Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Granola Bars

This is the best granola bar recipe I have found.
I found this recipe at Raising Olives.

The organic grocery store in my neighborhood sells granola bars for two bucks a pieces! They are good but not that good. This recipe is simple and easily adapted.

2 c. rolled oats
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. wheat germ (I used some unidentified flour in my pantry. I forgot to label the bag while at the grocery store. :) )
3/4 t cinnamon (Let my 16 month old shake the spice jar over the bowl!)
1 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c raisins (mmm, no... I used chocolate chips and dried cranberries)
3/4 t salt (didn't measure, sprinkled)
1/2 c honey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c applesauce, coconut oil, peanut oil, or olive oil (I used some of our homemade applesauce)
2 t vanilla

Bake at 350 in a greased 9 by 13.

Mix the dry ingredients then make a well and place in the wet ingredients.
Mix then pat into the baking dish.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. The edges will begin to turn golden. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan. Cut and remove from pan!!! Do not wait or you won't get bars. You will be chipping it out of the pan and eating it with milk on it or with ice cream.

I barely followed the directions and the bars tasted great! I will be making these again and again.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Spicy Chicken Chow Mein

This recipe is from the little recipe book that comes with my Rival Crock-Pot. While putting things back in my remodeled kitchen I found the little cookbook and thought a few of the recipes looked good. This one is a keeper.

1 T oil
1 1/2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breast cut into 1-in pieces
4 carrots, thinly sliced
4 green onions, sliced
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 cup chicken broth
1 T sugar
1/3 c soy sauce
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 t ground ginger (be LIBERAL)
1 clove garlic, minced (be LIBERAL)
8 oz. bean sprouts
1 8oz can water chestnuts, drained (you could add more)
1/4 c cornstarch
1/4 c water

In a large skillet, heat the oil and brown the chicken pieces.

Place the chicken in the slow cooker and add the remaining ingredients, except for the cornstarch and water.

Stir to combine. (Forgot to! ;) )

Cover; cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

In a small bowl, stir cornstarch into cold water until dissolved. Stir the liquid into the stoneware. Place the cover slightly ajar on the stoneware and cook until thickened (about 15 to 30 minutes).

Serve the chow mein with noodles or rice. We served over brown rice.

Lip Gloss

This is so COOL. Now if I can just figure out how to tint it a little. :)

1 teaspoon grated cocoa butter
1/4 teaspoon grated beeswax
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
1/8 teaspoon vitamin E oil

Melt together on low heat. I use a mini crockpot; this crockpot is used for non-edible items only. Stir occasionally until everything is melted and combine. (The beeswax takes the longest to melt, so you might want to throw it in first!)

Pour into a small counter with a lid. It should cool quickly.

I am excited to give this as a little gift for people to try. I found shallow candle holders at Target for 99 cents. I am going to have to fashion a little plastic lid.

HERE is another recipe I tried.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lotion Bars

This recipe is from my friend Courtney's blog found HERE.

Her recipe:
2 oz Beeswax
2 oz Shea Butter
2 oz Coconut Oil

Melt in a double boiler or small crockpot, melt beeswax, then add in the shea butter to melt, and then the coconut oil. Stir to mix well and pour into molds and let harden on the counter or in the freezer.

I did not read her 'notes' about the ingredients being measured by weight!!! Beeswax is heavier than shea butter and coconut oil. So she used 1/4 cup of beeswax to 1 cup each of the other two.

My recipe:
2 T beeswax
2 T shea butter
2 T coconut oil

I dumped all of it in a mini crockpot, stirred it once after it was melted and poured it into my Wilton's mini heart silicone baking cups. This made 3 small heart shaped bars. I let them cool overnight. They are not goopey but will rub into your hands.

My daughter thought they were delicious; she nibbled on one. She loves anything I make in the silicone hearts. Her memory verse is 'I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.' Psalm 119:11. I always draw a heart on her hand when we practice, so these hearts have been an extension of her learning her verse. (She is only 16 months. We are a long way from her being able to say more than 'heart.')

I gave these as Christmas gifts with a note, "We must not lose heart in doing good things. If we do not stop doing them, we will get something back when the right time comes." --Galatians 6:9.

Potato and Leek Soup

4 cups vegetable broth (It could use a little more)
3 potatoes, peeled and diced (We did not peel the potatoes)
1 1/2 cups cabbage, chopped (Measure the cabbage or it can be to much)
1 leek, diced
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
1 bay leaf
(Next time, I will be more liberal with the spices.)

In a large bowl, combine the broth, potatoes, cabbage, leek, onion, carrots and parsley. Pour the mixture into the slow cooker. Stir in the salt, pepper, caraway seeds and bay leaf. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours. Remove bay leaf before serving.

You can top with sour cream and/or bacon if you choose.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Rosemary Pork and Mushrooms with Shallots

1 T. oil
2 lbs. boneless pork shoulder, sliced into 1/2 inch slices (we used 3 pork chop loins)
1 cup shallots, chopped
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 T. fresh rosemary
1 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
1 14oz. can diced tomatoes

Heat the oil in a skillet and cook the pork until browned. Remove and drain excess oil and place the pork in the slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients and stir. cover and cook on low for 8 hour or on high for 4 hours.

We served over couscous.

Steak Fajitas with Sweet Potato and Poblano

I'm starting to think we need a 'Mexican' label to organize these recipes. :)

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large sweet potato (about 12 ounces) peeled and diced
1 medium onion
1 small poblano pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
Kosher salt and pepper
1 1/4 pounds skirt steak, cut into 4 pieces
1/2 cup sour cream
1 to 2 Tsp chopped chipotle chilies in adobo sauce (We used 1-2 Tbsp.)
8 small flour tortillas, warmed

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sweet potato, onion, poblano, salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat broiler. Season steak with salt and pepper. Place on a broiler proof rimmed baking sheet and broil for 3-4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Let rest five minutes before slicing.

In a small bowl, combine the sour cream and chipotles. Fill the tortillas and ENJOY!

Wish I had a picture, but, they were gone before that could happen.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Easy Roasted Turkey

Hands-on Time: 20 minutes
Total time: 3 hours 45 minutes
Serves: 8 with leftovers

1 12-pound turkey, thawed if frozen
12 sprigs fresh thyme
2 medium onions, cut into wedges
2 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
Kosher salt
2 carrots, cut into 2-in pieces
2 stalks celery, cut into 2-in pieces
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth (if needed)

1. Heat oven to 375 F. working on a baking sheet, remove the giblets and neck from the cavity. reserve the neck and discard the giblets. Using a paper towel, pat the turkey dry of juices. stuff with the thyme and half the onions.

2. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Tuck the wing tips underneath the body (this will prevent them from burning).

3. Rub the turkey all over with the butter and season with 1 t salt, making sure to reach the crevices of the legs and wings. Be careful not to tear the delicate skin.

4. Place the turkey neck, carrots, celery, and remaining onions in a large flameproof roasting pan. Put a roasting rack in the pan and place the turkey on top of it.

5. Roast the turkey, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices. (Basting will not make the meat moister, but it will produce an evenly browned skin.)

6. If the turkey begins to darken and there is still a substantial amount of cooking time left, tent it loosely with foil. If the vegetables begin to scorch, add some broth to the pan.

7. Continue roasting until the thickest part of a thigh registers 165 F, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. tilt the turkey to empty the juices into the pan. Transfer the turkey to a CARVING board, tent with foil, and let rest for at least 25 minute. Reserve the pan and its contents for GRAVY.

Cook your turkey the day before then reheat the turkey with broth and veggies in the crockpot on low so your oven has room for side dishes.

Sweet potatoes with Pecans and Parmesan

hands-on Time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Serves: 8

3 T olive oil, plus more for the baking dish
2 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds (You might need a mandoline for this or chop smaller so they cook through.)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (2 oz)
Kosher salt and black pepper
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 t fresh thyme leaves
Pinch of cayenne pepper

Heat oven to 375 F. Oil a shallow 2 1/2- to 3-quart baking dish.

In a large bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with the Parmesan, 2 T of the oil, 1 t. salt, and 1/4 t black pepper; transfer to the prepared baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake until tender, 45 to 50 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the pecans, sugar, thyme, cayenne, the remaining T of oil, 1/4 t salt, and 1/8 t. black pepper.

Remove the foil from the baking dish, sprinkle the pecan mixture over the potatoes, and continue to bake, uncovered, until the pecans are toasted, 10 to 12 minutes.

Potato and Celery Root Mash

Hands-on Time: 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Serves: 8

These are good. The celery root isn't overwhelming it just gives a new richer flavor. The consistency is perfect.

3 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered (the peeling needed be perfect)
1 lb celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
4 T unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 T chopped fresh chives

Place the potatoes and celery root in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover. bring to a boil and add 2 t salt. Reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, 18 to 20 minutes. drain and return the vegetables to the pot.

Add the half-and-half, butter, 1 t salt, and 1/4 t pepper and mash to the desired consistency. sprinkle with the chives.

Basic Stuffing

Serves 8

6 T unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish and foil
1 large loaf Italian bread (about 1 pound), cut into 3/4 inch pieces (about 16 cups)
2 medium onions, chopped
4 celery stalks, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 large eggs, beaten

1 Heat oven to 375 F. Butter a 9 by 13 inch baking dish. divide the bread between 2 rimmed baking sheets and bake until dry and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, 1 t salt, and 1/4 t. pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender and beginning to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the wine and cook until evaporated, 2 to 4 minutes; transfer to a large bowl and let cool for 10 minutes.

3. Add the bread, broth, eggs, and 1/2 t salt to the vegetables and toss to combine. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Cover with buttered foil and bake 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until browned, 20 to 30 minutes more.

Sausage and sage stuffing
Hands-on time: 35 minutes
Total time: 1 3/4 hours

Brown 1 lb Italian or breakfast sausage (casings removed) in 1 T olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, 8 to 10 minutes. In Step 3, to the bread mixture add the sausage, 1/2 cup chopped parsley, and 3 T chopped sage.

Other interesting additions can be found HERE.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

From Real Simple

Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Total time: 2 hours (including cooling)
Serves 10

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for the pan
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for the pan
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
5 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting

Heat oven to 350 F. butter a 9-inch springform pan and dust with cocoa powder.

In a medium saucepan, heat the butter with 1/4 cup of the heavy cream over medium-low heat until the butter is melted. Add the chocolate and stir until melted and smooth; remove from heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk in the chocolate mixture.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake until puffed and set, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 1 hour. run a knife around the edge of the cake before unmolding.

Using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream with the creme fraiche and confectioners' sugar until soft peaks form. Dust the cake with confectioners' sugar and serve with the whipped cream.

The cake can be baked up to 2 days in advance; refrigerate covered. Before serving, bring the cake to room temperature, dust it with the confectioners' sugar, and whip the cream.

This is SO GOOD. You only need it once a year.
I like to pass my Real Simple magazines on to other people at church to enjoy, so I often type up the recipes I like here on the blog so I can easily find them.