Roasted Banana Double Chocolate Blender Cakes

banana blender cake gooey

This is certainly going to fall into the category of a good ‘cheat’. It definitely feels (or rather tastes), like you are cheating, but it is super duper healthy. I know, that sounds like an oxymoron and yet it is 100% true.

Why do we need to be so healthy all of a sudden? For me it is anything but sudden, four years ago Continue reading ‘Roasted Banana Double Chocolate Blender Cakes’

Mega Chocolate Ying Yang Granola

chocolate granola close up

I think I’ve officially entered my chocolate phase for 2015. I don’t know how or when it happened, but it hit me like a ton of bricks. I can’t stop thinking about eating chocolate. And I don’t want to even imagine waiting until dessert to eat it, I want to kick start my day with it. I’ve made breads, muffins, mochi brownies and this week I migrated to granola. It was definitely worth the time it took to discover this type of dessert-fast recipe.

There are no rules. Why can’t breakfast be sweet and delicious? Years ago, Rosa poignantly stated, dessert is best for breakfast because then you have the whole day to work it off! And that has stuck with me. I’ve made it my own mantra.


It’s a word that just stands on its own. Chocolate and I have quite a history. Chocolate was one of the things I was allergic to during the first part of my life. As a child I was the misfit kid at the birthday party that couldn’t eat the chocolate cupcakes or ice cream. Yes, I did say misfit – divorced parents (when that wasn’t really a thing), chubby (which was never a thing), self conscious, dyslexic and allergic to a bazillion foods amongst which included garlic, berries, seafood, dairy and oh yeah, that last food group- CHOCOLATE!

Eventually, and thankfully, I grew out of most of my food allergies. And fortunately for me, by the age of eight I was able to eat chocolate. The other food allergies took quite a bit longer, but we can save that diatribe for another day.

Before you whip up a batch of this dessert-like breakfast themed chocolate granola, imagine sinking your chops into a moist and chewy chocolate oatmeal cookie. The cocoa powder and chocolate chips create the ‘mega’ chocolate effect. The gooey factor is a key texture element in this version of dessert-fast granola and whole almonds provide a great crunch that gives this recipe that ying yang texture.

chocolate granola bowl

Mega Chocolate Ying Yang Granola


6 cups rolled oats

1 cup raw unsalted almonds

¼ cup flax seeds

½ cup finely ground coconut

½ cup sunflower seeds, unsalted

½ cup cocoa powder

¼ tsp salt

¾ cup maple syrup

¾ cup honey

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup chocolate chips

kosher salt, dash


Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. In a pot melt maple syrup, honey and vanilla. In a large bowl combine oats, almonds, flax seeds, coconut and sunflower seeds. Mix well. Pour wet mixture over dry mixture and stir with spatula until mixture is fully combined.

Using non-stick cooking spray coat a high-sided cookie sheet and then transfer granola mixture to the pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Shake or stir the pan as needed; clusters will prevail if stirring is kept to a minimum. After 25 more minutes add the chocolate chips and sprinkle with kosher salt to create a savory and sweet flavor. Return granola to oven and cook an additional 5-10 minutes.

Allow granola to cool for 1-2 hours. Store in an airtight container, being careful to gently transfer the granola to preserve the large clusters.

chocoalte granola raw

chocolate granola cooked

chocolate granola top down bowl

Mochi Brownies


Ever since Rika lived with us, a native of Japan, my kids have fallen even deeper in love with anything mochi. Prior to meeting Rika we loved our visits to Japan town to buy Japanese mochi confections. And of course we went crazy for mochi covered ice cream when it hit the store shelves. Continue reading ‘Mochi Brownies’

Langostino “Lobster” Tail Bucattini

lobster pasta overhead 1

There are times when you just need a pasta fix and this is especially true when you’ve got a house guest from Italy. While there are many pasta dishes that please, it’s fun to get out of your comfort zone and mix up your pasta fixins’. While I am typically a Bolognese or pesto kinda gal, I was craving seafood. I had every intention of making linguini with fresh clams, but I when none were available at the store I quickly switched gears. Continue reading ‘Langostino “Lobster” Tail Bucattini’

Blackberry Topped Strawberry & Fig Smoothie with Cardamom Chia Pudding


One of my favorite family weekends is Labor Day weekend in Mt. Shasta, as we kiss summer goodbye. I find the Blackberry Festival to be particularly charming and oh-so-reminiscent of my childhood.

I soak up the sound of music wafting through the sea of purple clad people, aptly dressed in their colored festival t-shirts, gingerly gripping their blackberry infused beers. The squealing children in the background can be heard amidst the backdrop of games like the water balloon toss, potato sack races and Continue reading ‘Blackberry Topped Strawberry & Fig Smoothie with Cardamom Chia Pudding’

Tangy Stuffed Italian Artichokes


“What is your practice?” That is the question the substitute yoga teacher asked the class. To be honest, having only started vinyasa yoga four years ago, I have never considered myself as someone who had ‘a practice’. I never even saw myself as a yoga person. In my mind, yoga was far too calm and quiet for a fidgety person like me to embrace. But then, one day, someone you’ve never met Continue reading ‘Tangy Stuffed Italian Artichokes’

Grapefruit Smoothie

grapefruit smoothie cover shot

There are some days realizations hit you harder than others. I had one this week as I watched my daughter start high school. In all reality I can’t believe that I am old enough to have a daughter in high school. I couldn’t possibly be that old! Honest truth- I do (have a high schooler) and I am (old enough)! Continue reading ‘Grapefruit Smoothie’

Mette’s Norwegian Ham & Cheese Horns


There is a special kind of feeling you get during the summer – a carefree playful spirit that finds its way into the warm meandering days. A few weeks ago I unexpectedly found myself alone on my drive up to the mountains for vacation. The hot sun beating down on the car as I took the mountain curves, passing the slower moving semi trucks, my favorite play list was blaring through the sound system, all the windows Continue reading ‘Mette’s Norwegian Ham & Cheese Horns’

Bountiful Fig Bowl

white fig bowl single

Looking for a work/life balance? I know I am. And in my quest for balance and enlightenment I am always excited when I come across antidotes in magazines or realize observations from my everyday life. Regardless of where I pull my inspiration from, I am always appreciative that these moments invite me in to take stock of where I am. I am not always in a good place, but I try to pull myself above it.

I recently read an article on the healing attributes of kindness. My ‘ah-ha’ moment was Continue reading ‘Bountiful Fig Bowl’

Fudgiest Peanut Butter Smoothie

PBM 3 shot .JPG

This week’s episode of ‘I am not cooking!‘ is brought to you by my faithful blender.

I am a newly converted blending addict. There is no way around it. No matter how much I dream about a nice hot meal I keep on blending. Fortunately it is summer so it’s slightly less noticeable. >she tells herself in affirmation< Continue reading ‘Fudgiest Peanut Butter Smoothie’

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