Sunday, January 17, 2010

Granola with Steel Cut Oats

I got adventurous this last week and decided to attempt to make granola cereal with steel cut oats.  I did some online research into the idea to see if anyone else had done it, and someone said they had.  So on I went to attempt my steel cut oat granola.  Here's what I came up with:

6-8 cups steel cut oats
1/4 cup oil
1/2 - 3/4 cup honey
1/2 - 3/4 cup brown sugar
2 cups chopped mixed salted nuts
1 1/2 cups chopped dried apples
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1/2 cup dried currents (or raisins, but I had currents)

Mix up the oats and the oil and spread them in a pan and toast in a 350 degree oven until lightly toasted, stirring every 10 minutes. 
Heat in a small sauce pan the honey and brown sugar until liquid and combined.
Once the oats come out of the oven, lower the oven to 250 degrees.
In a large bowl combine the oats, honey/sugar mixture, nuts, apples, flax, currents  - or any other dried fruit and nuts.  Stir until everything is completely coated.  Spread in a 9X13 pan or a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 45-60 minutes until very lightly browned.  Remove from oven and allow to cool to warm, then cut into pieces and allow to cool completely in the pan.

To use, either break into pieces and eat dry, or top with milk for a cold cereal.  My favorite is to put a chunk in a bowl, top with milk and zap it in the microwave for 3 minutes.  Stir and let sit for 5 minutes or so until it gets thick - eat!

Happy Eating!

Friday, January 15, 2010

New Version of Vegan Mac and "Cheese"

Upon my child asking for mac and cheese for the 3rd time in 2 days, I decided to try a vegan version of my own devising.  For the sauce I cooked up some red lentils and pureed them with some cashews, olive oil and some of the pasta cooking water until it was smooth.  Salt and peppered the sauce to taste (we like lots of pepper in our mac and cheese sauce).  Then I put it over the cooked noodles.  Looks just like home-made cheese sauce, has no dairy in it.

I think next time, though I'll either cook or at least soak the cashews to make them blend a bit smoother.  It was good for a quick lunch.

Happy Eating!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Awesome Tutorial on How to Make Home Made Stickers

Found this at SkipToMyLou and had to share it.  How to make your own lick and stick stickers from any paper.  Great idea for magazines, scrap book paper, wrapping paper, etc.

Home Made Stickers

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Holiday Crafting Success

The holidays are over.  Crafting for the holidays was a success.  Dishcloths for mom, market bag for dad, bears, dolls, shoe/slippers, blankets and a tent for the girls.  A hobby horse for a nephew, a couple of pin-less message boards for brother and SIL.  Still haven't finished that beautiful blue/green scarf - I'm in need of spinning up more wool.  :-/

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What's for Dinner Tonight? 1/7/2010

So, while I'm posting I thought I'd just keep on keeping on... and post the recipe for dinner tonight.

When cold weather hits all I want to eat is soup.  Lots and lots of soup.  Unfortunately not every one in my house is amenable to eating soup every night (and sometimes not at all, kids, sheesh!) :-)  But it's soup night tonight and I had a hankering for Mushroom Beef Barley.

8 cups water
2 - 4 Tbsp beef boullion
1 lb cut of tender steak, cut into small spoon-sized cubes
2 cans of mushroom pieces
2 medium carrots, diced
1 medium diced onion or 1 Tbsp dried minced onion
1 cup barley
2 bay leaves
Salt and Pepper to taste

Put it all in a pot and let it cook at least 1 hour to get the barley tender.  This soup is even better the next day after the flavors have melded well and the barley has made the broth a nice "milky" consistency.

Bread Pudding

I was gifted (by my fantastic mom) a bread baker for Christmas, so here I am now baking bread - 4th loaf since Thursday (it's only Tuesday).  But I also had a mostly dud loaf and some that was in need of eating quickly, so I whipped up a batch of bread pudding.  Remember those eggs from the Co-op?  Yeah, I have a ton :-)  So here's the recipe I made up:

3/4 loaf of day-old hearty white bread (or wheat or whatever would work)
4-5 eggs, beaten
3 cups of milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 -1/2 cup sugar (I used a 1/4 cup)

Cut up the bread into cubes and spread evenly in a 8x8 pan (or the 6x9 works too).  In a separate bowl or large measuring cup (or your blender), mix together eggs, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and sugar.  Pour egg and milk mixture over the bread to coat well.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35-45 minutes until the custard is set and is no longer runny.  It could take up to an hour depending on how much liquid the bread soaks up.

Let cool briefly and serve in bowls with milk or cream poured over the top.  Yum!  For an extra treat, sprinkle the top with sugar before baking for a sweet brown crispy top.

Fantastic "New" Drink Mix

Ok, so I wanted tea - but I wanted decaffeinated and I was out.  Plus I wanted flavor... and not the berry tea bags that I had laying around.  So I invented a new tea... without tea leaves. :-)

Brew in hot water:
2 or more sticks of cinnamon
2-3 cardamom pods
2 bay leaves (yes they're an odd addition but taste lovely)
and a couple strips (2-3") of candied ginger cut in pieces

Put in pot and let steep in hot water for a half hour to over night (or longer).  Strain, heat up in the microwave for a hot drink, or poor over ice for a fantastic refreshing drink!

Ok, back to sipping...