Roasted Broccoli

I go back and forth with myself on whether or not to post recipes like the one I’m about to share with you, because this isn’t a multi-step, high ingredient list recipe. It’s a wing it and every time is different recipe. My hope is that by including it, it will spark your appetite and encourage you to roast all the veggies.

  • 2 lbs broccoli florets (I always trim the stems off…)
  • avocado oil (my new favorite)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • fresh grated Parmesan cheese

First, preheat your oven to 425. If you have a convection setting, use that! Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment or foil. In a bowl, combine your broccoli with a generous drizzle of avocado oil. I always drizzle, then shake/stir to make sure everything is coated. If your broccoli is still looking dry, add some more oil. Pour the broccoli onto the baking sheet, and I like to bunch mine all together so that when I shred the cheese on top it almost forms a little crust on top. Before adding the grated Parmesan, season with salt and pepper to taste. I grate my cheese right there over the broccoli. Roast for about 20 minutes, checking on it starting around the 15 minute mark, until the cheese is brown and you’ve got lovely roasted brown bits on your broccoli. Serve with your favorite protein.

Homemade Granola

One of my husband’s favorite snacks is Greek yogurt with granola and blueberries. While we have tried many commercial mixes, including a really yummy one from a nice lady in Arizona, it was cost prohibitive to buy in the bulk we needed. Enter, The Pioneer Woman’s homemade granola recipe! I have been making Ree’s recipes for over 10 years now and they have not steered me wrong. This one is no exception. One of the things I like about it is it’s versatility; you can add/remove and tweak the recipe to make it your own.

  • 6 cups old fashioned oats (not quick oats)
  • 1/4 cup light oil (not olive)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted, plus more for greasing
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup Rice Krispies
  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/4 cup almonds, slivered
  • 1 cup dried fruit of choice, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl, toss the oats with the oil, melted butter and salt. Spread the mixture out on 2 baking sheets and toast in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, shaking the pan twice and making sure they don’t burn. Remove from the oven and set aside. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees F. In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, honey, apple juice and molasses. Heat the mixture slowly, stirring until all combined. Stir in the vanilla. Toss together the toasted oats, rice cereal, wheat germ, pecans, almonds and fruit if using. Pour in the sugar mixture, stirring as you pour. Toss to combine; it will be sticky. Press into 1 baking sheet (thoroughly greased with butter, or line pan with foil and grease foil) and bake until golden, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. As it is cooling I like to start breaking it up into small pieces as my husband doesn’t like big chunks of granola. The longer you let it sit as it cools the crunchier it will get and be harder to break into pieces. Store in an airtight container.

Easy Coconut Rice

Rice has long been one of my favorite foods. When I was young and we would go to my grandmother’s house she would always make a side of rice just for me to go with whatever meal we were having. That preference has been transferred to my son so it makes frequent rotations in our meal plans. I love this one because with very few ingredients you get rice that is perfectly seasoned and so easy. Recipe and photo courtesy of

  • 2 cups jasmine rice
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Using a bowl and fine mesh strainer, rinse the rice with cold water until clear. (This step is optional if you want stickier rice for something like sushi. I normally skip this step because of time management, but the last time I made it I took the time the rinse the rice and it was definitely fluffier.) After the rice is rinsed, add it to a pot with the water, coconut milk, salt and sugar. Bring to boil, then reduce to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, leave the lid on and let the rice sit for 5 additional minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.

Elevated Cinnamon Rolls

A while back there was a trend on TikTok where you take the somewhat uninspiring tube of cinnamon rolls and jazz them up with extra heavy cream and butter and sugar and cinnamon. I made them one day when all my family was in town and they were so delicious I haven’t made them any other way since. At this point I figured it was high time to get it on the website so I don’t have to troll social media for the recipe any more. I have made this with frozen and refrigerated cinnamon rolls and both work great.

  • 2 cans cinnamon rolls
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar

Preheat your oven to 350. Grease a 9×13 pan, then lay out your cinnamon rolls. In a microwave safe bowl, melt your butter. While your butter is melting, pour 1 cup of heavy cream all over the cinnamon rolls. Once your butter is melted, add the cinnamon and brown sugar and stir until well combined. Pour the mixture over the cinnamon rolls and then cover the dish with foil. Bake for about 45 minutes until the rolls are cooked and the cream is mostly absorbed. Serve with the icing that came in the tube.

Banana Bread Brownies

I have a problem. I buy way too many bananas, and then end up with more overly ripe bananas than I can use. On one such occasion, I decided to make a bunch of banana desserts and take them to work so my co-workers would eat it all up for me. While scouring Pinterest for ideas, I saw this recipe and it was a huge hit. It took my a few months, but here it is on the website at last. Recipe and photo courtesy of

For the Brownies:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped

For the Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons milk

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a mixing bowl, mix together sugar, sour cream, softened butter and eggs using an electric mixer. Beat until well combined. Then, add mashed bananas and vanilla extract. Mix until combined. Add the dry ingredients to the batter. Mix until combined. Then, add chopped pecans. Pour the banana batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes or until ready. Check the readiness of the brownies using a toothpick inserted in the center, if it comes out clean – the brownies are ready. Remove the baking pan from the oven. Let it cool slightly. While the brownies are cooling, prepare the frosting. In a saucepan, melt butter and heat until medium brown color. Turn off the heat and add powdered sugar (1 cup at a time), stir until combined after each addition. Then, add milk and vanilla extract. Mix until combined. Pour the frosting over the brownies. Spread evenly. Let the banana bread brownies cool completely.

Buttery Glazed Green Beans

Every year I vow to do better meal planning and this year was no exception. I busted out all the cookbooks in my cupboard and did a great job of trying new recipes…for about 3 months. It started to fall apart when the kids after school activities picked up and never quite recovered. That early year diligence did lead to some standard rotations in my meals, one of which was this green bean recipe. It comes out of Chrissy Teigan’s Cravings Vol. 1 cookbook and is so simple and delicious. Recipe and photo courtesy of Cravings.

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted, optional

In a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid, combine the water, sugar, and salt and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Add the green beans, cover, and cook over medium-high heat until the sugar water begins to reduce, 7 to 9 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook, tossing the beans, until the sugar reduces to a very light syrup and the beans are no longer crisp but somehow miraculously aren’t mushy, making sure it doesn’t burn (add a splash of water if necessary), 7 to 9 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish and top with the butter and pepper. Season with more salt to taste. If using, garnish with the almonds and serve.

Breadsticks a la Olive Garden

The copycat cookbook I have has some really great recipes, and this breadstick is one of my families favorites. With only one rise of about 45 minutes, it is an easy one to whip up on a weeknight. Also, don’t skimp on the buttery topping, because although it sounds like a lot, it is not overpowering.

For the Dough:

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast, I use instant
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water, 105-115 degrees
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour, adding more if necessary
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

For the Buttery Topping:

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water and let sit for 10 minutes. (If using instant yeast, skip this step and just add the sugar, water, and yeast to the rest of the ingredients.) Add flour ,salt, and melted butter to the yeast mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon until fully combined. Knead dough for a few minutes, until dough is smooth and not sticky. Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray, or line with parchment. Pull off pieces of dough and roll into strips. Cover the dough with a light towel and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400. Bake breadsticks for 6-7 minutes, then brush with the buttery topping. Return to the oven for 6-7 more minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and brush with the rest of the buttery topping. Serve immediately.

Copycat Superfood Salad

For a while, Chick-fil-A had a salad on the menu called the superfood salad. It had kale and broccolini, dried cherries and mixed nuts. It was such a delicious salad and I was super bummed when they got rid of it. Luckily, I found a copycat recipe in a cookbook by Six Sisters’ Stuff. I leave out the broccolini, but other than that it is a dead ringer. It also keeps for a couple of days in the fridge so it’s nice to munch on through the week.

  • 6 cups chopped kale
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup candied nut of your choice

In a medium large bowl, combine kale, sunflower seeds, dried cherries, and nuts. In a small bowl, whisk together cider vinegar, olive oil, honey, maple syrup, sugar, pepper and salt. Pour dressing over salad and toss until leaves are shiny and coated. Refrigerate for 3 hours, or let sit overnight. When serving, top with a few more cherries and nuts. I also like to add chicken or salmon for some protein.

Cinnamon Squares

Over the Christmas break I binge watched Magnolia Table on Discovery plus. One of the most intriguing recipes I saw was her cinnamon squares, which she described as the middle part of the cinnamon roll. I’m glad I watched her make it because if I hadn’t I might not have rolled them out properly. Make sure you use your rolling pin to really meld those layers so they don’t puff up too much in the oven. Also, the recipe makes a huge batch so I plan on freezing the leftovers in pairs to heat up later in the coming weeks.

For the Dough:

  • 1/4 cup warm water (105° to 115°F)
  • Two 1/4-ounce packets active dry yeast (I used 4 1/2 teaspoons of instant yeast)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups milk, warmed
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter, melted and cooled, plus softened butter for the dough and pans
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

For the Filling:

  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) salted butter, cut into pieces and chilled
  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

In a large bowl, stir together the water, yeast, and 1 tablespoon sugar. Let stand until foamy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the remaining sugar, milk, butter, eggs, and salt and stir with a wooden spoon until well blended. Add the flour and stir until the dough comes together. Rub softened butter on top of the dough and around the bowl. Cover and let stand in a warm spot for 1 hour. (If you use instant yeast, just put all the ingredients in the bowl and mix.) The dough will not rise very much.

To make the filling: In a food processor, combine the pecans, butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon and process until the mixture is well blended and paste-like (do this in two batches if necessary). Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Generously dust a work surface with flour. Punch down the dough and place it on the work surface. Roll it out into a 16 x 24-inch rectangle.

Spoon two-thirds of the filling mixture over the dough. Spread it to cover the dough to the edges. Starting on a short side, fold the sheet of dough two thirds of the way, then fold the other side over in a tri-fold pattern, pressing the edges together, and roll it out a little bit, til you approximately a 14×16 rectangle. Spoon the remaining filling on top of the dough and spread it to cover the dough. Starting at a short side, tri-fold the dough again and lightly roll it back into a 12×18 rectangle. Use a chef’s knife to cut the dough into 24 roughly 3-inch squares. Arrange the squares on the prepared pan so that they are touching. Brush the tops of the squares with beaten egg.

Bake until lightly golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve hot. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Elvis Granola

This is another Centr recipe that my husband really likes. It keeps for two weeks in an airtight container and is really good on Greek yogurt.

  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium banana, peeled and lightly mashed
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup almonds, roasted and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 320 and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Blend peanut butter, maple syrup, oil and banana until smooth. In a large bowl combine oats, pecans, almonds and salt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well. Spread on baking sheet and bake, tossing 2-3 times for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool, then break into smaller clusters and store in an airtight container.