Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dreamy Oatmeal, Chocolate, Cranberry Bars! Warm & Gooey!

So these were a last-minute throw-together recipe at 10pm, the night before my daughter Sophie's pre-school Halloween party.  The great thing about working with food on a regular basis, is that you can usually discern how things will taste, before you even make them.  That makes it easy to come up with new and wonderful flavor combinations!

Her teachers loved them...and also, I packed up a few bars and sent to my son's lovely 3rd grade teacher, and she stopped me after school to say how much she loved them :) and could she have the recipe?  Of course! Good women- ALWAYS SHARE!! :) 

BAR COOKIES are SO EASY!  It saves you the time of placing each cookie and the pan AND eliminates edge burning, leaving a soft and semi-moist cookie-without dry edges! It's a winner all the way around! 
Recipe to follow: 

Dreamy Oatmeal, Chocolate, Cranberry Bars

  • 2 cup all purpose flour (can use whole grain) 
  • 3 cups uncooked whole oats (not instant)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter-softened
  • 2 eggs-room temp
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract-not imitation
  • 1/2 cup organic vegetable shortening
  • 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped baking chocolate
  • 2 cups dried cranberries


Using hand or stand mixer, beat butter, shortening, and both sugars until creamy; add eggs one at a time; add vanilla extract; and beat until mixed-approximately 1 minute. 

In a separate bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda, and sift together with hand whisk. Slowly, add flour mixture in small batches to wet ingredients and beat on low, until combined. Add in chocolate and cranberries and mix just enough to get evenly distributed throughout batter. 

Spread out mixture in parchment (or wax) lined 9 x 13 baking pan. Keep batter away from edges of pan just a bit, as it will spread out and puff up over sides while baking.  

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and sides look firm.  Okay to have center appear wet.  Remove from the pan and allow to sit at room temperature on counter. Batter will continue to cook for a few, and then cool down.  Wait until almost completely cool to cut into desired size.  Recommended: 1x2" bars. These are nice and rich in flavor, and heavy with oatmeal. Great for breakfast and with coffee, too! 


Saturday, October 27, 2012

White Bean Chicken Chili & Honey Corn Bread-My Recipe for the Perfect Saturday in Fall, Meal!

Chicken Chili Recipe: 


  • 1 lb raw chicken (deboned), chopped.  
  • 1 12-16oz bag of beans-prefer white/navy (may use canned-skip soaking process)
  • 4 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cups kale or other greens, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, smash, peel, chop
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 3 Tbsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika (cayenne or other pepper, optional) 
  • Salt (preferable Sea Salt-for better quality and flavor) to taste. I use approximately 1 1/2 tbsp per large pot. Yum! 
 Follow soaking instructions on bean package. When beans are ready, strain out and pour into large stock pan.  Fill pan with water, to cover beans over 1".  Cover pan. Bring to a boil and turn down to Medium heat for 15 minutes. Add chicken and all vegetables. Stir in spices. Turn heat down to Low and simmer until beans and chicken are tender (approximately 2 hours). Stir, occasionally.**Salt! If you use Sea Salt you do not have to worry so much about salt intake, as it is much healthier for you and we need salt! 

I do not recommend using canned chicken! It will lack the depth of flavor that fresh chicken brings. To add even MORE flavor, you could also boil the chicken ahead of time, remove chicken, strain, and return chicken to the pan (removing any bones, first).  Then, use that stock to start your chili. **Do not hyper-boil your beans. Be sure to follow the heat and timing directions. If you cook beans to hot/quickly, they may disintegrate.     

Honey Corn Bread:

  • 2 cups corn meal
  • 1 cup white flour (can substitute rice flour + 1/2 tsp addtl baking powder) 
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs-unbeaten
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt (Sea Salt, preferably)
  • 4 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (real, not imitation!)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 stick butter-for serving
  • Additional honey-for serving

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Butter bottom and sides of 9 x 12" glass pan. In large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients.  Then, add all wet ingredients to the bowl. Stir, GENTLY, just until mixed. Pour batter into pan and bake at 425 degrees for 25-28 minutes.  Remove from oven when sides are slightly brown and a toothpick inserted in center, comes out clean.  While hot, place pats of butter on top and swipe around until melted in the cracks.  Top with honey to serve.  After cooled, covered and store in refrigerator 3 days. 

Using a glass pan will help to prevent burning on the sides. Do not beat eggs, just fold into the batter with a spoon when adding to the wet ingredients. Don't overcook...dry corn bread will fall right apart. Serve warm.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Easy Pie Crust..Quick&Easy From Scratch! With Pics & Pie Making Tips!

It's that time, again! Time to get cozy and curl up with your favorite Pie! That's what makes life so good! Instead of buying your crust loaded with chemicals and preservatives, 
MAKE YOUR OWN at home!  

Just like Grandma used to make, and no chemicals and nasty preservatives!

Read More for Recipe~!