Posts Categorized: Recipes we ❤

bubby fran’s famous banana cake

This is my Bubby Fran with Lily.

This is Lily, BC (before celiac), chillin’ with my Bubby Fran.


They had a lot of fun together.

Bubby had a way with babies. After five kids and 10 grandkids, she was a real natural.


They be chillin.

When it came to her role as great grandmother, Fran never phoned it in. She approached baking in the same way. You could taste the love in her cakes.


This is Bub's banana chocolate chip cake.

This is Bub’s famous banana chocolate chip cake—gluten-free style!


You might be thinking, “gluten-free banana cake, a dime a dozen.” Google it, and 9,990,000 recipes pop up on your screen.

Not this banana cake, oh no. I’ve perfected a gluten-free version of my Bubby Fran’s famous banana chocolate chip cake. It’s super moist (even on day two!) and full of flavour, with the same taste and texture as my Bub’s cake. Fresh out of the oven, you would NEVER know it’s gluten free (be careful not to devour the entire thing). Not only have my dad, aunts and uncle come back for seconds, they’ve also given me permission to share this beloved, slightly tweaked family recipe with you.

For the gluten-free makeover, I follow Fran’s recipe to a T, substituting either Cup 4 Cup Gluten-Free Flour or Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Flour, depending on what’s in the cupboard. (If it’s the Bob’s Red Mill, I use xantham gum as well). It might also work with other gluten-free flour blends but I’ve only tried it with these so far. The other key difference is I don’t bake it for as long as the original recipe called for.

It may not be the healthiest banana cake recipe around, and I’m not claiming it is. There are plenty of those out there—go ahead, just google it. But this is my Bubby’s banana chocolate chip cake, gluten-free style. And Lily gets to enjoy it, the same banana cake that I grew up on. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Note: You can attempt to make this cake healthier by using low-fat sour cream instead of full fat, or coconut sugar instead of regular white sugar, but Fran would frown on this. And, trust me, your cake won’t taste as delicious. Besides, can’t a girl have her gluten-free cake and eat it too? more…

summer salads & selfies


Cornucopia = fresh corn niblets + feta cheese + paprika


Gusto 101 kale salad knockoff:

Lemony Kale Salad = kale + pine nuts + pecorino + currants + vinaigrette


Both of these salads are like a fresh burst of summer (click here for the full Lemony Kale Salad recipe). They would be delicious anywhere but are especially so at a cottage (isn’t everything?).

Last week I got out of Dodge with my three nearest and dearest childhood girlfriends and headed up north for three peaceful days to a cottage by the lake. Here’s what happened, in the words of my bestie Bonnie: “Other than running, we did everything we wanted and then some. We ate, laughed, cried, danced, partied, ate some more, rested, laughed some more, perfected the fine art of selfies, and reaffirmed our deep and sustaining lifelong friendship.”


We practiced the fine art of selfies.

We practiced the fine art of selfies.


The photo above was taken after a few glasses of this bubbly pink concoction.

The photo above was taken after a few glasses of this bubbly pink concoction.


It wasn’t all so soulful. Happy hour began quite early (it was 5 o’clock somewhere!). We played Cards Against Humanity, a hilarious “party game for horrible people” that I highly recommend for some serious side-splitting laughs. And we took a quick trip to Target, where I bought this gorgeous woven tote!


My Target find.

My Target find.


But I digress: Seeing as the The Ex opens this week in Toronto, symbolizing the approach of the end of summer, I suggest that you savour these salads with a cold glass of Prosecco…stat!


best. kale salad. ever.

Begin with the currants.

First come the currants. Place them in a small bowl and cover with 2 tbsp white wine vinegar (apple cider vinegar works too). Set aside.


Toast pine nuts.

Toast the pine nuts. Keep an eye on them because they brown pretty quickly.


Make vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine 1 tsp white wine vinegar, lemon juice, honey, lemon rind, olive oil and salt. Whisk.

Make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine 1 tsp white wine vinegar, lemon juice and rind, honey, olive oil and salt. Whisk.


Add the kale

Lay several leaves of kale on top of each other and cut crosswise into thin ribbons. Place in a large bowl.



Add vinaigrette, pine nuts and currants (including any vinegar left over from soaking) to the kale and toss to combine. Let sit for at least 20 minutes at room temp, tossing occasionally. The longer you let the kale macerate (become softened by soaking), the better.


Take a nice sharp piece of pecorino cheese and cut into shavings.

Take a nice sharp hunk of pecorino, cut into shavings and sprinkle on top of salad.



This salad has it all: sweet, lemony, savoury and green.


Lemony Kale Salad ingredients
(recipe inspired by Gusto 101 and adapted from Fresh Ness)

2 tbsp dried currants
2 tbsp + 1 tsp white wine vinegar (apple cider vinegar also does the trick)
1 bunch lacinate kale, centre ribs and stems removed, washed and dried
3 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
Pecorino cheese shavings

After being blown away by the Cavolo Nero at Gusto 101, I vowed to learn how to make this kale salad at home. And eat it every night. And I did, for a while. Then came this video of Gusto 101 chef Daniel Mezzolo sharing tips for how to perfect his coveted Cavolo Nero. And now I vow to move to Italy.

homemade gluten-free granola

It's 10:02 pm and I'm sitting here eating a bowl of homemade granola with almond milk and wild blueberries. I am addicted to this granola.

It’s 10:02 pm and I’m sitting here eating a bowl of homemade granola with almond milk and wild blueberries. I am so addicted to this sh** it’s not funny.


Gluten-Free Granola

4 cups pure uncontaminated oats (we use Only Oats)
1/2 cup chia seeds
1 cup pumpkin seed kernels
1 cup chopped raw almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seed kernels
3/4 cup raw honey
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. In a saucepan on the stove, melt together honey, coconut oil, cinnamon and vanilla, stirring occasionally, until combined. Pour honey mixture over oat mixture and stir to coat. Spread out oat mixture on a cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Let cool and add raisins and coconut.

I fantasize about adding mini chocolate chips but that would put this granola on a slippery slope.


Happy hostess gift.

Sharing is caring. Jars of homemade granola make a groovy hostess gift.



Thanks to Mia Brown from Good. Clean. Food. for sharing this recipe with us!