Tag Archives: seeds

Kitchen Sink Cookies

3 Dec

Kitchen Sink Cookies

 

There aren’t a lot of things that I do extraordinarily well.

Driving a car with a manual transmission, cartwheels, wearing white without spilling something all over it, washboard abs…

Yeah, not so much.

I also never spell exercise, separate, or nauseous correctly either. The only reason those three words are spelled correctly now is because of spell check and its angry red lines.

What I can do well is bake. Which is cool because I reeeally like to eat.

This also would explain why I’ll never have those aforementioned abs. And that’s fine with me. Whoever said that “nothing tastes as good as being skinny feels” has obviously never had a patty melt with cheese fries and extra cheese sauce from Steak n’ Shake at 2 a.m. after a few cocktails… or microwaved a donut.

Getting back on track…

These cookies actually came to be because I couldn’t decide if I wanted to bake spice cookies, chocolate chip cookies, or oatmeal cookies.

All I knew is that I wanted a cookie.

Then I thought why should I have to choose?

I’m terribly indecisive anyway. Ask my husband – I’m the worst.

I basically never have an answer for ANYTHING.

So I just made a cookie that had everything I wanted in it.

I made… Frankencookie.

And it was Frankendelicious!

There were almost no cookies to photograph because I could not stop eating them.

They’re crispy on the edges but chewy on the inside (as they should be) and they’re just sweet enough with a hint of spice in the background.

They’re pretty much everything I want in a cookie.

And that’s saying a lot about a cookie that contains no dark chocolate or caramel.

Even the dough is delicious and I’m not a dough eater. I always taste a bit to make sure the flavor is right before I put it in the oven but I found myself going back for more over and over.

You certainly do not have to use all of the mix-ins that I used. I had a surplus of dried fruit, nuts, and seeds so I chopped them all up and tossed them in. Just use any combination of your favorite dried fruits, nuts, seeds, and chocolate chips.

 

Kitchen Sink Cookies

2 sticks of unsalted butter

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

2 cups old-fashioned oats

Mix-ins: I just threw in a few good-sized handfuls. If I had to guess, I’d say it was probably a cup and a half to two cups worth of the goods.

My mix-ins:

  • Dried Apples
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Dried Blueberries
  • Dried Cherries
  • Dried Lingonberries
  • Raisins
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Flax Seeds
  • White Chocolate Chips

Directions

Using a hand or stand mixer, cream the butter and both sugars until the mixture is light and fluffy. Should take 2-3 minutes.

Beat the eggs in one at a time followed by the vanilla.

In a separate bowl, add flour, baking soda, salt, spices, and oats and whisk together to combine.

Add the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture and mix just until everything is incorporated.

Add your mix-ins and mix gently to combine or fold in with a spatula or wooden spoon.

Cover and chill the dough for an hour.

Line your cookie sheet with parchment or spray with non-stick spray.

Use a tablespoon measure to form dough balls and place them about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet.

Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 12-15 minutes.

The time they need to bake will depend on your oven. Cookies are done when they are golden brown around the edges and no longer look wet on top. You want to pull them out of the oven when they are just set so they stay chewy in the middle.

Allow the cookies to cool for a couple of minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely but be sure to eat a few while they’re still warm.

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Gralowly Bars

13 Jun

gralowly bars

 

These are the granola bars that I give to my kids.

They don’t come individually wrapped in a box.

There’s nothing hydrogenated, high fructose, or artificially flavored about them.

They’re just little bars of oats, nut butter, honey, a little sugar, and whatever seeds and dried fruit I happen to have in my pantry thrown in for good measure.

They got their name from Camryn (naturally). She couldn’t say granola when she was little and “gralowly” was about as close as she could get. Over the years, the cuteness factor caused the name to stick.

Gralowly bars are a bit different from regular granola bars in that they don’t have any puffed rice or sweetened coconut that so many other granola bars have but if you like those things you can certainly throw them in as well.

These bars are dense yet chewy and surprisingly filling.

Making them is easy, there is no baking required, and you can pretty much put anything you want in them.

And because they don’t require refrigeration, they’re great to wrap individually in wax paper or small baggies and throw in your purse for a quick snack when you’re out with your kiddos.

They won’t keep your little ones from screaming their faces off for happy meals but at least you’ll feel better about offering them a healthier option.

Mom win.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup honey

1/2 cup natural peanut butter or any other nut butter (yay protein!)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp sea salt

3 cups quick-cooking oats

1/4 cup seeds  (I used my chia/hemp seed mix – use anything you like)

1/4 cup wheat germ

1/4 cup sliced almonds or other nuts (optional)

Dried fruit  (I used goji berries and cherries. I don’t measure. I just throw in a handful or two)

Chocolate chips   (I don’t measure here either. I just throw in a couple of handfuls)

Directions:

Combine the honey, peanut butter, and brown sugar. This can be done two ways:

In the microwave: Put honey, PB, and brown sugar in a microwave safe bowl & microwave on high for two minutes. Stir halfway through and again at the end of the second minute.

On the stove top: Add all three ingredients to a sauce pan and stir over medium heat until combined. You shouldn’t feel any sugar granules when you stir.

Take off the heat and add the vanilla, cinnamon and sea salt.

In a large bowl add all of the other ingredients. Seriously, just throw all that other stuff in and stir to incorporate everything.

Pour the liquid mixture over the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.

Dump mixture into a lightly greased 8×8 pan and pack it down to make everything even.

Let the mixture cool completely before turning out and cutting into bars.

Store at room temp in an air tight container for about a week.

* If you prefer puffed rice cereal in your granola bars, reduce the amount of quick-cooking oats to 2 cups and add 2 cups of puffed rice cereal.

* For a cheaper/vegan friendly option, feel free to substitute honey with corn syrup. The consistency is similar so it should work just fine.

Daily Bento

20 Feb

I’m not sure why I waited so long to buy a set of Easy Lunchboxes.

I mean, I’m not a lady who makes rash purchases. I do a ridiculous amount of research before I buy anything, but all the reviews I read for Easy Lunchboxes had been overwhelmingly positive. And the great majority of my bloggy friends love them and use them often.

Not that I’m a gal who gives in to peer pressure but if that many people think these containers are so fantastic, how could they be anything but? Right.

Maybe it was the non-conformist in me. I’m glad she got over herself.

When my big box of bento goodies came the other day and I unpacked my new set of Easy Lunchboxes “Brights” – I have to say that I was happily surprised at how sturdy they felt. The lids are brightly colored and just so happen to be Cam’s favorite colors too. Naturally she assumes that I planned it that way. I’m not telling her any different. She’s happy, I’m a genius – Winning.

Pictured below is Cam’s first ELB lunch just before it made its maiden voyage to school this morning.

 

In today’s lunch:

  • Israeli couscous with sweet peppers, feta, sun-dried tomato, lemon zest, & parsley
  • A mandarin
  • 2 star-shaped cookies from The Fresh Market
  • Strawberries
  • Salad – green leaf lettuce, carrots, grape tomatoes, star-shaped rice crackers
  • Pumpkin and sunflower seeds in the rainbow box

Daily Bento

11 Feb

 

I’m just going to go ahead and point it out (as if you haven’t noticed by now anyway).

I took the picture with the scrapbook paper upside down.

Insider secret: All those super cute backgrounds you see in most bento pics – most likely scrapbook paper.

That’s right. I just blew the lid off this whole operation!

Okay so not really, but it did deflect from my lack of attention to detail for a second.

Whoopsie.

Anywho… the contents of this lunch include:

  • 8 salami and cheese stars on saltines
  • Strawberries with organic fruit leather flower cut-outs placed on top and speared with a leafy pick
  • A brownie heart with a few chocolate covered sunflower seeds
  • Some Disney pretzels I found in the Valentine’s section of Super Target

The pretzels are shaped like cars and tiaras. Although I don’t think you can actually see any tiaras in that picture up there.

 

Daily Bento

5 Feb

It’s World Nutella Day!

Yes, that’s an actual holiday. And any holiday centered around food is a holiday that I can get on board with.

It’s also National Frozen Yogurt Day so if Nutella isn’t your thing you can always celebrate frozen yogurt.

Or you could celebrate both and have some Nutella flavored frozen yogurt.

If that’s not already a thing, it should be!

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to tell you that in our house, we prefer Jif Hazelnut spread. We think it tastes better and you get more for your money. And that’s not even a paid endorsement. Although if Jif wanted to send me some free product to review on this blog I’d be more than happy to accept it.

So I guess we’re not really celebrating Nutella Day here but we love our chocolate hazelnut spread none the less so I put it on a sandwich anyway.

Aside from the chocolate hazelnut spread kitty sandwich, I packed Cheez-its, strawberries, carrots, cheese stars, and the rest of the sunflower seeds that were leftover from lunch yesterday in the star box.