Recipe Review: Apple Pie Paleo Granola

As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m trying (but somewhat failing) to maintain my soy-free, grain-free vegan diet I followed in January when I was detoxing. As a result, I pinned a zillion recipes and this bad boy was one of them. I made it this weekend but have honestly only eaten it once since then. I should mention right off the bat that I’m not really a sweets person so I might be a bit biased from the start.

Apple Pie Paleo Granola


Apple Pie Paleo Granola

Serves: not listed on the recipe source but I found it made 5 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup almonds
  • ½ cup pecans
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds (peptias)
  • 7 medjool dates, chopped
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Add nuts, dates, and unsweetened shredded coconut to a bowl of a food processor and pulse to slightly chop nuts. Add spices and salt and pulse again to evenly distribute.
  3. In a bowl whisk together apple sauce, oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Place wet ingredient into the bowl of food processor with nut mixture and pulse to combine.
  4. Evenly distribute granola (using fingers) on prepared baking sheet.
  5. Place in oven for 30 to 40 minutes until golden.
  6. The granola will harden up once cooled completely.

THOUGHTS

  • So I’m not going to lie, I didn’t love this recipe. For starters, there’s the texture… mine ended up much more ground up than it shows in the photo. I think if I made this again, I’d buy whole nuts and skip #2 OR I’d buy pre-chopped nuts and not put anything into the food processor at all. As it was, I purchased slivered almonds, pecan pieces, and walnut pieces and ended up with a finely ground up consistency that I didn’t particularly care for.
  • As for the cooking times, this might have to do with the weird consistency of mine but I baked it once for 40 minutes, let it cool, then broke it up and cooked it again for about 20 minutes.       It still never really fully hardened. I ended up putting my leftovers in the freezer for longer storage because I wasn’t sure how long it would last at room temp while still semi-moist.
  • This has a great spice mix but tastes heavily of the spices and not the apple.
  • Would I make this again? Yes – but only to try out my different consistency theory. If I still wasn’t thrilled with it, I’d stick with this Paleo Granola recipe I’ve tried previously.

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

Recipe Review: Paleo Granola

I’m not normally a nut person or really a granola person for that matter.  However, in an attempt to start eating healthier I’ve been trying to add nuts to my diet and remove many kinds of grains.  I came across this recipe via Pinterest and decided to give it a whirl.

Paleo Granola
     Source

Paleo Granola

Serves: 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup raw pepitas/pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds (no shell)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 cup raisins (or your favorite dried fruit) (I used the raisins)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Click here 

THOUGHTS

  • This dish is delicious!  The sea salt is essential so make sure you don’t leave that part out (I probably used closer to a ½ teaspoon though).  My husband liked this dish so much that he’s actually hiding it from me somewhere in our house.
  • While the directions call for placing several kinds of your nuts in the food processor at once, I found that since almonds are harder than cashews, for example, they ended up not chopping up while the cashews were in itty bitty pieces.  The next time I make this (and there WILL be a next time) I’ll chop each type of nut individually.
  • This dish is so filling.  I didn’t realize such a small amount (less than a cup I’d say) could make me so full.  I was full for hours afterwards.
  • I served this with vanilla almond milk and I thought the vanilla almond milk made it too sweet.  Next time, I’m going to try it with plain almond milk instead.
  • This is crazy easy to make and really requires no skill as long as you own a food processor.
  • My huge thanks to Paleo Cupboard for sharing this recipe!

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

Remember, today is the 14th so it’s your day to practice a Random Act of Kindness in honor of Sandy Hook Elementary.  I’d love to hear what you do!  Please feel free to leave comments!  I will be posting my RAOK on the 16th.  See you then!

raok sandy hook

Recipe Review: Glazed Apple Streusel Muffins

So I whipped up a batch of these the other day for no particular reason and they were a huge hit.  My husband, who really isn’t much of a sweets person, ate three of these in one sitting.  This recipe is from Taste of Home.

Glazed Apple Streusel Muffins

Glazed Apple Streusel Muffins

Serves: Makes 6 muffins

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 package (6-1/2 ounces) apple cinnamon muffin mix
  • 1 large tart apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

GLAZE:

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons 2% milk

DIRECTIONS

  1. Prepare muffin mix according to package directions; fold in apple. Fill greased muffin cups three-fourths full. In a small bowl, combine the walnuts, brown sugar, flour and butter; sprinkle over batter.
  2. Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve desired consistency; drizzle over warm muffins. Serve warm.

THOUGHTS

  • Everyone who ate these muffins said the same thing – the center is so moist!  People raved.
  • I used a nonstick muffin pan and did not grease the cups or use paper liners.

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

Recipe Review: Crustless Broccoli and Cheese Quiche

I’ve mentioned several times that I’m not a fan of eggs.  There’s something about the texture that just makes me gag, regardless of the way that they’re cooked.  The only exception to this seems to be quiche and I think that’s because the vegetables in the quiche break up the texture of the eggs.  While I was preparing for my Foods You Should Eat Everyday Challenge I tried several quiche recipes beforehand so that I could make one during the challenge. 

Crustless Broccoli and Cheese Quiche

Crustless Broccoli and Cheese Quiche

Serves: 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup vertically sliced onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 5 cups broccoli florets
  • Cooking spray
  • 1-1/4 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Swiss cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 large egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add onion and garlic; sauté 1 1/2 minutes.
  4. Add broccoli; sauté 1 minute.
  5. Spread broccoli mixture into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray.
  6. Combine milk and next 8 ingredients (milk through eggs) in a large bowl. Pour milk mixture over broccoli mixture; sprinkle with Parmesan.
  7. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until top is golden and a knife inserted in center comes out clean; let stand 5 minutes.

THOUGHTS

  • Sadly, this recipe wasn’t a success in my book.  I didn’t really like it at all and ended up not eating a large portion of it.  However, I still think that other people who like broccoli quiche should give it a try.  I’m fairly certain that the reason it didn’t work for me was the egg whites.  Other people who aren’t texture-sensitive to eggs would probably enjoy this recipe.
  • In the directions #5 and #6 where it says to pour the milk mixture on top of the broccoli, I totally disagree with this.  I think that you should mix them all together in a bowl and then pour it into your pie plate.  If you just pour the milk mixture on top then all of the cheese settles on top of the broccoli and creates a crust.  I prefer my cheese to be more incorporated. 

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

Recipe Review: Coconut Banana Bread

I’ve had some leftover flaked coconut in my pantry for a while now and when I stumbled across this recipe here I just knew I had to make it. 

Coconut Banana Bread

Coconut Banana Bread

Serves: not listed

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

  1. Click here

THOUGHTS

  • I made one big loaf instead of 4 mini loafs (like the originator of this recipe did).  One piece of this bread with a large glass of milk makes for a delicious breakfast.  So yummy. 
  • I couldn’t find light coconut milk like the recipe calls for so I used regular milk and it tasted just fine.  If you can’t find the light, don’t stress about it. 
  • I would suggest that you pulse your sweetened flaked coconut a few times in a food processor before incorporating into the recipe.  Leaving it ‘as-is’ made for a slightly stringy texture in some areas. 
  • This would also make a great gift for Christmas or some other occasion where you want to give several people homemade baked goods.  Since you can make 4 mini loaves with one batch you could make quite a few in a relatively short amount of time. 

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

Recipe Review: Easy Bake Strata

So it’s Valentine’s Day and I think it’s only fair that I provide a recipe that you’re going to fall head over heels in love with!

I think I’ve mentioned this before but if not, I’ll mention it now… I don’t really like eggs.  I remember eating scrambled eggs nearly every weekend when I was a kid but for some reason as I got older I started to dislike them.  Now the flavor and texture of scrambled eggs will make me gag.  I do, however, like quiche and strata if it’s made correctly.  I’m weird, I know. 

I found this recipe ages ago… I think in a Kraft magazine.  Anyway, I never made it until now.  I needed some way to incorporate eggs into the Foods You Should Eat Every Day Challenge and since this also had lots of spinach in it which I happen to know is super good for you I decided to give it a go. 

Easy_Bake_Strata

Easy Bake Strata

Serves: 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 4 cups packed torn fresh spinach
  • 1 package (6 oz) Stove Top Stuffing Mix for Chicken (I used the low sodium version)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 6 eggs
  • ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray large skillet with cooking spray.  Add onion and red pepper; cook and stir on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until softened.  Stir in spinach; set aside.
  2. Prepare stuffing mix as directed on package; stir in onion mixture and parsley.  Beat eggs; mix with stuffing mixture.  Pour into greased 8-inch square baking pan.  Sprinkle with cheese.
  3. Bake 35 minutes or until firm.  Cool 15 minutes.  Cut into strips or squares.  Serve warm or at room temperature. 

THOUGHTS

  • I thought this was absolutely delicious!!!  I thoroughly enjoyed eating it for breakfast for several days in a row and that says a lot.  I rarely like to eat the same things in a row. 
  • I think you could use yellow or orange bell pepper instead of red if that’s what you have on hand.  You could also use Swiss cheese instead of mozzarella. 
  • Sprinkling the cheese on top caused a distinct cheesy layer… I think the next time I bake this I’m going to try to stir the cheese in just a little bit.  I would prefer it more incorporated I think. 
  • This dish is super easy and I truly think it would be a crowd pleaser.  Serve with some applewood smoked bacon and fruit and you’ve got yourself a winner!

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

Remember, today is the 14th so it’s your day to practice a Random Act of Kindness in honor of Sandy Hook Elementary.  I’d love to hear what you do!  Please feel free to leave comments!  I will be posting my RAOK on the 16th.  See you then!

raok sandy hook

Recipe Review: Mini Mushroom-&-Sausage Quiches

In an effort to start incorporating some healthy foods into my diet I decided to give these babies a try.  I’m not really a fan of eggs in general, but I do like quiche.  I love mushrooms, which are very healthy for you, so this sounded like a good recipe to try.  (FYI – mushrooms are a good source of B Vitamins and Vitamin D, may promote immune function, are high in antioxidants, and are high in Selenium.  Check out this article.)

Mini Mushroom-&-Sausage Quiches

Mini Mushroom-&-Sausage Quiches

Makes: 4 dozen mini quiche

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 ounces turkey breakfast sausage, removed from casing and crumbled into small pieces (I used a half of a ‘roll’ of Jimmy Dean’s hot breakfast sausage which is pork, not turkey)
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • ¼ cup sliced scallions
  • ¼ cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup 1% milk

DIRECTIONS

  1. Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 325°F. Coat a nonstick muffin tin generously with cooking spray.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook until golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Add oil to the pan. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to the bowl with the sausage. Let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in scallions, cheese and pepper.
  3. Whisk eggs, egg whites and milk in a medium bowl. Divide the egg mixture evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle a heaping tablespoon of the sausage mixture into each cup.
  4. Bake until the tops are just beginning to brown, 25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Place a rack on top of the pan, flip it over and turn the quiches out onto the rack. Turn upright and let cool completely.

Make Ahead Tip: Individually wrap in plastic and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. To reheat, remove plastic, wrap in a paper towel and microwave on High for 30 to 60 seconds.

THOUGHTS

  • The flavor of these is good but the texture doesn’t resemble that of other quiche I’ve had.  These are a bit more chewy.  I’m not sure if I’m microwaving them too long or if it’s because the quiche I’ve had in the past is vegetable quiche.
  • I think I would prefer these with a bit more scallion and cheese.
  • I would make these again if I was having a brunch for friends, but I’m not certain I would make them just for me.

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

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Restaurant Review: The Pecan Creek Grille

So I mentioned yesterday that I’d had some family in over the weekend and that we’d been to dinner but we also went to breakfast the following morning at a new (to us) restaurant.  The restaurant is called The Pecan Creek Grille and I have to say that we’ll definitely be going back to this establishment. 

First off – their customer service was amazing.  I’m fairly certain that the person at the counter taking our order was the person who owned the store but if not I hope that this guy gets a raise!  There’s something to be said for incredible service in THE SERVICE INDUSTRY and this gentleman was top notch.  Example:  my MIL ordered a half Belgian waffle and so did I – he said ‘oh, oh – wait a minute – let me put it in as one whole Belgian waffle and it’ll save you about $2.’  How cool is that?  He was also quick and efficient which says a lot when there are four people order and we’re all saying ‘we want this, but without that and add this instead and oh, hold the onions.’  He rocks my socks. 

Secondly – the food was pretty stinkin yummy!  My husband always orders his eggs over-medium and they end up over cooked, so he has learned to order them over-easy instead in order to get over-medium.  He assumed this place would be the same so he ordered them over-easy and they were actually over-easy (which means when we go back he can actually order over-medium and GET over-medium).  Sweet!  Our entire table (except me, because I don’t eat pork) absolutely RAVED about their bacon.  Apparently it was ‘two thumbs up’ and “not cheap.”  I also had a breakfast taco and it was very delicious.  I’d order those again any day!  My husband said that his hashbrowns were a little lacking but I think that’s because they were just potatoes – order those babies with some onion, cheddar cheese, and in my husbands case smothered in cream gravy and he’d be a happy man. 

I won’t lie – their priced aren’t stupendous.  About $50 for 4 adults to eat breakfast but it was a BIG breakfast and a yummy one at that.  I wouldn’t pay that every weekend but once every few months when we have out of town company or just want to impress someone then this is definitely a place we’d head. 

Sidenote – they also get serious props for funny art.  There were some breakfast-themed cartoon-type art pieces on the wall by an artist named Todd Goldman

Here’s a few of Todd’s goodies:

Recipe Review: Baked Apple Pie Eggrolls

So I tried these babies out on my dad and my stepmom the other day and we all really enjoyed them.  I’m not a big fan of pie in general but I still think these are really nifty and they’re not particularly complicated to make.  I’d never used eggroll wrappers before and I found the process fun.  I enjoy doing something new and different in the kitchen.

Image from Chef in Training

Baked Apple Pie Eggrolls

Yield 12-16 eggrolls

Normally I’d put the recipe below but I really want you guys to go check out the website that I got it from instead.  It’s from a blog I read called Chef in Training.  Nikki (the author and chef) is incredible.  I’ve soooo enjoyed reading her blog the past few months.  If you want the deets on the recipe, go here.

 THOUGHTS

  • Under ‘instructions’ she says to let the filling mixture sit for 10 minutes – I got caught up doing stuff and it ended up sitting for nearly 3 hours.  Sadly, this makes the filling really runny and it ‘gooped’ out of the wrapper while they baked.  I highly recommend letting them sit for the recommended 10 minutes and then stuffing and baking these babies.
  • Conversely – the whipped cream held up fabulously in the refrigerator for about 3 hours.  You can definitely make this ahead of time.
  • At the end of the baking time for the eggrolls she says to bring them out, brush with egg wash and dust with cinnamon and sugar – I totally and completely missed this step and I truly wish I hadn’t.  It’s the cherry on top.
  • I left the leftovers with my stepmom and she heated them up the following morning for a few seconds in the microwave – she said they heated beautifully (didn’t get chewy). 

 I bet these would be AMAZING with my Farmhouse Chicken Dinner and Easy Peasy Green Beans.

I’ve linked up to these great parties:

One Artsy Mama

I Heart Nap Time

UndertheTableandDreaming

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Recipe Review: Apple Dumplings

Did you have a good Mother’s Day?  Whether you’re a mom and you got celebrated or you celebrated your own mom (or grandma, aunts, etc) I hope it was a great one.

We had my mom over and we had a simple late lunch of shish kabobs and saffron rice.  We make shish kabobs using chicken breasts, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, orange bell pepper, white or yellow onion and usually squash and zucchini.  Apparently though, the squash and zucchini supply this year really stinks because the produce department at my local store refused delivery of the latest shipment because they were so crummy looking.  I couldn’t even find them frozen!  So, we made the kabobs sans squash/zucchini.  They were still yummmmy.  We just marinate them for a few hours in Wish Bone Robusto Italian Dressing then the Hubs grills them on the grill.

We also use Mahatma saffron rice (in the yellow package in the rice section of your grocery store).  We looooove this stuff and it complements the kabobs really well.

I made a new dish for dessert that turned out AH-MAY-ZHING!  Having never made the recipe before I followed everything verbatim from the recipe just like I normally do when I make something for the first time.  This recipe is called Apple Dumplings and it’s out of the book Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood.  I didn’t, and wouldn’t, change a thing.  It’s fabulous just the way it is.  You should definitely try this.  It’s incredibly easy too!  In the book it’s listed as a breakfast recipe but it can easily double as a dessert recipe too!

click here to buy this book (totally worth every cent)

Apple Dumplings

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 Granny Smith apples
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 canned buttermilk biscuits (not reduced-fat or anything ‘different’)
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  • Peel, core, and slice the apples vertically into 8 slices each.  Cover with water to keep the slices from turning brown.
  • In a medium saucepan, mix the water, ¾ cup of the sugar, the butter, and the vanilla.  Bring the sugar mixture to a boil over medium heat.
  • Separate each biscuit into 2 layers.  Wrap a biscuit layer around a slice of apple, stretching the biscuit slightly to overlap, and seal on the bottom.  Place the wrapped slices, sealed side down, in a 9 x 12 x 2-inch casserole dish.  Pour the hot sugar mixture over the apple slices.  Mix the remaining ¼ cup sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle the mixture over the tops of the wrapped apples.  Bake for 35 minutes, or until golden brown.

Here’s the delicious picture straight from the book:

Here’s the picture that I took (as you can see, I’m not a very good photographer):

sidenote:  all you people out there who say ‘I’m not a baker’ this recipe is totally for YOU!

I’m linking this recipe up to a couple of blog parties.

Bloom Designs
Chef In Training
Creatively Living
I Heart Naptime
Mommy by Day, Crafter by Night
My Girlish Whims
One Artsy Mama
Simply Designing
Skip to my Lou
Under the Table and Dreaming