Monday, September 26, 2016

Pumpkin Bread With Chocolate Chips

When we lived in the Seattle area, there was no doubt when fall had arrived. Rainy days, the trees changing to orange and yellow, and the need to pull out our warm coats and sweaters was the clear sign that it was the fall season.

Here in Nevada, nothing much has changed as far as I can tell. It is cooler on my morning walks and I really do appreciate that, but nothing dramatic at all to indicate it's a different time of year. The dessert landscape is definitely different than anything I've ever know, but I'm slowing getting used to it, and it is beautiful in it's own way.

Since it is officially fall, I thought I would welcome in my favorite season with some delicious Pumpkin Bread. Something about pumpkin bread seems so homey and comforting, and I think it's my favorite way to use pumpkin. I had a hard time finding canned pumpkin here in the last couple of weeks which I thought was really strange. I checked three different stores, including Trader Joe's which always carried it in Washington, and they all said they didn't have it in yet. But I finally found some and bought a dozen cans, which I have no doubt will all be used for my fall baking.

Ok, so on to this pumpkin bread. It's a super easy recipe and you don't even have to pull out a mixer to make it. It's fabulous on it's own, with nothing added, but is even better when you add chocolate chips, or nuts. You could even use dried fruits like cranberries or raisins.

It's super moist but holds together really well for slicing. Double the recipe and give a loaf to a friend and they will think you have mad baking skills. It really is that good!

Recipe for Pumpkin Bread With Chocolate Chips


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup solid-pack pumpkin
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9x5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl, whisk together until mixed.

In another medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and oil until well blended. Add to flour mixture, stir just until moistened, do not over mix. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Let sit in pan 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool.

-Post by Patricia 


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Fall Snack Mix For Kids Made With Goldfish® Crackers

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MixMatchMunch #CollectiveBias

My grandchildren started their new school last week and I'm thrilled to say that they love it! They had never moved before, so we weren't sure how they would feel about attending a much bigger school and having to make new friends. But it all went well, and I couldn't be more relieved.

They came home with lots to tell us, and of course after a long day, hungry for a great afterschool snack. Since they love Goldfish® crackers so much, I thought I would put together a snack mix that included them with a bit of a fall theme.

My grandkids love hearing about when their mom was a little girl and that she loved eating Goldfish crackers just like they do. I always get lots of smiles when they're eating them and listening to stories about her.

It's really so easy to put together a great tasting snack mix with your favorite ingredients. I like to make a big batch of it and store it in a covered container so that it's ready right when they get home from school.

This fall snack mix includes Goldfish crackers colored variety, dried cranberries, golden raisins, sunflower seeds, stick pretzels, and white chocolate chips. The kids really love it, and I get cool Grandma points!

I'm so proud of these three, how brave they have been with the move and adapting to our new hometown. I love being able to offer them an afterschool snack that they love and I know they won't waste. Goldfish crackers are always the perfect solution for my grandchildren's snacking needs.

I find the 30 count packs really convenient, and it includes three of our favorite flavors. Sometimes I'll pick up the bulk boxes too, just so I know we have plenty of crackers on hand.

You can find the bulk boxes on the rollback price of $5.98 at Walmart. It's a great time to stock up and make sure there are plenty of Goldfish snacks on hand for your little ones.

2 cups Goldfish crackers
2 cups stick pretzels
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

In a big bowl, put in all ingredients and give it a big stir. So easy!

You can change up the kind of chips you add to your snack mix, too. We really like the white chocolate kind, but semi-sweet chocolate, or butterscotch would also taste great.

You can find Goldfish crackers in different sizes and varieties at your local Walmart. I found the 30 count packs in the aisle of other multi-packaged products.

Look for this in-store offer that may be available at your local Walmart: Save $1.00 on any ONE (1) Bolthouse Farms® 10 oz. Baby Carrots or Bolthouse Farms® 11 oz. juice when you buy any ONE (1) Pepperidge Farms® Goldfish® crackers 30 oz. or larger.

With school back in full swing for the kids, I know we'll be making more after school snack mixes with our favorite kinds of Goldfish crackers.

Have you ever made a snack mix for your kids before? What ingredients would you use to make a delicious snack mix that you know your kids would love? Leave me a comment and let me know.


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Banana Pecan Loaf Recipe From Taste Of Home Fall Baking Magazine

Banana bread has always been one of those recipes that I make again and again. I've used several different recipes to make it through the years, and I'm always open to trying a new one. I usually put walnuts in it, but I'm sort of going through a pecan faze right now, so I was happy to find this recipe that included them.

I found this new recipe for Banana Pecan Loaf in the latest edition of Taste of Home Fall Baking Magazine. The fall issue is always my favorite and inspires me to start thinking about the yummy and cozy treats I want to bake. Nothing says fall to me more than baking for my family when the weather turns cool and it's time to pull out our warm sweaters and jackets.

We always seem to have those bananas on the counter that turned brown because nobody ate them, so if that happens to you, it's the perfect time to make some banana bread. And if you have any leftover, I can't think of anything yummier than a slice warmed up and spread with butter. Perfect with an afternoon cup of tea or coffee.

Recipe for Banana Pecan Loaf


1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans


In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in bananas. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and add to creamed mixture. Fold in pecans.

Transfer to a greased 9x5 inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

-Post by Patricia


Friday, September 9, 2016

Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

I've always known that a lot of people are extremely effected by weather. I'm one of them, so moving to the dessert from rainy Seattle has been quite the adjustment for me.

I know it sounds crazy, but all this sunshine has made me a little depressed. I loved those rainy days, and the way it made the city look all shiny and beautiful. Everyone says that I've come at the worst time, summer and all it's heat, but that Nevada is actually quite lovely in the other seasons.

Today I took an early morning walk and it was rather cool outside. I can't tell you how happy that made me, and how much I'm looking forward to fall and winter.

The other night I was thinking about making soup come fall, and then I decided I didn't have to wait for fall. Soup is wonderful no matter what season we're in. And even with the air conditioner on 24/7.

Recipe for Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup


1 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1tablespoon instant chopped onion 
2 medium stalks celery, sliced
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups uncooked egg noodles


In a large size crock pot, put in chicken thighs. Add carrots, onions, salt, thyme, pepper, garlic, celery and broth.

Cover and cook on low heat setting for 8 hours. Stir in noodles. Increase setting to high and cook 20 minutes, or until noodles are tender.

Remove chicken from crock pot and place on a cutting board. Shred chicken, then return to pot and stir soup.

Makes 6-8 servings.

-Post by Patricia


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Cracked Sugar Cookies Recipe

I've mentioned before how much I love collecting and using cookbooks. I don't indulge myself in a lot of things in life, but I do enjoy buying cookbooks when I want to. They just plain out make me happy, much like they did my mom, I guess. But I use mine all the time, and I only remember her using hers when she wanted to make something "fancy".

When we were getting ready to move from our Seattle area home in July, I got rid of so much stuff. I donated bags and bags of clothes, shoes, household items, and even furniture. It made me sad to let it all go at first, but then I felt lighter and happy that I got rid of things that no longer were useful, or that had memories it was time to let go of.

I got rid of a lot of books too, mostly novels and decorating books, and some self-help books that I'm now embarrassed that I ever bought in the first place. But I kept every single cookbook, some that I've had for more than thirty years.

Decades ago, before everyone has turned into a self-proclaimed stylist, there was a Southern gentleman named Lee Bailey. When his first cookbook came out, I immediately fell in love with everything he did. I just loved his the South meets New York City way of approaching his home and life in the kitchen.

He became a well know lifestyle writer and opened home-furnishing stores in New York and across the country. He also went on to write more cookbooks, and I have everyone of them.

So here I am, thirty-plus years later still using this dear man's cookbooks to make my grandchildren a recipe for the best sugar cookies I ever tasted in my entire life. Mr. Bailey has passed on, but he still lives on for me in the beautiful books he created for home cooks just like me.

When I say these Cracked Sugar Cookies are the best, I'm not exaggerating. They are just downright delicious, and actually very easy to make. The cookbook says that Mr. Bailey got the recipe from his Louisiana cousin, and that it's been around for a long, long time. I like that.

Recipe for Lee Bailey's Cracked Sugar Cookies


1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 large egg yokes, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. (Or use parchment paper like I did)

Cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the yokes and vanilla. Sift the dry ingredients together, then add to the batter in 4 parts, mixing well after each addition.

Form the dough into balls the size of a walnut and place balls on cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Do not flatten. Bake for approximately 11 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Repeat with remaining dough until used up.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

-Post by Patricia 

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