March 30, 2013

Homemade Larabars

As far as packaged snack foods go, Larabars rank pretty high on the scale of good-for-you snacks. The ingredient list is short and the flavours are yummy. But, they can be pricey. So I figured "Hey! I can MAKE these!"

So I did. And you can too!

This is not an original thought, and there are lots of blogs out there with creative kitchen-gurus who remember to take more pictures than I did. But this is my blog, and so here's what I made!

The cast of characters (I picked things I like):
- plain unsalted cashews
- plain walnuts
- medjool dates (pitted)
- dried cherries
- mini chocolate chips

If your dates still have the pits in them (mine did), just pry them out with your fingers.

Place your dates and cherries in a food processor and turn them into (for lack of a better term) a lumpy paste.

pre-lumpy paste

Add in your nuts and blend until mixture becomes "mealy". Once it has the texture of crusher dust (I know, I paint an appetizing picture) add in some mini chocolate chips. These would be healthier without the chocolate chips, but come on... chocolate makes everything better! I

Turn out of bowl of food processor and press into a square cake pan (mine is 8.5 x 8.5). Cut into bars. Now... I don't like the idea of using metal in my good cake pans, so I used my hard plastic stone-pan-scraper to cut the bars since it has a nice edge.

To store, I cut some parchment paper and wrapped each bar individually.

Then just pop the wrapped bars into a storage container with a tight-fitting lid and keep in the fridge until you feel as though you need a snack! But if you think you'll be a while till you get to them all, put some wrapped bars in a freezer bag and toss them in your freezer!

Mmmm nutritious, good-for-you, and ohhhh so yummy!

My recipe (feel free to adjust as you see fit):

13 medjool dates (pitted)
1/3 cup dries cherries (try dried cranberries or blueberries!)
1 1/2 cups unsalted cashews
3/4 cup plain walnuts
1/3 - 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

In a food processor, blend up the dates & cherries. Add in the nuts until you get a pea-meal consistency. Add in mini chocolate chips. Press into square pan. Cut into bars. Wrap each bar individually. Store until ready to eat!


6k on Good Friday

Yesterday dawned bright and clear, if not a bit cold. Mother Nature sure is making Nova Scotia wait for spring this year! With all shops and whatnot closed for the day (holiday observance) HOTGI and I had no real plans. I put the bug in his ear as soon as he was up for the day that I'd like to take the dog for a walk somewhere, preferably a place where we could let him off-leash to run his little heart out.

Just after lunch, we got a call from friends who were taking their dog for a walk thru a place we used to run years ago as an off-roading trail, so we decided to join them. The spring thaw has left much of the ground a soggy mess, so waterproof boots were the name of the game!

It was a gorgeous day for a walk in nature, and the dogs had a great time! I am still recovering from a cold, so my energy/lung capacity was kinda crappy but I was glad to get out and DO something. I hope the physical exertion helps my body get rid of any lingering sickness!

Only a few pictures were taken, and no I am not in any of them, but here is our little group on the walk. The crest of the hill in the far distance... that's where we walked to. By the time we got there, I waved the white flag. I knew that we had to walk back, and there was no way I'd make it much farther beyond! I am really grateful for the fresh air and the walk with friends though!


March 10, 2013

Simply Sweet Cinnamon Roll Waffles

It's time change weekend... spring ahead and such. My friends with children really find this time change hard, but not having offspring or any schedule to keep this Sunday morning, it really doesn't phase me. I wake up whenever my dog or my bladder decides it is time!

This morning I was laying in bed and thinking about breakfast, when I decided to make a sweet special treat for HOTGI and I to share... cinnamon roll waffles!!

This is hardly a new idea, it's been all over the internet for ages, but it was my first time trying it. All you need is a waffle iron and a tube of pre-made cinnamon rolls. I mean, you're more than welcome to make your own cinnamon rolls, make them up and toss them in your waffle iron but I don't have that kind of motivation on a Sunday morning.

Just unwrap the package (I hate the anticipation waiting for the *pop* opening those things!) and place the little rolls on your pre-heated waffle iron that you sprayed with non-stick spray (I use Pam for baking).

Now, just close the lid and give it a gentle squeeze shut!

Now all you have to do it stand there and inhale the sweet, sweet cinnamon aroma and wait for them to be done! My waffle iron has a sensor/timer dealie that gives a beep when the waffle is done, but I checked these ones with a fork as well...

Perfect! Crispy on the outside and soft and yummy on the inside!! Now, just put them, on a plate and drizzle with the icing that comes in the package (I microwave it for about 15 seconds to make it pourable).

Enoy while warm with your favourite breakfast beverage of choice. This morning I ground some Starbucks French Roast beans for coffee for HOTGI and made a cup of Tetley tea for me!

It's such a simple, sweet and yummy breakfast treat... go try it!

And since it's time change weekend, make sure you change your clocks AND the batteries in your smoke detectors!