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Showing posts from 2008

Chocolate Orange Cookies

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Note: These came out wonderfully. I have adapted the recipe a bit due to the fact that I have a need to make teeny-tiny cookies. My mom says this is something that is in my genes. I think it's because I'd rather have 5 cookies than just one. :-) Big thanks to Meredith from Like Merchant Ships for this recipe - they might just turn into a new Christmas favorite!

Ingredients
2 sticks butter
1-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2-1/2 cups flour
2 tsp finely shredded orange zest
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted**Frugal substitution: 6 Tbsp. cocoa powder and 2 Tbsp. shortening, melted and combined. I used 3-ish Tbsp. of milk chocolate chips, I think. I figured out how much 2 oz was.

Directions

1) Beat butter with sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add egg and vanilla. Add flour in intervals, scraping sides of bowl often.

2) Divide dough in 2. Stir orange zest in 1 half; stir melted chocolate in the other half. Wrap dough balls separately and chil…

Crunchy Carmel Popcorn

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Note: I used air popcorn and it worked great. It took 3 tablespoons of popcorn kernels to pop 4.5 cups - of which I used almost all of it and had a lot of excess carmel. I think I'll up the popcorn to 5-6 cups next time. Also, I used honey roasted peanuts, but you could use any kind, really. I'd stay away from the salted ones, though.

Ingredients
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp butter/margarine
1/4 cup corn syrup
5-6 cups plain popcorn
1/4 cup peanuts (optional)

Directions

In a medium sauce pan, melt the sugar, butter, and corn syrup. Add the popcorn and peanuts and stir until evenly coated. Pour the coated popcorn onto an aluminum-foil lined cookie sheet and spread out evenly on the sheet.Bake in the oven at 250°F for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven.
LET IT COOL BEFORE YOU DIG IN!
Edit: This is best if you make it right before you eat it. It only takes about 10-15 minutes in the kitchen, so it's definitely worth it. I had some leftover after 24 hours and it was quite soggy, but s…

Pumpkin Muffins

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Note: I used walnuts, but I didn't have a full 3/4 cup, probably only about 1/2 a cup. This would be awesome with chocolate chips, too. Of course, what isn't better with chocolate chips?? These are amazingly light and fluffy.

Ingredients
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup canned or cooked pumpkin
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup water

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chopped cashews or walnuts (optional? I think not)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, combine wet ingredients - eggs, oil, water, pumpkin

In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients - flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Add dry ingredients to wet and incorporate. Add nuts (and chocolate chips?), stir.

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until muffins test done. Do not overbake. Cool on wire rack.

source: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Nu…

Granola Muffins

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Note: The batter for this recipe stores very well in the refrigerator. In fact, the original recipe is for 48 muffins to be made over the course of no more than 6 weeks. A great idea if you have room in the refrigerator and your family prefers fresh muffins. Personally, I made them all at once and put some of them in the freezer and some of them went to work with me. The following recipe makes about a dozen and a half muffins. I found the batter much easier to work with after it was in the refrigerator for about a day. It is important to note that if your granola has sunflower seeds in it, they may turn green when they come in contact with the baking soda - this reaction has to do with pH levels and is perfectly safe to eat.

Ingredients
2 cups granola cereal
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoons baking soda
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups buttermilk (or substitute)
2 eggs
1 cup blueberries (optional - or raisins, or cut up apricots, or chocolate chips, or your favorite…

Granola Challenge - Number 2

Note: DO NOT MAKE THIS! I am just posting this for reference. As I look over the ingredients again, I don't understand how the result was so bland and lackluster. The resulting granola didn't taste like ANYTHING, and since my only 9x13 pan is glass, it didn't get very crispy, either. After it cooled down, I even put a portion of it back in the oven for a while, but that didn't seem to help (but it did get a little crispier). I can't entirely blame my glass pan, though. This is just a crappy recipe. I found a couple of recipes that require granola cereal as an ingredient, so at least it won't go to waste. (Sorry, no picture.)

Ingredients
6 cups oats
1 1/2 cups wheat germ
1 cup nuts (I did about 1/3 cup each of walnuts, almonds, and pecans)
1 cup dried fruit (I was going to add these after the oven, but never bothered)
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup molasses
1 tbs vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg

Directions
1 …

Catherine's Chicken Noodle Soup

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Note: I made this up last night when I couldn't find a recipe that I really liked. I drew my inspiration from the internet. I drew my ingredients from my refrigerator. I used the extra wide kind of noodles (because that is what I had open), but it probably would have been better to use the medium kind so that they would stay on your spoon when you try to eat it. This is a very hardy soup that is easy to put together. Total prep time is about 45 minutes. Makes about 8 servings.

Ingredients
2 quarts of chicken broth/stock OR 2 quarts of water + Better Than Bouillon
2-3 cups of cooked chicken, in small bite-sized pieces
1-2 cups of egg noodles, uncooked
1 1/2 cups of diced carrots
1 1/2 cups of diced celery
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp Rosemary
1 Tbsp Thyme
1 tsp Basil


Directions
Bring broth to a boil. Add in carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Return to a boil and then decrease heat to an active simmer. Add in rosemary, thyme, and basil. Simmer for ~ 20 minu…

Pineapple Pudding

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Note: This recipe can be made the night before and kept in the refrigerator. Just pop it in the oven so that it is finished when you are ready to eat! I forgot to take a picture when I first made this, so this is a picture of leftovers. Not as pretty, but still as yummy!

Ingredients:
5 slices of bread, cubed (you may need more depending on the size of your casserole dish)
1/2 cup sweet butter, melted (regular butter or margarine is fine as well)
2 eggs, well beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. flour
8oz of crushed pineapple with juice

Directions:
Place cubed bread in well-greased casserole dish

Combine eggs and butter. In separate bowl mix sugar and flour, add to butter and egg mixture and add crushed pineapple and juices. Stir very well.

Pour mixture evenly over bread.

Bake at 375F for 30 minutes or until hot and buttery.

Source: Family friend, Kathy Price.

Granola Challenge - Number 1

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Note: This has coconut in it! I like it! It's a miracle. I'm not usually a fan of coconut. If you aren't sure where to get sesame seeds, you can get them in the spice aisle (I hit up the dollar store), or the "international foods" aisle. I liked this recipe much better than the last one I posted. It wasn't too much, there are more textures (the sesame seeds and the coconut add a nice touch), and it clumped better. I'm still not satisfied, though. When I'm finished eating this batch, there will be more testing!

Ingredients
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup sliced (or chopped) almonds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup coconut
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried fruit
1/4 cup cooking oil
1/2 cup honey

Directions
1 Mix oats, nuts, & grains together. Coat with honey & oil.
2 Bake at 300° for 35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes
3 Add fruit & stir to combine

source: http://community.livejournal.com/poor_skills/2472850.html

Granola - Megan's Recipe

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Note: From the comments on the recipe, this makes 2 trays full of granola. So, I have halved the recipe and it was still too much for one tray for me. It ended up sticking together into one big piece and then it crumbled into tiny pieces when I tried to break it up. Not many clumps.


Ingredients
4 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups wheat germ
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
3/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup maple syrup
3/8 cup honey
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup raisins or sweetened dried cranberries

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment or aluminum foil.

Combine the oats, wheat germ, oat bran, sunflower seeds, almonds, pecans, and walnuts in a large bowl. Stir together the salt, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, oil, cinnamon, and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, the…

Freezer Bean Burritos

Note:
I created this recipe myself. If you make your own tortillas, this is even better.

Ingredients
1 Can Refried Beans
1 Can Black Beans
4-8 oz of shredded cheddar cheese (or other mexican-y cheese)
1/2 - 1 cup of Salsa
8-10 Tortillas


Directions
Mix all ingredients (except tortillas) in a large bowl. If you wish, you can put the black beans through a food processor first to have a creamy constancy the whole way through, but I like them whole as well. When you are finished mixing, place 1/8th or 1/10th of the mixture on each tortilla. Do not overfill the tortillas! There should be enough room on either side to fold over past the middle of the filling. Overfilling the tortillas will make them hard to fold and also make them take longer to heat.

Folding the tortillas is the most difficult part of this recipe. Fold in the bottom and top of the tortilla so that the fold is touching the filling. Then, fold in both sides of the tortilla so the fold is touching the filling. Turn the burrito o…

Baked Ziti

Note: This is my favourite recipe for Baked Ziti. It's from the side of the San Giorgio pasta box.

Ingredients
1 package (1 lb) of Ziti, uncooked
3 cups (about 28 oz jar) of Spaghetti sauce, divided
1 3/4 cups (15 oz) ricotta cheese
2 cups (8 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup of fresh parsley or 1 tbsp dried parsley flakes
1 egg
1 tsp dried oregano leaves
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Directions
Heat oven to 375°F. Cook pasta according to package directions. In large bowl, stir together hot pasta, 1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, parsley, egg, oregano, garlic powder and pepper.

In 13x9x2-inch baking dish, spoon pasta mixture; top with remaining 1 1/2 cups sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese; cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. 10 servings (1 cup each).

Make-ahead directions: Prepare recipe as directed, but do not bake. Cover with plastic wrap, then foil. Refrigerate up to 24 hours …

Chocolate Waffles

Notes: This recipe is from Mike's mom. I made it at least once, and it did come out a little runny but once they baked up, they were really good.

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups Bisquick
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
3/4 cup of water
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 eggs

Directions
Beat all ingredients with a wire whisk or hand beater until almost smooth. Pour batter onto center of hot waffle iron. Bake for about 2 minutes (follow the directions for your waffle iron, though!).

Serve this as a dessert with sliced strawberries, apple topping or ice cream on top while still warm and melt it a little.

8-ish servings.

Chicken Soup with Rice

Notes: Use better than bullion or chicken stock in place of the broth. If you like veggies, you can put about twice as much as is called for in. That's what I did.

Ingredients
8 cups chicken broth
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup uncooked rice
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 cups cooked chicken, diced
salt and pepper (to taste)

Directions

1. Combine broth, onion, celery, carrots and garlic in a large soup pot.
2. Bring to a boil.
3. Add rice and thyme.
4. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Add chicken and heat through.
6. Thin with more broth if necessary.
7. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Source: http://www.grouprecipes.com/7442/good-old-chicken-with-rice-soup.html

Chocolate Chip Muffins

Notes: I am surprising myself in saying this, but I modified this recipe to half the original amount of chocolate chips. It was just too rich and too dense with an entire bag of chips. Half a bag would be fine. And then just eat the other half of the bag while you are waiting for these to bake. :-)

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup light-brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup butter -- melted and cooled
2 eggs - beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 package (6 oz) chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans -- chopped (optional)

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 F. and grease up twelve muffin cups.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, stir together milk, eggs, butter, and vanilla until blended. Make a well in center of dry ingredients; add milk mixture and stir just to combine. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

Spoon batter into muffin cups; bake 15-20 minutes, or until a knife inserted in center of…

Strawberry Jam

Note: This makes 4 jars of jam, I would say. When I made it, I halved the recipe but forgot to halve the lemon juice! It still turned out great, but on the runny side. I did not do the whole canning thing because we were going to use it right away and I wouldn't know what to do with a mason jar anyway.

Ingredients
4 cups mashed strawberries
4 cups sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice

Directions
You basically mix all three ingredients together, bring them to a rolling boil for about 10 minutes. Check the temp to make sure it reaches 220 degrees (F). Then place the mixture into sterilized mason jars.

Sausage Cheese Balls

Note: This is seriously easy and they are seriously awesome. Probably not the most healthy snack in the world, but so what?

Ingredients
1-1/2 cups Bisquick
1 pound bulk sausage
3 cups of shredded cheese

Directions
Get out a big bowl. Measure the Biscuit Mix and cheese into the bowl. Add the raw sausage. Use your hands to mix everything together like meatloaf.

It is sort of gooey, but the finished product is worth a little goo. Shape the mixture into small balls the size of walnuts or egg yolks. Place them on a cookie sheet and bake at 350° for 25 minutes.

Remove them from the oven and drain them on paper towels. These are best when they are still warm, but are still rather tasty cold. Makes 2 trays full, about 75.

They are also great re-heated in the toaster oven for about 5 minutes @ 350.

Source: http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/sausagecheeseballs.htm

Cindi's Pizza

Note: I have made this, but it never comes out exactly the way that Cindi makes it! There must be secret baking properties in that special pan she has....

Ingredients
Dough
A packet of yeast
1 3/4 cup warm water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
4 cup flour
Optional: Add garlic, oregano, and basil to your dough.

Pizza
16 oz. can unseasoned peeled tomatoes
16 oz. block of mozzarella cheese
Spices: Dried basil, oregano, parsley, salt
Minced garlic (dry or wet or both)
Olive oil
Toppings


Dough: Combine all but the flour into a bowl or bread maker. Add flour slowly and knead until it is fully mixed. Let rise twice, kneading in between risings.

Pizza: Spread the dough over the cookie sheet, punching fork holes into the dough. Lay out rectangular strips of mozzarella on top of the dough.

Spread tomatoes and juices over the dough and cheese, being sure to get juice on the edges of the crust. Add spices, garlic, and toppings.

Without preheating, cook pizza on the bottom rack at 375 degrees for 10 -20…

Cheddar Pennies

Note: I love these. They have a savory flavor that is not overwhelming. I got the recipe from the newspaper a long time ago. One time we made these, we used toppings to make tiny pictures on each cracker.

Ingredients
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose FLOUR
1/4 teaspoon fine SALT
Pinch of HOT PAPRIKA
8 tablespoons UNSALTED BUTTER, softened
4 ounces grated extra-sharp CHEDDAR CHEESE (1 cup)
2 teaspoons DIJION MUSTARD (or spicy mustard)

Optional Toppings: Caraway, fennel, dill, thyme, rosemary, coarse salt, cracked black pepper, black onion seeds.

Directions
Whisk flour, salt and paprika in a small bowl. With an electric mixer, beat butter, cheese and mustard until smooth. Beat in flour mixture until dough comes together. Divide dough in thirds and roll each piece into a log 1 inch across and 9 inches long. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or freeze for up to 2 months.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Slice logs into 1/4-in…

Sausage Rice

Note: This is a recipe from Mike's mom that was his favourite growing up. For this to turn out "just like Mom made it", using Minute rice is a necessity. I think it is good with regular rice, too.

Ingredients
1 pound of polska sausage
2 cups of Minute rice
1 Jar of Ragu Super Mushroom
2 tablespoons onions
1 garlic clove (chopped)
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil

Directions
Cut sausage into bite-sized pieces and heat in oven for half an hour. Make 2 cups of Rice in traditional method. Heat Sauce over medium heat. Add spices to the sauce and stir. When Sausage and Rice are finished cooking, add sausage, rice, and sauce together in a large pan. Set to simmer allowing the rice and sausage to absorb the sauce.

Serves 4+

Daniel's Enchiladas

Note: Getting enchilada sauce in a cut or other open wound is not advised! It will sting! This is a recipe from my good friend Daniel's family (hence the name). Back in college, this was a meal we really looked forward to! It can definitely be made with store-bought tortillas, but it is not as good and making the tortillas fresh is cheaper.

Ingredients
Tortillas
4 c Flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBSP Oil
1 and 1/4 c Warm Water

Enchilada Filling
3 cans enchilada sauce
2 tomatoes, chopped (or a can of diced tomatoes, drained)
3/4 tsp Cumin
1 tsp chili powder
Salt & Pepper to taste
2-3 lbs of grated cheese - Your choice (Cheddar, Colby, Monterey Jack work nicely)
Optional: Meat! Chicken or Beef, 1-2lbs.
Optional: Veggies, peppers, onions, etc to taste.

Directions
Tortillas: Mix flour, salt, oil, and water in a large bowl. Stir until it is able to be kneaded. Knead until rubbery. Separate dough into 8-12 balls. Place balls on floured surface and let sit covered with a towel for 15 minutes. Using a …

Hash Brown Potato Casserole

Note: This recipe is fantastic! It is quick and simple and turns out fantastic. Can be a dinner or breakfast side dish. If you don't want to use packaged hash browns, feel free to use fresh potatoes. This recipe was from my mom, I think she got it from the newspaper, though.

Ingredients
1 (32oz) package frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted & divided
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 (8-ounce) sour cream
1 cup (4 ounces) Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups corn flakes
Lemon twist & Parsley sprigs (definitely optional)

Directions

Combine potatoes, 1/2 cup butter, onion, soup, sour cream, and cheese; stir well. Spoon into a greased 2 1/2-quart casserole.

Crush cereal and stir in remaining 1/4 cup butter. Sprinkle over potato mixture.

Bake at 350 for 50 minutes. Garnish with a lemon twist and parsley, if desired.

Yield: 10 to 12 servings.

Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Note: These are amazingly close to the biscuits they serve at Red Lobster. Seriously.

Ingredients
2 c. Bisquick
2/3 c. milk
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 c. butter
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Directions
Mix Bisquick and cheese; add milk.

Spoon on an ungreased cookie sheet (makes about 12).

Bake at 425 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with melted butter and garlic powder.

Source: http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,194,149162-241207,00.html

Homemade Calzones

Note: The dough may also be used for pizza crust. Recipe from a member of the livejournal poor_skills community.

Ingredients

Dough
1 c warm water
2 1/4 tsp yeast (1 packet)
1 tsp salt
2-4 c flour (variable)
2 tbsp oil

Filling
Tomato or Marinara Sauce
Mozzarella Cheese, grated
Pepperoni, chopped
Cooked Sausage, chopped
Cooked Chicken, chopped
Cooked Ham, chopped
Peppers, chopped
Onions, chopped
Mushrooms, chopped
Anything else you can think of!

Directions
Dissolve the packet of yeast in warm water. Dissolve salt into mixture slowly. Mix in flour a 1/4 c at a time until a good doughy mixture is the result. (slightly tacky to the touch) Place dough in an oiled metal bowl, turn over to ensure good oil coverage and cover with a tea-towel to let rise about 1/2 - 1 hour or until double in
bulk.

When the dough is finished rising, prepare a surface for rolling and preparing. Have the flour close at hand. Flour your hands and divide the dough into equal pieces (4 for larger calzones, 8 for small calzones). Ro…

Broccoli Cheese Casserole

Note: This casserole goes great with Thanksgiving dinner and also with Ham. For those who do not like mushrooms, any type of condensed cream soup could be used. This is a family recipe.

Ingredients
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup mayonnaise (use light to cut calories)
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup onions, chopped
30 ounces frozen chopped broccoli
8 - 12 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
pepper to taste
1 dash paprika


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together condensed soup, mayonnaise, egg and onions.

Place frozen broccoli into a very large mixing bowl. Break up the frozen broccoli. Using a rubber spatula, scrape soup-mayonnaise mixture on top of broccoli, and mix well. Sprinkle on cheese, and mix well. Spread mixture into prepared baking dish, and smooth top of casserole. Season with pepper and paprika.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Egg Puff

Note: This is a family recipe. I have modified it for a 2-quart pan as well. Also, the original version called for cutting the crust off of the bread, but it has been found to be unnecessary and a waste. Any type of bread may be used, however, white bread was originally intended. Bread is easier to cube when it is frozen. Also, any type of cheese can be used to give the dish a different feel, but cheddar is my personal favourite.

Ingredients
16 Slices of Bread
3/4 lbs Grated Cheddar Cheese
5 Eggs
2 cups Milk
Butter

Directions
Butter a 9x13in pan.

Cut slices of bread into cubes. Layer bread cubes and grated cheese
in pan, every-other-one ending with bread.

Beat together Eggs and Milk. Pour the mixture evenly over the layers of Bread and Cheese. Place pats of butter on the top.

Place in refrigerator overnight or until ready to bake.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Bake Egg Puff for approximately 45 minutes. You will know it is done when the top is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling.

Mo…

Lemon Pudding Cake

Note: I would love to change the name of this! If anyone gives this a try and has any suggestions, let me know. This recipe is from a friend and was originally called "Easy Lemon Pudding Cake".

Ingredients
Cake
- 1 cup flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup milk (or soy milk)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp lemon zest (or lemon peel)
- juice of 1 lemon

Sauce
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 cup boiling water
- juice of 2 lemons

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Get water boiling in a kettle.

1. (cake) Whisk together flour, sugar, powder, soda, and salt in a
bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together soy milk, oil, zest, and lemon
juice. Add to flour and stir with a spoon until just mixed. Pour into
a 8 x 8 pan and spread evenly.

2. (sauce) Whisk together sugar and flour, then sprinkle evenly over batter.

3. Pour boiling water and lemon juice over top. Do not stir.

4. Bake for 40-45 mins, until top is golden and cake is cooked through.

Banana Nut Muffins

Note: The original recipe called for a full cup of walnuts and that was WAY too many (even the boyfriend who loves walnuts thought so).

Ingredients:
3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tbsp espresso or strong coffee (optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts

Directions:
No need for a mixer with this recipe.

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the
mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl.
2) Mix in the sugar, egg, espresso and vanilla.
3) Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in.
4) Add the flour, mix until it is just incorporated. Fold in the
chopped walnuts.
5) Pour mixture into a prepared muffin tin. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Check for doneness with a toothpick inserted into the center of a
muffin. If it comes out clean, it's done. Cool on a rack.

Makes 12 muffins.

source: http://www.elise.com/recipes/archives/004229banana_nut_muffins.p…

Granola Bars (Alton Brown)

Note: this is one of my favourites at the moment. Here are some of the variations I have done so far:
Raisins/Almonds (slivered or sliced)
Pineapple/Almonds (also replaced the vanilla with about 1 shot of OJ)
Dried Apples/Peanuts (I also added about a tablespoon of cinnamon)

Ingredients:
2 cups -- Oats (old-fashioned rolled or quick oats work)
1/2 cup -- Raw sunflower seeds
1 cup -- Sliced almonds or your favorite nut (peanuts, walnuts, etc)
1/2 cup -- Wheat germ

1/2 cup -- Honey
1/4 cup -- Dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp -- Unsalted butter
2 tsp -- Vanilla extract
1/2 tsp -- Salt (regular or Kosher)

1 cup -- chopped dried fruit, any combination of apricots, cherries,
blueberries, raisins, pineapple, etc

Directions:
Butter a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Preheat the oven
to 350 degrees F.

Spread the oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, and wheat germ onto a
half-sheet pan. Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring
occasionally.

In the meantime, combine the honey, brown sugar, butter, extract …