Archive for August, 2010

August 31, 2010

Adaptable & Chewy Homemade Granola Bars

by cillefish

Here’s my take on someone else’s take on a granola bar recipe by King Arthur Flour (I hear their whole wheat muffins are knockout, too). Eventually I’ll get around to trying those granola recipes from a few weeks ago; I’m sure some of them would be great as bars …

Easy, Chewy Granola Bars

Makes: 1 small pan

  • 1 2/3 cups quick rolled oats (if gluten-free, be sure to use gluten-free oats. I think you can get away with normal oats if you triple the water?)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar (use more for store-granola-bar-sweet. I wanted way, way, less, so I substituted this with 2 packets of Splenda and added a tablespoon of maple syrup later)
  • 1/3 cup oat flour (or 1/3 cup oats, processed till finely ground in a food processor, blender, or mortar and pestle) I used the mortar and pestle, and added the 1/8 cup rice flour I had made ages ago.
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (I omitted it; the PB has enough salt)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Smidgin of freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 to 3 cups dried fruits and nuts (total of 10 to 15 ounces – I did 2/3 cup slivered almonds, 2/3 cups walnuts minced fine, and just under 2/3 cups finely chopped coconut. It came out cohesive but a little dry; you need some fruit in there to make it really “chewy”)
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter or another nut butter, optional (I used chunky peanut butter)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 cup honey, maple syrup or corn syrup (I did honey, half safflower and half sage since I like that darker, nuttier taste. Sage is on the light side; safflower is pretty strong, so if you use all-safflower, might want to cut down on this and up the water a bit.)
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup (I used 3 of light maple syrup)
  • 1 tablespoon water (I forgot this part. oops)

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line an 8″ x 8″ x 2″ pan with parchment paper; lightly grease it with the paper from the butter.

2. In one bowl, combine all dry ingredients; in another, smaller one, all wet (peanut butter is wet). Mix each thoroughly; for the wet, mash the peanut butter so it incorporates as much as it can. Thoroughly mix the wet into the dry.

3. Put mix into parchment-lined baking pan and press down using the back of a largish spoon, saran wrap, or your hand covered with a sandwich bag (or your hand, if you don’t mind losing some of your creation on your hand and having to lick it off). Bake for 30-40 min until golden brown on edges. They can be dark / toasted-looking, depending on what you put into it — when they’re done, they should give a little in the middle, and still be softish from the heat, but they should have hardened up enough that it’s reasonable to think they’ll harden completely when they’ve cooled.

4. Cool completely on a cookie rack; if it’s necessary, chill in fridge 30 min to ensure they’re totally cool. Cut with a serrated knife. To store, wrap individually an keep in an airtight container in fridge. They freeze well.

August 29, 2010

More Couscous

by cillefish

pumpkin couscous
Isabelle’s got me intrigued about this couscous business. I still need to buy some, but I’ve been looking around for more recipes. Here are two from Morocco: Seven-Vegetable Couscous and Pumpkin-Carrot Couscous.

read more »

August 29, 2010

Old Favorite: Kolache

by cillefish


Like a cream cheese Danish on crack. delicious, fattening crack.

Ingredients – Pastry:


  • 1 lb butter (or margarine)
  • 4c flour


  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • 1 tbspn yeast
  • 1c sour cream

Ingredients – Filling:

  • 1 pkg cream cheese
  • 1/4c sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Ingredients – Other:

  • powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350°F

2. In one bowl, mix filling. In 3 additional, separate small bowls mix sections 1, 2, 3. Combine 2 & 3, then both with 1.

3. Roll out on powdered sugar; cut into 3″ or 4″ strips; cut those into squares, and cut those into triangles [I don’t do any of this cutting; it cooks fine as one massive, log-cake-esque roll that you can slice sideways, post-cooking. See image below].
spread the cream cheese on the dough

4. Cover with 1/8 inch filling and roll each triangle up as though it were a crescent roll, rolling the hypotenuse over and over toward the right-angled corner [I just fold the whole thing over like a giant log cake; see above].

5. Bake on a baking sheet at 350°F.

August 23, 2010

What to Eat When Confined to a Hotel Room: Couscous

by horseradishsauce

I’m in a hotel with a tiny fridge and a microwave. Depressing, I know. There are several very unclassy things I’ve designed to eat in this situation, two of which are Couscous and a Spinach Black Bean Everything Wrap. Today it’s Couscous, since it’s my bedtime and the wrap is more involved.

1. Couscous

  • 1/4 cup dried couscous
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tomato (roma is a good size for 1/2-ish cup of cooked couscous)
  • a handful of walnuts, broken or chopped up if they were full-size before
  • 1/2 avocado, cubed
  • Sea Salt (just because I like how there are fewer, bigger granules. Your preference)

Cook the couscous with the water on High a little less than 3 minutes. Stirring is unnecessary. I like it at about 2 min 45 sec, but 3 minutes works also. Or boil it on the stove if you’re at home (put it in a covered pot and stir maybe once). Oh, by the way, if you bought traditional couscous, it needs to be cooked longer and should be steamed. If your kitchen is not equipped with a couscoussiére (or just a regular steamer), you can put it in a colander/colander+cheesecloth over boiling water. If you steam it, don’t cover it or it’ll be mushy.

Fluff the couscous and mix in the nuts. Grind a little salt on top. Add the tomatoes and avocado and grind a little more salt. Mix it up a little and eat it. It’s so good! Obviously there are tons of other things to put in it. Like plain yogurt, some raisins, walnuts, and a drizzle of honey. Dessert.

Couscous nutrition (per 1/3 cup):
Carbs: 51g
Calories: 250