Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Soft and Yummy Granola Bars

We eat a lot of granola bars 'round here. But the cost for ones with actual ingredients adds up quickly when you're going through a box or two a week. Now I make them here, and it's so damn easy (plus you get to get your hands dirty :)

2 1/4 cups porridge oats (they're like regular oat flakes but have bran and wheat germ plus flax seeds)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup stuff (any combination of chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruit, coconut flakes)

Preheat oven to 325 and butter a 9x9 square pan.

Dump all ingredients in large bowl. Mix well (which is so much easier with your hands than when trying to use a spoon).

Press mixture into pan and bake for 18-22 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes, then slice. Leave bars in pan until fully cool.

Makes 10 good adult size bars. If making for kids, you could cut smaller.

Friday, August 19, 2011

August Spice Rack Challenge - Cumin Spiked Salsa

I like cumin. I use it quite a bit in my Indian and Mexican cooking. But I've been on vacation out in BC (drinking copious amounts of wine, okay moderate amounts). I then got home and promptly forgot about the challenge in the midst of sorting out life (the husband was laid off just before we left for our trip). But today is challenge deadline day and I'm not backing out yet. So a quick and easy salsa sounds perfect.

6 ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 shallot, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced (optional, since my hubby dislikes)
1/2 lime
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 - 1 tsp salt
1 - 2 tsp ground cumin (depending on taste)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix and taste and adjust seasoning if needed. (Tip: taste using tortilla chips as to accurately gauge salt amounts, people often forget about the salt on the chip when making salsa or guacamole and can over-salt as a result)

Serve fresh.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Strawberry and (Stolen) Rhubarb Pie

Mmmmm strawberry rhubarb pie. This one was born when we had some ill-gotten rhubarb, a frozen pie crust and some frozen strawberries. I may have been drunk the first time making this because when I read a recipe for rhubarb sour cream pie I decided to sub strawberries for sour cream and it would all turn out well...which it did.
I tinkered with it a few times after to come up with the following.

I,of course would never advocate stealing of rhubarb...but I swear it makes the pie taste better.

4 cups rhubarb (acquired by nefarious means) - cut into 1" pieces
2 cups strawberries (fresh or frozen) - sliced
3 tbsp corn starch
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 9" pie crust

Preheat oven to 425.

In a 2 quart saucepan over medium heat, cook everything but crust (obviously). Stir often (pay close attention if you are also intoxicated), cooking until mixture thickens.

Pour mixture into pie crust and bake 10 minutes. Remove from ove, and lower temp to 350. Bake another 30-35 minutes, until pie is set. Chill on wire rack.

Serve with fresh whipped cream.