Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fun kitchen experiments

Homemade Granola Bars courtesy of Alton Brown


8 ounces old-fashioned rolled oats, approximately 2 cups
1 1/2 ounces raw sunflower seeds, approximately 1/2 cup
3 ounces sliced almonds, approximately 1 cup (I used slivered)
1 1/2 ounces wheat germ, approximately 1/2 cup
6 ounces honey, approximately 1/2 cup
1 3/4 ounces dark brown sugar, approximately 1/4 cup packed
1-ounce unsalted butter, plus extra for pan
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3-3 1/2 ounces chopped dried fruit, any combination of cranberries, cherries or blueberries (recipe calls for 6.5, but I thought that was a lot)


Butter a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread the oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, and wheat germ onto a half-sheet pan. Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, combine the honey, brown sugar, butter, extract and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.

Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. Immediately add the oat mixture to the liquid mixture, add the dried fruit, and stir to combine. Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week

Husband Review: Very, very, very good, and tasty.
Husband's Coworker's Review: If they each cost 3 cents to make, I'll give you 10 cents for one!

Homemade Crispy Brown Rice Bars courtesy of Alton Brown

3 ounces puffed brown rice, approximately 6 cups
3 tablespoons flax seed oil, plus extra for the pan
1 tablespoon orange blossom honey
7 ounces mini marshmallows, approximately 4 cups
3 ounces toasted slivered almonds, approximately 3/4 cup
1 1/2 ounces coarsely chopped dried cranberries, approximately 1/3 cup
1 1/2 ounces coarsely chopped dried cherries, approximately 1/3 cup
1-ounce dried blueberries, approximately 1/3 cup
*I added 1 oz (or more) of dark chocolate chips and combined in the big mix-in. Tasty.


Lightly coat the inside of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch metal pan with oil and set aside. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Spread the brown puffed rice evenly on a sheet pan. Toast in the oven for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. While the rice is toasting, prepare the marshmallow mixture.

Place the oil, honey, and marshmallows in a large mixing bowl set over a pot of gently simmering water. Stir until the marshmallows are melted, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Once the marshmallows are melted, quickly add the toasted brown rice, almonds, and fruit and stir to combine. Coat your hands or a spatula with oil and spread the mixture evenly into the pan. Once the mixture has cooled completely, cut into squares and store in an airtight container for 1 to 2 days.

Husband Review: Very yummy!
My Review: A little too fruity for me, but I am not a huge fan of dried fruit in large quantities. Also, it tastes better than it looks. I'm too lazy to get a better photo!

Spicy Southern Barbeque Buffalo Burgers


1 lb ground bison
3/4 cup barbeque sauce (I used the delicious local barbeque sauce we picked up on our vacation to Pickens, SC) DIVIDED
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp barbeque seasoning
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Assorted mushrooms for 4 burgers (I used cremini, oyster, and shiitake), sliced
Slices of onions for 4 burgers
Baby Spinach
Plum Tomatoes
Cheese slices of choice
Arnold's 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Thins


Combine 1/4 cup barbeque sauce, ground meet, pepper, pepper flakes, and seasoning in a bowl. Shape mixture into four equal patties. Grill burgers until desired done-ness.

While burgers are cooking, heat oil in a skillet, add onions and mushrooms and cook until soft and browned. Add remaining barbeque sauce and heat, combining the ingredients.

About 1 minute before burgers are done, place portions of mushroom/onions/sauce and cheese on top of burgers, allow to melt, then place on buns/Thins with spinach and tomatoes.

Husband review: These taste like restaurant burgers!

Asian Infused Pork Chops with Asian Veggies

Sorry, no recipe for this one... I forgot what I put in this recipe. It was really good though. The veggies included water chestnuts, broccoli, four colors of bell peppers on brown rice, pork loin chops marinated in soy sauce, ground ginger, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, then breaded in whole wheat flour, egg, then panko and cooked in olive oil cooking spray in a cast iron skillet.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A different approach

So it's been a little while since I blogged last, and I do have a delicious recipe to show you eventually, but for the past week or so, I've really been thinking about what kind of blog I have and what kind of blog I want this to be. At the current moment, it seems as though I have dedicated the past 92 entries to the food and exercise (or lack there of) portion of my life. I have made an attempt at being a food blogger and a fitness blogger, though not always a very successful attempt. Occassionally, I have filled my small number of readers in on the small details of my life, the goings-on, if you will. I'm not entirely sure that I want to give up on those aspects of my blog as I thoroughly enjoy sharing my food experiments and exercise failures with you all. I just feel as though I want this blog to be something more. I want to share more of myself with the world and with you. So... we'll see how this whole thing turns out.

Friday, June 4, 2010


I know you've all been waiting for a FOOD update! Well, here we go!

Wednesday night I made Asian Burgers. I foolishly did not photograph them, but I do have an artist's representation of their deliciosity.

Hahaha. Gotta love Paint!

I'll try to break it down. Unfortunately, when I make up a recipe, I don't really measure things. Haha.

1 lb leanest ground beef
1 tsp EVOO
1ish tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp Sucanat (needed some sweetness!)

Mix the aforementioned ingredients thoroughly and form into 4 evenly distributed patties.

While grilling burgers, saute some mushrooms with low sodium soy sauce and red wine vinegar. When burgers are almost done, top with mushrooms and a slice of cheese (I used pepper jack because it's what we had). Let the cheese melt a bit. Yum.

Place assembled burgers on Arnold's Sandwich Thins (stole this idea from Whitney) and enjoy with your fave preperation of oven fries! I choose these lovelies (no picture, just recipe). I <3 me some parmesan oven fries!

Last night we had... what to call this dish... well, maybe you can leave me a name for it as a comment... I'm drawing a blank. I will warn you that there is a lot of multitasking in this recipe!

8 oz (when dry) cooked whole wheat penne pasta
1 package Jennie-O's hot italian sausage
Grape Tomatoes (3/4-1 cup)
Spinach (maybe 2 cups? I think I did 2-3 handfulls)
2 tbsp butter (or marg)
2 tbsp whole wheat flour
1.5 cups skim milk
2 cloves garlic
Dried herbs of choice
1 tbsp EVOO

Remove casing from sausage and cut into bite sized pieces. Cook in cast iron skillet until browned on both sides.

Heat EVOO and one clove sliced garlic in another skillet. Remove garlic and add tomatoes. Break town tomatoes, smashing them as they get hot. add to cooked sausage. Turn heat off sausage pan and add the spinach, letting it wilt when mixed into sausage/tomato mixture.

Meanwhile, make a white sauce by melting butter in a small sauce pan. Add flour and whisk to make a roux, then add the milk, whisking to combine. Add finely chopped garlic and a couple of pinches of dried herbs. I used Italian Herbs. When the sauce has thickened, combine the pasta, sausage mixture, and sauce in a large serving bowl. I added all the sauce, which was not necessary, but at the end, I drained the extra sauce out to use in a recipe later this week. You can also just add as much as you'd like (about half the recipe is enough) and save the rest if you want it to be more versatile for a later recipe.

It was.... DELICIOUS. SO SO SO good. I have leftovers that I am about to consume. I know that my "recipe writing skills" for these recipes kind of stink, but oh well. The food is good, so if you want to make it, you'll have to put up with it! :-)

If you wish to name the recipe, the key ingredients would be: Penne, a white garlic herb sauce, hot turkey sausage, tomatoes and spinach. Maybe I'll think of something!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

It's June!

Hello All!

It's been an extremely busy few days... I had a JOB INTERVIEW for a wonderful private school that is less than a mile and a half from our townhouse! How awesome is that? I will know in about a week if I got the job, so I will let you know. I hesitate to blog about it, in case it falls through, but hey, the more people I let know, the more people can pray that I'll get the job, right?!

Subbing jobs are really getting slim now, considering school ends very, very soon. So... I've been watching a lot of HGTV! Woohoo.

This past weekend was extremely busy! Saturday, we went to Sweet Briar College for our friends' beautiful wedding! Sunday, my brother-in-law was in town to play djembe for worship at church (he's awesome!), then we had a party for our friend who just finished his seminary degree- it was a blast! Monday DH and I chilled, played Rock Band, and went to a cookout at a college friend's house. I missed hot dogs. Mmmm. :-)

My interview with the school was yesterday morning, and I was quite pleased with the way that I feel it went! We'll see, and I'm hoping I'll know SOON! :-)