Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Crunchy Granola

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My family and I are addicted to this granola recipe. You can customize it to your taste using whatever nuts, seeds and dried fruit you desire. I can find all of these ingredients at a Trader Joe's store.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup coconut oil
4 T unsalted butter
3/4 cup agave syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 T kosher salt
1 T vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
5 cups rolled oats
1-1/2 cups sliced blanched almonds
1 cup unsweetened coconut strips
3/4 cups pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 shelled pistachios
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries

In a glass or ceramic bowl, combine coconut oil, butter, agave syrup, brown sugar and salt. Microwave for 1+ minute until the oil becomes liquid and brown sugar dissolves. Mix in the vanilla, cinnamon and ginger. In a large bowl, combine the oatmeal, nuts and seeds Add the oil/sugar mixture and stir together. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and spread the granola on it. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes, stirring once while baking.  Let cool on baking sheet. Add the dried fruit. Store in an airtight container up to a month.




Corinne's Chocolate Cake

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My amazing long-time friend from 7th grade has done it again.  This is Corinne's ultimate chocolate cake, silky, moist and rich in flavor.  She is pictured above with her talented daughter and chef, Sydne, who was visiting her from Brooklyn, NY during the holidays. While I was visiting Corinne, Sydne made me the most awesome breakfast sandwich with her homemade sausage and gluten free English muffins. Joy and happiness!

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

2 cups sugar + 2 cups water
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
6 T unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs

Set oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour two 8" round cake pans. Line the pans with waxed paper. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.  In a medium saucepan, heat the sugar and 2 cups water to a boil.  Pour into a large bowl and add the chocolate and butter, let sit until melted. Add the vanilla. Beat the eggs into the chocolate mixture until combined. Add the dry ingredients all at once and blend until smooth. Pour into prepared pans. Bake 25 min. Cool in the pans for 25 min., then invert onto racks to cool completely. Frost with chocolate frosting.

Chocolate Frosting:
1-1/3 cups heavy cream
1-1/2 cups sugar
6 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1 stick plus 2 T unsalted butter
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt

In a medium saucepan, over medium-high heat, bring the cream and sugar to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer about 6 min.  Pour into a medium bowl, add the chocolate, butter, vanilla and salt. Let the mixture sit until the chocolate and butter melts.  Set the bowl in a larger bowl of ice water. Using a hand-held mixer, beat the frosting on medium speed, until thick and glossy.  This may take 5 minutes or longer as the frosting must cool thoroughly before it gets thick.


Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Soup

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Here's an easy soup recipe that is so flavorful.  I've seen versions of this recipe for Weight Watchers and Paleo diet with and without rice added.  It has most of the ingredients found in traditional stuffed cabbage rolls with a shorter prep time.  I will definitely make this one again.

Ingredients:
1 to 2 lbs. lean ground turkey or beef
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small cabbage, chopped
2 cans (14.5 oz each) diced tomatoes
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt

Saute the ground meat and onion in olive oil until meat is browned and onion is tender.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.  Add the cabbage, tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, pepper and salt. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until cabbage is tender.