Eggless Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Eggless Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Let’s be real.  Shall we?  I’m not a person that enjoys fake people, fake smiles (and hellos) and fake food most of all.  How these phony things in life make us feel insecure, bored and unhealthy.  Think about it.  When a person says, “how are you?”  The general response is “good.”  Why would we bother say in passing,” well, today, I want to kick a hole in the wall due to the level of frustration I have experienced today!”  Can you imagine how that would go over???  Then there needs to be a sit down conversation as to why you would want to injure yourself and be destructive all in one setting.  Truly, don’t kick a wall, it lands you nowhere good.  🙂

What’s my “real” statement for today?  I have a love/hate relationship with bananas.  Oh they look so beautiful in the grocery store… and as I select a group, I think, “I’m going to eat these each day and be good to my body – and make the kids eat them too.”  And after two days of sitting on the counter, all of the other choices of food overrule those once lovely bananas.  Now starting to slightly spot, not looking so beautiful… but still edible.  Maybe I’ll have one today.  But no.  It never happens and so I force one of my kids to eat one, so there’s that.  Great parenting! Less guilt, right?  And then the tragedy begins, the spots darken and the odd pungent smell begins – and you know.  It’s time to make a decision.  Feel incredible guilt over the loss of a couple of dollars, or bake with them.

Most of the time, the trash can is the place those bananas go.  This year while working, I found it weight on my shoulders to have to cook with the bananas.  Cooking dinner was enough to deal with.  Baking was put on hold for the most part.  At one point during the school year, I made an executive decision to not buy them.  The counter looked barren and that brief emptiness didn’t last too long.  So, here we are.  Back to bananas on the counter again.  And this time, I forced my daughter to use a recipe and bake instead of pitching them in the trash.  She selected a recipe well, and we now have a healthy homemade breakfast ready for tomorrow!

Want the recipe?


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats 
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup Oil (I used Grapeseed Oil)
  • 3 mashed medium ripe bananas


Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a muffin pan with shortening (the recipe makes 12 muffins.)  In a large bowl, mix bananas and oil.  Add dry ingredients slowly to the wet mixture.  Add chocolate chips and mix.  Fill muffin tins 3/4 of the way.  The original recipe calls for liners, I didn’t do this, and it seemed to work out well.  Bake for 18 minutes.  Enjoy!

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Easy Chocolate Guinness Cake

Chocolate Guinness Cake

Yesterday I had taught 2 cooking classes, ran errands in between, and then had to dash home to prepare an Irish Stew for dinner.  I don’t honestly know where they day had gone!  Sound like your kind of day?  While I was making the stew, I used a “bit” of Guinness for it, but had a cup leftover.  Sure, I could have poured myself a glass while cooking but I had a better idea…


I was going to make Irish Car Bomb cake bites, but… after making the cake in a Bundt pan, I thought, let’s just keep life simple.  After all, I basically cooked the ENTIRE day with my classes and stew (which takes 2-3 hrs.)  So, I grabbed my tub of frosting, melted in the microwave for 30 seconds and poured over the cake. DONE.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!


  • Devil’s Food Cake Mix 
  • Eggs
  • Oil
  • Guinness
  • Chocolate Frosting

Bake the cake according to the direction on the box.  Replace the water for the Guinness.  I was told this cake cooks better in a Bundt pan, so that’s what I did.  Flip cake out of pan onto a cooling rack shortly after out of oven.  Let cake cool completely.  Take cap and foil off of frosting, and heat up in the microwave for 30 seconds.  If you are worried about plastic toxins, put into a microwave safe bowl.  (I probably should have, but was lazy.)  You won’t need all of this frosting, unless you bake cake in a 9×13 pan.  Let chocolate set up. EAT!

The Pillsbury Whoopie Pie

It’s my personal belief that kids really need to learn how to bake from scratch before working with the simple box mixes, so that they understand the flavors, smells, and textures of the food better. But there are days… the lazy days of summer, that I find going with box cakes and cookies is a better fit.  And that definitely applies when baking with kids.

Today we experimented with Pillsbury’s Whoopie Pie Kit.  I had to buy it and try it out!  How simple is this?  Follow their instructions to create the cookies, bake, and decorate!  The kids enjoyed creating these pretty little petite cookies as well as making a huge mess with decorating them up with the frosting and sprinkles.  But, that is the joy of baking with kids!! If you expect them to follow directions all the time, you’re just setting yourself up for failure. 🙂  I think if the kitchen ISN’T messy, then I’m not teaching them… I’m doing the work myself. 

Oh, the taste?  Yes, these are terrific in that they are LIGHT in texture.  No heavy cookies for little tummies and it’s a great winning combination.

So, thank you Pillsbury for the wonderful simple little kits!!  Thumbs up!

Your creations!

Last week I ran a baking challenge and it was exciting to see the results come in.  Though not many people participated, it was great to see some of my items recreated in a new fashion!  (For those that didn’t get a chance to participate, I totally understand why!   First, it’s summer, 95 degrees outside, who wants to bake?  Second, we are busy bees with running around and hitting up the pool.  I know, I’m a Mom!)

Thank you ALL who created the baked goods!!  I have really enjoyed seeing the changes made and the new styling done to the food.  Good ideas!

The questions that I had asked the participants of the challenge, were:

  • Why did you chose the dessert?
  • What did you and your family think of the flavors?
  • If there was something that you changed or added, what was it?

Gettin’ Clever with Tina!

First, we have Tina from “Checkin’ Out the Bovine Situation.”  She chose to make Laugenbrotchen, aka: Pretzel Rolls.  I love the fact that she went outside the box and made some of them sweet!  Good idea Tina!  Here are her responses to my questions that I asked.

  1. Why did you chose the dessert? Ha! Because I had the ingredients!
  2. What did you and your family think of the flavors? DH (her husband) said they were good and I ate 1.5 rolls at lunch. I think I prefer the salted ones over the cinnamon sugar ones.
  3. If there was something that you changed or added, what was it? I didn’t have enough bread flour. I used cinnamon sugar on some of them.

I love her humor through this, and how she handled a dilemma with the shortage of bread flour.  Thank you Tina for you adventure of making the pretzel rolls!

Strawberry Surprise from Kim!

Kim from “a little lunch,” dropped a note to me this weekend stating she was sorry that she missed the challenge, but I didn’t let her get away so quickly!  I was so excited to see another friendly face drop in and create something yummy!  Kim decided to surprise her husband with the simple and yet so delicious treat.  The No-Bake Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake dessert!  Only Kim took it to a new level and created her own chocolate waffles (pretty heart shaped too!) instead of buying the pre-packaged kind.  Way to go Kim!!

Her answers to my questions:

What a great summertime dessert!

I like that you can make it quickly — this would be good for “drop in” company.  Unfortunately chocolate waffles are scarce in our small town, so I ended up making my own (using Alton Brown’s Chocolate Waffle recipe from Food Network.)  But it’s still technically “no bake” — I didn’t use the oven!  (I used real whipping cream, too, but that’s just my preference.)

Thanks for the taste treat — my hubby wasn’t expecting dessert tonight (it’s HOT here) but he sure was tickled when I served this!

Spanish Flavor from Angie

Angie chose to make the Tres Leches cake because she and her husband tasted it once at a restaurant and loved it.  So she wanted to know how to make it out of the home too.  This is such a wonderful dessert in the summertime, as it’s so light and coooooold.  Cold cake on a hot summer day, enough said!  I’m going to put her comments below, as she explains everything much better than I am able to do!  Thanks Angie for choosing a dessert that you have good memories with, and don’t mind sharing them too.(btw…you’re right, more chocolate the better!)

My husband, John and daughter, Mikayla love Hot Milk Cake.  John and I have tried Tres Leche cake only once at a Mexican restaurant and we loved it.  So that is how I decided to make Tres Leche.  We all loved the cake (even the dogs!)  It is the perfect dessert on a hot day since it needs to be refrigerated (I would assume because of the milk).  Part of the cake was eaten before I had a chance to make the whipped topping! 🙂
I made the recipe exactly as posted on your blog.  I didn’t add maraschino cherries, but as you can see from the photo I sprinkled (dumped, oops…got a bit too much in the sifter!) some cocoa powder on top on one serving.  I liked the addition of the cocoa since everything is better with the taste of chocolate! 🙂  Also, it was super easy to make, which is always a plus in my book. 
To sum up my baking challenge experience – Tres Leche Cake is wonderful!
Poppin’ Cakes with Susan!
Susan was the one who gave me the idea about this baking challenge.  I haven’t asked her to add comments as to why she chose the cake pops, but I do know that she had several events going on last week, so she made up batches of the delicious cake bites.  Gotta love it!  Thanks Susan for making up the pretty creations!  Glad you had fun!

Baking vs. the world’s views…

It’s not about me… it’s about baking vs. the world!

Two weeks ago, I discovered this blog called Chocolate and Tea, and have been paying close attention to her work.  You can see by her blog that she is very passionate about baking and the style of her blog as well.  It has been well written, has beautiful pictures, and great food choices!

Today, she captured my attention with a very big decision she had made.  She had quit grad school to pursue her passion in life.  I salute you Kristin!!

Too many times are we placed in boxes that we create for ourselves or others have created for us… and that is when the talents that lie inside of us become lost.

I encourage you to read her story “Sugar-Coated Daydreams” and think about what talents you carry.  Are they lost?  Is that a true dream that is brushed off because you think it won’t support you/your family?

Where are your passions?


Cook and bake from scratch!

Consider this… how many times have you picked up a box of brownie mix, cake mix or muffin mix?  Need a quick dessert? Hurry hurry!!  It’s so typical in today’s style of living, that we buy something already prepared vs. taking an hour and making the food from scratch.  The past year, I did an experiment on my family.  I removed almost all extracurricular things; dance lessons, bible studies, story times, swim lessons.  I wanted to see the difference that it would make to remove excuses for not having time.

Not having time is something we all tend to do to ourselves.  It’s a choice, really, on how much we put on our plates.  We choose to be busy.  BUT, by doing this, we also are saying indirectly, that we’re choosing not to take care of our families, our bodies, our well being.

Why did I bring this topic up?  No, it’s not to rattle your cage, or upset you, or even make a statement.  It’s meant to make you think about and evaluate what goes on in your life.  Going back to the topic of removing most of my family’s extras… I did so, and found time!  Time to cook and bake.  Time to see my kids laugh.  Time with my husband.  And more.  It gave me a moment of pause to realize I was going down that regular road that many people take.  Busyness.

Busyness=No dedicated time for better things

So what is so great about gaining more time?  For me? I discovered that I wasn’t really taking care of my family.  My job as a mother and wife is to do just that.  I want the best for my family and yet I’m feeding them junk!  I call it “fake food.”  Fake food is something we all tend to eat!  Take a look at the list of ingredients… what do you see?

My theory…

Fake foods, cause weight gain.  No, I’m not saying that’s the only cause, but I believe it’s definitely one of them.  How can that be good for our bodies?  Take a look at generations before us!  My grandparents and great grandmother ate eggs almost everyday!!  They ate foods from scratch.  They took the time to cook and bake.  They ate sweets everyday!  My great grandmother lived to be 100 years old and my grandparents? 86.  My other grandmother is still alive and very healthy.  What does this say??? To me, it says that real food is the way to go.  Real food keeps our bodies working better.  But, wait, it’s fattening!!  I know – that’s what makes the food taste so good!

Everything in moderation!

Just because it’s fattening doesn’t mean you can’t eat it.  Moderation people!!  Watch an ad on TV today and what do you see?  A HEAPING plate of food.  Heaping?  How much should you really eat?  You know, you are SO able to eat the foods you want if you monitor it.  Are you full or just not hungry anymore?  Not hungry? Stop!  Oh, it’s so good to eat, I love to eat… I know.  It’s takes retraining of the mind.  Try it sometime.


Seriously people.  We’re lazy.  We sit and work at a desk. We sit to drive to get to a destination.  We sit and watch TV.  We sit… What happened generations ago?  To societies today that don’t have time to sit – are they gaining weight?  I think not.  Got a meeting?  Stand!  Who cares!?

It’s all about balance

Take the time to cook.  Eat a lighter meal and you can throw in a dessert!!  I love desserts!!  Exercise. Move!  COOK FROM SCRATCH!!

I think you’ll find foods taste even better when they are homemade.  I personally have found that I don’t need to put as much food on the plate because they are more filling!  The nature of homemade food… satisfying in all ways.

****Just an added point: This past month, I took a new challenge for my family and removed High Fructose Corn Syrup enriched foods.  Impossible you say!  No way, it’s so simple.  BBQ sauce? Ketchup? Oh yes, my favorites had HFCS in them! But I managed to retrain my taste buds and bought natural replacements instead.  Here is the link on how I got started!! I encourage you to try it.  It will give you a boost on trying more foods from scratch too.****