Family Famous….Monster Cookies!


These cookies have a special place in the hearts of us Marshall kids.  We made these all the time growing up!  I remember my grandmother even made us a GIANT monster cookie once that was the size of a dinner plate.  Epic.

It was a special day when my Mom announced it was time to make monster cookies.

We could gather around the kitchen table and each of us took turns measuring and adding in an ingredient.  The end was the best because Mom gave each us each a big spoonful of the cookie dough to eat to tide us over until the cookies came out of the oven.  Bliss!

I’ve recently unearthed this recipe because…amazingly enough….if you make these with certified wheat free oats they are in fact gluten free! No other adjustments needed.  I also love that they contain no refined flours, only whole grain oats, and have lots of peanut butter in them with only a little amount of margarine or butter.  Some how this makes me feel better about eating these amazingly delicious cookies.

A few weeks ago I shared these with my house guests working hard on our basement …they didn’t last more than four days.  It got rave reviews and also from my co-worker and her hubby who just had a new baby!  I was glad to be able to spread some joy to other with good old fashioned baking.

This batch was made with our road trip to Vancouver in mind!  Time to spread some cookie love to our family down there!



3 eggs

1 cup EACH white and brown sugar

1/2 cup margarine or butter

1 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

1/2 tbsp vanilla

1 tbsp of corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon of salt

2 tsp baking soda

4 1/2 cup old fashion oats (not quick cooking)

1/2-1 cup chocolate chips

1/2-1 cup of M&Ms either normal or peanut variety


1. Beat together eggs, sugar, margarine and peanut butter together in a large bowl.

2. Add in corn syrup, salt and baking soda.  Mix well.

3. Add oats, chocolate chips and M&Ms. Mix well.

4. Using a small ice cream scoop or spoon, drop onto parchment paper lined baking sheets.  Do not flatten before baking.

5. Bake in preheated oven at 350 F for 10 minutes.  Cool on baking sheets.

Makes about 5-6 dozen cookies



New Recipe Index Tab


Check out the new Recipe Index tab located at the top of the blog page.

This will allow you to more easily scroll through and find recipes that may interest you!

Recipes are grouped into categories for your convenience.  Happy browsing!

Simple Fresh Pea Salad




3 cups fresh peas or unthawed frozen peas

1/2 cup sharp cheddar cubes

1/4 cup red pepper, minced

3 tbsp minced green onions

2 tbsp sour cream

1/4 cup mayonnaise, light

1 tbsp white vinegar

Dash of salt and pepper

2 tbsp fresh dill or 1 tsp dried dill


1. Thaw or shell peas.  Mince the red pepper and green onions.  Add together in bowl.

2. Cube the cheddar cheese.

3. Mix together dressing ingredients in a separate bowl – sour cream, mayonnaise, salt, pepper and dill.  Gently stir into the peas until well combined.

Refrigerate for an hour at least before serving.  Makes for great leftovers!

Book Review: The Complete Leaky Gut Health & Diet Guide


I was fortunately enough to be able to do another book review!  This time the book is about a topic that has interested me quite a bit in the past two years…Leaky Gut Syndrome.

The Complete Leaky Gut Health & Diet Guide: Improve everything from autoimmune conditions to eczema by healing your gut.  

By Dr. Makoto Trotter, BSc (Hons), ND

with Dough Cook, RD, MHSc.

Did you know that an estimated 80% of your immune system is located in your gut?  If your gut is unhealthy, the rest of your body is going to be affected.

I’ve really found reading this book quite stimulating and interesting.  I wish that we had this guide while trying to sort through the healing process for what we suspected was celiac disease related leaky gut for my husband a year ago.  This book confirmed everything that I have read up on leaky gut in the past year.

The main issue with this book comes down to the subject itself.  Leaky gut is a a syndrome not a disease so it cannot be diagnosed only suspected.  Meaning you can’t really know if you HAVE leaky gut and you don’t know if you have improved it other than by monitoring your symptoms.

“A disease can be defined as a health condition with predictable symptoms that can be related to a specific organ or system, whereas a syndrome is a health condition with a variety of symptoms that can be related to several body systems. In a disease, the cause is discernible.  In a syndrome, such as leaky gut syndrome, the cause is a mystery or a puzzle.”


Leaky gut syndrome is, however, is becoming more of a well recognized condition among health care professionals.  Personally journeying though the healing process in our family, I have seen first hand how healing your gut can significantly improve health.

The basis of the treatment plan is all encompassing and focuses on a whole body approach. No part of this treatment plan would be harmful to undertake in attempting to improve your health.  Eliminate processed foods?  Focus on managing your stress?  Becoming in tune with your body?  All good things.

This treatment plan outlined in the book recommends aspects of treatment such as:

  • Finding a good health-care professional (very important)
  • Focusing on whole, unprocessed foods that eliminate irritating and inflammatory ingredients
  • HOW to eat
  • Managing stress, exercise and lifestyle management
  • Supplements and complementary therapies

Half of the book includes a comprehensive diet plan and recipes.  Figuring out what food to make is half the battle.  Having a resource guide is extremely useful and important for the maintenance of the plan for potential patients.

I really loved the inter-disciplinary approach to the book.  A naturopathic doctor compiled the information and described the treatment plan where a registered dietitian completed the food section of the book.  That’s what made me so interested in this book.  Consequently all the recipes contain nutritional information, look simple, delicious and use only a few ingredients so they aren’t intimidating.

Overall I feel this is an excellent resource book for those wishing to improve health at the source of the problem, not just treating the symptoms. Taking time to focus on your health can only improve your life.

The Essential Gluten-Free Flour Mixture

flour1Photo credit: In sock monkey slippers

If you need to do some gluten free baking (for whatever reason) you NEED a good gluten free flour mixture recipe.  Don’t be going and thinking that you can just swap out wheat flour for brown rice flour and everything will be hunky dory.  That is unless you fancy eating a rice-flavored-rock-hard-muffin…

Starting out in the gluten free baking world, I didn’t find a good mix recipe for a WHILE…almost a year and a half.  As a result I avoided baking because it was a PAIN IN THE BUTT to measure four or five different types of flour every time I would try to make anything.  Then the result would tasty funky and the texture would be off.

Then I discovered this recipe and my world changed.  I made up a giant container.  Then you just conveniently scooped like you would flour for whatever recipe and know it (probably) will turn out!

Please don’t think that it’s super healthy.  It isn’t…since it contains refined flours – BUT I tweaked it a bit to incorporate sorghum flour which is a WHOLE grain, along with whole grain brown rice flour.  Everything in moderation!  Life is about balance – we still need some banana bread every once in a while!  Bonus points if you can find fortified flour with added vitamins. I try to amp up the nutrition also by adding powerhouse foods like ground flax seed, chia seeds, blueberries or walnuts to my baking.

This gluten free flour mixture is comparable to standard white wheat flour.  It can be used pretty much cup for cup in standard recipes like muffins, cookies, biscuits and cakes.  Of course the texture is going to be different in batter form.  Don’t be expecting it to look or feel like wheat flour batter or dough!  Once it’s baked, it should create a similar product.  You’ll learn how to make life easier for yourself by using parchment paper to roll out dough or just picking recipes that don’t require a lot of handling.



  • 1 Bag (24 oz or 4.25 Cups) Brown Rice Flour
  • 1 Bag (24 oz or 4.25 Cups) White Rice Flour
  • 1 Bag (24 oz or 4.25 Cups) Sorghum Flour (alternatively you may use Sweet Rice Flour)
  • 1 Bag (20 oz or 4.5 Cups) Tapioca Flour (aka Tapioca Starch)
  • 2½ tablespoons Xanthan gum


1. Using your BIGGEST mixing bowl, add all ingredients.  Mix with a whisk for about 5 minutes to ensure the flours are very well mixed together.  If your bowl isn’t big enough, then half the recipe and mix in two smaller batches.

2. Store in a large, air tight 5L jar or container.  Keep in the pantry or a cool, dark place.