Saturday, September 10, 2011

Chewy Fruit & Nut Granola Bars

  • Once you make these simple and tasty granola bars at home, you will think twice about buying store-bought bars filled with preservatives. When you make your own you can add your favorite ingredients and mix it up each time. Sometimes I cut these into bite-size pieces to serve as bar cookies at parties.

Makes about 16 rectangular granola bars

  • 2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup puffed rice or kamut (I use Arrowhead brand)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp honey (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup of diced dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries (or other dried fruit)
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds (or nuts of your choice, chopped cashews or peanuts are tasty)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp each of ground cloves and nutmeg
  • Splash of vanilla extract
  • Optional: 1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine and stir all the dry ingredients together. Pour sweetened condensed milk over dry mixture until it is just sticking together (if it seems too wet, add more oats). Evenly spread over a cooky sheet lined with a silicone baking mat (Silpat), and press with spatula to about 1/2 inch thick. Bake for 20-25 minutes until just golden around the edges. 

Let cool, then transfer to a cutting board to cut into your desired bar size. Enjoy for a snack or dessert! Customize with your favorite fruit and nut combos.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Pear and Carrot Salad with Tangy Curry Dressing

This is a very refreshing salad on a warm day. Crisp, tangy and sweet all at the same time. A great, unique side.
Makes about 4 servings.

2 large carrots, trimmed and peeled
 2 firm pears
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tbsp curry powder
1 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Peel the carrots lengthwise into ribbons. Stem then slice the pear into bite-size slivers.

In a mixing bowl, combine the pear and carrot with the chopped parsley. In a blender, mix the white wine vinegar, curry powder, honey, salt, and pepper and blend until combined.

While the machine runs, drizzle the olive oil. Pour the dressing over the carrots and pears and toss. Serve immediately or quickly cool the salad in the refrigerator.

Goes well with a main dish of grilled meat.