March 7, 2012

Crispy Chocolate and Peanut Butter Granola

Crispy Chocolate and Peanut Butter Granola

We’ve already established that I love those crispy, chewy granola bars and I’m always on the look out for snacks like that so when I found this recipe I was almost angry with myself for not coming up with it on my own. Granola…with Rice Krispies in it. It’s so simple and obvious! It’s basically those granola bars without the extra step of making bars. I’ve always liked granola but it turns out this one simple addition was all I needed to fall in love with it.

Of course, it’s not quite as simple as adding some rice cereal to oats. The thing that makes this granola a real treat is the chocolate. The oats and cereal (and pecans if you want, I left them out) are coated in a chocolate-honey mixture and everything is baked until it’s nice and toasty. Then to make it extra good (and healthier) the granola is topped off with some dried cherries or cranberries. Eat this chocolate granola with milk like a cereal (with bonus chocolate milk left over!) or sprinkle it on your yogurt or you can just do what I …

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August 29, 2011

Roasted Yellow Tomato Soup

Roasted Yellow Tomato Soup

Remember when I said I was excited about making soup this fall? Well, the prospect of soup sounded so good that I may have jumped the gun a little. But that’s ok because this might as well be called “Summer’s Almost Over Soup.” It’s full of fresh and bright summer produce but it’s warm and hearty and creamy and perfect for those late summer evenings when the temperatures are finally starting to drop.

I really wasn’t expecting this soup to be so good, I was just trying to use up the two weeks worth of yellow tomatoes from my CSA and this recipe fit the bill. I wound up changing the original recipe quite a bit, though. That’s what I love about soup, you can almost always add your own spin to it without risking messing it up completely. For instance, if you can’t get your hands on yellow tomatoes, I’m sure regular tomatoes would work just fine.

June 20, 2011

Frozen Raspberry Pie

Frozen Raspberry Pie

Sometimes I worry that people think I’m way better at this while cooking/baking thing than I actually am. But if anyone is to blame for this perception, it’s obviously me because I’m always telling you how easy this or that recipe is to make and blah blah blah…look how great it turned out, too! Here’s what you should be taking away from any recipe I post on this site: If I can make this thing, then you most definitely can as well. Because the truth is I’m still learning and I make mistakes ALL the time. But the awesome thing about learning to cook is that the more you do it, the more you learn little tricks and shortcuts so that you can fix your mistakes and learn to steer clear of them next time. But even then, things don’t always go your way. It always sucks to waste ingredients, but you just have to stop, take a breath and start all over again.

December 6, 2011

Pear Upside-Down Gingerbread Cake

Pear Upside-Down Gingerbread Cake
It’s finally December! Not only is it my favorite month with my favorite holiday, but it’s my favorite time of the year to bake since there are always so many fun recipes to try. I love gingerbread so this recipe has been on my “To Make” list for while and it finally seemed like the perfect time for it. I already have a gingerbread muffin recipe that I love, but this gingerbread cake turned out to be quite different and I love the twist of making it an upside-down cake, too.

The big difference from most gingerbread recipes I’ve made is that this recipe uses fresh ginger instead of ground. I was a little weary about this because I haven’t always been a huge fan of fresh ginger. It’s ok in small doses, but in a lot of recipes I find it really overpowering. Luckily, it turned out to be pretty great in this cake. My guess is that the molasses and all the other spices help to tone down the ginger just enough so it’s not overpowering. Despite that, you can clearly taste a difference between gingerbread …

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November 19, 2010

Cranberry Upside Down Muffins

Cranberry Upside Down Muffins

I tend to stay away from making cakes a lot just because I am not so great with the portion control. But I had been thinking about making a cranberry upside down cake for a while so when I saw it in muffin form I knew I had to try this recipe immediately.

Do you like cranberry sauce? If you do, you’ll love these muffins. For the longest time, I absolutely refused to eat cranberry sauce with whole cranberries. I’d only eat the jellied kind that come out of the can…in the shape of a can. I still have that kind at my Thanksgiving, mostly out of tradition, but I make real cranberry sauce, too, and these muffins make me love it even more.

This is a really easy and fast recipe to make and I think the muffins come out so pretty! If you wanted to be a perfectionist, you could cut off the bottoms so they’d sit straight, but it didn’t bother me.

November 3, 2010

Baked Oats Two Ways: Plain and Fruity

Baked Oats

Now that Halloween is over and there’s no more candy to tempt me, it’s time to start eating better. I’ve recently decided to make an effort to eat less processed food. (Do homemade twix bars count?) I pretty much have the healthy dinner thing down, so most of the processed food I eat was coming during the day because it was simpler to grab of bowl of sugary cereal or a handful of overly salty crackers from box rather than take the time to make real food.

But I had certain criteria when looking for things to eat during the day:

  1. Easy to make (either the day of or ahead of time)
  2. Eaten at room temperature or easy to reheat
  3. Easy to snack on (e.g. can be eaten at my computer without being too messy)

Common denominator? EASY. I put a lot of effort into making a good dinner so I don’t want to have to worry about the rest of the day. This recipe, I’m happy to say, fits all three criteria. It only takes 10 minutes to whip up (and in a single bowl at that) and 25 minutes …

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November 30, 2011

Cranberry Pandowdy (and my favorite Cranberry Sauce)

Cranberry-Apple Pandowdy

I hope all my American readers had a nice Thanksgiving. The past couple of years Brandon and I have had a guest to help us eat all that food, but this year was a simple Thanksgiving with just the two of us. Unfortunately, my brain kinda went on autopilot as I was preparing all my traditional dishes and I wound up making enough food for probably 5 or 6 people! Suffice it to say we had lots of leftovers.

The biggest culprit turned out to be cranberry sauce. I found a new recipe to try this year and went a little gung ho with it, making enough to feed about 12 people. Thankfully, the cranberry sauce turned out to be as good as its name: Cranberry Sauce Extraordinaire. It will definitely be my go-to cranberry sauce recipe from now on. The best thing is that it’s not just cranberries: it has apples, pears, pureed orange and berries. You can even mix in some pecans if you want. I love cranberries, but cranberry sauce can sometimes be a bit too tart for me, so I like how all the added fruit really balances the …

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December 27, 2010

Holiday Cheesecake Sampler

Mini Holiday Cheesecakes

I hope everyone had a nice weekend! Brandon and I had a pretty laid back Christmas, we stayed in and watched movies and played video games all weekend. It even snowed a little bit on Saturday so we got the proverbial white Christmas. After going all out for Thanksgiving last month, I really wasn’t in the mood to kill myself making a big dinner again so instead we had a small ham and I made my favorite Pineapple Stuff to go with it. But it is Christmas, so I couldn’t resist having fun with dessert.

One of my presents this year was a set of mini springform pans. Cheesecake is most definitely our favorite dessert, and we agree that the recipe I use is the best cheesecake we’ve ever had (two years later I still get regular comments from people who love the recipe) but I only make it on special occasions for two reasons: 1) a 10″ cheesecake is A LOT for two people to eat and 2) we never ever agree on which flavor …

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