Hello and Happy 2015! I don’t know about you, but I can’t hardly believe it’s the year twenty-fifteen, the year we have been anxiously awaiting since the first time we saw Back To the Future II. Well, Doc, it took us 30 years longer than you, but we finally made it, lawyers and all. We may not have hover boards and self-drying jackets (Though, I hear that tennis shoes with automatic laces will be hitting the market soon.), but we do have a plethora of clean-eating, healthy diets. And, just in time to aid in your personal vow to loose weight and get healthy this year, I am sharing this recipe I was shown on Facebook. It’s supposed to be egg, dairy, and wheat free. However, I did use whole milk and semi-sweet chocolate chips in my particular version, so it’s not dairy-free. It’s a simple recipe that’s easy to alter to your particular tastes and preferences. You can add coconut, nuts, or other dried fruits – just whatever you’re craving.
These cookies do have a different texture, an almost spongy quality because there is no flour. They taste pretty good, however, despite that.
- 3 mashed, ripe bananas
- 1/3 cup applesauce
- 2 cups oats (I used quick oats, but I imagine old fashioned ones would work just as well.)
- 1/4 cup milk (The recipe I followed called for almond milk, but I just used whole milk.)
- 1/4 cup raisins (The recipe called for half a cup, but I substituted some of that for chocolate chips.)
- 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- Mash bananas in mixing bowl.
- Add applesauce, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and oats. Mix well.
- Fold in raisins and chocolate chips.
- Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes. (They will stick if they are in there too long.) Once the bottom edges are browned, they are done.
Candy-making…. Nowadays, we can easily come across candies of all kinds all throughout the year. Candy shelves line the check-out lanes at the grocery stores. Quarter candy machines stand beside the doors of barber shops, restaurants, and big box stores. We even have entire stores dedicated solely to candies and confections. It’s not often, anymore, that we get into our kitchens and actually cook candy. And, often, when we do, we mix up a concoction of almond bark, cereal, and nuts: melt, mix, harden, break. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy some “white trash” candy, as it is often called, but there is something about standing over a pot of bubbling sugar and milk with a thermometer that really makes a person feel as if they have conquered the kitchen. If baking is an art, candy-making is a science. That sugar and milk has to boil at just the right temperature for just the right amount of time, or the candy won’t set properly when it is finished. And then, there’s the waiting for it to set up or harden. (Of course, we are blessed with refrigerators and freezers, so we can speed that process up a bit, these days.) Now, I do not say all of this to scare you away from candy-making. By no means! Get in there, and make some candy. The funny thing about candy, even if it doesn’t set up right, it often tastes just fine, even if you have to eat it with a spoon. 😉
Happy candy-making and Merry Christmas!
- 4 cups sugar
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 2 tbsp. light corn syrup
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. butter (or coconut oil)
- 12 oz. (1 pkg.) chocolate chips
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- Butter a 4-quart saucepan.
- In the pan, combine: sugar, milk, evaporated milk, corn syrup, and salt.
The milks, sugar, salt, and syrup heating up. Thick pans and wooden spoons work best for candy-making.
- Over medium heat, cook until boiling.
- Once it’s boiling, cook until you reach soft ball stage (238-degrees). Stir only to prevent sticking. The mixture should boil gently over the entire surface.
Place the tip of the thermometer in the center of the liquid you are trying to measure. Do not set it on the bottom of the pan.
- Once it has reached the soft ball stage, remove the pan from the heat. If you have an electric stove, this means moving the pan entirely off the burner because the coils will hold heat for quite some time after you’ve turned the burner off.
- Add chocolate chips, butter, and vanilla. Stir only enough to melt and mix in the chips. Don’t worry about the mixture being lumpy; you will beat it later.
- Allow the mixture to cool, without stirring, until it is lukewarm (about 110-degrees.)
While you’re waiting, take a picture of your assistants because they are too cute not to. 🙂
Say “Hi!” Zachary.
- If you have a hand mixer, use that for the next step. If, like me, you only have a stand mixer, then butter the bowl, and transfer the fudge to the bowl.
- Now, beat the fudge vigorously for about 10 minutes or until it becomes very thick and loses its gloss.
I mixed mine on a medium-high for several minutes using the paddle attachment.
- Spread into a buttered 9×13 pan. Allow to cool for several hours on the counter or 2-3 hours in the fridge.
Press the fudge out to an even thickness. This recipe makes about 2 1/4 lbs. of fudge.
***Every time this recipe called for using butter, I used coconut oil, and it worked perfectly.
***A recipe by my step-mom and sister Deanie Y. and Dawn R.
I made these a few days ago for breakfast. Connor loves them, and I’m mighty fond of them myself. I’ve even gotten Nic to say he will try them tomorrow morning. 🙂 They are just a basic muffin with chocolate chips mixed in the batter. Yummy and simple. Mmm!
- 1 3/4 cups AP flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1 beaten egg
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/3 cooking oil
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center.
- In a separate bowl, combine egg, milk, and oil.
- Add all at once to dry ingredients, stirring just till moistened.
- Fold in chocolate chips.
- Fill greased or paper lined muffin tins 2/3 full.
- Bake at 375-degrees for 18-20 minutes.
- Makes about a dozen muffins.
From Better Homes and Gardens Quick Breads Cook Book, copyright 1975.
If you’ve never made a pie before, here’s a good starter pie for you. Basic and simple, it is what folks around here might call a “hard times” pie. There’s nothing fancy about it, but it is oh so tasty. I found this recipe at http://www.chindeep.com/2012/04/05/buttermilk-pie/. I used my step-mom’s recipe for the pie crust. Give it a shot; you won’t regret it.
*Makes 3 crusts.
- 3 cups AP flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup shortening
- Approx. 10 tbsp. water (I used 7 or 8 this time around.)
- 1 tbsp. white vinegar
- In a mixing bowl, combine flour and salt.
- Cut in shortening until it forms a coarse meal.
- Add vinegar and about 3 tablespoons of water. Use a fork to mix into dry mix.
- Add the rest of water one tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together. Do NOT over-mix. The dough will become hard and make for a tough crust.
- *If the dough does not seem firm enough, you can add one egg to the mix.
- Divide dough and roll out.
- Once it is rolled out nice and flat, carefully roll it around the rolling pin and place into the pie plate. Gently, press it into the plate, and trim the edge with about a 1/4-1/2 inch overhang.
- Crimp the edge of crust, and prick the bottom of the crust several times with a fork.
- Weigh down the crust with dry beans or a pie weight.
- Place pie plate on a cookie sheet (especially if using a disposable pie plate). And place in a 350-degree oven for 15 minutes.
- Make pie filling while baking and cooling crust.
1 prebaked 9-inch pie shell
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 & 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Mix together flour, sugar, and salt.
- Whisk in melted butter.
- Whisk in eggs.
- Add buttermilk, vanilla, and nutmeg.
- Pour into cooled pie crust.
- Cook at 350 for 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of pie comes out clean. The pie will still be wiggly, but it will set up as it cools.
- Cool on wire rack.
- Serve at room temperature or chilled.
- For fun, add some chopped fruit as a topping. Enjoy!
Oh sweet, heavenly goodness! I have a rich dessert recipe for you today. You know of Oreos, and you know of truffles. After this post, you will know of Oreo Truffles. I’m talking Oreos, cream cheese, and vanilla almond bark, folks. Your tongue will slap your teeth out trying to get to them. These little gems are simple and fairly quick, especially if you utilize a food processor, a microwave, and a freezer. I used the recipe from here: http://www.chef-in-training.com/2011/11/no-bake-oreo-truffles.html. I figure there are dozens of different versions floating around out there, though, probably even versions from the Oreo and Philadelphia Cream Cheese websites. In fact, what I ended up doing was different, even from where I got a recipe to follow.
- 1/2 package of regular Oreos, finely crushed
- 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 package of vanilla almond bark (You can use chocolate if you prefer or even get some different flavored dipping candies from a baking or craft store.)
- In a food processor, finely crush the Oreos.
- In a medium bowl, mix the Oreo crumbs with the cream cheese until it is uniformly mixed.
- Ball up the Oreo mixture by the tablespoon, roll between your hands to make a smooth ball, and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to harden the Oreo balls.
- Meanwhile, in a microwave safe bowl (Glass works well.), melt the almond bark according the package directions.
- Dip each Oreo ball in the melted almond bark to coat and place back on the baking sheet.
- Return to the freezer for about 10 minutes to harden the candy coating.
- Enjoy! (And have some water or milk to wash them down because they take sweet to new levels.)
Hello! Happy New Year! I hope your holidays went well. I also hope you haven’t turned into human popsicles during this polar vortex we’ve had swallowing the country for a week. Thankfully, here in Arkansas, it is on it’s way out. Granted, it’s being followed by three days of rain, but the temperatures should be much warmer, above average, even. Only in Arkansas….
Anyway, I have a new recipe for you today. I found this one on the back of a Target brand (Market Pantry) box of Raisin Bran. My Grandma M. likes to put fruit in the stockings she has for us, and this year, along with some apples and oranges, we wound up with some bananas. Of course, we also got candy, cookies, treats, snacks, and left-overs. Needless to say, the fruit was getting forgotten. Well, I happened to notice the recipe on the back of my cereal box called for one ripe banana, and we just so happened to have one last banana left, getting a bit over-ripe. I took that as a sign, and whipped these breakfast yummies up. They are easy to make and taste good, even Connor helped me eat them. He would put a big bite in his mouth, growl like a dinosaur, and grin, eyes closed and everything. I’m pretty sure he liked them.
I do have one little hint, though, maybe give the bran flakes a quick crunch with your hands. You don’t have to grind them to powder, just one little crunch to make them a bit smaller because when the flakes get put into the wet batter, they get soggy. Then, once they are cooked, they are rather chewy. Having the flakes in smaller bits will cut down on some of that chewiness.
And here’s the recipe.
- 2 cups AP flour
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 1/2 cup raisin bran cereal (crunch after measuring)
- 1 ripe banana, mashed
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips (added by me)
- Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Line 12-14 muffin cups or grease well. (I got 14 good-sized muffins from this recipe, but the box claims it only makes 12.)
- Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix well.
- Stir in milk, oil, and egg just until dry ingredients are moistened. (Batter will be lumpy.)
- Stir in banana and chocolate chips.
- Stir in cereal.
- Spoon into muffin tins.
- Bake 18-22 minutes until golden brown.
- For a healthier muffin, make with half whole wheat flour and half white or all wheat. The muffin will be denser, but still taste fine.
- For extra texture, add more raisins or other dried fruit. Even add a small amount of chocolate chips or nuts.
Do you like chocolate? Do you like granola? Then, you will like this tasty treat. It’s an incredibly unhealthy, chocolate-ly granola bar. I made it recently for a pot luck at church, and it was lapped up. Thankfully, it’s a big recipe, and I had a whole pan still waiting for me at home. 😀 I hope you enjoy it!
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups AP flour
- 3 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans*
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- Set aside 2 tablespoons of butter.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat remaining butter for about 30 seconds.
- Add brown sugar and baking soda. Beat until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl.
- Beat in eggs and 2 teaspoons of vanilla until combined.
- Beat in as much flour as you can, and mix in the rest with a spoon.
- Stir in oats.
- For the filling, in a medium saucepan, combine reserved butter, chocolate chips, and sweetened condensed milk. Cook over low heat until chocolate is melted, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
- Stir in nuts* and 2 teaspoons of vanilla.
- Press 2/3 of the oat mixture (about 3 1/3 cups) onto the bottom of an ungreased 15 x 10 x 1 inch baking pan. (I don’t have one, so I actually used two 9-inch cake pans and one 8-inch cake pan.)
- Spread filling evenly over the oat mixture.
- Dot remaining oat mixture on top.
- Bake at 350-degrees for about 25 minutes or until top is lightly browned (chocolate filling will still look moist).
- Cool on wire rack. Cut into bars.
Makes about 60 bars. (I told you it was a big recipe.)
*I forgot to add the nuts, so they’re optional.
>> From Better Homes and Gardens Our Best Recipes Cook Book