Monday, January 26, 2015

Cranberry Pistachio Granola Bars

I am always looking for something to take to work for a mid morning snack. I often make muffins or a banana loaf but today I just felt like something else.

I love both dried cranberries and pistachios so when I found this recipe I knew it was a winner.

It is no bake and it goes together in 10 minutes so that is also a huge bonus.

What you need,

2 cups oats, I used quick cook because it is what I had
1 cup pistachios, shelled
1 cup dried cranberries
¼ cup butter
¼ cup honey
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract

Line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper and spray well with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl combine the oats, pistachios and cranberries.

In a medium pot over medium heat combine the butter, honey and brown sugar. Stir until the mixture starts to bubble, turn down the heat to medium low and continue to let the mixture boil for 2 full minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

Pour the hot butter mixture over the oat mixture and stir to coat everything well.
Press the mixture into the prepared pan into an even ¾ inch thickness. Make sure to press it down well.

Stash the granola bars in the fridge for at least 2 hours before cutting into bars.

Wrap each bar tightly in saran wrap and store them in the fridge until you are ready to use.

These bars will get quite soft at room temperature, they taste amazing but if you want them to stay together really well the fridge is the best place to keep them!

I don’t know why I don’t make granola bars more often! They are so simple and absolutely fantastic, way tastier than anything you can buy in the store. Plus the combinations are endless; you could add peanuts, almonds or cashews and raisins or dried cherries or even apricots!

These granola bars are fabulous!



Recipe adapted from Table For 2 Blog

Friday, January 23, 2015

Favourite Things Friday Vol 90 – Grohmann Paring Knife

My in house taste tester knows me so well. For Christmas be bought be not one but 2 new kitchen knives as well as 2 new cookbooks‼

This pretty little Grohmann Paring knife is a dream! It is the perfect weight to do fine slicing. It is super sharp!
I find in the short time I have had it, it has quickly become my daily go to knife.

Grohmann is a Canadian company that makes all kinds of knives, hunting, utility and kitchen.

This beautiful knife is from their Forged Professional Rosewood Line.
I love love love it!

I want to thank my in house taste tester for choosing such a fantastic little knife for me.

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My Favourite Tuna Salad

Tuna salad has always been one of my favourite lunches.  I like mine pretty simple, a little green onion and some dill pickle chopped up right in the mix.

I prefer mine on some crisp buttery crackers, but this tuna salad would be really great on a couple slices of grainy bread with a little lettuce and tomato piled on it.

Either way it is the perfect lunch!

What you need,

1 can chunk light tuna in water, drained
1 green onion, finely sliced
1 medium dill pickle, homemade if you have it, finely diced
2 heaping tablespoons of mayo
Salt and Pepper

In a bowl mix together the tuna, green onion and pickle. Add the mayo and gently stir to combine. Season the tuna salad well with salt and pepper.

Serve with buttery crackers or in a sandwich.
A side of salty briny olives never hurt either.



Monday, January 19, 2015

Banana Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Loaf

If you are anything like me you ALWAYS end up with 2 or 3 bananas out of every batch that get soft and turn brown. Those poor bananas are just begging you to bake something with them.

I am begging you to make this Banana Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Loaf! It is 
to die for! I love regular banana bread, but this, this is like dessert. The bread is moist and tender and absolutely amazing.

What you need,

2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3 medium bananas, mashed (about a cup)
½ cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
cup buttermilk
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a loaf well with non-stick spray. I always use PAM with flour for baked goods.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In a separate large bowl, whisk together the banana, peanut butter, sugars, buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla extract until smooth.

Add the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and fold together gently until completely combined and there are no spots with raw flour. Gently stir in the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter to the prepared loaf pan, smoothing the top into an even layer. Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs, 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.

Allow the bread to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, and then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Store the loaf in an airtight container for up to 5 days on the counter, or you can wrap it tightly in plastic and freeze it up to 3 months.

I could eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner. (Maybe even as a bed time snack, OK so I did eat as a bed time snack… sue me!)

If you are a peanut butter fiend like I am, make this loaf right now‼ Well maybe not right now, but when you have time, and overripe bananas or whatever!



Recipe from the ever fabulous Brown Eyed Baker

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Saskatoon Berry Oat Muffins

When I left my Dad’s house to come home after the holidays he gave me a ton of stuff to take home with me. Lots of moose meat and a coveted bag of wild Saskatoon berries!

I remember stopping by the side of the road to pick these fabulous berries all the time when we were kids.

It is hard to describe the taste of a Saskatoon if you have never had one… they are kind of like a wild blueberry but not really… if you ever get the chance eat some, do it‼ I suggest you make them into a crisp first; there is nothing better than a Saskatoon crisp!

Since I snagged a pretty big bag of them I stole out 1½ cups to whip up a batch of muffins.

My in house taste tester requested an oatmeal muffin so I found what looked to be a really good recipe then tossed in my Saskatoon berries.

The result is a tender, moist muffin filled with sweet delicious fruit!

What you need,
1 cup oats (I used quick cook because it is what I had)
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
¾ cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup butter, melted
1½ cup Saskatoon berries (fresh or frozen)

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a muffin tin liberally with non-stick spray. I like the Pam with flour for muffins!

In a medium bowl stir together the oats and buttermilk, let them stand for 10 minutes.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and brown sugar.
Stir the melted butter and egg into the oat mixture. 

Gently stir the oat mixture into the flour mixture, be careful not to over mix. Carefully fold in the Saskatoon berries.

Scoop the batter into the muffin tin using a large ice cream scoop. Bake for 18-22 minutes until the muffins are brown around the edges and a tooth pick comes out clean.

Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack. Let the muffins cool completely before storing in an airtight container for up to a week. They also freeze really well too!

These muffins are so darned good. They are a perfect soft muffin with a punch of Saskatoon berry. They make a really great mid-morning work snack!

Thanks for the berries Dad, you rock!


Recipe adapted from Robin Hood Flour