Monday, February 11, 2013

For the days I don't eat cake

It's probably not a surprise, but I really don't like savory breakfast. Some day's I'll have an egg, but only if I get to eat it with pancakes or waffles.  Really, I prefer cookies. Sometimes the healthy kind with jam, but somedays (usually Mondays) I go straight for the chocolate chip I often get to take home from work on Sunday nights. Usually there's only a half left over, because contrary to anything any parent or health care professional has told you, chocolate chip cookies make great late night snacks too.

But there comes a day, and it doesn't come often, where you wake up and think-- I should really eat something that is not a cookie for breakfast.  For those days, I've discovered this:

Ginger Granola with Almonds, Flax, and Cranberries.

It's delicious, it really is. Also it makes me eat healthier things in the morning like the goat milk yogurt I've recently become obsessed with.  I loosely followed a granola recipe from Bon Appétit and it really is a better granola.  I know this doesn't mean a lot from the girl who eats cookies for breakfast, but sometimes I like granola to just be granola.   The secret here is the egg white. It gives the granola a good crunch without adding too much of the stuff you'd find in my chocolate chip cookie.... butter...ummmm.

For my version I skipped the brown sugar and used a heavy 1/2 cup of good maple syrup. I also used slivered almonds and toasted flax seeds for my nuts. And added a lot of ground ginger.  Next time I make this I may even use two egg whites for even more crunch.

The above recipe from Bon Appétit is meant to be experimented with. The only thing I would suggest would be to keep the general proportions of oats, to nuts, to oil, to sugar/syrup.  

Here's what I did: 

Ginger Almond Flax Granola

2 egg whites, beaten
3 cups oats
1 cup slivered toasted almonds
1/2 cup toasted flax seeds 
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
2 teaspoons ground ginger 
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch nutmeg
pinch ground clove 
1/4 melted coconut oil (could use olive oil)
1/2 cup maple syrup 
1 cup dried unsweetened cranberries (added in after granola is cooked) 

Mix all ingredients except cranberries together and cook for about an hour at 300 degrees, stirring and rotating pan every ten minutes. Mostly you are looking for a golden brown color not a crisp, because the granola will continue to crisp as it cools. 

Also, I feel like this would make good Christmas gifts (get ready everyone) especially when you put it in pretty jars like this. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

In Celebration

I really like Birthdays. Especially when it's your good friend's and it's one drawn out day of indulgent celebration. Because turning a quarter century old is a big deal and I for one am down for a good PARTY.

Especially a party that involves pizza and lots of dessert.

People have serious opinions about brownies.  There are people who like their brownies fudgey, some cakey, some with walnuts, and still others with frosting on top.  But whatever your preference, I think we can all agree, we brownie lovers are continuously on the hunt for the most perfect one. 

Personally, I like blondies, a whole different kind of brownie, but that's for a different day...

So in celebration of birthdays and the search for the most perfect brownies- I have one to add to the pile.  

Salted Caramel Brownies. 

I am not sure if these take the award or not. They're a little decedent for your everyday brownie consumption, but I think there just right for birthday celebrations. 

I didn't change a thing, and followed this recipe to the tee, both for the brownies and for the salted caramels.  The only thing I will suggest, is that my caramels turned out a little on the softer side- and although I don't have anything to compare it too- I liked it. A lot. So don't fret if you plan on making it all in one day and don't have the patience to let your caramels completely set.  But, if you do have the time, or are not prone to procrastination, by all means let them get fully firm and then make your batter.