Sunday, April 6, 2014

Kate in the Kitchen

OK, we're going to make homemade energy bars.  I got this recipe from a Cooking Light article about foods that stabilize our energy levels instead of the yo-yo effect we get from lots of carbs.

 YUMMY! That's the magazine picture.  Let's see if mine turn out like that.
1 C uncooked, old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 C uncooked quinoa
3/4 C sweetened dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 C salted, dry-roasted pistachios, chopped
1/3 C flaked, unsweetened coconut
2 T flax seed meal. (FLAX SEED MEAL!?! Couldn't find it.  Wheat germ worked OK.)
1 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 C unsalted creamy almond butter
6 T agave nectar
1 T canola oil
1/4 t salt
Cooking spray
There's some chopping to do at the outset.  Don't make the mistake I made:  buy pistachios already shelled.  Tedious...

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
 2.  Spread oats and quinoa on a baking sheet.
 3.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 8 minutes or until lightly browned. They won't look much different, but you will hear the quinoa starting to pop.
 4.  Cool.  Whenever you think you are going to be lazy about this step, think about the chocolate you are going to put into it and be strong.  You don't want a huge melted mess, right?  Right?
 5.  While it's cooling, combine the almond butter, agave, oil and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat.
 6.  Bring it to a boil.  Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
 7.  Coat your 8-inch square glass pan with cooking spray.
 8.  Are the oats cool, yet?  If they are, you can stir in the cranberries, pistachios, coconut, flax seed meal (that looks like wheat germ to me...) and chocolate.
 9.  Pour the almond butter mixture over the oat mixture.  Toss well to coat.
 10.Press mixture into pan and cook at 350 degrees F for 13 minutes or until lightly browned (watch the coconut for evidence of browning:  the other ingredients are already brown).
 11.  Let cool completely...  I guess I need special lighting to make them look like the picture in the magazine...
12.  And cut them into bars while they are still in the pan. NOM!  NOM!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Six Word Saturday

The things we do for soup.

[I offered to make soup for a United Way fundraiser at my work, and soon wished I had not.  The soup sale was on Friday, and I work late on Thursday nights.  Making soup at 11 PM after working a 13 hour shift can cause "kitchen resentment". All of you out there who happily cook for your families but occasionally feel oppressed by this covenant know what I mean.

In the morning, I had to give up my workout so I could have the soup to school on time.

When something becomes a source of proud obsession, I think one of our greatest challenges is to learn to let go, don't you think?  So, I guess I should have been grateful when, as I was pulling out onto the county road, I hit a big bump which sent my crock pot sliding and clattering, upsetting in the way-back and spilling the soup entirely. Does it count as good fortune that the majority of it fell into a broken hubcap, so all I had to do was pour the contents of the hubcap onto the shoulder of the road?   The rest I sopped up with a canvas grocery bag. 

I did not have the creativity or presence of mind to consider whether I could have taken the contents of the hub cap and poured it back into the crock pot.] 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

March Ends in Pictures

 I have not written in so long!  Life has been so interesting, as well.

 Should I sit in the cold car daydreaming about my hubby?  Or should I go work out?  Oh, all right.

 Favorite scarf to cheer up another dark, miserable, snowy day.

 "Men's Health".  I'll take this home for Chuck.  I want to show him the part on how to dress for any occasion.  Also how to be excellent at everything and get laid a bunch more.  And make a better cheese sandwich.

 Still trying to gain mastery of my Kate'sDumbPhone.
 The office was freezing today.
 I am evaluating resumes for the search committee tasked with finding a new director for the University's volunteer service center.  The pile is a bit daunting.

 Venting about his "mMld and Spores" project.

 When is Sara going to get home?
 Still waiting for Sara...
 Sara's home, and dinner is overcooked mush.
 There's always popcorn, though:  it's movie night.

 Setting those dates for the Grand Canyon...