Thursday, October 7, 2010

It's Cold, So Lets Get Cooking!

It's Autumn now and all the kiddos are back in school.  The end of summer is always bittersweet.  I feel the crispness in the air and the leaves are beginning to change.  I can taste fresh apple cider and a slice of pumpkin pie. 

I've been making homemade granola bars (perfect for the colder weather).  My friend Nikki Dinki, an actress and chef in NYC, has this fab cooking show online.  She has inspired me to get cooking after work lately.  Yes, she made some granola bars as well as sushi, sloppy joes, marshmallow bars, quiches, and hummus.  Watch for Nikki Dinki!  I'm sure she'll be on the Food Network very soon. 

Check out Nikki Dinki cooking

Granola Bar Recipe:
Recipe from Alton Brown


  • 8 ounces old-fashioned rolled oats, approximately 2 cups
  • 1 1/2 ounces raw sunflower seeds, approximately 1/2 cup
  • 3 ounces sliced almonds, approximately 1 cup
  • 1 1/2 ounces wheat germ, approximately 1/2 cup
  • 6 ounces honey, approximately 1/2 cup
  • 1 3/4 ounces dark brown sugar, approximately 1/4 cup packed
  • 1-ounce unsalted butter, plus extra for pan
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 1/2 ounces chopped dried fruit, any combination of apricots, cherries or blueberries


Butter a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread the oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, and wheat germ onto a half-sheet pan. Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, combine the honey, brown sugar, butter, extract and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.

Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. Immediately add the oat mixture to the liquid mixture, add the dried fruit, and stir to combine. Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

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