Pineapple & Coconut Banana Bread

Seven years ago, my hubby and I did away with buying Christmas presents for our six children. We had spent months trying to come up with gifts that weren’t: #1 – a waste of money and #2 – a gift just because we needed to have stuff under the tree. So we just stopped buying it all.

Now before you go all commando in the comments below, you have to understand what we do instead of gifts. While we may not need anymore “stuff” under the Christmas tree, we desperately need more time together as a family. So, we take that money we would have spent on “stuff” and go on a great family vacation instead. We are now making memories that will last a lifetime, which is especially important considering how fast my children are growing up and leaving home.

Pineapple Coconut Banana BreadSince we could never afford a vacation over Christmas break, we pull our kiddos out of school and go in January or February. This year we are headed on a cruise across the gorgeous Caribbean. With the miserable cold we’ve been having in Minnesota, this vacation can not come soon enough!

I am so obsessed with getting on this boat and away from the cold that it is even coming out in my baking! This Pineapple Coconut Banana Bread is perfectly tropical and helps me visualize what it will be like sitting on my balcony watching the gorgeous blue water go by. Maybe it can help you escape a little bit too :)

For the full recipe and instructions, click here to see my guest post over on Made From Pinterest!

Hot Roasted Cauliflower Cheese Dip

Hello MKE! This is Sherri, the Baby of the Family from MFP and I am so glad to be back to share this easy to make dip that is perfect for the Super Bowl, without all the calories!This Hot Roasted Cauliflower Dip is healthy comfort food without all the calories!

I love the Super Bowl. Mostly for the food and hanging out with family and the commercials. I spend most of the time in the kitchen cooking while the rest of my family watches the game. Since I love to cook, this works for our family and is totally okay with me. But the deal is, when the commercials come on, they have to pause and let me come watch them, or they don’t get to eat the food I am making. They never forget about me! Must mean the food is good! I was looking for something new to add to my menu for game day. Something that would be a little lighter than all the indulgent foods we have been consuming during the holidays. But it would have to be really good if it was going to pass the family test. If it isn’t good enough to pass the muster, I am likely to miss some commercials.

This Hot Roasted Cauliflower and Cheddar Dip is creamy, warm, comfort food that is full of flavor! Our family tested it out and it passed the test. Phew! I won’t miss out on any commercials because of a failed appetizer. I am also loving this recipe because I will make it the day before and I can sit and enjoy some of the game while it bakes. You just need to add a little extra time because it will be cold from the fridge if you make it the day before. For so many years, I have not really understood football. Specifically, what a down was and how it was calculated was an absolute mystery to me. Every time I would ask my hubby, he would begin to explain it, but then get caught up in what was happening on screen and we never really did finish the conversation. Finally, while I was at our high school’s football game to support my kids performing in band, a girlfriend of mine sat next to me and explained how it all worked. Maybe I just needed a woman to explain it! Ever since I could make sense of what a down was and how it related to the game, football has been much more fun to watch. This Hot Roasted Cauliflower Dip is healthy comfort food without all the calories!

I think I will have a double batch of Hot Roasted Cauliflower and Cheddar Dip all prepped so I can watch commercials and the game!  Enjoy!

Hot Roasted Cauliflower and Cheddar Dip

1/2 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 tablespoon oil
salt and pepper to taste
4 ounces light cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup light sour cream or Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon thyme, chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (or more to taste!)
1 1/4 cup aged white cheddar, shredded 1/4 cup reserved for top
chives to garnish

Roast cauliflower tossed in oil and salted and peppered to taste at 400° for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned.  Add all remaining ingredients except 1/4 cup aged white cheddar and chives to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

Bake in a small baking dish at 350° for 20-30 minutes.  Add 1/4 cup cheddar to the top and set under the broiler for 5-10 minutes until cheese is golden brown and bubbly. Watch carefully so it does not burn!  Garnish with chives.  This recipe adapted from: Closet Cooking

Here are a few more game day recipes:

Crock Pot Cream Cheese Taquitos

Crockpot Cream Cheese Taquitos - Use your crockpot to make this moist flavorful creamy chicken. Fill flour or corn tortillas with cream cheese chicken and cheese, bake and enjoy! These are fantastic!

Slow Cooker Hot Corn Dip

3 Ingredient Crab Dip

3 ingredient {5 minute} Crab Dip with graphic
Sherri MFP headshot signature-sherri

Salted Caramel Puppy Chow

As a momma to six kiddos, I am sharing my tips, recipes and anecdotes related to bringing out every kid’s culinary potential.

Click HERE to see all the posts in this series!

Kids in the KitchenAs I mentioned in my last post, Minnesota has been brutal this January, which also means our school schedule has been complete madness with all the weather delays and early dismissals.  My children really don’t do well with these unpredictable changes.  They are creatures of habit and routine.   Last week brought so much upheaval in their lives and by the end of the week, they were soooooo grouchy that I wanted to bop them all on their heads.

Salted Caramel Puppy Chow

Instead of brute force, I chose to distract them in kitchen with a new recipe for Puppy Chow. While they had a blast making this addictive treat and covering my kitchen in powdered sugar, I’m afraid of this new obsession I have now have for these Salted Caramel Muddy Buddies.  The classic chocolate and peanut butter is good and all, but I l.o.v.e.d. this version with salted caramel in it.  The salted caramel gave them a great chew but didn’t turn the Chex cereal soft at all.  Just be warned….they are rockstar!

Salted Caramel Puppy Chow

Yield: 9 Cups


  • 9 cups corn or rice Chex cereal
  • 1 jar Smuckers Simply Delight Salted Caramel Ice Cream Topping
  • 1 1/3 C milk chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 C powdered sugar


  1. Place the Chex cereal in a large mixing bowl. In a microwave safe bowl, combine the caramel and chocolate chips. Microwave on high for 1 minute and then stir. If the chocolate chips are not melted, microwave for another 30 seconds.
  2. Pour the caramel mixture over the top of the cereal and mix gently until the cereal is evenly covered with the caramel mixture. Pour the powdered sugar over the top of the cereal and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Gently shake and roll the bowl until the cereal is evenly coated with the powdered sugar. Store in an airtight container.


recipe adapted from The Cookie Rookie

Southwest Chicken Chili

It has been a miserable week when it comes to weather pretty much everywhere in the US.  Here in Minnesota, we’ve had wind chills of -40 and as I type this, there is an extraordinarily nasty blizzard roaring outside my office window.  I made the mistake of running to the grocery store a bit after the storm started and the 50 mph wind knocked me onto my rear end in the parking lot.  Seriously!

To help me overcome the physical beating I took at the hands of the blizzard, I came home and made a big pot of our family’s favorite soup/ chili /stew.  I grabbed my iPad to pull up the recipe from my blog and was shocked to see that after 7 years of blogging, I hadn’t posted this recipe yet.  It is honestly my favorite winter meal and I checked three times to be sure I hadn’t posted it.

Southwest Chicken ChiliI feel like I have cheated you all these years together.  Please forgive me…

Not only is this chili/soup/stew amazingly delicious, it is so simple to throw together.  15 minutes and you have perfect winter comfort in a bowl.  I love mine with crushed up tortilla chips in it as well as all those yummy toppings!
Southwest Chicken Chili

Southwest Chicken Chili


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tb oil
  • 2 - 15 ounce cans chicken broth
  • 15 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 7 ounce can diced green chilis
  • 2 rounded tsp chili powder
  • 1 rounded tsp oregano
  • 2 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 3 cooked chicken breasts, chopped
  • Optional toppings: cheese, cilantro, avocado, sour cream and tortilla chips


  1. 1. In a large pot heated over high heat, add the oil, onion and garlic. Sauté until the onions soften. Add the broth, tomatoes, chilis and seasonings. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Add the beans, corn and chicken then simmer for 5 minutes before serving with cheese, cilantro, avocado, sour cream and tortilla chips.