Mom’s Show Day Banana Bread


By Savannah Burt, Fill Your Plate Contributing Writer  

Growing up, I spent more time in the barn than I did in my actual house. Every late night washing cattle and cleaning stalls led up to long-awaited show mornings, traveling across the state before sunrise, with my parents in the front seat and my steers in our creaky red trailer. For most people a show morning meant concession stand breakfast burritos or McDonald’s, but for my family, it meant bringing along our favorite “good luck” tradition: thick loaves of Mom’s perfectly buttered, moist banana bread. No matter what happened to go wrong that morning, whether it be flat trailer tires, ornery calves, or fierce weather, Mom’s banana bread would keep our bellies full and a smile on our face. Here is the guide to starting a morning off right.

“Banana Nut Bread


1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

⅔ Cup sugar

⅓ Cup shortening

2 eggs

2 tablespoons milk

1 cup mashed ripe banana

¼ cup chopped nuts


Stir together flour, baking powder, soda, and ¾ teaspoon salt. Set aside.

In a mixer bowl cream sugar and shortening with electric mixer till light, scraping sides of bowl often. Add eggs, one at a time, and the milk, beating till smooth after each addition. Add flour mixture and banana alternately to creamed mixture, beating till smooth after each addition. Fold in nuts.

Turn batter into a lightly greased 8x4x2- inch loaf pan. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 60 to 65 minutes or till a wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool. For easier slicing, wrap and store overnight. Makes 1.”

Recipe originally retrieved from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book published in 1981


Over the years, my love for this dish and our family tradition became more than just a good luck wish or a comfort food breakfast. My last show day was ages ago, but we still take every excuse to bake up a fresh batch of banana bread. Every time I smell that bread baking, I remember my mother’s gentle way of making sure I never forgot to take care of myself during a busy show day. I remember the nights she stayed up well past a reasonable hour so she could iron my show clothes and make sure I would have breakfast in the morning before rushing out the door. I remember every mile traveled with my parents, every hug and smile as I exited the show ring, whether victorious or not. Food has the ability to show love and create memories. From my family to yours, I hope this recipe will have the same impact.


More about Savannah

I am an Arizona native born and raised in the west valley. I first got involved with agriculture at the age of 11 when my family moved to Waddell, and since then I’ve raised and shown hogs, beef cattle, and a lamb. I’m currently serving as the Arizona State FFA president and attending Estrella Mountain Community College

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Aunt T’s Enchiladas

By Alexandra Pettit, Arizona Farm Bureau Intern

In my family when we were having enchiladas you knew it was going to be a good time. It was going to be a fun-filled night of cooking and laughing. This recipe came from my mom’s best friend and we called her Aunt T. When I was little I would sit in the kitchen and watch them laugh and cook, and this by far was always the best meal.

The older I got the more my mom wanted me to learn how to cook and this was one of the first things she taught me how to cook. This recipe brings back lots of memories I got to spend with my mom in the kitchen. We would always hand roll each one, and at the end, she would let me lick the spoon. Looking back I cherish the time I spent in the kitchen with my mom now that she is gone. I’m glad that I have this special recipe that I can share with my kids someday.

Aunt T’s Enchiladas

Makes Approximately 1 ½ Dozen

1-1 ½ Boneless skinless chicken breast shredded (save broth)

2 Cans of diced green chilies

½ Cup of grated cheddar cheese

½ Cup of chopped onions

1 can of cream of chicken soup

2/3 container 16 oz Sour cream

Cream together ingredients. If too thick add broth a little at a time till creamy.

Also, need:

Corn tortillas

1 Cup shredded cheese

Warm tortillas in microwave (1Min.) spoon mixture into tortilla, roll it and place in the casserole dish. With the remainder of the mixture add the rest of the sour cream container and more broth until runny. Spoon over remaining filling over the top of the enchiladas. Sprinkle with the cheese and bake at 375 Degrees until hot all the way through.


For more fun and interesting articles, be sure to check out the Fill Your Plate blog. If you enjoyed this recipe and are looking for more inspiration for the dinner table, take a look at the Fill Your Plate recipe section.


Author’s Biography

My name is Alexandra and I am a junior at Arizona State University studying Global Agribusiness. I am a member of the Sigma Alpha chapter at ASU. I hope that upon graduating I can peruse a career in the agriculture industry.

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The Blended Waffle Home

By Annily Hawks

I am sure you have heard of the famous Waffle House restaurant, most recognizable by their yellow signs and welcoming atmosphere. I have a few great memories there, most of which include dining in at 2 am during my first year of college with my new friends. Maybe they are to blame for my freshman 15. Although these were fun times, my favorite memories and the best waffles I have ever tasted didn’t come from Waffle House. They came from a home.

The first time I had the world’s best waffles was 2009. My mom had just remarried, and I gained what I like to call a bonus dad, as well as 6 siblings. It was quite the adjustment. I’ve always had my bonus dad wrapped around my finger, but I can recall the day he truly won me over. It was a Sunday morning before church, I didn’t have to be ready until noon so my plan was to sleep in. But instead I was awakened by the sweet smell of bacon…and another smell I didn’t quite recognize. I headed downstairs to the kitchen and I saw waffles. Part of me as a little disappointed because I had never really been a fan of waffles. I was more of a biscuits and gravy kind of girl. But I, of course, indulged anyways.


The perfect meal. What better way to win a 12-year-old girl over, than with a really good breakfast. Waffles, paired with moms famous buttermilk syrup, with a side of bacon. The taste that would later bring many people together.


Our family wasn’t the only thing that blended that year. Our family recipes blended, memories, laughs, and A LOT of arguing. But we never argued sitting around the table on a Sunday morning eating waffles.


As I got older our family grew. No, my mom didn’t have more kids. But, my siblings and I made friends. An abundance of my friends didn’t have the easiest home life, or they struggled in some way. As I would come home as express my concern about them, to my mom, she always suggested inviting them over for waffles.


Even now, in my adult life, I am always extending an invitation for waffles. Although I’ve lived away from home for years, there is no problem that can’t be solved by Bonus Dad’s Waffles, and Mom’s Buttermilk Syrup.


It all started when a boy was 15 years old. It was his turn to make dinner, so he picked out a recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens recipe book. It just so happened to be waffles. Little did that 15-year-old boy know, he would gain me as a daughter. And with the help of my mom, it would create a lasting tradition and a safe house for many.

Bonus Dad’s Waffles (AKA ‘Oh Boy! Waffles’ from Better Home and Gardens Cookbook)

Mom’s Buttermilk Syrup (Six Sisters’ Stuff Blog)

Annily Hawks grew up in Coolidge/Florence, Arizona. She is a past FFA member, and Past State Officer and hopes to continue to give back to FFA in any way she can. Annily attends BYU-I online and is working toward majoring in Agriculture Education with a minor in journalism. She wants to one day become an agriculture teacher and FFA advisor. Annily also wants to help others get through loss and grief by writing on her own blog and hopefully one day she will write her own book. Her hobbies include photographing, reading, and being in the mountains.

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The Art of Mindful Eating: Slowing Down to Savor the Moment

By Cecelia Wilken, Recent ASU Nutrition Student

When was the last time you ate? Maybe a few hours ago? Can you recall what you had? If you’re like most of us in today’s fast-paced society, you probably can’t remember. That’s because, like most of us, we are doing multiple things while we eat; talking on the phone, checking emails, texting, reading or watching the television. We have become disconnected from our meals and as a result, more disconnected from our own bodies. Dr. Lilian Cheung, a nutritionist, and lecturer at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health think that this disconnect, this “mindless” eating, has contributed to the obesity epidemic¹. According to her, how we eat is just as important as what we eat.

“The tenets of mindfulness apply to mindful eating as well, but the concept of mindful eating goes beyond the individual. It also encompasses how what you eat affects the world. We eat for total health,” Dr. Cheung¹

Mindfulness can be defined simply as living in the moment. According to the Center for Mindful Eating², when applied to eating, mindfulness includes:

  • Using all the senses to experience your food in the moment². Taking the time to savor the flavors, smells, and textures of your meals.
  • Acknowledging food as an opportunity to nurture and respect your body. Consciously filling your plate with nutritious and healthful foods that better your mind and body².
  • Acknowledging and respecting likes and dislikes without judgement². Feeling free to eat what you like, when you like.
  • Being aware of hunger and satiety cues². Eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full.

Mindful eating has been used in many clinical settings to help treat eating disorders, reduce depression and anxiety and improve overall health and wellness of individuals³. Mindfulness is a tool that has also used to help prevent and treat obesity³. Additionally, mindful eating has been shown to help reduce impulsive eating both in adolescents and adults, which may help impede excess weight gain. At the core, mindful eating focuses on incorporating healthful foods, like whole grains, raw fruits, and vegetables, but the fundamentals can still be implemented to eating whatever you want.

Here are 7 simple steps you can do to incorporate mindful eating into your own life.

  1. Start with your grocery list.

Focus on adding wholesome and nutritious ingredients to your list. By planning, you can avoid impulse shopping and avoid filling the cart with highly processed foods. When you go to the grocery store, start in the produce section and try to fill most of your cart with fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s also a good idea to avoid grocery shopping on an empty stomach, as this can tempt you to reach for those impulse items.

  1. Eat when you are hungry, but not starving.

While skipping meals seems like a good idea, especially for those who are looking to lose a few extra pounds. This can have the opposite effect on your metabolism and appetite. Eating well-thought-out and balanced meals throughout the day can help you avoid over-eating and bringing food. We all know that feeling, you’ve waited all day long to eat and now that you can finally sit down, you eat everything on your plate, and then some, in a matter of minutes. You leave the table feeling bloated, uncomfortable and maybe even guilty.

Listen to the cues given by your body. Eat when you are hungry, but don’t wait till you are starving. Additionally, don’t focus on cleaning your plate, stop when you feel full and satisfied. By paying attention to the cues your body gives you, you can provide your body with the sustenance it needs without overdoing it.


  1. Portion your food.

Not everyone has time to sit down and calculate the exact number of calories and nutrients you need to adequately sustain your body. But there are some tricks you can use to help portion your food better. First, start with a small plate or bowl. Our eyes play tricks on us, and by using larger plates, we tend to eat more needlessly. Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables. Try cutting up meat prior to putting it on your plate. By cutting your food before your plate it, it gives the illusion of larger portions.


  1. Use your senses.

The entire premise of mindful eating is to live in the moment. Mindful eating encourages enjoyment of the meals we eat. At the beginning of your meals, before you start chatting with those around you, or before you pick up your phone, take 5 minutes to thoroughly enjoy the food in front of you. Use your sight, smell, taste, and touch to savor each bite. Even if it is just a simple salad or granola bar, take the time to appreciate the time and effort it took to bring that dish/food to your hands. Contemplate the ingredients, where they came from, the farmers that grew it, and/or the chefs that prepared it.


Suddenly, a simple salad seems far more interesting and you can feel more appreciative about your choices.


  1. Avoid multitasking.

When we multi-task we tend to overeat. For example, have you ever gone to the movies and purchased a giant bowl of popcorn? You sit down, watch the opening trailers and before the movie even begins almost half of your popcorn is already gone! When we are distracted it is easier to ignore our own bodies cues about food or other things.


At your next meal, take the first 5 minutes to enjoy and savor each bite. Aside from enjoying conversation with those around you, put your phone away and remove any other distractions (turn the TV off, lower the volume of the music).


  1. Slow down.

As a society we are always on the move, rushed to complete tasks, always thinking about what to do next. With busy lives, it is hard to slow down enough to enjoy the moment. As a result, we often tend to rush through meals. When practicing mindfulness, slow down during mealtime, chew food thoroughly and take small bites. This not only helps you appreciate your food more, but it also gives your brain time to catch up with your stomach. By slowing down, we can pay more attention to cues from our bodies and stop when we feel full. This helps prevent overeating and helps your body digest food more efficiently.


  1. Remove the guilt.

We are bombarded constantly with nutrition information. Platforms like social media, magazines, commercials, news stations, even well-intended friends and family have opinions about what we should and shouldn’t eat. Daily headlines often contradict one another and most of us are left confused and overwhelmed by the information. We place rules and guidelines on our diets and feel the need to constantly judge our minds and bodies. Oftentimes, we feel guilty after indulging and chastise ourselves for “giving into temptation”.  Studies have shown that mindful eating and incorporating it into family structures can promote confidence and body positive thinking in adolescents⁵.

When we apply mindful eating to our daily lives, we can remove those guilty feelings. There are no rules. There are no strict guidelines to follow. We simply eat what we want, when we are hungry, and stop when we are full. Taking the moment to enjoy that slice of chocolate cake, or burger and fries are no longer met with guilt and judgment but is instead treasured as a delicious treat. By making mindful choices and paying attention to our bodies, we feel more in control of our lives and our diets. We can balance our meals with nutritious choices and indulgent treats in a way that is healthy and purposeful. Listen to your body and if you are concerned, contact your doctor or a Registered Dietician for more information.



You might be thinking, “That’s great and all. But how am I supposed to do that at every meal? All the time?!” I get it, I am no different, as a stay-at-home mom I rarely have the time to sit down to contemplate and appreciate each bite. Many of my meals involve eating leftover pizza crust over the sink as I try to rush my family out the door. There definitely isn’t time for me to appreciate the granola bar I’m stuffing in my face as I drive my kid to school. Instead, I try to focus on practicing mindful eating at least twice a day. In the mornings, I’ll wake up a bit earlier than my family, make myself a cappuccino and bowl of fruit and yogurt and take the time to appreciate every bite. I savor the smell of my coffee, the sweetness of my breakfast, the quiet calmness of the morning. This starts my day off on the right foot and I feel motivated and refreshed to tackle the day.

At dinner, I practice mindfulness by cooking dinner with my 3-year-old daughter. We work together to create healthy and nutritious meals and talk about where our food comes from, we name the colors and shapes we see and when we finally tuck into our meals, we talk about the flavors and textures of our foods. By introducing mindful eating to my own daughter, I’ve found that she is far more likely to try new foods and be excited about dinner time.

For more information on mindful eating, visit or for a more in-depth look, consider the book Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by Dr. Cheung and her co-author, Buddhist spiritual leader Thich Nhat Hanh.

For more information on mindful eating also visit these articles:

What a 16-Year-Old Taught Me about Mindful Eating

Protect Your Children Through Mindful Eating

**The author and the Arizona Farm Bureau are not affiliated with Dr. Cheung or The Center for Mindful Eating


¹ 8 steps to mindful eating – Harvard Health. (2016). Retrieved from

² The Center for Mindful Eating – Principles of Mindful Eating. (2018). Retrieved from

³Winkens, L., van Strien, T., Barrada, J., Brouwer, I., Penninx, B., & Visser, M. (2018). The Mindful Eating Behavior Scale: Development and Psychometric Properties in a Sample of Dutch Adults Aged 55 Years and Older. Journal Of The Academy Of Nutrition And Dietetics118(7), 1277-1290.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2018.01.015

Hendrickson, K., & Rasmussen, E. (2017). Mindful eating reduces impulsive food choice in adolescents and adults. Health Psychology36(3), 226-235. doi: 10.1037/hea0000440

⁵Webb, J., Rogers, C., Etzel, L., & Padro, M. (2018). “Mom, quit fat talking—I’m trying to eat (mindfully) here!”: Evaluating a sociocultural model of family fat talk, positive body image, and mindful eating in college women. Appetite126, 169-175. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2018.04.003

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Prosciutto & Fig Sandwich

By Erika Guzman, Recent ASU Nutrition Student

Sandwiches are a lifesaver. They’re usually quick and easy, customizable, and can be as simple as a PB&J or as complicated as the Elvis. It’s an easy portion-controlled size that can easily satisfy a hunger for a little while and even fun to lunch swap with friends!

But sometimes, a fancy sandwich is needed as a treat or a break from the kitchen without taking half an hour to cook. I introduce to you: prosciutto and fig sandwich. The idea was accidental. A friend of mine sandwiched two small appetizers into one big bite, the crunchy bread of a bruschetta with a prosciutto-wrapped carrot. However, I’m sure this recipe is tastier. With a little bit of cooking, it’s just as sweet and savory, yet filling.


Balsamic reduction:

  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar

You can save the rest in a container in the fridge for about a week. Great for salads!



  • 2 slices of ciabatta bread, or a sliced ciabatta roll
  • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. goat cheese, sliced or spreadable (if you can find honey-infused, spreadable goat cheese, this one goes best!)
  • 6 slices prosciutto, sliced thin or sandwich cut
  • 1-2 Tbsp. fig jam/ marmalade
  • A handful of peppery greens, such as arugula or spinach
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste




  1. Start with making the reduction. In a small saucepan, pour the ½ cup of balsamic over high heat. Whisk briskly. Once it starts to boil, constantly whisk to prevent burning.
  2. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the liquid becomes a syrupy consistency.


Sandwich Assembly:

  1. Drizzle oil on both slices of bread and toast until golden brown. This works best in a toaster oven for 3 minutes, but a toaster works as well.
  2. Spread or top the goat cheese on the bottom, then the prosciutto slices on the bread. Drizzle a teaspoon of the reduction onto the meat.
  3. Next, add the greens with another drizzle of the balsamic reduction.
  4. Spread the fig jam or marmalade on the top slice, season with freshly ground black pepper, and add the top bun to finish.
  5. Slice in half and enjoy!


Although it is a sandwich, it’s quite tasty and feels a little fancy, almost like a classy cafe with jazz music dancing across the room.

For more incredible recipes, check out the Fill Your Plate recipe section.

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