My dad tells this story of my mom's first attempt to duplicate his own mother's rice pudding recipe. Oh fer sure, it was a long held Scandinavian secret that must be meticulously passed down to the next generations. Well, my mother, as eager as ever to play the role of housewife (not really), dutifully tried to duplicate the small...change. She used minute rice. Let's say, my dad was less than pleased. So the story goes.

I'm sure there were details missed, like my dad's desire to not be wasteful. What if my mom had said, "Honey I need to go to the store for some rice." And my dad responded, "I'm sure we have some, just use what we have." So she did. It isn't always a good idea to place historical blame when one never really knows the nuances of all the facts. I'm sure the Swedes would agree.

So I'm going to give my mother the benefit of the doubt. She might have even been trying to improve on the recipe. Which is exactly what I have done.

My Grandma Gin told me there were actually two rice pudding recipes. One baked and one cooked on the stove top. In the picture at the left, which I believe is my birthday, you will see my grandmother's mother on the right, Hulda. The others are my mom, dad and great grandfather Julius. My other great grandmother Rachel (pronounced Rahkel) apparently baked her recipe over night. Hulda did it on the stove. Or was it the other way around. Funny that oral history thing. 

My grandmother wasn't certain of the technique either, which of course caused others in my family to make it differently. My Aunt Diane makes hers a bit runnier. There were probably earth shattering feuds about the proper thickness! Clearly that was too Norwegian!

I've now made it several times and can duplicate it exactly as my grandmother made. It isn't hard 1 cup of rice (I prefer medium grain, but any will do.), 6 cups whole milk cooked on medium low (double boiler preferred) adding 1 cup of sugar, 1 tempered egg and 1 tsp salt right at the end. Cook a bit longer. (Mix in raisins optional.) Pour in a bowl. Cover with cinnamon sugar. Chill. Serve with milk. That's it. My dad loves it. Unless of course you run out of regular rice and only have Jasmine rice. Oops, perhaps I am my mother's son.

Jasmine Rice Pudding

  • 1/2 Cup Jasmine Rice
  • 3 1/2 Cups Milk (2% or whole)
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • Cinnamon Sugar

  1. Cook rice and milk in double boiler for about 2 hours over medium low heat.
  2. Mix sugar, salt and egg together. Temper with a bit of the rice mixture.
  3. Add sugar egg mixture to rice.
  4. Cook a minute or so longer.
  5. Pour into serving container and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  6. Enjoy!

Trying to make a good quality home made trail mix or granola bar is really not very hard. This one is my favorite recipes and is a jazzed up riff on Alton Brown's Granola Bars. I'm sure you will love it.

Trail Mix
(Substitute for any of the following ingredients generously.)
  • 2 1/2 Cups Mixed Nuts
  • 1/2 Cup Raisins
  • 1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries
  • 1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips
  • 1/4 Cup Dried Blueberries
  • 1/4 Sliced Almonds
  • 1/8 Cup Dried Apricots
  • 1/8 Cup Dried Mangos
  • 1/8 Cup Roasted Peanuts
  • 1/8 Cup Dried Cherries
  • 1/16 Cup Chia Seeds

  • 1 Cup Honey
  • 1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt

  • 3 Cups Rolled Oats
  • Butter For Pan

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine the trail mix ingredients or just buy a good quality trail mix and use a little more than 5 cups.
  3. Add the oats to the trail mix. (Alton has you toast the oats, 
  4. In a sauce pan on the stove heat the syrup ingredients to boiling and then simmer about a minute making sure the brown sugar is completely dissolved.
  5. Butter a 9x13 pan completely. Get all the corners.
  6. Add the syrup mixture to the trail mix and mix thoroughly. The chocolate chips will melt.
  7. Press the mixture into the pan so it is evenly flat.
  8. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
  9. Cool completely and cut into individual bars.
  10. Wrap the bars in plastic. They will last about a week and are great for snacks and meal replacement.

We use these bars for breakfast, lunch and snacks. I like to package them up in plastic wrap individually so they can be grab and go for the family. Way better than those purchased bars!

© Russell W Peterson | | 10.22.14

This past week my daughter (Stiletto #2) took her PSAT at school. This is the pre-test to the SAT and the qualifier for National Merit Scholarships from the College Board. One of the things that I like about the school that they attend is that they don't over prepare them for particular tests. Many schools do that and in the end it amounts to a test score beauty pageant instead of a real evaluation of knowledge and problem solving. Even moderating for this culture, there is still enormous pressure for kids to do well on the test. So knowing there would be a little anxiety, I figured a really good breakfast would be the first thing in order for the day. Since Stiletto #2 is a Carbo Queen and loves soft white bread, I decided a new recipe just for her was in order. Well, it was a hit and easily her favorite bread of all that I have made. Even the Trophy Wife loved it more than all the others! Guess who got the high score for the day. Yes, it was a beauty pageant.

  • 4 Cups AP Flour
  • 1 1/4 Teaspoons Quick Rise Yeast
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Sour Cream
  • 3/4 Cup + 1 Tablespoon 1% Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Rice Wine Vinegar or White Vinegar
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Flour For Boule Forming

  1. Combine the dry ingredients.
  2. Combine the wet ingredients and warm to about 85 degrees. I do this slowly in the microwave using the reheat setting. It takes about a minute and a half. Make sure you stir it well.
  3. Combine all the ingredients. It should just start to look glossy, but not wet.
  4. Spray oil the inside of the bowl moving the dough to each side and the spray the top.
  5. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and a towel. Place in oven with only oven light on and let raise at least 6 hours.
  6. Turn out onto oiled counter top and fold over twice.
  7. Cover with plastic wrap and let raise another hour.
  8. Preheat oven and Dutch oven or heavy pot with lid to 450 degrees.
  9. Remove pot from oven and remove lid.
  10. Using a couple tablespoons of flour quickly form the dough by pulling under a few times into a Boule or round shape.
  11. Place shaped dough into Dutch oven, cover, and place into oven.
  12. Bake for 30 minutes covered and then 10 minutes uncovered.
  13. Remove dough from pot and cool on a wire rack.

This recipe is great for both sandwiches and toasting.

1 slice (depending on how big and without butter) is approximately 150 calories.

© Russell W Peterson | | 10.16.14


Disney's Frozen
Mostly what I remember about meals when I was young is my parents' saying: "Children in (insert an impoverished nation of your choice) are starving, so clean up your plate and don't let this food go to waste." I'm convinced that sitting for hours trying to finish food that I could barely stuff into my mouth because I was so full is a big part of why I struggle with weight issues. 

I didn't raise my kids that way. I let them leave food at the table and on their plate. I wanted them to understand how to feed their bodies appropriately and be healthy. However, when you have dancer/athletes like I do, you never know when they are going to eat a super huge meal or a very tiny meal. So I always have leftovers - lots of leftovers. What do I do with them?

I make soups, casseroles, savory pies and eggs. I make lots of left over egg dishes. This is one of my favorites. I combine my love of roasting vegetables with a simple steamed egg and a bit of cheese. And while I'm at it, I imagine I'm helping to not waste food for starving children somewhere. Oh, and let's all give to Action Against Hunger while we are at it.
  • 1-1/2 Cups Roasted Vegetables
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Tbl Shredded Cheese
  • Olive Oil
  • 1/8 Cup Water

  1. Drizzle olive oil into a pan that has been heated to medium high.
  2. Add the roasted vegetables and cook for about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Crack two eggs directly on top of the vegetables.
  4. Cook another 2 minutes. Lower heat to medium to medium low.
  5. Add water to pan and cover until eggs are steamed done and whites are set. About 2 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle with cheese and cover until melted. About 30 seconds. Season with black pepper.
  7. If you want a crunchier bottom on your vegetables, keep the lid off after adding the cheese so the water evaporates and a crust forms on the bottom.

This makes one hardy serving or two smaller servings.

Large hardy serving is about 300 calories.
Smaller half size serving is about 150 calories.

I would always look at that two-ingredient low carb healthy banana pancake recipe and think, "No way. How do you get anything to taste like pancakes without flour?" Well, I finally tried them and thought, "Not bad, but could be improved." So I worked up a killer recipe that, "Voila, tastes like pancakes." My athletic dancer kids love them and so do I.

  • 1 Banana
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 Cup Egg White
  • 1/8 Tsp Baking Powder (Slightly Less)
  • 1/8 Tsp Cinnamon (Slightly Less)
  • Vegetable Oil

  1. Place all ingredients into a blender or hand emulsifier. Pulse once or twice. (Really, only once or twice Don't over do it. You don't want them too watery.)
  2. Heat a skillet to medium high heat and then reduce to medium or just slightly above medium.
  3. Drizzle just enough vegetable oil to cover pan. 
  4. Pour in batter into 2-3" rounds. Cook until bubbly and then flip. Cook until puffed up slightly.
  5. Serve with peanut butter, maple syrup, Nutella, or fruit preserves.

  • Alternatively you could mash the banana and mix in the egg with a fork until just barely lumpy.
  • Use vegetable oil, not canola or butter or anything else. Definitely do not cook them dry in a non-stick pan. The oil helps make the outside a bit crunchy and delicious.
  • You could use two eggs, but I prefer the one egg/one egg white combination.
  • I use slightly less than 1/8 each of the baking powder and cinnamon. I think in part it depends on how fresh your baking powder is and what kind of cinnamon you are using.


This is for one serving. Stack them high on a plate. Yum!

About 200 calories without toppings.

Nearing Mother's Day my mother would usually inquire as to the plan for the day. My dad would reply, "You're not my mother." His point being that the day was to celebrate one's mother, not one's spouse. My mother was forgiving so the same never went for Father's Day. In that spirit the Trophy Wife made this wonderful breakfast dish for me this year. Even though I am not her father.
  • 18-20 Stale Dinner Rolls Torn Up
  • 1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 6 Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Ripe Bananas

Topping Ingredients
  • 1 Stick Softened Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup Oats

Preheated 350 degrees F

  1. Mix and toss all ingredients except topping ingredients and bananas  with torn up buns.  Let sit about 15 minutes.
  2. In a separate bowl combine softened butter, brown sugar and oats.
  3. Slice two ripe bananas into ½ inch pieces.
  4. Pour ½ the mixture into a spray oiled lasagna pan.  
  5. Sprinkle that first layer with cut bananas.
  6. Added remaining bread mixture.
  7. Drop topping mixture in small chunks all over pan. 
  8. Bake 45 minutes until light brown on top.
  9. Let cool slightly and serve over warm maple syrup.

Add 1/4 cup of chopped pecans to the topping mixture if you wish.

Did you see the heavy cream and butter? Don't ask.

Inspired by a recipe from Paula Dean.
iDad Tshirt
#1 Dad Tshirts
These light egg muffins are great for breakfast, brunch or snack time. They are low carbohydrate, low in calories, low fat and high in protein. They refrigerate well and can be reheated

  • 9 Eggs
  • 3/4 Cup 1% Milk
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Of Salt
  • Pinch Of Black Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Finely Grated Cheese
  • Just Shy Of 2 Cups Of Fine Bread Crumbs (About 2 Thick Slices Of Home Made Bread)
  • Spray oil

  1. Spray a muffin pan heavily with spray oil.
  2. Pulse the bread to a very small size in a food processor or use store bought tiny bread crumbs.
  3. Place bread crumbs in bottom of muffin openings.
  4. Whisk the first four ingredients together and pour into muffin openings. They should be nearly full, but not full.
  5. Sprinkle cheese on top.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 17-18 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and cool slightly.
  8. Remove from muffin tray using a small silicone spatula running it quickly around the edge and popping it out.
  9. Serve with hot sauce and fruit.

About 95 calories per muffin depending on cheese used.

  • These are light, so the bread crumbs and cheese can really change the flavor. Experiment.
  • You could add bacon, ham or other flavorings easily to these muffins.
  • Once refrigerated they can be reheated in a microwave on 50% power or in a toaster oven.

There are so many ways to cook eggs, especially scrambled eggs. One of my kids' favorites are my silky eggs. The combination of cream, butter and low temperature create a yummy silky texture: smooth, warm and wonderful.   The recipe can be increased significantly for brunch or a larger group.


  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons Heavy Cream
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • A Bit Of Salt And Pepper


  1. Heat butter in a non stick pan on medium low.
  2. Whisk the eggs and cream together vigorously and pour into the pan with the melted butter.
  3. Cook on medium low stirring frequently until just set. They will cook slightly after you remove them from the heat.

About 190 calories.

Being from the south (if you can call southern Illinois south), my mother loved southern food. One of her favorites was cornbread. She just followed the instructions on the round cornmeal box and baked it in a cast iron skillet. It was always served hot with butter and honey. Yum! 

I loved the way my mom's cornbread tasted. Since I have very few of her successful recipes, I wanted to pass the cornbread tradition on to my kids. However, when I made it for my young children they complained about the "grainy" texture of that method. (One of the things I've learned as a parent is that texture is nearly everything!) 

So, in order to develop something a bit "smoother" but still full of flavor and taste, I came up with these great corn bread muffins sweetened with a bit of honey. Many people would classify them as northern and not southern because they are sweeter than savory, but I don't care what you call them because they are delicious, easy to make and the kids gobble them up. Just spread on the butter because the honey is already built right in! I think my mother would be proud.
400 Degress F

  • 3/4 cup corn meal
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup one percent milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 stick melted butter
  • 1/4 cup honey

  1. Stir the dry ingredients together until well mixed.
  2. Whisk wet ingredients together in a separate bowl.  
  3. Combined the wet and dry ingredients until just mixed. 
  4. Spoon batter into 12 papered muffin cups. 
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.


12 Servings
170 calories per serving
I have successfully reduced salt to about 3/4 tsp. You could try less if you are on a lower salt diet and use unsalted butter as well.

This is a great first recipe for kids to try. It easy to mix together and relatively fast to prepare and cook.
A friend of mine I met during my college years while we were both waiters at a local Mexican restaurant makes a wonderful cheesy egg dish. But first, you should know that she has the most delightful personality, an incredible sense of humor, a voracious love of coffee and about a thousand voices including the most convincing baby voice. So, of course we hit it off famously. Many times our restaurant gang would end up at her house either after a late night shift or in the morning for brunch. Along with her very strong and aromatic coffee, she would make her famous cheesy eggs. I'm convinced the magic to cooking them is the love she put into that pan because simply all she did otherwise was just cook the cheese right into the eggs as they were scrambling. They were creamy and delicious; melt in your mouth good. I honestly could not eat enough of them. So I have been making versions of her eggs now for years for my family and I finally decided it was time to "skinny" them up because I've put on a few pounds over the years eating those dang eggs. So here is my version of Debi's Cheesy Eggs albeit a little bit skinnier, just like I'm hoping to be!
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges
  • 2 Slices Kirkland Lean Ham
  • Spray Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Optional Hot Sauce For Serving

  1. Heat a large non stick pan to medium. 
  2. Chop the ham
  3. Spray the pan with oil.
  4. Add the ham and stir until starting to warm.
  5. Add the cheese wedges and lower heat to medium low.
  6. Once the cheese starts to soften and melt quickly whisk the eggs and add them to the pan.
  7. Stir as the cheese melts and the eggs start to set.
  8. Cooking the eggs on a lower temperature will take a little longer than normal. Once cooked you may season to taste.
  9. Serve with fruit and strong coffee of course!

1 Serving

About 260 calories per serving. You could lower the calorie count by about 35 calories if you substitute 1/4 cup egg white for one of the eggs.

Eggs scramble best if the pan is already hot, the pan temperature is lower than normal, and you whisk them well right before adding them.
Create Custom T-Shirts