Texture . . . And Granola

March 13, 2014

 

Granola

Let’s talk about texture. When you eat a bunch of yogurt do you get to the bottom of the cup and just almost have to gag because it was so monotonously creamy? For me there is just something about the lack of texture that makes me detest plain yogurt or really anything that is just the same texture over and over. I mean, that’s why we have a chip or veggies with hummus, chips and dip, a crunchy piece of toast with your yolky eggs, and a delicious granola with your creamy yogurt.

  Texture adds interest, an extra flavor profile, and something to keep your food exciting. When you think of interest as far as food is concerned, chefs look at everything in layers. We cook something and season it; then if we add something else for texture, it too gets a flavor profile and seasoned. We tear food apart and put it back together in a new way. Hoping that with every plate we send out, or with every recipe we have created, we have created a new texture for you to appreciate. We have combined something that will peak your interest, that once your taste buds have registered what you just took a bite of, your eyes will need to double take all that was on your plate. That is why Chefs are so fiercely protective of what we make. It is a piece of us, it is a creation, just as an artist would paint, or a nurse would care. It is ingrained in us, we create, and we send it out into the world, hoping that everyone will take in what we create with open hearts. Please accept our new textures, our re-invented or re-visited combinations, and if it’s not to your liking, well then it is just something you won’t necessarily have to revisit. But I bet no matter who you are, or what you like, you find food and textures that suit your taste, your liking, and your soul.

 

 Ok, so on a less serious note, I love the feel and consistency of a good granola. I know, I have a thing for oats, and I just can’t help it, they are just so good for you. They have a host of positive facts that you can check out at “The Worlds Healthiest Foods.” Website. Here you can learn more about how oats help maintain healthy blood sugar levels, they keep you full for longer due to the high fiber content, boost immune response, and they even have an antioxidant unique to them that protects the healthy cholesterol in our systems from being destroyed . . . I mean, who doesn’t want those benefits. My favorite way to eat this granola is either with just some unsweetened vanilla almond milk, or with Greek yogurt, honey, and some fresh berries and mango. DELISH! I hope you all enjoy the crunch it adds to your yogurt, and the wonderful texture it will add to your life

 

Print Recipe
Classic Granola
Simple, crunchy, sweet and satisfying.
Course Breakfast, Snacks
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Course Breakfast, Snacks
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Start out by preheating your oven to 375 degrees. Then in a medium size bowl, combine the first five ingredients and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the Coconut Oil, Honey and Brown Sugar until it is a liquid consistency. ( This just melts the oil and softens the honey so it can more evenly coat the dry ingredients.)
  3. Once your stove top ingredients are all melted together and nice and consistent, pour them into the dry mixture and add the vanilla extract. Mix this until all the oats are well coated.
  4. Pour the mix onto a baking sheet either lined with parchment or sprayed with non-stick spray and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the baking sheet and with a spatula, turn the granola over so it browns evenly. Continue to bake for another 20 minutes or until the granola is a dark golden brown. Remember that everyones oven is different so you may need to leave it in a little longer.
  5. Remove the granola from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before taste testing. It will not be crunchy just out of the oven, but as it cools, it will harden to the proper texture.
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Hearts♥

February 18, 2014

 

Very Vanilla Meringue CookiesFriday was Valentines day, a day of love and gestures of kindness. I enjoy Valentines day even though some just pass over it as a “hallmark holiday,” regardless, I like to treat it as a day to do kind things. Not just for someone I am in a relationship with, but just for people in general. I also love hearts, the symbol is tattooed on my left wrist to remind myself of all the love I have in my life. My family, my friends, my world is filled with love and whenever I feel down, sometimes, I just touch the heart on my wrist, and remind myself that somewhere one of my people is loving me from the bottom of their heart. But on a less deep level, I just like hearts, I leave them on cakes that I make, paint them on my nails and buy jewelry of the anatomically incorrect symbol.

 

 

Vanilla meringuesI also enjoy making people sweet treats for Valentines day, just to show them that I am thinking of them and I appreciate them. Recently I have been craving some yummy cookies and when meringues popped into my head, I immediately latched onto that idea. Yes, meringue cookies, such happiness in a light confection. Very simplistic to make, and you can make them as easy or difficult as you want. Eat them alone, dip them in chocolate, make   cookie sandwiches. . . there are so many possibilities, and they melt in your mouth. I used a vanilla bean paste, which is essentially a paste to use in place  of an actual vanilla bean, 1 tablespoon is equivalent to 1 vanilla bean and the bottle was around 6 dollars, so you can see how this could be beneficial to your wallet what with Vanilla beans being quite expensive. The recipe calls for just vanilla but I also love almond extract in conjunction with vanilla so I added about 1 tsp of almond extract to my batch on top of the vanilla that the recipe calls for. Whether or not you add the almond extract, they will still be delicious. Bake away and enjoy ♥

Print Recipe
Vanilla Bean Meringue Cookies
Melt in your mouth delicious meringue cookies.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 90 minutes
Servings
Cookies
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 90 minutes
Servings
Cookies
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 225° And line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Take some pan spray and spray the tops of the parchment to make it easier to release the cookies from the parchment after baked.
  2. Combine egg whites and cream of tartar in your mixer, and whip on medium speed until soft peaks start to form. Once it has some structure, start to sprinkle in the granulated sugar a little at a time, followed by the powdered sugar.
  3. Whisk the meringue until stiff peaks begin to form. Split the vanilla bean down the middle and scrape out the seeds into the whites. Add the extract and continue whisking until evenly distributed. If you want to color the meringues add the food coloring here.
  4. Once the mixture is at stiff peaks, stop whisking and fill a piping bag with the meringue. I used a 1M tip to pipe mine into swirls, you can also use a plain round tip and make simple meringue kisses as well.
  5. Pipe the mix out into little swirls or kisses and place into the oven for 1 1/2 hrs.
  6. The meringues will be completely dry and set up when finished, allow to cool to room temp.
  7. Melt the chocolate in a shallow dish and set a bowl aside filled with whatever sprinkles you would like to coat the base with (sprinkles are completely optional).
  8. Once the cookies have cooled, pick them up and dip just the base in chocolate, letting the excess drip off, and them dipping into the sprinkles for a colorful effect.
  9. Let cool and munch away ♥
Recipe Notes

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Honey Cinnamon Cashews

February 2, 2014

Honey Cinnamon Cashews

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you over-complicate things? You know, like when you go into Starbucks to order your regular, simple cup of coffee, or even a complicated one and you always know what you are going to get but you end up WAY over thinking what you are going to get . . . For example: “Should I get decaf today? Just in case I want to cut back on my caffeine intake, you know, since I’m pretty much perpetually dehydrated. But wait, there was also that study saying that the caffeine in a cup of coffee prevents Alzheimer’s, or maybe it was something else. . .Or no, wait, I always get a latte, and I should totally save those calories and get a black coffee because I know they are serving a good blend today, but hold on, will I like it without lots of cream and sugar?!” Insert nail biting here . . . Oh, oh you don’t do that? It’s just me? Uhm, well ok. . . Since I’m a crazy pants, I have to try to keep it simple, and there are some really simplistic things in life that I absolutely enjoy. Let me go ahead and list a few that you are going to have to like before we can be friends. . .

1. Honey

2. Cinnamon

3. Cashews

Ok, Ok. . . So maybe we can still be friends if you happen to not like one of those things, but I will probably question your taste for hmm. . . . let’s just say forever. Do you love honey?. . . Yep! Do you love Cinnamon? . . . Yep! Did we just become best friends?. . . YEP!! For real though, I have a super simplistic recipe for some yummy cashews that you will not have to over complicate, and I know you will love. I used my Vanilla Bean Sugar in place of the plain raw sugar in this recipe, and still added some vanilla extract, which lent a flavorful burst of yummy in your mouth without being overly sugary, not to mention they make your house smell divine. I hope you enjoy making these guys, because I sure did ♥

Print Recipe
Honey Cinnamon Cashews
Crunchy, Slightly Sweet, and Too Good to Just Have One.
Course Appetizer, Snacks
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
1/2 Cup
Ingredients
Course Appetizer, Snacks
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
1/2 Cup
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine all ingredients except Cashews in a mixing bowl and whisk until the egg white mixture gets foamy.
  3. Toss raw cashews in the egg white mixture until fully coated and lay out on parchment. Place in the oven and set the timer for 10 minutes.
  4. After 10 minutes, take out the cashews and turn the nuts over to allow for an even bake, then put back in the oven for another 5 minutes.
  5. Remove cashews from oven, they should be a delicious golden brown and will still be soft, allow them to sit and cool for atleast half an hour to crisp up.
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