your wet ingredients and drizzle over the dry-stirring as you go.

add wet ingredients

After you dough comes together, turn it out on a floured surface. Gently knead a couple of times to incorporate all the flour. Pat it into a 1 inch disk.

pastry disk

Cut into 8-12 wedges, depending on the size you would like. I went with 12 on my trial run. After tasting how yummy they were I decided to make them a little larger for the tea party.

cut in eighths

Transfer the wedges to your parchment-lined baking sheet. (The batch pictured was waiting its turn on the pan.That’s why it is on a cutting board.)

bake on parchment paper

Here you will brush each scone with a beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.

brush with egg wash

sprinkle with sugarI can’t believe I was able to sprinkle sugar while I took the picture!

spilled sugarOkay, maybe not!

Bake ’em up at 375˚ for about 22 minutes. My parchment paper looks kinda nasty because I reused it. I was making 13 batches of scones! Parchment paper costs money! I used each piece two or three times. I scraped the crusty parts off before reusing it each time. Cool the scones on wire racks.

on parchment paper

scones cooling on wire rack

When they are completely cool, you can freeze them. Of course they are best straight from the oven!

I made lots of scones!

lots of scones

pile of scones

scones pile


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cake flour, (not self-rising)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup (1/2 pint) blueberries
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg lightly beaten for egg wash
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together flours, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter, or rub in with your fingers, until mixture has the texture of coarse meal. Stir in blueberries.
  3. Whisk together buttermilk, 1 egg, and the vanilla. Drizzle over flour mixture, and stir lightly with a fork until dough comes together but a small amount of flour remains in bowl.
  4. Turn out dough onto a work surface, and gently knead dough once or twice just to incorporate flour. Pat dough into a 1-inch-thick round. Cut into 12 wedges. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Brush with egg wash, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 22 minutes. Transfer scones to wire racks to cool.

Cook’s Note

Scones are best served immediately but can be frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw, and reheat in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes.

The scones were served with “Mock Clotted Cream”. I found the recipe here.

Mock Clotted Cream Recipe


1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup light sour cream
2 tablespoons powdered (confectioners’) sugar, sifted


Using a whisk attachment on your mixer, whip cream until stiff peaks form.

Using a large spoon or rubber spatula, fold in the sour cream and powdered sugar just until combined.

Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.

Make approximately 2 cups or enough to serve 6 to 8.

Don’t know about clotted cream? What’s Cooking America also had this little tidbit of information:


Could you tell me what the difference is between clotted cream and creme fraiche?  It doesn’t sound like there is much difference, other than country of origin. Thanks – Jim Buffy (12/29/03)


clotted cream – Traditionally served with tea and scones in England; it is a 55% minimum milk fat product made by heating unpasteurized milk to about 82 degrees C., holding them at this temperature for about an hour and then skimming off the yellow wrinkled cream crust that forms (until the cream separates and floats to the surface). It is also known as Devonshire cream. It will last up to four days if refrigerated in a tightly sealed container.

Devonshire cream (DEHV-uhn-sheer) – Originally from Devonshire County, England, it is a thick, buttery cream often used as a topping for desserts. It is still a specialty of Devon, Cornwall, and Somerset, as this is where the right breed of cattle is raised with a high enough cream content to produce clotted cream. It is also known as Devon cream and clotted cream. Clotted cream has a consistency similar to soft butter. Before the days of pasteurization, the milk from the cows was left to stand for several hours so that the cream would rise to the top. Then this cream was skimmed and put into big pans. The pans were then floated in trays of constantly boiling water in a process known as scalding. The cream would then become much thicker and develop a golden crust, which is similar to butter. Today however, the cream is extracted by a separator, which extracts the cream as it is pumped from the dairy to the holding tank. The separator is a type of centrifuge, which extracts the surplus cream at the correct quantity so that the milk will still have enough cream to be classified as milk.

creme fraiche (krem FRESH) – It is a matured, thickened cream that has a slightly tangy, nutty flavor and velvety rich texture. The thickness can range from that of commercial sour cream to almost as solid as room temperature margarine. In France, the cream is unpasteurized and therefore contains the bacteria necessary to thicken it naturally. In America, where all commercial cream is pasteurized, the fermenting agents necessary can be obtained by adding buttermilk or sour cream. To make creme fraiche, combine 1 cup whipping cream and 2 tablespoons buttermilk in a glass container. Cover and let stand at room temperature from 8 to 24 hours, or until very thick. Stir well before covering and refrigerate up to 10 days. It is an ideal addition for sauces or soups because it can be boiled without curdling. It is also delicious spooned over fresh fruit or other desserts such as warm cobblers or puddings.

Now you see why I went with the Mock Clotted Cream! It is not real sweet, so it is perfect with a dollop of jam!

Since I had made the scones in advance and stuck them in the freezer, they needed to be warmed a little before serving. (After thawing, of course.) I was a little nervous about how they would turn out reheated.


Not a problem! They were excellent! You do, however, lose some of the texture of the sugar sprinkled on top. I think I’m the only one who knew the difference. Well, NOW they know.

scones plate 2

We had strawberry jam with our scones. Mmmmmm!

When the Tea Party was over, we had some of the clotted cream left. My family enjoyed it with French Toast and fresh strawberries.

French toast with strawberries and cream

French Toast with strawberries and cream 1

The scones were easy and tasty. There are so many flavors out there to try–Orange Cranberry, Nutella, Pumpkin, Maple. Oh, yeah! I’ll be trying some of those!

Have you made scones? Do you buy scones? Do you have a favorite flavor?

Is all of this new to you? Are you going to give it a try?

Hey, everyone. I have been asked to be the guest blogger for Foodie Friday over at Arkansas Women Bloggers today.

To check it out, follow this link

Here is a little hint…

Wow! That Pioneer Woman has some really good recipes!

I snagged this one not too long ago. It was a HUGE hit!

I was so excited when this recipe showed up in my email. (That’s how it works when you are a blog subscriber-hint, hint.)

There was an apple, that really needed to be used, in the fruit basket, and I knew I had the rest of the stuff.

Funny thing about that knowing. Turns out I did NOT have grated cheese of any sort. So, I pulled out the old cheese grater and went to town.

Pretty sad, huh? But hey, it worked just fine. A gal’s gotta do what a gal’s gotta do!

We’ll start with the grits first. Click the picture for a closer look. You can’t print from the pictured print button. You must go to the Pioneer Woman’s actual page to do the special printing-the link is above. Sorry, I’m not that fancy yet.

Chop up your bacon and onion.

Cook it in a pot. So far-pretty easy!

Add grits, chicken broth, and water. Now, PW used some fancy stone ground grits. I had just regular old grits, so that’s what I used. I think they may have even been the quick cooking kind. I remember having to adjust the cooking time a bit. Cook until the liquid is absorbed but not dried out!

Pour in the cream. Remove from heat and add the cheese.

Oh, yummy yummy!

On to the Chops.

I had little skinny breakfast chops. They cook faster.

Brown the chops in a pan with some olive oil and butter and salt and pepper. I used my cast iron skillet. It seems to make everything taste better.

Do you see the juice on the plate? Save that! Always save the juice!

Cook the apples in the same pan with all the pork chop goody. Add the wine and vinegar. If you don’t keep wine on hand, like me, cooking wine works just fine. (Please ignore that statement if you are a culinary professional. I’m sure your skin is crawling off by now. Alton Brown says to never use cooking wine. Oh, well.)

Be sure to scrape up all that pork choppy goodness while you are cooking your apples.

Next, add the maple syrup, yes, I said maple syrup.

The real deal maple syrup is pretty expensive. I, once again, used  what I had, which was pancake syrup. Unscrunch your face! I know it sounds weird, but trust me. It will be yummy!

Stack the pork chops on top of the apples in the pan. Cover and let it simmer for 20 minutes or so.

Put a big scoop of grits on your plate, then pork chop, then apples.

Serve it up and wait for the applause! Oh, so good!

Critic’s Corner

Chip: I loved everything about this meal.

  • The grits were incredible — cooked with bacon and cheese — I’ve told Peggy that from now on when I refer to “grits” it is this recipe to which I am referring. This is what grits were meant to be.
  • The pork chops were awesome. In the first place it’s meat. In the second place it’s pork. Need I say anymore?
  • Several things were fried. The bacon and onions in the grits were fried, the pork chops were fried, the apples were fried, everything is better fried.
  • The absence of a vegetable certainly added to the enjoyment of this meal. Peggy lamented over not having served a veggie with this dish, but I pointed out that it merely saved me the trouble of having to take an obligatory and polite bite of something green — a bite that could have been better used on these awesome grits and pork chops.

Megan: The grits were just ok. I loved the flavor, but I kept getting squishy bacon. The pork chops were probably some of the best pork chops I’ve ever tasted.

Katie: The grits were awesome! I loved them! The pork chops were very delicious. Just  awesome! No better way to explain it!

What a day we had yesterday! Typically I make pancakes on Saturday—every Saturday. I have been searching through cookbooks for new recipes. I came across this one for pumpkin waffles. It sounded yummy. It also afforded me the opportunity to use the waffle maker Mom and Dad gave us for our anniversary!

While this recipe comes from a Cooking Light cookbook, I didn’t exactly follow the recipe. We drink 2% milk, it calls for 1%. I’m sure that had an impact on the calorie count.

Pumpkin Waffles

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup 1% low-fat milk

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 large egg, lightly beaten

cooking spray

•Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients in a a large bowl.

•Make a well in center of mixture.

•Combine milk and next 4 ingredients.

Yep, I cheated and used canned pumpkin!

I didn’t have any dark brown sugar. Use what you have, folks!

•Add to flour mixture. Stir just until moist.

I do want to mention this about the canned pumpkin. I think it is a little more liquid-y than homemade puree. I noticed the first waffle was a little on the gooey side. Might be that I need to turn the heat up a little. I added a little more flour to the mix and the next waffle was better.

•Coat a waffle iron with cooking spray, preheat. Spoon about 1/4 cup of batter per waffle onto hot waffle iron, spreading batter to edges. Cook until your little light goes off, or according to other directions you might have-5 to 7 minutes.

Be sure to sip coffee out of your PCTuesday coffee mug! Isn’t it great! My hubby does the sweetest things for me!

About the only thing that would have made these better would have been some toasted pecans on top! Then again, don’t toasted pecans on top make everything better?

Critics’ Corner

Chip:  It was a little sliver of autumn topped with butter and syrup. Apparently, autumn tastes pretty good, at least with butter and syrup.

Megan:  I think this is one of my favorite ways to eat waffles.

Katie:  They were pretty good. I could taste the pumpkin well. I wasn’t just wild about it. One being the lowest and 100 being the highest I would have to say it was a 98. But it was pretty close to 100.

That was just for starters!

We headed into town to the Argenta Farmers Market.

Chip really wanted a nice beefsteak tomato. Guess were were a little late in the season to find tomatoes. They had plenty of squash though!

I ended up buying some local honey. Not that I needed honey. The tiny little bear was just so cute! Sorry, no picture. (Bad blogger! Shame on you!)

We left the farmers’ market and headed down the interstate to a wonderful antique  junk shop. Sorry, no picture of the outside. My photographer didn’t get the message. I don’t even know the name of the shop. It’s in Bryant, AR just off the service road. If you pass it you have to go a couple of miles before you can turn around and come back and go a few more miles. Ask me how I know!

This is what it is like on the inside:

I was in heaven!!!

We, ok, I had a blast! Everyone else had fun at first. I cut my looking short and left empty handed, for the sake of the children.

Nothing a trip to Wendy’s at 1:30 wouldn’t fix! No wonder the were getting grumpy!

After lunch were were on to our next stop…the new Apple Store! (You should hear angels singing right now. If you don’t, you must be using a PC! haha)

I had to go drool on the iPad2. It was just so cool! And WOW, look at that great looking website! Hmmm, something familiar about that!

That was lots of fun! Katie read a whole chapter in the Beezus and Ramona that was on one of the iPads.

Anthropologie was right next door, so we had to go.

Our last stop took us to the “Big Dam Bridge” at Murray Park.

Taking pictures helped my heebie jeebies. I really only got them when someone would get close to the side. Don’t ask me to explain it. Yes, I know they weren’t going to fall.

You can just barely see the flags in the picture below. We were way on up there!

It was a great, fun-filled day! We all slept good last night. Today was a good day of rest. I can hardly wait to see what tomorrow holds—most likely laundry.

This recipe comes from the September/October 2007 issue of Cooking with Paula Deen. Yes, I said 2007. Sad, I know.





Here’s what you’ll need…








Paula calls these Cornmeal Breakfast Biscuits.  Some member of our family renamed them.

See Critics’ Corner below.

Cornmeal Breakfast Biscuits (a.k.a. Casserole Biscuits)

1 tablespoon butter

3 large eggs, beaten

1 cup cooked sausage, crumbled

3/4 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese

1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

3 cups self-rising flour

1/4 cup yellow cornmeal

1/2 cup butter

1 1/4 cups milk

Melted butter

•Preheat over to 450º. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin pan.

Sorry no picture. Spraying a muffin pan was just not that exciting!

•In a medium skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of mutter over medium heat.

Now, melting butter, THAT is exciting!

•Add eggs and cook, stirring frequently, until eggs are firm. Remove from heat; add sausage, cheese, cream cheese, salt and pepper, stirring until cheese is melted and mixture is combined. Set aside.







•In a medium bowl combine flour and cornmeal. I used a whisk. That is how Martha says to do it.







•Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Gradually add milk, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened.








•Spoon about 2 tablespoons biscuit dough into each muffin cup, pressing dough into bottom and one-third up sides of each cup.







This is how I “measured” for the muffin cups…Cut the dough in half, half for the bottoms, half for the tops. Cut on of the halves in half. Cut one of those halves in half. Pinch that half into thirds. The recipe says it makes 1 dozen. However, I think there is enough dough to make about 14. I did not feel like dirtying another pan, so mine were kinda’ biscuit heavy.

•Spoon sausage filling evenly over biscuits.

•Top with remaining biscuit dough, pressing to edges to seal.

I probably put a little too much filling in my biscuits. (There is probably enough filling for 14 biscuits. How convenient!) That made it a little hard to get a good seal. Oh, well. More filling! Mmmm! Once I divided my remaining dough, I patted it into a little flat circle to fit on top of the filling.

Ok, I cheated a little. I did not get up early and go through all this biscuit making and picture taking before I got the kids off for school. I did all of the above steps the night before and stuck the prepped biscuits in the fridge. And yes, I made these a week or so ago and am just now getting around to posting. With schools canceled and snow falling I would have had plenty of time to do all of this this morning.

•Bake 12-14 minutes, or until lightly browned. Brush with melted butter. Let cool in pans 5 minutes. Serve warm.

There I am, buttering the tops the next morning. Do you like my robe?

I thought they turned out pretty good. You can see in the “buttering” picture how my top and bottom didn’t really have a very good seal. Oh, well.

Here is how Paula’s looked…

And here is how mine looked…

I have discovered that my family is much more excited about trying new things if they are presented in an attractive manner!

The lighting at the breakfast table was not as good as the kitchen. Sorry the picture of the inside is not as good. We were trying to get off to school or else I would have tried to make it better.

Critics’ Corner


“Biscuits? Good.

Eggs? Good.

Cheese? Good.

Sausage? GOOD!

This recipe puts all of the aforementioned ingredients into the same dish. ‘Nuff said.”

Megan: “The biscuit part was good, but It could do without the cheese.” I think she may have been referring to the cream cheese.

Katie: “The casserole biscuit was pretty good, but just plain dough (that kind of course) is delicious!”