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Granola Bars

7 Sep

Made these for a picnic at the beach (it was only a couple weeks ago- but summer beach weather feels so long ago already.)  Chewy, fruity, delicious- just sweet enough. This is an Ina recipe–and it actually pretty quick to pull together. Feel free to use any sort of dried fruit combo you want- can’t go wrong. And I added in some dark chocolate chips– b/c isn’t everything better w. some choc chips in it? As Rach perfectly put it “A great, satisfying afternoon beach snack, especially when the chocolate melts just a little and makes for the perfect gooey bite o’ bar.”

2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal (rolled, not instant)
1 cup sliced almonds (optional)
1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed (like oatmeal choc chip cookies, these don’t have a coconut taste, it just helps w. texture)
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ (i use untoasted wheatgerm- and just toasted w. the other oats)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed (i’d leave out- but keep in if you want more sweet)
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
dried fruit- Ina does 1/2 each cup of cup apricots, pitted dates, and dried cranberries
I used– a mix of dates, figs, currents, dried cranberries, cherries, blueberries. De-pitt dates and chop. chop figs too.
And my other add in– a big handful of chocolate chunks- a cut up chocolate bar and some chips I had laying around

Preheat to 350. Butter 8×12 in baking dish (i use pyrex). Line w. parchment. Toss oatmeal, almonds (if using) and coconut (and wheatgerm if using untoasted) together and bake for 10-12 mins, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer to large mixing bowl and if using pre-toasted wheatgerm (it will say on the package), add now.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300. Put butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla and salt in small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook & stir for one minute. Then pour over oat mixture, toss to coat. Add in dried fruit. Stir. When slightly cooled add in chocolate.  Pour into prepped pan- w. wet fingers, lightly press mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.

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I-can’t-believe-this-is-made-in-the-microwave-applesauce

20 Sep

went apple picking in nj this wknd.  it always happens that when you’re picking apples- you want to take every shiny apple in sight.  but then you get home, and realize you have a shit ton of apples. such was the case at my sister’s in-laws this wknd, and the question became whether one can make applesauce without a food processor or mill.  when i got back to brooklyn, i checked my trusty silver palate for a recipe.  i was surprised– yet intrigued— to find one made in a microwave.  if you don’t have a micro this can be done on a stove top— give me a shout and i can give you more detailed instructions. this makes a relatively chunky applesauce.  i usually favor the silky smooth kind— so if i hadn’t been so lazy, i might have run the end product through a food processor.  Or, i think that cutting all the apples into 1-inch chunks might have yielded a smoother product.  but given that this is made in 12 mins (w. out dirtying the food processor), i was pretty impressed.

adapted from silver palate
2 McIntosh apples
2 Granny Smith or other tart apples [i used 4 random kinds of apples from farm- and it was all good]
1 cup water
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup sugar (this seemed like a lot- so i took a bunch out– but ended up putting some back in once i sampled the sauce– maybe try 1/3 cup)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1.  Peel apples if you like (I did, but this recipe implies you don’t have to)
1.  halve and core the McIntosh (or just two if not using Mc) apples.  Cut each half in 6 wedges.
2.  halve and core the other 2 apples.  cut into 1-inch chunks.
3.  combine apples, water, and lemon juice in a deep microwave-safe 2-1/2 quart casserole (i used a 7-cup pyrex bowl)
4.  toss cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl, stir this into apple mixture
5.  cook, uncovered at full power (650 to 700 watts) for 5 mins [they suggest that if your micro is not that powerful multiply the time by 1.5.  mine never seems powerful, so i did 6 mins]  Stir, pressing the apples into the liquid, and return to the microwave.  Cook for another 5 mins (i did 6).
6.  using a potato masher (i don’t have one, so used skimmer– slotted spoon type thing), coarsely mast the apples, stirring them into liquid.  Allow the applesauce to cool to room temperature, and then cover and refrigerate.
4 portions

ants on a log

15 Sep

This is more a reminder of a great childhood snack than an actual recipe.  Though, I’ve had two cookbooks- one as a child and another “healthy college cookbook” that include this tasty treat.  Ants on a log is simple and o so satisfying- even at 2am.

a couple stalks of celery
a big spoonful of peanut butter
raisins

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