Banana Mini Muffins – Make Plenty, Eat Some, and Freeze The Rest For Later!

This banana mini muffins post was brought to you by Glad®.   All opinions are mine.  #SAVEITSUNDAY #FoodFairyTale

Banana Mini MuffinsOne of the boys' all time favorite snacks is banana mini muffins.  We make them quite often and while they usually disappear quickly, sometimes I make an extra batch to keep in the freezer.  That way, we can pull out a few at a time, let them thaw or put them in the toaster oven for a few minutes for a warm, delicious treat.

Banana Mini Muffins


  • one cup of sugar (or applesauce)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 medium, mashed, very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup kefir or milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • optional:  1 cup of chopped nuts (we don't, because we have allergies)


  1. Heat oven to 350°F.  
  2. Grease bottoms of two mini muffin pans or use mini cupcake liners.
  3. In a large bowl, stir sugar and butter until mixed well.
  4. Stir in eggs.
  5. Stir in mashed bananas, kefir OR milk, and vanilla, mix until smooth.
  6. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt until mixed well, careful not to overmix, or muffins will be tough.
  7. Bake mini muffins for 13-18 minutes.  Keep an eye on them to make sure they do not burn.  Insert a toothpick in the center of one muffin and check that it comes out clean to ensure that muffins are done.
  8. Cool 5 minutes on wire rack or plate.
  9. Refrigerate up to 10 days in GladWare® or a month in Glad® FreezerWare.

Banana Mini MuffinsOver the past few months, I have really worked on keeping my fridge organized with Glad® Food Protection.  I have talked about storing New Year's Eve snacks, keeping leftovers fresh, and even cleaning up my hubby's work fridge and wrapping cloth diapers in Glad® Press‘n Seal® to make them waterproof.  Something I have avoided, however, is my freezer.  I don't know why, but I do not like organizing my freezer.  I like having it organized, and protecting my food from freezer burn, but somehow it is just easier to open the door, throw something in, and forget about it.  But when I actually want something that I know is in the freezer, I have to dig and dig and fight with the toddler as he wants to pull everything out.  Well, I gave my freezer a Glad® FreezerWare mini makeover and I feel good about knowing that my food is safer.  I still have a way to go, but it's a start.  And yes, my pizza crust is wrapped in Glad® Press'n Seal®!  Find out more Glad® Protection Pointers on the website!

freezer makeover


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Glad Food Protection. The opinions and text are all mine.

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookie Fruit and Nut Bars

Oatmeal Cookie Fruit and Nut Bars

We are all cookie lovers in this house.  Sometimes, I'll admit, I just make cookies to eat the yummy dough (shhh!) but this recipe is great because you can use store bought chocolate oatmeal cookie dough to make delicious, hearty, nutritious oatmeal cookie bars.  The add-ins deliver flavor and something sweet and special in your warm cookie bar.  Pair with a glass of cold milk, coffee, or iced tea, and it's a great afternoon snack!  (Easily substitute other nuts or leave them out to make this recipe allergy friendly.)


Oatmeal Cookie Fruit and Nut Bars


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚.
  2. In a small bowl, soak the raisins and cranberries in 2 cups warm water for 5 minutes, drain.
  3. In another bowl, break the oatmeal cookies apart and add the oats, raisins, cranberries, pecans, coconut and chocolate chips – mix to combine.
  4. Place the mixture into an 8×8 inch pan lined with lightly greased parchment paper with a little excess paper hanging over the edges to use as handles to remove from the pan for cutting.
  5. Optiona -, place whole pecans or additional chopped pecans on top.
  6. Bake at 350˚ until deep golden brown, 30-35 minutes.
  7. Let cool before cutting into bars.  
  8. Store in airtight container unrefrigerated up to one week.  Refrigerate for up to two weeks.


Oatmeal Cookie Fruit and Nut BarsOatmeal Cookie Fruit and Nut Bars

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12 Delicious Date Night Dinners

This date night post has been brought to you by Foodie.  All opinions are mine.

date night

Valentine's Day is just a few days away!  While going out to a restaurant with your love is great, the good places are always so crowded on V Day.  Two years ago, we went to a popular restaurant before 5 and there was already a 2 hour wait.  And people were actually waiting!  I couldn't believe it.  Right then I decided that going out to eat was not going to happen on Valentine's Day for a long, long time.  I'd rather maximize my baby-sitting time and having someone watch my kids while I sat and waited to be able to *enter* a restaurant for TWO hours is just insane.  Maybe for dating couples who can sit and stare in each other's eyes and not have any other care int he world, but definitely not for me!  

It's nice just to stay in and enjoy a meal, just the two of us.  Sure there is cooking involved, but cooking is a labor of love for me.  I absolutely love being able to cook something that I know Hubby will enjoy!  I have collected 12 delicious date night dinners, all perfect for a romantic meal on Valentine's Day, or any date night.  

Check out Delicious Date Night Dinners

by Gena at

What is your favorite meal for date night?


Nineteen Hearty Casseroles for Cold Winter Nights

This casseroles post was brought to you by Foodie.  All opinions are mine.

winter casseroles

Check out Nineteen Hearty Casseroles for Cold Winter Nights

by Gena at

Casseroles are not just for church potlucks anymore!  I love casseroles because they can be a great side dish or a whole meal rolled into one.  Casseroles are also great for hiding vegetables in a delicious dish, using leftovers, or for busy week night dinners.  They usually can be prepared ahead of time and sometimes frozen for future meals.  There is no limit to what you can make a casserole out of!  I try to use real food ingredients so the casserole is not just a big dish of junk.  For instance, I try to use homemade cream of mushroom soup if the recipe calls for it, which is pretty simple to make and keep on hand.  Any of these casseroles would look elegant served in a beautiful casserole dish.

I have collected nineteen delicious, hearty casseroles that are great for serving on cold winter nights!  Pick one or pick them all and enjoy!  Add them to a Foodie recipe collection of your own and get a head start on the week's meal planning.


12 Festive Family Beverages – Yummy Non-Alcoholic Drinks For Christmas!

This non-alcoholic drinks post was brought to you by Foodie.  All opinions are mine.12 Festive Family Beverages


Check out 12 Festive Family Beverages

by Gena at

The holiday season is a time for delicious food and family time.  My guys all love the delicious drinks of the season, from hot chocolate to cranberry drinks.  I have made a Foodie collection of 12 tasty drinks to satisfy and intrigue all of your family members this season.  They're all non-alcoholic so even the littles can enjoy them (but it would be easy to add alcohol if that's your wish!)  I have collected these recipes because they're all a bit different, but yet festive and traditional.  Some are served warm, some cold, but all are full of the flavors of the season.  Enjoy!

Save Money by Making Mini Layered Chocolates for Christmas Gifts!

This mini layered chocolates shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TasteTheSeason #CollectiveBias

Mini Layered Chocolates #TasteTheSeason #CollectiveBias #ad

Every Christmas, I like to give homemade gifts to neighbors, teachers, and friends.  I do not like to give the traditional gifts like fruit cake and dipped pretzels, although they are delicious.  I just don't want to risk giving something that they have already received.  I personally love bite sized mini foods, so I thought about making these yummy mini layered chocolates for gifts this year.  I really had a blast making them, as you can individualize each piece and make them all different.  Plus, it is a great way to save money when you need to buy gifts for a lot of people and homemade gifts are always enjoyed!

I was able to pick up all the ingredients that I needed at Walmart on a quick shopping trip.  Everything that I needed was in the baking aisle or on the special holiday endcap.


The ingredients I needed for the chocolate candy were Baker's semi-sweet and German's baking chocolate, Baker's angel flake sweetened coconut, Kraft caramel bits, pretzel sticks, sugar, and I already had the silicon baking mold with the gingerbread men at home.
#TasteTheSeason #CollectiveBias

I wanted to make the coconut more of a "butter" so I put it in the food processor for about five minutes until it had a smoother consistency.  

#TasteTheSeason #CollectiveBias

Then, I followed the directions on the Baker's baking chocolate for melting it in the microwave.  I melted 1 1/2 bars (not squares, but entire bars) of semi-sweet baking chocolate and stirred, then added 1/3 cup of the coconut that I had pureed in the food processor, along with 1/4 cup of sugar and mixed well.  This mix was brownie-ish and oh so yummy!  I spooned about 1/2 – 1 tsp of the mix in each mold and pressed it down.  To harden it a bit, I popped it in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

Mini Layered Chocolates

After that, I melted some Baker's German's sweet chocolate bar and also the caramel bits and just played around with making different layers in the gingerbread boy molds.  I even made some that were just sweet chocolate and caramel, which were definitely the smoothest mini layered chocolates and the Captain's favorites.

#TasteTheSeason #CollectiveBias

I love the variety of the little gingerbread men layered chocolates.  The Captain has a tree nut allergy, or else I would have put some nuts in there, too.  I did make a few with pretzel sticks and those were my absolute favorites.

It was very simple to pop about 5-6 mini layered chocolates in a small Mason jar for a gift!


Ingredients and Supplies needed:

  • Baker's semi-sweet baking chocolate, 2 bars
  • Baker's German's sweet baking chocolate, 1 bar
  • Baker's angel flake sweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • pretzels, nuts, cranberries, and any other add-ins you would like! (optional)
  • silicone molds of choice
  • small mason jars and/or treat boxes for packaging gifts


  1. Pour a half of a bag of Baker's angel flake sweetened coconut into the food processor and run for 5-10 minutes, stopping and stirring every minute or so, until a smoother texture is achieved.
  2. Melt 1 1/2 whole bars of Baker's semi-sweet chocolate in a microwave safe bowl according to package directions.  (Check and stir every 30 seconds until melted.)
  3. Mix coconut "butter" and melted chocolate in a bowl, along with 1/4 cup of sugar until well combined.
  4. When cooled, press 1/2 – 1 tsp of mixture into bottom of silicon molds.
  5. Place molds in refrigerator for about 20 minutes to harden and set. 
  6. Then, add in a layer of crushed pretzels, nuts, cranberries, etc to various molds for variety.
  7. Melt Baker's German's chocolate bar in the microwave, checking and stirring every 30 seconds.
  8. Pour chocolate into various molds.
  9. Melt Kraft caramel bits (watch closely!) and pour in various molds, as well.
  10. If you want to make a layer of German's sweet chocolate on top of the caramel, make sure to refrigerate for 10-20 minutes to firm up before adding in the last layer.
  11. When all molds are filled, refrigerate for an additional 30 minutes and then pop them out and into your mason jars or treat boxes.
  12. Deliver to your recipients and watch their smiles erupt!

Note:  You probably need to advice your recipients to keep the chocolates cool so they won't melt.  You shouldn't need to keep them in the fridge, but that may not be a bad idea.  Also, make sure to note any allergies (dairy, coconut, nuts, etc).


Mini Layered Chocolates #ad #TasteTheSeason #CollectiveBias

What is your go to holiday treat that you enjoy making for gifts?  

If you need more inspiration, visit the Cooking Up Good website. It has recipes, sweepstakes, loyalty programs, coupons and more! What's not to love? If you're looking for a new dinner idea or a chance to win some awesome prizes, be sure to check it out!

Mini layered chocolates

Microwave Cinnamon Apples and Cranberries

This microwave cinnamon apples and cranberries post was brought to you by Moms Meet, May Media Group LLC, who received the product directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meets blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group, LLC or the manufacturer of this product.

Microwave Cinnamon Apples and Cranberries

Whenever the boys need a quick snack, my go to is always fruit.  They love it and it's quick, easy, and healthy.  Sometimes they want more of a dessert, but I don't want to whip up a big batch of cookies.  Microwave cinnamon apples is usually what I make for them, and all three of them devour it!  With the holidays here and cranberries in the stores, I wanted to try out a new spin on our old favorite!  I made microwave cinnamon apples and cranberries, but this time, I used Monk Fruit in the Raw.  

Ingredients for one serving:

  • one apple (I usually use Gala or Fuji)
  • 8-10 cranberries
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 -1 tsp Monk Fruit in the Raw


  1. Peel, core, and cut apple into cubes.
  2. Sprinkle cinnamon and Monk Fruit in the Raw on top of cubed apple and cranberries in a microwave safe bowl.
  3. Cover with a glass plate or microwave safe lid.
  4. Microwave for 3 minutes, or until apples and cranberries are tender.
  5. Serve by itself or with ice cream or homemade coconut whipped cream!

If you haven't tried Monk Fruit in the Raw, I definitely recommend it.  I am against artifcial sweeteners, so I was glad to know that Monk Fruit in the Raw is made from a vine-ripened fruit that is native in Asia.  Monk fruit was first harvested in the 13th century by Arhats, or "Enlightened Ones," which translates to "Monks" in English.  

Monk Fruit in the Raw

Monk Fruit in the Raw is naturally vegan, kosher, and gluten free.  It does not contain any added table sugar, sugar alcohols, or molasses.  Monk Fruit in the Raw has the closest taste to sugar as any non-calori sweetener and has the least amount of aftertaste.  It can be used to replace the sugar in drinks, sauces, and dressings.  For baked goods, it is recommended that you only replace half of the recommended sugar with Monk Fruit in the Raw.

Learn more about Monk Fruit in the Raw and other In The Raw products on their website, Twitter, and Facebook, too!

Microwave Cinnamon Apples and Cranberries


21 Fun, Festive, Flavorful Appetizers – Perfect for Holiday Parties!

This appetizers post has been brought to you by Foodie.  All opinions are mine.

Check out 21 Fun, Festive, Flavorful Appetizers

by Gena at

Fun, Festive, Flavorful Appetizers

The holidays are officially here!  It seems unreal that next week is Thanksgiving, but it's true!  It is definitely one of my favorite holidays because well….the food is delicious!  I am looking forward to the turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, and all the other delicious sides, but also the yummy appetizers to eat before the big meal.

 I have collected 21 fun, festive, flavorful appetizers on Foodie and all would be perfect for snacking while the turkey cooks or those Christmas parties that will be happening soon.  Take a look and pick a few favorites before you head to the grocery store.  These recipes are sure to wow your crowd!

What are you serving this year?

Create A Banana Recipe In The Chiquita Cooking Lab {My Banana Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars Recipe, Too!}

This banana recipe post was brought to you by Chiquita and Moms Meet, May Media LLC.  All opinions are mine and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group, LLC or Chiquita.  #MMLovesChiquita #ChiquitaCookingLab

I never imagined anyone could love bananas so much until I had kids.  Bananas are the perfect snack for kids and adults because they're easy to open, taste delicious, and are jam packed with delicousness!  Baby Brother is in a huge banana phase right now, so we always have Chiquita bananas on hand.

Right now through November 24th, Chiquita is having a recipe contest called the Chiquita Cooking Lab.  Every week, three featured ingredients will be revealed and participants are challenged to create a unique recipe that incorporates these three ingredients.  There is no limit to any additional ingredients, but the recipe MUST include the three ingredients revealed in the Chiquita Cooking Lab!



When I "scratched" to reveal the three ingredients I would be working with…I was pretty happy that I found bananas (of course,) cream cheese, and chocolate chips!   I had all three ingredients on hand, so I started creating the perfect yummy recipe!

Banana Cream Cheese Chocolate ChipsWe love cheesecake, so I knew that was the perfect recipe to create.  I made Banana Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars and they were a hit!

Banana Chocolate Chip Cheesecake BarsIngredients:

  • one ripe Chiquita banana
  • one 8 oz. block of cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tsp vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt 2 TBSP butter in an 8×8 glass dish in oven.
  3. Mix graham cracker crumbs with butter in the dish and press to create a crust, set aside.
  4. Beat cream cheese, banana, and sugar until smooth.
  5. Add in eggs and continue to beat well.
  6. Add in vanilla and chocolate chips and stir well.
  7. Pour cheesecake filling on top of crust.
  8. Bake for 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees or until the top is slightly browned and the entire cheesecake is set.
  9. Let cool and then refrigerate for several hours until chilled. 



The Chiquita Cooking Lab contest will end on November 24th, so make sure and check it out soon!  The ingredients change every week, so scratch to see what you will be cooking with!  One winner will be chosen each week to win a $4,000 cash prize and will have their recipe turned into a stop motion video and promoted on Chiquita's digital and social channels.  Four random winners will also be chosen weekly to receive a Chiquita gift bag.  You can enter a new recipe each week if you wish!  

Good luck and go bananas with your creative recipe!


31 Hearty -Real Food- Soups, Chowders, and Stews

This real food recipe has been brought to you by Foodie.  All opinions are mine.

PicMonkey Collaged

The nights are becoming cooler and that means it's soup season!  I have made a collection of 31 hearty and filling soups, chowders, and stews made with real food!   No condensed soups, processed foods (that you can't omit or substitute,) just real, delicious food ingredients. 

Enjoy finding the perfect recipe for a chilly night. 

Check out Soups

by Gena at

What is your favorite cold weather recipe?