Friday, June 15, 2012

Flowers and Recipes for the Road

The flower garden is glorious right now and my husband does such a good job of capturing its beauty.

This is the neighbor's kitty, Gorham, who loves the garden, too.

The colors on these are very intense and a little magical.

The Bee Balm (Monarda) is a pretty girl who wilts by the time it gets warm.

Chocolate Apricot Nut Bars
via: Whole Living Magazine

1 1/2 cups dried apricots
1/2 cup raw almonds, toasted **
2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
Coarse salt (I did not use the salt.)
1/2 ounce dark chocolate, melted

Pulse apricots, almonds, 1 tablespoon coconut, and a pinch of salt in a food processor until finely ground.

Line a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with parchment, leaving an inch overhang on all sides. Transfer mixture to pan and press firmly to form a rectangle.

Use parchment overhang to remove from pan. Drizzle mixture with chocolate and sprinkle with remaining coconut.

Transfer to refrigerator and leave until firm, about 15 minutes. Slice into six bars.

Cook's Note:

Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

** How to Toast Almonds

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Spread almonds on a single layer on baking sheet.
Bake for 5 minutes, shuffle nuts and turn over, then continue to bake for 5 more minutes.
Remove toasted almonds from baking sheet with spatula and store in airtight container.


Morning Glory Muffins
via: Paleo Comfort Foods

2 1/2 cups almond flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups carrots, peeled and grated
1 large apple, peeled, cored and grated
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup raisins
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons honey (optional)
1/2 cup coconut or olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a standard-sized muffin pan.

2. Combine almond flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add carrot, apple, coconut and raisins and combine well.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, honey, oil and vanilla extract together.

4. Pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients and mix very well. The batter will be very thick.

5. Spoon the batter out into muffin pan and place on upper or middle rack of your oven for 40-50 minutes.

6. When a toothpick inserted into the top of a muffin comes out clean, the muffins are done.

7. Cool muffins in the pan for 8-10 minutes and then remove to a rack to finish cooling.

**If you are looking for variety, sub out currants or chopped dates for the raisins. You can also add a little orange zest to give them a bit more citrus flavor.

Baked Kale Chips
via: Steamy Kitchen

Baked Crispy Kale Recipe
Servings: 4 as snack Prep Time:5 Cook Time:20

The biggest secret to getting the kale super-crisp is to dry them in a salad spinner. If there is moisture on the leaves, the kale will steam, not crisp. Also, do not salt the kale until after they have come out of the oven. If you salt beforehand, the salt will just cause the kale to release moisture...thus steaming instead of crisping. I've also found that the convection setting on my oven works really well too - I set the convection on 325F and bake for about 10-15 minutes. Have fun with this recipe, I sometimes mix the salt with Cajun or Creole seasoning.
4 giant handfuls of kale, torn into bite-sized pieces and tough stems removed (about 1/3 pound)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt or kosher salt

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Place the kale leaves into a salad spinner and spin all of the water out of the kale. Dump the water and repeat one or two times more just to make sure that the kale is extra dizzy and dry. Use a towel to blot any extra water on the leaves. Place the kale on the baking sheet.

3. Drizzle olive oil over the kale leaves and use your hands to toss and coat the leaves. Bake in the oven for 12-20 minutes until leaves are crisp. Take a peek at the 12 minute mark - the timing all depends on how much olive oil you use. Just use a spatula or tongs to touch the leaves, if they are paper-thin crackly, the kale is done. If the leaves are still a bit soft, leave them in for another 2 minutes. Do not let the leaves turn brown (they'll be burnt and bitter) Remove from oven, sprinkle with salt and serve.

Baked Lemony Kale Chips
via: Hungry Foodies Pharmacy

Baked Kale Chips

1 bunch kale, strip out the center core or stalk, tear kale into small pieces, washed and dried
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
Sea Salt

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

Whisk together the olive oil, and lemon lemon juice.

Toss in the dry kale and coat them evenly. Arrange the kale in a single layer of the baking tray. Season with sea salt.

Roast the kale for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are crispy. Turn the kale once or twice for even crisping.

Calories per 1 cup of baked kale chips: 60

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