19 February 2015

Granola Bar Recipe!

Okay, after my pictures, who wants to make these?
I love these bars because a). they are super easy b). they can be changed up to whatever kind of bar you want c). HEALTHY! (depending on what you add-in ;) d). They are just amazing.

Recipe Source!
3 cups old fashioned oats (if GF is important to you use certified GF oats)
2 tablespoons oil (grapeseed, canola, vegetable, melted coconut -- any will work)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 - 1½ cups add-ins (dried cranberries, raisins or other fruits - chopped if you need to, nuts, sunflower seeds, pepitas, chocolate chips; all your favorite things!)
5 ounces GOOD dark chocolate (the less sweet the better but you wanna like the taste so pick your favorite!)
Preheat the oven to 350°F and scatter the oats in a 9 X 13 pan. Let them toast, stirring at least once, for about 15 minutes. When they are done they will look slightly golden and you will smell the toasty oats.
Line a 9 X 9 pan with parchment paper or foil. You want a piece large enough that the sides will come back over and cover the top of the bars once you fill the pan.
While the oats toast heat the oil in a small saucepan on the stove. Add the brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Bring it to a simmer over medium high heat. Stir to make sure the brown sugar dissolves, and turn the heat off.
Put the toasted oats in a large bowl. Pour the hot liquid over the oats and stir to coat evenly. Stir in all your add-ins. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan.
Fold the parchment or foil over the top of the granola in the pan and PRESS to fill the corners and flatten. Keep pressing and smooth the granola out so that it is even across the pan.
Let the granola bars set up in a cool dry place for at least an hour. They will set faster in the freezer. I like to make mine in the evening and let them set up overnight.
Turn them out of the pan onto a cutting board. Peel the parchment or foil away. Slice down the middle and then cut each half into 6 bars. Lay the bars on a clean piece of parchment or foil. Melt the chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat. Use a spoon (or... I melted my chocolate in the microwave in a microwave safe measure pourer... that way you can pour/drizzle straight from "the melting pot") to drizzle the chocolate over the sliced bars. Let it set up and ENJOY!

The first batch I made of these I put in coconut, almonds, and craisins.  This batch (with pictures above) have pecans, a tiny coconut, and chocolate chips :)  Also!  I used unsweetened chocolate for my first batch, and bitersweet for the second :)

And to store them, I wrapped them in the used parchment paper, and taped them with duct tape, and stuck them in an air-tight container!

If you make these please let me know how they turned out for you, and also what special add-ins you put with!  I'd love to try some different ingredients :)

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07 February 2015

Avocado and Fried Egg Breakfast Pita Recipe

     We all have those days where there seems to be nothing to make food with, and yet you are the hungriest you've been in a while.  At least I think we all have those days ;)
I had that day yesterday.  We really did not have much to make food with (no bread, no rice... I know, there's more to food than carbs... we also didn't have anything for salads and no more apples either!)  So what I saw on our counter was two ripe avacados... and we had eggs in the fridge.  And then for some weird reason we had pita bread.  So I looked up "Egg Pita Bread Recipe" and found the below wonderful (did I mention healthy?) recipe!

Recipe Source

1 piece whole wheat pita bread
1 Hass avocado
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp butter
1 organic egg
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Toast the pita bread in a toasted over for 3-4 minutes until just crisp. Remove from the toasted over and set aside.
Cut the avocados in half lengthwise. Remove the pit from the avocado and discard. Remove the avocado from the skin, and transfer the avocado flesh to medium bowl. Using a fork, mash the avocado until it’s half chunky and half smooth. Add the lemon juice and mix to combine and set aside.
Place the butter in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat and cook until the butter is melted.
Crack the egg into a small bowl, making sure to be gentle and leave the yolk in one piece.
Slide the cracked egg into the hot skillet and reduce the heat to low. Cook the egg until the egg whites are fully cooked and the yolk is slightly cooked, but still running. You just want the yolk to thicken a touch. Turn the heat off and sprinkle the egg with salt and pepper.
Place the pita onto a plate. Slather the avocado mixture on top of the pita and then carefully transfer the egg on top of the avocado.
Serve immediately

The only thing I did different than the recipe said, was a). I didn't really measure the lemon... I just squeezed it in, and b). I cracked my yolk so that it would cover more of the pita/avacado.  Although it is delicious this way, I think it could use some kind of herb... so if any of you make it and put herbs in, let me know!  I would love to see what variations of this recipe could be made :)
Have a wonderful day!

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06 February 2015

Fantastic Fridays // 11

I feel awful now!  I have not had a Fantastic Fridays post since October!
     I guess we can just jump right in!
First of all, I am officially going to Italy this May!  You people have no idea how excited I am... well maybe you do if you have never seen the ocean, never been on a plane, and all that other fun stuff and finally get to do all of it at once!  I'll be going not only to the main attraction towns (Rome, Venice, Florence) but also Sienna and San Gimignano!  Two super cute small towns that I cannot wait to get pictures of!  I'm going to go crazy over the cobblestone pathways and ancient buildings... and cheese... and gelato!
     Second Fantastic thing is that I was able to re-design this blog.  I had so much fun, and I'm actually happy with the way it looks ^.^ (I know, I know, it wasn't technically this week... but still.)
     I was able to do was spend the night at my sister's appartment.  We watched I Capture the Castle, which was... an okay movie.  It was, I suppose, amusing, although not really my favorite.  It was fun watching it with my sisters and a friend though!
     I also got to watch Fast Five again, for school (cool, right?) so that was fun!  I had to write an analysis about the implicit and explicit messages in it!  For this week we have to write about special effects in movies and their affects on people/media etc.  So I thought of either choosing Inception, or Virtigo to use as my "movie of choice" for examples... what do you guys think?  I've seen them both, and obviously Virtigo doesn't have CGI stuff, and Inception does, but it does use different effects which were groundbreaking in its time.

What's been fantastic about your week?  

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