Lauren's Granola Bars

We met Matt Chatfield when he was the chef at the Culinary Center of Kansas. In addition to being in charge of their kitchen, catering and “dinners on demand,” Chef
Matt also taught classes. When we were at the CCKC teaching classes he’d always take time to visit and often times let us sample what he was making! At that time his triplets were just babies.
Over the years those babies have grown and now spend lots of time in the kitchen. Of course that seems fitting since their mom is also a chef.
Chef Matt is often featured on a Kansas City, MO TV program: Cooking with Karli . He recently appeared with his three daughters to show how kids can help make dad delicious foods for Father’s Day.
I made Lauren’s recipe for Granola Bars, a recipe her dad helped her create — they are yummy and stay together, too.

Granola Bars   
2 ½ cups Oats
2 ½ cups Rice Cereal
½ cups Light Brown Sugar
¾ cup Coconut Oil
½ cup Honey
½ teaspoons Kosher Salt
½ teaspoon Pure Vanilla extract
½ cup Creamy Peanut Butter (I used nutty peanut butter)
½ cup Pretzels, crushed
½ cup Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips (I used mini chips)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a rubber spatula for 2 minutes, till they are mixed thoroughly.

  3. Line a 9x13 baking sheet (pan) with parchment paper (I used extra pan allowing the end pieces to extend past the pan edges for easy removal), and spray with non stick coating. Spread evenly in the pan. (I used a piece of waxed paper to press down on the bars to compact them.)

  4. Using a butter knife (bench knife), make separation cuts for the bar shape you want.
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool uncovered for 2 hours. (Once cooled, I placed the pan in the refrigerator to speed the setting up process. When chilled, I lifted them out of the pan using the ends of the parchment paper, and then cut them.)
  7. Place carefully in an airtight storage container. Good for 2 weeks, but you will eat them all before then!

Recipe without photos . . .
Granola Bars   
2 ½ cups Oats
2 ½ cups Rice Cereal
½ cups Light Brown Sugar
¾ cup Coconut Oil
½ cup Honey
½ teaspoons Kosher Salt
½ teaspoon Pure Vanilla extract
½ cup Creamy Peanut Butter (I used nutty peanut butter)
½ cup Pretzels, crushed
½ cup Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips (I used mini chips)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a rubber spatula for 2 minutes, till they are mixed thoroughly.
  3. Line a 9x13 baking sheet (pan) with parchment paper (I used extra pan allowing the end pieces to extend past the pan edges for easy removal)  and spray with non stick coating. Spread evenly in the pan. (I used a piece of waxed paper to press down on the bars to compact them.)
  4. Using a butter knife (bench knife), make separation cuts for the bar shape you want.
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  6. 6. Remove from oven and let cool uncovered for 2 hours. (Once cooled, I placed the pan in the refrigerator to speed the setting up process. When chilled, I lifted them out of the pan using the ends of the parchment paper, and then cut them.)
  7. Place carefully in an airtight storage container. Good for 2 weeks, but you will eat them all before then!

Chinese-style Fried Quinoa

This recipe is like Fried Rice but it uses protein-rich quinoa instead of rice.
Prepare the quinoa ahead (or use leftovers), steam carrots, chop onions, mince garlic and ginger in advance and then quickly assemble this dish at the last minutes.

Chinese-style Fried Quinoa   2 to 3 large servings
1 tablespoon+ vegetable oil (canola or olive or could use sesame seed oil)
2 cup of cooked quinoa*
1 small onion, diced
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 or 2 medium carrots, finely diced & steamed in microwave
½ cup frozen peas
2 eggs (break into a bowl and mix to combine yolk and white)
1 tablespoon+ soy sauce
  1. In a skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Cook onions and
  2. Pour the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat and cook the onions; when almost tender, add the garlic and ginger and ginger another 2 minutes or so.
  3. Add the carrots and peas.
  4. Add the cooked cooked quinoa and stir until combined.
  5. Make a well in the center of the skillet, add more oil if needed and the eggs. Cook and stir to scramble eggs.
  6. Add the soy sauce and mix everything together. 

*To cook Quinoa: Rinse 1 cup quinoa, add to 2 cups of water or stock in a pot; stir and add lid. Cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Cool in the fridge.

Whole Wheat Soft Pretzels

Yesterday Barry and I attend the National Festival of Breads in Manhattan KS. It was a day filled with baking demonstrations, bread sampling and a chance to watch eight bakers vie to become the 2017 grand prize winner. There were vendors, bread displays, BBQ demos, music and much more. A baker’s paradise!
We were so inspired that we came home and made pretzels using a recipe
demonstrated by Sharon Davis for the Home Baking Association. She wrote this recipe to fill the guidelines of a Smart Snack and emphasized that baking can fit into a healthy lifestyle.

There are LOTS of baking recipes, info and tips @ the Home Baking Association’s website: www.homebaking.org
Barry, who usually does not get involved in yeast baking, is a pro at shaping pretzels!
Whole Wheat Soft Pretzels         Makes 12 medium pretzels
1 pkg. (2 1⁄4 tsp.) fast rising yeast
1  cup warm water (115 to 120° F)  
2  tablespoons vegetable oil (or butter)
1  tablespoon granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour — may be whole red wheat flour (darker color) or whole white eat flour (lighter color); both are nutritionally the same
1 to 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg + 1 tablespoon cold water, beaten
Coarse salt, sesame, poppy or chopped roasted sunflower kernels
  1. In a large mixing bowl, measure and combine 1 1⁄4 cups of the flour, yeast, sugar and salt; mix well. Add warm water and oil to the mixture. Mix until moistened, then beat 3 minutes, by hand or with mixer (medium speed).


  2. Stir in, 1⁄4 cup at a time, flour until dough forms a rough ball. Knead in the bowl or on a clean lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic. (All the flour may not be needed.)
  3. Turn the bowl over the dough and let it rest 10 to 30 minutes (Or, place dough in greased bowl or plastic bag; cover with lid or close bag.)
  4. Punch dough down and knead into a smooth ball. Divide in 4. Divide again, each piece into thirds. Cover the dough to rest again, 5 minutes.
  5. Roll or shape each piece into a “snake” or long thin cylinder, at least 18-­inches long.
  6. Shape into pretzels. (During demo, Sharon instructed us to make a smiley face with the "snake,: twist ends twice and then fold twist onto the curve. We used a little water on the end to make sure they stuck.)


  7.  Cover with pan-­sprayed plastic wrap for 10 minutes on a well­greased or parchment-­lined baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 425° F. For extra chewiness: After 10 minutes, lower each pretzel into a boiling bath, 10 seconds on each side. (Boiling bath = 6 cups boiling water + 6 tablespoons baking soda); drain; place on parchment-­lined or greased baking sheet.
    Boiling water foams as the baking soda is added.
    Place pretzels bottom side up in boiling water so that when you turn for the final 10 seconds in the water that they are right side up for easy removal to the greased baking sheet.
  8. Brush the beaten egg and water over the pretzels. Optional: Sprinkle w/coarse salt or seeds.
  9. Bake 12 to 15 minutes at 425° F. until golden. Cool on wire rack.

Explore these Smart Snack taste options taste and creative options...Multi-grain, Raisin, Cinnamon, Chocolate!
Multi-grain: Substitute 1⁄4 cup rye flour, soy flour, cornmeal, flax meal for 1⁄4 cup all purpose flour.
Raisin Cinnamon: Add 2 T. dry milk, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 cup chopped raisin to the dough; sprinkle each pretzel with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon sugar mixture just before baking.
Chocolate: Add 2-3 T. cocoa powder, 1/2 tsp. vanilla and 1 egg to dough. Before baking, sprinkle each with 1/2 tsp. (3g) sparkling sugar.
Recipe written and prepared by: Sharon Davis, Family & Consumer Sciences Education, Home Baking Association, www.homebaking.org

Nutrition Facts: One of 12 pretzels—2 oz/54g
Calories, 130 Calories from fat – 25 (19% of calories)
Total fat: 2.5g (Saturated Fat: 0g; Trans fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg)
Sodium: 196 mg (1/8 tsp. Kosher salt adds 140 mg/pretzel)
Total carbohydrates: 23g (Dietary fiber: 3g  Sugars: 1 g)
Protein: 4g.
Vitamin A: 0%
Calcium: 0%
Vitamin C: 2%
Iron: 6%
Whole Grain Soft Pretzels are a Smart Snack unless salted seeds, coarse or Kosher salt are added as a topping.

Recipe without photos . . .
Whole Wheat Soft Pretzels         Makes 12 medium pretzels
1 pkg. (2 1⁄4 tsp.) fast rising yeast 
1  cup warm water (115 to 120° F)  
2  tablespoons vegetable oil (or butter)
1  tablespoon granulated sugar 
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour — may be whole red wheat flour (darker color) or whole white eat flour (lighter color); both are nutritionally the same
1 to 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg + 1 tablespoon cold water, beaten 
Coarse salt, sesame, poppy or chopped roasted sunflower kernels
  1. In a large mixing bowl, measure and combine 1 1⁄4 cups of the flour, yeast, sugar and salt; mix well. Add warm water and oil to the mixture. Mix until moistened, then beat 3 minutes, by hand or with mixer (medium speed).
  2. Stir in, 1⁄4 cup at a time, flour until dough forms a rough ball. Knead in the bowl or on a clean lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic. (All the flour may not be needed.)
  3. Turn the bowl over the dough and let it rest 10 to 30 minutes (Or, place dough in greased bowl or plastic bag; cover with lid or close bag.)
  4. Punch dough down and knead into a smooth ball. Divide in 4. Divide again, each piece into thirds. Cover the dough to rest again, 5 minutes.
  5. Roll or shape each piece into a “snake” or long thin cylinder, at least 18-­inches long.
  6. Shape into pretzels. (During demo, Sharon instructed us to make a smiley face with the "snake,: twist ends twice and then fold twist onto the curve. We used a little water on the end to make sure they stuck.)
  7. Cover with pan-­sprayed plastic wrap for 10 minutes on a well­greased or parchment-­lined baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 425° F. For extra chewiness: After 10 minutes, lower each pretzel into a boiling bath, 10 seconds on each side. (Boiling bath = 6 cups boiling water + 6 tablespoons baking soda); drain; place on parchment-­lined or greased baking sheet.
  8. Brush the beaten egg and water over the pretzels. Optional: Sprinkle w/coarse salt or seeds.
  9. Bake 12 to 15 minutes at 425° F. until golden. Cool on wire rack.

Candied Almond Glazed Donuts -- baked, not fried

Baked donuts are the best! This is the latest recipe . . .
(Half a recipe makes just six, depending on how much you put in each doughnut depression or make the full batch for a larger number.)
Note: To get a head start on the donuts—mix sour cream, eggs, vanilla, oil and sugar and store in refrigerator; mix all dry ingredients together and cover. When ready to bake, add the dry ingredient to the wet and proceed with step #5.

Other donut recipe on our site include: 
Applesauce Baked Donuts with Maple Glaze
Glazed Pumpkin-Pecan Cake Doughnuts 

Candied Almond Glazed Donuts   Makes 12 to 15 donuts
Donuts 
1 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup vegetable (canola) oil
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
Candied Almonds
1/2 to 3/4 cup sliced almonds
2 to 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
Pinch or two of ground nutmeg
Glaze
2 1/2 to 3 cups sifted powdered sugar
About 1/2 cup milk (start with less and add more as needed to achieve glaze consistency)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  1. Donuts: Mix sour cream, eggs, vanilla, oil and sugar in a large bowl.
  2. Combine flour, soda, salt, and nutmeg in another bowl.
  3. Add dry ingredients to wet and stir only until completely combined.
  4. Spray donut pan with pan release and spoon donut batter into depressions, smoothing out the batter. 
  5. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until tops are springy to the touch and sides are golden brown.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool and few minutes before turning them out onto a cooling rack. 
  7. Candied Almonds: Add almonds, sugar and nutmeg to a stick-free skillet set on medium heat. Stir, watching carefully, just until the sugar is melted. Turn Candied Almonds out onto a sheet of wax paper or foil. Break up any larger pieces.
  8. Glaze: Combine all ingredients in a shallow bowl and mix to achieve a glaze like consistency.
  9. Drop each donut into glaze, turn and drain.
  10. Place on a cooling rack that has been placed on a sheet of wax paper to catch drips. 
  11. Immediately sprinkle with Candied Almonds.
Recipe without photos . . .
Candied Almond Glazed Donuts   Makes 12 to 15 donuts
Donuts 
1 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup vegetable (canola) oil
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
Candied Almonds
1/2 to 3/4 cup sliced almonds
2 to 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
Pinch or two of ground nutmeg
Glaze
2 1/2 to 3 cups sifted powdered sugar
About 1/2 cup milk (start with less and add more as needed to achieve glaze consistency)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  1. Donuts: Mix sour cream, eggs, vanilla, oil and sugar in a large bowl.
  2. Combine flour, soda, salt, and nutmeg in another bowl.
  3. Add dry ingredients to wet and stir only until completely combined.
  4. Spray donut pan with pan release and spoon donut batter into depressions, smoothing out the batter. 
  5. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until tops are springy to the touch and sides are golden brown.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool and few minutes before turning them out onto a cooling rack. 
  7. Candied Almonds: Add almonds, sugar and nutmeg to a stick-free skillet set on medium heat. Stir, watching carefully, just until the sugar is melted. Turn Candied Almonds out onto a sheet of wax paper or foil. Break up any larger pieces.
  8. Glaze: Combine all ingredients in a shallow bowl and mix to achieve a glaze like consistency.
  9. Drop each donut into glaze, turn and drain.
  10. Place on a cooling rack that has been placed on a sheet of wax paper to catch drips. 
  11. Immediately sprinkle with Candied Almonds.

Natural Gnat Catcher -- made from everyday kitchen ingredients

Yes, I know it is not food to eat but the gnats are  swarming so Barry mixed up a batch of Gnat Catcher using everyday kitchen ingredients! The smell of the vinegar attracts the gnats and the Dawn® breaks the surface tension of the vinegar-water traps them.
YES! It definitely works!

Grant Catcher 
1/3 cup apple  cider vinegar
2 teaspoon water
1 drop Dawn® dishwashing detergent

Mix cider vinegar and water in a shallow bowl, add a drop of Dawn®.

Protein-packed Quinoa & Black Bean Taco Salad

When making this salad for two, I prepare all the ingredients and then set them out and we each assemble our own salad bowl; I usually cut the recipe in half for just the two of us. When making for a group or as a pot-luck dish, I layer the ingredients to create one big salad.
It’s variable – include the meat component or not, add the salsa to the salad dressing to create a Salsa Ranch Dressing or add your own favorite ingredients.
Protein comes from the beans, quinoa, meat if used + cheese.
To make this salad a bit more healthy, use salsa as a dressing and omit the Ranch Dressing 

Protein-packed Quinoa & Black Bean Taco Salad
Ingredients
Quinoa Component:
1 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup quinoa, rinsed & drained
Meat Component: (optional)
1 lb. ground beef (about 80-81% lean)
1 cup chopped yellow or white onions
About 2 teaspoons of taco seasoning + 1/4 to 1/2 cup water
Ranch Dressing Component: (makes more than is needed for salad but we like to make extra for other salads)
2 1/4 cups mayonnaise
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup dry Ranch dressing mix
Bean Component & other possible additions:
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained & refrigerated to chill
About 1/2 head lettuce, shredded
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
About 1 cup finely chopped yellow or white onions
About 1/2 cup chopped red or yellow bell pepper
About 1 cup of diced tomatoes, grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half or quartered
Tomato salsa (can be added to dressing or used as a salad topping)
About 1 cup cheese such as Cheddar, Mexican blend, etc.

Preparation
Quinoa Preparation: Add water, salt, chili powder and cumin to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until quinoa is almost tender, about 15 minutes.

Meat Preparation: Brown ground beef and onion in a skillet or pot until nicely browned. Add taco seasoning and water and cook until water is absorbed. Set aside to partially cool.
Dressing Preparation: Combine all ingredients; stir together.

Make Your Own Salad: We start with a layer of shredded lettuce and then let everyone add their own ingredients in the order they prefer.

Or, Assembled Salad for a Crowd: Add layers (in your preferred order) to a bowl, adding a layer of dressing near the top.
Assembled Salad ready for a pot-luck dinner
Recipe without photos . . .
Protein-packed Quinoa & Black Bean Taco Salad
Ingredients
Quinoa Component:
1 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup quinoa, rinsed & drained
Meat Component: (optional)
1 lb. ground beef (about 80-81% lean) 
1 cup chopped yellow or white onions 
About 2 teaspoons of taco seasoning + 1/4 to 1/2 cup water
Ranch Dressing Component: (makes more than is needed for salad but we like to make extra for other salads)
2 1/4 cups mayonnaise
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup dry Ranch dressing mix 
Bean Component & other possible additions:
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained & refrigerated to chill
About 1/2 head lettuce, shredded
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
About 1 cup finely chopped yellow or white onions
About 1/2 cup chopped red or yellow bell pepper
About 1 cup of diced tomatoes, grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half or quartered
Tomato salsa (can be added to dressing or used as a salad topping) 
About 1 cup cheese such as Cheddar, Mexican blend, etc.

Preparation
Quinoa Preparation: Add water, salt, chili powder and cumin to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until quinoa is almost tender, about 15 minutes.
Meat Preparation: Brown ground beef and onion in a skillet or pot until nicely browned. Add taco seasoning and water and cook until water is absorbed. Set aside to partially cool.
Dressing Preparation: Combine all ingredients; stir together.
Make Your Own Salad: We start with a layer of shredded lettuce and then let everyone add their own ingredients in the order they prefer.
Or, Assembled Salad for a Crowd: Add layers (in your preferred order) to a bowl, adding a layer of dressing near the top.

Spring Rhubarb Tapioca - delicious!

Inspired by Jeanette Myers’ Spring Fruit Tapioca, I made a Spring Rhubarb Tapioca due in part to the fact that I had no fresh pineapple.  I basically followed Jeanette’s recipe with just a few adjustments.  Delicious! 
I am also including her original recipe below my version – it appeared in the December 27, 2011 cooking column I wrote for the Abilene Reflector-Chronicle.

Spring Rhubarb Tapioca      Makes 6 servings
¼ cup Minute tapioca
1½ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2½ cups diced rhubarb (½” pieces)
2½ cups water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  1. Combine tapioca, sugar, salt, rhubarb and water in saucepan.
  2. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer until the rhubarb in tender, about 3 minutes.
  3.  Remove from heat and cool, stirring occasionally. I used a wooden spoon to break up most of the larger pieces.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Jeanette Myers' Spring Fruit Tapioca
Jeanette used to keep a bowl of this in the refrigerator all spring long for her sons to snack on.
¼ cup Minute tapioca
1½ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2½ cups diced rhubarb (½” pieces)
2½ cups water
1 cup diced fresh pineapple


Combine tapioca, sugar, salt, rhubarb and water in saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cool, stirring occasionally. Add pineapple and chill.

Meta's recipe without photos . . .
Spring Rhubarb Tapioca      Makes 6 servings
¼ cup Minute tapioca
1½ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2½ cups diced rhubarb (½” pieces)
2½ cups water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  1. Combine tapioca, sugar, salt, rhubarb and water in saucepan.
  2. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer until the rhubarb in tender, about 3 minutes.
  3.  Remove from heat and cool, stirring occasionally. I used a wooden spoon to break up most of the larger pieces.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to serve.