Sunday, April 26, 2009

Homemade Granola Bars

I got this recipe from Tanya Searle in the University Ward. They really are good and so much better for you than store bought. 

4 cups quick cooking oats
2 cup wheat flour
1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup wheat germ
1tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 cup canola oil
1 cup honey
2 eggs
4 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup peanut butter chips
1 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large jelly roll pan (12x17ish) with aluminum foil, and spray with “pam”.

2. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together. You may need to mix with your hands. Press evenly into the prepared baking pan.

3. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until the edges are golden. Let cool about 5 minutes in the pan. Turn out onto a large cutting board and peel off foil. Cut with a sharp knife or pizza cutter. I usually cut 40 (4x10 rows). Let cool a bit more and then individually wrap with saran wrap. These freeze well. You can substitute the chocolate and peanut butter chips with your choice of add-ins. I know Tanya has tried  chopped pretzel pieces with chocolate chips, craisins and almonds, white chocolate chips with macadamia nuts, coconut and raisins. I've tried craisins and chocolate chips and dried strawberries with chocolate chips. Both awesome.

Indian Spiced Chickpea and Fire Roasted Tomato Soup

I got this from good old Rachel Ray. I guess she's not old, but she's good. 

1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cans chickpeas, drained 
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. turmeric
Salt and Pepper
2 c. chicken or vegetable stock (you can just use chicken broth; it's usually cheaper)
1 (28 ounce) can fire roasted tomatoes
1 c. plain yogurt (I just use sour cream)
Warm pita, any flavor or variety

Heat a medium pot with extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Grind the chickpeas and onion in food processor. Add to pot and cook 5 minutes to sweeten onion. Season the chickpeas with cumin, cardamom, turmeric, salt and pepper. Stir in stock, then tomatoes. Simmer soup 5 to 10 minutes to combine flavors. Serve with a dollop of yogurt (or sour cream) and warm pita for dipping. They've got great pitas at Bloomingfoods.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

German Apple Cake

I found my recipe at:

Cake ingredients:
2 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil (I used 1/2 cup canola oil and 1/2 cup applesauce)
2 cups white sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups apples - peeled, cored, and diced
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I omitted these)

Frosting ingredients:
2 (3 oz) packages cream cheese (I used the neufchatel cheese - less fat)
3 Tblsp butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 inch pan. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine eggs, oil, and sugar. Beat until foamy. Add flour mixture and beat well. Add vanilla and stir in chopped apples and walnuts. Pour into greased 9 x 13 inch pan.

3. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow cake to cool, then spread with cream cheese frosting.

4. To make the frosting: In a medium bowl combine cream cheese, softened butter, confectioners sugar, and vanilla. Beat until smooth, then spread on cake.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

If anyone is planning on making this soon, I have a whole batch of the frosting you can have. The recipe makes A LOT. I made a double batch of the cupcakes so I made a double batch of the frosting too. Well, a single batch of the frosting would have probably been too much too. (I added this comment on 4/28)

I just tried this recipe for the lunch bunch at Sarah's (although I didn't make it) and it was sooooo good! I couldn't believe how good it was!! It will definitely be made again in my house. For the frosting, I didn'thave chili powder at first, so I left it out and the frosting was still way good. So, if you don't have chili powder, don't worry. (From

1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
12 peanut butter cups

Mexican Hot Chocolate Frosting:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard cupcake pan with liners.
To prepare the cupcake batter: In a large heat resistant bowl, combine the chocolate and butter over a pot of simmering water, without letting the bottom touch the water. Stir gently until melted and well combined. You may use a microwave, if preferable.

Remove chocolate from heat and stir in the vanilla. Add the sugar. Beat with a handheld electric mixture until smooth and combined, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing for 20 seconds between each egg to incorporate.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Mix until well blended.

Using ladle or small measuring cup, fill the cupcake cups 2/3 of the way full. Place a peanut butter cup in the center of each cup and press down slightly. Bake until the cupcakes are firm to the touch about 20 minutes.

To prepare the frosting: Using a handheld electric beater, cream the cream cheese and butter together thoroughly. Add the chili power and cinnamon, mixing to incorporate. Add the salt, vanilla, and confectioners' sugar. Finally, mix in the melted chocolate and blend thoroughly until smooth. If additional thickening is needed, add more sifted confectioners' sugar, a little at a time, until a spreadable consistency is reached.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ginger-Soy Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Thank you SO much Sarah for a fantastic lunch!! The Ghanian food was great, and everyone else brought delicious dishes. I'm posting my recipe before I forget, so sorry this isn't the official post from the lunch today!

Ginger-Soy Chicken Lettuce Wraps

3 tbsp vegetable oil (3 times around the pan)
1 1/4 lb chicken breast cutlets, cut into thin strips
salt and coarse black pepper
2-inch piece of fresh ginger (I used 2 tsp ground), peeled & minced
4 large garlic cloves, chopped (I used 2 tsp minced)
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
6 scallions, cut up
1/4 cup tamari (dark aged soy sauce -- I used regular soy sauce)
3 tbsp honey (3 times around the pan)
1 head of iceberg or bibb lettuce (take off leaves 1 at a time -- can use entire leaf cup or shred in half for smaller cups)

Heat large non-stick skillet over high heat. Add the vegetable oil. It should smoke up a bit. Add the chicken & season with a little salt and lots of black pepper. Stir-fry for a minute to sear the meat at the edges, then add the ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the scallions and stir-fry for another minute, then add the tamari and honey to form a sauce and glaze the chicken. Remove the pan from heat. Scoop into lettuce cups, wrap, and ENJOY!

If you want to mix it up, substitute pork or shrimp for the chicken, and add 1 red bell pepper and 20 basil leaves. This is a Rachael Ray recipe.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Best Banana Bread Ever!

From Camille Thompson: This is the best Banana Bread I have ever had. I got it from an FHE brother at BYU-Idaho. It is so yummy.

2 ¼ cups flour
1 2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup oil
2/3 cup buttermilk
3 eggs
3 ripe smashed bananas
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon/ nutmeg/ cloves (whatever spices you want. I usually put just ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg because I don't have cloves).

Mix oil, buttermilk, eggs, and bananas together. Add dry ingredients. Mix well. Pour into 2 greased bread pans. Bake on 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.