Mummy Granola Bars

Granola bars have been on my “to make” list for quite some time. In fact, I’ve tried making them before with disastrous results.

So I did some searching for another type of recipe – this one a no bake!

These chewy granola bars are made kind of like rice krispie treats! They’re packed full of healthy ingredients (and sugar) and given the mummy treatment with a drizzling of melted white chocolate. To give the mummies eye, I simply cut raisins, though melted dark chocolate would work quiet well, too.

These granola bars have an airy crispiness from the rice cereal and a smokey sweetness from the local honey I used in the recipe. Because I was mummifying these granola bars with a drizzling of white chocolate I opted to omit the mini chocolate chips.

If you have a granola bar recipe you swear by, by all means use that – and share it in the comments, I’d love to expand my granola bar repertoire!

Mummy Granola Bars

Ingredients:

  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 C brown sugar
  • 1/4 C + 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 C quick oats
  • 1 3/4 C crispy rice cereal
  • 1/2 C sliced almonds
  • 1/4 C flax meal
  • white chocolate
  • raisins or dark chocolate

Steps:

  1. Line a 9×11″ baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease with cooking spray.
  2. In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter, brown sugar, and honey together. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and cook 2 more minutes, until thickened slightly. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla, stir to incorporate.
  3. Fold in the oats, cereal, almonds, and flax meal. Mix until combined.
  4. Pour into the prepared baking dish and press firmly. Cover and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours.
  5. Remove from the fridge and cut into rectangles.
  6. Melt the white chocolate and pour over the granola bars to make them look like mummies. Cut a raisin in half for each granola bar to make eyes.
  7. Store in the refrigerator.

*This recipe is adapted from Jenn at https://www.onceuponachef.com/recipes/chewy-chocolate-chip-granola-bars.html*

Mummy Granola Bars | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Poppy-Seed Cake (Makowiec)

Today’s recipe comes from Rose Petal Jam: Recipes and Stories from a Summer in Poland. I received this beautiful cookbook for Christmas last year.

Poppy-Seed Cake | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

We were invited to a party for the Opening Ceremonies of the Summer Olympics with the request to bring a cultural dish. Unfotunatley, we weren’t able to make it due to a long day at work for my husband.

Yea, remember the Games? Did you forget that happened this year?! Not going to lie, I kinda did, too. But I wasn’t able to watch much of them due to my current time zone combined with those little children of mine.

Anyway.

I knew I wanted to bring a Polish dish and decided on trying this Poppy-Seed Cake.

This cake uses a LOT of poppy seeds.

It’s probably a good thing I ended up not sharing this cake at the party because with my luck one of the guys would’ve been randomly drug tested the next day. I was seriously nervous about the poppy seed concentration when I thought my 2 year old was acting a little loopy. If you’re concerned about your intake of poppy seeds, check out this article, which provides a guideline to poppy seed consumption limits.

I had some dilemmas with the recipe, though. And actually, the photographs I’m sharing with you today are from my second attempt. Attempt number 1 is in my freezer, as it’s still quite edible, just far from beautiful.

The recipe called for a pound of poppy seeds. Do you have any idea how many poppy seeds make up a pound!?! I’m still finding stray poppy seeds in the corners of my kitchen!

My food processor couldn’t break down the tiny seeds into a paste, so I recommend getting a spice grinder and working in batches. Because my poppy seed texture wasn’t quite right, I had a lot of extra liquid which caused seepage out of the cake roll.

I had so much left over filling that I decided to simply try again! The second time I (sorta) followed a different method for the cake I found on YouTube.

I would honestly suggest halving (or quartering!) the filling recipe, but I’m leaving it as written.

Poppy-Seed Cake (Makowiec)

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 1 lb poppy seeds
  • 3 C milk
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 1 C superfine sugar
  • 1 C chopped walnuts
  • 1 C slivered almonds
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 egg whites, beaten

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 2/3 C superfine sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 C whole milk, warmed to 105-110 deg F
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 4 C bread flour
  • 2/3 C golden raisins
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Ingredients for the glaze:
  • 3/4 C powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • milk, as needed

Steps:

  1. Heat poppy seeds and milk in a pot over medium low heat for 10 minutes. Cover and let sit over night.
  2. Drain the seeds, place in a food processor, and pulse until they form a paste. Add the sugar, nuts, zest, and extract, and pulse a few seconds. Remove to a bowl and fold in the egg whites.
  3. Allow yeast to proof in the warm milk, 10 minutes.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar. Mix in the egg yolks, stirring until combined. Add the milk and yeast. Add some of the flour and mix. Switch to the dough hook and slowly add the remaining flour and the raisins. Knead until the dough forms around the hook.
  5. Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a large rectangle. Spread the filling over the dough and roll lengthwise. Place cake on a parchment lined, rimmed baking sheet. Cover and let rise an hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Brush cake with the egg. Bake 45 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, make the glaze: Whisk together the powdered sugar, almond extract, and milk until smooth and runny. Pour over cake while still warm.

Poppy-Seed Cake (Makowiec) | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

Roasted Tomato Tahini Dip

Once upon a time I tried my hardest to get my boys to nap at the same time.

Once upon a time I let tomatoes burn to ash.

And, once upon a time I gave up on nap time.

It’s been a few months, actually, almost half a year – Wait, can that be?! Man does time fly! – since my toddler has taken a nap at home in his bed.

You see, my son hates sleep. He always has. It’s one of the most frustrating things about the kid! I would spend anywhere from 30-90-120 minutes of my day desperately trying to get him to fall asleep. He’s never taken a nap willingly and I’ve always had to practically trick him into it – reading books, rocking, singing, stroking his hair/arm/face. Often there’d be screaming and tears coming from both of us. All of that effort for what would end up being a 45 minute nap. A nap from which he’d wake up grumpier than before!

I spent a lot of days trying to decide if it were time to give it up. But kids need naps, at least that what all the parenting literature says.

The day I tried making this dip was the final straw.

I tossed some tomatoes in the oven and went downstairs to get the kids ready for nap. With the door closed and kids screaming, I never heard the timer going off. I’d obviously forgotten about the tomatoes entirely and after 2 hours, I gave up! Opened the door and was hit with the smell of the oven and the sound of a beeping timer. Definitely didn’t help improve my mood!

I gave it a couple of weeks and tried again. And I’m so glad I did. This dip is a great way to change up your game day watching spread. Serve it with pita chips, fresh pita, pretzels, or veggies.

Roasted Tomato Tahini Dip

Ingredients:

  • 2 C grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 C roasted almonds
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus more for roasting

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  2. Place tomatoes on the prepared baking sheet in an even layer. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with S+P. Roast 45-50 minutes, or until the tomatoes burst. Let cool.
  3. When tomatoes have cooled slightly, put them and their juices in a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the olive oil. Pulse the tomatoes until combined, while the machine is running, pour in the olive oil until the mixture becomes smooth. Season to taste with S+P.

*This recipe is adapted from Tara at http://tarasmulticulturaltable.com/secretrecipeclub-roasted-tomato-almond-and-tahini-dip/*

Roasted Tomato Tahini Dip | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

#handcraftededibles: Go Nuts

#handcraftedediblesIn an effort to make all of her holiday gifts this year, Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla invited some of her favorite foodie bloggers to share recipes for hand-crated edibles. Over the course of twelve weeks, we’ll be sharing recipes for all your homemade holiday gifts. Hope you’ll follow along for inspiration. You can find out more information, including the schedule here.

Today’s theme is “Go Nuts”. Spiced and candied nuts or nut mixes make for perfect party food. Next time you’re invited to a holiday party, bring a pretty container full of flavored nuts to gift to the generous host.

I had a couple of recipes on the blog that would fit today’s theme, but I’ve decided to re-share my personal favorite, Orange Rosemary Roasted Almonds. These almonds are a great alternative to the popular traditional candied nuts and are guaranteed to wow your friends.

Orange Rosemary Roasted Almonds

Ingredients:

  • 4 C almonds
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp orange zest

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Place almonds on prepared baking sheet. Lightly spray with cooking spray and roast 10-15 minutes.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat melt together butter and sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved remove from  the heat and mix in the rosemary and orange zest.
  4. Toss roasted almonds and the butter mixture together in a large bowl. Spread nuts back out on baking sheet(s) to cool completely.

*This recipe is adapted from Christie at http://akitchenhoor.blogspot.com/2015/02/src-reveal-orange-and-rosemary-roasted.html*

Orange Rosemary Roasted Almonds | Sew You Think You Can Cook

To give nuts as a gift place them in a glass container and tie it with a bow along with the recipe! An entire gift basket of different nut flavors and varieties would be a great gift, too.

Here are some other options to fill your basket:

Next week – week 10 – check back for our recipes to inspire you as we let our confectioner’s skills shine. Think truffles, barks, anything
and everything with chocolate. Don’t forget to check out our #handcraftededibles pinterest board.

Orange Rosemary Roasted Almonds

Earlier this month I hosted our monthly Po-Ke-No game. Po-Ke-No is essentially bingo but instead of letter-number combinations, the board is filled with different playing cards and a standard deck of cards is used to call out the “tiles.”

Each month someone new hosts and gets to pick a theme for the night. We all bring $1 and a “Secret Santa” style $10 gift in a bag. We play through two rounds. In the first, the winner of each game picks a bag and shows everyone what’s inside. In the second round, the winner of each game gets to steal a gift of their choice. Each gift can only be stolen twice, making it effectively “owned” a total of three times. (Starbucks gift cards and cash are the first to be finished.) We play one more game for “all the marbles” aka that $1 buy-in.

While it’s not a requirement, I like to make my “Secret Santa” gift match the theme of the night. For example: for the theme of flowers I brought a flower silicone bowl cover (similar to this).

I chose the theme of citrus. I made a large batch of my Fresh Lemonade, these orange rosemary roasted almonds, and my Key Lime Cheesecake Filled Graham Cracker Bundt Cake. Everything was a success.

Orange Rosemary Roasted Almonds

Ingredients:

  • 4 C almonds
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp orange zest

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Place almonds on prepared baking sheet. Lightly spray with cooking spray and roast 10-15 minutes.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat melt together butter and sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved remove from  the heat and mix in the rosemary and orange zest.
  4. Toss roasted almonds and the butter mixture together in a large bowl. Spread nuts back out on baking sheet(s) to cool completely.

*This recipe is adapted from Christie at http://akitchenhoor.blogspot.com/2015/02/src-reveal-orange-and-rosemary-roasted.html*

Orange Rosemary Roasted Almonds | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Eating the Bible: Gifts of Contrition?

Rena created beautiful chicken packages filled with pistachio and almonds to complement Genesis 43:11.

“And Israel their father said to them: If it be so, then do this: take from the best of the land in your vessels and bring the man a gift: a little balsam, a little honey, some gum and resin, pistachios and almonds.”

The definition of contrition is sorrow for sin arising from fear of damnation.  The gifts given to Joseph from his brother were not gifts fit for a king, but rather a care package from home. The foods native to Israel are considered to be a symbol reminding Joseph of his betrayal; an effort to make him feel guilt.

Contrition is not a concept I agree with. And a God to be fearful of is not one I want to believe in. I can understand that religion and God is often used to impart “right” and “wrong”, especially on children, but I do not believe in using fear as a way to teach morality.

One of my favorite quotes is, “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” by C.S. Lewis. And that philosophy is how I view God. I don’t make my decisions based on fear of God, I don’t do what I think it right because God would want it to be that way. I’d like to think that God is judging me on who I am, not who I am because of a fear. I think genuine actions are the most important.

Pistachio Almond Chicken Parcels

Ingredients:

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 C ground toasted shelled pistachios
  • 1/2 C ground toasted almonds
  • 1/2 C plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 C honey, plus more for drizzling

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cut chicken breasts in half to create 6 thinner breasts.
  3. Combine the remaining ingredients.
  4. Spread 1-2 tbsp of nut mixture on each chicken breast. Roll chicken and place in a greased baking dish. Top with any remaining nut mixture and drizzle with honey. Bake 30-35 minutes.

*This recipe is adapted from Eating the Bible by Rena Rossner*

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The nut mixture would be great placed in crescent rolls too!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. 

Sugar and Spiced Nuts

Have you ever been to a carnival or amusement park and had the purple paper cone filled with candied nuts? For my husband, it’s a not-to-be-missed treat.

We spent our first anniversary at Universal Studios, where I conquered my fear of rollercoasters. I have a slight obsession with Harry Potter and was so excited to step into Hogwarts and shop the streets of Hogsmeade. I highly recommend a trip… or two! (We went again the following year for my birthday http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Omfiz0c1I0) I could go fly with Harry on The Forbidden Journey all day. Stuart’s favorite ride is still The Incredible Hulk.

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Sorry, I got a little carried away there. Before we left the park on our last day, Stuart was determined to find these magical candied almonds. We finally found them in Seuss Landing.

This recipe for sugar and spiced nuts isn’t an exact replica, but they are delicious. Like Stuart said, “It’s like Christmas in my mouth!”

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Sugar and Spiced Nuts

Ingredients:

  • 1 C almonds
  • 1 C walnuts
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Steps:

  1. In a bowl, combine sugar, salt, and spices.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk together egg white, 1 tbsp water, and vanilla until it foams.
  3. Toss nuts in the egg white mixture. Strain nuts and toss in the sugar mixture. (I forgot to strain the nuts, they still turned out great, but instead of individual nuts they turned out more like balls of candied nuts.)
  4. Spread nuts on a foil lined cookie sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes. Toss and roast another 15 minutes.

*This recipe is modified from Kristi at http://www.30poundsofapples.com/2012/09/sugar-n-spiced-pecans/*

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And here’s a bonus recipe idea – I reserved 1/8 C of the sugar and we sprinkled it over buttered bagels before putting them in the toaster oven.