Sometimes cooking someone’s favorite meal for no reason at all is the best way to show how much you care for them.  This banana cake is one of my sweetest friend’s favorites, since he was a child. It’s easy to make, and tastes like home. Be sure to use organic bananas — they truly taste more banana-y.


5 organic bananas, pureed (not mashed)
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup Kerrygold butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
6 oz confectioner’s sugar
3 tbs half and half
1 tbs maple syrup

How I Made It

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare your pans. You can make two 9 inch rounds or 20 cupcakes.

Puree the bananas in the food processer. Add the baking soda at the end for a couple of pulses.

Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and ginger in a large bowl.

In the standing mixer, cream the butter and the sugars. Add the eggs and mix thoroughly. In batches, add the flour mixture alternating with the milk. Add the bananas and mix until smooth.

Transfer the batter to the cake pans or lined cupcake tins. Bake for 25 minutes or until a cake tester comes away with a few crumbs.  Be careful not to overbake the cakes, as they will then turn out to be dry.

While the cakes cool, make the frosting by beating the cream cheese and butter together.  Add the maple syrup, then the confectioner’s sugar in batches. Drizzle the half and half in if it gets to be too dry. This makes enough frosting for a two layer cake, with frosting in between. If you make cupcakes, you’ll have leftovers.

When the cakes are cool, assemble and decorate.

How They Turned Out


These are a wonderful old fashioned treat. Intense banana flavor, with a rich frosting.



A cold and dreary Sunday is best spent baking, surrounded by the warmth of cinnamon and sugar and icing. These miniature apple cakes use fresh ginger instead of ground, balanced by the creamy icing.


2 apples, diced
3 tablespoons cinnamon
3 tablespoons sugar
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1 egg, beaten
8 oz plain full fat or 2% greek yogurt
1 cup unbleached organic flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3-4 tablespoons of heavy cream

How I Made It

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place 8 mini loaf pans or paper liners on a cookie sheet.

Chop the apple into small pieces and then toss it with the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Set it aside.

In a saucepan, melt the butter with the molasses and brown sugar over low heat. While that’s coming together, sift the flour, baking powder, and baking soda together. Whisk the butter and sugar and molasses until they are smooth. Stir in the minced ginger. Remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool a little bit. Then stir in the yogurt.

Combine the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients. Fold the apples into the batter.

Fill the loaf pans 3/4 full with batter. Bake the cakes for 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes away clean.

Let the cakes cool completely before decorating with icing. To make the icing, combine the powdered sugar and cream with a form or whisk until you achieve the consistency you want.

How They Turned Out

Very moist and flavorful, with a bit of a kick from the ginger and cinnamon.

Apple Cake

What do you make for your fabulous vegan friend for dinner?  These easy peasy stuffed squashes.


2 medium or 3 small acorn squashes, halved
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup diced onion
2 cups organic kale, chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
zest and juice of one orange
2 packages microwaveable Ancient Grains quinoa with chickpeas

How I Made Them

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with non-stick foil.  Brush the squash halves with olive oil and place face down. Roast for 30 minutes.

While the squash roasts, saute the garlic and onion in olive oil in a large skillet. Add the kale and cook until just wilted. Cook the quinoa in the microwave, then add it to the pan. Stir in the cranberries, orange juice and zest.


After the 30 minutes, take the squash from the oven. Use tongs to turn them over. Brush the flesh with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Fill the cavities with the quinoa stuffing.  Put them back in the oven for another 30 minutes.

How They Turned Out

So, so yummy. I don’t even like squash and I scraped my clean.


68DE1EFD-7C0A-435C-B749-891B7D4D2DCA.jpegI’m not one for food fads. I avoided the avocado toast frenzy and refuse to fuse my food. Though given the chance to try molecular gastronomy, my inner science nerd totally would.

So when everyone started raving about the fancy cheese plate, I stuck to my brie in pastry and carried on. Until this Thanksgiving.

This year, I hosted Thanksgiving unexpectedly so it was only the tried and true family favorites. To fancy it up, I succumbed to the cheese plate. And now I’m a convert!

Wensleydale cheese with cranberries, a black truffle goat cheese, cheddar with mustard ale, havarti, prosciutto, two kinds of salami, olives, hummus, fig preserves, apples, and assorted crackers. Simple to make and gorgeous on the table (but kind of spendy).



It’s cruel, how an awful cold makes you crave homemade comfort food and drink but leaves you no energy to step foot in the kitchen. This take on a hot toddy requires very little effort, beyond shuffling and snuffling to the Keurig machine. (A tea pot can be used instead, if you have instant apple cider.)

Put a vanilla chai tea bag in your favorite cup. Brew an apple cider pod into your cup on the demitasse (4 oz) setting. Remove the pod and run another demitasse of just hot water.  You can add a little rum for medicinal purposes.

Tea and sympathy, easy as catching a cold.

Processed with MOLDIV

Apple Cider Chai

While most of the country is enjoying the last days of summer, fall has blown into Southeast Alaska with buckets of rain and wind. After a damp afternoon, what you need is something comforting with a bit of spice.


3 sticks of unsalted butter
1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
2 cups sugar
4 large brown eggs
3/4 tbs vanilla
1 29oz can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
4 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tbs pumpkin pie spice
1 block of cream cheese
2 tbs butter
1/4 cup milk or half and half
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tbs orange zest
maple syrup to taste

How I Made It

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Prepare 10 mini-loaf pans by rubbing them with coconut oil, or line 12 jumbo muffin tins with double liners.

Cream the butter and sugars together in a standing mixer until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing them each in before adding the next. Mix in the pumpkin in large spoonsful (don’t just dump it in).  It will look mottled but that’s okay.  Add the vanilla.

Turn the mixer down to a low speed and add the dry mixture in small batches.  Combine the ingredients until you have a thick smooth batter.

Spoon the batter into the loaf pans/muffin tins. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a cake tester comes away clean.  Let the loaves/muffins cool completely.

Combine the cream cheese, milk, and orange zest in a standing mixer fitted with a whisk. Add the confectioner’s sugar in small batches so it doesn’t POOF and make a mess.  Add a little maple syrup for flavor. This is icing, not frosting so it will go on soft and a little drippy, but stays where you put it.

How They Turned Out

The perfect falltime treat, great for breakfast or dessert. They turned out moist with a good crumb. The maple orange icing is a lovely combination with the spicy pumpkin cake.


It’s National Doughnut Day!!  Woo hoo!!  To celebrate, I made these healthy apple cinnamon mini donuts.  They are whole wheat and sugar free (unless you glaze them).


1 apple, peeled and diced
1 tbs cinnamon
1 tbs plus 1/2 cup Pyure organic stevia blend
2 tbs butter, melted and cooled
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup organic unfiltered apple juice
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
coconut oil for greasing the doughnut pan

How I Made Them

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare the mini doughnut pan by greasing it with coconut oil.

Combine the diced apple with cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of the stevia in a small bowl, stirring to coat all the apple pieces, and set it aside. In a large bowl, mix the flour, 1/2 cup of stevia, baking powder, nutmeg, and ginger (a fork works best). Add the apple juice, egg, and melted butter and mix until thoroughly combined.  Fold in the apple mixture.  You’ll have a thick, slightly sticky batter.

Mini donut before (2)

Fill the mini doughnut pan with the batter.  Bake the doughnuts for 18 minutes or until a cake tester comes away clean.

How They Turned Out

Yummy and guilt free!  They aren’t super sweet like the usual doughnut, but are still very tasty. You can serve them warm, or wait a bit and glaze them (in which case they aren’t sugar free anymore).

Mini donut after (2)