Banana Chocolate Chip Snack Bars

It’s autumn in the U.S., and zucchini abounds in gardens, grocery stores, and recipes…  especially snack recipes: zucchini bread, cake, muffins, fritters… the list goes on and on.

But here in Philippines, it’s just typhoon season, and zucchinis are imported and expensive.  So we’re gonna have to make our snack food out of something else.

Banana chocolate chip snack bars

Enter the humble banana: always plentiful, always delicious, and always cheap- the local ones, anyway.  I learned early during my stay in the tropics that there is more than one variety of banana!  In addition to the American Cavendish that I grew up with, I am now privy to several other varieties, including our hardy and local favourite, the “Lacatan.”  These bananas take their time ripening and have a strong, sweet banana flavor.  When they eventually do go brown on the counter (after about a week or more,) they are perfect for mashing and baking up with oats and chocolate chips….

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Blackberry and Blueberry Pie

Blackberry & blueberry pie

Can we please have one last fling with the berries??

Summer (vacation) is almost over, and I haven’t yet made a berry pie.  Usually I make blackberry pie when Mark arrives in the States for his 2-week holiday, but this year I was obsessed with peaches at the time of his arrival, so we welcomed him with a single-crust peach pie instead.  I think I made the mistake of calling it “cobbler” rather than “pie”… thus perhaps taking it down a tiny notch in my family’s culinary estimation.  There is no question that they LOVE my pie, but…

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The Volcano Cake


Lest you think I spend all my time making homemade almond milk and chickpea patties, I wanted to show you what I’ve been up to my eyeballs in this weekend.  THE VOLCANO CAKE.

Tommy had his “early” birthday party on Saturday (his birthday is not until July) to celebrate with his mates before school lets out and everyone goes home for summer.  For most kids, the summer birthday must be pure bliss- no school or homework, time to sleep in, friends around to celebrate with… But for the ex-pat kid, having a summer birthday can bring the loneliness of saying goodbye (maybe forever) to good friends, as we all depart our host countries for the holidays.  To get around this, each of my kids winds up having a couple of celebrations in order to catch both friends and family.  I’m sure if I aged my children a year for each party they had, they would not only be legal, but probably older than me!

But back to the cake……

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Banana Oat Cookies


Have you ever prepared for or anticipated something for so long that in the end, nothing can do it justice?

That’s kind of how I feel about this first blog post.

I’ve been planning IT, the BLOG, for an embarrassingly long time. Like 2 years.  Or 3, I can’t remember.  Part of my hold-up was that I know less about computers and on-line stuff than my 13-year-old daughter.  And part of it is that once you put yourself out there, you’re out there… vulnerable!  But then I reminded myselfthat probably only my aunts and 5 other people would actually read my first post, and that made me feel better enough to write it.

I resisted the urge to …

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