Archive for the ‘Breakfast’ Category

Alpha Bakery Banana Bread

Happy President’s Day! Don’t forget, you still have until Tuesday to enter my Dreamfarm Giveaway! This weekend I actually had some time to bake and watch TV (neither of which I’ve been able to do lately!). For me, that means catching up on Nashville, American Idol, Smash and America’s Test Kitchen :)

Fresh Valentine’s Day flowers make TV watching that much more enjoyable.

Yesterday I FINALLY made it to Trader Joe’s by Bayshore Mall. In addition to stocking up on produce like organic gala apples, kale, spinach, carrots and broccoli, I had to pick up a jar of their Crunchy Cookie Butter. I actually stopped myself from picking up a jar of smooth cookie butter because I figured one jar was enough!

One reason I especially love weekends is that I actually have time to bake for fun. As a kid, I remember learning to bake with Gold Medal Flour’s Alpha Bakery Children’s Cookbook.

Although I only remember us making one recipe, I would constantly flip through the pages because I thought the illustrations made the food look delicious and fun. Because this book meant so much to me, I grabbed in when I rediscovered it from my parent’s house about a year ago. I didn’t want it getting lost or, god forbid, thrown away.

One of the first things I ever remember making with my dad was banana bread. And when I rediscovered cooking and baking in college, this was what I made, loaf upon loaf.

Instead of sticking to our tried and true recipe, I decided to bump up the health factor and make substitutions. I swapped out much of the oil for applesauce, I used white whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose, and I added Navitas Natural Cacao Nibs instead of chocolate chips.


In addition to this healthy banana bread, I’ve also created a version of a guilt-free Whole Wheat Zucchini Banana Bread.

Question: What types of foods did you make as a child? Did you ever have a childhood cookbook?

Baked Oatmeal for a Quick and Easy Breakfast

I could live on baked oatmeal. Seriously. I’ll take it over regular oatmeal or oats in a jar any day of the week.

Although I’ve been making these for breakfast for years, I’ve never even mentioned them until a few days ago in my Icebreaker Indoor Marathon Relay recap.

Brenton’s mom was the first person to introduce me to baked oatmeal. Before then, I didn’t know such a thing existed. The recipe she used was from I’ve adapted it heavily over the years to make it healthier (I cut the sugar in half, substituted the butter and added some fun extras, like flaxseeds and wheat germ).

This dish is perfect for a quick and easy breakfast during the week or a special treat on weekends.  The best part? It’s guaranteed to keep you full until lunch. Feel free to substitute any dried fruit you like. Dried cherries and cranberries are my favorites, but use whatever you have on hand.


Question: What’s your favorite quick and easy breakfast? What’s your favorite way to eat oatmeal?

Friday Things

Happy Friday! Working a full week after a holiday is always though, but I’m glad I’m getting back into the swing of things — hanging out with friends, reading awesome books, working out and being productive!! Here’s a snapshot into what’s been going on lately.

1. Thanks everyone on your suggestions for How to Kill a Sugar Craving. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who has a hard time with this. Yesterday I did pretty good by my standards. I only had one TINY truffle all day.

Last night I met some friends/former co-workers at El Beso in Greenfield, WI (be very jealous, Brittney!) I ordered the enchiladas verdes with rice and beans. My only complaint was I wish there was more verde sauce.

Since I’m well aware that this is very indulgent, I ALWAYS bring food home. That way I feel like I’m satisfied by getting what I want, but I don’t feel guilty because I get two meals out of it. From this picture, I took home 2 enchiladas (out of the three), plus some rice and beans. Brenton is going up to Appleton this weekend, so I’ll be a lone chick with Oliver tonight. I also wanted leftovers so I didn’t have to cook tonight :)

2. I am reading such an awesome book for book club that I need to shout it from the rooftops. A friend recommended “Matched” by Ally Condie as a book similar to “The Hunger Games.” They are in fact very similar. It’s about a society in the future and how the government controls citizens by matching them for procreation to produce optimal offspring.  I’m listening to this one on audiobook. I really love Ally’s voice. Sometimes the production company can kill a good book with the wrong voice, but they made a great choice on this one.

3. For me, weekends are all about relaxing and being productive. I love reading the newspaper on Sunday and drinking coffee while watching “The Sunday Morning Show” on CBS. And yes, I’m still one of those people who subscribes to the newspaper. It makes sense since I write for one!

On the flip side, I love getting errands done, cleaning our apartment, catching up on freelance assignments and taking a class or two at the gym. I’m making this the weekend to put all of our Christmas decorations away. Plus, Sun is having one of her clothing swap parties again! I LOVE these and will make sure to post any fun outfits I receive.

If you have some time to relax, consider making these Apple Butter Pancakes from Laurie. Since I have a few jars of Cranberry Apple Butter leftover from canning this summer, I would definitely substitute that for regular apple butter.



TELL ME: Are you more about relaxing on the weekends or catching up from the week? What book are you reading?

In addition to “Matched,” I’m finally reading “A Million Little Pieces” by James Frey. I know there was so much controversy surrounding this book, but I am keeping an open mind.

Pumpkin Recipe Roundup

As I was trolling though my recipe section, I began to notice something. I use pumpkin, a lot. From breakfast to desserts and dinner, nearly every one of my food categories contains a dish with pumpkin. Since it’s fall and canned pumpkin is everywhere, what better time to do my first recipe roundup?

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Pumpkin Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup

Pumpkin Pie Dip

How to freeze a Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin and Black Bean Chili

Black Bean and Vegetable Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce

Question: Do you like cooking with pumpkin? What do you like to make? Links welcome!

Peanut Butter Special K Bars

When it comes to recipe inspiration, I often head to my own kitchen first. Whether it’s a specific ingredient that needs to be used up (like milk) or a dish I’m itching to use (like my trifle bowl), I’ll often search for a recipe that centers around one tiny detail.

So when Sun invited me to watch “The Hunger Games” at her place, I didn’t know exactly what I would bring, but I knew it would have marshmallows and Special K cereal in it. As it turns out, I also made some homemade peanut butter. And with a little more than a pat of butter, I created by own recipe.



Question: What do you use as inspiration in the kitchen? Blogs? TV shows? Cravings?

Marvelous Monday

Happy Marvelous Monday! Today is especially marvelous because I had a marvelous weekend.

On Saturday morning, I upped the ante yet again and ran a “quick” 9 miles before a massage appointment (I figured I’d book one when I really needed it most).

Pre-run, I fueled up with some whole-wheat zucchini banana bread and homemade lemon curd, a diced peach and some coffee.

I waited about an hour and a half after eating to run and then downed a half package of Powerbar Energy Blasts during the run. All in all, a great run. I’m really curious what my running readers eat before a long run. Feel free to leave a comment!

Afterwards, I had a 60 minute massage in Wauwatosa. I absolutely loved my massage therapist. She was so nice and even gave me back exercises to work on (in addition to kneading a knot out of my quad for 15 minutes – thank god for her!). I just booked another appointment for after the Fox Cities Half Marathon. What’s even better is that she gave me the groupon deal for my next visit so I’m only paying $30 for a 60-minute deep tissue massage. Woo hoo!

After the massage Brenton and I headed to the West Allis farmers market and then Milwaukee Irish Fest. Needless to say, we were pooped.

On Sunday, I had a great time brunching with the ladies at Karis’ house.

Karis, Erica, Lisa and I

Karis put on quite the spread. We enjoyed a Greek yogurt bar with vanilla Chobani yogurt, a vegetable frittata, cinnamon-sugar doughnuts (which now really make me want a doughnut pan),  fried potatoes and cantaloupe. You can check out links to Karis’ recipes on her blog.

Obviously I couldn’t wait to dig into my yogurt parfait.

By the way, I am super jealous of Karis’ container garden. I’ve killed herbs the three times I’ve tried to grow them, and hers are perfect.

In addition, I also finished Emily Giffin’s “Where We Belong.” Like all of her other books, I loved this one too. It’s about an 18-year-old girl who gives her child up for adoption only to have her daughter find her 18 years later. I’ve heard rumors that there will be a sequel and a movie. If this does hit the big screen, I totally see Kate Middleton playing Marian. Maybe she should consider a career in acting….

Although I had a great weekend packed with tons of fun things (and work things), I think sometimes I need to slow down more and really live in the moment (instead of jumping from one thing to the next). Do you have any tips for living in the moment? What are you grateful for today?

Hope your week is off to a good start!

Whole Wheat Zucchini Banana Bread

Happy Friday! This week has crept by at a snail’s pace (probably because I’m excited for all that’s going on this weekend). Tomorrow I’m tacking a 9-mile run before getting a massage (woo hoo!). There’s also Irish Fest, a fun blogger’s brunch and trolling the farmers market (but not necessarily in that order).

If you’re heading to the market, or your garden is overflowing with zucchini, I’m sure you’ll appreciate these recipes. I posted about Potato Carrot Zucchini Pancakes last year and it’s remained one of the top-rated posts on the blog.

And this, my friends, may be the healthiest zucchini bread you’ll find (that still tastes good). It’s a Whole-Wheat Zucchini Banana Bread. Of course I had to smear some homemade lemon curd on top. (BTW, I canned this on July 22. This was the first time I popped open a jar…it worked!).


For best results, store loosely draped with a kitchen towel. Wrapping your bread in plastic or foil will result in gummy texture.

Question: Any fun weekend plans? Favorite zucchini recipes? Feel free to link up!

Welcome to She's on the Run! I'm Alysha, a copywriter and food writer living in Milwaukee. I live to run, write and explore wonderful food - this blog is how I find balance while constantly being on the run. Feel free to reach me at with any questions or comments.
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