The warm weather is here and, before you know it, summer will be in full swing. You know what that means…the grills get fired up and the stove gets a rest. Who wants to turn the stove on when it’s hazy, hot and humid, right? Not me.
Granola bars are one of those universal snacks for both kids and adults. They’re convenient, pack easy in a lunch and it’s a quick fix for when the tummy starts grumbling. Problem is, if granola bars are a family favorite, the cost of these chewy bars of goodness can add up. You can pay up to $4 or more a box and you typically get 6-8 per box. For a family of 4, that probably lasts a day or two.
If I’m not at my desk, there’s a good chance I’m in the kitchen sporting my frilly apron. Or, as of late, you’ll find me at the grocery store purchasing large quantities of bananas. I’m pretty sure the cashiers have deemed me the crazy banana lady.
Over the summer I shared a recipe for a low carb pizza crust made with cauliflower. I made it the following week and it was fantastic! The only downfall was that it had to be eaten with a fork. Picking it up and eating it like a regular slice of pizza, with a bread crust, was messy. There are some similar recipes that guarantee an almost crispy crust. I haven’t attempted those yet, but you can bet it’s in the lineup of recipes to try.
Saturday marked the first day of fall and my kitchen is officially a haven for fall baking. You’ll find me whipping up German apple cakes, pumpkin breads & muffins, apple crisp, apple pies and pumpkin cookies. We enjoy our fall fare until it’s time to start holiday baking. With all these goodies in the house, you’d think that the pounds would start packing on. That’s not the case. In this house, I bake healthy. Oil is replaced with applesauce, sugar is replaced with Splenda and I add oatmeal and whole wheat flour whenever possible.
I would have to say that 90% of the food I consume is meatless. The only thing keeping me from stepping over to the vegetarian world is seafood. I grew up on it. I love it. The longest I’ve been without it was 3 years when I was, in fact, a vegetarian. However, that ended one summer when I took a nose dive into a pint of fried clams. I continued to eat seafood, however, that didn’t change my love for vegetarian food and my addiction to vegetables. Our refrigerator is packed with seasonal veggies and the freezer always has at least a half dozen steam fresh bags.
About 13 years ago I applied for a job as a manager for a local convenience store. It wasn’t doing well and business was slowly declining. Larger convenience store chains were being built in the area. The store was small, however, it had a small kitchen with one oven. During the interview the manager asked me, “What can you do to make this store unique so business picks up again?” I sat there thinking. I took all factors into consideration…location, what the larger convenience stores offered, tourist season, etc. After what seemed like an eternity, I looked at the owner and told her, “I can open a bakery in the store.” She asked what would make this one different. My answer was simple. Everything would be made from scratch. I was hired immediately.
Most of the time I stay away from excess carbs, white flower and sugar. Once in a while I splurge, but it’s not often. My body can’t handle an overabundance of sugar. That includes breads, pastas and all that other yummy stuff that turns to sugar if I am not active. I experience extreme fatigue, mood swings, and irritability. I also do it for health reasons as well. In 2 years I’ve lost a little over 100 pounds. I’m almost 40 and I feel better now than I did in my early 20′s.
A few days ago I wrote about an amazing No-Bake Strawberry Icebox Cake that I had come across on Pinterest. Last night, my mouth watered again at yet another no-bake cake. This time, it’s for a decadent No-Bake Chocolate Eclair Dessert from ‘The Kitchen Is My Playground.‘ Another dessert that is super easy to make, requires no baking and it looks amazingly delicious.
I signed up with Pinterest in November of 2011. Since then, I have come across an abundance of recipes that have caught my attention. Some stand out because of the mouth watering pictures while others have catchy names. The other day I stumbled across this recipe for a no bake strawberry icebox cake. I’ve heard of no bake cookies and peanut butter bars, but cake? I love cake, especially cupcakes. I’ve been a baker all my life and, not once, have I come across anything that remotely suggests a no bake cake.