Thursday, April 8, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
I'm very excited (...and honored!) to have been invited by the fabulous Jenny over at Have Your Cake to write a guest post recipe! I love her fun, useful, and inspirational views on healthy living. ...Believe me, I have drastically cut down my butter intake since I've been following her daily tips!
So, I decided to make a batch of one of my favorite homemade, healthy goodies: granola bars! Sweet oats, with toasted almonds, and the tartness of cranberries and orange zest, all in a little bar. Perfect! ... especially with a bit a greek yogurt!
Not only are these healthier than the store-bought (...I'm assuming corn syrup isn't in your pantry), but they are easy to make (think: rice krispie treats), and there are so many flavor possibilities. Try dates, cherries, apricots, or even chocolate chips! Wrap the cut bars in wax paper or store in an airtight container, they will keep in the fridge for up to a month. You can even make two flavors at once by doubling the recipe and baking the two flavors side by side in a larger baking pan.
Oh, and if you are still scared of attempting granola bars, believe me, I was for quite some time, thinking the bars would just fall apart when I tried to cut them, but just remember that the worse that could happen is you end up with a bag of small granola bar chunks... which will still be delicious.
CRANBERRY-ORANGE ALMOND GRANOLA BARS (adapted from Barefoot Contessa)
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
2/3 cups honey
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus a bit for the pan
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup dried cranberries
zest of one large orange
Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 9x9 baking dish and line it with parchment paper.
Toss the oats, almonds, and coconut and on a sheet pan cook for 10 minutes until lightly browned. Transfer it to a large bowl and add the wheat germ.
In a saucepan, over medium heat bring the butter, honey, vanilla, and salt to a boil. Cook while stirring for another minute. Then add the liquid to to the bowl of dry ingredients. Add the cranberries and orange zest and mix well.
Pour the mixture into the parchment lined pan, and lightly pat down with your hands (it helps if you wet your hands a bit).
Bake at 300F for 30 minutes until lightly browned.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Maybe it's the fact that spring is officially a month away, or the one too many tea cookies I ate last week, or maybe it's all the Olympics A. and I have been watching (snowboard cross is my new obsession!).... but, this week, I've been craving healthier foods.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
I am having the most wonderful day! I took the day off... not because I had something planned, just because I wanted a day to rest. Ahhh...a four day weekend! :-) I slept in we went for a long walk in the snow, ate way too many cookies, and I am now sipping a latte from a ginormous mug at my favorite West Village coffee shop. I ♥ large latte mugs, don't they just feel relaxing?
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
I was inspired by The Kitchn's post on freezing homemade pancakes and reheating in the toaster. How perfect! I can't beleive I'd never thought of that before. Duh...eggo's! So I decided to make a double batch, a few for dinner (A. ate his with a fried egg on top, delicious!) and a few to keep in the freezer for breakfast. Since these were going to be my breakfast for a few days, I made them with whole wheat flour for a healthier pancake. It's amazing how rich and nutty these come out. I dare say I like it more than regular pancakes!
I think the key to perfect pancakes is twofold. First, beat the egg white seperately until they are fluffy and carefully fold into the batter without over mixing. This will make fluffiest pancakes. Second, cook them over medium to low heat. Resist the urge to turn up the heat...you'll end up with burnt butter and raw batter in the middle. Not a pretty picture.
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups milk
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs, seperated
pinch of salt
butter for pan
optional: berries or apples slices
Mix dry ingredients. In a seperate bowl, mix the milk, yogurt, and egg yolks. Seperately mix the egg white until fluffy and airy. Combine the dry ingredients with the milk mixture. Be careful not to overmix. When fully incoporated, gently fold in the egg whites. Check the consistency of the batter, I like thick pancakes so the batter won't be as runny. Just add more milk for thinner cakes.
Heat a non-stick skillet over medium low heat. Add about a tablespoon of butter. When the pan is hot, add about 1/3 cup of batter. When you start getting those pancakes bubbles, flip it over. If you are adding fruit, do it when you start seeing the bubbles.
You can keep pancakes in the oven while you cook the others. Just have your oven at 170F, and place on a cookie sheet. To freeze the pancakes, allow them to cool and then just place in a ziploc freezer bag. To reheat, cook in the toaster or toaster oven until warm. They will keep in the freezer for about a week.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Sunday, January 10, 2010
I know, I know... ice cream in the middle of winter? But have you ever had one of those weekends when you don't want to go outside? That was me this weekend. It was wonderful! ...Sleeping in, lazy breakfasts, lots of cooking, and a brand new stand mixer to play with. It was the perfect winter weekend! And being in my cozy, warm apartment all weekend made me crave ice cream.
In a New Years effort to be healthier, I thought: frozen yogurt. I love greek yogurt, especially drizzled with honey, so wouldn't it be delicious to combine it into a frozen treat? One problem: no ice cream machine. :-(
Well, after a little googling it turns out you can make ice cream at home without a machine... it just involves a little time. Basically you make the ice cream (or yogurt) mixture, freeze it, then as it's freezing you break up the ice crystals in order to get a creamy consistency ... instead of a block of ice. Pretty easy! Take a look at David Lebovitz's detailed step-by-step instructions... they are very easy to follow.
So I gave it a try. I used Fage Greek Yogurt and my favorite local Clover Honey from the farmer's market. It was sooooo delicious. Incredibly creamy, tangy but sweet.... and you can still taste the honey! This is going to be addictive. :-)
3 cups Greek Yogurt (whole milk or 2%, if using 2% strain the yogurt overnight, start w/6 cups)
1/3 cup Honey (more to taste)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract (optional)
If using an ice cream maker:
Combine all ingredients in ice cream maker bowl and freeze according to the machine's instructions
Without an ice cream machine:
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Using the whip attachment if using a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, mix at medium speed until well combined and airy. Pour mixture into a non-stick cake pan (I used a 9") and place in the freezer. Resist the urge to eat it right away! :-)
Place back in the pan and in the freezer for another 30 minutes. Repeat this freeze/whip process two more times. Depending on your freezer you may need a fourth time, after which your ice cream will be ready!
Serve immediately with drizzled honey. Yum!