Smitten Maple Granola

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I’ve been loving the Smitten Kitchen cookbook ever since I got it. Which makes perfect sense because I read the blog regularly. What I love about her style of cooking is it seems to practical and her likes seem to align with mine. Perfect. Done, lets get cooking.

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I’m big on breakfast. Especially yogurt, and yogurt with granola. I go through it really quickly and now that I can make my own I don’t feel so bad about it. Even better, this recipe makes the big yummy clusters that I love so much. Lets be honest, I always reach for the clusters first. I made a few modifications because I didn’t have everything in my pantry, but it still came out great.

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Ingredients

3 Cups old fashioned rolled oats (not instant)IMG_3437

1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

2 Tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 large egg white

1 1/2 cups dried cranberries

Instructions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees

Combine ingredients (except the egg and cranberries) in a large bowl. Whisk the egg white in a small bowl until frothy and then pour over the granola mixture. Mix well. Spread the granola in a single layer onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 45 minutes, turning over sections (taking care to not breaking up the clumps too much) halfway through. Once the granola has cooled, mix in the cranberries and store in an airtight container.

Source: The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

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Granola Bars

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Oh we’ve been so busy lately. There have been birthdays, work events, actual work, side jobs, side projects, and getting the apartment back together after it completely exploded from having to shift things around to get our new bed in and put together. Not to mention figuring out what to do with the ten thousand pieces of cardboard and styrofoam that came with it. A fort in the living room turned out not to be as cool as I thought.

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I’ve really been enjoying the birthdays lately. We have a few months in our family where everyone’s birthday is a week apart so I’ve been doing a lot of baking for gifts. I came upon this original recipe and thought something similar might be just the thing for my older brother Ryan. I took out the chocolate, reduced the sugar, and added some sunflower seeds and almonds for an extra crunch. I think they came out really yummy. So yummy that I made a chocolate version for my valentine.

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Ingredients

5 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons honey
2-4 tablespoons brown sugar, depending on sweetness preference
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup crispy rice cereal
¼ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup almonds, roughly chopped
¼ cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped

Instructions

In a large bowl, stir oats, rice cereal, seeds, almonds, and cranberries. Set aside. In a small saucepan, melt butter, honey and brown sugar together over medium high heat until it comes to a bubble. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add in the vanilla and stir. Pour over dry ingredients and mix well to moisten everything.

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Pour into a lightly greased pan, compressing the mixture to be about 3/4 inch in thickness. (You may only need to use half of the pan.) Cool on a countertop to room temperature for two hours. Wrap in parchment or plastic wrap and store at room temperature.

Source: adapted from Lauren’s Latest

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts

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Does anyone else check their Pinterest ten times a day? No? Yea…uh… me neither. While I was checking mine for the first, or fifth time in a day, I saw this recipe for baked doughnuts. Jordan has told me before that his parents make killer cinnamon sugar doughnuts so I thought a variation like this would be just the treat for him. He’s been working a lot lately.

A few notes about these. Get lazy, and don’t over-knead the dough. It comes together really quick and I really don’t think it needs a lot of work. It’s pretty elastic as is. Also, they dry out pretty quickly. So I recommend making them day-of or the night before you want to enjoy them and keep them in a very airtight container.

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The dough is simple enough that you could add any sort of topping, glaze, or frosting to these. I think a confectioners sugar glaze or a maple coating would be great. That’s how I’ll make these next time. Also, you could probably cut these into any shape you like. Some cute hearts for your valentine or other related shapes depending on the day. I just think they’re so dang cute in the mini rounds. Enjoy!

Ingredients

For the Dough (makes about 15 doughnuts)

3/4 cups warm milkIMG_4124
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
2 ½ cups flour
A pinch of ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt

For the Cinnamon Sugar Topping
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Instructions

For the dough, place ¼ cup of the warm milk in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the yeast into the milk and let it sit for 5 minutes.

In a small liquid measuring cup, combine the remaining milk with the sugar and butter.  Add it to the bloomed yeast mixture and stir to combine.  Add in the egg and give the mixture a good stir until combined.  Add the flour, cloves, salt and mix well. The dough will start to form.  Put the dough hook on the mixer and knead until the dough starts to become smooth, about 2 minutes.

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Place the dough ball in a large lightly greased bowl, and cover with a clean dish towel.  Let sit in a warm place for about an hour, until doubled in size.

Once the dough has doubled, roll it out on a lightly floured surface to half an inch thick.  Using your cutter of choice cut out as many doughnuts as you can get from the dough.

Preheat the oven 375 degrees F.

Place them on a baking sheet lined with silpats or parchment paper, about an inch apart. (They don’t spread during baking) Cover again and let it sit for about 45 minutes.

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Bake for 8 minutes, until lightly golden brown on the bottoms.  Take care not to overbake. Let the doughnuts cool for about 5 minutes.

Melt the butter in a saucepan or in a microwave safe bowl. Combine the cinnamon and sugar  in a small bowl. Dip the topside of the doughnut into the melted butter.  Then dip them into the cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Place on a cooling rack to set, about 5 minutes more. Best when served warm.

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Source: adapted from Krissy’s Creations

Green Juice Smoothie

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With the year drawing to a close, I can already feel myself trying reset and start fresh again. For me, it’s more about un-doing what happened in December because I know at least in our families, there are so many treats around its just tough not to over do it a little (or a lot.) So here I am, a few days after Christmas, trying to figure out what to have for breakfast. I’m still in that window where I could probably convince myself that pie is a viable option, but at this point, pie is just not pie without the whip. 

So then I decide that a smoothie is just what I need. Then I remember that The Green Juice Smoothie has spinach in it so thats a double win. Perfect. I’ve escaped dessert for breakfast for one day… until tomorrow at least.

I found the recipe over at Annie’s Eats, one of my very favorite blogs. I modified mine just a bit, but we’ve been eating a lot more pears than we used to. I just always forget to add them in. I’ve frozen the bananas before or left them room temp and it comes out great both ways.

IngredientsIMG_3306

1 banana (frozen or at room temp)
1/2 cup frozen pineapple
1 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cups spinach, rinsed and dried
Honey, to taste

Directions

Add all ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Serves 2

 Source: just slightly tweaked from Annie’s Eats Green Monster Smoothie

Cinnamon Top Banana Muffins

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For once, buying too much of something has made me awesome. As a fiend for bananas, I eat them on everything: yogurt, cereal, toast, cookies, other fruit, and especially with peanut butter. Yes I’ll take some banana with my spoonful of peanut butter. With that said, I like my bananas on the green side because I tend to pair them with sweeter things. Plus I find them to be less of a mushy mess.

So as you can probably guess, I’ve passed on my share of spotty bananas. And I’ve tried so many banana bread recipes to remedy this silly situation I keep getting myself into. And this is it! I’ve found my favorite thus far. These muffins have an awesome flavorful inside and a crazy crunchy top. (And everybody knows the muffin tops are the best part anyway) Even though I didn’t add them this time, I think walnuts would make these extra delicious.

We have some friends coming to stay with us this weekend so I’m looking forward to adding these muffins as part of a big, Saturday breakfast.

Yield: 12

 Ingredients

3/4 cups whole wheat flour

3/4 cups all-purpose flour

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1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

3 large ripe bananas, mashed

1/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

Topping

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

dash of coarse salt

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400°. Line muffin tin. (Note: the Faux Martha says that increasing the temperature of the oven while baking muffins helps them puff up higher.)

Combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a a different bowl, mix together the bananas, sugars, egg, and butter.

Add the mixtures together, and stir until just combined. Make topping in a separate bowl. Cut the butter into the other ingredients using the back of a fork.

Fill muffin liners about 2/3 full. Top with crumble. Bake for 18 minutes.

Source: The Faux Martha