Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Brown Sugar Granola

Granola is SO healthy for us!  Here's an easy recipe that you can whip up and store for the week in a sealed container.  It can be used as cereal with milk or as a topping for yogurt or ice cream!  Feel free to play with the amounts, I usually do a handful of this or that...whatever is available.  Just make sure that the oats are the MAIN ingredient, since they soak up the water and flavor.  Aim to have about 6-7 cups of dry ingredients.

Brown Sugar Granola

5 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. dry, roasted, salted unflower seeds
1 c. flaked coconut
1/4 c. almonds, chopped
1/4 c. wheat germ and/or bran

3/4 - 1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c oil
3/4 c water
2 T vanilla

Optional Ingredients (I do not usually use these, but may in the future):
1 1/2 t. cinnamon-added into the wet stuff
1/2 t. maple flavoring-added into the wet stuff
1/3 c. walnuts and/or pecans, chopped
2 T. sesame seeds
1/4 c. flaxseed, whole or ground
**dried cherries, cranberries, raisins(yuck), mini chocolate chips (all added AFTER cooking and cooling)

Mix up the dry ingredients, and then in a separate bowl mix the brown sugar, oil, water, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mix and then spread out onto cookie sheet or jelly roll pan and bake for 45 - 60 minutes at 350, stirring the granola about every 15-20 minutes.  Cool completely before storing or adding dried fruit/chocolate chips.

Cherry Pie

So many people are intimidated by making pies!  Pies and yeast bread seem to be common fears with many of today's homemakers.  Pie is NOT as hard as it seems!  Here, I'll prove it to you!

Cherry Pie

4 c. fresh pitted cherries (or frozen, unthawed)
1 1/2 c. sugar
3 T. quick cooking tapioca
dribble of almond extract (less than 1/4 t.)
4 drops red food coloring (optional)
2 pie crusts (homemade is best, but store bought will do if you must)

Mix cherries, sugar, tapioca, almond extract and food coloring.  Line a deep dish pie plate with 1 crust, put cherry mixture into crust.  Brush the edge with milk. Top with the second crust.  Press the edges lightly to seal. Cut off extra dough.  Crimp/flute edges.  Brush top of pie with milk lightly, avoiding the outter crust.  Sprinkle the milk covered area with about 2 T. sugar.  Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, check to see if the crust is getting dark...if it is, cover it with foil.  Bake for 20 more minutes!  Cool completely and eat with a big ol' scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hot Dog Octopus with Seaweed for the kids!

I know this sounds simple, but the kids love it!  Serve up some steamed baby carrots to "healthify" it a little!

Sorry I don't have a picture, but I think you'll get the idea if you use your imagination!

4 hot dogs
1 package ramen noodles
4 drops green food coloring

Prepare noodles with flavoring.  Drain off water.  Add food coloring, divide among 4 plates. 

Bring to boil 1/2 pan of water in a medium sized saucepan.  Lay the hot dogs out on a cutting board.  Cut in 1/2 lengthwise, leaving 1 inch whole at one end.  Rotate 1/4 turn, and slice lenthwise again through both layers.  Now be careful  not to break or cut off any legs, but take each quarter and split it in 1/2 lengthwise again, so there are now 8 "legs."  Repeat with each hot dog.  Throw hot dogs, one at a time, into the boiling water.  Cook for a minute or so, until the octopus curls up.  remove carefully with a slotted spoon, drain, place on seaweed noodles. 

If you're really crafty, you can draw a face on the octopus with ketchup or mustard.