Eating my homemade Larabar while reading some contracts
I’ve been making this recipe for the better part of 4 months now, whipping up a batch on Sunday afternoons, so that Rafe and I can take them in to work with us, one a day, all week long. I usually have them as my mid-morning snack. This recipe makes 10 small/med-sized bars, or 5 jumbo bars. Your choice!
At ~$40 for a box of 16 bars ($2.50/bar), buying Larabars at the store is an expensive proposition. Making them at home, however, depending on where you buy your cashews and dates in bulk, costs me about $4.75 per 10-bar batch, or $0.47/bar. Not bad!
- 1 1/2 c raw cashews (don’t use the pre-salted kind)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 c packed dates
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 – 1/2 c chocolate chips
- Using a food processor, whirl the cashews and salt until the nuts are roughly crumb-sized, maybe 45 sec to a 1min.
- While this is going, soak your dates in a bowl of warm water to get them to soften up a bit. Squeeze out excess water and drop them into the processor, along with the vanilla extract. Whirl together until a ball forms. If the mixture isn’t sticking together, pour in (1 tbsp at a time) some of the excess date water.
- Finally toss in the chocolate chips and allow to pulse a few times, until the chips are roughly mixed in.
- Turn out onto a silpat or wax paper (something that won’t stick), and use a spatula to form into a rectangle. Now stick this (maybe with a plate or small cutting board until it) into the fridge for about 20 min to harden.
- Cut into bars, store in the fridge. I usually place sheets of parchment between the bars so they don’t get too sticky.
Mmmm, tasty sesame noodles for a rainy day. Only a slight twist to make it slightly healthier. Cucumber!
Delicious, but then again, I love everything sesame-related.
- 2 cucumbers
- 2 green onions
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- pinch of ginger powder
- pinch of cayenne
- 1/2 packet soba noodles (optional)
- Sesame or black sesame seeds, for garnish
- Peel and cut the seeds out of the cukes. Then peel and finely chop cukes into long strips, so they resemble long noodles. Cut the green onion into little rings.
- Mix everything else in a small dish, mixing with a fork until smooth and add a splash of water if it’s a bit too thick.
- Pour the sauce onto the cuke noodles (and cooked soba noodles, if that’s your style) and tosh until mixed evenly. Add the sesame seeds for pleasant garnishes on top. Mmmmm.
This weekend, I was a single girl (woohoo!) with Rafe at home in South Carolina. True to form, however, I didn’t do much out of the normal. In fact, as usual, most of the weekend was spent either at the gym, out on the deck, or in the kitchen. The weather was beautiful (sunny but brisk, with a slight wind) and on Saturday I went for a nice like (11 miles) run in the neighborhood and around Rice University to prepare myself for next weekend’s Nashville half-marathon.
I adapted a Gwyneth Paltrow recipe to make this pretty amazing veggie entree. In the future, I might add pork/ham to give it a little more savoriness or body. This would be good for a side dish, or a main, as we ate it last night…
With all the good things in lentils, this might become a regular in our household.
There are a few awesome things about lentils, and I’ll just name a few:
- 18g of protein per cup! That is a ton of awesome protein to build lean muscle.
- Only 230 calories in a cup, much lower than animal proteins.
- Contains nearly half of the fiber we’re supposed to get every day.
- Iron. A cup contains nearly 40% of the RDA value for iron.
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ cubes
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil (with sweet potatoes)
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp olive oil (with lentils)
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 2 pinches of chili flakes
- 2 tsp chopped oregano
- 2 tsp chopped thyme
- 4 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped (samish size as the sweet potatoes)
- 1 clove garlic
- 14 oz dried lentils (~2.5 c)
- 2 tsp salt
- Heat oven to 400, toss sweet potatoes with olive oil and maple syrup, add a little salt and pepper to coat. Roast in middle of the oven for 25 min, until fork goes into cubes easily.
- Heat large saucepan over medium, coating with olive oil. When warm, saute onion with herbs, garlic, and chili until glassy (~5 min). Add in carrot, stirring occasionally.
- Add bag of lentils in, and add 5 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low and simmer, covered, for ~40 min or until lentils have soaked up most of the water and are soft.
- Add sweet potatoes into the lentil mixture.
Last month, my in-laws were in town for a visit. Now there’s something you should know about my father-in-law– chocolate is literally the only thing that works for him as a dessert. Nothing else will do. And he’s a purest, so when chocolate is involved in the dessert, it’s really not enough. The dessert must be completely, darkly, richly, fully chocolate. (And the darker the better.)
So I adapted the Scharffen Berger chocolate ice cream recipe just for my father-in-law, and topped it with toasted coconut for my husband. We ate it while playing a game of Cards Against Humanity, which if you’ve never played, is quite hilarious especially while playing with one’s in-laws.
- 4 oz very dark semisweet chocolate (I used a mix of 60% and 70% cacao)
- 4 egg yolks
- 3/4 c sugar
- 1/4 c cocoa powder
- 2 c whole milk
- 1 c coconut flake; sliced bananas (optional)
- Finely chop the chocolate and place in a large bowl.
Or you could eat over sliced bananas, like me.
- In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until canary yellow. Whisk in cocoa powder until you get a thick paste.
- Pour the milk into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Whisk continuously. While whisking the cocoa mixture, slowly pour the milk into the cocoa mixture, whisk until smooth (whisk continuously so the egg does not cook in place!).
- Return the cocoa+milk mixture back to the saucepan and cook again over medium heat, stirring this time with a wooden spoon, until it thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon. This should just be a few more minutes.
- Strain the hot mixture into the bowl with the finely chopped chocolate pieces. Stir until chocolate melts.
- Let cool, or cool by putting this bowl into a larger bowl with an ice bath in it. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hr.
- Freeze in ice cream maker according to instructions.
- For toasted coconut to top, lightly brown coconut flake in a non-stick fry pan over medium heat, stirring constantly until aromatic. Let cool before serving over ice cream.
After making these last Sunday, all week I basically handed these out at work like gold stars for everyone who was helping me on a deal I’ve been buried neck-deep in for the last few months. I’ve been spending an awful lot of time with a few lawyers, whom I really highly respect, and who have great humor about everything we put them through.
Attorneys deserve homemade granola bars!
This recipe was adapted from an Ina Garten recipe.
- 2 c rolled oatmeal (not quick oats)
- 1 c sliced almonds
- 1 c coconut flake (I used sweetened)
- 1/2 cup puffed rice (I used whole grain puffed rice cereal)
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1/3 c honey
- 1/3 c corn syrup
- 1/4 c brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cup chopped dried fruit (craisins, cherries, raisins, apricots)
- Preheat to 350. Line a rimmed baking sheet with silpat or parchment. In a large bowl, toss together oats, almonds, and coconut. Layer evenly on baking sheet and bake for ~10 min, stirring often so nothing burns. You want the mixture slightly browned.
- Transfer the mixture back to the large bowl. Add in the puffed rice.
- Reduce the oven temp to 300. Place the butter, honey, corn syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oat mixture. Add the dried fruit and stir together using a spatula.
- Lay out parchment paper in a deep casserole pan. Pour the mixture into the pan. Wet your fingers and press the mixture evenly and firmly into the pan. Bake for 25 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.
With great love, I woke up at (ugh) 7am on Sunday morning, ran downstairs and made my honeybear some tasty breakfast biscuits. I can never, ever sleep late on a Sunday morning, and even though we went to bed super late (1am) after cleaning up from our excellently fun dinner party, I still woke up with my awful body clock ringing.
But the biscuits were tasty with butter on top.
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 stick butter (cold!)
- 4 tbsp fat free greek yogurt
- 1/4 c almond milk (or whatever milk you’ve got)
- 1/2 c monterey jack (or whatever cheese), grated
- 1/2 c fresh cilantro, just the leaves
- Preheat to 350.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut butter, and using a fork mix the cold butter in (don’t use your hands) until pea-sized flour-butter bits remain.
- Stir in yogurt and milk. Finally stir in cheese and cilantro. Don’t over mix.
- Flour a surface and roll the dough out onto the surface. Use a glass/cup or other shape to cut your biscuits. Mine was rolled to about 1/2 inch thickness and made 8 biscuits, though these were on the thin side. If you want them thicker, roll thicker!
- Bake for ~15-20 min, or until golden on the outside. Enjoy!
After perusing the Budget Bytes website, admiring the simplicity and wholesomeness of most of those recipes, I was inspired by her chicken lime soup. I adapted using slightly different proportions and veg stock instead of chicken stock; I find chicken stock a bit too chicken-y. Also, for clarification, when I say chicken breasts, some people think breast= 2 parts (since breasts come in pairs, no?). Well… I actually mean pieces. So one breast= one piece.
This was a very easy recipe, and after a long day, it was quite easy to get this soup going.
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped/diced (depending on how much you like celery)
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- jalapeno, diced
- 1 can of crushed tomatoes (15-oz)
- 2 chicken breasts
- 4 cups of vegetable stock
- 2 tsp roughly chopped fresh oregano
- 1/2 tbsp cumin
- 2 limes (or more if you like it limey)
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1 bunch cilantro, leaves picked off the stems
- tortilla chips (we used bean-based chips)
- Heat olive oil on high in a deep soup pot. When hot, add onion, celery, jalapeno, and garlic. Stir until onion is translucent.
- Add in tomatoes, chicken breast (raw), and veg stock. Allow soup to come to a boil, then cover and lower heat so that it is at a nice simmer for about 15 min.
- Lift out the chicken breast from the soup and roughly tear (pull apart) so that it forms nice strips. Place back into soup and add spices, juice from the limes, and 1/2 of the cilantro to the soup.
- Garnish with avocado and remaining cilantro.