Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Homemade Granola

Crunchy Granola
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. water
1 t. vanilla
1 t. salt
8 c. oats
1 c. pecans
1 c. almonds
1 c. dried fruit (optional)

Preheat oven 275 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Combine brown sugar and water. Microwave for 5 minutes. Stir in vanilla and salt. In large bowl combine oats, nuts and warm sugar mixture. Mix well. Spread onto cookie sheets and bake for 45 - 60 minutes or until golden brown. Check frequently and turn half way through. When cooled add dried fruit if desired. Enjoy over yogurt, milk or on its own. Enjoy! (Note, it will harden once it has cooled.)

(I don't always add all the sugar and sometimes add in Steel cut oats and/or wheat germ for some extra healthy crunch, but this is one of the healthiest recipes for granola that I've found.)

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Muffins

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Muffins

So these are healthier than they sound and really taste like an Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie!

makes 12 muffins

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose)

1 cup rolled oats

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup milk (any kind will do)

1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.

Add oats to a bowl and add 1/2 cup of milk. Let soak for 5-10 minutes, while you prepare the first few steps of the muffins.

In a large bowl, combine egg and brown sugar and whisk until smooth and caramel in color. Add in vanilla and butter, whisking well. Try to smooth the batter as much as possible – there still may be some small butter chunks. Add flour, oat mixture, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and mix. Add remaining milk and combine until smooth. Fold in chocolate chips.

Line a muffin tin with lines and pour about 1/4 cup batter into each line. Sprinkle the tops with raw turbinado sugar. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until cooked through. Serve with butter!

Cream Cheese Lemon Bars with Kit Kat Crust

cream cheese lemon bars w/ kit kat crust

Yield: 16 to 20 bars

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 20 min

Really great recipe to use leftover Halloween candy! The Kit Kats make a yummy crust for these lemon bars.


5 (1.5 ounce) Kit Kat Candy Bars (or about 14 mini-sized Kit Kat Bars)

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar, measure then sift
1 large egg
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon additional lemon extract
2 Tablespoons butter, softened


1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Prepare the crust: In the food processor, finely chop the Kit Kat Bars. Spread evenly in the bottom of an 8x8-inch square pan. Bake for 5 minutes. Set aside.

3. Prepare filling: In a large bowl with electric mixer, blend cream cheese on high. Add powdered sugar and egg and beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add lemon juice, lemon extract and lemon zest, and mix well. Pour filling evenly over Kit Kat crust.

4. Prepare topping: In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, lemon extract, and softened butter, and blend with a fork until crumbly. Sprinkle topping evenly over lemon bar filling.

5. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, or until topping is lightly browned. Let cool completely; cut into bars.


*Lemon extract can be found at Whole Foods and other specialty markets. The imitation stuff they sell in the regular grocery stores isn't so great.

Original Recipe found here.

S'more Brownies

Be prepared for some decadence! Theses are heavenly and rich, but so delicious! (I cheated and just used a brownie mix.

s'mores brownies

Yield: 12 brownies

Prep Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 60 min

Everything you love about S'Mores- but in a brownie...


7 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (8 or 9 whole graham crackers)
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
pinch of salt

8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips
3 to 4 cups mini marshmallows
about 1/4 cup of graham cracker crumbs (1 whole cracker, crumbled)


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 8x8-inch pan with foil so it hangs over the edges a bit. Spray with nonstick spray. (You can use 9x9-inch pan, but baking time might need slight decrease and your end result will be a thinner brownie).

2. Prepare crust: In a medium bowl, mix butter with crumbs, sugar and salt. Press crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

3. Prepare the brownie: Place butter and chocolate in microwave-safe bowl. Melt for 1 minute; stir. Melt another minute; stir. Keep microwaving at 1 minute intervals until mixture is completely melted. (Alternately, you can melt this mixture in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water on the stove). Add sugars, vanilla and salt into the melted chocolate and mix together. Add eggs and beat vigorously until you see a thick and glossy batter. Stir in flour and mix just until incorporated. Pour batter over the baked crust. Bake until top is set and toothpick inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean, 35 to 40 minutes (you don't want to overbake the brownie- a little gooey inside is good).

4. Remove pan from oven. Turn up heat on the oven to broil. Sprinkle chocolate chunks over the baked brownie. Add a nice, thick layer of marshmallows next. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs on top.

5. Place your pan of brownies back into the oven (they should be 6 to 8 inches away from the heating element). Toast under the broiler until golden- KEEP AN EYE ON IT- it can go from golden to burned in a matter of seconds. 1 to 2 minutes under the broiler should be plenty.

6. Cool for a few minutes, then use foil to remove brownies from the pan and set on a cutting board. Carefully pull the sides of the foil away from the marshmallows and brownies. Cut brownies into 12 squares. Helpful tip: Use a large, WET & SHARP KNIFE to cut the brownies. Slice through the brownie, then clean the knife and slice through again with a clean, wet knife. Keep cleaning off the knife after each cut for the cleanest cuts.

Original Recipe found here

PF Changs Lettuce Wraps

P.F. Chang's Lettuce Wraps

We love PF Changs, and since we don't have one close by, we are finding ways to bring it to us:) These are a bit of work, but SO worth it!


3 Tablespoons oil

Special Sauce

Stir Fry Sauce


Prep Time: 10 mins

Total Time: 25 mins

  1. 1 Make the special sauce by dissolving the sugar in water in a small bowl.
  2. 2 Add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, lemon juice and sesame oil.
  3. 3 Mix well and refrigerate this sauce until you're ready to serve.
  4. 4 Combine the hot water with the hot mustard and set this aside as well.
  5. 5 Eventually add your desired measurement of mustard and garlic chili sauce to the special sauce mixture to pour over the wraps.
  6. 6 Bring oil to high heat in a wok or large frying pan.
  7. 7 Saute chicken breasts for 4 to 5 minutes per side or done.
  8. 8 Remove chicken from the pan and cool.
  9. 9 Keep oil in the pan, keep hot.
  10. 10 As chicken cools mince water chestnuts and mushrooms to about the size of small peas.
  11. 11 Prepare the stir fry sauce by mixing the soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar together in a small bowl.
  12. 12 When chicken is cool, mince it as the mushrooms and water chestnuts are.
  13. 13 With the pan still on high heat, add another Tbsp of vegetable oil.
  14. 14 Add chicken, garlic, onions, water chestnuts and mushrooms to the pan.
  15. 15 Add the stir fry sauce to the pan and saute the mixture for a couple minutes then serve it in the lettuce"cups".
  16. 16 Top with"Special Sauce".

Read more: http://www.food.com/recipe/p-f-changs-chicken-lettuce-wraps-15865#ixzz1CArQr48C

Whole Wheat Chocolate Peanut Butter Pancakes

Made these this morning....oh, my goodness!
Whole Wheat Chocolate Peanut Butter Pancakes
pancakes adapted from cooks.com
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, well beaten
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons peanut butter, melted
3 tablespoons chocolate chips
Stir together dry ingredients. Add eggs, milk, vanilla and oil. Stir until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in melted peanut butter. Cook on preheated pan until bubbles form and edges start to dry. Drop in chocolate chips. Flip and cook until lightly browned.
Original Receipe found here

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

One of our favorite cookie recipes. Never fails. Always loved. Hunter even makes them by himself!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies-original recipe HERE

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter at room temperature (smooth is what we used, but I am pretty sure they use chunky at the bakery)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup chocolate chips (from shell-we just double chocolate chips and leave our peanut butter chips)
For sprinkling: 1 tablespoon sugar, regular or superfine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, the baking soda, the baking powder, and the salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and the peanut butter together until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat until smooth. Add the egg and mix well. Add the milk and the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat thoroughly. Stir in the peanut butter and chocolate chips. Place sprinkling sugar — the remaining tablespoon — on a plate. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls into the sugar, then onto ungreased cookie sheets, leaving several inches between for expansion. Using a fork, lightly indent with a crisss-cross pattern (I used the back of a small offset spatula to keep it smooth on top), but do not overly flatten cookies. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Do not overbake. Cookies may appear to be underdone, but they are not.

Cool the cookies on the sheets for 1 minute, then remove to a rack to cool completely.