My first year entering the Dixie Classic fair didn't go so well. My Northern tastes didn't seem to fit in here in the South I realized after I entered several of my favorite recipes in many categories. The one and only winner I had was for a category that spoke to me...
oh how I love trail mix and definitely love my jars! I have so many favorite trail mixes so it was tough to pick one! In the end I went with a new creation, using some of my favorite roasted nut recipes along with a new favorite candy I discovered at LGA airport of all places...
chocolate covered freeze dried strawberries! I tried making them on my own but that didn't go well. Luckily I found some in the holiday section at Lidl.
I love making granola bars. Here's one from Vegetarian Times. I found it a little on the sweet side but others I served too find it just right. Next time I'd reduce the amount of sugar. They are a little sticky so to store for on the go I wrapped in tin foil.
Chocolate Coconut Oat Bars
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup almond meal
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup natural cane sugar
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 275. Combine oats, almond meal, shredded coconut, and cocoa powder in a large bowl. Mix well.
2. Combine coconut oil, agave nectar, and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves and mixture is hot (not boiling). Pour over oat mixture and stir until well mixed and cooled slightly. Stir in chocolate chips, quickly but thoroughly.
3. Press the mixture into an ungreased 8x8" pan and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Cut into small squares.
I love to try new things... updates on classics like the Chocolate Chip Cookie top that list. This winner comes from Mary Jane Farm magazine's favorite things Feb-Mar 2010 and I agree! The addition of coconut and oats along with the chocoate and peanut butter chip combo really upgrades this classic!
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Mary Jane Farm
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup coconut shreds
2 cups semisweet chocolate chip
1 cup peanut butter chips
1. Preheat oven to 375. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt; mix well.
3. In a large bowl, combine butter and sugars; mix until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well.
4. Gradually add flour mixture to wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Stir in oats, coconut and chips.
5. Drop by rounded tablespoon 2" apart on prepared sheets. Bake for 10 minutes.
This is a great treat for healthy people. The taste is very rich and sweet but isn't terribly fattening. I prefer to make it with coconut that is chopped finer than the variety in the photo (the bigger chunks are very difficult to roll!).
This dessert is for those at the table who want just a little something sweet. Store truffles in an airtight container for up to five days.
2 1/2 cups whole pitted dates
2 cups slivered blanched almonds, toasted
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup flaked unsweetened coconut, toasted
1. Place first 5 ingredients in a food processor. Process 45 seconds, scraping down sides as needed, or until mixture forms a thick paste.
2. Place coconut in a shallow bowl. Shape the almond mixture into 36 (1-inch) balls. Roll balls in toasted coconut.
I love finding simple ways to add protein powder into a yummy treat. This cookie has a great sweet salty combo along with sneaking in some protein! Recipe calls for powdered soy beverage and I'm not sure I know what that is but I've used several different vanilla protein powders in this and it comes out fine. I've also used regular sized pretzels and have had success as well.
Vegetarian Times, September 2011
Makes 48 cookies 30 minutes or fewer
Need a fast after-school snack? These salty-sweet nuggets are just the ticket.
1. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Whisk together powdered soy beverage with 2 Tbs. water in bowl. Stir in vanilla.
2. Warm peanut butter, sugar, and rice syrup in saucepan over medium heat 2 minutes, or until smooth. Stir in soy beverage mixture. Stir in crushed pretzels and coconut, if using, until evenly combined. Pinch off 1 Tbs.-size chunks of dough, and place on prepared baking sheet to cool. Cool cookies 10 minutes before serving.
We go in food phases in our house, one day we love oatmeal but the next day I'm finding expired packets that need to be tossed. One of those throwing out days I wondered if there's a better way to get great tasting instant oatmeal... after much experimentation there is!
There's tons of recipes out there, this is a good basic that works for us. I mix a batch up and portion out into half pint jelly jars, labeling the lid with a dry erase marker. At first my husband laughed skeptically at these rows of jars but after a few days he was asking what exactly is in these and bringing friends in to see his wife's crazy good oatmeal collection! Now it's a staple in our house.
Home Made Instant Oatmeal
2 1/2 cups Quick Oats or Regular Oats
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
Blend 3/4 cup of the oatmeal in a blender or food processor (I use Vitamix with grain mill blender container but not needed; just a few pulses to it up to a heavy powder). Mix ground oatmeal with other ingredients, adding to a container with sealed lid (or ziplock bag). Shake up really good to combine. This is the instant oatmeal base that will make 9 servings. Sometimes I mix a few and leave the base which my husband likes because some days he adds a little more plain to his bowl or he feels like going outside my jars and mixing his own!
To package for individual servings add the following to a half pint jelly jar:
1/3 cup of the oatmeal base along with flavoring mix-ins such as: 1 tsp seeds (chia, flax) + 2 tsp grain, nuts or dried fruit (oat bran, wheat germ, any ground nut, choppied dried fruit) +1-3 tsp sweetner (stevia, coconut sugar, vanilla sugar, or more brown sugar) + 1/8 tsp spice (cinnamon, apple pie spice, grains of paradise) + pinch salt
Or use your imagination and follow the above proportions (aprox 3 tsp flavorings + 1-3 tsp sweetner +1/8 tsp spice) along with the 1/3 oatmeal base. Some of our favorites include: coconut, hot cocoa mix, chocolate chips, and PB2 dried peanut butter.
To cook the oatmeal:
For regular oats: add about 3/4 cup liquid to a bowl along with contents of the jar. Cover and microwave about 2-3 minutes depending on the microwave. Our favorite liquids to use are soy milk, almond milk, hemp milk, hazelnut milk. Chocolate versions of any of those are obviously really good!
For instant oats: add boiling water directly to jar, about 1/2" from the top. Cover and let sit about 5 minutes. You can also add 2 tsp powdered milk for creamy consistency with the water. I love this option for the office since it's so easy.
I've also done overnight oats with this method: add desired liquid (any milk works great or water for lower calories) to jar, about 3/4" from top. Regular oats will still be runny in the morning and I'm not a fan of cold oats so I do heat up in the jar, covered, watching very closely heating in 30 second increments because it will overflow very quickly!
We have become more creative with our mix-ins and came up with snappy concoctions such as: Almond Joy (almonds, coconut, chocolate chunks, coconut sugar), Cherry Pie (dried cherries, graham cracker crumbs, vanilla sugar), Peanut Butter Cup (chocolate chunks, PB2 dried peanut butter), Pina Colada (dried pineapples, coconut sugar, coconut)... the possibilities are endless! Let me know if you come up with any options we must try!
is the smallest kitchen ever. We used to watch those decorating shows that said they were doing small kitchens and then could see that 4 of my kitchens would fit in their "small kitchens".