Making my own granola bars has never really been on my radar – I don’t eat them often, so why would I make my own? But in chatting with my lovely and thoughtful and smart pal Amy a few weeks back, she mentioned that “granola bar recipe from Smitten Kitchen is the best granola bars I’ve ever had, I make them as gifts all the time.” And since Amy is – as mentioned – quite brainy, I figured I’d have to add them to my to-bake list.
And then this week rolled around, and I was in charge of snacks for my team meeting at work. As the boss lady of this team, I’ll admit that one spot where I flex my power is that I almost never bring the snacks to our bi-monthly meeting (I figure that since I’m in charge of planning the agenda and running the thing, I get to avoid bringing snacks – obnoxious, I know). Anyway, I felt guilty about making some last-minute changes to the meeting agenda, and figured the best way to assuage my guilt was through baked goods. Obviously.
I have to say, these bars are basically perfect. They’re sweet, sticky, chewy, adaptable, and incredibly delicious. They’re also easy to make and pack along, and can serve as a breakfast treat or an afternoon snack. I highly encourage making them ASAP, for yourself for a snack or as a treat to bring to a group of folks.
July is the ultimate backyard cookout… invite friends over…drink cocktails on a warm summer night…kind of month. The best kinds of desserts for backyard cookouts are the 9 x 13 favorites! Easily transportable, easily enjoyed. Strudel and I decided this month we would share our favorite dessert bar recipes!! First up, blueberry pie bars, a perfect treat for your 4th of July get together.
This recipe is easy and after cooling completely cuts up nicely into hand-held bars that taste like a big slice of blueberry pie. This recipe comes courtesy of the Food Network and Trisha Yearwood (apparently she sings and had a cooking show on the Food Network). The original recipe called for an 8 x 8 inch square pan but I converted it to a 9 x 13 inch pan. I found a great conversion guide at Food52, one of my favorite food sites! I additionally tweaked a few amounts of the ingredients to suit my taste, a little more cornstarch and lemon juice than the original recipe called for.
I’m not too shy to acknowledge that, for this week’s post, I got fancy. Well, fancy on the outside – since I’m generally interested in making foods that are delicious yet simple, I wanted to see how I could incorporate flowers to dress up one of my favorite recipes. And, since it’s summertime and cherries are everywhere, this seemed like a perfect opportunity to get seasonal with my baked goods.
I used my go-to recipe for the scones, subbing chopped cherries instead of blueberries, and I have to say – the fresh sweet cherries are superstars, adding a fresh, sweet flavor. Brushing on a layer of glaze, and decorating with flowers, elevates the scones to another level of fanciness; they seem perfect for cutting into rounds and serving with afternoon (iced) tea. Also, these scones look high-brow enough that it may be appropriate to wear an all-white outfit and a fancy hat while serving.
After perusing Gourmet Sweet Botanicals I couldn’t resist purchasing their squash blossoms! One of my fondest memories of visiting Italy 5 years ago, was visiting an open-air market near the Vatican and seeing all of the zucchini for sale with the flowers still attached. I have never seen that at any farmer’s market here in Colorado.
When I saw them for sale online it took me back to Christmas Eve in Italy when I wished I could have bought them then and cooked them up.
I stuffed these beauties with goat cheese and chicken, rolled them in egg and dipped them in seasoned coconut flour, baked them up and drizzled them with salted butter!
Seltzer is my drink of choice, and a few years back we got a Soda Stream, which meant that my pantry was able to morph from looking like a seltzer bottle storage area into a space that actually held food. It also made going to the grocery store a lot less annoying (back when I lived in NYC, I used to get 1-2 flats of seltzer delivered every time I went to my neighborhood grocery store).
I never get tired of seltzer per se, but I do occasionally like some flavor to my fizzy drinks. I really dislike those pre-made drink mixes (blech to artificial flavorings) and with summer very nearly upon us and edible flower month here at S&S, this seemed the perfect time to experiment with some syrup mixers.
Strudel and I thought it would be fun to create recipes with edible flowers this month! It’s warming up quickly here in Denver and I was craving something cool and refreshing. I found this article very helpful in learning how to use edible flowers. I went to my local nursery for these johnny jump up flowers and just asked that they were pesticide/chemical free.
Don’t know where to get your own edible flowers? You can buy them online!
I chose johnny jump ups to add to this recipe and bring color to the rolls because they have a slightly minty taste.
My daughter and I were extremely lazy this weekend due to all the rain. As we sat around Saturday we craved cake. It was a great opportunity to go visit the best cupcakery around! In beautiful downtown Golden, a stone’s throw from Coors Brewery, is a fabulously decadent purveyor of beautiful and tasty cupcakes called Gold Mine Cupcakes!
There’s something about air travel that makes me hungry – I’m very sure that it’s because I’m bored, but I’m never more excited/anxious for a snack as I am when I’m 35,000 feet in the air. Since airplanes invariably have food that’s unhealthy, expensive, and in quantities that don’t meet my hearty appetite, I try to bring my own food.
Of course, I always try to bring cut up peppers, etc. (just to control the snacking), but this soba noodle salad has become a go-to. It’s healthy and filling, stores well in a mason jar, and (if you’re the chatty sort), helps you show off/make friends with flight attendants and seat neighbors (“Oh! What’s that?!” and “What a great idea!” are common comments). Also, as long as you shake up the sauce and the noodles prior to going through screening, it should be TSA compliant.*
* note: I did once, seriously, get stopped by TSA when I left the dressing pooled on the bottom of the jar, rather than shaking it up prior to going into the jar. It was told the peanut sauce was considered a “gel” but that since it looked like less than 3 ounces, I was fine. Since then, I pre-shake the jar and haven’t had any issues.
When Strudel and I decided May would be our “Out and About” month, I knew I had to blog about one of my favorite places in Colorado, Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse. Since it’s Mother’s Day this is a great place to treat mom! You can sit indoors amongst the persian decor or sit outside along the Boulder Creek and listen to it flow by as you drink from a selection of hundreds of teas!
Dushanbe, Tajikistan is the sister city to Boulder, Colorado and in the late 1980s plans began to create a teahouse to celebrate the relationship. The tea house was constructed in Dushanbe, disassembled and then shipped to Boulder and reassembled.
Hello from the southern (and currently eastern) part of the country! I’m on a bit of a US tour right now – was Louisville, KY, have since moved on to DC (both cities for work + fun), and in a few days will head to NYC (just for fun). I’m having a great time with some colleagues (both inside of meetings and, ahem, outside of work) and seeing parts of the South that I’ve never been to before.
I can define my culinary experiences in Louisville in two categories: fried and bourbon-filled. Thankfully, I love both of those food “groups,” so it was gastronomically successful, for sure. I also had a great time with a few of my girls seeing the city and all it has to offer. We were there a week before the Kentucky Derby (or just “derby” as locals call it), and the town was buzzing with excitement (or resigned to it, depending on who we talked to). Following are some photos of our adventures around town.