The Best [GF] & [V] Banana Bread Recipe, Ever.

This is the BEST gluten free and vegan banana bread recipe, ever. There’s also no added sugar, which makes it Paleo friendly for those of you who are into that kind of thing.

Continue reading The Best [GF] & [V] Banana Bread Recipe, Ever.

Lacy Cornmeal Pancakes with Strawberry Compote

In keeping with the breakfast trend, this month’s second recipe is Bon Appetit‘s Lacy Cornmeal Pancakes with Strawberry Compote. It was featured in their May magazine from a chef who cooks with inspiration from her South African roots.

Continue reading Lacy Cornmeal Pancakes with Strawberry Compote

Vegan Peanut Butter Roasted Banana Waffles

If you’re reading this opening line then congrats, you’re not a chicken and easily scared off by the word vegan.

Yes, it’s true, not all vegan recipes are created equally and I’ve made my fair share of them to see which ones are worth adding to my home menu.


When the words, peanut butter, roasted banana, and waffle, are in the title, how could you think it wouldn’t taste good? This combination had me at hello while thumbing through Thrive’s plant-based eats cookbook.

Before you look at the recipe I want to stress not to stress. Yes, it’s a bit tedious. Yes, there are a bunch of ingredients. Yes, it will be time consuming. What to remember? These damn waffles are worth it and you’ll be pleased with yourself at the end result.


Here’s the recipe and below are my notes to help you nail it your first try. And remember, if you don’t want it to be vegan or don’t have some of the vegan(fish) ingredients, swap them for what you do have!

peanut butter roasted banana waffle recipe

  1. Roast bananas: preheat oven to 400*F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel and cut bananas in half, lengthwise. Then line halves up on baking sheet, cut side up. Sprinkle with sugar and spices. Bake for 15-minutes or until caramelized.
  2. Prepare topping: whisk together peanut butter, water, and maple syrup until smooth.
  3. Make waffles: preheat waffle iron. I got my mini waffle iron from Target and LOVE it.
  4. Whisk together flours, baking powder, and salt in medium-sized bowl or large measuring cup.
  5. Whisk together peanut butter, sugars, milk and vinegar in a separate bowl. Then mash roasted bananas into the wet mixture until evenly combined.
  6. Lightly coat preheated waffle iron with butter or oil of choice and spoon about 1/4 cup of waffle batter onto iron, close and cook both sides. About 2-minutes per side.***
  7. Repeat until batter is upside up. Keep waffles warm in the oven until ready to serve.
  8. Top with maple peanut butter topping and fruit.

If you make these, for the love of Zeus tag me in your photo on Instagram @sjrandol so I can celebrate you for completing this whopper of a recipe!

My mentionables:

  • I yielded about 13 waffles using my mini DASH waffle iron from Target and honestly, it’s the perfect waffle size because I can eat two and say it’s technically only one. Tricks my brain!
  • I didn’t used 1/4 cup to scoop since my waffle iron was mini, instead I utilized my 1/8 cup (which is half of 1/4) and who knew I’d ever find a use for that thing.
  • From start to finish it took me a little over an hour to make, be sure you’re mentally prepared to fiddle with your waffles for at least 75 minutes.
  • A friend’s picky eater child loved every bite of these waffles, so if that doesn’t tell you anything…

There is absolutely NOTHING I would change about this recipe. I love it exactly the way it is, in fact, when I ate the second to last waffle I felt sad. Simply knowing there would only be one more left for my next meal was depressing.

I also feel compelled to tell you I ate these plain and straight out of my hand some mornings when I was in a rush. Double fisting roasted banana peanut butter waffles first thing in the a.m. isn’t a bad way to start the day.


You don’t have to be a professional baker or cook to nail a fancy recipe. All you need to be is willing. 

If you make these tag me @sjrandol (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!). I’d love to hear and see how you enjoyed them.

RamblinRandol - (2)


Gourmet Makes Pop Tart Challenge Final Verdict

Last week my favorite YouTube series (Gourmet Makes) put out Claire Saffitz’s (show host/pastry chef) gourmet pop tart recipe and asked fans to give it a go, so I did because #quarantine.

It took me two days. I repeat, two freakin’ days. One day to prep the filling, pastry, and homemade sprinkles, and a whole day dedicated to assembly which took a little over 4 – hours from rolling out the dough to icing and sprinkling.

For some reason (ignorance is bliss, and I didn’t read the recipe in its entirety. Only read through each segment (pastry, filling, sprinkle) as needed) I thought making homemade sprinkles would be the worst bit.

I don’t have the greatest track record with patience and letting things dry. I’m thirty years old and still can’t manage to let my nails dry throughly before moving on to my next task. The day I don’t smudge one of my home manicures will be the day I finally figured out patience.

Luckily, I had enough wherewithal to think sprinkles were going to require the most time and should do them first. Unfortunately that brain power didn’t think it was necessary to double check my ingredients, and half way through Hubs had to run to the grocery store and pick up more powdered sugar and unsalted butter.

Biggest lesson I learned? Read the damn recipe. Read the damn recipe. Read the damn recipe. There is something to be said about the French saying, mise en place. Practice it while baking or cooking.

After piping out the sprinkles to dry, I moved on to the filling which is in my top three accomplishments of this entire recipe test. The strawberry jam tasted phenomenal!

The recipe calls for you to flavor to taste. I ended up using one whole juiced lemon and zest to balance out the vanilla extract and give my jammy filling the perfect about of lemony zest.

If you don’t enjoy a tart jam, don’t use the entire teaspoon of vanilla extract called for in the Bon Appetit recipe. The extract is strong and requires a whole lemon to balance out. If you want it less tart, cut the amount of extract in half if not by three quarters.

Biggest fack up? The pastry. No surprise there. When I cut into the finished product I noticed a thin line of uncooked dough…cue Claire’s sad music. Biggest bummer ever. Two days of work ended in mediocracy I could’ve prevented! Here’s what happened…

The recipe says to bake for 30 – 35 minutes; you’re looking for a golden bottom and pale top. When my first timer ( 30 minutes) went off I noted the semi-golden bottom and put them in for another 5 minutes.

When the second timer went off the bottoms had gotten more color but I had a weird feeling they could go for another five … but I worried I’d brown the tops and screw up its future toasting capabilities. So I went against my better judgment and pulled them out.

Did I mention I spent two flipping days on this gourmet project?! What a kick in the crotch I missed a home run by 3 – 5 minutes.

But did I mention the filling? SO GOOD.

You know what I’m second most proud about? How uniform and pretty my pop tarts ended up looking (which is not a skill I’m best known for) in the end. There really is a fine art to precision and uniformness. Shout out to all the pastry chefs out there who do this every day, you’re the real MVPs of the kitchen. For reals!

I’m happy to report my gourmet pop tarts held up nicely in the toaster (even though I forgot to add the vanilla and lemon juice to the icing…read the recipe, read the recipe, read the recipe)!

Would I make them again? 

LOL. How much longer are we going to be in quarantine? 😅

If I were going to make them again I’d buy the dough and sprinkles from the store. After having the homemade filling there’s no way I could settle for store bought jam. Plus it makes your house smell wonderful!

But honestly? Kelloggs does a damn fine job making pop tarts. The real question I have for you is … do you eat your pop tarts room temp or warm?

This is a question I struggle to answer because while nothing beats a warm pastry; I can never wait long enough for the filling to cool down. I always end up burning my tongue or the roof of my mouth with hot pastry jam. (Please see nail drying dilemma in the 4th paragraph)

Room temperature it is, don’t @ me. 😈

RamblinRandol - (2)

Come join me on IG or Twitter or Facebook @sjrandol

ps: my third most proud accomplishment was completing this bake. It was one heck of a test! Especially my rolling skills!

5 Ingredient Chocolate Chip Bread

There seems to be an endless supply of leftover ingredients after making or baking any recipe. You know, half bags of pecans or walnuts. That extra bag of brown sugar you bought because you couldn’t remember if you had it at home so you bought one for good measure. You know the song and dance.

So this past weekend I did an inventory check in my fridge and cabinets to see what I had and could use to make this week’s taste test recipe. Google is magical for these moments. After searching “less than five recipes” I found this one!

Anything with chocolate has to be good right? Scroll to find out.

Here is this week’s recipe:


  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 3 cups self-rising flour
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Beat eggs, sugar, and sour cream until well blended. Gradually stir in flour. Fold in chocolate chips. Transfer to a greased 9×5-in. loaf pan.
  2. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 65-75 minutes. Cool in pan 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.


  1. Full disclosure: I cut this recipe in half because I didn’t have two cups of sour cream on hand and I was NOT going to the g-store to get more! Mentioning because maybe(?) this had an effect on the rising and settling of the dough.
  2. When the bread came out of the oven it looked like the picture featured on Taste of Home, but after it cooled it sank and felt VERY dense. Now, I’m not sure if cutting the recipe in half messed with science or if this is what happens with this recipe after the bread cools.
  3. I did shake the chocolate chips in some flour so they wouldn’t all fall to the bottom, maybe that contributed, too?



Nah…banana bread will always be my number one. Sorry, not sorry!

ps: original recipe found here.

Everything you have ever wanted, is sitting on the other side of fear. (23)


RamblinRandol is my journey back to loving myself (which happens to include baking because it helps me in times of stress and anxiety to keep my hands busy). It’s an open letter on how I’m growing through what I’ve been through. And like Maya Angelou said, “the ache for home lives in all of us…” It’s time for me to feel at home in my own skin.

Click here to be my digital penpal and receive an email from mwah twice a month or hang out with me on Instagram @sjrandol.

WTF is a Sweet & Spicy Peanut Butter-Bacon Sandwich & Should You Make It?

Yes, you read that right. A sweet and spicy peanut butter-bacon sandwich IS today’s taste test recipe for the weekend and per usual, the Hubs will do his Stuff My Wife Makes review down below. Spoiler alert: his face when the heat hits his throat is hilarious…

fI you’re new here: I make or bake new recipes to build my own family favorites and he (the Hubs) finally puts his peanut gallery comments to good use and reviews the goods. Scroll for the recipe, my recommendations, and any baking hacks I learned along the way.

Here is this week’s recipe:


  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 4 slices cinnamon-raisin bread
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 crisp cooked bacon strips
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  1. Spread peanut butter on 2 bread slices; sprinkle with cayenne. Top with bacon and drizzle with honey. Top with remaining bread.


  1. Pretty self-explanatory (lol) BUT, I would like to remind you less is more when it comes to experimenting with heat. I like spice, but 1/8 tsp. was a little too much (even for four slices of cinnamon raisin bread) eve for me. Start with half of the 1/8 and work your way up.
  2. Omit the cayenne if you’re not a spicy kind of person.
  3. If you add banana some call it The Elvis Sandwich (going to try this next and probably LOVE it)



He won’t even eat it without the cayenne now, LMAO. But trust me, it’s flipping delicious! I am adding it to my breakfast rotation. Who knew I would come to LOVE cinnamon raisin bread, especially the homemade kind from a few weeks ago…click here for that recipe.

ps: original recipe found on Taste of Home.

Everything you have ever wanted, is sitting on the other side of fear.-4

RamblinRandol is my journey back to loving myself (which happens to include baking). It’s an open letter on how I’m growing through what I’ve been through. And like Maya Angelou said, “the ache for home lives in all of us…” It’s time for me to feel at home in my own skin.

Click here to be my digital penpal and receive an email from mwah twice a month or hang out with me on Instagram @sjrandol.

Foul Proof Recipe For Your Next Gathering

Are you looking for a foul proof recipe for your next gathering that’ll be a flipping crowd pleaser? I don’t usually participate in skipping pages of a story to get to the good part but I can’t help it, today’s recipe IS your foul proof recipe for your next gathering.

A few weeks ago my MIL surprised me with a recipe book from Balboa Island’s art festival and it was filled with family recipes…so of course I flipped thorough it IMMEDIATELY. (I love recipe books, it’s my guilty pleasure, anyone else?)

This week’s recipe is called Grandmother Ruth’s Apple Goodie by Christy Hardison Ward, and it’s a good. Full disclosure: I’m not a huge warm apple fan. I don’t know why…I love hot apple cider. Anyways, my Hubs is happy to eat all of my warm apple recipes.

Scroll for the recipe, my baking hacks for this recipe, my Hubs’ review, and if this bake makes it into the I’ll make this more than once recipe book.

The Recipe:

Apple Filling 

  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 T. flour
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 c. sliced apples


  • 1/2 c. oatmeal
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/8 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 c. butter, room temp.
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Sift flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon together. Combine apple slices and place in the bottom of greased casserole.
  3. Combine oatmeal, brown sugar, flour, baking soda and baking powder. Mix butter into coarse crumbs. Sprinkle crumbs over apples.
  4. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until apples are tender. Serve hot or cold.

Baking Hacks:

  1. I translated 2 cups of apples into 2 apples, not because I Googled it to double check but because I wasn’t going to go back out and get any more apples. LOL
  2. When recipes call for x to y minutes I always set it for whatever is the middle between x and y. For example, between 35 – 40 minutes translated to 37 minutes and ended up being the magic number.

Stuff My Wife Makes:


Ps: Hell to the yes I would make these again, it was quick and easy for the most part (if you have the Pampered Chef apple peeler, corer and slicer, I bet it would make it WAY more easy) and my Hubs loved it.


Lemon Berry Napoleon – Is It Good, Why Is It Called Napoleon?

Who here has tried to make three-tiered deserts, cakes included…it’s a little hairy at points, amiright? This week’s recipe by Home.Made.Interest was my first attempt at a three-tier dessert that WASN’T a cake…spoiler alert: I opted to make it two because #scarycustard.

This week’s recipe to try is a Lemon Berry Napoleon. Is it good and why is it called Napoleon? Keep scrolling for the recipe, some helpful first-time bake hacks, and if it makes the cut for recipes I make more than once. Oh, and what will the Hubs say? His review is down near the bottom, too!

The Recipe:

  • 2 sheets Puff Pastry
  • 2 1/4 tsp Powdered gelatin, , unflavored
  • ¼ c Warm water
  • 2 c Heavy Cream
  • 4 Tbsp Powdered sugar
  • 10 oz Lemon Curd
  • 1 c Strawberries
  • 1 c Blueberries
  • 1 c Blackberries
  • 1 c Raspberries
  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Lay thawed puff pastry sheet on a floured surface and roll it out into a 12x 12 inch square.
  3. Cut the square into three 12 inch x 4 inch strips and prick them all over with a fork.
  4. Place the puff pastry strips on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  5. Repeat for second puff pastry sheet.
  6. Cover dough with plastic wrap and place back in refrigerator to chill for at least 20 minutes.
  7. Once chilled remove baking sheets from refrigerator and place in over.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes until the dough begins to turn golden brown then place another baking sheet directly on top of the dough and continue baking for another 6-7 minutes.
  9. Remove the top baking sheet and finish baking for 6-7 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.
  10. Remove the puff pastry sheets from the oven and while they are still warm trim the edges of the puff pastry and cut the strips in half making each one 6 inches x 4 inches (approximately).
  11. Cool completely.


  1. While the puff pastry cools make the lemon mousse.
  2. Fill a small bowl with the warm water and sprinkle the gelatin over it letting it dissolve.
  3. Whip the heavy cream until it forms soft peaks then add the powdered sugar and the gelatin.
  4. Continue to whip until it forms stiff peaks.
  5. Gently fold in the lemon curd mixing until it is fully incorporated.


  1. You will use 3 puff pastry pieces for each Napoleon.
  2. Spread lemon mousse over the bottom piece making it about 1/2 inch thick. Top with the next piece and repeat.
  3. Top the third layer of puff pastry with lemon mousse and place on a baking sheet.
  4. Do this for all of the puff pastry and then place your 4 Napoleons in the refrigerator to firm up.
  5. Before serving top with fresh berries.
  6. Enjoy!

Baking Hacks:

  1. If your custard feels unreliable maybe knock down your layers to two instead of three, there’s no shame in modifying. Also, if you give zero shits about if it holds all three puff pastry layers then go for it! I had to bring this to a party and have it sit outside of the fridge for an hour or two so I was suspicious of the third layer.
  2. I cut the 6×4 inch puff pastry rectangles in half to make it a more manageable bite. The shape ended up being more square.
  3. Folding in the lemon curd knocked a bit of air out of the whipped cream, and I think it’s because the curd was stiff coming out of the jar. If I were to make it again I think I would scoop all of the curd out of the jar and into a separate bowl, stir the curd up so it gets fluffed (?) up and then fold into the whipping cream to keep it airy. If you try this idea, let me know if it makes a difference, I’m hopeful!
  4. If you’ve never decorated the tops of flimsy puff pastry layers with multiple pieces of fruit, give yourself grace. It’s not going to look IG cute your first go, and it’s okay 😉

Is It Good?


And would I make it again? Not unless it was requested. No offense to the puff pastry but it’s a damn mess and a pain in the ass to assemble, lol.

Wait, why is it called Napoleon?

Per usual it depends on who you ask, but according to most it has nothing to do with the French conquerer. Instead, “Napoleon translates into “thousand leaves” for its many flaky layers of pastry surrounding its custard cream,” and you can read more about it here if you’re curious.


Do Slutty Brownie Cups Live Up To The Hype?

Fridays are my favorite not only because it means the weekend is one work day away, but also because that means it’s time for another rendition of Try Stuff My Wife Makes with my Hubs.

I make, he tries. This week’s recipe is by Delish, so do you think the Slutty Brownie Cups live up to the hype? Keep scrolling for the recipe, some helpful first-time bake hacks, and if it makes the cut for recipes I make more than once.

The Recipe:

  • 1 box brownie mix (plus ingredients box calls for)
  • 24 oreos
  • 1 1/2 logs store-bought cookie dough
  • 1 1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 c. hot heavy cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350º and line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. Prepare brownie batter according to box instructions. In each cupcake liner, add an Oreo. Top with a tablespoon-size ball of cookie dough and top with another Oreo.
  3. Pour over brownie batter mix until each is almost full, fully covering the top Oreo.
  4. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the brownie cup comes out almost clean, 20 to 22 minutes.
  5. Let cool, then make ganache: In a small heatproof bowl, add chocolate chips. Pour over hot heavy cream and let stand 3 minutes, then whisk until smooth and no clumps remain.
  6. Spoon ganache over each cupcake and serve.

Baking Hacks:

  1. Unless you have ginormous cupcake tin pans, the double Oreo sandwiching the cookie dough ball takes up a lot of room in the regular cupcake tin, so opt for 1.5 Oreos. One full Oreo on the bottom and then one half of an Oreo on top of the cookie dough.
  2. My grocery store didn’t have logs of cookie dough so I bought two packs of Nestle’s cookie dough (only ended up using one pack) and cut each precut squares in half, so the 12 pack turned into a 24 pack and it was plenty!

Did It Live Up To The Hype?


Ps: Hell to the yes I would make these again, they’re easy as FUH and were a huge hit with everyone in the office and at home. The texture differences were raved about and I couldn’t get over how easy it was because everything was store bought and simply assembled.