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.

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