19 June 2015

Vacation Preparations - Part II

I love the hazelnut granola that I buy locally at Andy's and pay about $5.00 for a fist sized bag.  A few years ago I baked my own granola regularly using a recipe that uses applesauce rather than oil.  I got out of the habit of making it and bought Trader Joe's instead.  A few years a go Candace sent us home from a visit with a small bag of this homemade granola.  It was yummy, so I've adapted the recipe fo be similar to what I purchase at Andy's by adding toasted hazel nuts.  While traveling we often get up and want something easy to eat as we go, that portion of this batch has tiny chocolate chips added.  This with yogurt fills that need well.

World Famous Adair Maple Granola

7 cups rolled oats, uncooked
1 cup toasted coconut
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup almonds, sliced or broken
1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped or broken up
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup dry milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup maple syrup (or honey)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup dried raisins
Additional dried fruit/nuts as desired

In a large bowl combine first 7 ingredients, oats through dry milk.  Mix well.  In a separate bowl whisk the salt, oil, syrup and vanilla.  Pour over oat mixture stirring and tossing until everything is well combined.  

Spread in a couple of large lightly greased baking sheets, I used parchment.  Bake in a 250 oven for 2 hours tossing and stirring every 15 minutes or so.  Remove from oven and cool completely.

Transfer to a large bowl and mix in desired dried fruit. 

Click here for printable recipe

18 June 2015

Vacation Preperations

As we travel it's always nice to have some food along that's been prepared ahead of time.  This year I've gone so far as to begin prepping 2 weeks ahead.  I had a carton of whipping cream in the refrigerator that I had planned to make into scones, but had not yet gotten to it and the expiration date had past.  A quick sniff told me it was still fine so Scones would be the first make ahead, some for breakfast and some to freeze for the trip.

This recipe from my friend Candace has become my go to breakfast treat.  I keep trying new additions.  The recipe is the original, I'll post my variations below.

Giant Apricot-Walnut Scones

2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder 
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 400.  Whisk first 3 ingredients in large bowl.  Stir in walnuts, apricots and raisins.  Add cream; stir with a fork to just blend.  Transfer dough to work surface sprinkled with powdered sugar.  Knead dough until smooth, about 10 turns.  Form dough into 1" thick round.  Cut into 6 wedges, I usually do 10-12.  Sift powdered sugar over.  Transfer to baking sheet.

Bake scones until golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 18 min.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

  DO AHEAD Can be made 8 hours ahead.  Cool completely, cover and let stand at room 
temperature.  I've had good luck freezing for short periods and reheating.

Other stir ins I've tried:
*3/4 a cup of diced candied ginger, 1 tsp powdered ginger and no nuts.
* 1 cup of blueberries and zest of one lemon
*dried cherries, almonds and 1 tsp. of almond extract
*blackberries and no nuts, 1tsp vanilla
* 1 white peach chopped, 1/2 cup raspberries and 1/2 cup slivered almonds (pictured)

From Bon Appetit December 2009

Click here for printable recipe

30 July 2014

Summer Salad with Israeli couscous

My dear friend Candace shared this recipe from the Los Angeles Times with me.  Electronic communication makes it so much easier for us to communicate though we are hundreds of miles apart.  During the hot weather this turned out to be a good choice for a hot day, and even better the next day as left overs.  This will be what accompanies me to potlucks for the rest of the summer!

Russ Parsons, who authored the article in the Times, said that you can interchange the grain using quinoa, farro or barley.  Just adjust the cooking time accordingly.  I learned that Israeli couscous is not really a grain, but a pasta.

Yield:  6 servings
Time:  20 minutes plus cooling time

1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 to 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped, green part only
1 1/2 cups Israeli couscous
3 cups water
2 Persian cucumbers, cut in half lengthwise and cut into 1/3 to 1/2 inch slices
3 ounces (about 1/2 cup) crumbled feta
2 tablespoons chopped mint
1/3 cup chopped parsley
Fresh Ground Pepper

1. Slice the tomatoes in half lengthwise and place them in a medium mixing bowl.  Add the salt, garlic, jalapeno, olive oil, lemon juice and green onions and stir to combine.  Set aside to let salt draw out the tomato juices.

2. Toast the couscous in a dry medium sauce pan over medium high heat  and cook stirring frequently until it smells nutty,  3 to 5 minutes.  Add 3 cups of water and 1 teaspoon salt and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and cook, partially covered, until the couscous is just tender, but still a little chewy, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and rinse under cool running water and shake well to remove as much moisture as possible.

3.  While the couscous is still slightly warm, add it to the tomato mixture and toss to coat.  Add the cucumber and set aside to cool completely.

4.  Add the feta, mint, and parsley, just before serving and stir gently to combine.  Add black pepper to taste and stir that in.  Taste again and add more salt or lemon juice if you feel it necessary.

From The Los Angeles Times

Click here for printable recipe

29 July 2014

Strawberry Cream Cheese Bread

I arrived home from my Pacific Northwest Vacation to an abundance of strawberries.  The following day this recipe was in my inbox so I decide it would be a good way to save the strawberries.  I must have been right, it only lasted one day!

I used my glass pan that I make meatloaf in and it overflowed.  Perhaps it's not exactly 9x13.  Next time I'll make 3 little loaves or muffins, rather than clean out my oven after baking.

Yield: 1 loaf



1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups strawberries, rinse, dried and chopped


1. Grease and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
2. With electric mixer cream butter, sugar and cream cheese until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Mix in vanilla.
3. In separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Blend flour mixture with butter mixture just until blended. Add buttermilk and only stir until just combined; do not over mix.
4. Carefully fold in strawberries. Dough mixture will be thick.
5. Bake in a 350°F oven for 50 to 60 minutes.
From My Baking Addiction

Click here for printable recipe

20 July 2014

Any Berry Puff Pancake

A few weeks ago I made the Double Berry Puff found on Recipe Girl.  It was a hit, with Rob and Kaci enjoying the leftovers.  This morning I picked this bounty of berries thinking her recipe used strawberries, 

I was surprised to see I had used raspberries, not strawberries!  I searched the raspberries and picked about 6 puny ones, it was strawberries and blueberries or nothing. We actually found it just as good, if not better with strawberries, so I altered the recipe and renamed it.

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 20 min


4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 cup All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup halved strawberries or raspberries or 1 cup of any berry
powdered sugar, syrup and/or freshly whipped cream for topping


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Use a blender or hand mixer to combine the eggs, milk, flour, sugar, lemon zest and salt.
3. Heat a 12-inch cast iron skillet over high heat on the stove. Add the butter and melt. Pour the batter into the skillet, then scatter the berries on top. Put the pan in the oven, and bake until puffed and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Slice and serve, topped with powdered sugar, syrup and/or freshly whipped cream, as desired.

Recipe Adapted from Recipe Girl 

Click for Printable Recipe

07 April 2013

Blueberry Danish Puff

I was asked to contribute to the Coffee Hour after church on Easter Sunday.  My memory recalled many hectic Easter mornings of Easter Egg Hunts and getting children ready for church when I would have loved to have a morning treat that looked nice, went together quickly and tasted as good as this does.  This is a keeper!


1 box puff pastry {2 sheets}, thawed to room temperature
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. Almond Extract
1-1/2 cups frozen blueberries


Frosting (I skipped this)

1 cup powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. Heavy Cream
1 tsp Almond Extract
3 shakes of salt
chopped almonds (optional)

Lay one whole pastry sheet onto a greased cookie sheet.Mix softened cream cheese, sugar, and almond extract together until well blended.  Spread on top of pastry sheet.
Top with frozen blueberries.
Cut second puff pastry sheet into 10 long strips.  Weave strips on top of blueberries.
Bake at 375 F for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown.
I sprinkled mine with powdered sugar.  The recipe states: you can pipe the frosting on for a fancy effect and sprinkle with chopped almonds if desired.


Click here for printable recipe

23 March 2013

Date Nut Bars

Things must get so hectic at Christmas that I forget to write about my Christmas cookie traditions.  I know I planned to because I found pictures of them on my phone!  This recipe is one that my mother made up until her last Christmas, when Rob baked them for her.  I've continued, and this easy bar cookie is found on the plates of cookies and candy I give to my friends neighbors every Christmas.  Thanks to my sister-in-law, Mary, for asking for it, which caused me to realize I had yet to include it here.  As I was writing it I realized it was one of those recipes mom did by sight, so no times were included.

Date Nut Bars

Heat oven to 350


1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 1/2 cups flour plus 4 Tablespoons flour
4 egg whites
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 cups of chopped walnuts
2 cups of chopped dates
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1/4 teaspoon of salt

Powdered Sugar for sprinkling on top


Cut butter into brown sugar and 2 1/2 cups of flour.  (I use the food processor)  Press in to a cookie sheet and bake  until light brown.

Beat egg whites until stiff.  Mix in 4 T. of flour along with remaining ingredients.  Spread over top of cookie base and bake until brown on top.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Cut into squares.

Click here for printable recipe