Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Honey Walnut Shrimp

Last year while browsing through the food blogs I normally read, I came across the recipe for Honey Walnut Shrimp. (You can find it here on The Life & Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch.) Well, I finally made it last night. So yummy! It tastes like what you get at PF Chang's! Next time I make it I will add some honeydew melon balls to it, and maybe serve it over finely shredded cabbage (I can just taste the sauce mixing with the cabbage...YUM!). I was originally going to make this for Alan and myself, but I decided that I wanted to make it first to see how it was. Is it bad that I ate the entire thing in 2 days...by myself? :)

Besides serving it over cabbage and adding melon balls, next time I make it I will use my deep fryer OUTSIDE! I just need to buy an extension cord to run some power to the patio area. I just hate smelling oil in the house for days afterwards! (It's worth it, though!) :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Granola Bars

This is a recipe my sister sent me...


1 C. oats
¼ C. almonds
1 T. sesame seeds
¼ C. sunflower seeds
1 T. flaxseeds
1/3 C. dried cherries (or any dried fruit or mixture of dried fruit)
¼ C. creamy peanut butter
¼ C. brown rice syrup
¼ C. brown sugar
½ t. vanilla extract
1/8 t. salt
1 T. unsweetened applesauce ( 1 rounded tablespoon is perfect chewiness, crisper with less)
1 C. unsweetened whole-grain puffed cereal (1/2 C. Rice Krispies + 1/2 C Kashi 7)
¼ C. mini or regular chocolate chips


Preheat oven 350 degrees. Spread oats, almonds, and sesame seeds (and sunflower seeds if not already roasted), on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until oats are lightly toasted, shaking halfway through, about 10 minutes.

Transfer oats to large bowl.

Process almonds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds to a coarse powder. Add to bowl.

Process 1 T. flax seed to powder; add dried fruit to flax seed and pulse about 12-15 times to coarse lumps. Set aside.

Put peanut butter, brown rice syrup, and brown sugar in a microwave proof 4 C. container. Microwave on high 30 seconds, stir till smooth; microwave one more minute on high. Add vanilla, applesauce, salt and fruit/flaxseed mixture and stir until smooth. Immediately pour over the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon or spatula until no dry spots remain.

The add ½ C. rice krispies and ½ C. kashi puffs, and stir lightly until combined.

Last, add ¼ C. mini chocolate chips, with minimal stirring to minimize melting.

Transfer to prepared pan. (Waxed paper in 8”x8” pan, then spray waxed paper.)

Lightly coat your hands, or a spatula, with cooking spray and press the mixture down firmly to make an even layer (wait till cools slightly if necessary).

Cut into 10 bars while warm and in pan, in order to score them, so when cooled they are easy to finish cutting.

Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Remove waxed paper from pan and cut into 10 bars.

About 200 calories a bar.

Double batch makes a 9 x 13 pan that cuts into 1/3rds on the width and 1/6ths on the length.

If you like your bars to be chewier, increase the applesauce. (5 T. is too much, kind of soggy.)

Increased Protein variation:
Add one scoop Syntha-6 vanilla protein powder, decrease dried fruit to ¼ C. Add ¼ C. roasted soy nuts (grind in chopper with sunflower seeds) Increase applesauce to 2 T.

My variation: I prepared the granola bars as listed above, but used mixed dried berries (blueberries, cherries, cranberries) instead of just cherries - chopped up fine so that they are not really noticeable to the kids; and added the vanilla soy protein powder and an extra T of applesauce. I didn't have soy nuts on hand and I also didn't have Kashi, so I just used a mix of brown rice puffs and Rice Krispies for the cereals. They are very tasty and should last a few weeks for sure if kept in the fridge.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Pull Apart Bread and Greek Salad

Pull Apart Basil Cheese Bread


1 pound round loaf of white bread, unsliced (Margaret used sourdough)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 T. minced basil leaves or a scant T. minced rosemary (Margaret used basil)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice bread in 1 1/2-inch slices, cutting down but not through the bottom. Turn loaf and make 1 1/2-inch slices going the other way, not cutting through the bottom. Place on a sheet of heavy duty foil.

Combine the melted butter, basil, garlic, salt and cheese. Pour over the bread (more like drizzle in between the slices, but some can sit on top, too). Seal foil securely around bread and place on baking sheet. Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes or until the bread is hot and the cheese is melted.

To serve, pull apart the breadsticks. If they were not cut close enough to the bottom, you may need to cut the bottom of the slices. (Margaret just pulled them off, leaving a bottom "crust" that you can eat, too.)

Serve with salad (Greek Salad) or pasta.

Greek Salad
serves 8


2 bunches Romaine, chopped into 1/2" pieces
2 large tomatoes, wedged or cubed
1 small cucumber, peeled and diced (1/4" thick)
1 small red onion, cut in half and sliced (or Vidalea onion)
1 cup crumbled Feta Cheese (Margaret uses fresh Feta that comes in
water that is sold at the downtown Ames Fareway)
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
1/4 cup shaved fresh Parmesan cheese
Coarse black pepper
Dressing (Recipe follows)


Combine the Romaine, tomatoes, cucumber and onion in a large salad bowl. Top with the cheeses and olives. Sprinkle with coarse black pepper. Toss with the dressing just before serving. (You probably won't need all the dressing...Margaret used 1/2 to 3/4 of it.)

Serve with pork chops or chicken breasts, or by itself!



1 cup olive oil or salad oil (Margaret uses 1/2 olive oil, 1/2 salad oil)
1 T. sugar
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 T. minced fresh oregano
2 T. fresh basil, minced
2 cloves garlic, cut in half
2 tsp. salt
3 T. red wine vinegar
3 T. grated fresh Parmesan cheese


Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Toss with greens just before serving.

* If using dried herbs, use 1/3 the amount of fresh.