Sunday, July 27, 2014

vanilla almond granola.


We do love cereal and granola around here but I am just tired of paying for it. If you want the good, healthy stuff it can go up to around $3-5- yikes! The only exception to that was last week when Kroger had Kashi cereal on manager's special for only $1.50- now that was steal!  But sadly... it doesn't happen very often.

Alas, I decided to try my hand at some homemade granola. Let me tell you- it was delicious! It can also easily be adapted for GF eaters by using GF certified oats and can be vegan by using coconut oil and maple syrup. 

It was also super easy to make. It seriously took only about 5 minutes to mix together and then you just throw it in the oven. If you don't have time to stir every 15 minutes, just leave it in and after it cools, break bunches apart as you please. I can't wait to make some different versions of granola!

~

vanilla almond granola from sally's baking addiction

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2-3/4 cup chopped or slivered almonds
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch salt
1/2 cup pure maple syrup or honey
1/4 cup melted coconut oil or another liquid oil (i.e. melted butter, olive oil, etc.)
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300F degrees. 
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  3. Toss the oats, almonds, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the syrup or honey and oil together until combined. Whisk in the almond and vanilla extracts. Pour over the oats and toss to coat. Make sure all of the oats are moistened.
  4. Spread onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Allow granola to cool completely. It will get crunchy during the cooling process. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

green protein smoothie.



I only have 1 week left until I go back to work (sniffle, sniffle). Since I have been off this summer, I have been making smoothies almost every morning. I've had so much fun experimenting with different kinds.  I am hoping to continue my smoothie-making-morning-ritual when I go back to work too! 

Also, Grant and I just got home from a short but incredibly sweet vacation to Virginia. We had a great time lounging by the pool, playing mini golf, visiting a couple local restaurants, & going on a few hikes at Shenandoah National Park.  Below the recipe are a couple pictures from our trip :)

~

green protein smoothie recipe (1 serving)

ingredients:

1 frozen banana
1/4-1/2 cup milk (I used vanilla almond milk)
1-2 Tbsp nut butter (I used peanut butter)
6 oz greek yogurt (I like to use vanilla or plain)
2 handfuls spinach (kale or another green would probably work too)
Optional sweetener such as maple syrup, agave, stevia, etc., (I did not use one)

instructions

Blend all ingredients together in blender or food processor. If using a blender, I recommend putting the milk in first and the spinach in last. 



 






Thursday, July 10, 2014

soft homemade oreos.


I have been dying to make copycat Oreos but needed a special occasion to make them. You can only get about 10-12 sandwich cookies from this recipe which doesn't seem like enough for Grant to take to work and too many to keep at home. This would mean I would be eating them all day long until they were gone.

Grant's family invited us to Symphony on the Prairie last weekend. It is an event that takes place at Connor Prairie (a big historical park) in Indianapolis.  At this evening event, they have a of symphony come play.  Thousands attend and most bring a picnic dinner (anything from McDonalds to fancy cheese & wine. It's one of those events that makes you feel classy but it's still affordable.  Anyway, I was told there would be 7 of us and I could bring dessert. Hence the perfect opportunity to make these cookies.  Enough for all of us to have one and enough for Grant and I to sample beforehand and perhaps have a couple leftover. 

My handsome hubby and me at the Symphony


These cookies were a hit, too. They were super, super soft and had a creamy inside. Real winners. I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as we did!

~


Soft Homemade Oreos 

Ingredients

Cookies from crazy for crust

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Hershey's special dark is recommended)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg

    Cream Filling from sally's baking addiction
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening 
  • 1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 
    2. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
    3. In a medium bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and flour. Set aside.
    4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and both sugars. Mix in egg and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined.
    5. Scoop (about 1 tbsp) cookie dough onto the cookie sheets. I got 25 cookies. 
    6. Bake for 8-9 minutes . It's ok if they are a little underdone, they will be softer that way.
    7. Let cool completely before filling and making sandwiches.
    8. While cookies are cooling, make the filling. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and vegetable shortening.  Gradually add powdered sugar then the vanilla. Filling will be pretty thick.
    9. With a spatula, spread cream filling onto one cooled cookie and sandwich it with another cookie. 
    10. Enjoy!
    Recipe Sources: 

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

    grandma's blueberry muffins.




    These are my favorite muffins in the world. As you can see from the name, they are my Grandma's recipe which makes them even more special to bake. Not to mention, they taste amazing- I hope you think so too!



    I am totally on a blueberry kick right now and just had to make these blueberry muffins. I have been baking these muffins with my mom and sister since I can remember. Whenever we got ready to bake something, my mom would ask my sister or me to get the recipe card. My mom has a million and one recipe cards so sometimes the recipe card we needed was hard to find.  The recipe card for this one, however, was always the easiest to find- it was the one that was smudged and spilled on because we used it all. the. time. As much as we made them, I never got tired of them.

    These muffins are sweet, moist, soft, and just plain perfect. Many people like spitting them in half, and putting butter on it. Not me, though- I like them just as is. :)


    ~

    grandma's blueberry muffin recipe:

    Ingredients:
    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup skim milk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 3/4 cup blueberries
    • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
    Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 
    2. Grease or line 24 muffin tins with paper liners. 
    3. Mix flour, sugar, and baking powder in a large bowl. Cut in butter until crumb mixture forms.  I used a pastry knife, but a food processor works even better. Reserve 1 cup crumb mixture. Set aside.
    4. Put eggs, milk, and vanilla into the crumb mixture in large bowl. Beat until smooth, then gently fold in blueberries. Fill your 24 muffin tins 3/4 full.
    5. Place reserved crumb mixture into a small bowl, then dribble in melted butter. Toss with a fork to make crumbs. Sprinkle on top of each muffin cup.
    6. Bake for 20 minutes or until crumb topping is golden brown.



    Sunday, June 22, 2014

    glazed blueberry cake bars.



    My new favorite blueberry dessert. Moist, soft, sweet, and oh-so-delicious. These I simply cannot get over. I literally have to restrain myself from the pan. I am sending them to work with Grant tomorrow because if I don't, I'll eat the whole pan!

    This recipe couldn't be easier- mix up the dough and pour all except 1.5 cups into a lined pan (I used a 9"x13" one). Bake for 15 minutes. Now create your filling: blueberries and sugar. Mash, mash, mash. Take the pan out and pour your blueberry filling over baked dough. Spoonful by spoonful, pour your reserved dough over the blueberry filling. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let it cool for about 10 minutes. During this time, make your glaze: powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk. After 10 minutes, you can drizzle all that yummy glaze over your cake. And you're done! Enjoy the delicious masterpiece you just created :)





     ~


    glazed blueberry cake bars
    from the domestic geek blog 

    • Cake Ingredients
    • 1 cup butter, softened
    • 1 3/4 cups sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 3 cups flour

    Blueberry Filling Ingredients
    • 2 cups blueberries
    • 3 Tablespoons sugar 

    • Glaze Ingredients
    • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
    • 3 teaspoons milk

    Directions
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a 9x13 pan by greasing with butter and lining with parchment.
    2. Beat butter until smooth, add 1 3/4 cups sugar, baking powder, and salt. Continue beating.
    3. Add eggs and vanilla, once incorporated add flour. Beat well, scraping at sides of the bowl when needed until all flour has blended in.
    4. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of dough, spread remaining dough evenly in prepared cake pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
    5. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl sprinkle sugar on top blueberries. Mash blueberries to create a pie filling consistency.
    6. Spread over pre-baked cake, spoon mounds of remaining filling on top of blueberry layer.
    7. Bake for an additional 30 minutes, or until cake is golden brown.
    8. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Meanwhile, add all icing ingredients into a bowl and mix. Add additional milk 1 teaspoon at a time until you have a icing consistency. 
    9. Drizzle on top of the cooled bars.
    10. Slice, serve, and enjoy.
    Recipe Credit: