Crunchy Lovin’

Good morning, good morning!

Okay…I know it’s actually the afternoon, but it’s fine. I don’t know about you, but I am feeling pretty fly today. Also, why does no one say “fly” anymore?. Speaking of flying, where has the last week gone? And why am I so crazy busy?!

Anyway, the reasons I am feeling great? I dragged my butt outta bed at 5:30 am and went for a  quick run with a friend-Shout-out to Tara!!! 

Did I mention that it was 12 degrees out? Yeah, it felt good. But, a nice hot shower felt even better.

And better still, thanks to my amazing hubs, I headed to work with iced coffee in hand (there is currently a half gallon of it in my fridge. Life is good). I also scarfed down some homemade granola and NY yogurt for breakfast. Yummo! I even managed to pack a delicious lunch. And got to work on time..on a Monday.

Top o’ the world, kiddos!

Anyway, this granola is super easy to make.  And it is full of stuff you can buy in bulk. The other good thing? There is no set way to make it, merely guidelines-so mix it up. Also, don’t judge on the surprise ingredient. Just go with it. What can I say? I’m a woman obsessed.

Side Note: This would make an awesome gift for your friends, put it in a cute little bag, with some nice coffee or tea? Perfect. It would also be a perfect brunch item. Paired with a Mimosa…or a spicy Bloody Mary if you’re like me.

Toasted Granola:

Adapted from several recipes

*Makes about 12 generous 3/4 cup servings-582 calories- full of good fats, fiber, potassium, protein, vitamins A, C and iron!) Translation: This stuff will put some pep in your step and keep you fuller loooonger! *

What I used:

5 cups oats (I used steel cut but rolled will also do)

1/2 cup shredded coconut (I used unsweetened)

4 tbsp. sesame seeds-I used white and black

1 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup flax seed meal

A pinch of sea salt

1 to 2 tsp. Smokey Paprika (Just trust me on this.)

1/2 cup olive oil (you could use a different oil, this is just what I had on hand)

1-4 to 1/2 cup agave nectar (or Honey)

1/3 cup dried apple rings, chopped

1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped

1/3 cup dried cranberries

What to do: 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Combine your dry ingredients (except the fruit!) into a large bowl and mix until combined.

Heat oil and agave nectar in a saucepan over low heat-you don’t have to heat it up, but I found it made the nectar a lot easier to work with and thins the mixture out. Pour over the dry ingredients and toss until evenly coated.

Spread granola evenly into two rimmed (and lightly greased) baking sheets.

Bake for about 30 minutes until oats are golden brown, pulling both pans out and stirring mixture up occasionally to avoid burning.

Let cool and mix in your dried fruit. Store  in a tightly sealed container. Serve by itself, or with yogurt or milk.

Love and Granola

Note: I am not a huge fan of super fruity/sweet granola, so I started with 1/4 cup agave nectar and gradually added more. I ended up adding 2 tbsp. of honey after taking it out of the oven, mostly for the hubs. I also didn’t add a ton of dried fruit. This made the granola more savory, so adjust this measurement according to your taste. Next time I’ll probably add some pumpkin/sunflower seeds.  Again, this is just a guideline, use your imagination with your ingredients.  And trust me on the smokey paprika-AMAZING! 

Enjoy folks!

Stay tuned for… another post coming soon!!!


Whiskey Cookies? Whoa.

I know what you’re thinking. I spent yesterday’s post talking about how I was so sick of cookies and how much I love veggies and how I was getting back on track…and now I am going to tell you about another cookie?! What kind of sick person am I?! Awkwaaaard.

But in all seriousness, I need to tell you about these. They are…in my opinion, the perfect cookie. Chewy but not crunchy, soft but not mushy, with just a hint of healthy. Oh, and did I mention the whiskey-chocolate-pecan combination? Yum.

Check out that texture.

Also…I made these on Monday. So… that makes it okay.

I got the original recipe from the Serious Eats 2010 Cookie Swap but have made a few changes. It’s a pretty basic recipe. The whole wheat flour and the flax seed meal add a nutty texture and instead of being uniformly flat like most cookies, they are a bit puffed up…I love this, it gives them major character. When I make these, I usually use Red Stag, which gives a lovely cherry tone but this time I used some sort of Jack Daniels Black Label Specialty… whatever you have on hand.

Whiskey Cookies: 

*adapted from Rachel Heise Bolten via Serious Eats*

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (I use the unbleached stuff)
  • 1 cup stone ground whole wheat flour (Bob’s Red Mill is my favorite brand)
  • 2 tbsp. ground flax seed meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks butter, room temp.
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 oz. (Or about half a bag) bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans *I’m lazy, so I usually just break the pecans up in my hand before I throw them in)

Preheat oven to 375.

In a small mixing bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix butter, sugar, vanilla and bourbon until creamy. I use my trusty pastry blender to do it by hand, but you can also use the paddle attachment on your KitchenAid.

Add your eggs in one at a time. Mix until combined.

Add your dry ingredients to the butter mixture. I added half, mixed and then added the rest.

Once your dry and wet ingredients are nicely combined, stir in your chocolate chips and pecans with a spatula.

*The original recipe calls for letting the dough sit in your refrigerator for at least three days, because I significantly increased the amount of whiskey, I don’t believe this is necessary. However, if you’re looking for a bit more whiskey flavor, stick it in the fridge for a couple of hours.* 

Drop cookie dough by the (large) spoonful onto an ungreased cookie sheet-use parchment paper for super easy cleanup.

Bake until edges are golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.