baking · Bars · Easy recipe · snack

Your Favorite Granola Bar

Homemade granola bars that are full of good protein and fruit are snacks I try to keep in my fridge. Before I walk in the morning, on a busy day when I don’t fix breakfast, or when I need a little afternoon pick-me-up, these are the perfect bars to grab!

Pan is ready for granola bars!

Cooking light has given a recipe that gives you the necessary amounts of grains, nuts, butter and fruits, then gives you the option to choose your favorites of each so you can create your best-loved granola bar! In other words, they give the formula to successively create your kind of granola bar your way. Here’s how to create them:

Create a base

Toast oats in the oven to give them a nutty flavor. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread 2 cups old-fashioned oats onto a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned and fragrant, about 12 minutes. Transfer oats to a bowl, and cool to room temperature.

Add richness

Creamy nut butter and toasty coconut oil enrich the bars. Liquid sweetener, well, sweetens them. Place 1/3 cup nut butter,1/4 cup liquid sweetener (such as honey, maple syrup, or agave), and 11/2 Tbsp. coconut oil in a bowl. Microwave 30 seconds or until warm.

Boost the flavor

Add 1 tsp. vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp. kosher salt to the nut butter mixture to heighten the flavor; whisk until smooth. Whisk in 1 large egg white; it’s a key part of the binder that will hold all the ingredients together.

Add Crunch and Chew

Stir 1/2 cup unsalted roasted nuts (or broken-up pretzel pieces) into the cooled oats for hearty crunch. Add 1/3 cup dried fruit (chop the pieces if they are large) for bright, sweet flavor and textural contrast.

Mix and Press

Pour nut butter mixture over oat mixture; stir well until all pieces are evenly coated. Transfer mixture to an 8-inch square metal baking pan lined with parchment paper. Press mixture very firmly into pan; packing tightly helps keep bars from crumbling.

Bake and Cool

Bake at 350°F until lightly browned around edges, 20 to 22 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes. Lift bars out of pan with parchment paper; cool completely on rack before cutting (warm bars might crumble).

MY favorite combination is oats, walnuts, dried mixed fruits, maple syrup (or honey) and peanut butter. I store them in the fridge because I find it helps them not crumble as much. So good!

Rather than buying these, consider baking your own so you can customize them to your dietary needs and likes! Because of that, they will be your favorite bar!!

baking · Easy recipe · Quick Bread

Three-Ingredient Donuts

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Maybe you don’t need another donut after all these weeks of being home and baking, but you do need this recipe for the days when you open your front door to usher in guests once again.

Often we feel money is too tight to have guests over.  We may also be too busy to think ahead to make a dessert.  This recipe takes care of both of those issues!  Ten donuts costs the amount of a can of biscuits and they’re finished in under 15 minutes! All you need is some oil and then some sugar to coat them in after frying!

Here’s what you need:

Canned biscuits
Granulated Sugar – Place about 1/2 cup sugar into a shallow bowl

Oil for frying  – I like Coconut oil, Crisco works well, too

You need about 1 inch of oil in your pan.  Bring the oil to 350 – 375 degrees.
Meanwhile, prep your biscuits.  I use a melon baller to make holes in the middle of the donuts.  If you want to fill them with jam, just leave them whole.

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Once the oil is hot enough, place the biscuits into the hot oil and cook until the donuts are light brown. It only takes a minute or so!  Brown on one side, flip over and brown the other side.

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Place browned donuts on paper towel to drain.  Then quickly toss them in granulated sugar.  Place on platter.

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If you want to fill the donuts with jam, cut a small slit in the side and spoon in a tablespoon or so inside.

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I love that idea that if I have a can of biscuits in my fridge, I can make a batch of donuts in minutes, if company were to drop in, or we would invite someone over last minute!  I hope you’ll soon open your door to guests and pop open a can of biscuits so you can enjoy these hot donuts!

denise a

baking · Coronavirus · Meal planning · refreshment at home

Ideas for Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping During Covid 19

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Simple strategy in managing food for our families is always important, but certainly so in our current situation.  I’m going to share with you five things that I’m doing right now to plan wisely for our meal planning and shopping.

  1. Each week after I pick up my on-line order at Kroger, I go ahead and immediately start another on-line order and schedule it for the next week. The time slots fill up quickly, so this way I know I can go back a week from now and get what I need.  Also, I can go back on the Kroger app and modify my order up to midnight the night before I pick it up.  So even if I just put in an order for milk, initially, I am able to add whatever else I need before my actual pick up.

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  2. I’m shopping for two-week menus at a time (that is aside from dairy products and fresh fruit. Last week my Kroger order was under $15, for milk, yogurt and a few other essentials). I have planned ahead so that we only have to make minimal trips out.  I’m blessed to have a large freezer in the garage, so I have plenty of meat stored away (which is my normal way of life!). I also have breads, frozen vegetables, and ice cream in that freezer (ice cream isn’t a necessity, but a nice treat when you can’t stop at Chick-Fil-A for a cone!).
  3. I’m buying fresh fruits and vegetables that have a long shelf life.  Broccoli, apples, lemons, small colored peppers, cherry tomatoes, head lettuce, carrots, potatoes and onions have served us well!  I even pickled red onions and have wondered how I ever got along without them!! They are delicious on tacos, salads and sandwiches!

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  4.  We planted some fresh lettuces and broccoli.  I have three raised beds and have grown tomatoes and cucumbers, but never these greens.  I’m excited about trying my hand at it and am hopeful for some delicious salads as result!
    I’m wondering if there will be a rise in gardening this year.  What’s better than growing your own vegetables?! It’s so cost effective and the time outside is refreshing!
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5.  I’m praying and not panicking.  Matthew 6 has become a much read and reviewed chapter for me.  There are so many wonderful reminders about how God provides for us and will care for our every need.  Why should I worry?  I’m resting in God’s promises. I’m planning and preparing as wisely as I know how, then I’m leaving it all in the hands of a  sovereign God.

How are you doing at getting what you need for your family?  If you have any tips to share, please leave them in the comments below!

Refresh yourself and your family with some wise planning, but most of all, trust in a God Who loves you!

denise a

 

baking · Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

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When you learn that a young man who just had a birthday loves Peanut Butter Cookies, and when your grandsons are coming over who also love Peanut Butter Cookies, you thumb through your cookbooks and find your best recipe so you can whip up a batch! I have an old cookbook that never disappoints, and this cookie recipe joined the ranks of recipes like my Beef Enchiladas that also come from its covers.

This recipe has simple ingredients and instructions.
The longest part of the process is chilling the dough a bit before baking.
The quickest part is devouring them when them come out of the oven with their signature crisscross patterns stamped on their little round tops!

If you have a Peanut Butter Cookie lover in your life, these will win their hearts!

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Peanut Butter Cookies

1/4 Cup Crisco
1/4 Cup Butter, softened
1/2 Cup Peanut Butter
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Egg, beaten
1 1/4 Cup flour
1/2 tsp Baking powder
3/4 tsp Baking soda
1/4 tsp Salt
1 Cup Chocolate chips (optional)

Cream butter, shortening, peanut butter and sugars until fluffy.  Add beaten egg and mix well.  Blend in dry ingredients.  Chill dough.  Roll into 1-inch balls and arrange on cookie sheet. Dip fork in sugar and flatten each with a crisscross pattern.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or lightly browned.  (Adding the chocolate chips makes this traditional cookie a bit more interesting.)

Sing with me….Peanut, peanut butter – COOKIE!
Enjoy!

denise a

 

baking · cakes · Celebrations

My Favorite German Chocolate Cake

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The holidays usually leave all of us feeling like our jeans certainly must have shrunk in the wash, right?  Cough!  Cough!  I know I have eaten more than my share of sugar and carbs over Christmas and New Year’s and should be staring at a simple salad for the next month!  But life happens!  Things like birthdays come even after the holidays and we find the need for a great cake in order to celebrate.  If you can celebrate with tofu, I applaud you!  My family would cut my branch off the family tree! So…

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