Grilled Doughnuts with Strawberry Basil Dip #BBQWeek

Guys, this is going to be my dessert of the summer. Ridiculously easy and so good, these are the perfect dessert for a barbecue.

Grilled Donuts 1

My kids pretty much dove into this. I mean, warm, sticky doughnuts with a cool strawberry-basil dip – what’s not to love?

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Honey Beer Bread

Beer bread has become of one my go-tos. Minimal ingredients make this quick bread a winner.

Honey Beer Bread 1

And even though I’m not a fan of beer itself, I think it tastes awesome – and so do the kids.

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Apple & Honey Overnight Oats

How is everyone doing on their new year’s resolutions? Going strong? Already struggling? Mine are a bit of a mixed bag, but one that I’m nailing so far this year are healthy breakfasts.

apple honey oats 3

I’m happy with healthy options at breakfast, but if I don’t plan ahead, I’m more likely to just grab a slice of toast or a bowl of cereal. So, one of my goals for the year is to keep planning ahead. When I saw that this month’s #ImprovChallenge was Oats and Honey, I knew overnight oats would be on the menu.

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Apple Cinnamon Baklava #appleweek

This post is sponsored in conjunction with AppleWeek . I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the AppleWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

Baklava has been on my baking bucket list for so, so long. It’s one of those dishes that I love to get when we’re out, but I always assumed it would be hard to make. I was wrong. A little time consuming? Maybe. But not hard.

This version is fall-perfect with apple chunks in the layers and apple cider in the syrup.


I used apples from #appleweek sponsor Envy Apples in these. This was my first experience with Envy, but they’re definitely an apple that I’ll seek out now. They’re perfectly delicious eaten on their own, but they were also fantastic to bake with. Every recipe I’ve posted this week using apples has been made with Envy Apples!

Here they hold the flavor and crunch perfectly so you get undeniably apple bites in the middle of this baklava.

Since Envy Apples is one of our sponsors, they’re also offering up a fabulous prize for our #appleweek giveway – a $60 Visa giftcard and a shipment of apples! You can enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway


Apple Cinnamon Baklava
(adapted from Yummy Crumble)
Makes 1 9×13″ pan

2 cups chopped walnuts
1 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 large apple, peeled and chopped
1 package frozen phyllo dough, thawed
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup honey
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
½ cup apple cider
Dash ground ginger
Dash ground cloves
Dash ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread out the chopped nuts on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes, until fragrant. Transfer the nuts to a food processor along with the brown sugar and 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Pulse a few times until the nuts are chopped medium-fine and sugar is well incorporated. Set aside.

Unroll the phyllo dough on the counter and cover with a damp tea towel to prevent it from drying out.

Using a pastry brush, brush a 9×13″ baking pan with melted butter. Lay two sheets of dough in the pan, and brush with butter. Lay two more sheets of dough over and brush with butter. Lay another two sheets over and brush with butter. (You’ll have 6 sheets total.)

Spread 1/3 of the nut mixture layer over the dough. Spread half of the apple over.

Lay two sheets of dough on top of the apple- nut mixture and brush with butter. Lay two more sheets of dough over and brush with butter. Lay another two sheets over and brush with butter.

Spread 1/3 of the nut mixture layer over the dough.

Lay two sheets of dough on top of the nut mixture and brush with butter. Lay two more sheets of dough over and brush with butter. Lay another two sheets over and brush with butter.

Spread 1/3 of the nut mixture layer over the dough. Spread half of the apple over.

Lay two sheets of dough on top of the apple- nut mixture and brush with butter. Lay two more sheets of dough over and brush with butter. Lay another two sheets over and brush with butter.

Using a sharp knife, cut into slices in a diagonal pattern.

Bake for 45 minutes, until golden.

While it bakes, combine the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until it’s reduced to half.

When the baklava is baked, pour half of the syrup over. Let it sit for about 15 minutes, then pour some more over until fully absorbed.

Fresh Corn Salsa (11)

Here are Friday’s Recipes, full of apple goodness:


Disclaimer: Thank you AppleWeek Sponsors: Swiss Diamond, Nordic Ware, Envy Apples, Imperial Sugar, The Spice House, Rodelle Vanilla, Flahavan’s Irish Oats and Nairn’s  for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for AppleWeek  recipes. All opinions are my own. The AppleWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Seven (7) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The AppleWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the AppleWeek posts or entry.

Cranberry Honey Banana Bread #RecipeMakeover

Disclosure: I received products from Barlean’s free as part of #RecipeMakeover week. All opinions are my own.

While I’m pretty decent at whipping up a healthy dinner when need be, my baking projects are decidedly different.  Tackling a makeover of one of my most-frequently-baked items – banana bread – seemed like the perfect challenge.


As I was working on this recipe, I turned to products from #RecipeMakeover sponsor, Barlean’s. Their Butter Flavored Coconut Oil can be subbed 1:1 for butter – so that was a great place to start. Roasting the bananas brought out some more natural sugars, and using Barlean’s Digestive Blend punched up the flavor while adding some good-for-you stuff to the bread (it’s a mix of ground flaxseed, chia seed, quinoa, unsweetened shredded coconut, and a pumpkin blend that is remeniscint of pumpkin spice!) My added sweetener here was a local cranberry honey (fun fact: New Jersey is the 3rd biggest cranberry producing state in the US!) – I Iiked the flavor it added, but if you don’t have this available any honey would be great in this recipe.

The result? A banana bread that was really good – and much better for you than my usual go-to loaf.


Cranberry Honey Banana Bread
(a Kate’s Recipe Box original)
Makes 1 loaf

4 medium bananas
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup Barlean’s Digestive Blend
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of ginger
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup melted Barlean’s Butter Flavored Coconut Oil
1/2 cup Cranberry Honey (or regular honey)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Line  a baking sheet with foil. Prick the banana peels with a fork, place them on the baking sheet, and roast for 15 minutes. Remove to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, Barlean’s Digestive Blend, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, Barlean’s Butter Flavored Coconut Oil, and honey until well combined. Mash bananas and add to the wet ingredients – stir until well combined.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until the everything is just moistened.

Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Strawberry Basil Pancakes #RecipeMakeover

I love pancakes. And my toddler has inherited that love. They used to be something I only made occasionally – on a lazy weekend morning or special occasion – but with Jake requesting them they’ve been in the rotation much more frequently. And, of course, my favorite recipe includes a heavy dose of sugar – and then I slather them in syrup.

Perfect candidate for a recipe makeover!

Instead of sugar, this version is packed with protein – eggs and Greek yogurt make these a great, filling option for the morning. Instead of being slathered with syrup, they’re topped with a compote of fresh strawberries and basil – and just a little honey.

The result is a fresh, filling breakfast that satisfies the pancake cravings in a much healthier fashion.


Strawberry Basil Pancakes
(adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)
Serves 4

3 cups sliced strawberries
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup plain Greek yogurt

In a bowl, combine strawberries and honey. Let sit for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries start to give up their juice. Stir in the basil just before serving.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, combine the eggs and yogurt. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry until all moistened.

Drop batter by 2 Tbsp. heaps into a lightly-greased frying pan and spread out a bit. Cook until the edges are dry and flip, cooking an additional minute or so.

Serve pancakes warm, topped with the strawberry basil compote.