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Resolution Recipe 7: Almond Date Breakfast Bars


Getting caught up on recipes and posts before school starts up so here’s the last one I have in the queue that I’m getting around to posting about. 20140825_215216 These bars are really easy to make but they do require a few different ingredients you probably don’t have in your pantry. These include dates and wheat germ. I definitely had to make a stop a Sprouts to pick up these items as well as the oats, almond butter and almonds since I didn’t have those in my pantry either. I thought I had whole wheat flour on hand but I didn’t. This always seems to happen to me with one ingredient! You would think I would have learned by now, but nope. I’m learning to be the substitution queen. In this case I felt lucky because whole wheat flour seems like an easy thing to replace with regular flour. However, I’m wondering now if it would have helped with holding them together since it is more course then regular flour. Noted for next time. 20140825_215438 I was able to find pitted dates at Sprouts so I encourage you to try and find the same if you can since I imagine pitting these guys is not the easiest thing to do since they are a bit on the sticky side when cutting into them. I have to be honest. These look like bugs to me….cockroaches to be exact….so I pretty much never eat them if I can help it, let alone work with them. I got over my squeamishness a little bit working on this recipes, but just know the sacrifice it took for me to do this you guys….it was a big one. (Dramatic much…:) 20140825_221817   Recipe is easy…combine dry ingredients as seen above. Then…. 20140825_223325   Combine your dry ingredients until you reach the smooth texture you see here.

This is the point in the recipe where things went a little south for me…unfortunately. I’m learning the ropes in my parents kitchen since I recently moved home. (Side note…had to move from Whittier to Corona because they are selling the house I lived in. Sad to leave but happy to have a place to transition to while I figure out where I’ll live next. Rent free and nice kitchen to cook in is a super bonus, but commute to work/school went up so we’ll see how long I last). Being in this new kitchen has been lovely. More surfaces to use and better kitchen supplies on hand…all great. What is not great is the bummer process of learning how you mother stores her ingredients the hard way. She has an olive oil bottle (seen pictured above with ingredients) that HAS been used for olive oil in the past. I swear! Recently she put a different kind of oil in there…thinking canola oil….and uses olive oil straight out of the bottle. *sigh*. And guess who did not smell the oil to make sure it was right?! Yep yep, this novice right here. Lesson learned.

20140825_223447I sadly ended up using the canola oil which, let’s face it, does not taste as good as olive oil. As soon as I poured it in the bowl I knew I had done something wrong because the smell was more of the oil used in deep frying and I had pictures of deep fried treats dancing through my mind as soon as the smell hit my nose. NOT the taste or smell you want associated with your healthy breakfast bars. I kept hoping that the taste would not be affected, but sadly it really was. It had an unfortunately greasy taste to it and I don’t think that’s what we were going for with these. Ugh. 20140825_223655 Back to the recipe…after you get the creamy consistency of your wet ingredients you’ll combine it with the dry and mix until well coated. You’ll pour that into the pan and do your best to press the mixture down into the pan to make it as compact as you’re able. I do not think I did as good of a job at this as I could have. I know that would have made the difference in how well they were able to stay together in the end so learn from my mistake please!20140825_223951 Deb gives a suggestion to do two crisscross pieces of foil or parchment paper to help with removing the bars after they have cooked. Doing this also makes for an easier clean up with all the oil you’re using as well so I suggest you take her tip. 20140825_230658 You won’t notice a major change in color once it come out but the oats will be a bit more brown like an apple crisp (my only real comparison…haha). She suggests that you let them cool inside the pan for a bit and then to take them out with your foil and place them on a cooling rack before cutting them. I did try to do this but when I went to take them out, they began to break apart. I was able to do it in part to get a picture but they are pretty fragile.  I ran into the same problem the next day so I wasn’t able to really cut them into easily removable bars that would hold up long term. Again, I’m sure this was due to me not packing them in very well so there is hope for success next time. 20140825_233144Instead of keeping them in crumbly bars, I ended up breaking them up into the chunks of granola they were naturally falling into. I figured the crumbles would make good bite sized versions. It would also be a good yogurt topping as well if you’re a yogurt lover.  The think I loved about these clusters/bars that is different from anything I’ve had is the orange zest! It’s a different but lovely flavor to have in bars like these. I might also want to add dried cranberries when making these again since they would complement the freshness of the orange. Can’t wait to try them again with all the right ingredients!

RECIPE:

Once again I’m flying and not able to post the recipe without the book so I’m redirecting you to another blogger who has done the recipe and an excellent job of taking pictures of what it SHOULD look like! Check out the details on the blog Cafe Carol.

Thanks for reading everyone! Next post will be about my foodie adventures in Delaware and Philadelphia! I got to check something off my Philadelphia bucket list while I was there so I’m excited to pool my pictures and share about my good eats from my trip.

Also, if you’re a fellow Pinner, be sure to check out some of the stuff I’m pinning on the Novice Cook Diaries Pinterest Boards  if you haven’t already! Tell me which boards have the tastiest looking recipes and if I get enough feedback and I’ll pick a recipe from that board and give it a try.

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Bacon and Corn Griddle Cakes….MY WAY!



What to make when you’ve lost your wisdom teeth and cringe at the thought of eating something crunchy…..I’m not sure if you’ve had the same dilema but that’s what has been on my brain recently since getting my wisdom teeth pulled on Friday. I was lucky and didn’t have any swelling or major jaw pain like I hear others struggle with. However, I still have 4 big holes in my mouth that do nothing but collect food when I eat. Talk about frustrating. Mashed potatoes, jello, pudding, ice cream, soup…all wonderful food, but I’m sick of them! I saw this recipe on Pinterest this week and figured I would give them a try for my poor mouth.

Don’t these look fantastic?! That’s what I thought too…a big Hurray for me since I’m not the biggest fan of pancakes. I love the idea of doing something savory sweet for breakfast and this has all of those elements. Pancakes are something I just have to be in the mood for, but these looked ideal at any time of the day, breakfast or dinner. Don’t drool to quickly though…that is just the picture posted from Recipe Girl who has her own story about making these griddle cakes. Mine look a little more noivce…just like me! You’ll see my picture at the end and be super disappointed, but consider it a generous dose of reality for when you make yours. Good luck making them look this awesomely perfect.

I decided to try these for dinner tonight and wasn’t disappointed. I made a few modifications to the recipe because I forgot to grab montery jack cheese from the store and the store didn’t have chives, AND I’m not the biggest fan of corn ( I know…the list of things I’m not a fan of are growing by the posts) but also though that would be a no go for my mouth condition. Here is the recipe and next to it is what I subbed some of the ingredients for:

8 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives green onion
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2/3 cup milk
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
1 cup frozen, canned or fresh corn
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese smoked mozzarella cheese
warm maple syrup, for serving

I have become a huge fan of smoked mozzarella but it’s such a strong flavor that it’s something to be used with consideration. I’ve used it on a few home made and naan pizzas I’ve done recently but it just isn’t quite right. But then again, I stink at making home made pizza memorable so you may not want to take my advice. I love the cheese so much that I’m willing to find recipes that it can be used in! I would LOVE to hear how others are using it and what flavors go well with it so if you know a few, send them my way. I found my round of smoked mozzarella at Fresh and Easy and I’m starting to see it at other grocery stores too. If you ever come across it, just throw it in your cart to try and see what you dream up for how to used it in your normal recipes. It’s just yummy by itself so you won’t regret buying it. For the record, It goes really well in this recipe.

So, the first thing you do is take your bacon and start browning it in the pan…while it’s doing it’s thing, cut up your sweet onion and toss it in the pan. The recipe directions (see below) says to wait till the onion starts to brown, but I say throw it in whenever you want. I didn’t run into any problems with the onions being over done doing it this way. I ran it on medium heat which gave it time brown and me time to start mixing the dry ingredients without getting too ahead of myself.

Your dry ingredients include all purpose flour (I wonder what bread flour would do to this recipe….hmm. I will try and post the outcome. I’m thinking less dense cakes at the end), baking powder, salt, cayenne pepper and green onions. Easy.

Your next step is to mix in your wet ingredients and cheese. The wet ingredients include milk, one egg (beaten a bit), vegetable oil (mine I dumped in my milk which is why it looks a little funny), and of course your cheese. I mixed all the wet ingredients in then threw a handful of cheese in. I actually think I could have done more then the 1/2 cup suggested so don’t be afraid to add more if you’re a cheese lover. After that you’ll take your onion and bacon mixture and add it to the batter.
I made the mistake of not leaving some of the bacon and onion pieces out because I thought, the more the merrier for what was going in the batter….which was right, but there is something about having that extra bacon mixture for the top….SOOO…I caved and cut up a couple strips of bacon and some more onion to make some more. I did that while I began making the cakes which gave me enough time to finish up the bacon. I actually got lucky and timed it perfectly. The 8 slices was a good amount for the batter but secretly, I say you can’t have enough bacon! Make up the whole package for goodness sake! You can just use the leftovers in  eggs or a grill cheese sandwich.
Back to the recipe….I used a 1/4 cup and my mini spatula to get the size I wanted. I ended up adding some more milk to thinn out the batter. I probably should have added a little more, but I didn’t want them to loose the cake-essence of them…the recipe suggests it too, but add milk to get your batter the consistency you’re wanting. The picture to the right is of my first one…looks okay to me!
That’s basically it. I thought it was a very easy little recipe to throw together and I’m already thinking of the other varieties I could do with this basic flour, egg, salt, baking powder batter. I think this will quite possibly be one of the new recipes on my mental recipe box when thinking about meals for the week.
And to leave you in no more suspense, here is my final product…

 Give these a try and tell me what you think. Next time I may be adventurous and add the corn…but we’ll see. Happy cooking friends!

RECIPE AND DIRECTIONS FROM RECIPE GIRL

bacon and corn griddle cakes

Yield: Eight 4-inch griddle cakes

Prep Time: 25 min

Cook Time: 25 min

These unique pancakes are stuffed with bacon, corn and cheese. A good dose of warm maple syrup makes them a delicious choice for breakfast.

Ingredients:

8 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2/3 cup milk
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
1 cup frozen, canned or fresh corn
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
warm maple syrup, for serving

Directions:

1. In a medium skillet, cook the bacon pieces until they begin to brown. Add the onion and continue to cook until the bacon is crisp and the onion is softened. Scoop out a heaping tablespoon of the bacon mixture for topping the griddle cakes upon serving- and set it aside.

2. While the bacon is cooking, combine the flour, chives, baking powder, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir in the milk, egg and oil, just until moistened. Stir in the bacon mixture, corn and cheese. The mixture will be thick. If you’d like the griddle cakes to be slightly thinner than those pictured, add a little more milk to thin out the batter.

3. Heat and grease a griddle or large skillet. Pour a heaping 1/4-cup of the batter onto the griddle and cook until it is golden brown- 3 to 4 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining batter.

4. Serve stacks of griddle cakes topped with a sprinkle of the reserved bacon/onion and a good dose of warm maple syrup.