Saturday, August 13, 2016

Chia Seed Granola Bars

We are trying recipes everyday at our house but in the summer I rarely turn on the oven.  It's just too hot to bake!  This recipe uses the stove top just a little bit so you need not worry about heating up your kitchen.  These are very hearty and I particularly love the crunch of the chia seeds.  We love chia seeds at our house and after trying several brands we very much favor the hearty Mayorga brand. Mayorga chia seeds are all black, non-GMO, and Farmer Friendly.
These little bars are great for packing in lunches or as an after-school snack.  Cut them as small or as big as you like!

Homemade Chia Seed Granola Bars
2 ½ cups old fashioned rolled oats
½  cup whole almonds, roughly chopped
1/3  cup honey
¼ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons chia seeds (I prefer Mayorga Brand)
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line bottom of a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper. 
Combine the oats and roughly chopped almonds to a small baking sheet then bake 7-10 minutes until lightly toasted or golden brown. (If it is summertime and you don't want to heat up your kitchen there is no need to turn on your oven.  Put the oats in a large saute' pan and cook over medium heat, shaking pan or stirring occasionally until toasted.  Do the same with the almonds.)  Transfer toasted oats & almonds to a large bowl.
While the oats and almonds are in oven, combine the butter, honey, and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until butter melts and the sugar completely dissolves, stirring occasionally. Take off the heat and stir in the salt, vanilla, and chia seeds. Pour the butter mixture over the toasted oats and almonds and add the cranberries. Mix well. Let cool completely for ½ hours then add the chocolate chips. Stir to combine. (I did not wait long enough and my chocolate chips melted…still tasted great but I would rather there be bits of chocolate throughout each bar.)
Transfer the oat mixture to prepared pan. Using a rubber spatula firmly press the mixture into the pan until the mixture is in a uniform layer. Transfer the entire pan to the refrigerator and chill for 2 hours.

After the granola has cooled completely, gently lift it out of the pan using the parchment paper as handles and cut it into squares or bars.  I keep these stored in the refrigerator and add to lunches or have ready for after-school snacks.  Yum!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Lemon-Glazed Madeleines

My daughter needed to prepare a film showing her making and explaining the steps of a French recipe - En Fran├žais, of course!  "May I please bake Madeleines?", she asked me.  "Yes!" I said.  "Good choice because they are easy and bake quickly."
Afterward we split one, the rest she decided to package up as little gifts for each of her teachers.  I was wishing we had more to enjoy for a snack.  It was too late in the evening to start a new batch and I thought, "why don't I make these more often?"  Well I will from now on.  Madeleines are easy, delicious, and special. Madeleines are quite pretty to look at but also are the perfect treat- perfect size, perfect taste, perfect texture.
Note:  I like these glazed or unglazed ---either way tastes great.  According to the original recipe, the glazed madeleines are to be left uncovered & not tightly-wrapped.  Well, we packaged them up so I hope the teachers still enjoyed their madeleines!

Lemon-Glazed Madeleines
adapted from David Lebovitz  (One of my favorite blogs!)

3 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
rounded 1/8 teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
zest of two lemons
9 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature, plus 2 additional Tablespoons melted butter for preparing the molds
3/4 cup (150g) powdered sugar
1 ½ Tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1 ½ Tablespoons water

Brush the indentations of a madeleine mold with melted butter. Dust with flour, tap off any excess, and place in the freezer.
In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, whip the eggs, granulated sugar, and salt for 5 minutes until frothy and thickened.  Place the flour and baking powder into a sifter or mesh strainer and use a spatula to fold in the flour as you sift it over the batter. 
Add the lemon zest to the cooled butter, then add the butter into the batter, a few spoonfuls at a time, while simultaneously folding to incorporate the butter. Fold just until all the butter is incorporated.
Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (Batter can be chilled for up to 12 hours.)
To bake the madeleines, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Using a teaspoon, put a spoonful of batter in the center of each indentation and don’t worry if you’re not exact. Do not spread it.
Bake for 8-9 minutes or until the cakes just feel set. While the cakes are baking, make a glaze in a small mixing bowl by stirring together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and water until smooth.

Remove from the oven and tilt the madeleines out onto a cooling rack. The moment they’re cool enough to handle (they cool quickly - couple of minutes), dip each cake in the glaze on the scalloped side of the madeleine. After dipping, rest each one back on the cooking rack, scalloped side up, until the cakes are cool and the glaze has firmed up.




Friday, April 08, 2016

Confirmation Blessings


Fitzy can't have a proper celebration without Goldie's Heirloom Cake!  I love this sweet picture of him from his First Holy Communion.  Here he is on the right ready to celebrate his Confirmation.
God bless Joshua. (God Bless Fitzy & Jack, too!)
xo Goldie

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Baked Oatmeal


This is from Epicurious and technically is billed as being a "no-recipe needed" dish.  I still like to have measurements when I am baking so was glad to find that dry-to-wet ingredient proportions were included in their "recipe".  The idea of baked oatmeal sounds so inviting, doesn't it?  This recipe is more than perfect because it can be reheated and tastes just as great as when it first came out of the oven.  Baked oatmeal is a quick, delicious, and healthy way to start the day! Make this in advance and then scoop out a slice in the morning and reheat in the microwave (or in the oven) for breakfast.  You can serve alone or with additional milk and any other toppings that you prefer.  I recommend serving with a little sliced banana and milk on top.  The combination of textures and flavors from the chewy oatmeal & baked berries and the sliced banana & cold milk is scrumptions.

Baked Oatmeal
adapted from Epicurious

12-16 ounces fresh berries other fresh fruit (chopped apples or peaches would be very good)
2 cups old-fashioned or hearty rolled oats (not instant)
½ to 1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ cups milk
¼ cup maple syrup
2 to 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons melted butter, cooled slightly (or use ¼ cup olive oil)
1 egg (beaten)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter an 8-inch or similar size baking dish with butter.
Mix oats with salt and cinnamon in small bowl and set aside.  In large mixing cup or a bowl, stir together the milk, maple syrup, beaten egg, and melted butter.

Put berries in pan and distribute evenly so they cover the bottom of pan.  Sprinkle the brown sugar over the berries.  Pour oat mixture over berries – evenly distribute.  Pour milk mixture over evenly and do not mix.  Bake for 30-35 minutes until top is golden.  

I didn't let my melted butter cool enough and it coagulated when it got mixed in with the cold milk --no problem, still turned out great!