Sunday, December 30, 2012

Farewell to 2012

Get yourself a hot drink and snuggle up before you help me say farewell to 2012. This is a long post!

I don't know about you, but I don't officially make New Years Resolutions. However, I do reflect on the past year and think about things I liked, things I didn't like, things that made me happy, and things I've learned . Here's a selection of my thoughts on 2012:

    • Business ownership is not for me, and I'm more than okay with that. After stopping work on my business this year, I felt like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. My full time job became more enjoyable and productive, and my home life improved as well. I had time to take part in extracurricular activities, to spend valuable time with friends and family, to read a good book for fun, to take a vacation without constantly thinking about work, and to really appreciate the small things in life. This is the first time in my adult life that I have not felt like a workaholic. I still work very hard at my job, but when work is done, its done. I learned how to let go this year and what an important lesson that is. 
    • Pilates and writing = yes, synchronized swimming =no. These were my new activities for the year, and 2 out of 3 ain't bad. I actually can't believe how much I love writing. What started out as a useful way to keep track of my favorite recipes has become my favorite hobby. I went through my schooling excelling in every subject except English. I didn't like writing at all and was criticized on most of the things I ever produced for English class. After that one mandatory English class at University, I thought it would be the end of my writing (outside of exams and research papers). When people started telling me that they enjoyed reading my blog, I was shocked and pleasantly surprised. I've actually began writing a blog at work as well, and I'm toying with the idea of doing some freelance writing sometime in the future. Life is full of surprises. 
    • It's difficult to be both professional and empathetic when dealing with death at work, but I seem to be getting closer to finding the balance. Unfortunately I have had a lot of death at work this year - 5 people I knew well, 2 of them within the last couple of weeks. I'm naturally empathetic, and find it difficult not to be a blubbering idiot in these situations, but I'm getting better while being careful to remain a kind human being. 
    • I am an introvert and proud of it. I have Susan Cain, the author of QUIET, to thank for this. I have been extremely uncomfortable at many parties in my life, but faked my way through them only to arrive home at the end of the night in an exhausted trance.  There were actually several loud exciting parties during which I fell asleep, and now I know why. When I read QUIET, my approach to events and life changed. I realized that there are a lot of people out there like me, and its okay to recharge alone. This has done wonders for me. 
    • Road trips will always be my favorite. Yes, the car seems to be getting a little more uncomfortable as I get older, but nothing beats cruising down the road with my wonderful husband listening to some great music on our way to some new and exciting destination like NYC. 
    • A good friend will always be your friend. I've reconnected with some old friends this year, and we continued from where we left off. I've disconnected with others as I accepted that I didn't mean much to them anymore. It's hard to let go, but sometimes that's the best option. 
    • Although I already knew this, pets make a house a home, and losing a pet is not an easy thing. My precious Molly died yesterday at the age of 17. I remember the day we got Molly. I was in grade 10, and I had just lost my first pet, Spike. Spike and I were good pals. She slept in my room, and I loved her so much. When she died, I was devastated, and although "they" don't recommend replacing lost pets with other ones, that's what we did. My Mom  and I went to pick Molly out. She was a sweet little energetic kitten - exactly what I needed. Although I have not spent much time with her since I was 18, she was always there for a good cuddle when I went home, and I'll miss her. 
    • My brother introduced me to some great radio this year - This American Life and Stuff you Missed in History Class. I've also taken up listening to CBC radio while at work. My favorite shows are White Coat, Black Art, The Current, DNTO, Quirks and Quarks, Q and The Next Chapter. I'd highly recommend heading to the Current's website and listening to their best shows over the past 10 years. Anna Maria Temonti is inspirational. 

 So on that note, I'll say farewell to 2012 and hello to 2013. I'm excited to see what this year will bring. I'd also like to thank you to those people who have read my blog, complemented me and lead me on a new path which I would never have believed possible.

Now, I'm finally going to post the rest of my Christmas baking recipes. I know most of you are probably sick of sweets and may have even put on a few pounds by now, but keep these in mind for next year. They're all approved by both friends and family.

Grammie J's Ginger Snaps

These are really "snappy" snaps. I use them for my gingerbread men at Christmas because I like the thin crisp gingerbread men vs soft and chewy ones.

1/2 C Molasses
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C unsalted butter
1 egg
1 tsp baking soda dissolved in water
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
3-4 C of whole white flour

1. Mix all ingredients except flour together in a large bowl.
2. Gradually add flour until dough is stiff, but sticky ( I used about 3.5 C)
3. Sprinkle work surface with flour, then knead dough until it is smooth.
4. Although not necessary, I refrigerated the dough at this point for a couple of hours to make it easier to roll and cut.
5. Roll the dough thin (less than 1/4 inch)
6. Cut with cookie cutters of your choice.
7. Bake on parchment paper lined baking sheets at 350F for 8-10 minutes. Cookies should be firm to touch.
8. Decorate once cooled if desired.

Triple Ginger Biscotti
adapted from this recipe at Eat, Live, Run

3/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp molasses
2 eggs
2 1/4 cup flour
2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp ground ginger
2/3 cup chopped crystallized ginger

1. Preheat oven to 325F
2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy
3. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each one. Gradually stir in molasses, then beat well.
4. Combine the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl, and mix well.
5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until combined.
6. Form 2 logs of dough which are about 8 inches wide and 12-14 inches long. Bake for 30 minutes.
7. Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing into biscotti. Use a serrated knife for this. The recipe said it makes 12, but I got closer to 24 biscotti.  Turn each biscotti on its side and return to oven for another 10-12 minutes.
8. Enjoy dipped in a nice cuppa java.

Raspberry Coconut Bars
taken from Company's Coming Most Loved Festive Baking by Jean Pare 2008.

1 1/4 C all purpose flour
1/4 C sugar
1/2 C butter, softened

1 C raspberry jam - I used my homemade jam here. 

2 eggs
2 C shredded coconut
1 C sugar
1 Tbsp flour
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder

1.Preheat oven to 350F 
2. Combine the flour and sugar in a bowl. 
3. Cut in the butter until it resembles fine crumbs. 
4. Press firmly in ungreased 9x9 inch pan. 
5. Bake for 15 minutes until golden.
6. Spread jam carefully over the crust, and let sit while making the topping. 
7. Beat eggs until frothy. 
8. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. 
9. Carefully spoon over the jam layer. 
10. Return to oven for about 30 minutes. It should be golden color. 
11. Cool. Makes 36 small bars. 

Chewy Date and Walnut Squares
taken from Company's Coming Most Loved Festive Baking by Jean Pare 2008. 

1 C chopped pitted dates
1 C sugar
3/4 C all purpose flour
1/2 C chopped walnuts
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Grease a 9x9 inch pan
3. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a bowl. 
4. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl until pale. 
5. Mix the eggs with the flour mixture. 
6. Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for about 25 minutes ( until an inserted toothpick comes out clean)
7. Let stand for 10 minutes, then cut into 36 squares while still warm. 
8. Let cool completely before removing from pan. 

Fruit Mince Spelt Muffins
Inspired by this recipe and this recipe by Teresa Cutter

These would be my favorite new recipe of the year. The smell in the house was delightful when they were cooking, and they are very moist and healthy. 

Fruit mince:
250 g  honey crisp apples, finely diced with the skin 
175 g dates and/or figs finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1 C apple cider
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Combine the apples and dates/figs in a pot. 
2. Add the apple cider, spices, and vanilla.
3. Cover the pot and gently simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. 
4. Add more apple cider if needed  to keep the mixture plump and moist then simmer for another 30 minutes.
5. Turn off the heat and allow to cool. 

1  cup wholemeal spelt flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/2  teaspoon ground cinnamon
100 g sugar 
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk 
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
All of the Fruit mince from above

1. Preheat oven to 350F 
2. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and sugar.
3. Add eggs, milk, olive oil, vanilla and mix thoroughly
4. Fold in fruit mince. You may need to add some more flour depending on the consistency of the batter. I added about 1/4 - 1/2 C more spelt flour here. It should be very moist, but thick. 
5. Spoon into a muffin tin lined with baking paper.
6. Bake for about 20-25 minutes. Toothpick inserted should come out clean

Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
adapted from this recipe  at the Galley Gourmet which was adapted from  Will Cook for Smiles

These are best served straight from the oven or heated in the microwave for about 20 seconds. 

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces dark chocolate chopped
3 extra large eggs
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons low fat sour cream
2 cups finely grated zucchini ( I had frozen some grated zucchini in the fall, and it worked perfectly after thawing)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips (mixture of white and semi sweet)

1. Preheat the oven to 350F
2. Mix together the flour, espresso powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. 
3. Melt the chopped chocolate in a pot over lower heat or a double boiler. Set aside. 
4.  Beat the eggs and brown sugar with a mixer on high until light in color. 
5. Gradually mix in the oil, yogurt, zucchini, and vanilla. 
6. Add dry ingredients and mix only until uniform ( do not over mix). 
7. Fold in the melted chocolate, then gently stir in chocolate chips. 
8. Fill lined muffin tins with batter almost to the top. It will make 15 muffins, so I used 3 greased ramekins for the other 3 "muffins". 
9. Bake for 20-22 minutes, then allow to cool for about 10 minutes before enjoying. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Christmas Wish

I bake a lot this time of year, some of it healthy, some of it not. Almost all of it is shipped off to family, friends or co-workers. There are a few of Louis's favorites that mostly get left at home, like the Bailey's truffles, but we really don't eat that much of it (other than testing it while I'm cooking to make sure its edible:) This post is all candy, but there will be two more posts with muffins, cookies, and squares. I hope that you will use these recipes to help you spread Christmas cheer and help you find the joy on those days when its hard to see it.

Espresso Oat Christmas Truffles
adapted from This recipe from Green Kitchen Stories

15 Medjool dates, pitted
4 Tbsp rolled oats
2 Tbsp unsweetened coconut
2 Tbsp coconut oil, softened
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cardamom
2 Tbsp brewed espresso

1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl, and with a fork, mash and mix until it is a smooth, sticky, and uniform mass. You can use your hands to help mix everything together as well. 
2. Place mixture in the fridge for 10 minutes
3. Remove from fridge, and form into small balls with your hands, then roll in cocoa powder, coconut, rolled oats, or chopped nuts. Makes about 15-20 truffles. 
4. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes before serving and store extras in the fridge. 

Black Bean Chocolate Truffles
adapted from this recipe from Good Things Grow

1 C cooked black beans
2 Tbsp coconut oil
3 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 C chopped semi-sweet chocolate

1. Place all ingredients except semi-sweet chocolate in a large bowl. 
2. Mash everything together until smooth and uniform. 
3. Roll about 1 Tbsp of the mixture into a ball, and place on a plate lined with parchment paper. Repeat until all mixture is used. ( Makes about 15-20 truffles)
4. Place truffles in the fridge for about 1 hour
5. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Take a few truffles out of the fridge at a time. Insert a toothpick into the truffle, then roll the truffle in the melted chocolate to coat. Remove the toothpick, and place the truffle back on a parchment lined plate to return to the fridge. Repeat until all truffles are coated. 
6. Store in the fridge. 

You would not believe these have beans in them. They are smooth, rich, and chocolatey. Enjoy with a cold glass of milk.  

Bailey's Truffles

I have been making these truffles for about 10 years. I have made them for Christmas every year, but I've also made them for special occasions like our wedding. I made a fancy version of these in three colors ( white, milk, and dark) and covered our wedding cake with them (see photo below), and it was beautiful. The recipe came from the bottle of Bailey's one year, and it is not healthy at all, but the flavour holds such wonderful memories for me, I will not alter it! They are very rich and smooth.

1/2 C whipping cream
1/4 butter
3 Tbsp sugar
8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chopped
1/4 C Baileys
Coatings: grated chocolate, cocoa, chopped nuts, sprinkles, icing sugar

1. Combine cream, butter, and sugar in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. 
2. Remove from heat. Add Chocolate, stirring until completely melted
3. Stir in Baileys. 
4. Chill mixture until firm ( at least 4 hours)
5. Shape mixture into balls and roll in coatings of your choice. Prepare to have really messy hands!
6. Store in the refrigerator. 
7. Makes about 4-5 dozen truffles depending on the size. 

Coffee Toffee
adapted from this recipe at Smitten Kitchen

One of my brothers loves toffee, so I started making my own toffee a few years ago to give him at Christmas. This is a slightly different recipe than the one I usually make, but I really like the addition of coffee to the recipe. I made his without chocolate, but also made a batch with chocolate to send to Louis's work. I didn't add the hazelnuts because its a nut free zone, but I think the nuts would be a nice addition.

1 C butter
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C white sugar
1 1/2 tsp molasses
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder
1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 C hazelnuts, toasted and skinned

1. Line a small rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Crush nuts if using
3. In a heavy saucepan, melt the botter, sugars, molasses, salt and espresso. 
4. Attach your candy thermometer to the pot.
5. Keep the heat at medium and stir occasionally until the temp reaches about 250F. Watch carefully, because the temp rises quickly at the end. 
6. Start stirring constantly and remove from heat once the temp hits 300F
7. Immediately pour the mixture onto the prepared pan and spread with a spatula or wooden spoon. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the toffee and let sit about 1 minute while it melts, then spread evenly over the base. Top with crushed nuts. 
8. Let sit at room temp until set. I left mine about 1 hour. Then break into pieces, and store in fridge so that the candy doesn't get soft. I actually stored some in the freezer as well. This changed the color, but it still tasted delicious. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Roasted Root Vegetables

This one is a guest post from my Mom. She's a great cook, and this is a really easy dish that smells wonderful while it's cooking. I added in a Plaintain because it was in my fridge. Thanks Mom!

Roasted Vegetable Medley

I made the easiest /most delicious  roasted vegetable medley yesterday. Here it goes, and the hardest job was preparing the vegs !!!! You can use any combination of root vegs .

I used: 
3 lg. carrots thickly sliced 
2 parsnips thickly sliced
2 large potatoes chunked
1 lg sweet potato chunked
2 med onions cut in wedges
1 stalk of celery sliced 
6 cloves of garlic peeled 
1/2 rutabaga (  turnip ) chunked
If I had a fennel I would use it too

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp savory
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 425F
2. Rub olive oil over bottom and sides of shallow roasting pan ( I needed my big roaster ).  

3. Add vegs and and the other tbsp of olive oil , balsamic vinegar , and spices
4. Mix it all well with your hands.
5. Bake uncovered  45 min,  stirring after every 15 min.  

6. Serve with  french bread and a glass of red wine
This is the ULTIMATE in comfort food  and the smell and taste are amazing !!!  

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tomato Baked Halibut

This recipe is not the exact recipe I made when one my best friends was visiting last year, but when I made it, I couldn't help but remember her visit. The weather was terrible and I had a cold, but I got to spend a few days with a great friend which is always what I'll remember. So this recipe is for you:) Congratulations on your recent engagement!

Tomato Baked Halibut
inspired by "Roasted Tomato & Olive Bruschetta Over Baked Halibut & Quinoa" from Quinoa Revolution by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming, 2012. 

2 Wild Halibut Fillets ( I use frozen Marine Stewardship Council certified fish)  
1 pint of multi colored cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 zucchini, halved and sliced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
small handful of fresh basil chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper
handful of chopped fresh cilantro

1. Preheat oven to 450F
2. Stir together tomatoes, zucchini, oil, garlic, and basil in a small casserole dish. 
3. Bake for 10 minutes. 
4. Place the fish, skin side up, over the tomatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
5. Return to oven to bake for 10-15 more minutes (until fish flakes easily). 
6. Place each fillet on a bed of rice, then top with tomato mixture and garnish with cilantro. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Barley Risotto with Beans and Kale

Today's recipe should bring us to the end of recipe week, but I still have several recipes left, so I'm going to keep posting daily until all the old goodies are on here. This risotto is not the prettiest thing I've made, but it was really tasty. It was also good as left overs, unlike most traditional risottos. I've really been getting more and more into the vegetarian recipes, and I really haven't found that many bean recipes that I'm fond of so its nice to have a new one to add to my repertoire.

Barley Risotto with Beans and Kale
adapted from this recipe at Smitten Kitchen

1 C vegetable broth
4 C water
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 leek, sliced thinly
1/4 tsp thyme
1/2 C white wine
1 C barley
1 14 oz can of beans of your choice, rinsed and drained (I used Pinto)
3 C kale
1/2 C freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
2 Tbsp butter
salt and pepper

1. Bring the broth and water to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and keep warm.
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium. Add the leek and thyme and saute until leek is softened.
3. Add the barley and cook for 2 minutes while stirring.
4. Add the wine and continue stirring and cooking until wine is absorbed.
5. Add the broth to the skillet, 1/2 C at a time, and continue stirring until it is nearly absorbed. Repeat. This took me about 50 minutes total, and the end product was thick and creamy.
6. Add the beans and let them cook for a minute to heat up. Then add the kale and let it wilt ( about 1-2 minutes).
7. Stir in the Parmesan and butter and season to taste.
8. Serve immediately with some freshly grated Parmesan on top.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Mediteranean Quinoa

I'm just posting a short one today. This is recipe number six for recipe week. It's an easy recipe that has many of my favorite flavours. I think that the most delicious recipes are usually the simplest. 

Mediterranean Quinoa
adapted from "Pine Nut & Roasted Red Pepper Salad" from Quinoa Revolution, Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming 2012. 

2 C water
1 C quinoa
3 Roasted Red Peppers, cooled and chopped
1/2 C crumbled feta cheese
1/3 C sliced green onions
1/4 C sliced almonds
Juice from 1 small lemon
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 C chopped fresh parsley
1. Cook the quinoa with the water according to package directions. Fluff with a fork.
2. Whisk the lemon juice and oil in a small bowl to make dressing.  
3. Combine the quinoa, peppers, feta, and onions in another bowl.
4. Pour the dressing over quinoa mixture and mix well. Top with almonds and parsley. Enjoy warm, at room temperature, or cold. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Lemon Spelt Bread


The following bread recipe comes from Green Kitchen Stories. It was really great dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I made the dough in the bread maker, and then baked it in the oven. I did alter the baking instructions for ease, and it turned out just as well. So here is recipe  number 5 for recipe week:

Lemon Spelt Bread (Adapted from this recipe from Green Kitchen Stories which was adapted from a recipe by danish chef Oscar Umahro)

Makes 1 large loaf

1/2  C spelt flakes
1 medium sized lemon ( juice and zest)
1.5 C cold water
0.5 Tbsp salt
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1.5 Tbsp olive oil
3.5 C spelt flour

1. Mix the spelt flakes with lemon zest and juice and let sit for 15 minutes
2. Mix together the water, salt, yeast, and olive oil in a large bowl. 
3. Gradually incorporate the flour and spelt flake mixture. 
4. Knead for 5 minutes. It should be elastic and slightly moist
5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
6. Form the dough into a long thin shape and put in the baking sheet and cover with a clean tea towel. 
7. Let rise until twice its size ( about 2 hours) in a warm location. 
8. Preheat oven to 425F. 
9. Bake for 25-30 minutes 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Quinoa Falafels

Recipe number 4 for Recipe Week comes directly from my newest cookbook: Quinoa Revolution by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming. I loved their last cookbook so much that I couldn't resist getting this one. I like how they've included the nutritional information with the recipes this time, and the desserts on average have less sugar. So far I've made 4 recipes, and I would make three of them again. So without futher ado:

Quinoa Falafels
taken from Quinoa Revolution, Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming 2012.

1 C water
1/2 C quinoa
1 1/2 C cooked chickpeas ( or one 14 oz can drained and rinsed)
1/2 C chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp minced garlic
1 large egg
3 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
2. Cook the quinoa with the water according to package directions. Let sit and fluff with a fork. 
3. Combine the chickpeas, parsley and garlic in a food processor until the chickpeas are finely chopped but not a paste. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix only until just combined. 
4. Scoop out the mixture by the Tablespoon onto prepared baking sheet, leaving an inch between each.  Press down on each to make a small patty.
5. Bake the falafels for 10 minutes on each side. Let cool for 5 minutes.
6. Enjoy on a salad or in a pita with vegetables and yogurt.
7. I froze half of the falafels on a cookie sheet, and then transfered them to a ziploc bag, so that I could take them out of the freezer individually when I wanted them.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Roasted Eggplant and Hummus Pizza

Recipe three for Recipe week. This is a recipe I'm particularly proud of because I feel like its actually mine. The crust is from Crazy Plates, and I've been using it as my basic pizza crust for years. It's one of the few recipes that I know off the top of my head. I make it by hand sometimes, but I happened to throw the ingredients in the bread maker on the dough setting this time, and it was all set to go when it beeped. I've also included the pictures of the pizza that Louis enjoyed that night - Italian sausage and red pepper. 
Roasted Eggplant and Hummus Pizza

1/4 - 1/2 C of your favorite hummus
2 mini eggplants
1/4 C fresh oregano finely chopped
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 pint of baby bella mushrooms
1 small onion, sliced
1/2 recipe of whole grain pizza crust ( which follows)
1/2 C shredded mozarella
1/3 C Crumbled feta cheese
fresh parsley
extra virgin olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 500F
2. Slice the eggplants lengthwise into quarters, then slice into 1/2 inch slices
3. Slice the mushrooms
4. Put eggplant, mushrooms, and sliced onions in baking dish and drizzle with oil  and balsamic vinegar and toss with oregano until evenly coated
5. Roast for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and turn oven down to 450F
6. Roll out the pizza crust and put it on a pizza sheet ( you could also use a pizza stone here). 
7. Spread the hummus over the surface and cover with the roasted vegetables
8. Sprinkle the mozarella and feta evenly on top
9. Bake for 14-15 minutes. Remove from oven and garnish with fresh parsley and drizzle with olive oil. 
10. Enjoy with a fresh green salad. 

Whole grain pizza crust ( makes 2 pizzas) taken from  Crazy Plates "No Business like Dough Business" 1999 Janet and Greta Podleski

2 1/4 tsp yeast
1 Tbsp honey
1 Cup warm water (105 to 115F)
1.5 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
2.5 C flour ( I use 1 cup whole wheat and 1.5 C whole white)

Directions by hand:

1. Put yeast in a large bowl
2. Mix honey with warm-hot tap water and pour over yeast. Let sit until foamy in a warm area ( about 10 minutes)
3. Stir in olive oil and salt. 
4. Gradually add in flours ( which are already mixed together) and incorporate with hands. The dough should start to come away from the sides of the bowl, but still be pliable. There may be some left over flour which you can use for flouring the work surface. 
5. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 10 minutes until dough is a nice smooth ball. 
6. Lightly coat the ball with a small amount of oil and put in a bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and place in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour. I heat the oven to 150F while I'm kneading the dough, then turn it off and put the dough in the oven. 
7. Remove the dough from the oven and roll out on a floured surface. I've also taken up throwing the dough which is very fun ( and sometimes messy). Lightly coat the pizza pan with oil before placing dough on the pan. 
8. Cover with desired ingredients and bake for about 14 minutes at 450F. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My Go To Power Bars

As promised, here is recipe number two for Recipe Week. These power bars are easy to make and full of nutrients. They are packed with simple sugars, complex carbs, protein, and a hit of caffeine which makes them a perfect snack in the middle of long hike. They are my go to power bar recipe. 

My Go To Power Bars
inspired by this recipe by Heidi Swanson, 101 cookbooks

1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 C hemp seeds
1/3 C pumpkin seeds
1/3 C sunflower seeds
1/6 C chia seeds
1/6 C slivered almonds
2/3 C shredded coconut
1 1/4 C rolled oats
1 1/2 C crisp rice cereal
1/2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips ( optional )
1 C brown rice syrup
1/4 C ground espresso beans
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt

1. In a large bowl, mix together seeds, nuts, coconut, oats, and rice cereal.
2. Line a 9x13" pan with parchment paper
3. Combine the coconut oil, rice syrup, salt, espresso, and vanilla in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until it begins to boil and thicken a bit. 
4. If using chocolate chips, let the syrup mixture cool slightly. Pour the syrup mixture over the oat mixture and mix well. Press in prepared pan. I put some butter or coconut oil on my hands, and do it with my hands rather than a utensil. 
5. Cool to room temp and cut into bars. 
6. Take them on your next excursion involving activity. I usually freeze at least half of the batch and take them out when we need them. They freeze well, and will defrost while you're hiking.