Monday, August 29, 2011

Blueberry Walnut Granola

I love a good homemade granola.
When we went to Chicago last spring my dear friend and excellent hostess had a variety of breakfast treats out for us every morning.  She had made the most delicious granola, and I of course asked about the recipe.  She told me it came from Gale Gand's Brunch cookbook.  I should have known.  Those of you that are long time readers of Young Adventures may remember the chocolate waffles that I made from this amazing cookbook.  If you like breakfast food, run don't walk to the store and purchase this book.
I have been thinking about this recipe and tweaking it in the back of my mind for some time now.  I finally got around to making it and I am very happy with the way it turned out.
This will make a great breakfast with milk or yogurt.  I also think it would be a great after-school snack.
Feel free to swap out the fruit and nuts for your favorite.

Blueberry Walnut Granola

1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon almond extract
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1 cup dried blueberries (I get mine at Costco)

1. Heat the oven  to 325 degrees.  Line a large rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. Combine the honey, maple syrup, orange juice, butter in a small saucepan.  Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.  Watch this closely and don't let it boil over. 
3.  Reduce the heat and simmer it for 5 minutes, stirring often.  Remove from the heat and add the almond extract.
4.  Mix the oats, coconut, walnuts and salt in a large bowl.  Pour the hot mixture over the oat mixture.  Stir all of this together until it is thoroughly coated.  Spread it evenly on a baking sheet.
5.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Add the blueberries and bake for another 15 to 18 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.
6.  Remove the granola for the oven and place the pan on a cooling rack.  Once the granola has cooled, stir and place in an airtight container at room temperature.  It will keep for up to two weeks.

Source: Adapted from Gale Gand's Brunch  

Monday, August 22, 2011

Tomatoes on toast

Do you have a million tomatoes and you're running out of ideas as to what to do with all of them?
This is just a quick and easy lunch idea I came up with for myself.

Tomatoes on Toast

1 large slice of good bread (I used sourdough)
1 garlic clove paper skin removed
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 or 2 tomatoes sliced (enough to cover your bread)
Fresh basil, torn into pieces

1.  Toast your bread in the toaster to your desired toastiness.
2.  Remove the bread and place on a plate.  Now take the garlic clove and rub it all over the bread until there is not much garlic left. I LOVE GARLIC!!
3. Top with your sliced tomatoes.  Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top of the tomatoes.  Scatter your basil on top.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Easy and delicious.  
Make sure to brush your teeth after eating this sandwich.  Otherwise you might scare the neighbors away.

Source: Young Adventures

Monday, August 15, 2011

Young Adventures Pasta Salad

No one will eat macaroni salad in this home, but if I mention pasta salad their eyes light up and I hear yum.  I serve this as a main dish with fruit for dinner in the summer time.  You could serve it as a 
side dish of course, but it's summer make... things easy for yourself.

Pasta Salad

1/2 of a box of farfalle pasta, about 8 oz.
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 cup light vinegar (like white wine or rice wine)
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Salt and Pepper
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
4 oz. of feta either crumbled or cube it yourself 
1/2 cup Kalamata olives
1/4 pound of salami cut up in quarters or pepperoni
1 cup grape tomatoes

1.  Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
2.  While the pasta is cooking prepare the other ingredients.  In a large bowl combine mayo, vinegar, seasoning, salt, pepper,  Parmesan, and feta.
3.  When the pasta is finished cooking drain and rise under cold water until it is no longer hot.
4.  Add the cooked pasta to the bowl and stir with the dressing until it is combined.  Add the olives, salami, and tomatoes and stir until everything is incorporated.  Serve immediately.


Source: Young Adventures

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

French Onion Dip

Someone in our house is a fan of the potato chip dip you can get at the grocery store.  Nothing against it, but I thought we could do better.  I think I was right!  If you love potato chip dip, you should most certainly try this.  It is super easy to make and so much better.

French Onion Dip

3/4 cup 0% fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup light mayo
Dash of granulated onion (I get mine from Penzey's)
salt and pepper 
1  large sweet onion
olive oil

1.  Chop the onion into medium to small pieces.  
2.  In a medium size skillet add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Add the onions and about 1 teaspoon of salt.  Cook over medium to low heat until the onions start to turn brown and caramelize.  This will take about 40-50 minutes.  Set aside to cool.
3.  While the onions are cooling.  In a medium size bowl mix together the yogurt and mayo until incorporated. Add the granulated onion, salt and pepper.  Stir in the cooled onions.  Taste and see if any additional seasonings are needed.    Serve immediately with chips.


Source: Young Adventures