What’s for Breakfast – The Classic Dutch Baby Pancake

dutch baby


Are you tired of the same old breakfast routine?  I was feeling the same way, until I remember The Classic Dutch Baby Pancake.  This beauty is traditionally served with fresh lemon slices and powdered sugar, but it serves as the perfect platform for a host of other ingredients, fresh fruit, jam, syrup, chocolate, whipped cream or even savory ingredients like tomato, cheese and avocado.  Not only is it beautiful coming out of the oven, it is light and delicious.  I may even go so far to say that I like it more than the traditional pancake!   If you are in the mood for changing up your breakfast routine, try this Dutch Baby, you will not be disappointed.  Let us know how you like it!  Oh, and feel free to indulge on this tasty treat as this recipe comes from Cooking Light Magazine.  Enjoy!

Dutch Baby – German Pancake

* this recipes makes TWO 9-inch Dutch Babies
1 cup of flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup skim milk (I used whole)
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 egg whites, at room temperature, lightly beaten
cooking spray
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 lemon
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Combine flour and sugar in a bowl and set aside.  Using a whisk, combine all wet ingredients.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and whisk well.  Spray two pie plates with cooking spray, or cast iron skillets.   Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350 degrees for 3 additional minutes.  Remove when pancake is puffed and golden.  (It will deflate when removed from heat).
Sprinkle with fresh squeezed lemon juice and powdered sugar.
Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

Cheesy Wild Rice Soup


I was inspired to try making this soup from a few friends, two of whom are from Minnesota.  I didn’t know this before, but Minnesota is quite the mecca for wild rice.   Honestly, I am so glad for the inspiration because this soup is good… sinfully good!  The creaminess of the soup and the smoky bacon make for an incredible spoonful.  This soup would be perfect to serve on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day for a group – I think even the kids will be happy.  We had ours with some warm croissants, but I think that it would be great served with any bread and a green salad.  Enjoy!

Cheesy Wild Rice Recipe:

1/2 c. wild rice, uncooked
1 1/2 c. chicken broth (or water)
1/2 lb. bacon
1/4 c. chopped onion
2 (10 3/4 oz.) cans cream of potato soup, diluted with 1 can milk (or cream of mushroom/chicken)
4 c. grated Cheddar cheese (or may use any of your favorite cheeses)
1 qt. milk (or light cream)


Combine rice and water in a saucepan and cook over low heat for 45 minutes. Drain and set aside. Fry bacon; drain on paper towel. Crumble into small pieces. Saute onions until softened. Stir ingredients together in large saucepan. Stir over low heat until cheese is melted. Serves 8.




Marshmallow Twig Roasters

I love these decorative Marshmallow Twig Roasters from Terrain.  These are so much better than finding a dirty stick outside and would look so pretty laying by a fireplace in the winter.  Also, these would make sure a cute hostess gift this season or stocking stuffer for Christmas.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t know why marshmallow (or hotdog!) roasting should be  limited to the outdoors.  I could think of no better way to enjoy an beautiful indoor fire then to include some marshmallow roasting on these beautiful “twigs”.  There is enough for the whole family.  My pick for the best marshmallow is here.


Banana Bread with Sugar Crust

One of my favorite comfort foods is Banana Bread.  I cannot resist picking one up when I go to  the Farmer’s Market or try a new bakery.  Of all the banana bread that I have tried, this recipe has to be my absolute favorite.  It is a moist, dense, buttery cake and the white sugar crust is a welcome surprise with each bite.  Enjoy!


Banana Bread Recipe:

1 stick Butter

1½cups White Sugar

2 Eggs

2-3 Medium Bananas (very ripe)

1t. Vanilla

2 cups of Flour

1t Baking Soda

½t. Baking Powder

½ t. Salt

1½t. Cinnamon

1cup chopped pecans (optional)

Extra White Sugar for over the top.

To Make:

In large bowl, cream the butter and sugar.  Beat in the eggs, bananas and vanilla.

In smaller bowl, sift and mix the dry ingredients.

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until incorporated.

Pour into a large greased bread pan or into a muffin tin.  Sprinkle the top of the mix with extra white sugar.

Cook at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour or until cooked through.



Keep Your Pies Safe! Park Hill Collection Pie Safe

Fall is in the air and we hope it is filled with the smell of delicious autumnal pies!  Cherry Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Apple Pie… yes, please!  Why not protect your baked goods from little hands and secret bites with this wooden pie safe from the Park Hill Collection.

We think that this classic piece would look great on the countertop in a country kitchen or displayed on a hutch in a dining room.  This would also make a perfect gift for the favorite baker in your life.


The Vitamix – The “Healthy” Blender

Do you have a favorite appliance?  Mine is the Vitamix!   Some of you may be doubtful that a blender could be my favorite appliance – but the Vitamix is like a blender on steroids.  It makes cooking easy and most importantly, it makes eating healthy - easy and fast.

Do you have picky eaters in your family?  If yes, the Vitamix is your answer because it allows you to incorporate (i.e., sneak) healthy foods into nearly anything and you can’t taste it because the blending power on the Vitamix is so powerful.

Did I tell you that this appliances allows you to make ice cream as well as soup?  Oh, and homemade nut butters!   Everything in just minutes… minutes!  Here are some of the things I have made in our Vitamix:

  • Smoothies: Fruit smoothies and green smoothies.  When my kids haven’t had a veggie in a while, I add some carrots or spinach to the smoothie and they have no idea!
  • Juice: For non-peelable fruit (i.e., apples), you can through in the fruit with the skin on!  So easy!
  • Soup: Hot soup from raw ingredients in a just a few minutes. Great for when you are short on time and/or don’t want to make a huge batch of soup.
  • Dressings, sauces and marinades: Alot of pre-packaged dressings and sauces contain sugars and syrups.  This way you can control what ingredients go into your sauce and no preservatives.
  • Dips and Hummus: Convenient for parties or just everyday snacking.
  • Nut Butters: Almond and Peanuts is my favorite combination.
  • Ice Cream and fresh fruit sorbet: Try making the ice cream with almond milk or another milk substitute.  Also you can add carrots or spinach and no one will know!
  • I haven’t made them yet, but you can make your own Flours and Baby Food, too.

The plastic container is BCP free and does not retain flavors, so you can go from chopping up garlic to making ice cream.  And, if you weren’t already sold, it just looks good on the counter!



Market Square Food Company

Everyone has a favorite cookie… these are mine!  I just cannot get enough of them.  They are like an Animal Cracker meets Butter Cookie.  So crispy and delicious and come in three flavors: Vanilla, Chocolate, Chocolate Chip, Cinnamon and even Cheddar Cheese.  And, look at the amazing packaging!  There is literally a package for every occasion.  What little boy or girl wouldn’t love a Fire Engine or Train packed with delicious cookies?  So cute as the center piece on a themed birthday party table or to give out as favors!  But, these cookies aren’t just for  kids.  My kids have to hide these cookies from me.  I challenge you to eat just one box!

Market Square Food Company is also a local company, founded in 1982 by James L. Lockhart and his son David, residents of Lake Forest, IL. Their goal was to provide a superior food product packaged in a unique upscale format. The company has grown steadily over the years because of a singular dedication to maintaining both food quality and their competitive advantage in package design.  Mission Accomplished!

To order these delicious cookies and to find out more about Market Square Food Company check out the site here.  If you can’t wait for your order and need to purchase some right now, you can find them at Barnes and Noble Old Orchard and Lincoln Park, Nordstrom E-Bars, Fox & Obel, The Daily Grind LB, Food Stuffs and HomeGoods.


TGIF – The Baasen Bootleg Recipe




The Bootleg is our new favorite summer sipper.  We can’t imagine any drink being more refreshing on a hot summer day!  In fact, we had the pleasure of being introduced to this drink this past 4th of July by our friends, Robin and Andrew Baasen of Lake Bluff.  It is thought that this citrus, minty drink originated at a country club in Minnesota, however, it is still unclear which one.  One thing is clear, however, we think that our friends recipe for this drink is the best!   How cute to serve it out of Jam Jars or these.  Enjoy!

Bootleg Mix:
1 can frozen lemonade concentrate
1 can frozen limeade concentrate
Between 1 to 1.5 cups of finely chopped fresh mint
Blend all ingredients in blender or w/ hand blender

In a lowball glass over ice add vodka or gin, one shot of bootleg mix, top off w/ soda & wedge of lime.

(image taken from here)


Paper Goods – Lulu Powers



When I think of 4th of July Week I think of Nantucket. When I think of Nantucket I think of Lulu Powers. Lulu Powers Food to Flowers is my favorite cookbook ever (given to me by my sister-in-law while we were in Nantucket). I was so thrilled to see that Lulu Powers now designs stationary and invitations. The above are just a few of my favs from her Nantucket Collection. See the whole collection here.