Autumn’s here and it’s time to bake

Susan Manzke
Susan’s cabbage casserole is both filling and tasty and helps use up leftovers in the fridge. Plus there's usually leftovers to share or freeze.

I find that as soon as cooler weather shows up in the fall that I have to start cooking or baking. Too bad I have trouble making small batches of anything.

The other day, I used part of a small head of cabbage to make coleslaw. Afterward, I looked at the leftover cabbage and had the urge to make cabbage rolls. Oops! I hadn’t left the large leaves for this process.

Instead, I chunked up the cabbage, combined it with leftover brown rice, leftover taco meat mix, and V-8 juice, and made a casserole. Since this was a clean-out-the-refrigerator recipe, I don’t have measurements to share. All my seasoning came from the taco meat and the V-8.

My cabbage casserole didn’t seem like a big project until I put everything into a bowl to cook. I almost ran out of space. My ingredients seemed to expand as I mixed them together.

It took a little over an hour to cook through in the microwave. I kept mixing it every twenty minutes. To my surprise, this unplanned meal turned out yummy. I had plenty to eat and even put some in the freezer for another day.

My urge to bake hadn’t left me yet. I’ve been taking an online nutritious cooking/living class called Diet Free: Zonya’s Deep Dive Edition. In the Lickety-Split Meals cookbook, was a recipe for Breakfast in a Cookie that was calling my name.

I gathered the long list of ingredients so I could make the 60 cookies. The recipe is as follows:

Breakfast cookies are full of fresh ingredients that make a pick-me-up mid-morning snack or for whenever you're hungry.

Breakfast in a Cookie

1 c. dry oat bran

¾ cup orange juice

1 c. + 1 tsp. unsweetened applesauce

2 T. canola oil

1 c. honey

⅓ c. packed brown sugar

3 large eggs

1 ½ T. vanilla extract

1 T. grated orange rind

3 c. whole wheat pastry flour

1 T. baking powder

1 ½ tsp. baking soda

1 cup nonfat dry milk

2 ½ cups oats

1 cup nuts (your choice)

1 cup raisins

1 cup ground flaxseed.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix together dry oat bran with orange juice and set aside. Combine unsweetened applesauce with canola oil, honey, brown sugar, eggs vanilla extract and grated orange rind. Mix until smooth.

In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and baking soda. Stir into applesauce mixture. Add in oat bran/orange juice mixture along with nonfat dry milk, oats, chopped nuts, raisins and flaxseed. Combine with other ingredients.

Drop heaping tablespoons 1inch apart on cookie sheet. Bake 12 to 14 minutes. Extra cookies may be stored in freezer for future breakfasts. Enjoy! 

Note: This recipe was shared with permission from Lickety-split Meals By Zonya Foco RDN. Learn more at

That’s the official recipe, but I have to admit I had to change my mixture a bit as I ran out of vanilla and couldn’t fill a whole tablespoon with the orange rind I had. Oh, I also added a few chocolate chips. Not too many but my big bowl cried for some and I figured a handful would be okay.

Two cookies are supposed to have 220 calories, unless you run into a bunch of chocolate chips. These can be breakfast when you are in a hurry, or a snack when you need something mid-morning to keep you going.

A classmate said she takes a few when she’s driving so, she doesn’t get overly hungry when running errands.

I shared my Breakfast in a Cookie recipe with daughter Rebecca this morning. I sent her home with a container for her and Andy. Now it won’t take me too long before I will need to make more. But before I do, I’ll have to grate some orange peel and get more vanilla.

During this first bout with fall baking, I also made a chocolate cheesecake for my friends who get together for coffee at Sissy’s in Seymour. It feels so good to share when I do give homemade goods to family and friends. Afterward, I can still bake and not be forced to eat every gooey morsel all by myself.

A cool rainy day is here today. I think I’ll get my cookbook out to see what is calling my name. If you are lucky, you might get a taste of my future creations.

Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165;;