May 26, 2015

Coconut Oil Honey Almond Granola


Sorry for my lack of posting lately.  I upgraded the operating system on my computer and it changed all of the ease and familiarity I had with my old one.  I've had to relearn where all my pictures are.  I'm not 100% with it yet, but I'm getting there.

I love this recipe.  I love it because it tastes amazing but I also didn't realize how much I would just snack on it instead of something worse (like chips).  I eat it like cereal, top yogurt with it and just eat it plain.  It's sweet and nutty and easy to make.  My daughter even liked it.  I think this would be a great travel food to bring on a plane or a long car ride.  

Great recipe!

Coconut Oil Honey Almond Granola


Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole almonds, divided
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp almond extract
Cooking Directions
  1. Heat the oven to 350º
  2. Pulse half the almonds in a food processor until they are finely chopped. Pour them into a large bowl. Coarsely chop (by hand) the other half of the almonds and add them to the others in the large bowl.
  3. Add the oats, salt and brown sugar into the large bowl with the almonds.
  4. In a small bowl combine the coconut oil and honey and microwave for 40 seconds and then stir. Add the vanilla extract and almond extract and stir again.
  5. Pour the honey mixture over the oats and stir together until well coated.
  6. Pour the mixture onto a jelly roll pan (with sides) in an even layer on top of a silpat or parchment paper and bake for 5 minutes. Remove and stir, then bake for 5 minutes longer. Remove and let cool completely.
  7. Break up the granola and store in an air tight container.

May 21, 2015

Blueberry Baked Oatmeal


This breakfast is a great suggestion for those busy mornings.  Easy to make and have ready first thing in the morning or else to make the night before and refrigerate so you can grab and run out the door.

My daughter actually liked this, which is saying something for her.  Miss picky.

Also a great idea if you've got company over and are looking for a filling breakfast that everyone will love.

I used frozen wild blueberries which tend to be smaller.  If you're using large berries you may want to add more.

Enjoy!

Baked Blueberry Oatmeal Bars
Recipe from Crazy For Crust


Ingredients
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
Cooking Directions
  1. Heat oven to 350
  2. Spray a 11x7 or 9x13 inch baking dish with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, applesauce, brown sugar and vanilla until smooth. 
  4. Add the cinnamon, salt and baking powder. 
  5. Add the oats and milk. 
  6. Gently stir in the blueberries. Spread in the prepared pan. 
  7. Bake for 24-38 minutes or until golden brown and not jiggly in the middle anymore. 
  8. Serve hot with syrup or yogurt, or refrigerate and cut into bars. You can also freeze in portions and unthaw overnight so it's ready the next morning. 

May 13, 2015

Pasta e Fagioli (Olive Garden CopyCat)



It's getting a little warm in our neck of the woods to be making soup but this one is too darn delicious to pass up. Simple and easy ingredients that you probably have most of in your refrigerator already.  You can make this spicy or mild depending on the sausage you use.  I used a sweet sausage so my daughter would eat it, and she did!

So comforting and just like you would get from Olive Garden. This version is fairly quick and can be on your table in less than and hour.

Make sure to get some good ol' crusty bread from your super market or try this recipe if you know you're making this one in advance. So good!


Pasta e Fagioli (Olive Garden Copycat)
Recipe by Damn Delicious


Ingredients
  • 1 cup ditalini pasta (or other small pasta)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausage
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (16 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3/4 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
Cooking Directions
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions in salted water. Drain and set aside. 
  2. Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a large stock pot or a dutch oven. Add the sausage and cook until no longer pink.  Crumble it as  you cook it. Drain off the excess grease and set aside. 
  3. Add the remaining oil, onions, garlic, carrots and celery to the pot cook until tender about 3-4 minutes. 
  4. Return the meat to the pot with the vegetables. 
  5. Whisk in the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, basil, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender.  About 15-20 minutes. 
  6. Add both beans and heat through and then serve hot. 

May 10, 2015

Happy Mothers Day


Happy Mothers Day to all of you women out there.  Mom's have the hardest but most rewarding job in the world and you should be appreciated every day!  I hope this day is a wonderful one that lets you do exactly what you love doing.  Enjoy the day!

May 4, 2015

Mini Vanilla Scones


I craved these scones ever since I saw them on Pinterest.  The original recipe uses vanilla bean.  I didn't have that so I used vanilla extract.  Normally you would see beautiful little black specks throughout.  I will definitely make these again when I have some vanilla beans.

However, the flavor of these little scones are still just what I wanted.  Vanilla flavor topped with more vanilla flavor.  Can't beat it.

The scones themselves were moist yet firm.  The sweet glaze on top was just heaven.  I loved them.

Mini Vanilla Scones
Recipe from Iowa Girl Eats



Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup half and half (I used whole milk)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract or 2 vanilla beans, scraped
Glaze
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 6 Tbsp half and half (I used whole milk)
  • 1 bean or 1 tsp vanilla bean, scraped or extract
Cooking Directions
  1. Heat the oven to 425º
  2. Get a cookie sheet ready by using parchment paper or a silicone mat.  Set aside. 
  3. Use a food processor, bowl or stand mixer.  Add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and give it a quick mix/pulse to blend. 
  4. Add in the cold butter and pulse or blend to mix in until it looks like very small pieces of butter.  You can also use your hands to sort of squish the butter and then mix in. 
  5. Add the half and half, egg and vanilla to a separate bowl and mix, then add into the flour mixture. Pulse until it comes together as dough.  
  6. Place the dough onto a floured surface and knead 4-5 times.  Roll out into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 6 rectangles and then cut each of those in half diagonally to make 2 triangles. 
  7. Place on the prepared cookie sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes or until the edges are just beginning to brown. 
  8. Remove to a cooling rack and prepare the glaze. 
  9. Whisk the glaze ingredients together until smooth.  Dip the cooled scones into the glaze and then transfer back to the wire cooling rack to let the glaze harden. 

April 27, 2015

Amazing Dinner Rolls


You are looking at the only thing I wanted to eat for dinner last night.  I love homemade rolls anyway but these were so incredibly light and delicious I had to hurry up and bag them and put them out of my reach.

And the recipe makes 24 of these babies!!

I froze most of them and then for lunch I took two out and microwaved them for 30 seconds and they were just like they were last night.  If I don't get some help eating the rest of them I'm going to be in serious trouble.

They aren't like the crescent rolls you buy in that little tube from the grocery store.  These are better. Those are flaky and I wouldn't describe these as flaky, however they are tender and light and that little bit of salted butter on the top just makes my mouth water.


The shape that these are rolled into just make them that much lighter.  Just the perfect dinner roll.  I love them!

For more pictures and information just click the link below.  She did a fantastic job on her website.

Amazing Dinner Rolls
Recipe from Cooking Classy


Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup + 1/4 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups warmed whole milk (110 to 115 degrees)
  • 3/4 cup (divided) salted butter
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Cooking Directions
  1. Heat the water to the correct temperature and then add the yeast and sugar. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes until foamy.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the yeast mixture, milk, 5 Tbsp butter, egg and the salt. Mix with the whisk attachment until combined.
  3. Add 2 cups of flour and mix.
  4. Change the attachment to the dough hook and add the remaining 2 1/2 cups of flour.
  5. Dump the dough into a large greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap in a warm draft free location for about 1 1/2 hours. Until doubled in size.
  6. Pinch the dough down and then divide into two even pieces.  Roll the first piece out on a floured surface until about 13 inches in diameter. Smear about 2 Tbsp of softened butter onto the surface. Cut it into quarters, then each quarter into 3 pieces so you have 12 triangles. Roll each triangle (fat side toward skinny side) and then lay on a lined cookie sheet, seam side down. 
  7. Do the same with the other piece of dough so you have 24 rolled "crescent" dough pieces.  They should fit 3 rows of 8 each. 
  8. Cover loosely with plastic wrap for another hour and let rise. 
  9. Preheat the oven to 375º the last 10 minutes of rising. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until golden.  Smear with the remaining softened butter when they first come out of the oven. Serve hot. 
  10. These freeze very nicely or you can refrigerate in an air tight bag or about a week. 

April 24, 2015

Banana Pudding


I'm constantly on the lookout for ways to use up overripe bananas.  You'd think I'd learn to just buy two at a time.

The the upside, I'm finding a lot of really good banana recipes.

Banana pudding seemed like the thing to make this last time.  I happened to have all the ingredients so why not?  I really didn't know that making pudding would be so easy.  I don't know why people use the box stuff now.  I'll be making mine from scratch from now on.

This recipe is easy and great tasting.  Ton's of banana flavor of course, a great way to use up bananas and a not-so-horrible-for-you dessert! And, you can make fresh whipped cream with any leftover heavy cream you have. I'm really glad I made this and I can't wait to try other pudding recipes.

Banana Pudding
Recipe from Jen's Favorite Cookies



Ingredients
  • 2-3 very ripe banana's
  • 1 cup milk (I used 1%)
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Cooking Directions
  1. Add the squished banana's and the milk and cream to a heavy saucepan. Heat until hot but not boiling and then mash the banana's into the milk mixture. 
  2. In another small dish add the sugar, salt and cornstarch. Whisk together to mix. When the milk mixture is almost to the point of boiling, add the sugar mixture and mix well. 
  3. In a small dish lightly beat the egg yolks.  Slowly add a little bit of the heated milk/sugar mixture to temper the eggs so they don't scramble. Add a little hot mixture while stirring the eggs.  Once the egg mixture has heated up a bit via the mixture you can add it all back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk/sugar mixture. 
  4. Bring to a boil for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add the vanilla. 
  5. Add the pudding to individual ramekins or a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let cool completely or it can be eaten while still slightly warm. 
  6. Top with whipped cream if desired.