Thursday, May 20, 2010

Swamp Cake Lily

 Chef Lily debuts in her first cooking show! : ) The other day I spent some quality time with my kiddos, aka, my sister's kiddos...

 ...these two...

...and this one...
Anyways, we just had a good old timee, rented a movie, got pizza...and Lily and I made Swamp Cake!

 

Now, Swamp Cake is really just this Chocolate Cobbler , which is basically one of those pudding/cake kind of things...cakey on top, chocolate goo on the bottom. 

Yum. Anyway, when it came out of the oven, we decided that Swamp Cake was a more fitting name because it was so bubbly and swampy looking. 


Lily loved calling it that, so now that's it official title!


video

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Strawberry Vanilla Almond Granola with Yogurt Cream

I must apologize for the recent lapse in posts. My only excuse is that my computer has been having serious issues...but it's mostly fixed now. So back to posting I come!

Strawberry Vanilla Almond Granola with Yogurt Cream

I have discovered homemade granola. I mean, it’s not that I had never had it before. I have, and I loved it those times too. I just hadn’t ever made it. So I hadn’t ever discovered just how simple it really is. And now that I have, I don’t think I’ll ever buy cereal again. It’s so easy and soo delicious! It took me five minutes to throw it together, then it just bakes in the oven. I like stuff like that. And, of course, what else does granola go better with then yogurt. I particularly like this Yogurt Cream recipe from the ever brilliant Pioneer Woman. It’s so creamy and rich and indulgent, yet still full of that great yogurt flavor. And while, admittedly, the added cream and sugar probably don’t enhance the healthfulness of the snack, I would be willing to bet it’s still better than a piece of chocolate cake. So there.
But seriously, oats are full of soluble fiber, which helps improve cholesterol levels and lowers the risk for atherosclerosis (fatty deposits on the arterial walls.) And yogurt is not only high in calcium, but it also has those helpful little probiotic buddies that help your immune system. It also has tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin, which promotes a relaxed mood. Nice.
So go eat a nice healthy bowl of granola and yogurt, get your calcium, manage your cholesterol, boost that immune system, and get relaxed baby! 
Strawberry Vanilla Almond Granola 
 (Note: I didn’t have any almonds, and don’t really like nuts in my grains anyway, so I just added ½ tsp. of almond extract instead…tasty!)

•    5 cups Oats
•    1 cup Almonds, Roughly Chopped
•    ½ cups Brown Sugar, Packed
•    ¼ teaspoons Salt
•    ⅛ teaspoons Cinnamon
•    ¼ cups Vegetable Oil
•    3 Tablespoons Butter
•    ¼ cups Honey
•    ⅓ cups Strawberry Jam
•    2 Tablespoons Sugar
•    4 teaspoons Vanilla
Preheat oven to 300F.
Lightly grease a baking sheet.
Mix oats, almonds, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
In a small saucepan, combine oil, butter, honey, jam, and sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.
Remove from heat, stir in vanilla.
Pour hot liquid over the oat mixture, stir well until thoroughly mixed.
Spread granola onto prepared cookie sheet.
Bake until golden brown, about 20-30 minutes. (For less clumps, stir occasionally during baking. For more clumps, just turn the baking sheet once during baking.)
Cool completely.
Store in an airtight container. Makes about 9 cups or so.



PW's Yogurt Cream
(Another note, I prefer to use vanilla yogurt…cuz it’s my favorite. But you can just use whatever floats your boat!)
Ingredients
•    1-¼ cup Heavy Cream
•    1-½ cup Plain, Unflavored Yogurt
•    ½ cups (to 3/4 Cup) Brown Sugar
•    Blueberries (or Other Fruit Of Your Choice)
Preparation Instructions
First, pour the yogurt into a bowl. Then add the cream. With a whisk carefully stir until combined. It should be nice and thick.
Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the top of the yogurt mixture. Do not stir the mixture. Cover the bowl with foil or plastic wrap and tightly seal the edges. Place in the refrigerator for at least three or four hours.
When you are ready to serve, place a small handful of berries (or other fruit) into a bowl or cup. Now, you can either not stir the mixture and have small visible bits of brown sugar in the finished product or you can whisk the mixture until smooth. This is how I like it. Stirred or not, spoon the yogurt mixture over the berries or fruit. Repeat the layers once, ending with berries on top.
Now take this heavenly, creamy substance and indulge. You won’t be sorry you did.