Dear Reader – (day 10) Super Health-ified Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Bread

pumpkin bread A 550

Hey! It’s a food day! Yay!

In case you didn’t deduce so much from the title, it’s pumpkin bread – with the fat and sugar dialed down, and the whole grains and protein dialed up.

We’ve got just the eensiest bit of butter in there (by baking standards, anyway), and instead of processed sugar we’re using real maple syrup and molasses (because rumor has it that, as far as sugars go, these two are the healthiest).

So now we can bypass all that godforsaken, processed-pumpkin-everything looming on coffee shop pastry shelves and grocery store convenience isles.

If you’re craving fall in a breakfast/afternoon snack/dessert, I suggest you try this.

The icing is optional, of course, and made with real powdered sugar. There was no way to modify that one and enjoy even remotely similar results. The bread’s perfectly tasty without it – so whether or not you top it with icing is all about how decadent you want to be. And, if you happen to be a gluten-free eater, check the notes section. Something tells me this would work quite well with gluten-free flour too.

Dear Reader – (Day 10) Super Health-ified Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Bread

This quick bread could easily be made gluten free, simply by replacing the white and whole wheat flours with equal amounts of gluten free flour. I used glass loaf pans with this batch, and it worked well. I'm sure, however, that metal will do the trick too. A special note - because there is so little white flour in the recipe, the bread won't plump up as high as a regular quick bread might, but I assure you - even though it comes out fairly flat, and the slices end up rectangular, your pumpkin-loving heart won't be dissappointed!


  • 1/2 cup all-purpose white flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (or ground rolled oats)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour or almond meal
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves or ground allspice
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup plain, 2%fat greek yogurt
  • For the icing
  • about 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons half and half


Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line two 9"x5" loaf pans with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine white flour, wheat flour, oat flour, almond meal, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Stir to combine. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, combine maple syrup, molasses, butter, eggs, and vanilla. MIx until incorporated. Butter will not mix in completely. It's ok.

Add half the dry mixture to the wet mixture. Fold until evenly mixed.

Add in pumpkin and greek yogurt. Mix again until incorporated.

Add in remaining dry mixture and fold until just mixed.

Pour half of the mixture into each loaf pan.

Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes. Test with a toothpick.When it's inserted into the middle of a loaf and comes out with just a few cakey crumbs it's done.

Allow to cool on wire racks, in the loaf pans for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove from loaf pans and carefully remove parchment paper. Allow to cool completely on wire racks.

For the Icing -

You really can eye-ball this one. Add your powdered sugar to a small bowl, then add small amounts of half and half, stirring well each time with a fork or whisk, until you reach the consistency you like. Voila!


Adapted by Sara| Home is Where The Cookies Are, from

Pumpkin Spice Muesli

Pumpkin Spice Muesli|Home is Where The Cookies Are

I am a middle child.

According to the experts, this makes me a peacemaker.

And so I am.

This is my gift to all those out there who are both angered and tempted by pumpkin spiced food offerings in the sweltering hot days of September. (If you live – blessedly – in a climate that’s affording you a cozy long-sleeved shirt at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, carry on with steaming hot lattes, my friends. Enjoy one for me.)

Living where we do, in sub-tropical suburbia, leaves my sentimental soul wanting during the “seasons”; which means I’m usually trying to comfort my heart’s desire for smoky bon fires, crunchy fallen leaves, and apple harvests with some serious head fakes.

I actually tried it, you know. Drinking a hot pumpkin spice latte. (So sue me.)

It just felt wrong –  to sit sipping a burning hot spiced latte while I sweated through my tank top, mopped my brow, and tried to pretend fall was in the midst.

The air doesn’t even smell like autumn yet – and it does sometimes, even here – because leaves do eventually fall (I’ve heard this is more because of the photosynthesis cycle and the shorter days than the actually temperature).

But as far as feeling like fall has arrived?

That’s the full-on head fake.

And that’s where pumpkin spiced muesli comes in.

Pumpkin Spice Muesli, Dry Ingredients|Home is Where The Cookies Are

I will admit unabashedly that I am a newbie to muesli.

It’s always sounded bizarre to me. And I have yet to try any version made with fruit juice instead of milk. I’m not ruling anything out for my future self though – weirder things have happened.

I met muesli face to face about a month ago, here.

It was crazy good. Then all of a sudden – it was supposed to be autumn, I felt the need to dive into the annual head fake, and voila.

Pumpkin Spice Muesli, Wet Ingredients|Home is Where The Cookies Are

Pumpkin Spice Muesli.

Fall flavor. Cold breakfast. Whole goodness.

I’ve eaten it, with gusto, at least 9 mornings out of the last 14.

And guess what?

It’s starting to feel a lot like fall.

Pumpkin Spice Muesli|Home is Where The Cookies Are

Pumpkin Spice Muesli

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Pumpkin Spice Muesli

The perfect breakfast for hot fall days!


    For the dry ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (I used Bob's Redmill Extra Thick)
  • 1/4 cup chopped, raw pecans
  • 2 tablespoons almond slices
  • 2 tablespoons raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 tablespoons wheat germ
  • 2 medjool dates, small diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced candied ginger
  • For the wet ingredients:
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cup(s) reduced fat milk
  • 1 (5.3 oz.) container plain, fat-free, Greek yogurt
  • 4 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3/4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg


Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well with clean hands, working the pieces of dried fruit apart.

Combine wet ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.

To serve, add about a half cup or so of dry ingredients to a bowl and top with wet ingredients (enough to cover dry ingredients - or more. It's up to you). Stir to combine. If desired, allow to sit for a while. If you want, you can put it in the fridge and allow it to soak overnight. Or, you can eat it right away, no soaking required.

To store - keep dry ingredients in an airtight container for several days. For the wet ingredients, transfer to a jar with a lid, and store in the fridge for up to 4 days. Shake well before using.


Sara | Home is Where The Cookies Are

Manchego Chorizo Egg Tart

Manchego Chorizo Egg Tart| Home Is Where The Cookies Are

I need your advice.

What do you do for dates?

I don’t mean Medjool or Deglet Noor, fresh or dried, put them in salad or wrap them with bacon.

I’m talking QT with your main squeeze.

I’ve got a hankering to spice things up. I want to leave The Blacklist and various “Movies On Demand” in our dust and ride off into the sunset to do things new and exciting – or at least new and. . . fun? Weird? Unusual? Silly?

A couple of weeks ago, I got the bee in my bonnet that I wanted to go on a “couples sunset kayak adventure” in the nature preserve.

This, I thought, was a grand romantic idea.

Until I remembered the mosquitos.

And thought about the twelve other people we’d be kayaking with and the more than likely hairy + pungent guide.

And the alligators. Continue reading

Almond Poppy Seed Muffins with Brown Butter Glaze

Almond Poppy Seed Muffins with Brown Butter Glaze

Let me tell you a few things:

1. I’m sitting here in my black (velour? maybe fake velvet. . . ) sweat pants circa 2001 aka, pregnancy numero tres. What can I say? I have a hard time letting go of faves.

2. Oreos now makes MEGA STUF cookies. What?! Continue reading

Let’s talk eggs, ugly pictures, “viral” posts, and people mad about microwaves.

Eggs in the microwave. Done in two minutes.

These, right up there ↑, are microwaved scrambled eggs.

They may be the simplest concoction I’ve ever posted here.

I was flabbergasted by the ease of them. The one dish wonder. The fastness of it all.

I’d never seen it done before I saw the add in a magazine.

I only had mediocre pics to post with it, but I went ahead and posted.

Then Buzzfeed picked it up, and now it is BY FAR, the most visited page on Home is Where the Cookies Are.

It’s my one claim to fame. My one “viral” post.

I can’t decide how I feel about this.

Stirred up eggs zapped in the microwave and sprinkled with cheese. . . .

And an ugly picture to top it off.

It also happens to be the only post that inspires ugly comments.

One commenter screamed the F-word at me (in writing, of course), for sticking eggs in the microwave.

I did not publish that comment.

Just like I tell my kids Folks – you can disagree with me, but it must be done respectfully.

Then we can have a mature discussion about the dangers of eggs in the microwave.

One, on the Buzzfeed feed, pointed out that I burned the toast (and then another commenter corrected them, “No Dude, it’s pumpernickel”. Thank you Random Defender).

Salted Chocolate Toffee Pretzel Bark/ Crack Bark

This is Crack Bark. Long title: Salted Chocolate Toffee Pretzel Bark.

But truly, it should only really be known as Crack Bark.

‘Nuff said.

You should probably make it.

And if you don’t want to shovel the whole thing down your face hole in one sitting, pre-plan who you are going to share it with.

It’s dangerous and intoxicating, and must be kept in mind for when you’re putting together your gift packages this season.

And again, poor, poor ugly pics that don’t do it justice.

Baked Onion Rings

Baked onion rings.

Must I say anything other than what the picture already tells us?

Crispy, delicious, mock-fried onion rings.

For a while, this was the most popular post in these parts.

Every day, I’d know. . . those darn onion rings again.

But I can’t fault popular demand.

The deserved their run of popularity.

Barbecue Baked Beans From Scratch - With bacon, brown sugar, and Magic Spice, these beans are sweet and spicy and always get rave reviews!

Barbecued Baked Beans from Scratch.


No ugly pics.

The photo’s all right.

And it also, is one of the most visited pages.

Again – can’t fault anyone out there for that.

These are just plain good, and it feels good to make them from scratch.

Martha's Pecan Bars - shortbread base layered with a brown sugar/honey caramel and loads of pecansThose right there ↑ are Martha’s (as in Stewart) Pecan Bars.

I happen to love this picture.

But the food sites did not share the same opinion.

Even though – this cookie bar gained some major momentum on other random food-collection sites, and now is one of the most Pinned recipes.

These are deep-sigh, eyeball-rolling, heavenly good.

Criminals certainly know how to whip up dessert.

And they travel well. Holiday potlucks? Yes. Cookie exchanges? Yes. Mailed to Grandparents. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Kool-Aid Scented Play Dough, make your own fruity scented play dough. DIY

This was my first post to ever make it on to Tastespotting.

Don’t eat this Kool-Aid Scented Play-Dough.

It’s not food, but it’s a darn fun way to make play dough.

And it is a fun thing to stuff into stockings.

Why am I all of the sudden talking about Christmas so much??

Oh. Right.

It’s NOVEMBER already!!!!

What the???!!!

I gotta go.

I need to get my holiday organization on.

Bacon, Mushroom & Kale Frittata With Oven Dried Tomatoes

Bacon, Mushroom and Kale fritatta, paleo, Whole30 compliant, onions, oven dried tomatoes

I’m not gonna lie.

I’m kind of in a hurry today, so let’s get down to business.

This frittata?

Pretty much awesome. Continue reading

The Quickest Way to a Healthy Breakfast Smoothie

The healthy breakfast smoothie shortcut. Complete with simple recipe.

I know talking about smoothies right now, since it is currently so autumn, is a bit like talking about all-day beef stew in the smouldering heat of summer.

Faux pas.

But let’s be real here.

For some of us, namely the us in the Southern US, it’s still reaching the high 80’s every day. Continue reading

Chai Spiced Breakfast Bundt

Last week was full of things I wasn’t expecting. . .

. . . a dry spice mix I was confident would be amazing, and it sooo wasn’t.

. . . our internet router blitzing out on us so we were out of cyber-world contact unless we plugged in old-school, dial-up style. . . which was just not happening for me with a 3 foot cord plugged into the top of the TV.

. . . kids home sick from school. . . again and again and again and again. . . . Continue reading