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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Soyrizo and Black Bean Empanadas


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I’ve noticed that when we go out into the world on weekends, we spend money. Done. I’ve solved our problem. No seriously though. We met friends for lunch a few weekends ago and we ended up buying a bed. Don’t get me wrong… we are the furthest thing from impulse buyers. Before that day, we had shopped and shopped and shopped until I didn’t ever want to look at another piece of bedroom furniture again. It was just a coincidence that the restaurant our friends chose just happened to be across the street from a West Elm, which happened to have the bed we were considering, and after seeing it in person I was sold. Now I’m done with that purchase for life…until the next round, at least. Woo hoo!

So back to my thing about us spending money. I’ve been getting really creative about using up leftovers because I’m trying to keep us on track for our grocery bill each month. So far, I’ve been doing pretty well. After making these, I’d say I’m stepping up in the leftover-world because this was one of the best creations to come out of my kitchen in a while. Yep, I said it.

IMG_4345The dough was the second half of a batch leftover from having made a pie and the soyrizo was leftover from burritos the night before. I buy black beans dry and had cooked them up a few days previous. I like to have beans on hand to sneak some extra protein into our meals throughout the week, plus bean burritos are my go-to quick lunch. So really, everything was already made. I’m sure next time, some chicken or any other filling that I have left over will get used up.

If you don’t have dough on hand, check out this great tutorial here. To be honest, I think store bought may work for these, but you would have to use round cutters instead of rolling them out like I did.

Ingredients (Makes 16 small empanadas)IMG_4291

Half a batch of pastry dough, thawed if frozen, but still chilled

11/2 cups cooked soyrizo
1 cup black beans, cooked
¼ cup queso fresco
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Coarse salt
Pepper


Instructions

Preheat your oven to 375 F degrees

Make sure your pastry dough is still chilled. Divide in half, and in half again, and so on, until you have 16 equal pieces of dough. I found that keeping the rest of the dough I wasn’t working with in the refrigerator was very helpful. This dough gets very sticky as it comes to room temp.

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Roll out a small piece of dough to about an ⅛ of an inch thick, keeping it as equally oval as possible. Place about a tablespoon of soyrizo towards the bottom half of the oval. Add a few teaspoons of black beans on top of the soyrizo and top the pile with queso fresco. Fold over the top of the dough so that it covers the filling, lining up the edges as equally as possible. Trim away any large excess, but a bit of extra dough is fine. Seal the edges together with the tines of a fork. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with silpats or parchment paper.

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When all empanadas are complete, melt two tablespoons of butter in the microwave or a small saucepan. Brush over the tops of each empanada. Sprinkle each with a bit of coarse salt and a sprinkle of pepper.

Bake for 16-18 minutes until edges begin to golden. Serve warm.

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