Thursday, May 24, 2012

Raspberry Lemonade Granola

It's a shy one, this recipe.  Raspberry Lemonade Granola has been hiding from you for two months, sitting in my freezer, waiting for the perfect still-spring-but-almost-summer day to appear.  

Spring seems to be a time of unveiling.  

Flowers pop out of the ground, sharing their beautiful colors with passersby.  

Not one Facebook friend, not two Facebook friends, but numerous Facebook friends share their secret with the Facebook world: "So-and-so is now in a relationship."

Maybe you surprise yourself.  A dormant, timid, little trait of yours appears with boldness; a part of yourself that you never knew existed inside you until the moment it came out.  That happened to me this spring.  

Let's celebrate the newness with a still-spring-but-almost-summer cocktail, or at least some Raspberry Lemonade Granola.  

Raspberry Lemonade Granola

Yields: 6-8 servings


3 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut 
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup raspberry preserves
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt

Other additional mix-ins:
Freeze-dried raspberries
Dried cranberries
Slivered almonds


Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Spray a baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together oats and coconut.

In a microwave safe bowl, stir together oil, lemon juice, preserves honey, zest and salt.  Microwave for twenty seconds and stir again.  Pour liquid over oat mixture.

Stir oat mixture with liquid until well absorbed.  Spread oats evenly onto pan and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove pan from oven and gently stir granola, but be careful not to break up any large clumps.  Return to oven for an additional 20 minutes, or until granola has reached a light golden brown. 

Cool granola in pan for 20 minutes and then transfer to aluminum foil to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.  

Serve atop plain/vanilla/lemon yogurt, vanilla ice cream, or eat it as a snack on its own.  

Granola lasts for 2 weeks in an airtight container at room temperature, or for up to two months in the freezer.  

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Trader Joe's Multi-Grain Pancake Mix: Fancified

How do you feel about shortcuts?  Do you take them?  Do you make them?  Do you think they are a sign of laziness?

I tend to avoid them when I'm walking (unless I'm late), because I enjoy the extra exercise and fresh air.

I try not to take them when I am doing homework since I feel like I am compromising my (expensive) college education.

In cooking, however, I greatly appreciate them.  Especially on a Saturday morning when I have slept-in and awake to find myself craving Harvest Nut n' Grain pancakes from IHOP.

That's  when Trader Joe's Multigrain Baking and Pancake Mix comes in handy.  With a few extra ingredients + some love, Saturday morning breakfast start the weekend right.

This is not an endorsement (paid or otherwise) for Trader Joe's or their products.  I just really happen to like this product.  That being said...Trader Joe's, I will welcome any donations of foodstuffs that you would graciously like to donate to this humble blog :)

Multigrain Banana Nut Pancakes: Fancified

Yields: 6-8 pancakes


1 cup TJ's Multigrain Baking Mix
1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
1 egg
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 cup chopped walnuts
banana slices and maple syrup 


Whisk baking mix, soy milk, egg, oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg until smooth.  Stir in chopped walnuts.  

On a lightly greased griddle over medium heat, pour 1/4 cup pancake mix per pancake.  Cook on one side until air bubbles form around the edges of pancake, and then flip with a spatula.   Cook on other side until golden brown (about 1 to 1 1/2 minute more).

Serve warm.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Roasted Cauliflower and Edamame Brown Rice Salad

Last Wednesday, the sun was shining brightly.  As the early morning rays peeked through my curtains and I considered what to wear, I decided that I should take advantage of the early season sunshine and set to work on removing the bleach white hue of my legs.  

Still, I took precautions.  I lathered up every exposed centimeter of flesh with my 30 SPF light weight body armor. 

But, wow.  The sun is a serious opponent.   

As I began to feel the skin on my exposed shoulders begin to sizzle, I knew that I had lost.

I roasted.  

Which brings me to the point of this post, roasted cauliflower.  See what I did there?  

Have you ever roasted cauliflower?  With a little olive oil, some spices, and some time in the oven, this veggie emerges with a beautiful golden tan and bursts with flavor.  Try it served cold with rice, edamame and some Parmesan cheese for a refreshing and easy lunch or dinner.

Roasted Cauliflower and Edamame Brown Rice Salad

Yields: 6-8 Servings.


1 head of cauliflower, rinsed and chopped 
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more for rice)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup dry brown rice
2 1/2 cup water
1 12 oz. bag frozen and shelled edamame (soy beans)
Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 400 deg. F.

Bring 2 1/2 cups of salted water i to a boil.  Add dry brown rice to pot and reduce heat to a simmer.  Allow rice to cook for 30 to 45 minutes until rice has absorbed water.  Fluff rice and set aside.

Thaw edamame in a bowl of room temperature water.  Drain and set aside.  

Lightly spray a roasting pan with cooking spray; set aside. 

Prepare cauliflower by rinsing and allowing to dry.  Chop cauliflower into 1 inch sized florets.  Drizzle olive oil over cauliflower in a large bowl; add spices.  Toss to coat and transfer cauliflower to roasting pan. 

Roast cauliflower in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring once after 20 minutes.  Cook until lightly browned and when tested with a fork, cauliflower feels tender.  Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, mix rice, edamame, and cauliflower together.  Add extra salt and pepper if desired.  Top with a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.  Serve cold.  

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Court's Clicks: 5/5/12

I go to a "biking" school.  Pretty much everyone owns a bike, and if they don't they steal yours.  

I don't usually bike to school, though.  When I tell people this, they look at me like I am insane and they let out a long and drawn out "whaaaaaaaaat?!"

It's beautiful sights like the one above that actually make walking the two or so miles to campus a joy.

Now, onto the links!

I can't let Cinco de Mayo pass by without a Mexican food link.  Here's an adorable idea: Mini Mexican Layered Dip.

As far as flowers go, the decorating on these Lemon Sunflower Cupcakes could certainly contend with the beautiful rose I spotted on my walk.

When the weather heats up, about the only thing I want to eat (and eat outside in the sunshine and warm ocean breeze) is a nice salad.  Check out this Honey Walnut Power Salad with blue cheese, edamame, and caramelized onions.

Happy Friday Weekend! (darn it, late again, haha)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Whole Wheat Blueberry Banana Muffins

This quarter I am taking a class for fun, "Beginning Ballroom Dance."  It's fun, but also funny.  In fact, it's hilarious.  

I am awkward.  I step on my partners' toes when I dance the Tango, my knees bump into theirs when I attempt the Samba, and don't get me started on Latin hips.

Good dancing is about grace--finesse.

Of which, I have none.  At least these muffins have a little empathy for me in their sweet little blueberry juice filled hearts.

These muffins are the opposite of finesse.  These are hearty muffins.  Lumberjack mountain men in muffin tins.

Whole wheat flour, brown sugar, blueberries and banana.  Back to nature, dense, and filling...with a sweet side too. 

And that's the other thing I've learned: grace can be learned.  There may be hope for my dancing (and my unfortunate and injured dance partners) yet.  

Whole Wheat Blueberry Banana Muffins
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, 15th ed."Make-It-Mine Muffins"

Yield: 12 medium sized muffins


1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 large banana, mashed until smooth
3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon unsweetened soy milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup frozen blueberries
extra brown sugar for the top


Preheat oven to 400 deg. F.  Line a muffin tin with paper cups or grease well.  

In a large bowl, stir flours, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.  Make a well in the center of the mixture.

In a medium bowl, mash or purée banana until smooth.  Add soy milk and vegetable oil.  Mix.

Add liquid to well in center of flour mixture.  Stir until just dampened (lumpy is good!).  Fold in blueberries.

Spoon batter into muffin pan until 2/3 of the way full, or just to the top for a slightly bigger muffin.  Sprinkle brown sugar over the tops of each muffin cup.

Bake muffins for 15-18 minutes or until browned on the top and a toothpick inserted in the center of one of the inner muffins comes out clean.  

Cool muffins in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.  Remove muffins from cups and eat warm, or allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.