Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Healthy Fully Loaded Granola

   So on my last trip up to SC I brought Chris some goodies, including the PB cups in my previous post, and some home made granola.  The granola was a success and two fails.  Success: it tastes really good. Fails: it was meant to be granola bars but crumbled to pieces and  its sticky ( to some people) and so didn't really go over well, but is still getting eaten :P Oh well, live and learn right? Anyway, here's my recipe that I based loosely on ones I found online.  The ingredients don't have specific measurements, just add however much you like.

Here's what you'll need:
Wheat Germ
Nuts (I used peanuts, almonds, and walnuts)
Sunflower Seeds
Dried Fruit (Cranberries and apricots for me)
Sweetened Shredded Coconut
Chocolate Covered Pomegranate Seeds from Trader Joe's
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Maple Syrup (again real not eggo)
1/2 cup Honey

First, Preheat your oven to 350.
Put the oats, nuts, seeds, and wheat germ in a bowl and mix them together.
Pour the mix into a glass baking pan and toast for 20ish minutes, until the oats brown a bit.

Cut your dried fruit into small pieces.

When the toasted dry mix is out, pour it into a bowl and add the coconut and pomegranate seeds.  You should use a spoon or two to mix as the chocolate will melt and make a mess.

Add the cinnamon, vanilla, honey, and maple syrup. Place the mix back in the baking sheet and press down to flatten.  Bake for 30-45 mins until browned and hardened.  

Let the Granola cool and then scoop into a tupperware container.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Crazy Good Vegan Cookies

  I know what you're thinking. Vegan cookies? gross. But I swear to you, they're delicious!!  My friend Lexi and I had a sleepover and decided to whip some up, her being vegan-minded and all.  They're really easy (if you have a food processor, or in my case a magic bullet) and so tasty!  Here we go:

What You'll Need:
2 cups roasted almonds
4 cups oatmeal
A pinch or 2 of salt
1 1/4 cup of flour
1 cup canola oil
1 cup maple syrup (the real stuff, not that fake Eggo crap)
Your favorite jam, or 2, or 3

First things first. Put your almonds into the food processor and chop! Make sure not to get them too fine, the big chunks are the best. Put them in a big bowl.

Then do the same to the oatmeal, but this can be pretty finely ground.
Combine the two in the big bowl.

Add in the salt and flour.

Next add your canola oil and maple syrup.

Stir up all the ingredients into you get a big sticky ball of dough (yes Chris, sticky)
Let the dough sit for 15-20 minutes to stiffen a bit.

Then doll out about a tbs of dough onto a sprayed baking pan, or foil if like me you don't have any baking sheets :( careful not to burn your fingers like me too!

Then, using the backside of a big wooden spoon, make indents into the balls of dough.

Fill these holes with a tsp of jam, or more depending on the size of the cookie, I like to spread it out over the cookie top a bit cause its so yummy ;)

Bake your cookies for 13-40 minutes, its hard to time due to varying oven crapiness, basically until they look darker tan and the jam is all bubbly.

Let them cook on a rack and then eat up!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Not-So-Reeses' Peanut Butter Cups

So last weekend I went up to Santa Cruz to visit Chris (the boyfriend) and decided to make him some treats as a surprise.  I know he like reeses' cups s i decided to try and make my own, and boy are they yummy!! Rich though, so those of you watching calories like me, beware!

What You'll Need:
3 cups dark chocolate chips
4 Hershey bars, milk chocolate
1.5 cups creamy peanut butter
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
generous pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
 muffin cups

First melt 1/2 the chocolate in a microwave safe container, follow the directions on the chocolate chips bag.

Then pour a little over a tsp of chocolate into each cup, and using a clean spoon spread the chocolate a little ways up the sides of the cups.

Place the muffin trays into your freezer to chill.

While they chill prepare your pb mixture, combine the peanut butter, powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla in a bowl.  Stir until smooth, might be a bit dry.

Spoon about 2 tsps into the set chocolate cups and pat down a bit.

Melt and spoon the rest of the chocolate over the peanut butter.
Put back in the freezer to set.

Trim the muffin cups and enjoy!!

Chris sure did ;)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Midnight Snack: Baked Potato Chips

   Just got back from the first indoor soccer game of the quarter! We won! but, now I am exhausted and hungry, so I decided to try out a potato chip recipe I found online.  With a few tweaks this recipe became super easy and super yummy!! Here we go:

Here's what you'll need:
1 medium potato
1.5 tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

First, preheat your oven to 450 and set a pot of water on the stove to boil.
While the water heats up, slice your potato into very thin slices, about an 8th of an inch.

Then cook the potatoes in the water for 5-7 mins.

Drain the potatoes and mix in the olive oil and seasonings.
Then place the potatoes in a parchment paper lined baking tray.

Bake for 15-20 mins until brown and crunchy.

Let them cool a bit before digging in, they're yummy dipped in ranch ;)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Borys Turns 20! Bailey's Chocolate Cake

Borys is finally 20! Last year we bought him an ice cream cake from cold stone and it cost wayyy too much for a cake, so this year I baked his bday cake.  He has a weird love for Bailey's so a recipe I found for Irish Car Bomb cake seemed perfect, but incorporating the Guinness into the cake batter was too complicated and I didn't have the time or means to do it, so this cake is chocolate cake with dark chocolate Bailey's ganache and Bailey's butter cream frosting. It was definitely a hit :) Let's get started!

Here's what you'll need:
1 pack of chocolate cake mix, and the ingredients it calls for

For the ganache:
8 oz.semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tbsn. butter, room temperature
2 tsp.  Bailey's Irish cream

For the frosting:
2 sticks butter, room temperature

6-8 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup Bailey's Irish cream

First Bake the cake as directed on the box, I used a 9x13 glass pan so i could cut the cake in half for the layers.

While the cake is baking make the ganache.  First,  place chocolate in heatproof bowl.

Then, Heat cream in saucepan until simmering.

Pour the cream over the chocolate, let sit for one minute, then stir until smooth.

Add butter and Bailey's and stir until combined. 


Put the ganache in the fridge to cool and harden, stirring occasionally.

As soon as the pan is cool enough to touch without gloves remove the cake and place it on a cutting board to cool, COMPLETELY

Once its cool, measure and cut the cake in half.

Trim any excess, and turn the cake so the two flat sides would be together.

Now you can make your frosting!  First whip your butter until it is light and fluffy.
Slowly incorporate the powdered sugar, I did 1 cup at a time.

Add the Bailey's and stir until you get the consistency you want, you can add more Bailey's if its too dry.

Pour a layer of ganache onto the bottom layer of cake.

Spread it out to the edges but not all the way, it needs room to squish a bit.

Place the the other cake on top and make sure its even.

Frost your cake!

You can use the extra ganache to pipe your message on top, there will be leftovers of everything.

Eat Up!!