Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fruit & Nut Bar (Larabar)

The Ten Cow Chick posted these Larabars, and I thought they'd make a great alternate to a sandwich since my kids aren't big on sandwiches.  I think they are delicious.  I'm trying to get them to grow on Eli. 

The Ten Cow Chick put all her ingredients in a food processor for about 30 seconds.  I couldn't find the blade to my food processor so I just put the ingredients in my blender until it looked good.  Then, I put a small amount of the mix in a baggie and formed it into a ball, then flattened it into a cookie shape.  Lunch cookie, anyone?

Recipes from the Ten Cow Chick:

Very Cherry: 1/4 cup dates, 1/4 cup dried cherries, 1/3 cup pecans, almonds or walnuts, 1/8 t. cinnamon.

Cashew Cookie dough: 1/3 cup dates, 1/2 cup raw cashews.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough: 1/3 up dates, 1/2 cup cashews, 1/2 t. vanilla, cinnamon, 1/2 oz. finely chopped semisweet chocolate.

Blueberry Bliss: 1/4 cup dried blueberries, 1/4 cup dates, 1/3 cup almonds, 1/2 t. lemon zest, 1 drop almond extract.

I bought my dried fruit in the bulk section at Smith's.  I didn't bother buying the different kinds of nuts because I had some salted, mixed nuts on hand.  Yummy.

Dutch Babies

When I was a kid, we used to make this at Aunt Bonne and Uncle Ken's house when we had sleep-overs.  I don't know why we couldn't get Mom to make them for us -- probably because they don't work so well with whole wheat flour!  I'm not sure what the difference is between this and a German Pancake; although, I do know I like these better.  The ingredients are pretty much the same as for crepes (just way easier).

2-3 qt dish (9x13 works)
1/4 C butter
3 eggs
3/4 C milk
3/4 C flour

3-4 qt dish (9x13 works)
1/3 C butter
4 eggs
1 C milk
1 C flour

4-4 1/2 qt dish (9x13 okay)
1/2 C butter
5 eggs
1 1/4 C milk
1 1/4 C flour

4 1/2 - 5 qt dish (9x13 not big enough)
1/2 C butter
6 eggs
1 1/2 C milk
1 1/2 C flour

Melt butter in oven at 425.

In glass bowl, mix eggs, add flour and milk.  Blend until smooth.  Pour in pan with melted butter.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.

I always cut the butter in half.  Seems to work fine if I just mix all the ingredients all at the same time until smooth.  The 2-3 qt and 3-4 qt recipes work beautifully if baked in 2 glass pie dishes.  Make sure you bake them lower in the oven so they won't burn on top.

Eggplant Parmesan

This is how my mother-in-law's "boss" at LDS Employment makes eggplant parmesan.  I think he has some Italian blood in him.  Well, maybe he's just a good cook.

Peel the eggplant, cut into 1/2" slices, dip in egg, dip into Italian breadcrumbs, fry in oil on low. 
Layer in dish: eggplant, ricotta, mozzarella, then marinara sauce.  Repeat layers.  15 min.  350.


Cheater Method

When I make Eggplant/Zucchini/Chicken Parmesan, in a 9x13 I layer the 1/2" sliced vegetable, brush on some olive oil (optional), sprinkle some breadcrumbs, layer some ricotta/cottage cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, marinara, repeat.  Sprinkle some parsley on the very top for color.  Bake 30 minutes or so at 350 covered.  Uncover for 10 more minutes to toast the cheese.

I didn't have any marinara sauce this last time, so I just dumped a can of Italian tomatoes on top and it was delicious!  I also didn't have Italian bread crumbs, so I sprinkled garlic bread seasoning on my bread crumbs.

Fruit Lassi

We fell in love with the Mango and Strawberry Lassis at the Bombay House and at Royal India.  We've tried a couple recipes that called for 3 C yogurt and 1 C fruit and they just weren't right!  Then, I saw a drink recipe in a kids' cook book proportioned this way, and it tasted so much better!

3 1/2 C fruit*
1 C yogurt (full-fat tastes best!)
1/4 C sugar*
1/2 - 1 C milk
ice cubes (8?)

Put all ingredients in a blender except for ice.  Blend.  Add ice, blend.

I use 1/4 C sugar for apricots, a little less sugar for sweeter fruits.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mexican Bean Dip

This is my favorite 7-layer bean dip (sorry, the picture doesn't have the tomatoes).  If I make this with tamales or tacos or whatever, this gets eaten, not the other food. So, I've just turned this appetizer/side dish into a main dish at our house.  I got the recipe from someone in Evan's mom's ward when we got married.

Layer 1:
2 10 1/2 oz cans jalapeno bean dip

Layer 2:
Mash together:
3 medium-ripe avocados
3 T lemon juice
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper

Layer 3:
8 oz sour cream
1/2 C mayo
1 1/4 oz package taco seasoning

Layer 4:
1 large bunch green onions

Layer 5:
3 medium tomatoes chopped

Layer 6:
2- 3 1/2 oz chopped, drained olives

Layer 7:
8 oz sharp shredded cheese

I usually cut the lemon juice in half -- I use enough so that the avocados don't turn brown, but not so much that you taste the lemon.  I use regular refried beans because I almost always have them on hand.  I leave off the onions.  I usually cut the recipe in half, but keep the avocado measurements the same!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Oatmeal Crisps

I got this recipe from Evan's Aunt Karma when we first got married.  I haven't tried it until now -- and boy, have I been missing out!

1 C butter
1 C brown sugar
1 C sugar

Add & beat:
1 t vanilla
2 eggs

Stir in:
1 1/2 C flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt

Add by hand:
3 C oats
3/4 C coconut

Bake at 350 10-15 min.

I used 1/2 C WW flour.  I ran out of coconut, so I used about a cup of chocolate chips and an additional 1/4 C oat bran.  I couldn't stop eating the cookie dough!  This would be really good with the coconut AND chocolate chips!