Sunday, October 9, 2011

Homemade Granola

This is a slight variation on the recipe my mom use to make when we were growing up. It is quite simple and really delicious! I love it plain, with milk, or in yogurt.

5 c. oatmeal
1 1/2 c. coconut
1 c. sunflower seeds
1 1/4 c. chopped almonds or other nuts
3/4 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. water
3/4 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. honey
1/4 c. molasses
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. coconut extract
1 tsp. almond extract
1 c. Raisins or other fruit (optional)

Preheat oven to 300 ° F. Mix oatmeal, coconut, sunflower seeds, and nuts together in large bowl. In a saucepan over low heat, combine sugar, water, oil, honey, molasses, salt, cinnamon, and extracts until sugar is dissolved. Do not boil. Combine the dry and wet ingredients and spread onto cookie sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes, turning or stirring half way through. Bake 15 minutes longer for crunchy granola, stirring occasionally. Mix in dried fruit after baking. Makes about 10 cups. Store in airtight container up to 6 months.

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Recipe from A Treasury of Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur

The name of this soup may not sound appealing, but for some reason it was appealing enough for me to try it. Even looking at the ingredient list, I wasn't too optimistic, but I must say I LOVED this soup. My picky husband and 3-year old devoured it too! We will definitely be making it again.

4 c. chicken broth
3 c. broccoli, chopped (1 large bunch)
1/2 c. diced onion
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. salt
Dash ground pepper
1/4 c. flour
1/3 c. diced ham
1/2 c. heavy cream

Combine broth, broccoli, onion, bay leaf, salt, and pepper in saucepan over high heat. Bring to boil, turn down heat and simmer, covered for 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf, transfer half of mixture to a blender and blend until nearly a puree. Pour back into saucepan over medium low heat. Add flour and whisk until lumps are dissolved. Add diced ham and cream. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until soup reaches desired thickness.

Serves 4 as an appetizer or 2 as an entree.

Peanut Butter Popcorn

This popcorn has been a family favorite for as long as I can remember. It is so soft and delicious, I prefer it to caramel corn any day!

1 c. kernels popped (2 3.3 oz bags microwave popcorn)
1/2 c. corn syrup
1/2 c. honey
1 c. white sugar
1c. peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbs. butter

Combine corn syrup, honey, and sugar in saucepan over medium high heat. Boil for one minute, remove from heat. Add peanut butter, vanilla, and butter to mixture. Stir over warm popcorn.