Pomegranate Blueberry Bran Muffin


With all the driving I’ve done over the past week or so, I can’t even begin to express my fondness for finding an occasional Starbucks instead of a McDonald’s along the way.

I mean, what could be better that 9 hours of driving with a Venti Soy Macchiato and a bran muffin? Yup, I live dangerously.

Now I’m home and can get my crazy fix by the dozen.

POMEGRANATE BLUEBERRY BRAN MUFFINS

1/2 Cup Pomegranate Juice
2/3 Cup Soy Milk
1/2 Cup Blueberry Soy Yogurt, or plain would do in a pinch
1/3 Cup Safflower Oil
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, slightly packed
2 Cups Bran
1 Cup Self Rising Pastry Flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Cup Fresh Blueberries, washed & picked over for stems

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
In a saucepan, bring the pomegranate juice to a boil and reduce by about half. (About 5 minutes total.)
Remove the juice from the heat and cool while you combine the milk, yogurt, oil and brown sugar in a large bowl.
Add the bran, flour, salt, soda and blueberries to the wet ingredients, then pour over the pomegranate juice, mixing just to moisten.
Lightly spray a large muffin tin and generously spoon in the batter.
Bake until firm and browned, about 20 – 25 minutes.
Let them cool slightly in the pan before turning out to a rack.

Makes 12 muffins.

Little House On The Prairie.


Posting a school snack might be cutting it close but we began running out of the packable snacks. With a mere three days of school remaining for us, I was not about to run out and restock with packages, so I decided to make my own. Now of course I was prepared to catch flack for this. Since making bread at 1am the other day, (we were out & I knew I’d be too lazy to go to the store) I heard this: “We don’t live on the Little House On The Prairie, you know? Stores where they have jam, butter and bread are some of the many modern conveniences of the 21st century.”

And that’s from my husband. Cute.

My daughter has someone with a peanut allergy in her class, so keeping that in mind I had to get these to stick together with out anything nutty. The second strategy was actually getting the kid to eat them, so I tried to replicate the “original” that she’s used to; chewy, with chocolate and rice crisps.

Third, get them by her little brother and into the snack bag for school.

Wha? Thought I wasn’t looking because I had a camera over my eye, didn’t you? Caught ya.

I’ll warn you, these are sweet, but the kids, they li -iiike them!

NUT-FREE CHEWY GRANOLA BARS

2 Cups Old Fashioned Oatmeal
1 Cup Rice Krispies
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
1/2 Cup Safflower Oil
1/2 Cup Agave Nectar
1/4 Cup Brown Rice Syrup
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries, or cherries or cherry flavoured cranberries
1/3 Cup Chocolate Chips

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Spray a 9″ x 12″ Pyrex baking dish with oil.
Combine the oatmeal, Rice Krispies, coconut, cranberries and salt in a large mixing bowl.
Heat the agave, rice syrup, brown sugar and oil in a small saucepan until it just begins to boil.
Pour over the waiting oat mixture and mix well to coat.
Stir in chocolate chips last, so they won’t melt.
With clean, greased hands, press the mixture into the prepared pan.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven to cool slightly. Cut into bars while still warm
Cool completely before individually wrapping.

Makes 12 bars.

Surpisingly Easy Hors D’oeuvres That Don’t Involve Opening a Chip Bag.


I don’t know about you, but I typically go one of two ways when I’m on hors D’oeuvres duty; Chips and dip or stress with what will impress.

I like entertaining and I quite like the reputation that guests don’t need to eat before a gathering at my place. Lately I’ve found a few speedy plates that are quick to keep everyone happy and you chatty while you catch up with company.

The eggplant caviar only takes a bit of prep time with the roasting but with a food processor, everything was so speedy quick that I also threw together some whole grain flat bread in the meantime. Sure, you could buy crackers but this way, you not only know what’s in them, but it’s up to you and your taste buds to add what goes on them. Roll them out and cut them into dainty shapes or go fast and fun and leave them just so. They’re thin and crisp and cracking a piece off to spread some paté just lays things back a little.


Continue reading Surpisingly Easy Hors D’oeuvres That Don’t Involve Opening a Chip Bag.

Apple Lollipops



You know, the apples with sticks, or at least this is how candy apples are commonly known around my house. We can’t get through October without bobbing one of our fresh apples from the orchard in molten sugar.

So quick and fun, this autumn carnival snack is a must do, especially if you have kids or, of course, if you still are one.


Continue reading Apple Lollipops

Whole Grain Crackers


WHOLE GRAIN FLAT BREAD CRACKERS

1/2 Cup Whole or Twelve Grain Cereal
1/2 Cup Boiling Water
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Sugar
1/3 Cup Vegetable Shortening
1/3 Cup Soy Milk, or water
1 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour

Pour the boiling water over the cereal to soften
Let sit 20 – 30 minutes.
In a food processor combine flour, salt, sugar.
Cut in the shortening until it is blended into a crumb consistency.
Add the moistened cereal then through the feed tube, drizzle in the milk, bringing the dough together into a soft ball.
Cut the dough two disks and quarter each of those leaving you with eight pieces.
Heat the oven to 400ºF.
Roll each piece as thinly as possible between two pieces of parchment paper.
If desired, lightly spray the rolled dough with oil and top with any desired combination of truffle salt, sea salt and rosemary or parmesan and black pepper.
Bake for 8 – 9 minutes; until crisp but barely golden, watching as they brown quickly.

Eggplant Caviar




EGGPLANT CAVIAR

1 Eggplant, halved and roasted
1 Teaspoon Olive Oil
1 Head Garlic, roasted
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1 Tablespoon Parsley, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Salt, or to taste
Black Pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Halve the eggplant and lightly salt each side.
Lay cut side down in a roasting pan.
Cut the top stem from the head of garlic.
Drizzle over a small amount of olive oil and wrap tightly in foil.
Bake the eggplant and garlic for 30 minutes or until both are tender.
Once cool enough to handle, remove the skin from the eggplant and add the pulp to a food processor.
Squeeze the garlic from it’s skin and add it and the lemon juice to the eggplant.
Pulse to combine.
Add the parsley, salt and pepper, mixing to incorporate.
Adjust seasoning to taste, adding more salt, if necessary.
Serve chilled or at room temperature.