From recipes

Honey Almond Granola

Good afternoon! We’re having one of those ‘getting odds and ends done’ type of days around here. Laundry is getting caught up (again), the car is in for service, floors are getting swept and I’m baking granola. I’ve been making our granola for a few years. It’s so easy to throw together and I love knowing exactly what is in it. The Mr eats granola almost daily on his yogurt while Squishy and I love sprinkling it over out shredded wheats and milk.

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I’ve made several variations on this recipe, but this one tends to be our favorite. Okay, it’s my favorite and since I’m the one making it I get to make the one I prefer, right?

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~ Honey Almond Granola ~
2 C. Old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 C. Wheatgerm
1/4 C. Flax meal
1/2 C. Sliced almonds
1/4 C. Broken pecan pieces
1 C. Shredded coconut
2Tbs. Dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 C. Honey
1/2 tsp. Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Vanilla Bean Paste
1/4 tsp. Nielsen-Massey Almond extract
3Tbs. Coconut oil
1/3 C. Water
Preheat oven to 325.

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Combine wheat germ, flax meal, nuts and coconut and spread on a dry baking sheet. Put the sheet into the oven and toast these ingredients for about 7 minutes. Check them half way through and stir. If your oven is like mine, your ingredients will brown faster near the edges of the pan.
Mix oats, salt and brown sugar together in a large bowl. Stir in your toasted ingredients and set aside. Combine honey, coconut oil, vanilla bean paste, almond extract and water in a separate small bowl.

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Mix into dry. If mixture is still a bit dry add a little more water. Bake for 20-22 mins stirring after 10 minutes with a large spatula until it reaches the golden brown of your preference. Allow to cool and store in an airtight container.

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After your granola is cool you can add dried fruits and other optional goodies you might like. I prefer to add a 1/2 C. of dried cranberries and a 1/2 C. mini chocolate chips.

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Enjoy!
I hope you’re trying out some of my recipes. If you do, please let me know! I’d love to hear how they worked for you.
Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

A trip to Nielsen-Massey and Bourbon Vanilla, Oatmeal Chocohunk with Brown Butter Cookie Recipe

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This past Friday I had the amazing opportunity to go to a chef demo at Nielsen-Massey in Waukegan, IL. Thank you to Rosie Discovers for thinking of me! In case you don’t know, Nielsen-Massey has been making the worlds finest vanilla since 1907. They craft vanillas, almond (my favorite), chocolate, coffee, lemon, pure peppermint and orange extracts, orange blossom water, and rose water! It smelled absolutely amazing there, everyone was so sweet…thank you Katherine in reception for getting us the wifi password. Bloggers are dependent on their wifi connections, you know. The demo kitchen and reception area are impressively well equipped.

 

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The smells of vanilla hanging in the air and watching cooking demos got my brain to popping. It was great watching Chefs John Conley and Sarah Simington, yes from Diners Drive-ins and Dives!, but right in front of me all morning…can you see it?

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Yes, the Madagascar bourbon vanilla paste! It was right in front of me the whole morning and to my delight we were sent home with a bottle of it in our goodie bag! Thank you again Nielsen-Massey! After tasting Sarah’s captain crunch French toast and cinnamon rolls, then John’s flan and pollo papantla I was 1. on a nice sugar rush and 2. so inspired.

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After getting home later that day I let the ideas simmer in my mind. I could still smell the vanilla! I knew I wanted some chocolate (because chocolate) And oats!

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So I suggested to Squishy that we bake something and he said “How about we bake some cookies, mom?!” How could I say no? I started pulling ingredients and this is what we came up with.

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~Bourbon vanilla, oatmeal chocohunk cookies with browned butter

1 cup browned butter
3/4 c brown sugar
1/2 raw sugar
1 tsp Madagascar bourbon vanilla bean paste
2 eggs
1/4 baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup oatmeal
2 1/2 c flour
1 cup roughly chopped dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Add 2 sticks of butter to a heavy pan and heat to medium low. After a couple minutes it will bubble and begin to foam. Once it starts foaming, stir with a whisk until it turns a nice golden brown and takes on a nutty aroma. Take off heat and pour into your mixing bowl. Add sugars and mix well, this will incorporate your sugar and help cool the butter. You can let this set for several minutes to cool a bit, or temper your eggs before mixing them in. I tempered my eggs by cracking them into a small bowl and stirring in bits of the butter/sugar mixture. I then turned on my mixer and slowly added the eggs. Add vanilla, salt and beat until well incorporated. Mix in baking soda, baking powder, oats and four. Your dough will begin to come together and pull away from the sides of the bowl. Add in your chocolate bits and stir well.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a sheet lined with parchment and bake for 7-9 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool for 1 minute on the sheet and transfer to a cooking wrack.
Squishy asked for 2nds, 3rds and 4ths. The Mr liked the balance of sweet, salty, vanilla and bitter from the chocolate.
Enjoy!

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Strawberry Rhubarb Yogurt Cremesicles Recipe

Sometimes you’re in the kitchen looking at what you’ve just mixed up and you say to yourself “what was I thinking?!”. Then you taste it and think “why haven’t I done this before?!” Today was one of those times.

Homemade strawberry yogurt cremesicle

~Ingredients
2 Cups rhubarb cut into 1/2 in slices
1/2 Cup raw sugar

1 Cup rough chopped strawberries

1 Cup yogurt
3/4 Cup heavy creme
1tsp vanilla
Pinch salt

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Grilled Stuffed Squash Blossom Recipe

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I hope you’re all having a great Monday and enjoying your summer! It’s hard to believe that it’s already July.
We’ve been busy around here…keeping up with our garden, chasing Squishy and going for bike rides on the Fox River Trail.
This weekend we had zucchini and summer squash blossoms popping up all over the garden. The female blossoms have a small bulb at their base that a squash with grow from. The male blossoms are often on longer stems and once they close up they’re perfect for stuffing! Pictured below are a couple make blossoms that were growing in a planter on our deck.

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Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies with Flaxseed

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What else would we be doing on a snow day? Baking, of course!
I used 1/4 c raw sugar and 1/4c white sugar with the 1/2 c brown sugar this time, mainly because I was getting low on raw sugar. I like the crunch that raw or turbinado sugar gives to cookies, but you could certainly use what you have or prefer. These would also be really fantastic with a 1/2 c chopped pecans and a 1/2 c dried cranberries…I just didn’t gave any today.
Snow day cookies or Peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

3/4 c softened butter
1/2 c peanutbutter
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c old fashioned oats
1/4 c flax meal
3/4 c semi sweet chocolate chips

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