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Healthy Peanut Butter Bars

25 May

My sisterinlaw, Julie, passed this recipe along to me – and I am soooooo glad she did! My mom has been cleaning out old cookbooks and Julie snagged one that is all about meals that provide energy for your body. Julie is always on-the-go and looking for healthy snacks – and it doesnt hurt that she is a fabulous baker, too!


She emailed me the recipe as soon as she had made it and vouched for its excellence. She uses golden raisins and craisins – and mentioned a week or two later that she started to put some chocolate chips on top after they came out of the oven. That sounds amazing – cant wait to try! These are versatile with regards to the types of dried fruits and extras you can add.


Word of caution: I got so excited about trying them immediately, that I thought I could just use my 2-minute quick cook oats in place of the rolled, non-quick……I was wrong. They came out so crumbly that we had to eat them with a spoon. But they still tasted so good that we knew it was simply a matter of getting the correct oats and re-making.

Fresh Baked

This is a nice sweet snack that deems the phrase “Oh, those dont stand a chance against me” from Robbbbb. They are THAT tasty. And the great part is that they are so versatile – you can use any mixture or type of dried fruit and make it to your liking. They are portable and good for you – perfect to take to work, too! What more could you ask for in a fabulous treat?

Nutty Oaty Texture…so good!

Healthy Peanut Butter Bars

  • ¼ cup crunchy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 ½ cup rolled oats (not the quick cook kind)
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins (or dried cherries or cranberries)
  • 1 tablespoon stoneground whole wheat flour

Put peanut butter and honey in saucepan and heat gently until melted, about 4 minutes. Be sure not to burn! Add oats, raisins and flour and stir well until thoroughly mixed and has consistency of crumbs.

Pack into a 6 x 9 no stick pan and bake at 375 for 15 minutes. And take out of the oven to cool.

IMPORTANT: Leave until completely cooled before cutting/removing. Can be stored in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.


Individual Pancetta and Spinach Egg Cups

15 May

I found this recipe in Coastal Living magazine….totally random, I know! But it grabbed my attention because it looked SO EASY and tasty. And they are crustless.


For Mother’s Day every year we plan a potluck brunch at my brother’s house and I am always looking for something unique to bring. This year, Mother’s Day fell on the day after my huge Supper Club Greek Feast. I knew I would be cooking for a couple days and wouldn’t be able to handle anything too crazy.

Pancetta-lined muffin cups

Spinach and Cheese in the cup

Voila! Pancetta and Spinach Egg Cups! These puppies are SO easy and take literally minutes to prepare. And they look so fancy when they are finished!

Egg inside, ready to bake!

Oh, the original recipe called for Prosciutto, but I thought it said Pancetta when I quickly looked at it  so that’s what I bought. It turns out that it doesn’t really matter! Pancetta was super good and bacon-y  so when I make them again, I will stick with it!

All baked!

Cross section – you can see the gooey cheese and spinach in there

It was a great Mother’s Day Brunch! My sister-in-law, Julie, made her famous french toast; I brought the egg cups; my brother, Jerry, made a nice salad and breakfast sausage; and my mom brought the fruit salad. Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there 🙂

Mother’s Day Spread

I gotta show this picture again – it was soooooo good.


Individual Pancetta and Spinach Egg Cups


  • 12 thin slices Pancetta (about ½ pound or so)
  • 10 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Dash of milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh spinach, stems trimmed and roughly chopped
  • ½ cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin pan (or 12 ramekins).

Place pancetta slices into bottoms and up sides of cups, overlapping. I used 2 slices per cup – you can just use 1 slice and be fine if you like.

Divide spinach first and then cheese among muffin cups.

Combine eggs, milk, salt, and pepper as you would if you were preparing scrambled eggs. Then pour evenly into muffin cups. Don’t fill all the way to the top.

Bake muffin cups 14-16 minutes or until just set. Using my brother’s convection oven, it took more like 25 minutes – but I would start out with 15 minutes and play it by ear to see if it needs more time or not.

Let stand about 5 minutes. Then loosen cups by running a knife around the edges of each cup, and lift out of the pan with a small spatula. Serve immediately. Makes 12 servings.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

19 Apr

Have 1-2 old bananas to use up? Want a quick sweet treat? I think these are solidly the best chocolate chip banana muffin out there.


My old work-friend, Alli Braus, posted these on facebook over a year ago. They looked so easy and delicious – and she vouched for them saying they were excellent. The recipe comes from!

Muffin Cups

These are so moist and fresh and delicious. And the greatest part is that you can stick them in the freezer for later and just pull one out when you want one!



  • 1  3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1   teaspoon baking powder
  • 1   teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt
  • 1   egg
  • 1/2  cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2  cup plain yogurt (I use greek yogurt)
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1  cup mashed ripe bananas (about 1-2 bananas)
  • 3/4  cup semisweet chocolate chips


In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, combine the egg, oil, yogurt and vanilla.

Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in bananas and chocolate chips.

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

Grandmom Kriz’s Apple Pancakes

20 Feb

I’d like to start this blog off with my Grandmom’s Apple Pancakes. Growing up, it was an absolute TREAT when Grandmom Kriz would make us her apple pancakes. She had the recipe memorized and she tweaked it along the years. It started off with sliced apples, but by the time I was little she had started to grate the apple. She used vegetable oil (and a pat of butter) so that the pancakes would puff up a little bit. They were delicious bites of apple-y heaven!

Mmmmm, Apple Pancakes

Grandmom's Recipe

My grandmom lost most of her eyesight when I was about 12 or so. She lived on her own and was able to make meals, but she wasn’t going to extra lengths anymore. I  still remember the last meal my grandmom made me in her kitchen when she moved to the little house next to my dad’s office – Chicken a la King. I think the last time I had her pancakes I was probably 10 or 11. She gave the recipe (when she still had it in her head) to my mom and my older brothers. Everyone lost their recipes! No one could find them….

The ingredients

My grandmom came to live with us when she was 92 and died when she was 96. We still didn’t have her apple pancake recipe. We would allllllllllways talk about her apple pancakes through the years at family gatherings. My brothers and I all had our special memories of her making them for us, what her little kitchen looked like, and our visits at their house on G street in the Juniata section of Philly. I think a lot of my friends also often heard me talk about the pancakes wistfully….

This year, my mom was cleaning out some old recipe books that she hadn’t looked at in years, and stumbled upon my grandmom’s apple pancake recipe. She held onto the recipe in secrecy and started compiling a family cookbook for each of my brothers and myself. The Family Cookbook includes all of our favorites that my mom used to make growing up, plus some great recipes that my brothers and I have contributed and made over the years as well. She gave them to us on Christmas this year and as we opened them, on the very first page on the inside cover was Grandmom’s Apple Pancake recipe. It was one of the most touching moments I’ve had in a long long time.

My Grandmom at Christmas in 1995

Grandmom Kriz’s Apple Pancakes

  • 1 cup flour
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tblsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 small apple; peeled, cored, and grated
  • Dash of cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Make as you would regular pancakes – except use Vegetable Oil plus a lil butter in the frying pan. This will cause the pancakes to puff up when cooking. Top with syrup and/or butter!

The raw batter with grated applePancakes sizzlin.....Sizzlin' Pancakes

Apple Pancakes

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