Banana Chip Muffins

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I thought it was a good time to post a little bit of a sweet treat for a change. These muffins are my “go-to” recipe for just about everything: school snack, breakfast while camping, any brunch menu, kid’s sleepovers, bus/train/plane ride, with a sympathy card, for new Mom’s who are sleep deprived, Christmas (or any other holiday you can think of) morning, birthday breakfasts, after school snacks, and, well, I think you get the idea. I haven’t met anyone yet who doesn’t LOVE them and I have served them to a LOT of people over the years. They are quick and easy to put together, the recipe can be doubled or made into mini-muffins, and they even freeze beautifully. They’re pretty much a staple around here and I hope your family loves them too! 


1  stick butter (or butter substitute), softened

3/4  cup sugar

1  cup mashed ripe banana (about 3)

2  eggs, lightly beaten

1  teaspoon vanilla

2  cups flour

1  teaspoon baking soda

1  teaspoon salt

3/4  cup MINI chocolate chips (I don’t recommend using regular sized chips, but if you MUST, chop them up)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12 -cup muffin pan with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Beat butter and sugar on medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the mashed banana and vanilla and beat again (batter will be lumpy). Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed just until flour is moistened. Add mini chocolate chips. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm or cooled.


Turkey and Bean Chili

I love the snow! Not everyone shares my enthusiasm, I know, but growing up in New England, we always had snow. Now that I live in the south, we don’t have snow very often, but when we do, it is a wonder and gift for me to awaken to a blanket of white outside every window. Between the cold and the snow this winter, I have already made this chili twice. This is not a fancy recipe and it probably won’t win any cook-offs, but it’s versatile and delicious and a great addition to your weeknight meal rotation. Also worth noting is that I didn’t even really “adapt” this for AG. All I did was use ground turkey instead of beef, which I probably would have done anyway to make it a bit healthier. I serve it with homemade corn bread and a topping bar (of course!). Hope this will warm up your meal planning on these cold winter nights!


4  stalks celery, chopped (I leave this out because my guys don’t like celery)

3  green onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1  large onion, chopped

1  green pepper, chopped

1  tablespoon vegetable oil

2  pounds ground turkey

1  15-ounce can tomato sauce

1  6-ounce can tomato paste

2  cups water

5-6  tablespoons chili powder depending on your need for heat (5 is just right for us)

1  teaspoon salt

Dash of pepper

1  16-ounce can of kidney beans UNDRAINED

Toppings: shredded cheddar cheese or dairy free equivalent, shredded lettuce, diced onion, tortilla chips


Heat the oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the celery, green onions, garlic, onion and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes or until desired tenderness. Add the turkey and cook until meat crumbles. Drain well.

Add tomato sauce and the next 5 ingredients and stir well. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Add the beans and cook another 15 minutes or until desired consistency. Serve with topping bar and cornbread.  


Adapted from The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook, 1999

‘Tis the Season

Merry Christmas Y’all! I so love this time of year with candles in all the windows, reconnecting with old friends through visits, calls, and cards, and the overall feeling of hope and joy in the air. That being said, my to do list is LONG and planning meals at the last minute really adds to my stress level. So one of my big secrets to staying sane this season is meal planning 7-9 days in advance and having everything on hand for the week. That way I can conquer my to-do list without the added stress of figuring out dinner too. I have listed some of my go-to meals below and truly ALL of these have been or will be on my table in the month of December. Hope this helps! May the peace and love of the season fill all of your hearts and homes this Christmas season. 

1. Black Beans and Yellow Rice

Black Beans and Yellow Rice

There are so many things I love about this dish! First, it doesn’t take long to put together, 20-30 minutes max. It does need to cook for a couple hours though, and really the longer it sits the better. So the second thing I love about this recipe is that I can make it up in the morning and all I have to do at the end of the day is cook the rice and dinner is served. It also makes a lot (original recipe says it serves 8), and we easily get 2 to 3 meals out of one pot (2 nights on the meal plan-check!). Lastly, this is even delicious for breakfast. Seriously, I absolutely love a bowl leftover with a fried egg on top, yum!

2. Spaghetti and Meatballs


Meatballs just getting started. Turn over when browned.

I actually have a double batch of this spaghetti sauce on the stove right now. I made it for Eggplant Stacks earlier in the week, but will be making meatballs tonight to have with spaghetti. Having a big batch like this on hand adds the following to my meal plan: meatball subs, baked spaghetti, and homemade pizza (4 more nights of dinners, yes!). Make some up this weekend and your whole week will be easier.

3. Baked Potatoes

I haven’t actually done a blog post for this, but baked potatoes are always on my menu when time is short. I roll mine in olive oil and coarse seas salt before baking at 350 degrees for an hour to an hour and half depending on the size of your potatoes. Since I’m all about making one meal that can be customized to serve everyone, I put out a topping bar of steamed broccoli, chopped turkey bacon, shredded cheddar, sour cream, and chopped green onions. Obviously theres lots of options here. If you can tolerate dairy, try making my Potato Soup in the morning and it will be ready when you come home at the end of the day.

4. All American Turkey Meatloaf

All-American Turkey Meatloaf

This is definitely one of the most popular posts on the blog and with good reason. This recipe is easy, quick, and always delicious. Made with turkey, my guys say they don’t even miss the beef here. I love that it makes 2 loaves. We either get one more night out of it, or my hubby has meatloaf sandwiches for lunch all week!

5. Bean and Salsa Tortillas

Bean and Salsa Tortillas

This is one of my husband’s favorite meals. I love that these are quick from start to table (about 45 minutes), and the recipe makes a lot so we usually have leftovers. Not everything is good reheated, but these hold up amazingly well and never go to waste around here. The bean mixture would also make a great party dip!. Add some salsa and green onions, if desired, and serve warm with some tortilla chips. It’s always nice to have an AG friendly option amidst all the cheese and bacon these days.

6. Egg Cups

IMG_6229 copy

When all else fails, breakfast for dinner is ALWAYS the answer! These made to order egg cups fit the bill perfectly and can be adapted to suit almost anyone’s needs. They are delicious and filling and can get you through even the longest of shopping and wrapping days.


Ho, ho, ho … hope that helps. I’m off to finish my shopping, Merry Christmas!