Archive for ‘Recipes’

October 22nd, 2012

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

This recipe has been in my recipe box since I first baked them on November 19, 2008. I know this because I dated it, a practice I am so happy I started. I have done this in cookbooks too. I love looking back and remembering the first time I made something. I also include variations, if any have been made. This is my go-to recipe for a yummy breakfast. You can view Tyler Florence’s Banana Nut Muffins at the Food Network where I found it, but here is my version of this scrumptious recipe, which is ever moist and delectable.

Tyler Florence's Banana Nut Muffins with Variations

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 overripe bananas

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter (melted and cooled)

1/2 cup of unsweetened apple sauce

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fehrenheit and line a cupcake tin with paper liners.
  • In a large bowl, combine flour baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • Mash two of the bananas in a bowl leaving them a bit chunky. This is a great job for a helper, if you are baking with little ones.
  • Whip the remaining bananas together with a hand-held electric mixer or a Kitchenaid. I have used both and both work. Whip them like you mean it, as Tyler Florence says, for three minutes.
  • Add the melted butter, eggs and vanilla. Beat well and scrape the sides of the bowl a few times.
  • Mix in the dry ingredients until just combined. This will result in a light fluffy muffin. Over mix and you will have a heavy tough muffin.
  • Fold in the mashed bananas and the chocolate chips.
  • Spoon the batter into the muffin tins.
  • Bake until lightly browned on top and so that a toothpick comes out clean if you stick it into the center. About 18-20 minutes.
  • Let cool in the pan for a few minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack and let cool.
  • Bake 12 muffins if you want big ones. Bake 24 muffins if you want small muffins. Or, what I did, is bake 12 regular sized muffins and 12 mini muffins.


Toppings and Variations:

Sprinkle brown sugar on the tops of each muffin before baking.

Add a handful of oats to the mixture when folding in the chocolate chips.

Add a 1/2 cup of coconut when adding the chocolate chips.

You could add nuts like Tyler Florence did, I have tried sunflower seeds, walnuts and pecans (not at the same time).

Raisins or dried cranberries would also make a lovely addition.

Top each muffin with a sprinkling of granola.



March 1st, 2012

Broccoli Lentil Salad

I concocted this broccoli lentil salad to welcome March, and encourage it with a little green to tempt the spring. Mixed greens and spinach are my go-to for a quick salad fix, but some days you want a salad with substance. And this salad is exactly that, as broccoli and lentils are both super healthy and packed with vitamins. In like a lion, out like a lamb? I’m not sure yet, although it is colder than it has been of late. Here’s to an early spring!

Make this salad as-is and pack it up for a quick work lunch. You could also make it on the weekend and serve it with bread. I would serve it with bruschetta or crusty baguette and dip. Spinach dip, bean dip, artichoke dip or hummus!


Broccoli Lentil Salad Serves 4:


1 head of broccoli

1 can of lentils

1/4 cup of dried cherries

1/4 cup of chopped green onion

1 carrot shredded

1/4 cup of feta

2 tablespoons of Parmesan


  1. Chop one head of broccoli into 1-inch florets. Boil or steam the florets for 2-3 minutes, until barely tender. Immerse the broccoli in a water bath (to keep the vibrant green hue) and place in bowl.
  2. Rinse lentils and add them to the florets.
  3. Place the rest of the ingredients into the bowl.


White Wine Vinaigrette:


1/4 cup of white wine vinegar

1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon of cumin

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Whisk the vinegar and olive oil together until combined. Add cumin, salt and pepper and whisk again.
  2. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.


Enjoy this salad as a main course lunch salad or as a side salad served with chicken or salmon. For a decorative presentation, serve the salad in colourful, halved bell peppers, in a purple cabbage leaf or in vintage dishware. Broccoli lentil salad makes a great potluck dish and is a great salad to take on a picnic.