Espresso Buttercream Banana-Filled Cake

Espresso buttercream banana filled layer cake

This is a quick post in response to all the requests for the recipe in the Coffee Laughs & Giggles Facebook group I belong to. I posted “Husbands” birthday cake last night and within minutes I had recipe requests. I’ve never had so many recipe requests!

Espresso buttercream banana filled layer cake
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Brown-Butter Holiday Fruity Chipper Cookies

Brown Butter Chocolate Chippers

It’s Holiday Cookie Swap Contest time!
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Copycat J. Alexanders Carrot Cake Recipe (Reduced Sugar)

Frosted individually plated warm carrot cake

If you are looking to use up the last zucchini from the garden or looking for a copycat version for J. Alexander’s Carrot Cake, this recipe is a winner! It has less sugar than most recipe versions I’ve found online, and I add shredded zucchini and Greek yogurt!

Copycat J Alexander’s Carrot Cake with Zucchini

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Easy Fried Rice Recipe | A great recipe to use up all that produce from the garden!

Vegetable and Egg Fried Rice

Are you looking for another recipe to use up all the produce from the garden? (While it lasts?) Well, this recipe is great for weeknight cooking AND using up garden goodies! I’m no nutritionist, but this recipe also has to be healthier than takeout! I turn the recipe into Lo Mein also by swapping out the rice for noodles!

Vegetable Fried Rice

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Smokey, Sweet & Spicy Salmon

Smoky Spicy Salmon Sunday Glaze

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you already know that we have salmon Sunday’s nearly every single week! You also know that my Sweet & Spicy Sunday Salmon Glaze is my go to recipe!

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Pear Infused White Balsamic Glazed Onions

I’ve posted photos of these onions on Instagram a few times and people seem to love it! If you’ve read other recipes and posts of mine, you’ll know that Alessi Pear Infused White Balsamic Vinegar is my all-time favorite! It’s an ingredient I picked up from cooking in my MIL’s kitchen when they had the lake house up in Michigan. I miss it so much. She always had a bottle or two in the pantry. It’s like regular balsamic but sweeter and a bit milder, with a kiss of pear flavor. If Alessi ever stops making this, I’ll have to infuse my own white balsamic!

Update: I can’t find Pear Infused White Balsamic Vinegar so now Alessi Raspberry Blush White Balsamic Vinegar is my new favorite!

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Best Chicken Wing’s Ever! From Instant Pot to Oven/Grill to Table in Under an Hour!

Quick post for you today! I posted this in an Instant Pot group on Facebook and want to share it with everyone here too.

Instant Pot Chicken Wings

If you have never had chicken wings in the Instant Pot head to your butcher shop #Milosmeats is the best in Toledo) and get some! I cooked about two pounds. We get them with drummies, wings and tips all attached.

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Website woes

Squash Baklava

Please forgive any malfunctioning menus. I’m working out some issues with my plugins.

Thank you!

Here’s a photo of baklava I made using my stuffed acorn squash filling to distract you from my broken menus.

Ascanio’s Chocolate Chip & Cherry Brown-Butter Cookies.

Breakfast Cookies

{Chocolate Chip & Cherry Brown-Butter Breakfast Cookies}

Actually, these cookies are good at any time of the day, but with added oats and breakfast cereal and, uh fruit, I think these make a marvelous breakfast cookie and they go great with dark roast coffee. 😉

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Copycat Panera Four-Cheese Baked Egg Soufflés

Copycat Panera Four Cheese Soufflé

Did you see my post on Instagram with my version of copycat Panera Soufflés? They were so good and I was able to continue my tradition of having a super fast (socially distanced) breakfast break with my niece before work. It’s a new week so I made a new batch for tomorrow morning.

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Who all is reading to get through this quarantine?

Reading Ilona Andrews

For those of you reading your way through this, I want to share a special ebook from some of my all-time favorite authors! It’s a special edition eBook collection of three of the Innkeeper Chronicles by Ilona Andrews. Instead of putting it on the book sites for free, they have it priced at $.99 for a limited time with all proceeds going to the COVID-19 Response fund CPD Center for Disaster Philanthropy. (Link posted below)

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What to Cook When the Grocery Stores are Out of…

Sliced no knead olive skillet bread

I went to the store last week for a few things. You know, the usual, peanut butter, half & half, a gallon of water (for my cubicle at work for making coffee) and quinoa. I came home from the store with ONE of those things, peanut butter! All those other aisles were pretty much empty. There was sparkling water, and some of the pricy electrolyte water in bottles. Other than that, not much there! I remember the water crisis of 2014 here in Toledo and not being able to buy water because the shelves were empty, but I’ve never seen entire isles cleared out of food or paper products. I didn’t go down every aisle, and they weren’t wiped completely out of all food items, but it was slim pickings!

I know we’ll all probably need to get creative with what we have during this coronavirus crisis, so I wanted to put together a quick list of easy recipes for you. Lots of these are made from leftovers, a few ingredients or even scraps! Some quick and easy, some will use up leftovers, but all are delicious!

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Grain Bowls & One of the Funniest “Food” Blog Posts Ever!

Grain Bowl with Garlic Expressions

I’ve been told several times to try a grain bowl from Panera. I like Panera for lattes, breakfast soufflés, and pastries, but lunch? No thank you. But I was intrigued by the Mediterranean grain bowl. I haven’t had one yet, but I did some searching on Pinterest. I saw a grain bowl with blueberries and quinoa that looked amazing so I looked in my fridge and threw everything I had (well, not everything) in a bowl and voilà, a “grain bowl” was born!

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Have you ever heard of Sopa Tarasca? Do you cook your own black beans from dried beans? Do you like bacon?

Sopa Tarasca

Silly question! Everyone likes BACON right?

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Family Recipes! It’s Time for Granny’s Tuna Cakes!

Granny's Tuna Cakes

Many of my recipes are inspired by meals I remember having at my grandmother’s house, that my Mom made or recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation through my husband’s family. I’m excited to bring you a new page and category called “Family Recipes.” I’ll share recipes inspired by childhood memories, or family favorites, old and new!

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Cheesy Cheesy Poofs, Magic & Macaroons!

Brazilian Cheese Bun

Did I mention I LOVE food novels? One of my favorite series is the Magical Bakery Mysteries by Bailey Cates Cattrell. The main character, Katie, moves to Savannah to open a bakery with her aunt and uncle. She notices her aunt putting mysterious ingredients into her recipes and whispering over them. Katie discovers her aunt is magically enhancing the pastries! She discovers her aunt is a witch, and she is too! They form a book club where they meet in the bakery after work with their fellow witches and practice spells. I promise you’ll love reading about the special herbs she and her aunt add to the recipes to help their customers, and you’ll wish the Honeybee Bakery was right around the corner!

Brazilian Cheese Bread, Cheese Pull!
Just LOOK at that CHEESE-PULL!
Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pão de Queijo)
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Instant Pot Greek Chickpea Soup, with Lemon & Oregano

I MUST share this recipe for Instant Pot Greek Chickpea Soup with Lemon & Oregano with you! It’s so good!

I’m so excited that it’s Soup Season!!
Creamy rich chickpea soup with olive oil and oregano
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Salmon Sunday on FoodieBook Friday?! | Sweet and Spicy Sriracha Salmon Sunday Glaze

It’s about time I posted my tried-&-true Sweet & Spicy Salmon Sunday Glaze Recipe! I’m posting this on Friday so you can pick up some nice thick salmon, sriracha and/or gochujang, sesame oil and soy sauce for this weekend!

Salmon Sunday

For my very first attempt at cooking salmon, I used this recipe I saw Chef Michael Salmon… um SYMON, Chef Michael Symon make on The Chew. I sooo loved and miss The Chew. Anyhoo, either he suggested using hot Chinese mustard and honey on the episode, or somewhere on The Chew is a recipe where he or someones else used hot Chinese mustard. (or I made it up?)

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Back-to-Our-Roots Soup | The Year of Soup ~Howard Reiss

The Year of Soup Howard Reiss, reading the book.

This post was originally published in May, but I wanted to update it and combine it with the soup recipe post for Suicide Prevention Month. I started this blog in January 2019, and in the nine months of the existence of this blog, this post, “The Year of Soup” is still my top liked post by viewers. I felt that it needed to be updated and re-posted for you.

BeThe1To help them connect
Help connect others to a support system.
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I Heard it’s National Churro Day!

Sweet potato churros

It’s National Churro Day so if you’re looking for a fun, nutritional (ahem, cough, cough) churro recipe, try these Sweet Potato Churros! I originally posted about them on a FoodiEbook Friday, back in April when I had finished reading some Barbara O’Neal and Hailey Edwards books. They BOTH had delicious sounding churros in them. Here are the recipes I adapted my Sweet Potato Churros with Caramel and Chocolate Sauce from. I used this recipe, halved, and swapped butternut squash with sweet potatoes (Butternut Churros) and this recipe halved, for Easy Caramel Sauce.

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No-Knead Olive Skillet Bread

No Knead Olive Skillet Bread

This FoodieBook Friday is a revisit to last weeks Pecan & Cherry Stuffed Squash post. I’ve had several requests to post the full No-Knead Olive Skillet Bread recipe. It’s an amazingly moist, easy to make, garlicky, yeasty, salty, olivey treat!

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This bread is reminiscent of focaccia bread. It’s chewy and kind of like a thick pizza dough. Next time, I might try substituting olives with roasted peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, and garlic!

I found this recipe on Food in Books blog and adapted it slightly by increasing the flour to four cups, adding more delicious olives and a tad less garlic and salt.

No Knead Olive Skillet Bread

No-Knead Olive Skillet Bread

This crusty, garlicky, yeasty olive bread is super easy and ready to eat in about 2½ hours!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 2 hrs 40 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 35 mins
Course Appetizer, bread, Breakfast, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American, Italian, Mediterranean
Servings 12
Calories 177 kcal


  • 2 cup water Luke warm
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (one packet)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt I used pink himalayan.
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tbsp granulated garlic (Lawry's Granulated Garlic with Parsley is the best!) Make it a hefty 1/2 tablespoon.
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves I used fresh thyme.
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cup pitted, sliced olives Sliced brined olives such as an Italian olive mix, and/or Kalamata olives.


  • Add 2 cups lukewarm water to a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the yeast packet, or 2¼ tsp of yeast, and stir well.
  • Add 1 cup flour and the salt and stir well.
  • Add the garlic powder and sliced olives and stir. (Save a few pretty slices to garnish the top before baking) Feel free to add some herbs, like a tbsp of fresh oregano or chopped rosemary.
  • Add another cup of flour and stir.
  • One at a time, add the remaining two cups of flour, stirring well between each addition.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and place a tea towel over it. Place it somewhere warm to rest and rise for 1 hour.
    Olive skillet bread, covered to rise
  • After the dough has rested an hour, oil the bottom and sides of a 10” cast iron skillet with 1/2 tbsp olive oil.
  • Pour the dough into the skillet using your fingers to pull it out of the bottom of the bowl. It will be sticky!
  • Lightly oil your fingers and press the dough around gently to even it out.
    Olive bread rising in cast iron skillet
  • Preheat your oven to 425° F.
  • Cover skillet loosely with plastic wrap. Let it proof (or rise) for an additional 30 minutes. I spread some olive oil on the wrap to keep it from sticking to the top of the dough.
  • Sprinkle the top with the herbs, and add some pretty olive slices if you want to make it pretty! (A drizzle of olive oil and some flaky sea salt sprinkled on the top looks lovely too!)
    Olive Skillet Bread, after second rise
  • Bake for 30 minutes and check to see if it's golden brown on top. If not, give it a few more minutes until it's golden brown.
  • Remove skillet from the oven and place on a large, heavy rack or trivet to cool down enough to remove from the pan.
  • After several minutes, place a large plate over the top of the bread. Using potholders, place one hand on top of the plate, and use the other hand to flip it upside down so it's upside down on top of the plate. Now place a cookie rack on top of the bread and flip it upside down again and remove the plate.
  • Allow it to cool for at least half an hour. Try and give it time to cool to room temperature before cutting into it. If you cut into it too soon, the steam will release and you will end up with a dry loaf, and it'll be gummy when you try and cut it.


  • I’ve supplemented with plain black olives. As long as you have some salty olives, the bread will turn out fabulous!
  • When I first made this bread, I wasn’t sure how much flour to use, so I used about 3¼ cups. It was very, very moist! I increased it to 4 cups of flour for a less fragile, slightly higher loaf.
  • I like to slice a large round of bread like this by cutting it in half once. Then cut the half into shorter slices.
  • I took it to dinner at my Sisters-in-law and it served 8 easily with plenty of leftovers!
  • This makes amazing sandwiches if it makes it to leftovers.
  • I found this recipe on Food in Books blog and adapted it slightly. Food In Books Venessa blogs about, well, you guessed it, food in books, and posts the best book reviews along with beautiful photos as she cooks dishes inspired by her reading.


Calories: 177kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 5gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 524mgPotassium: 62mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 55IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 16mgIron: 2.1mg
Keyword crusty bread, garlic, no knead, no knead bread, olive, olive bread, skillet
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Cilantro Lime Shrimp

Cilantro Lime Shrimp Skillet
Cilantro Lime Shrimp Skillet with a kick of Jalapeno!

If you love shrimp and especially love shrimp with a little pizazz, you will add this to your weekly rotation! I made it once and my husband has requested it once a week since. My go to shrimp recipes are shrimp fajita and shrimp scampi, but this one is our new favorite. It serves up best the night of, but packs up for a dinner work shift meal just fine. I get a little heavy handed with the panko, because who doesn’t love a crunchy topping?! I have served it over crusty toasted bread, over rice and alone – no matter what I serve it with, it’s a winner.

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Cilantro Lime Shrimp Skillet with a Kick of Jalapeno!

Cilantro Lime Shrimp Skillet
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5 from 1 vote

Cilantro Lime Shrimp Skillet

Tired of Shrimp Scampi? Looking for a shrimp recipe with some zing?!
Here it is!
This one pan dish cooks up quickly so have your sides ready to go! We like to serve this spooned over toasted bread slices rubbed with a garlic glove.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 People
Calories: 133kcal
Author: ebookfoodie


  • cast iron pan or heavy ovensafe pan, or a sheet pan with sides will work


  • 1 lb Medium to large shrimp Raw, cleaned.
  • 1 Whole lime & the zest I use this microplane zester. I have had to sub lemon and orange zest and the result was almost as delicious!
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil Plus a little to oil the pan. I have crushed red pepper infused olive oil.
  • tbsp Butter Melted. Avoiding butter? Just use more olive oil.
  • 1/2 cup Panko
  • 2 Jalapeños Like it hot? Add extra jalapeño or dIce some more jalapeño into the crumb topping! I’ve added poblano when I was out of jalapeños.
  • 1 bunch Cilantro Don't like Cilantro? Just use Parsley. Scallions would also be nice.
  • 1 clove Garlic Love garlic? Use two cloves


  • Preheat the oven to 475°. I like to wash my shrimp by placing it in a bowl of ice water and about 1/2 tsp of salt for a few minutes, then rinse and pat dry.
  • Zest the lime and slice in half. Slice one lime half into six wedges. *Reserve four wedges for garnish.
  • Peel, crush and finely dice the garlic.
  • Wash and dry the jalapeños and slice into thin rounds. 
  • Wash, pat dry and coarsely chop the cilantro. You should have about 1/3 cup. Remove the long, woody stems, but the thin stems at the top are fine. *Reserve 1 tbsp for garnish.
    Cilantro lime shrimp ingredients
  • To a medium bowl add the cleaned and patted dry shrimp.
  • Add garlic, ½ of the lime zest and ½ the cilantro to the shrimp.
  • Add 1 tbsp olive oil and ½ tbsp melted butter to the bowl with the shrimp.
    Marinate shrimp with zest lime garlic butter
  • Squeeze juice from the lime half and two wedges over the shrimp, mix and allow it to marinate for a just a few minutes while you prepare the pan and topping.

Prepare the Panko Topping for Baking on the Shrimp. (Scroll down for instructions for serving leftover)

  • Add the panko, 2 tbsp melted butter, cilantro and remaining lime zest to a bowl and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste.
    Panko cilantro topping

Prepare the Skillet

  • Lightly oil the bottom of a cast iron skillet and line with jalapeno slices. (You can dice any remaining jalapeno and add to the panko topping!) I used a #8 Lodge Cast Iron skillet.
    Jalapeños lining the cast iron skillet
  • Place the shrimp in a flat, single layer on top of the jalapenos, and pour the marinade over the top. (Overcrowding the pan will cause them to be a little soggy, but still delicious!)
    Shrimp on jalapeno slices covered with cilantro lime marinade
  • Spoon panko topping over the shrimp and add a drizzle of olive oil over the top.  (If you are serving a portion of the dish as leftovers, set aside some of the panko topping.)
  • Bake the shrimp skillet in the preheated 475° oven for about seven to ten minutes, or until shrimp are pink. If you're not sure, remove one and cut it in half after seven minutes. If it is cooked, it will be pink and slightly white in the center.
    Panko topping on cilantro lime shrimp skillet

To Prepare Panko Topping to Serve Leftover

  • Brown panko and butter in a skillet over medium-high heat until lightly toasted. Mix in the cilantro and zest and set aside. When cool, place toppings in zip-top or small containers to top the shrimp later!


I tend to overcrowd the skillet. For crispier topping and even cooking, allow for a little space between the shrimp.
This dish is best fresh from the oven, however, it’s still delicious leftover! When I need to send it with Husband for dinner during his work shift, I brown some of the panko and send it on the side.
The shrimp can be served as is, or I recommend it served on toasted crusty bread rubbed with garlic or over rice or quinoa!
I love cilantro and I love shrimp. A local restaurant chain serves a cilantro shrimp dish and I had been craving it, HARD! I searched the web for recipes and adapted my recipe from this amazing blog, Gimme Some Oven. It’s certainly delicious too. I like the little kick of spice I get with the jalapeno!


Calories: 133kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 119mg | Potassium: 65mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 420IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg

Cilantro lime shrimp with Hope’s Rustic Corn
Served on garlic-rubbed toasted bread with Hope’s Rustic Corn. (Click the image above for my rustic corn recipe.)

Quick & Easy 4 Ingredient Salmon Cakes

Salmon cakes
Super easy & quick salmon cakes.

Eating on a budget and turning one meal into two can be delicious!
Last night we had sriracha-glazed salmon for dinner that I baked in the oven. (#SalmonSunday) We ended up with about 7 ounces leftover, so I put it in a baggie in the fridge for salmon cakes for tonight! I use a similar recipe to my grans tuna cakes and they are simple, crispy and delicious!

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Virtual Holiday Cookie Swap Contest

I’m looking for all of my competitive friends for a fun little holiday cookie swap contest! I’d love to get 10-20 recipes!

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Hello Fellow Veggie Lovers! Looking for a New Idea for Using up all Those Zucchinis & Eggplants!?

Grilled garden eggplant, tomatoes and zucchini layered for a no noodle lasagna

I have a super secret ingredient that you will love!

My super secret ingredient is something I call LIQUID GOLD! Imagine, olive oil with herbs and spices marinating in it! …and some people are just throwing it away! Can you believe it!

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