Clean Eating Made Yummy: Apple Banana Breakfast Muffins Recipe

So, when stuff feels heavy, when life is stressful, when I’m grumpy, when I’m overwhelmed, when I feel out of control, I cook.  More specifically I throw myself into my kitchen and I “recipe test kitchen” for hours.  

If you’ve read the past few posts, or if you know us in “real life” then you’ll understand that I have got SO MANY new recipes to share!  (read: Life at the moment makes a tornado look like $.25 pony ride)

Don’t get me wrong, I have other habits in place to deal with all of the everything going on.  My time with Jesus & my workouts – aka: the source of the “Happy Mommy” endorphines are key players in my sanity.  In fact, they are in general non-negotiables for me, but when things are rough, they become essential to breathing.

Anyways, I’ve been in the kitchen a ton lately and of course, that means I’m taking pictures and sharing the beauty that is good food.  It also means that I’m being bombarded with recipe requests!

And if you know me even a tiny bit then you’ll know I LOVE TO SHARE WHAT I KNOW! 

It makes me excited to share knowledge, to see someone use one of my recipes or make it their own.  It fills a spot for me to be able to create good food and to teach people that healthy eating, that gluten free eating (if you need it) is YUMMY! 

Making wise choices, allowing yourself treats, eating clean and finding balance are all key players in living a healthy life.  Actually, they’re foundational parts of ENJOYING the life you’re living and thriving!

So, here I am, at the beginning of sharing 4 (maybe 7) new recipes I’ve been working on. 

These guys came on a morning I was up a little extra early – like 4:30am and I wanted the house to smell like love for the girls to wake up to.  I had “lunch box bananas” – you know the ones.  They’ve been put into a kid’s lunch box and returned home so many times, they have bruises like they’d been the pad-less player in a football game.  And I had applesauce.  

I wanted something that would be filling for the tummies, but not sugar overload (there IS sugar in my recipes.  A little is OK guys, as long as it’s real sugar).  I needed something that would pair well with Greek yogurt or with eggs and so, these guys were born.

I threw stuff in the bowl, I mixed ’em up by hand because at 4:30am you can bet I did NOT want to wake up the kids and voila here they are.  ps. It’s peaceful at that time of day.  I like peaceful.  I recommend just once you get up then and bake.  You’ll like peaceful too!

Apple Banana Breakfast Muffins
Serves 12
A yummy, hearty part of a good breakfast. These muffins pair really well with some Greek Yogurt or scrambled eggs to make for a well rounded breakfast.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. 1 3/4 Cup of Oat Flour (you can easily make your own by putting oats into a blender or coffee grinder)
  2. 1/2 Cup Quick Oats
  3. 1/3 Cup Rolled Oats
  4. 1 tsp Baking Powder
  5. 1/4 tsp Salt
  6. 1/2 tsp heaping Cinnamon, ground
  7. 1 Cup of Mashed, ripe bananas (approx 3 medium bananas)
  8. 1/2 Cup of Applesauce
  9. 1/3 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
  10. 1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
  11. 2 Large Eggs
  1. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Line 12 Muffin tins with muffin liners
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together, banana, applesauce, both sugars & eggs
  4. Sift flour, baking soda, salt & cinnamon into wet mixture. Stir to blend
  5. Add in quick & rolled oats
  6. Stir to combine. Evenly divide mixture between muffin tins
  7. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until muffins appear cooked and spring back when you lightly press the top
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool 2 minutes, then remove to cooling rack or eat!
  1. If you require this to be a Gluten Free recipe please be sure to use gluten free oats & oat flour.
  2. This recipe will also bake quite well as a loaf and would require between 45 - 60 minutes to bake. Follow the above noted rules to be certain it's done.
Our Family Stone

Chia Honey Oat Granola Bars Recipe (Gluten Free)

You know what isn’t my favourite?  Buying things I can make.  You know what else isn’t my favourite?  Trying to buy things for my family and discovering that all the things I’m trying to buy contain crap.  You know crap right?  It’s Chemical. Riddled. Alarming. Products (acronyms make me happy).  And finally, when I do find something that is safe (ish) I then don’t love the $4 million dollar price tag that’s attached to a box of 4. 

I mean really – does it cost you that much to eliminate all the garbage?!  I mean, how many people do you have to pay to NOT put CRAP into our food?!

Anyways *sigh*, with it being back to school season and the continuation of packing lunches I’ve been on the hunt for new things to add for the girls.  We pack lunches year round because in the summer the girls come with me to work, but something about the back to school season makes me want to kick up my game a notch.

Chia Honey Oat Granola Bar (Gluten Free)

Today, after a really long trip to the grocery store I came home with bags of ingredients and a mission.  If they can’t provide it, I’m gonna make it – it’s how I generally roll.  

With all that’s going on right now, the convenience of just buying it done would be nice but I just can’t put garbage into my kids, not without feeling like a failure anyways.


So, out came the mixing bowls, the ingredients and a recipe.  Which I read, rolled my eyes at and put away.  I’d just make it up as I went along, like I usually do.  I have a base idea of what to put in it, so…here we go.

Audrey decided to help and within minutes we had food all over my clean floor** some delicious granola bars hitting the oven and a Banana Apple Oat Bread waiting its turn (Leave a COMMENT if you want that recipe too!).

The result was a beautiful pan of Chia Honey Oat Granola bars that smell delicious.  They’re crunchy and reminiscent of the Nature’s Path Granola bars I loved as a kid.

I even put a very thin (we’re talking a nearly see through smear) of melted dark/milk chocolate on top of some of the bars.  This instantly turns them into a “treat” for the girls.

School lunch conundrum solved for another week.  Now, to start thinking about next week…this planners gotta plan!

What healthy/treat type snacks do YOU put in your kids lunches?

Chia Honey Oat Granola Bar (Gluten Free)
Yields 12
A delicious homemade granola bar for school lunches or snacks. Can be topped with a TINY bit of chocolate to up the yummy anti!
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  1. 1 Cup Rolled Oats, gluten free (if needed)
  2. 1/2 Cup Quick Oats, gluten free (if needed)
  3. 1/2 Cup Brown rice Crisps Cereal, gluten free (if needed)
  4. 3 TBSP Ground Golden Flax seed (can sub regular ground flax)
  5. 3 tsp of Chia Seeds
  6. 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  7. 1/8 tsp Salt
  8. 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  9. 1/4 Cup of Honey
  10. 2 TBSP Coconut Oil (can sub butter or Rice Bran Oil but these do NOT hold together as well with other oils)
  11. 1/4 Cup of chocolate chips
  12. 3 tsp of Brown Sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Line an 8x8 cake pan with parchment paper
  3. In a medium bowl combine oats, rice krispies, ground flax, chia seeds, baking soda and salt
  4. In a microwave safe bowl combine honey, brown sugar and coconut oil, microwave for 1 minute or until mixture bubbles
  5. Add vanilla to hot liquid mixture & combine with dry ingredients
  6. Pour mixture into baking sheet and press down firmly!!! I place a piece of wax paper on top and use a heavy mug to press these down
  7. Bake for 15-22 minutes or until dark golden brown on top
  8. Remove from oven and immediately press down again - BE CAREFUL IT'S HOT (use same method as above
  9. Let cool 20 minutes then remove from pan and cut into 12 pieces
  1. Once completely cool, melt chocolate in microwave and spread thinly on top of your bars.
Our Family Stone
** It is not wise to invite a child into the kitchen to help you bake AFTER you’ve just cleaned your floors. Within 2 minutes my floor was covered with ground nuts and coconut because her container went flying. It was an accident but oh man…the mess!**

Healthier Gluten Free “Doritos” Recipe – 21 Day Fix Approved!

Healthier Gluten Free-Doritos- Recipe
Corey and the kids love them some Doritos.  Heck, when I was able to eat them, before my corn allergy got so bad, I loved me some Doritos.  They’re cheesy, and crunchy and yummy.

The problem is, they are also chemical filled, deep fried, death in a bag.

Ok, so maybe they aren’t actually death in a bag, but they offer absolutely ZERO benefit to your daily life.  As a once in a while treat, I will let my family have them but we are talking once maybe twice a year because I truly hate what’s in them.  Some of those ingredients are linked to some horrible life side effects/diseases**.

Now, I’m always trying to create new recipes to provide my family with their favourite treats & snacks in a healthier way.  I love to play around, experiment and then find something that works.  It’s pure victory when I finally achieve the desired result & my family is happily chowing down on their healthier favourites, straight from my kitchen!
Gluten Free Healthier Doritos Recipe 2

Paired with the fact that I’ve officially begun my Health & Fitness Coaching Business (Fit, Healthy Life Coaching!) and I have customers who are beginning the 21 Day Fix Program, needing some treats and Ashley’s test kitchen is back up an running.

First on the recipe test list…make “Doritos” seasoning that can be used on chips, popcorn, roasted chickpeas or toasted nuts.  Help remove the chemical laiden garbage & replace it with a snack I’m happy to see EVERYONE eating!

It took some trials, but I’m happy to say, we did it.  Ok, I’m not just happy to say it, I’d like to announce I WIN!  I’m not trying to be arrogant, it’s just, that well…I am floored by big business and their need to kill us with crap.  When I find a way to remove that crap & still have the taste, it leaves me feeling like I’ve won yet another battle.  And let’s be honest – this girl likes to win!

So, you need this in your life.  I need you to trust me, to try it and then to come back and let me know what you think!  

What do you like to put your “Healthier Doritos Seasoning” on? 

Gluten Free Healthier Doritos - Nutritional Yeast

In the recipe, I use Nutritional Yeast.  This is KEY for achieving the Doritos taste.  We tried it without, it wasn’t quite right.  We tried it with Parmesan, it still wasn’t right.  We went and bought the nutritional yeast and BAM we had a winner!

Nutritional yeast can be found at most health food stores (if you live in Chilliwack the best place is Sardis Health Foods) and I highly recommend the Engevita Yeast over the other nutritional yeast options because it’s in powder form.  It tastes more cheesy, like Parmesan (warning: it smells really funky but it tastes yummy!), is great in homemade cheese sauces or on pasta and packs a nutrient dense punch.  Among other things each serving contains Vitamin B and Protein!

One bag will last you a very, very long time and I guarantee, if you trust me and try this recipe you won’t be sorry!

21 Day Fix Container Counts:
     – Added to 3 cups of air popped popcorn = 1 Yellow + 1 tsp
     – 2 Small Corn Tortillas (16 chips) = 1 Yellow + 1 tsp
     – Roasted Chickpeas = 1 Yellow + 1 tsp

Gluten Free, Healthier "Doritos" Recipe - 21 Day Fix Approved
This spice blend & recipe is delicious! A healthy, homemade version of a popular favourite snack. It can easily be used on popcorn, tortillas, chickpeas or toasted nuts. It also easily fits within the 21 Day Fix meal plan! DOUBLES REALLY WELL!
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Spice Blend
  1. 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  2. 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  3. 1/2 tsp Paprika
  4. 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  5. 1/4 tsp Cumin, ground
  6. 1 tsp Nutritional Yeast (I HIGHLY recommend the powder version, Engevita Yeast)
To make Chips
  1. 4 Small Corn Tortillas
  2. 1 tsp of Coconut Oil Melted
To Make Popcorn
  1. 3 Cups of Air Popped Popcorn
  2. 1 tsp of Coconut Oil
To Make Toasted Nuts
  1. 1/4 Cup of Raw Cashews, Almonds or nut of your choice
Spice Blend
  1. 1. Add all spices to an airtight container and stir/shake to combine
  1. 1. Pre-heat oven to 400°F
  2. 2. Cut each corn tortilla into 8 pieces
  3. 3. Melt coconut oil in microwave for 30 seconds
  4. 4. LIGHTLY (really lightly!) brush each chip on both sides with oil and place in a bowl
  5. 5. Once all the chips are LIGHTLY covered in oil, sprinkle 2 tsp of spice blend over and toss until all are coated (you can adjust the amount of spice you add based on your preference)
  6. 6. Place in a single layer on a parchment lined cookie sheet
  7. 7. Bake for 12 - 17 minutes, turn over once half way through. They're done when they are crispy and slightly browned
  1. 1. Melt coconut oil in the microwave for 30 seconds
  2. 2. Pour oil over 3 cups of air popped popcorn and toss to lightly coat
  3. 3. Sprinkle 1 - 2 tsp of spice blend over popcorn and again toss to coat
  1. 1. Pre-Heat oven to 400°F
  2. 2. Drain & rinse chickpeas & dry thoroughly (easiest way to do this is lay them on a clean kitchen towel and rub them dry
  3. 3. Melt coconut oil in microwave for 30 seconds
  4. 4. Put chickpeas in a bowl and pour over coconut oil. Toss to combine
  5. 5. Sprinkle on 2 tsps of spice blend and stir to coat
  6. 6. Spread in a single layer on a parchment lined cookie sheet
  7. 7. Bake for 30- 40 minutes or until golden brown, stirring periodically
Toasted Nuts
  1. 1. Pre-Heat a skillet on medium heat
  2. 2. Add raw nuts to pan and stir until warmed, toasted (they'll become really fragrant as their natural oils release)
  3. 3. Once they're slightly browned and warm, remove from heat and sprinkle with 1 tsp of spice blend, toss to coat.
21 Day Fix Container
Tortilla Chips
  1. 16 Chips = 1 YELLOW & 1/2 TSP
  1. 3 Cups = 1 YELLOW & 1 TSP
  1. Fill 1 Yellow container = 1 YELLOW & 1/4 TSP
  1. Serve nuts according to 21 Day Fix serving size = 1 BLUE
Our Family Stone
If you’re interested in finding out more about the 21 Day Fix or how I can help you achieve your health & fitness goals, please feel free to contact me.  You can visit my Beachbody website here or feel free to Email me!


Perfectly Fluffy Gluten Free Waffles Recipe

Fluffy Gluten Free Waffles #1

Mmmm, butter.  Well, waffles & butter.  Except butter.

Homemade waffles were the first thing I accidentally “glutened” Audrey with.  Sunday morning waffles were a favourite for our girls & I wanted to keep life “normal” for them. Oh the recipe was OK, though not as incredible as the one I’m sharing today.  It was my first attempt…they’re rarely ever a success first time out of the gate.  

Anyways, the problem was that I didn’t realize that the gluten was so tiny & stuck into the creases of my waffle iron.  Once something with so many tiny crevices and spaces has been used for gluten cooking it’s forever contaminated.  

I had been trying so hard to do something great for her, to prove that Gluten Free living was no big deal (which it’s NOT) and instead I made her sick.  It was horrible and I gave up making waffles.

For 11 months I didn’t make waffles.  Not gluten free waffles, not wheat waffles, none of them.  I bought gluten free, organic toaster waffles for them as a treat sometimes but that was all.  It was sad.  It was smelly (some of them smell weird) and I hated it.

Fluffy Gluten Free Waffles #2

Then, I bought another waffle iron.  It was a Christmas gift for our family and it is now 100% gluten free.  Then I got to experiment.

A few recipes, even more breakfasts and I’ve got it.  The very, very, VERY best, fool proof waffles EVER. Notice I didn’t say gluten free?  These bad boys can be made gluten free, which is how I’m sharing the recipe but they also convert seamlessly into wheat waffles by changing the flour.

They are light, they are fluffy, they smell like heaven and the freeze fantastic.

Fluffy Gluten Free Waffles #3

Do you SEE how fluffy these are?  A feet not easily achieved in gluten free baking.

You need this recipe in your life.  Try it.  Bookmark it.  Share it with your friends.  And PLEASE when you make it (I know you will) and you love it (because you will) snap a photo and share it on social media.  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – however you want to show me, please show me.  Use the hashtag #OFSBakes or tag me (@ourfamilystone).  I love seeing what you’re making!

Perfectly Fluffy Gluten Free Waffles
Serves 4
A fluffy, moist, delicious gluten free waffle perfect for Sunday brunch. This recipe easily converts to a wheat recipe by exchanging the gluten free flour for all purpose flour in equal proportions. This recipe easily doubles. Make for a larger crowd or freeze the leftovers (with wax paper between each piece to prevent them from sticking) for up to 2 months in an airtight container/bag.
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
  1. 1 1/2 Cups of Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (see notes for flour recommendations)
  2. 2 Tbsp of Granulated Sugar
  3. 1 Tbsp of Corn & Wheat Free Baking Powder
  4. 1/2 Tsp of Salt
  5. 1/4 Cup of Melted & cooled butter
  6. 1 1/2 Cups of Milk (We generally use coconut milk, but dairy, almond, soy will still work)
  7. 2 Large Eggs (if your eggs are small use 2 whole eggs + 1 egg white for GF)
  8. 1/2 Tsp of Vanilla (omit if your milk has vanilla flavor)
  1. *You MUST sift the ingredients together. GF flours tend to clump & stick together, sifting will prevent problems with the finished product!*
  2. Wait until your batter has come together to preheat your waffle iron. The couple of minutes the batter rests is good for it and will product a better end product
  3. In a large bowl sift together flour, sugar, baking powder & salt.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together butter, milk, eggs & vanilla
  5. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour in wet ingredients & stir to combine. Note that this takes a little bit of elbow grease. You want as few lumps as possible, it may not be 100% smooth, but you want it as smooth as you can. I use a hand mixer if I've doubled the batch to speed up the process.
  6. Pre-Heat your waffle iron to manufacturer's instructions and grease liberally.
  7. Make waffles as per usual.
  8. Eat and enjoy or place on a wire rack until completely cool. Place waxed paper in between each waffle and freeze in an airtight container/bag for up to 2 months.
Gluten Free Flours
  1. While we do make our own gluten free flour blend (you can find the recipe HERE
  2. Reply) I do prefer using store bought All Purpose Gluten Free Flours. Their blends have been perfected and they are faster than making my own sometimes.
  3. However, not all flours are created equal. Personally we DO NOT use any Bob's Red Mill flours as I don't like the products they make, nor do I like the Pamela's flours. Below are my 3 favourite Gluten Free Flours. All 3 of them work WONDERFUL in most of my recipes and none of them produce the "grainy" or "gummy" texture that often comes with GF baking.
  4. - PC Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (best price)
  5. - Better Batter Gluten Free Flour (best versatility & quality)
  6. - Namaste Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (great flour,
Our Family Stone

Butternut Squash Fall Bread – Gluten Free Recipe

Delicious flavours of cinnamon, nutmeg, butternut squash or pumpkin and Fall!

Delicious flavours of cinnamon, nutmeg, butternut squash or pumpkin and Fall!

Fall & winter baking is my favourite.  Don’t get me wrong, I love baking year round but there is something about warm oven, inviting smells & delicious flavours on a cold day that makes me feel…content.  

Likewise, the end result of summer baking is still wonderful flavours & treats.  However, something about sweat dripping down your back & the irony of an air conditioner & oven running at the same time leaves me feeling hot, sticky & often, annoyed. (Word to the wise: if I serve you summer baking act like you enjoy it.  Even if you don’t, it’s safer that way!) (Just kidding, be a truth-teller ALWAYS!)(If I’m PMSing maybe just decline the invitation all together)

This past fall, we were bombarded with fall/winter squash.  Audrey grew 3 beautiful little pumpkins in her Grammy & Papa garden, Dad grew some lovely spaghetti squash and I introduced the girls to one of my favourite fall treats – roasted butternut squash with heaping mounds of butter a teeny dollop of butter.

Butternut Squash aka Candy

Roasted butternut squash, also known as candy

We stood in the kitchen, crowded around the still hot squash with spoons.  Ok, and butter, there I said it, I added a little butter to every mouthful because, well, BUTTER!  We were chatting about what new baking adventure we were going to take for fall gift giving, lunch packing and breakfast on the go, when it hit me.  We were eating the perfect base ingredient.

Butternut Squash Fall Bread - Dry IngredientsI shuffled through a few of my recipes, pulled out a bunch of supplies and began dumping things into my mixer.  This is truly how recipe creation goes in this house.  I gather a few recipes, take what I like from each, add more of what I want, remove what I don’t and then cross my fingers that it worked.

This time, it worked.  It really, REALLY worked.  AND I managed to make it both safe for Audrey by being Gluten Free and safe for me too!  Which, if you know us is something that happens almost never.

Butternut Squash Bread - Wet IngredientsWe have made this recipe many, MANY times over since that day.  We’ve made it as muffins, as regular loaves, as mini loaves.  We snacked on batter (don’t judge, you do it too!), we’ve given it as gifts and I’ve easily subbed the butternut squash for pumpkin.  

No matter which way you shake it, this Butternut Squash Fall Bread is a warm, hearty and satisfying staple.  We’ve even cooked, processed & frozen many, many packages of butternut squash & pumpkin purees so that we can make them in the warmer months too.  I’ll suffer for these delicious little treats, they’re that good!

Butternut Squash Fall Bread (or Muffins)
Yields 1
A delicious slice of everything fall. Easily made with either butternut squash puree or pumpkin puree this bread is the perfect addition to a warm cup of tea on a cold Fall day.
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
  1. 1 3/4 Cups of Oat Flour (see notes)
  2. 2/3 Cup of Quick Oats*
  3. 1/3 Cup of Rolled Oats*
  4. 1 tsp of Baking Soda
  5. 1/2 tsp of salt
  6. 1/2 heaping tsp of cinnamon
  7. 1/4 tsp of cloves
  8. 1/4 tsp of nutmeg
  9. 1/4 tsp of allspice
  10. 1/4 +1/8 tsp of ginger
  11. 1 Cup of pureed butternut squash (or pumpkin)
  12. 2/3 cup of granulated sugar
  13. 1/3 cup of brown sugar
  14. 1/2 cup of applesauce
  15. 2 eggs
  1. Pre-Heat oven to 350°F
  2. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together oat flour, quick oats, rolled oats, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice & ginger. Set aside
  3. In a large bowl whisk together granulated sugar, brown sugar, applesauce & eggs
  4. Add butternut squash (pumpkin) into the wet ingredient and stir to combine
  5. Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and stir to combine - MAKE SURE THERE ARE NO LUMPS
  6. Line a loaf pan* with parchment paper and lightly grease (you can skip the parchment if you'd like but I find it makes removing the loaf much easier. Or line 12 muffin tins with liners & again lightly grease.
  7. Bake loaf for 50 - 60 minutes or muffins for 20 -25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then remove from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack
  9. Keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months
  1. Oats: If you're making these for a Celiac or someone with serious gluten intolerance make sure to use Certified Gluten Free Oats.
  2. Oat Flour: Easily make your own oat flour by placing your oats (see above note) into a blender or coffee grinder and blending until they turn into flour
  3. Loaf Pan: I tend to use a smaller (not mini) loaf pan for this recipe. I find I get a taller loaf, medium to larger pans turn out good as well, your loaf will just be a little more rectangular.
Our Family Stone

Gluten Free Shortbread – AKA Melt in your Mouth Heaven

Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies - Yum! Looking for the regular “wheat” version of these cookies?  You can find them and MANY more in our Baking Life Healthy: The Secret Recipes Behind the Business e-cookbook, HERE!

If Christmas were to be defined by a flavour, for me it would be simple – (frozen) Shortbread Cookies and Ginger Snaps.   They are home, they are yummy and they are everything I love & loved about Christmas.

My Mom baked a lot when I was little and I clearly remember hours spent helping her in the kitchen. We’d bake gingerbread men, make chocolates for gifts, lick beaters (ya we did!) and decorate shortbread cookies before popping them in the oven.   I also remember sneaking back into the freezer long after the dishes had been cleared, liberating a few frozen cookies for a little snack…I mean, somebody had to make sure they were safe, right?!

Looking back I’m not sure how many of those hours were actual help, but they were without a doubt the makings of great memories.

I learned a lot those Christmases, gaining valuable skills in the kitchen, discovering Moms don’t have to see what you’re doing to know you did it (she always knew I’d had those extra cookies, though she rarely called me on it) and leaning into the comfort of family traditions & recipes.Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies 2

I’ve carried many of those traditions on with our girls, selfishly creating a new batch of memories for me and hopefully giving them a start on some special ones of their own.  

This year, we’re still going to make those memories but they’re going to take a new shape.  I’ve been spending hours in my kitchen, taking our family Christmas favourites and making them gluten free.

Thankfully, this recipe is one that co-operated first time out of the gate and is (according to my family) equally as yummy as the traditional “wheat shortbread**”.  It’s the same melt in your mouth Christmas favourite that I grew up, only now it’s also a gluten free, Celiac safe treat for EVERYONE in our family!

I hope you enjoy it and keep watching the blog (or sign up to our email list so you’ll NEVER miss the BIG stuff!)  I’m going to be sharing a series of gluten free Christmas baking over the next few weeks and there might even be some extra Freebies in it for you too!

Here’s to the start of the holiday season and Christmas baking….and eating!

Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies
These melt in your mouth gluten free delights are the perfect addition to your Christmas baking line up!
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
25 min
  1. 1/2 Cup of Cornstarch
  2. 1/2 Cup of Icing (confectioners) Sugar
  3. 1 Cup of Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (we LOVE Namaste's All Purpose Flour)
  4. 1/4 tsp of xanthan gum (if your blend contains it like mine does omit this ingredient)
  5. 3/4 Cup of COLD butter cut into small cubes
  1. Gluten Free Sprinkles
  2. Mini Hershey's Kisses (in Canada they are gluten free, make sure to read all your packages if gluten is a concern!)
  3. Chopped Nuts
  4. Icing Sugar for dusting
  5. Colored Decorative Sugars
  1. Note: This recipe doubles very well. I also use a stand mixer for this recipe but feel free to do it by hand if you prefer.
  2. 1. Preheat oven to 350° F
  3. 2. In the bowl of a stand mixer sift together the corn starch, icing sugar & flour.
  4. 3. Cut the butter into very small cubes & add to the dry ingredients
  5. 4. Using your paddle attachment & either your bowl guard or a clean, dry tea towel turn the mixer on low speed
  6. 5. Once the mixture resembles coarse sand, turn up the speed to medium & allow the mixer to work until the dough forms a ball & the sides of the bowl are clean.
  7. 6. Roll out dough approx. 1/2" thick between two pieces of wax paper, chill for 15 minutes and cut out desired shapes, re-roll dough and continue. Alternatively you can roll pieces of dough into balls and press them down slightly with a fork. Add toppings
  8. 7. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet & bake 12-18 minutes or until lightly golden brown on the edges I have found times dramatically vary based on the oven
  9. 8. Let cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes then remove to a cooling rack.
  1. These cookies last on the counter for approx. 1 week before starting to dry out. They also freeze really well just make sure whatever way you decide to store them that the container is airtight!
Our Family Stone
**We don’t call food with gluten in it “normal” or “regular” food because that makes Audrey’s gluten free food sound like it’s something strange.  ALL of the food I bake is “normal” (except for that one time I mixed up my baking soda and my salt ratios, that was NOT normal!) some of it has gluten/wheat in it and some of it is gluten free.**


Exciting Announcement #1 (Hint: There’s FREE STUFF!)

Brownie Bites

3 years ago Baking Life Healthy launched.  My passion for baking, for real ingredients and for good food turned into a business and overnight I was bombarded with customers.  It was amazing, it was fun and it was more than I’d ever thought possible.

It was also poorly planned, I was unorganized, I didn’t take a look at my pricing well and before I knew it I was drowning.  I loved the business, I loved the customers & I loved being able to sell people food they could have confidence in (where they could read & recognize every. single. ingredient). What I didn’t love was how tired I was, how my family was suffering and how I could see no way of making it better, of streamlining what I was doing while still maintaining the quality.

So, with a sad heart, just over a year after it began, Baking Life Healthy came to a close.  I had sad customers, I had my own sad heart but I also knew it wasn’t over yet.  

I’ve continued to bake these past few years, feeding my family and often times anyone close enough to take a “treat bag” home with them.  Corey’s employees & friends have sampled many a trial day recipe and I’ve kept at it.  

My passions have evolved over the years, long gone are the days of lethargy and poor eating choices.  I’ve really come to love being active, exercise, nutrition and living life healthy and I’ve taken that passion into my kitchen.  Those passions have allowed me to be a better wife, a better mother and hopefully a better friend.  I can channel my stress, build my energy and feed our bodies in ways I feel good about.

They have also begun taking me on a few new journeys, and I’m getting pretty excited to share them with you!  While I’m not quite ready to share all the info just yet (working on it, I promise I’m workin’ on it!) I do want to share this one because I can.

Ok, and because I’m super pumped, I’ve worked really hard and it’s finally here.  And I suck at keeping non-secret type things a secret because who needs to keep a secret if it isn’t a secret?  That’s like hiking (!) to the top of a mountain and refusing to checkout the amazing view – it doesn’t make sense…and it’s lame.

So, in an effort to not be lame (-er than I can be sometimes, like when I dance) and in response to the many, many requests I received here it is:

I’ve written an e-cookbook!!!!  In particular I took the most popular Baking Life Healthy recipes – mini pizza pretzels, whole wheat bread, brownie bites & graham cracker minis, to name a few, along with some others family favourites, did some perfecting (read: we ate/gave away a lotta stuff), took some photos & voila – Baking Life Healthy: The Secrets Behind the Business e-cookbook!

Well, almost a cookbook.  We are in the finishing stages of editing & reviewing the finer details, all the stuff I need to do before I feel like it’s A-OK to go but it’s almost here.  

In the meantime, I’ve put together something wicked awesome (do people say wicked awesome any more?  probably they don’t but that’s ok, I’m not 20 any more, who cares what people say) to share with you – for FREE!

Baking Life Healthy FREE Recipe Download 1

I’m giving away a FREE Sneak Peek package which includes – 4 of our most popular recipes from the business & the book, 1 bonus never published recipe, a coupon code & more!  It’s all because I love you, and I want to say thank you.

To all those who supported the business locally, to those who encouraged me online, to the ones who were sad when we closed & asked for recipes, to those who have read our blog, done our recipes & showed us incredible love through so very much – thank you!

Please enjoy these.  There’s no obligation to purchase the full e-cookbook when it officially launches in a few weeks (though I hope, sincerely that you do, because it’s great!), these are straight from my heart, my kitchen to you & to yours.

Thank you again and Happy BAKING

ps. If/when you do make something please share a photo on social media with us!  Use the hashtag #OFSBakes, and/or tag us and we’ll see it.  The whole point of getting a good recipe is taking it on an adventure & making it your own.  I can’t wait to see what you’re going to do with them!

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal “Comfort” Cookies – The Recipe

There’s nothing better on a cold, rainy afternoon than a warm, gooey chocolate chip oatmeal, a cozy blanket & a cup of tea.  I don’t know exactly what it is, but this magical combination seems to soothe any bad mood and almost instantly takes me back to being a little girl.

Over my married life I have experimented with many, many chocolate chip oatmeal cookie recipes.  I’ve tried Company’s Coming, Martha Stewart,, magazine recipes and about a dozen others in between.  They were mostly good recipes (except for the one that I accidentally tripled the baking soda…it was the polar opposite of good) but none of them were quite right.  

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Comfort Cookies 3

Corey is a cookie “monster” (much like he’s an ice-cream connoisseur) and I was desperate to find the recipe that would be it, the one.  I wanted it to be perfect (because striving for perfection, while illusive and unattainable will always me happy) and I was determined it had to be possible. 

So I did what I always do – I played.   A little from this recipe, a little from that, throw things in here and something else there, scribbling down the changes on an old envelope as I went.  

It took a little time but a few years ago it happened, I finally achieved the cookie that gave Corey “the face”.  You know “The Face”, I bet you even make it but just in case you don’t it looks something like this…

They walk into your kitchen and take a HUGE breath, “Mmmmm something smells good” (which is code for GIVE ME A COOKIE), you hand over a warm from the oven cookie and wait – there’s a slow bite, the eyes close 3/4 of the way as they chew and a little smile starts to creep up the sides of their mouth – it’s THE FACE.  Then 3 seconds later they swallow, devour the rest of the cookie and try to be stealth as they steel 3 more.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Comfort Cookies 4

These cookies elicited that exact reaction and have been a hit ever since.  They were in the top 5 most popular items at Baking Life Healthy when we were in business and are still the most requested food from any guest coming to visit. 

This recipe is simple, it’s versatile (but only if you need to change it, I’d say they’re perfect as they are) and it’s delicious.  So from our house to yours, I hope you makes these and enjoy a warm bite Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Comfort!

If you make any of our recipes we’d LOVE to see them! Send us a photo of your creation on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #ofsbakes

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Comfort Cookies
A warm chocolate chip oatmeal cookie that offers the comforts of home with the memories of childhood.
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  1. 1 Cup Butter, softened to room temperature
  2. 1 1/4 Cups Brown Sugar
  3. 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  4. 2 Eggs
  5. 2 TBSP Coconut Milk* (can sub other milk of choice)
  6. 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  7. 1 tsp Baking Soda
  8. 1/2 tsp Salt
  9. 1/2 - 1 tsp Cinnamon (I never really measure, just shake away)
  10. 1 Cup All Purpose Flour (preferably unbleached)
  11. 3/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  12. 2 Cups Quick Oats
  13. 1/2 Cup Rolled Oats
  14. 1 Cup Milk Chocolate Chips
  15. 1 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
  1. Pre-Heat Oven to 375°F
  2. In a large bowl or using a mixer beat together butter & both sugars until fluffy & light in color
  3. Beat in eggs one at a time until incorporated, then add vanilla and milk
  4. Add baking soda, salt & cinnamon to mixer and allow to mix briefly
  5. Gradually add in both flours and mix until combined
  6. Add oats, turn on mixer for a few seconds then add chocolate chips and allow to mix until well combined
  7. Place mixture in the fridge for approx 10 minutes to chill
  8. Measure out cookies onto cookie sheets leaving approx 2" between each cookie (we make smaller cookies at about 2 teaspoons each in size and get just over 60 cookies)
  9. Bake for 9-13 minutes until lightly golden brown. For perfectly chewy cookies remove when centers look slightly damp but NOT gooey
  10. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes then transfer to cooling rack
  11. Store well in an airtight container or in the freezer
  1. * We use the coconut milk found in the refrigerator section NOT the canned milk
  2. Rolled oats give a chewier cookie while quick oats give a fluffier one. Feel free to use what you have and adjust it according to your preference.
  3. Can sub 1/2 a cup of the chocolate chips for raisins if desired.
Our Family Stone

Gluten Free Recipes – Cheddar “Annie’s Bunnies/Goldfish” Crackers

Gluten Free homemade Cheddar Crackers (Annie's Bunnies)

It’s been a week since Audrey’s diagnosis of Celiac disease.  We’ve run the gamut of emotions, faced a few challenges and wrestled our way through the pain of her first cross contamination experience (awful, so awful).

We, and by we I mean, I have been buried under a cloud of gluten free flour, recipe experiments both failures & successes. 

I’ve spent hours reading, researching and compiling recipes.  I’ve tried things, I’ve changed things (because when do I ever follow a recipe) and I’ve done my best to stay as busy as possible so as not to face my emotions make sure Audrey has life as normal as possible, not missing her favourite foods.

It’s been…intense, fun and frustrating. 

The up coming months are going to be filled with our journey through Celiac disease.  I’ll share recipes that work and tales of failures.  If it’s a recipe I’ve modified then I’ll make sure to link to the original, if I’ve followed it to a T or only made slight alterations then I’ll link you back to the original instead and if I’ve made it up myself, you’ll know that too.  I’ll do my best to make sure that she/he who deserves the credit receives it.

Today, I’m going to share our best success and the recipe that’s been requested the most.

For years I’ve made our girls homemade “goldfish” crackers.  On the days I didn’t feel like making them, I’d buy them the Annie’s Bunny alternative (I don’t like the ingredients in the real goldfish crackers).  Homemade or store bought, they are always a favourite here.

After I received Audrey’s diagnosis those snacks almost instantly jumped to mind and my stomach dropped.  What was I going to do?  She was going to be so sad!

When I told Audrey about her diagnosis last Tuesday I made her a promise – for every item on her “STOP! Gluten Ingredients! List” I’d make sure there was one (or two) on her “SAFE! Gluten Free! List”.  We bought her a notebook and it contains both of these lists.  We’re going to empower Audrey to own Celiac disease, it will not own her and the best way for us to do that is to give her the information. 

Anyways, remembering that promise I did what I always do.  Wiped my tears, took a deep breath and hit Pinterest. 


Within minutes I found gluten free goldfish cracker recipes.  I read through many, saved some I liked, passed by others I didn’t, and went back to my original (gluten) recipe.  I put two and two together, looked at the ingredients I had and got started.

The recipe is so simple.  It’s very similar to what you’ve probably seen a dozen other places and while cutting them out is a little bit tedious, it’s well worth the effort.

My family loves them! 

When they came out of the oven it was bedtime and both girls keep trying to smuggle them upstairs to keep munching!

Gluten Free Cheddar Crackers (like Annie's Bunnies/Goldfish) Recipe
A homemade Gluten Free version of the favourite Cheddar Annie's bunnies or goldfish crackers. So easy & so delicious!
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  1. 3.5 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese (Medium works but sharp gives a stronger cheese flavour)
  2. 4.5 tbsp Salted Butter - cubed and COLD
  3. 1 1/4 Cups Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (I used my homemade blend, recipe below)
  4. 1/2 tsp Salt
  5. 2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast (this really makes the crackers!)
  6. 1/4 tsp Garlic powder (reduce if desired)
  7. 1/8 tsp Paprika (DO NOT OMIT!)
  8. 2-4 TBSP Ice Cold Water (with ICE)
  1. Pre-Heat Oven to 375°
  2. 1. In the bowl of your food processor with your metal blade combine all the ingredients EXCEPT the ice water
  3. 2. Pulse in short bursts until mixture resembles coarse sand
  4. 3. Add water 1 tbsp at a time and process your mixture at a regular speed for 1 minute, if it doesn't come together add an additional tbsp and repeat.
  5. 4. Once you've reached a dough consistency, scrape out and work a few times with your hands until a ball forms.
  6. 5. Divide dough into two parts, flatted into discs, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minute or freeze for 10 (NO longer!)
  7. 6. Roll out small sections of dough between two pieces of parchment paper until they're 1/8" thick. To make cutting shapes out easier place back into the fridge for a few minutes.
  8. 7. Remove top parchment paper, cut out desired shapes and transfer them to a baking stone or parchment lined baking sheet. (This is easier if you use a thin metal spatula)
  9. 8. Bake for 9-11 minutes until the edges are slightly brown or until they look a little flaky (see notes)
  10. 9. Remove from oven and transfer crackers to a clean, cool baking pan and let cool
  11. 10. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. (Though I'm betting they'll be long eaten before then!)
  1. **Don't be alarmed if they appear wet when they are baking, that's supposed to happen. They won't melt, they will crisp up and be delicious!
Our Family Stone Light Gluten Free Flour Blend
  1. 2 Cups White Rice Flour (or Sweet White Rice Flour)
  2. 2 Cups Brown Rice Flour
  3. 2/3 Cup Tapioca Starch
  4. 1 1/3 Cup Potato Starch (NOT Potato Flour)
  5. Sift flours together and store in an airtight container.
Adapted from Free Eats Food
Adapted from Free Eats Food
Our Family Stone

If you make any of our recipes we’d LOVE to see them! Send us a photo of your creation on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #ofsbakes.

Grab & Go Breakfast Pocket Recipe

If you follow me on Instagram, then you’re going to already know last Sunday afternoon was a baking marathon around these parts.  We were out of bread and I hate buying things I can bake, so I headed into the kitchen to start a batch.

As the dough began to rise I realized we were out of more than just bread, we needed breakfast choices for Corey, lunch snack options for the girls and the cookie jar was looking a little naked.

Now, baking is something I love – seeing my family & friends enjoy something I’ve made warms my heart.  It’s great knowing I could actually have some (if I wanted to) without the fear of getting sick from a sneaky ingredient.  It’s also incredibly cathartic, when I’m stressed I bake.

The thing is I’m a messy baker.  Usually I’m baking at least 2 things at one time and often there are ingredients, bowls and things everywhere.  To the onlooker I’m sure it looks horrific, but I know where everything is, I get it done well and my family knows if they value their fingers not to move anything.

Grab & Go Breakfast Pockets Title

The fact that we were out of so many things, we were facing another trip to Children’s hospital the next day, I work all week and I like to be efficient – once you’re making a mess you might as well do it all at once.  One mess, one clean up.  It would be silly to stretch all the clean up work over multiple days.

By day’s end, I’d made Whole Wheat Bread, Early Morning Breakfast Pockets, Graham Crackers, English Muffins, Vegan Banana Muffins, Brownie Bites & mini lunch pizzas.

You could scarcely see my kitchen counters & my feet hurt, but boy did it smell good.

As the pictures hit social media, I started getting requests for recipes.  Which warms my heart!  I spend hours taking recipes that are ok and playing with them to make them how I want them.  Lower in calories, healthier, easier, better (to me) you name it and getting the chance to either link to or share them is awesome!

Grab & Go Breakfast Pockets whole wheat
(A yummy whole wheat version – sub 1/2 the flour with whole wheat flour. Just work the dough slightly less to avoid it being tough)

I will share ALL of those recipes over time but today I’m just going to pick one – Grab & Go Breakfast Pockets.

Corey leaves for work earlier than the Butt Crack of Dawn, so a long leasurely breakfast isn’t really an option for him.  Actually he’s up so early it’s not an option at all, since to make it happen would almost make it a really late dinner.

Muffins are good grab and go, as are scones and breads but they’re mostly carb loaded.  They don’t bring a lot of protein to the table and they won’t stick with him for the whole morning.
Grab & Go Breakfast Pockets cheesy
(Sometimes the cheese just needs out!)

Realizing this a few years ago I began playing around with a Breakfast pocket, something of a married combination of a Calzone and a pizza pocket.  There have been many versions, some that work, some that flopped (literally) but finally I’ve got one that he loves.

The basic recipe is fairly simple, I use two filling options – Spinach, Egg White & mozza as well as a Breakfast Sausage skillet one.  Both are yummy and both are simple, and neither are set in stone.  Play around with the foods you’re family enjoys and let me know what filling combinations you come up with!

Grab & Go Breakfast Pockets
Serves 12
A healthy, easy grab & go breakfast pocket. These taste delicious warm right from the oven, or cold. They freeze & microwave well and make breakfast a breeze.
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Prep Time
1 hr 30 min
Total Time
2 hr
Prep Time
1 hr 30 min
Total Time
2 hr
For the pocket dough
  1. 1 Cup of warm water (temperature should resemble very hot bath water)
  2. 2 1/4 tsp of Fast Rising or Pizza Yeast (1 package)
  3. 1 Tbsp of Honey*
  4. 2 tsp Salt
  5. 2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
  6. 2 3/4 - 3 cups of All Purpose Flour (depending on humidity)
For the Spinach, Egg White & Mozza Filling
  1. 5 Egg Whites (can use whole eggs if preferred)
  2. 1/2 cup of Skim milk
  3. 1 Cup of fresh washed spinach leaves shredded (cut with kitchen sheers for ease)
  4. 1/2 - 3/4 shredded mozzarella
  5. 1/4 of a yellow pepper finely diced
  6. Salt & pepper to taste
  7. 1/8 tsp of red pepper flakes crushed (optional)
For the Sausage Breakfast Skillet Filling
  1. 1lb of Pork Breakfast sausage (ground out of the casing)
  2. 1 tsp of butter
  3. 1 tsp of olive oil
  4. 1/2 cup of white Vidalia onion diced
  5. 1/2 each of a yellow, red & orange pepper diced
  6. 1 cup of sliced button mushrooms
  7. 1/4 cup of finely diced zucchini (optional)
  8. 1/2 cup of fresh washed spinach leaves shredded
  9. 3/4 cup of shredded marble cheese
  10. 1/4 tsp of garlic powder
  11. 1/4 tsp of oregano
  12. salt & pepper to taste
For the dough & pocket completion
  1. Pre-Heat Oven to 425 degrees F
  2. Combine water, honey & yeast in the bowl of your mixer. Let sit for 5 minutes or until foamy & activated
  3. Add salt, oil & 1 cup of flour. Mix with your paddle attachment until combined
  4. Change to the dough hook and gradually add an additional 1.5 cups of flour
  5. Allow the mixer to beat on medium speed for 3 minutes, then check the dough. It should be tacky but not sticky. If it's still sticky work in the remaining 1/2 cup of flour in small amounts.
  6. Let your mixer go on medium-high speed for an additional 5 minutes. It will rock & be noisy, but the dough needs to be worked! After 5 minutes you should have a single ball of dough & the bowl should be clean.
  7. Remove dough from bowl, knead 3 times and place in a well greased large bowl.
  8. Cover, place in a warm spot & let rise for 1 - 2 hours, or until doubled in size
  9. Punch down the dough, remove from bowl and knead five times
  10. Divide into 12 equal balls & roll each one out into thin circle (approx 6" in diameter) on a lightly floured surface - FILLING EACH ONE AS YOU GO, if you roll them all out at once they will stick to your me.
  11. To fill, place desired mixture on one half the circle leaving a small edge clear to close pocket (mounding fairly high as dough will stretch over), top with cheese and close by pulling empty half over filling and pressing onto the clear edge with a fork or pinch.
  12. Poke the top of each pocket with a knife a few times to allow for steam to release
  13. Place on baking sheet and bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until tops are golden brown.
  14. Let cool for 5 minutes on a baking sheet then remove to plate or cooling rack
For Spinach, Egg White & Mozza Filling
  1. Place Egg Whites & skim milk into a blender and pulse for 15 seconds
  2. Pour into a lightly greased, pre-heated frying pan on medium heat and cook as for scrambled eggs, adding spinach, salt & pepper as you go.
  3. Place a strainer over a bowl & pour in egg mixture, allowing moisture to drain out. This is key in preventing a soggy pocket
  4. LET COOL COMPLETELY or your dough will end up with holes and not baking right.
  5. See dough recipe step 11 to continue
For Breakfast Sausage Skillet Filling
  1. Heat olive oil & butter together over medium/high heat in a large skillet
  2. Add onions and saute until translucent
  3. Add breakfast sausage and cook, breaking up as it cooks making sure to breakup large chunks
  4. Season with salt, pepper, oregano & garlic powder
  5. Add remaining vegetables & cook until sausage is well done (we like it a little crispy)
  6. Place a strainer over a bowl & pour in sausage mixture, allowing moisture & extra fat to drain out. This is key in preventing a soggy pocket
  7. LET COOL COMPLETELY or your dough will end up with holes and not baking right.
  8. See dough recipe step 11 to continue
  1. *Honey is key in making this dough. You can sub in sugar but I find it doesn't work out as well.
  2. NOTE: I make a batch of each filling when I do these, getting 6 of each kind as I go.
  3. Both mixtures freeze well, so if you end up with extra put them into a marked freezer bag or container and pop in the freezer for next time
Our Family Stone

Which Recipe Should I post next?!