G1

The Greatest Granola

While we are on a breakfast theme here, I wanted to share one more of our favorite breakfast recipes EVER. It came from my friend Melissa @ 320 Sycamore, and was given to her by her sister Kelsey.

This one is so good that my kids will eat it for breakfast, for snacks, for whenever. And my husband will actually EAT breakfast when we have this. That is saying something.

It is very easy, and – did I mention? – is super delicious.

Ingredients:

6 c. oats

1 c. coconut

1 c. craisins (or raisins or other dried fruit)

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. almonds (or other nuts on hand)

1/2 c. flax seed or wheat germ (we use milled flax seed)

1-2 T. cinnamon (to taste – we use the full 2 T.)

1/2 tsp. salt

2 T. vanilla

1/2 c. canola oil

3/4 c. honey

Directions: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Put all of your ingredients in a large bowl and stir them together. Spread on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. The longer you bake it, the crispier it will be, so you can bake to your crunchiness/chewiness preferences.

That is it. When I shared the recipe with my mom, she mentioned that she prefers to mix the dry ingredients together first to keep things from clumping, and then pour the wet ones in. I arranged the recipe so if you would prefer to do it that way also, you can just go down the list until you hit the salt, mix it together, and then add the rest.

Also, I like to pour my canola oil in first, and then use the 1/2 cup measuring cup for the honey and just do 1 1/2 of those (to get the 3/4 cup needed). Since the measuring cup is already coated in oil, the honey all slides right out – no need to scrape.

When we made the granola this time, we used blueberry craisins. One of my favorites was when we used orange crasins – that had a nice twist to it.

See? Happy boy. Thanks Melissa – and Kelsey! :)

PC 5

Breakfast for Dinner

Who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner? Seriously – I could happily eat breakfast for every meal.

Weekend dinner nights seem to be the ones that are prone to turning into breakfast for dinner here, but really, breakfast for dinner is good any night of the week.

Here are some of our favorite recipes for “breakfast foods” – be them for dinner, or for a real breakfast:

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Grandma Rock’s Pancakes (family recipe) – this batter works great for waffles as well

Ingredients:

2 c. flour

1/2 tsp. salt

2 T. sugar

1 T. baking powder

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1/3 c. oil

2 c. milk

Directions: Preheat griddle to 325 degrees. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour onto heated skillet, and flip over once there are bubbles that form, pop, and then stay “empty” (see below). Cook on other side until browned to your liking. Enjoy!

*The original recipe has you separate the eggs, put the yolks in the batter, and beat the egg whites. Then you fold the egg whites into the batter. We have found that they still get nice and fluffy if you just beat everything together for awhile, and then it is not an extra step. They still are super tasty either way.

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Homemade Pancake Syrup (from allrecipes.com)

Ingredients:

3/4 c. packed brown sugar

1/4 c. sugar

3/4 c. water

1/2 c. light corn syrup

1/2 tsp. maple flavoring

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions: In a saucepan, combine the sugars, water and corn syrup and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 7 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in maple flavoring and vanilla. Cool for 15 minutes. We store the remaining syrup in a container in the refrigerator.

This recipe is legit – it has the perfect consistency (in our opinion – it’s not thick like the store kind, but has a little more substance than some homemade ones we have tried), and it tastes fantastic.

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Breakfast Potatoes (slightly modified from Our Best Bites)

Ingredients:

4 medium baking potatoes (or more – we sometimes fudge on that one)

1 small onion, minced

1/4 c. salted butter

Pepper and salt, to taste (Kosher salt is great)

Tabasco sauce

Directions: Bring a medium or large pot of water to a boil. While you are doing this, cut your potatoes into bite-sized cubes. Once the water is boiling, add your potatoes and cook for 5 minutes, or until potatoes are slightly softened, but not totally cooked. Drain and set aside.

Heat a large skillet (we use an electric one) over medium heat. Add the butter. After butter is melted, add your onion and cook for 1 minute. Add your potatoes in a single layer and cook for 3-4 minutes. DO NOT STIR THEM AROUND. Please. :) Sprinkle some salt, pepper, and a couple of dashes of Tabasco. Flip your potatoes, trying to get as many to flip at once as you can. This is just to minimize your potato touching.

Cook for another 3-4 minutes and give them a test to see if they are done and how your seasonings are. You can add more salt, pepper or Tabasco at this point, if desired. If they are still not done, flip them as before, and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Repeat cycle until they are done.

*These are also legit – they are so tasty! The original recipe calls for up to 20 shakes of Tabasco – 4 shakes about does me in and gives me heartburn for the rest of the night. It is all up to your preference. We usually moderate to around 3 – enough to have a “kick”, but not so much that you feel pain rather than have the sensation of taste.

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There you go – add some scrambled eggs and you have breakfast for dinner. Enjoy!!

CCC

THE Best Chocolate Chip Cookies – Hands Down.

These lovelies are THE best chocolate chip cookies. Ever. Really. Whenever I make them, people ask for the recipe. And I laugh – because it is just slightly modified from the recipe on the Nestle chocolate chip bag.┬áBut the slight modification is what makes them perfect. I believe this was a tip passed on to my mom by a friend many moons ago (which is amazing, since my mom is still only 27….), and it is how we grew up enjoying chocolate chip cookies.

Ingredients

2 1/4 c. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt (my mom updated this – she uses 1/2 tsp. – we’ll have to try that next time)

3/4 c. sugar

3/4 c. brown sugar (packed)

1 c. SHORTENING <—-THIS is the change, my friends.

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 eggs

Chocolate chips (the recipe calls for one 12 oz. package, but I usually use less – personal preference)

Step 1: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.

Step 2: Cream SHORTENING, sugars and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Add eggs and beat well. Please, oh please – do NOT use butter or margarine. Use the shortening. It is magical. I promise. And, actually, all of my favorite cookie recipes have shortening instead of butter or margarine. Just sayin’. They will be fluffy and wonderful.

Step 3: Gradually beat in flour mixture, and then stir in your chocolate chips.

Step 4: Bake for 9-11 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Step 5: ENJOY!! :)

These are SO good – don’t they look perfect? Again, we gave some of these away too. Good for calorie counting, but sad for tummies that need yummy chocolate chip cookies. Not want, NEED. I may now need to make me some more of these. :)

BYUB 5

BYU Mint Brownies

Happy Friday the 13th! Those have tended to be good luck days for me, so we’ll do something minty and yummy today. :)

These are so, SO good. It really isn’t fair. We made these this weekend (we’ve made them a couple of times before as well), ate some, gave a bunch away, and looking at this picture makes me want to make more of them. Yummy chocolate brownie covered in mint frosting, and then chocolate frosting. The brownies are honestly good enough to eat alone, but when you add the frosting layers, it is perfection. I found this recipe from Christy @ The Girl Who Ate Everything, and she found the recipe from the BYU Dining website.

Ingredients (Brownies):

1 c. margarine

1/2 c. cocoa

2 T. honey

4 eggs

2 c. sugar

1 3/4 c. flour

1/2 T. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 c. chopped walnuts (or leave the nuts out – that’s what I have done)

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt margarine and mix in cocoa. Allow to cool. I did this on the stove, but it just occurred to me that it would be even faster in the microwave. I get it to where it is JUST melted so it doesn’t take so long to cool down. Also, do NOT eat this. It may look delicious, but it isn’t. Your brain will tell you not to eat it because unsweetened cocoa is not very tasty, but sometimes the autopilot of taste-testing goes into override. Not that I speak from experience….

Step 2: Add the rest of the ingredients (honey, eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, salt) and mix well. Pour it all into a greased 9×13 pan and bake for 25 minutes. Then let them COOL. I stick mine in the freezer to cool. Because I am just that patient.

Step 3: Get your frosting(s) ready!

Mint Frosting Ingredients:

5 T. butter (the original recipe calls for margarine, but I have found butter to work better)

dash of salt

1 T. light corn syrup

2 1/3 c. powdered sugar

1/2 tsp. mint extract

1-2 drops green food coloring

3 T. milk

Soften butter, and then add salt, corn syrup and powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Add the mint extract and food coloring and mix. Add the milk gradually until it is a little thinner than cake frosting.

For the chocolate frosting, you can either buy a tub from the store or make your own recipe. I found this one and have thought it is perfect – it can stand on its own with the brownie and the mint frosting, but still goes well with them. If you use that recipe, you can substitute milk for the evaporated milk and it works fine. I have also substituted margarine for butter, and that has been fine too.

Step 4: After your brownies have cooled, spread on your mint frosting. I put it in the freezer after this step too to make the next one easier.

Step 5: Spread the chocolate frosting on top.

That is IT. We have found these are best if stored in the refrigerator or freezer. How can you pass these up? I mean, really?

Enjoy!

GS 6

Glasses, Like NEW

My wonderful mother-in-law read my post on the homemade detergent, where I commented that I had hoped that the detergent would magically take the water stains off of my glasses (which it didn’t, sadly), and called and shared a tip with me.

She and I both got our sets of glasses right around the same time. When she bought hers, it was to replace a set that had gotten very badly water stained over the last couple of years. Ours were our first set of true glasses (after 7 years of marriage….). This was a little over two years ago. As a little “after” picture before the “before” picture, here is the good news of how things ended up when I was done cleaning the glasses:

And here is what they looked like BEFORE I was able to get them clean:

Yikes. Hard water is awesome, right? This is why I was hoping the detergent would be magical. This weekend, my mother-in-law decided to try and tinker around with things to see if she could salvage her glasses before buying a new set, and called me with her good news: she’d found it!

Here is all you need: some Lemi Shine and a Magic Eraser.

That’s it. Lemi Shine can be found near your dishwasher detergents at your local Target, Walmart, etc. It runs around $3.77 or so for a container.

Step 1: Fill your sink with water (lukewarm) and sprinkle in some Lemi Shine. I just filled the water up until the Lemi Shine granules I had sprinkled in were all dissolved. It was deep enough to cover maybe a third or half of each glass when laid down on its side.

Step 2: Roll the glass around in the water. I then just took a washcloth and rubbed inside and outside of the glass with the Lemi Shine water. This step alone was enough to get my glasses clean.

Look at that!!

Step 3: Scrub the Lemi Shine water off with dishsoap and water, and dry with a dish towel. Lemi Shine appears to be made of all-natural ingredients, so you may be okay with skipping this step. I personally don’t mind rinsing and soaping off something that calls itself a dish detergent booster, even with natural ingredients.

They look BRAND NEW!!! Hooray!!! Here is a reminder of what the glasses looked like before, next to what they look like now:

Wow. This is a VERY easy fix to something that was a big problem before.

I have some Pyrex and other glassware that had gotten water stained, but that I have had for almost nine years now and had some more stubborn stains to remove. Here is where the Magic Eraser comes in –

Step 4: While your stubborn glasses/glassware are in the Lemi Shine water, use a Magic Eraser to scrub some of the Lemi Shine water onto the stubborn spots. Here is a ring on the bottom of one of my Pyrex measuring cups. I have tried for YEARS to get this ring gone.

After a dip in the Lemi Shine bath, and a scrub with the Magic Eraser it is………

CLEAN!!!!! I am so happy! Aren’t mothers-in-law wonderful? Thank you so much for the tip!

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