Archive | August, 2010

Why buy what you can make?

24 Aug

I love granola bars. Not gonna lie. I love the convenience of them. I like the tasty ones with a little bit of chocolate and almonds and fruit. But if you look at the box of some of them, you’ll cringe. Trust me.

I look at blogs with granola bar recipes and I think “I could do that.” But I don’t. I’m scared. I’m afraid it won’t be tasty or it won’t work. I’m also lazy. Yes. Lazy.

So today on my day off, I looked over some recipes and decided I could totally create my own. And by combining a variety of recipes, I did indeed do just that.

Granola Bars

6 dried prunes

6 dried apricots

1/2 cup dried “fruit” (I used a combo of dried blueberries and cranberries but you could use raisins, cherries, etc.)

1/2 cup almonds

2 cups oatmeal (not instant)

1/2 cup wheat germ

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 tbsp molasses

2 tbsp maple syrup

dash of salt

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 pack of this lovely little pack I bought at Whole Foods which contains cocoa nibs, coconut and raisins, it’s by TerrAmazon… it’s become my crack. I imagine you could use chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, cocoa nibs or just coconut. Essentially something to add some more crunch/sweetness

I mixed the oats and wheat germ on a baking sheet and toasted it in the oven on 350 degrees for about 5 minutes, just until it became nutty and fragrant. In a large bowl I then added that to my other dry ingredients (the flour, salt, cinnamon and cocoa nib mixture.

In the food processor, I processed the dried fruits just until they became kind of gummy and slightly unified. I think added the almonds and processed until they were roughly chopped and integrated. I then added my liquid ingredients to the food processor (egg, applesauce, molasses and maple syrup and finally the vanilla. I used my hands to incorporate the liquid with the dry ingredients until I got a thick, sticky “batter.” I spread this on a cookie sheet lined with tin foil. I baked them in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes until the edges became slightly crisp. Once the bars cooled, I cut them into about 18 bars.

And guess what. I liked them! They were just sweet enough from the fruit, molasses, etc. and I didn’t even have to add any actual sugar.

Yay experimental success!

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S’mores please :-)

8 Aug

So tomorrow is my brother’s 22nd birthday. Equally as important it is one of my good friend’s birthdays as well.

I’ve been on such a sugar kick lately (not super unusual, but it’s been bad). I’ve been buying chocolate, ice cream, whipped cream, cookies, etc. like it’s going out of style. Anyway, birthdays. Focus.

So what do we do for birthdays? We bake. But not birthday cakes, especially not the icky kind with frosting (I’m not speaking from personal preference, I like frosting, but my friend, the one with the birthday, not so much on the frosting). I’ve been toying with ideas on what to make… and then, I had that little light bulb pop over my head like in the cartoons.
She and I both have a slight, okay, huge obsession with Edy’s S’mores flavored ice cream. It only comes out in the summer but it’s delicious. Chocolate ice cream with chunks of graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows. It doesn’t get any more s’morey than that unless you’re sitting at a campfire. I perused some blogs and found lots of recipes for s’more cookies, s’more cakes, etc. I found this idea on Picky Palates website and decided it was a winner…

And simple. Double winner.

S’more Bite Sized Brownies

1 box of chocolate brownie mix, or a brownie recipe of your choice (I used the family sized Pillsbury box)

miniature marshmallows, approximately 48 or 12 large marshmallows quartered

4 sheets of graham cracker, each divided into 12 parts

2 Hershey bars

I mixed my brownie mix as directed on the box and divided it equally into my mini-muffin pans. I filled 48 and had a little extra batter leftover that may have ended up in my mouth instead of being baked… or it just disappeared into thin air. You could make them in a brownie pan or regular muffin tins. Then, I added a mini marshmallow, half a square of Hershey chocolate and a chunk of graham cracker to the top of the muffin. I baked them (in the mini-muffin pans) for about 6 minutes at 350 degrees. You have to watch them toward the end. The marshmallow will get bubbly and brown (yum, toasted marshmallows!). The second batch was finished up by around 5 minutes.

The brownies are so moist and soft and just slightly undercooked (the way I love them) and the chocolate and marshmallow spread so cutely over the brownie and graham cracker.

Now I have 48 46 delicious s’mores brownies to celebrate said birthday with 🙂

What does my brother get for his birthday? Well, um, if he ever drags his 6’5″ self up here I’ll let you know.

Bacon makes everything better…

4 Aug

Today I was making jello, couldn’t tell you why I was craving it. Cherry, of course. Mixed it all up, poured it into containers, open the cupboard above my counter. The peanut butter attacked me. Clearly it was pissed I was eating cherry jello instead of it in all its creamy glory. Needless to say it landed smack in the middle of my jello. This caused a chain reaction of things falling, jello flying everywhere, basically causing a hot mess.

So, now my carpet’s red. It looks like I murdered someone and left a trail. Seriously? I just got the blue food coloring that my jack russell used to paint the carpet with a few months ago. Mom thinks it’s patriotic. I do not find the humor in this.

I went out for cleaning supplies on my way to the gym. Here I sit scrubbing my carpet and every time I just get a towel full of red and a slightly pink carpet. I’m rebelling and leaving it until tomorrow. Maybe it’ll be easier? I know logically that if the stain sets it probably won’t be. Whatever. I’m not getting my deposit back after 3 years and 2 dogs anyway. Sigh. Epic fail.

Good thing I had some of my peanut butter bacon chocolate chip cookie dough left. It did the trick I’d say. Look at the bacon pieces in these babies.

Peanut Butter Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 1/4 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

1/2 cup chopped, cooked bacon

1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate M&Ms because they were sitting on my counter and I love the extra crunch they give to cookies)

Cream the butter, peanut butter and sugars together until light and whipped looking. Add the egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients and slowly add those to the wet mixture until combined. I baked them at 375 degrees for about 7 minutes; I like my cookies soft. Bacon + chocolate + peanut butter = bliss. They will be devoured tonight.

And then I’ll have bacon and a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast since I now have an abundance of these things in my fridge and cupboard. Hopefully the peanut butter won’t be all suicidal tomorrow. Sigh, again. But on the bright side that little piece of bacon was begging me to just devour it.

If only these guys were carpet cleaners as well…

Oh well. I’ll settle for deliciousness in my tummy.