Saoked Apple Cinnamon Muffins


I woke to a gentle rain this morning! As the weather cools I like to resume my baking that gets put aside for the majority of the hot months. There is nothing like the warm smell of cinnamon wafting around the house, tickling your nose. It makes me feel cozy and want to curl up with a good book!

As fall settles in apples start to ripen on the trees begging to be picked and made into all sorts of delights! Picking apples is a fun autumn activity with children. I still remember climbing up the apple tree at my parents house to help with the harvest. We used to pick bushels of them until the tree died. We used them to make apple cider, apple sauce and apple butter.

Join me at Traditional Cooking School to learn to make Saoked Apple Cinnamon Muffins!

Nourishing Homemade Chick-fil-A Sauce

Nourishing Homemade Chick-fil-A Sauce-

Ah, Chick-fil-A, there’s nothing like it right? I love having a stash of my homemade strips in the freezer when the craving hits. I kind of feel like I left you hanging with sharing my nourishing homemade “Chick-fil-A” strips and nuggets with you but not sharing the sauce. Okay, I didn’t kind of leave you hanging, I did leave you hanging, like a carrot in front of a donkey. ;)

If you are a fan of the sauce then it was worth the wait. This homemade version is about 1000 times better for you. It is also super tasty too. While I wasn’t impressed with the ingredient list I was happy to find how many things on there I had at home that I could modify to my own taste and health preference.

If you make the strips (or nuggets) in big batches to keep in the freezer you can literally have dinner on the table in less than 20 minutes. All you have to do is warm the chicken in the freezer, pull out some carrot sticks and whip up this sauce. If you keep homemade fries in the freezer you are a better person than me. That would really make this an awesome meal!

You’ll notice that the sauce calls for mayo, mustard and barbeque sauce. I do make my own mayo but I haven’t perfected my mustard or barbeque sauce. If you have more power to you! Maybe you can share your recipes with me?

Nourishing Homemade Chick-fil-A Sauce
  • ½ cup homemade mayo
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 2 tsp barbecue sauce
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp ground paprika
  • ¼ tsp powdered garlic
  1. Place all the ingredients in a jar. Mix with an immersion blender until fully incorporated. You could also you a blender.

Dreams Do Come True- Nourishing Chick-fil-A At Home

This post is part of Pennywise Platter,

Easy Homemade Rosemary Focaccia Bread

Easy Homemade Rosemary Focaccia Bread-

I love focaccia bread! There is no way around it. It is so incredibly good. I still remember the days when my mom used to bring fluffy tomato slathered focaccia home from Costco. We would gobble it up like there was no tomorrow. Somehow I doubt that I would still have the same desire to eat that exact one again, in retrospect part of me wonders if it was tomatoes sauce at all…

Somewhere in my early 20s I decided that I wanted to learn to make my own focaccia bread. I pulled my trust joy of cooking and figured out how to make a batch for 50 plus people. That’s what you do when you live at a boarding school right? Needless to say, it was awesome! ;) Soon I became hooked on making it anytime it was my turn to make Sunday lunch. I would drizzle it with my stash of olive oil and thinly sliced onions. Yum, so good!

Somehow over the years I stopped making it. I tinkered around with different sourdough versions here and there but never perfected it. One day I found myself cooking Sunday lunch again last with two of my girls, Lesly and Karen. We were making butternut squash pasta sauce.

I really wanted bread so I decided to whip up a quick “focaccia” It didn’t have the traditional souring time but worked for what we needed. With a little sea salt, local olive oil and rosemary it turned out fantastic! Everyone was begging for seconds, we even had someone suggest that we start selling it to the winner next door. I felt like I had too much on my plate so I never went through with it.  (On a side note we really should have gone for it since we could have had people like the daughter of Mexico’s president eating our bread, oh well…)

While this may not be a traditional focaccia bread I tend to think that this cheaters rosemary focaccia bread is pretty great, so do about 60 other kids and adults. It also ended up in the book I wrote for my girls. I hope you enjoy it as well!

Cheaters Rosemary Foccasia Bread
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 5 cups flour
  • 1 ¾ cup warm water
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 TBS yeast
  • 1 TBS sugar
  • ¼ cup chopped rosemary
  • 6 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. Mix the flour, salt and rosemary in a large bowel.
  2. In a small bowel mix the yeast, sugar and warm water. Stir and allow to rise for 5 minutes or until poofy. Add to the flour.
  3. Add the garlic and ½ cup olive oil and mix.
  4. Once mixed add the knead for 5 minutes.
  5. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise for one hour in a warm place.
  6. Pour the rest of the olive oil into a baking pan. Punch down the dough and stretch out in the pan so that it touched the edges.
  7. Poke holes in the dough, sprinkle with coarse salt.
  8. Cover and rise for 30 minutes.
  9. Bake at 425 for 20-30 minutes until light brown.

Have you had focaccia bread before? What is your favourite kind?

Nourishing Homemade Chick-fil-A Strips and Nuggets

Nourishing Homemade Chick-fil-A Strips and Nuggets-

Chick-fil-A, it’s the cheat food that many real food bloggers confess to eating, me being one of them. There is something about their juicy chicken inclosed in a savory and crunchy batter. Yum, I get hungry just thinking about it. If you hadn’t already guessed, I love Chick-fil-A! They have great customer service, it’s clean, I admire their reasoning for closing on Sundays, my cousins worked there and the chicken is just plain tasty.

Even though I indulge in it here and there when I’m out with my family I know that it’s not what my body needs to be eating. Since I only have it a handful of times a year I don’t feel too guilty about it. That being said, still not healthy.

Nourishing Homemade Chick-fil-A Nuggets

The thing is I want to indulge far too often. Thankfully for me my budget rarely allows me too. Until this summer I lived over two hours (plus and country and  aboarder wait) away from the closest Chick-fil-A. Even now I am about 30 minutes away so it isn’t really an issue. The issue is that I love the flavor and crave it. How did I solve that problem? By making my own of course, what else would I do. ;)

Making your own Chick-fil-A inspired treats isn’t as hard as you would think. You most likely have everything you need in your own kitchen just waiting to tantalize your taste buds! It’s rumored that Chick-fil-A uses pickle juice in to brine their chicken. I don’t know if it’s actually true but I went for it. Why not? After making my old-fashioned dill pickles I have brine to spare plus I think it helps the chicken retain it’s natural juice. If you decide to leave it out increase the milk by 1/2 cup and add 1 tsp of salt when brining.

It took quite a few attempts to get the flavors I was looking for but now I am quite happy with the results. Does it taste 100% the same? No, but I am very happy with the results. Don’t forget to come back on Wednesday for my version of their “sauce”.

Okay, I’ll stop dragging it out and share the recipe. That’s why you’re here after all, right?

Nourishing Homemade Chick-fil-A Strips and Nuggets
The Brine
  • 2 lbs chicken
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ cup pickle juice
  • 2 eggs
The Dredging
  • 2 cups sprouted hard white wheat flour (or unbleached white flour)
  • 2 TBS sucanat
  • 4 tsp unrefined salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 4 cups of unrefined (flavorless) coconut oil, lard or palm shortening
  1. Cut the chicken into thin strips, about 2 inches long and ½ inch wide.
  2. Whisk the milk, pickle juice and eggs in a medium sized glass container.
  3. Place the chicken in the brine.
  4. Cover and place in the fridge for 1 to -5 hours.
  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a shallow flat dish about inch thick.
  2. Dip each chicken strip or nugget into the flour mixture. Be sure to completely cover the chicken.
  1. Heat the fat in a medium size cast iron skillet (or another heavy pan) on medium.
  2. Place up to 8 strips (20 nuggets) in the oil at a time. Cook the strips for about 3 minutes on each side. For the nuggets cook for 1 or 2 minutes on each side.
  3. You want the chicken to be golden brown.
  4. Remove the heat and place on a plate/tray that is lined with an old flour sack towel or paper towels.
  5. Repeat the process until all the chicken is fried.


Dreams Do Come True- Nourishing Chick-fil-A At Home

Vanilla Caramel Latte

Vanilla Caramel Latte-

Rich coffee mingling with creamy vanilla and caramel. This simple vanilla caramel latte is the perfect dessert after a meal or savoured over the table with a good friend. It’s also perfect paired with a pumpkin scone.

I love how simple a it is to make many “fancy” coffee drinks in our own homes. It allows us to make treats we enjoy but curb the spending habit. I know that if I didn’t prioritize eating real foods and spending my money and time wisely I could easily find myself getting drinks like this at the coffee shop all the time.

For this vanilla caramel latte I used homemade vanilla extract and homemade caramel sauce. They are both easy to make and last for a long time. It’s great pulling vanilla off the shelf or caramel out of the fridge, using them for whatever I have in mind to make. You can also buy them at the store, just be sure to look for quality products that have a very short ingredient list sans things like corn syrup and caramel color.

Vanilla Caramel Latte
  • 1 cup raw milk
  • ½ cup strong coffee
  • 2 TBS caramel sauce
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract
  • 5-10 stevia drops if desired
  • Extra caramel for drizzling on top
  1. Pour the milk and caramel sauce into a sauce pot. Stir until the caramel dissolves. Simmer on low until hot.
  2. Once hot, remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  3. Pour the hot coffee into a mug.
  4. Use a whisk or milk frother to forth the milk.
  5. Add the milk to the mug. Top with caramel sauce.

 What is your favourite latte?