Thursday, September 30, 2010

Homemade Granola ~ 9.30.10

Auntie Leila's Granola

Don’t be afraid to regard these amounts as approximate.

8 cups oats (fill extra large bowl 2/3 full of oats)
1 small package of sweetened flaked coconut, about 2 cups
2-4 cups chopped nuts – I like the larger amount
Mix together in bowl.

Mix together in saucepan, bring to boil, simmer for 5 minutes:
1 ½ cups brown sugar (this does seem like a lot, but this recipe makes many servings. You can start with a smaller amount at first if you like. You can also substitute honey, molasses, or maple syrup)
1 cup water
¾ cup oil
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp. salt – don’t omit! Salt is important to wake up the taste buds.
1 tsp. almond extract if using almonds

The object is to dissolve the sugar and slightly thicken the syrup.
Pour sugar mixture over ingredients in bowl, mixing well until all oats are coated.

Pour into shallow pan (a lasagna pan works well) and bake at 325* stirring every 10 minutes, until the mixture is evenly browned, about 30-35 minutes.

Remove from the oven.

Add in any combination to total 2 cups:
dried cranberries
chopped dates
Chopped apricots

Stir, cool completely, store in airtight containers (can be frozen).

Check out more of Leila's wonderful recipes for breakfast here
And yes, I've mentioned them before here.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Basil Tomato Soup & Killer Bread ~ 9.27.10

Once September hits, I go into super powered soup making mode. I could eat it every day. Seriously love me some soup! And one of my big faves is Tomato. I was all set to post this recipe when I realized I already did. DARN! So excited to post a recipe and here I've already gone and posted the same one 9 months ago!

I did not post this bread recipe though. It's so delish with a bowl of soup, especially this soup (see that's the same soup in the photo above- filled with veggie goodness!). I'm including two variations to the orginal recipe because I don't always have fresh basil, especially in the winter and I love the green onions in this AND I think artichokes on it would be a wonderful decision!

Killer Bread (or Wicked Awesome Bread or Super Duper Delish Bread... get the picture?)
(can be doubled) Serves 6

1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
clove garlic- minced fine
basil- couple leaves finely chopped or 2 tsp dried, crumbled
bread- sourdough, baguette- I had some hoagie-style rolls lying around and used those
optional: green onions, sliced fine or chopped artichokes

Preheat the broiler.
Mix mayo, parmesan and garlic in a bowl. (add green onions if you're going that option or artichokes or both!)
Slice bread horizontally (like you're making a sandwich) and butter it.
Broil until lightly toasted.
Spread parmesan mixture over cut sides of bread.
Broil until top is puffed and golden brown. Sprinkle with chopped basil.
Cut into wedges and serve with a delcious bowl of soup (or steak!).

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Back to school BIG cookie ~ 9.4.10

I happened upon this recipe the other day and I've always wanted to make a really BIG cookie. They're so pricy at the store and I don't like all the icing (I know I iced mine) or what they usually say. SO, I made one from scratch. Actually, I made three.... one for Gl's first day. One for M's first day and one for my friend who just had a baby a few days before her kids went back to school. I made it for her dessert when I brought dinner over to her. The first one I made on a foil lined pizza pan and the other two I made on my pizza stone. All three turned out perfectly. BUT I  will say this recipe makes more dough than necessary. I froze the extra in case I needed some cookies or wanted to make a smaller BIG cookie one day.

The icing... I had in the freezer leftover from the cakes I made this past year. It was the perfect amounts needed to pipe my little messages and a little border around the outside, too. So glad I don't throw stuff away... just popped them into baggies and defrosted them while the cookie cake baked. Snipped off a corner and voila! Instant piping bag!

Back to School Cookie Cake
(from here, with a different name)

Cream these in your mixer:
2 sticks of butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar

Add to creamed butter mixture:
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp water- just doing what I'm told...

Mix well, then add:
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour
2 cups oatmeal- I used quick cooking
4 handfuls of chocolate chips- I'm really precise about this... kidding

Dump your mixture onto a pizza stone OR prepared pizza pan (I lined mine with foil and sprayed it well with cooking spray).
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes then check every 2-3 minutes until golden brown. (Mine took about 18 minutes)

Let cool then decorate!

The kids were really excited to have a cookie cake on their first day of school and this recipe was indeed stellar!