Thursday, February 4, 2016

First Communion Meal Ideas

There is so much preparation that happens before a child's First Holy Communion. Here is what I put together for food that may inspire you! For the rest of the plan - check out my blog post on Homegrown Catholics: First Communion Ideas

This was our healthy, Paleo meal at our second child's reception.

Grilled Brats, Mashed Potatoes, Sauerkraut, buns, etc
Stanley 1st Communion
Veggie Tray, pickles, mints
Stanley 1st Communion
Broccoli-Cauliflower Salad
Stanley 1st Communion
Drinks were coffee, juice, water, and drink pouches.
Stanley 1st Communion

Click these to see our dessert!
First Communion Chalice Gelatin


First Communion Cupcake Rosary




Cinnamon Bread & Grapes


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Pancake Muffins

Ever since I found this recipe on Pinterest, it’s been my go to breakfast and snack option. It’s that good and easy! I use it so often, it’s magnet clipped to my microwave for quick reference.

I must first give credit to Family Fresh Meals for the original recipe. Corey, this really is a Mom’s dream come true. Even our children get involved making this. My husband likes it, because he’s terrible at making regular pancakes. I am posting this not only to make sure everyone hears about it, but to share my adaptations.

We are a gluten-free family, so I start with Wild Roots’ Gluten Free Ancient Grain Pancake & Waffle Mix we found at Costco. We also use Kirkland’s Organic Maple Syrup found at Costco. Yes, Costco is my go-to place for our groceries. Buying in Bulk is true “family size” for us.



2 C. Pancake Mix

2/3 C Milk

2 Eggs

1/2 C Maple Syrup


Preheat oven to 350*. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Optional add-ins below**.

Scoop Dough (heaping Tbsp) into silicone muffin cups or liners. Makes 24.

Bake 350* for 15 minutes. Cool and eat plain or with syrup/butter/cream cheese.

These can be cooled and put in fridge for 3-4 days, or freeze for a quick grab later. They can be thawed or microwaved.


**OPTIONAL ADD-INS – This is my favorite part!

Let the kids help pick their add-ins. You can fill all the muffin cups with the batter and add in these ingredients for a wide variety, or mix one option into the batter before scooping it into cups. The measurements are to mix into the entire batch.

CRANBERRY COCONUT: 1 C Cranberries, 1/4 C Unsweetened Coconut, 1 Tbsp Cinnamon, 1 tsp Vanilla Extract. (Orange zest would be nummy too)

APPLE CINNAMON: 1 Diced Apple, 2 Tbsp Cinnamon. Optional put a caramel square in each.

CORN DOGS: The ancient grain mix with syrup is reminiscent of corn bread. Mix in 1/2 C Corn Kernels, then add a Hot Dog Piece to each cup.

SNIKERDOODLE: 3 Tbsp Cinnamon in batter, sprinkle Cinnamon & Sugar on top.

PORK & CHEESE: 1 C Cooked Bacon Pieces or Ground Sausage, 1/4-1/2 C Shredded Cheese, 1 tsp Salt (opt)

BLUEBERRY CINNAMON: 1 C Fresh or Frozen Blueberries, and optional 1 Tbsp Cinnamon, 1/4 C Shredded Coconut

CHOCOLATE CHIP: 1 C Chocolate Chips, 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract (opt)

BANANA BREAD: 1 Ripe Banana, 1 Tbsp Cinnamon

PUMPKIN RAISIN BREAD:  1/4 C Pumpkin Puree, 3/4 C Raisins, 1 tsp Pumpkin Spice. Don’t forget the cream cheese spread later!




*Caramel Squares

*Other chips, such as butterscotch, choc mint, white chocolate, etc.

*Venison Sausage

*Dried Fruit

I’ve read others have used Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Pancake Mix and other name brand mixes with great success. If you don’t have pancake mix, you can make your own using this basic recipe:

2 C flour, 4 Tbsp sugar, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt

Friday, February 27, 2015

Gluten Free Cinnamon Cereal Bars or Granola

Pumpkin seed Currant Rice Cereal Bars - Granola


I really enjoyed trying a new recipe for making rice cereal bars that used almond butter and honey in place of marshmallows and butter. The kids ate them up! We cut them into cubes and made it a Minecraft-inspired afternoon treat.

Choc Almond Butter Krispie Bars

Then attempting to make a second batch, I decided to add some other items from my cupboards. It turned out to be reminiscent of a healthy version of our favorite Cinnamon Chex or Cinnamon Toast Crunch - which we no longer eat. It was so good, I thought it worth the time to share the recipe!

Eat it pressed as bars (perhaps smothered in a thin layer of melted chocolate, or let it crumble and add Almond or Coconut Milk at breakfast or snack time!



Makes a 9x13 pan full

  • 1 cup creamy almond butter*
  • 2/3 cup honey**
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 4 cups rice square cereal
  • 1 cup Pumpkin Seeds (small, organic)
  • 1/2 cup Currants (or raisins)
  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon


  1. In a pot over medium heat, add almond butter, honey, and vanilla, stirring until the almond butter is melted and fully combined with the honey.
  2. Remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients, stirring well until everything is fully combined.
  3. Pour into prepared 9x13 pan (opt lined with wax paper or foil, or greased) and use a spatula or your hands to distribute the mixture evenly, pressing down firmly to ensure that the mixture is tightly packed.
  4. Place pan into fridge and allow to cool for 30 minutes before cutting into squares/bars. Best kept cold in fridge or it falls apart.

NOTE: If you want this to be a crumbly granola, it can be broken up and put into bowls and cooled instead of into the pan.


* Any nut butter will work. Or use soy nut butter for a nut-free version.
** Sub in brown rice syrup to make these vegan. Maple syrup and agave will not work because they're not thick enough.

Banana Cinnamon Pancakes

Banana Cinnamon Pancakes

We really wanted to try those Banana+Egg only pancakes. Wow, was that a Pinterest Fail for us. They were thin, burning, lacking in flavor, and just NOT a pancake.

Banana Cinnamon Pancakes

So I made a Pinterest "Fix" and added a few typical pancake ingredients to save the batch. Of course they were simply scrumptious, like a piece of flat french toast. mmmmm  While they look like I added blueberries, and that sounds delish, they are actually food coloring purple for a Friday in Lent meal. They are high in protein, but have that fruit base for a complete meal.

Banana Cinnamon Pancakes

INGREDIENTS (serves 6-8)

5 Ripe Bananas

6 Eggs

2 tsp Cinnamon

1 Tbsp Sugar (optional or substitute)

1 tsp Baking Soda

1/3 C Gluten Free Flour (Namaste)

1/4 C Almond Milk



Mix in Blender or Food Processor. Ladle onto lightly greased (coconut oil), non-stick skillet. Cook first side until bubbles appear on top. Flip and cook 1-2 more minutes.

Serve with Pure Maple Syrup or other favorite topping!


Banana Cinnamon Pancakes


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