Banana & Chocolate Chip Muffins

I just baked these last weekend for teenager daughter’s volleyball tournament and because I actually prepared them the night before as opposed to my usual 4:00 a.m. in the morning, I had time to photograph them, and savor the moment.

Whether it’s horse show weekend, or 4H weekend, or another event where kids are gathered, and you are required to bring sustainability in the form of food, these muffins fit the bill. So, in honor of the upcoming 4H on Parade this weekend at Calgary Stampede, and the early mornings it is sure to bring to parents and kids alike, I’m sharing it with you now.

What’s great about the list of ingredients is that you will probably have it all on hand, and the bonus is it takes about 15 minutes to throw it together.

You’ll need the following ingredients:

2 ripe bananas, mashed

1-1/2 cups of flour

2/3 cup of sugar

1-1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

splash of salt

1/4 cup of butter or margarine melted

1/4 cup milk

1 egg

3/4 to 1 cup of chocolate chips

Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl mix together the melted butter, milk, beaten egg and mashed bananas. Then mix this in with the flour mixture and finally, fold in the chocolate chips. Mix, mix and mix, but try not to over-mix, as that would not be the proper approach with muffins.

Spoon the batter into 12 muffin tins and bake at 350° for 32 minutes. Let them cool, throw them into a Ziploc bag and away you go.

If you’re having these at home they go well with this:


or this:

Sorry, just practicing my food photography. Evidently I’m going to need some instruction in this area. Just trust me on the muffin-fruit salad combo, it’s a winner.

And yes, that is a Bernie Brown cutting board. Every western kitchen should have one. Highly recommended for nostalgic value.

Bon appetite, friends!

Carrie’s Biscuits & Beans

Well the snow is still coming down and it’s definitely not the best outdoor riding weather! Even my dogs stare dubiously outside when I invite them to join me for morning chores. (They’d rather curl up on their respective chairs – old furniture in our downstairs office – and ignore the inclement weather!)

One thing about miserable spring weather however, is that it tends to give people permission to stay indoors and do a few other things… like cook something hearty for supper!

Good friends from Cessford, Alberta, Carrie & Murray Suitor, (well… Carrie to be more specific) introduced us to this delicious, quick supper recipe. It’s great served with a green salad. I’ve also included here, an easy, healthy salad dressing recipe that made the rounds in Arizona this winter… barrel racers, Kirsty White (Big Valley, AB) and Rhonda Shurian (Kelowna, BC) introduced me to the salad dressing recipe.

Biscuits & Beans – Carrie Suitor, Suitor Quarter Horses

1 lb hamburger
salt to taste
1 can pork ‘n beans
¾ cup your favourite barbecue sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 small onion – chopped
1 regular recipe baking powder biscuits (or if you’re in a hurry, one
can refrigerated biscuits)
1 cup shredded cheese

Brown beef. Add salt, beans, barbecue sauce, brown sugar & onion.
Heat until bubbling. Pour into 2 qt casserole dish or 9 x 13 shallow pan.
Top with biscuits. Sprinkle cheese over top. Bake at 375 F for 30 minutes.

Serve Biscuits & Beans with a green salad and your favourite dressing… a quick and easy salad dressing, that keeps well, follows below. For lack of a better name, we’ll call it:

Barrel Racer’s Salad Dressing
1/3 cup quality olive oil
1/3 cup quality balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup real maple syrup
Combine in a glass jar. Shake before serving. Store in fridge.

* If you have a favourite recipe you’d like to share, please send it my way… preferably with a picture, a story as to why it’s your favourite and where you serve it most often.

Let's not go out today...

Tender Ranch-Style Oven Ribs… quick and easy!

Succulent, easy Ranch Style Ribs

One of the things I enjoy in my spare time… (which there is never enough of) is cooking. Especially if friends are coming over. And one of my favourite things to cook is ribs. I have to admit, I’m not a ‘stick to the recipe’ kind of cook. At least not when it comes to main dishes and starters. I’ve learned the hard way, to be a little more careful with desserts and quick breads, but as far as main meals, for better or worse, I use whatever is at hand that might lend itself to the recipe. The downside to this approach (as my husband regularly points out) is that recipes he particularly enjoys never get re-created a second time in exactly the same way.

Tender ‘fall off the bone’ easy ranch style ribs

Beef or pork ribs are easy to prepare, in summer or winter, and tend to be popular with most folks. Here is an easy rib recipe that I’ve made various versions of – both here in Arizona this winter and back at home in Canada as well. I tend to cook ribs more often down south as they’re more available – (particularly beef ribs) and less expensive in the U.S. than they are at home.

5-6 pounds of beef or pork ribs (about 3 kilograms in metric)

Allow 1 to 1 ½ pounds of ribs per person

1 small onion, chopped

1-2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup (fairly strong) brewed coffee (250 milliliters)

1 cup commercial barbecue sauce (250 milliliters)

½ cup brown sugar, honey or maple syrup (125 milliliters)

1 tablespoon Dijon or regular mustard (15 milliliters)

Cut thawed ribs into serving-sized pieces. Place in a stock pot. Add chopped onion and garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with water. Simmer ribs on top of stove for about an hour.


Mix coffee, barbecue cause, brown sugar and mustard in small saucepan. Simmer briefly. Put ribs in roaster or casserole dish. Cover with sauce. Bake in 325 F oven (160 C) for an hour or so (or until very tender).

These are excellent paired with salad and a rice or potato dish.

Serves 4

I tend to double or triple this recipe even if I’m serving only four people the first time around. These ribs re-heat well… and we’re big on leftovers at our house!