PB & J protein balls


During my son’s baseball season, one of the parents used to make protein balls for his family and I kept telling myself I need to make some.  Healthy ingredients, kid- approved, no bake….what’s not to love?  So here is the recipe I used:

This recipe will make about 25 depending on the size of the balls.  Just mix all the ingredients together, form the balls and I like to store in the fridge but you can also store in the freezer.  Once you start making these you will be adding and/ or substituting your own ingredients.  It is so adaptable to what you have on hand.


  • 4 cups of oats
  • 1 cup of flax (I used powdered flax)
  • 2 Tablespoons chia seed
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup chocolate chips


Sweet and Sour Pork Ribs

Whenever I visit my family in Alaska there is always a list of food that we know will be made during our visit.  Sweet and Sour Ribs is one of those. It seems to be a popular dish amongst the native/ Filipino community.  In fact, my ANS cookbook (Alaska Native Sisterhood) has 6 recipes for various sweet and sour dishes!

I have had this dish on every trip to Alaska, yet never made it at my own home.  I have helped my Non on several occasions Soooo ….taking what she taught me, reading those 6 recipes from ANS and my own ideas this recipe was developed.

I used boneless country style ribs but you can use bone-in also.


  • Boneless country style pork ribs  (feel free to use bone in)
  • 2 T Olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 T minced garlic
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 T cornstarch
  • 1-1/4 C water
  • 1/2 C apple cider vinegar
  • 1-1/2 C tomato sauce
  • 3 T soy sauce
  • 1 can (20 0z) pineapple chucks (including liquid)
  • 1 green pepper, cut same size as pineapple chunks
  • 3 stalks of celery, cut same size as above
  • Rice
  1. Cut the pork into chunks and cook in pan with olive oil, onions, and garlic until pork is browned and about half way cooked.   **Note:  I would use a dutch oven next time.boneless ribs.JPG
  2. Mix together in a bowl the brown sugar, sugar, salt and corn starch.  You may need more cornstarch to get thickness you want in the sauce.
  3. At this time if you are not using a Dutch oven you will why.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pork,  including your brown sugar mixture. sweet and sour ribs.JPG
  5. Cook / simmer until pork is cooked through.  If needed you can thicken sauce with more cornstarch. Do not add cornstarch directly your dish.  Put some of the liquid into  a separate dish, add the cornstarch and mix- then add back to your dish.  If you are using a dutch oven you would place in the oven to cook.
  6. Serve over rice. DSC_0561


Milk with your Tea?

A photo inspired this article.  I meant to save that photo but apparently I forgot.  It came across my twitter or pinterest and was called Milk Tea.  Done by a food photographer, it depicted milk/cream being poured into a cup of tea from a creamer.  It was beautifully taken and I am sorry I can’t give the photographer credit for inspiring me.

This is not the photo, but I needed one so thank you http://www.teaclass.com

milk tea

It never occurred to me that some people would never even consider adding milk or creamer to their tea.  Whenever I had tea or saw people having tea it was always served with a creamer containing milk or cream.  Interestingly, it appears this is common amongst the English and guess what?  My grandparents are from England.  So for all those people who laughed at me or gave me that curious look–I was following my heritage.  It should be mentioned that this tradition has been credited to France in various sources stating that Madame de la Sahliere liked her tea with milk.

But the next question lies in why?  Why add milk to tea?  Here are some explanations I have found and a little history.

Some sources state tea sets were made from Porcelain which could easily crack with the pouring of hot tea directly into the delicate cups.  The milk would be added first to temper it. I do admit antique tea sets are rather delicate, but tea back then was steeped before pouring into the cups.  Tea bags were not “invented” and pouring boiling water into a cup like today was not done.  Of course, I am not willing to sacrifice an antique tea cup to test if it will crack with hot tea or boiling water.  The addition of milk was also common to cut the bitterness of the black tea.  Today with all the new flavors I can see that the addition of milk wouldn’t be necessary.  That being said I do like milk or cream in my Earl Grey.  Typically, you would not add milk to white or oolong teas.

The addition of milk before or after the tea also has some history.  It is stated that how you add the milk was a status indicator. Tea was not readily available the way it is today.  Milk on the other hand was cheap and on hand.  Those who were considered a higher social standing and could afford the teas would add a little bit of milk after the tea was in the cup. The less fortunate would put the milk into the cup then add a little tea.

I prefer to add my milk after–not because of my social standing but I do like the “art” of the swirls and colors in the tea.  Also, by adding after you can try the tea so know how much to add.  A strong black tea may taste better with more milk than another.  A funny thought- with coffee I add creamer to my cup first.  The reason:  so I don’t have to stir.  The adding of the coffee mixes it for me.

So all that being said…….it all depends on TASTE and PREFERENCE.

Milk, Cream, Honey, or Sugar……….




Grapenut Pudding

New Englanders know Grapenut Pudding.  I was amazed when I moved out of New England that people did not know or ever had this custardy dessert.  My Nana used to make this all the time and we always had grapenuts in the pantry.  I prefer this dessert warm with homemade whip cream but I know people who prefer it cold.   I will have to update and add a picture  later as last night I just dug in and forgot to take a picture.

You can bake in individual serving vessels or as in one dish.  I usually use an 8 x 8 glass baking dish.

You will find slight variations on the internet for this simple but tasty dessert.  Below is my grandmother’s recipe.  I recommend doubling it to make a nice thick layer in the 8 x 8 baking dish.

  1. Beat 2 eggs
  2. Add 1/2 Cup sugar, pinch of salt, 1/3 Cup (heaping) of grapenuts
  3. Beat above together.
  4. Add 2 cups milk, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
  5. Beat all together again
  6. Pour into baking dish.
  7. Put baking dish in pan of water and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour.

Yes it is that easy!!!!!  It should be slightly jiggly when you remove it (remember it is a custard).  Let it cool a bit or a lot, your preference.  Top with whip cream or vanilla ice cream sprinkled with cinnamon or nutmeg…..oh my!  And sometimes I add nutmeg to my mix too…sorry nana…got it make my own.

Now if you start reading other variations you will find some say to scald the milk and soak the grapenuts in the milk for 5 minutes.  I did find a version like that from my grandmother too.  I have made this both ways and they both turn out delicious.  If you do scald the milk make sure you temper the egg mixture when adding the milk.

What is tempering???   If you add the scalded milk all at once to the egg mixture you end up with scrambled eggs–not what you want. Add about 3 Tablespoons of your milk to your egg mixture to slowly raise the temperature of the egg mixture without cooking it before adding the rest.

Since Post Cereal has added grapenut flakes to their product line I want to make sure you all know it is not the flakes but the original grapenuts…those little nuggets of delicious.  I would also like to add that I believe whole milk is best when making this dessert but I have used lowfat.  It is not as rich but still works.