Saturday, May 28, 2011

Chocolate (Nutella) Granola

Cookbook Bites Chocolate Granola recipe by Suzanne Nikolaisen
Cookbook Bites: Chocolate Granola
The other day my friend Jennafer was talking about make-ahead meals. She was making a pasta with prosciutto which sounded really good. I was inspired, but instead of make-ahead "meals" per-say I went with make-ahead breakfast, specifically Chocolate Granola, which I am happy to say was a success!

I kind of rolled with my own thing again, combining recipes, and some of my own ideas (like Nutella--who can resist?) The resulting granola has stayed crunchy and gives you that chocolate milk at the end of your cereal bowl like Cocoa Krispies. All in a days work, right? ;)

Chocolate Granola

1/8 C butter (melted)
3 oz honey (1/2 C very scant - like 1/4 inch from top of the measuring cup)
2 T brown sugar
1 1/2 t vanilla
3 T cocoa powder (nautral not Dutch processed)
1/4 t kosher salt 
1 1/2 T Nutella (1 generous soup spoon - I know, I'm so scientific.)
4 C oats (old fashioned)
1/2 C walnuts (chopped)

Combining ingredients for chocolate granola
Combining the ingredients for the chocolate granola.

Melt the butter in a small pan and add the honey, brown sugar, vanilla, cocoa powder, salt, Nutella and combine over low heat. In a large bowl add the oats and pour the chocolate mixture over the oats and stir well to combine. Chop the walnuts, add to the bowl and combine. Spray a jelly-roll pan (or cookie sheet) with cooking spray and pour the mixture onto it spreading it out a bit to cover the sheet.

Bake at 300 for 30 minutes. Stir about every 5 minutes or so. It's hard to tell when the granola is done, it will be dark cocoa brown and it'll still look wet, but trust me, pull it out at 30 minutes and let it cool. I left mine on the cookie sheet for the afternoon and then put it into a storage container. As it cools it will become dry and crunchy just like magic!

Chocolate Granola is good as a snack (dry), on yogurt, in milk and especially good on Bryers vanilla ice cream. I think I'm a fan!

Go forth and conquer! You can do this! Granola is your friend (and it's way easy to make)!

Recipe Source: Suzanne Nikolaisen

Recipe Research & Inspiration:
This particular recipe is one I came up with after studying how to make granola from other recipes like Mr. Breakfast's Cocoa Granola by TinaNYHoney Nut Granola by KarenMBStove Top Granola by MammaIsCookin (Thanks to my peeps at these links for teaching me how to make Granola!)


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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Food Perspective

What is it about high speed cameras that makes things look really cool? They seem to capture science and art all at once. See for yourself!

Coffee Creamer (High speed video 2,000 fps)
Video by Modernist Cuisine

Gelatin Cubes Dropped Onto Solid Surface (High speed video 6,200 fps)
Video by Modernist Cuisine


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mom's Carrot Cake

Cookbook Bites, Mom's Carrot Cake
Mom's Carrot Cake with orange glaze.
Carrots, oranges... bright and sunshine-y, perfect for a special occasion! With TLC you can taste. Hand grated carrots, fresh chopped walnuts, and orange juice squeezed the minute you need it. Everything as fresh as possible. Just like spring. (If you like oranges check out the recipe for Orange Smoothies! So, good!)
Everyone will be like "-This- is carrot cake?" Yes, my friends, this is how it's supposed to be. At least in my little corner of the universe.
Mixing the buttermilk-and-baking soda into the batter. 
 Adding the grated carrots and walnuts.
 Fresh-squeezed orange juice.
Carrot Cake
4 eggs (beaten)
1 1/2 C vegetable oil
1 t lemon extract
1/3 c buttermilk
3 C grated carrots (raw)
2 C sugar
1 t cinnamon
3 C flour (sifted)
2 t baking soda
1 C chopped walnuts

Beat the eggs then add the sugar, oil and lemon extract. Sift cinnamon into the flour. Add to egg mixture and beat well. In a separate bowl mix the baking soda with the buttermilk and fold into the egg mixture. Add carrots and nuts. Pour into greased and floured tube pan at 300 degrees for 1 hour and 30 minutes. While it's baking make the glaze. When the cake is done take it out of the oven and pour the glaze* over the cake as soon as it is taken from the oven (right over the cake still in the pan). Give it a minute, it'll absorb. Cool then take the cake out of the pan.

1 C sugar
1/2 C fresh orange juice
1 t orange zest
Carrot Cake with orange glaze soaking in.
*Don't worry! The glaze -will- soak in. It might take a couple of applications and a few minutes, but victory will be yours! (If the sugar isn't 100% dissolved it will make the glaze a little more crunchy - at least that's my theory.) Don't take this as me being "down-with cream cheese frosting" I'm a fan of the cream cheese, but an irreplaceable part of this particular cake is the orange glaze--no contest.
Slice of Mom's Carrot Cake
Recipe Source: My mom (Thanks mom!)

Happy Baking & Happy Mother's Day

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Juicer: Apple, Carrot, Orange Juice

Apple, carrot, orange juice from juicer recipe by Eric Nikolaisen
Juicer: Apple, Carrot, Orange Juice

Apple Carrot Orange Juice

There's a movie out called "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead." Have you seen it? The movie was really interesting and is about how a juice diet worked out. (The link goes to the trailer.)

While we're talking about juice my "juice barista" (my husband) sometimes makes fresh juice for breakfast and his latest "blend" was a great combination-orange juice. The bright-yet smooth tones (is that the right verbiage for liquid refreshment?) were really good so I wanted to share the recipe with you! 
Apple, oranges, cup of juice
The juice.
Apple-Carrot-Orange Juice
2 Apples
2 Carrots
6 Oranges

Scrub carrots and remove ends. Wash apples and remove stems. Wash and peel the oranges. Run the carrots, apples and oranges through the juicer as per your juicer instructions.

Note: Many of "the juicing powers that be" say we should drink homemade juice within the first 24-hours of juicing it, to get the most out of it. If you like orange juice, check out the recipe for Orange Smoothies.

Recipe by: Eric Nikolaisen

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