Thursday, March 20, 2014

Chocolate Chip Coconut Craisin Granola Bars

I have been meaning to try homemade granola bars for a while now and finally did after printing off tons of recipes for them in the past year. These granola bars were so tasty. Way better than a store bought one and so much better for you-since you get to control the ingredients that go into them not all of the foreign stuff none of us can even pronounce. If you have been skeptical about trying your own granola bars please don't be they are so yummy and the possibilities are endless. The only difference is they don't  quite hold together as good as a store bought one but in my book that isn't a big deal because it means no gooey high fructose corn syrup holding them together only real ingredients that are good for us. The original recipe called for dried blueberries but they are really expensive so I just used craisins and added mini chocolate chips to them. Use what you like as mix ins. Make them your own!!!
Chocolate Chip Coconut Craisin Granola Bars
8 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup milled flax seeds
1 1/2 cup coconut
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup craisins, raisins, or dried blueberries
1 cup mini semi sweet or dark chocolate chips
1 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup agave
1 T. coconut extract
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat the oven to 325. Spray or line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.   Combine the oats, flour, milled flax, coconut, brown sugar, salt, craisins, and chocolate chips in a large bowl. Stir well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, honey, agave, coconut extract and vanilla, stir well. Pour over the wet ingredients and mix well. Press the granola mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until the granola bars are golden brown. Allow to cool then cut into bars. Wrap them individually in saran wrap or store covered in a air tight container.
Note: if you don't want a large cookie sheet of them then cut the recipe in 1/2 and press into a 9x13 inch pan.
Note: These are also yummy crumbled up and mixed with some greek yogurt!!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sugar cookie Bars

Who doesn't love a sugar cookie and, a soft sugar cookie at that, but hates to roll out, cut, bake and frost a ton of cookies? That would be me. That is why they don't make an appearance around our house but once, maybe twice a year. Recipes for these sugar cookie bars are all over the internet and so I decided to try them. Boy were they tasty. They taste just like my soft sugar cookie recipe I have on this blog, which makes all of us in this house happy because we love a soft sugar cookie. Give these a try, PLEASE!!! You will thank me later.
 Sugar Cookie Bars
5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4  teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  •  3 heaping Tablespoon sour cream
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • In a large bowl or bowl of your mixer, Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add the sour cream and mix. Then add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until well combined. Press the dough into a large(half sheet) greased, or parchment lined, cookie sheet. You may need to grease your finger with cooking spray to press it all in the pan. I did. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 17-20 minutes or until the very edges start to turn a light brown. DO NOT OVERBAKE. IT IS BETTER TO HAVE THEM A LITTLE UNDERCOOKED THAN OVERCOOKED. Mine were barely light brown on the very edge when I pulled them out. All ovens cook differently so watch carefully. Take out and cool completely. Frost with your favorite frosting. Mine is cream cheese but use whatever kind you like.
  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 2(8 oz) cream cheese softened
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • Cream the cream cheese and butter until well combined. Add the sugar in a cup at a time, mix well. Add the vanilla and food coloring if desired. Frost the cookie bars. You may not use all of the frosting depending on if you like a lot of frosting or not.
    Note: if you don't want that big of a pan of them then just cut the recipe in half and bake them in a 9x13 inch pan.

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

    Beef with Broccoli

    As I have said before we love all forms of Chinese cuisine in this house. I am always on the look out for new yummy recipes to try. I found a recipe for a broccoli side dish that said you could add chicken or shrimp to it and make it the main dish. It looked really yummy. I highly adapted the recipe just because I like to do that and came up with a yummy main course. If you need a new Chinese recipe give this baby a try. So yummy!!!
    Beef With Broccoli
    1 lb ground beef
    1 medium onion, chopped
    2 T garlic
    9 cup broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
    1 T sesame oil
    2 cans chicken broth
    3/4 cup soy sauce
    1/2 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
    5 1/2 T. Sesame oil
    5 1/2 T. cornstarch
    Sriracha Sauce to taste(depending on how spicy you like it)
    Brown the beef in a large skillet. Drain the grease well and set the meat aside. Then add the 1 T. sesame oil, broccoli, onion and garlic to the skillet and cook until veggies are crisp tender. In a small bowl whisk all the sauce ingredients together. Pour over the broccoli, add the beef back in and bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer for 10-20 minutes or until the sauce is thickened and the veggies reach your desired tenderness. It you like more of a bite to your broccoli simmer only 10 minutes if you like it soft simmer it longer. Serve over Rice.
    This can feed 8-10 people so cut the recipe in half if you don't want that much!!!
     If you want an all veggie dish them don't add the beef- just use more 
     broccoli or add another veggie with it like bell peppers or cauliflower
    You can also do this with chicken or shrimp.
    Recipe Source: adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe