Little Boy Bars – A cross between Lara Bars and granola bars

I really like Lara Bars as well as granola bars so does the little boy. Rather than buying them I have started to make a version of them at home. They contain less sugar and I can add or subtract ingredients to get different flavors. Below is the basic recipe that I came up with. They were a hit with the little boy and much less expensive than the store bought ones.

Little Boy Bars -

I have started to make a couple batches of these at a time and freeze them. That way I can just take out a couple at a time. He has been hooked on “cookies” lately and if I call these a cookie and keep them in the cookie jar, he doesn’t think twice that they aren’t a cookie per-say.

Little Boy Bars
2 ea.         Eggs
1/2 c.        Raisins
1/2 c.        Figs
1/2 tsp.     Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp.      Cinnamon
Pinch         Kosher Salt
1 tbsp.       Molasses
2 tbsp.       Honey
1/3 c.         Natural Peanut Butter
1 c.            Unsweetened Coconut
1/4 c.         Ground Flax Seed
1 c.            Old Fashioned Oats

In a food processor, blend the coconut, flax, and oats, just until they are evenly chopped. Set the oat mixture aside. Again in the food processor, place the remaining ingredients and blend until the raisins and figs are well-chopped. Combine the wet and dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.
Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper. Press the dough into the pan.
Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Allow the bars to cool before cutting.

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Pan de Muerto and Tamales

I am a little late but we finally had my Dia de los Muerto meal last night and it was great! Red rice, refried beans and tamales. It was as authentic tasting as you can get this close to Canada, with one exception, the method of wrapping.

Traditionally tamales are wrapped in a corn husk before steaming. It’s 50/50 whether or not I get those to turn out. This time I cut parchment paper squares and filled them just as I would a corn husk, it worked so well! I did still put the husk in the bottom of my steamer (my metal colander and soup pot). I don’t know that I will fill the corn husks again until I am trained by a little Mexican grandma.

Tamales in Parchment - Wildflowerfarm.orgThe tamales filling is rehydrated Ancho peppers, garlic, onion and chicken, wrapped in a masa paste if you will. They were then topped with a green sauce, made with tomatillos and pablano peppers. Delicious! The red rice was made with brown rice, pureed tomatoes, celery and onion. I make my refried beans with lard or bacon fat, pinto beans and some spices. My tamales and green sauce recipes can be found at the bottom.

Tamles -

As I mentioned previously, I had hoped to make Pan de Muerto for Dia de los Muerto. The first round didn’t work. They looked nice and where the density of a hockey puck. I tried the recipe again, this time with none of my own changes. Again I had lovely, golden brown, sugar-coated hockey pucks. The third try, I made a few of my own changes again- the recipe called for 2 cups of sugar, to the 7 cups of flour. I’m pretty sure that’s where the density problem lies. That recipe turned out a little better but still not good. I then tried it with new yeast, thinking maybe my yeast had gotten old.

Hockey pucks.

I have decided that recipe is wrong and will not be trying that one again. From what I can see the dough is a sweet dough, that is rich with butter and eggs. Something similar to brioche or challah. This bread is driving me too crazy to wait for next year to try again. I am making my own recipe now.

Dead Mans Bread

I finally came up with something edible. However, I didn’t realize it would almost quadruple in size, so I still ended up with an ill-shaped, basketball loaf of bread. It needs work and for now will wait until after the holidays. I have a deer hide to tan and Christmas baking that needs to begin are just a couple things on the never ending list of things to do.

Tamales with Verde Sauce
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Tamales with Verde Sauce
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Meat Filling
  • 1 each Whole Chicken
  • 6 each Garlin Cloves
  • 1 each Yellow Onion sliced
  • 10 each Dried Ancho Chilies seeded and stems removed
  • 1 tbsp Lard
  • 2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 4 cup Masa
  • 2 tbsp Lard
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 cup Chicken Stock
Verde Sauce
  • 1 lb Tomatillos husked and cut in half
  • 1/2 cup Chicken Stock
  • 1 each Poblano
  • 6 tbsp Cilantro
  • 1/2 each Yellow Onion chopped
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
Meat Filling
  1. Place the chilies in a medium sized bowl and pour hot water over them. Let the peppers sit for 10-20 minutes to rehydrate.
  2. Place the chicken in a stock pot, add enough water to cover the chicken. Chop 3 of the garlic cloves and add them to the pot as well as the onion. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the chicken is cooked through
  3. Reserve the broth. Shred the chicken.
  4. In a sauce pan. sauté the rest of the garlic cloves with the chilies in the lard for about 5 minutes. Add the salt and shredded chicken.
Masa and Assembly
  1. Combine everything in a medium mixing bowl and stir for 5 minutes.
  2. Using corn husks that have been soaked until pliable, or parchment paper squares (about the size of your hand), spread 1-2 tbsp. (I use more and make them a little bigger, but traditionally -1-2 tbsp.) of masa mixture onto the center of the husk/paper.
  3. Pile about the same amount of chicken mixture on the masa. Fold the husk/paper- one long side over, then the two short sides in, followed by the last long side. Tie with a piece of butcher twine to keep them folded.
  4. If you are lucky enough to have a steamer place a couple corn husks in the bottom of the basket and line the edge with the folded tamales. If you do not have a steamer, use a large stock pot with a few inches of water at the bottom, place a metal colander into the pot (this must not sit in the water only above it!).
  5. Do the same, place the husks on the bottom of the colander and line it with the folded tamales and cover with the pan lid. Steam these for about one hour- Keep and eye on the water in the bottom of the pan you do not want it to run dry. To serve remove them from the husk/paper.
Verde Sauce
  1. Place everything but the cilantro into a sauce pan and cook until everything is very tender.
  2. Add the cilantro and puree. Serve this over the tamales
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Baked Oats – A delightfully easy breakfast bake

Baked Oats

I like a big breakfast with all trimmings; eggs, bacon, hash browns, pancakes, it’s all good. As far as I’m concerned, cold cereal is a great snack or late night supper. Even the little boy gets eggs, meat, fruit and some sort of toast or pancake every morning. That’s just the way we do things.

Just like everyone else, I have those days that I know I will have a lot to do and could use something quick to serve. Baked Oats are one of the things I use for those days. I make them the night before (although they are best right out of the oven) that way the next morning all I have to do is warm them a little. By the time they are warm, the eggs are done and we are ready to eat!

This recipe is very easy to change to fit the tastes of anyone. Simply add other spices or substitute different fruits and/or nuts. The versatility of this recipe is great when it comes to keeping it simple and not too repetitive.

Baked Oats

2 c.            Old Fashioned Oats
1/3 c.         Spent Grains (optional)
1/4 c.         Flax seed, ground
1/3 c.         Brown Sugar
1 1/4 tsp.   Baking Powder
1 tsp.         Cinnamon
1/2 tsp.      Cardamom
1/2 tsp.      Kosher Salt
2/3 c.         Dried Cranberries
2/3 c.         Walnuts, chopped
1/3 c.         Chocolate Chips
3/4 c.         Heavy Whipping Cream
1 c.            Water
1 1/2 tsp.   Vanilla Extract
2 tbsp.       Coconut Oil, melted
1 ea.          Egg

In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl, combine all the wet ingredients and whisk them to break up the egg. Add the wet to the dry and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into a greased 9×13 pan, cover and bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes.

That’s it! Serve it immediately or the next day. It’s great “as is” but it also good with a little sweet cream too.

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Purple Pickled Eggs

Ah yes, another pickled egg recipe. Even though I used the pickled beets and the juice the eggs don’t have nearly the beet taste that one might imagine.

Not only do these taste great but they look so nice. Making these into Deviled Eggs adds a new twist to an everyday side.

Purple Pickled Eggs
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Purple Pickled Eggs
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  • 1 pint Pickled Beets
  • 1 1/2 tsp Coriander
  • 16 each Peppercorns
  • 2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1 each Cinnamon Stick
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup Water
  • 12 each Hard Boiled Eggs peeled
  1. Place everything into a 2 quart jar, seal it tightly with a clean lid.
  2. Give the jar a few light turns to mix everything.
  3. Let the jar sit quietly in the back of the fridge for one month.
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A Peck of Pickled Peppers

The last few summers I could have been called Peter Piper because I picked a few pecks of peppers and pickled until I got sick of it. I was giving pepper away by the grocery bag full. Now, I love peppers, and you might expect my to say that I really don’t want another high yielding year, but I won’t. I can find so many ways to work peppers into our meals and for what I can’t use there is always someone in need of a

Pickled Peppers
To pickle my peppers I like to keep it very basic
1 tsp.  Kosher Salt
equal parts Apple Cider Vinegar and Water poured over the peppers that have been washed and placed in clean jars.

I opened a jar of chili peppers and one of jalapenos (the top two jars in the picture) today. I wanted to test the flavor of the peppers and wasn’t thinking apparently because I just grabbed a chili pepper and took a bite. These chili pepper were burning my fingers last fall when I was picking them. I like hot food, but I also like a little warning before I take a bite. A little warning with this one would have been nice. After I got over the initial shock, the flavor was pretty good. The heat of the peppers had lessened slightly since last fall.

I then tested one of the jalapenos. I was a little more aware of what I was doing with this one. They turned out relatively mild in my taste. A step above the pepperccini peppers I like to use in Bloody Mary’s. The flavor was great, a little vinegar, good pepper-ness, all around good. I see a new pickled egg recipe in the future as well as a pepper relish and of course some Spicy Bloody Mary’s.

Bloody Mary By the Glass
I like to make a meal in my Bloody Mary. I list the ingredients I use because there is no measuring when I make drinks a little of this and a little more of that, by the end of the night it’s a lot of this and a dash of that.

Tomato Juice
Pepper Vodka and/or Pendleton Whiskey
Tabasco Sauce
Worcestershire Sauce
A1 Steak Sauce
Pepperccini Peppers
Celery Stick
Green Olives
New Pickled Peppers

Everything in the glass and enjoy!
A peck, by the way, is an actual form of measurement.

1 US peck  = 1/4 of a bushel
= 2 dry gallons
= 8 quarts
= 16 pints
= 32 cups

By this measure I had at least a bushel of peppers and a few bushels of tomatoes!


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