Monday, August 3, 2015

Big Cluster Cinnamon Almond Granola

I was talking to my grandma a few weeks ago about making granola and how much I love doing it. It's so much better and ridiculously cheaper than buying it, and it's not at all difficult to do. Plus, you can customize it to your exact specifications! My grandma is gluten intolerant, and so granola is a good option for her to have on hand for breakfast, or a snack, or whatever. After our conversation I decided to make her a batch to show her what homemade granola can be like. 

I chose this recipe because it was very simple. Since I don't know exactly how she likes her granola I decided to keep it basic and pretty classic. Oats, almonds and brown sugar, some cinnamon and vanilla, all kept nice and crunchy with a bit of oil. It turned out a beautiful, toasty granola that formed big, crunchy clusters. Super tasty, and perfect for anything you might imagine. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Caponata

I buy almost all of my produce at the farmers market during the summer. I love my Saturday mornings at the market, walking up and down the long row of produce, flowers, baked goods, meats and cheeses and anything else that might be there, deciding what I must have for the coming week. However, I was at the grocery store to pick up a few things the other day and I made the requisite trip through the produce section, just in case. There I found a single eggplant, forlornly sitting on the "seconds" shelf. One pretty nice sized eggplant for sale for 60 cents. I couldn't just leave it there, it looked absolutely fine still, nice and firm with no obvious bad spots at all. So into my cart it went. I didn't know what I was going to do with it, but I knew I could figure that out quite quickly once I got home. 

After a quick search online, it became obvious to me what I should make, caponata. This is not something I had made before, but I had a couple of recipes pinned, and had just watched an episode of the Barefoot Contessa where she served caponata on an antipasto platter. So after I looked through a couple of recipes, I went to work creating my very own caponata using the ingredients I had in the fridge. In the end it turned out absolutely delicious! While I don't know what a good Italian would say about my caponata, in the end I don't really care. I loved it, and when cooking for yourself that's really all that matters. 


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Tangy Coleslaw with Red Onion and Parsley

One of my favorite farmers market purchases during the summer is a nice big head of cabbage. They are usually so big and beautiful, and so inexpensive. Yesterday I saw a nice sized head of cabbage for $1! That feels almost free to me. I am a big cabbage fan so I frequently end up buying a head every couple of weeks through the summer. There is so much you can do with cabbage. I love roasting it with a little olive oil, vinegar and salt. So easy and so delicious and you can eat it hot out of the oven or store it in the fridge and eat it cold throughout the week. 

As much as I love roasted cabbage, during the summer you just have to make a nice big batch of coleslaw every now and then. I love coleslaw, and there are so many different variations that you can play around with. This recipe for tangy coleslaw is a delicious option. It is a little creamy thanks to the Greek yogurt, yet nice and tangy from the cider vinegar. A hint of mustard and some honey for sweetness round out the flavors nicely. I finished it with some minced red onion and chopped parsley for freshness and a little color. Remember this recipe next time you see a nice head of cabbage for sale, you won't regret it!


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Chewy Peanut Butter Oat Bars

Looking for a sweet and chewy, snack bar that is filling, substantial, and keeps for a long time? I have just the recipe for you! Personally, I love having healthier snacks on hand that I can grab in the morning to keep with me while I'm at the hospital in case I get hungry throughout the day. These bars fit the bill. What's also great about them is the ingredient list is short and simple. There are so many energy and health bar recipes out there with five million ingredients in them, half of which I don't have. For this recipe all you need is dried fruit (dates or prunes), a nut butter and oats. A pinch of salt and some water round them out nicely. So easy to throw together and so tasty to eat!


Monday, July 6, 2015

Festive Lemon Berry Bars

Happy Fourth a few days late! I hope you all had a great weekend. Mine was incredibly relaxing and lazy, exactly what I was hoping for! One of the few things I did accomplish during this wonderful weekend was baking up a batch of these festive and delicious lemon berry bars. I wanted an easy and quick dessert that was summery and fitting for the 4th of July. These bars fit the bill perfectly, filled with colorful red and blue berries and topped with a simple white glaze. The hint of lemon from some fresh lemon juice and zest was the perfect way to brighten them up for the middle of summer. Light and refreshing, these bars will be wonderful all season long!


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Soft Sandwich Sourdough

I decided to try out a new sourdough sandwich loaf recently, just for something new. I don't like getting stuck in a rut, so I did some browsing of recipes I had pinned as well as exploring the internet for anything new that I might want to try. I finally settled on this soft sandwich sourdough. It has enough butter and sugar to make it a little special without being overly rich and heavy, a good compromise. This was the first time I've made a truly sourdough bread, one without any added commercial yeast. I wasn't sure how it would turn out, I was hoping my starter was healthy and vigorous enough to provide the rise needed to make a nice and light loaf. No need to worry! There recipe turned out two beautiful loaves, absolutely perfect for whatever sandwich you are craving. Not overly sour tasting, but soft and full of flavor. A definite keeper! 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Spicy Quinoa and Hummus Patties with Roasted Red Pepper

Last week when I was thinking about what to make for dinner my mind kept drifting towards a burger. Unfortunately I didn't have any ground meat at home, and I didn't feel like going to the store. However, as I kept thinking I realized I had all the ingredients to make a nice meatless burger; I had cooked quinoa in the fridge, some leftover roasted red pepper, and homemade hummus. I decided to just go for it and make up my own recipe with what I had on hand. The results were fantastic! A soft and tender patty filled with veggies, and given a flavor boost with some fragrant spices. Healthy, hearty and delicious. Although a veggie patty will never be able to fully replace a true burger, this recipe holds it's own as a  delicious and healthy alternative dinner.