Two of my nieces announced they are getting married. I went to one bridal shower and gave a quilt I had promised my niece long ago. So happy for her.
My husband and I are trying to exercise and eat a little healthier. So the Valentine treats I gave to friends and family were a little lighter this time. I gave some homemade granola to some of my friends and some muffins and rice crispie treats to my sisters.
4 cups old fashioned oats 1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup shredded coconut ½ tsp. nutmeg
1 cup nuts 1 ½ tsp. vanilla
¼ cup canola oil or butter 1 cup dried fruit
¼ cup honey
¼ cup brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine oats, coconut and nuts. In a saucepan, combine brown sugar, oil ( or butter), honey, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir together and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour over oat mixture and toss to coat. Spread on a large baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 25 minutes. Stir granola every 5-8 minutes or so until evenly browned. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Stir in dried fruit and any other seeds that you desire. Let cool completely and store in an airtight container.
Note: You can use whole wheat flour and/or wheat germ along with the oats. You can use any combination of sweetner. You may wish to cut out the brown sugar and use more honey. You can use maple syrup. Any type of dried fruit can be used such as cranberries, apples, bananas, pears, cherries, raisins, etc. Any type of nuts can be used such as cashews, almonds, walnuts, pecans, peanuts, etc. A variety of seeds can also be used such as sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
Healthy Cranberry Orange Muffins
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour 2 eggs
1 cup oatmeal ¼ cup canola oil
2 tsp. baking powder ¼ cup honey
½ tsp. salt 1 cup plain yogurt
½ tsp. cinnamon 2 tsp. grated orange zest
¼ tsp. nutmeg ½ cup orange juice
1 cup coarsely chopped cranberries 1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a muffin pan with cooking spray or use paper liners. In a food processor, process oatmeal into flour. Combine oat flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl. Add cranberries to flour mixture and stir. In a small bowl, combine eggs, oil, honey, yogurt, orange zest, orange juice and vanilla. Stir to combine. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients. Stir gently to combine. Fill muffin tins ¾ full with batter. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes 1 dozen.
In honor of all the weddings coming up, here is a nice, healthy recipe for Italian Wedding Soup. This recipe was adapted from one at Taste of Home.
Italian Wedding Soup
2 eggs, lightly beaten 2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese 4 medium carrots, chopped
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs 4 celery ribs, chopped
2 tsp. dried parsley 2 small onions, chopped
2 Tbsp. milk 6 garlic cloves, minced
4 garlic cloves , minced 2 quarts chicken broth
4 tsp. grated onion 1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. pepper 1 ½ cups acini di pepe pasta
½ tsp. grated lemon peel 2-4 cups fresh spinach or kale
1 ½ lbs. ground turkey or chicken
In a large bowl, combine the first 10 ingredients. Add chicken or turkey; mix lightly and shape into 1-inch balls.
For soup, in a stockpot, heat oil over medium heat. Add carrots, celery and onions; cook and stir 6-8 minutes or until onions are tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.
Stir in chicken broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Drop meatballs into soup and cook uncovered 10 minutes. Stir in pasta and cook 10-12 minutes longer or until meatballs are cooked through and pasta is tender. Stir in spinach or kale. Serve with additional parmesan cheese. Makes 12 servings.
This is the last book in the series of Josi Kilpack's culinary mystery books. I was sad to find out that this one was the last because I've really enjoyed each one.