what the blat?

Following blogs for years, I wondered why folks walk away from their blog pulpit. Having not-so-recently stepped away for longer than I care to think about, I now get it. All of us lead busy off-line lives with family, friends, … Continue reading

milk with a punch

This gallery contains 7 photos.

Last week we enjoyed oatmeal muffins à la Great-aunt Helen’s recipe box and the promise was made to next find an appropriate beverage to accompany.Now to borrow an advertising slogan: Got Milk?Muffins and milk make good partners, but because we’re … Continue reading

pan of (granola) bars

Pre-kids (and pre-Internet), collecting cookbooks was my thing. Consequently, my shelves are lined with hundreds of books I can’t seem to part with. While I’ve pared the collection down some, I still have far more cookbooks than I’ll ever need or use.

I’m betting many of you can relate. Cookbooks are more than recipes–they remind us of the people who gave them to us, restaurants enjoyed, travels made, classes taken, places lived. Even though there are plenty I’ll never cook from, each has its own reason for sticking around.

Why, though, would I purchase another cookbook? There are few recipes that can’t be found online and decluttering has more appeal than acquiring.

my new toy

my new toy

But I’m easy prey for a good deal and a pretty face. Hamilton Book offered both when its recent flyer advertised Entenmann’s Home Baking for a mere $4.95. Shipping didn’t add much and the memories I have of Entenmann’s baked goods, sitting on supermarket shelves in their blue and white boxes, drew me in. I wanted–no, needed–this book!

So in my collection it now sits and I’ve enjoyed turning its pages. Muffins, cookies, crumb cakes, pies, fancy desserts–they all look wonderfully homespun and there are many I would make. The Almost Homemade chapter uses Entenmann’s products as ingredients (their frosted donuts–along with coarsely chopped popcorn–somehow morphs into Dreamy Chocolate Bars). It all looks like great fun and I’ve already gotten my money’s worth by making two recipes.

Their basic chocolate chip cookies got a bit of a makeover when I subbed in cut-up Halloween candy (still trying to make my way through our stash) for the chips and are rich and buttery and delish.

Nutty Granola Bars were almost as successful. The photo reminded me of the Nature Valley bars we buy in bulk to keep my husband in constant supply. I’ve tried to make DIY versions with varying levels of success (thanks, Ada, for one of my favorites!), but have yet to achieve the crunch of store-bought brands.Open book

pan of bars

pan of bars

Instead of corn syrup, I used honey (seemed a cleaner ingredient) and maybe that was why these bars were softer than expected. Flour and a longer bake time differentiated this recipes from others, but the bars were still more soft than crisp.

Nutty Granola Bars

Nutty Granola Bars

Ironically, the other issue was that the edges crumbled and I had a cup or so of granola left in the pan after cutting and wrapping. The granola–and bars–were fantastic: buttery, a bit salty (did I mention I sprinkled the bars with Maldon sea salt before baking?), just slightly sweet. A splash of almond milk added to the granola crumbles made a fine supper.

granola for supper

granola for supper

I’m glad to have tried this recipe, but would add a bit more honey next time in hopes of better gluing the dry ingredients together. Perhaps a slightly longer bake time, higher temp, and larger pan would crisp them up a bit. Most likely, I’ll find another granola bar recipe to try (if you have one you love, please holler in comments or message me via my deLiz facebook page). Entenmann’s Home Baking will see more use, though, as there are crumb cakes, et al. to be made. This book will earn its place on my shelf.

Nutty Granola Bars

adapted only slightly from Entenmann’s Home Baking

  • 2 1/3 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey or corn syrup

Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease 9-inch square pan. (original recipe calls for 8×8-inch)

In large bowl, mix oats, hazelnuts, flour, and cinnamon.

In saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, and honey; cook over medium heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Pour over dry ingredients; mix well. Spoon mixture into pan, pressing down and smoothing top. Bake 25 minutes or until golden and firm to touch. Cut into 16 pieces while still in pan; cool completely. Makes 16 bars.

a new kitchen toy and a whole lotta links

I’ve written before about my love of kitchen toys. While I try not to overload my countertops with small appliances that are only occasionally used, I love machines that aid and abet kitchen fun. You’ve seen posts on my grain grinder, soda maker, cotton candy maker, food dehydrator, and immersion blender. This week I added to the fun with a new ice cream maker.

What’s that you say? Didn’t I brag up my “soccer ball ice cream maker” last spring, noting that kicking the ball around for a half-hour was a better way to make ice cream than using a machine? Um, yes, yes I did. But since writing that, I’ve been inundated with ice cream recipes that I really had to try: maple-bacon crunch ice cream, bourbon and cornflake ice cream (It’s called Secret Breakfast and I had it at San Francisco’s Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream. Since purchasing their book, this flavor could be mine for breakfast if I only had an ice cream maker.), chocolate sorbet, popcorn ice cream (already made it once, but had to do it soccer-ball style), everything I’ve found on Frozen Socialism, and then some. If I had to kick that soccer ball around for each amazing batch, making ice cream would become my full-time pursuit. As much fun as that sounds, my family might think differently. Hence, I needed a machine.

For a mere $60, I bought what seemed to be a popular choice among reviewers. The Accidental Locavore had also recommended this model, so I went to her for my first recipe. Her ricotta ice cream was easy to make and lovely to eat. A drizzle of buckwheat honey and splash of 2 Gingers Whiskey made it crazy good. Also purchased with my ice cream maker was Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home, which I’d seen featured on food52. This pretty book has oodles of think-outside-the-carton ice cream recipes such as Gorgonzola Dolce with Candied Walnuts; Chamomile Chardonnay; and Roasted Strawberry & Buttermilk. I see myself being plenty busy with ice-cream making for a long time to come. This kitchen toy is a hit.

churning

ricotta ice cream à la Accidental Locavore–thanks!

drizzles of whiskey and honey