Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cookies and Chard

Yesterday's bread is ah-may-zing.  So, if a little bit of bread flour and shortening is wrong, then I don't want to be right.  I still plan on trying to replace the shortening with coconut oil, but I've gotta say....I am over my shortening shame.  Yesterday's bread is yum-o, delish.

Do your minis love granola bars?  I'm hearing from a lot of people that granola bars are a staple in their minis' lives.  Well, the mini McGhees are missing their granola bars, and I have this recipe from marathon mom that I have been dying to try.  Marathon mom is the homeschooling mom to 7 boys and pregnant with an 8th baby.  From now on, I will refer to myself as 5k mom.  Maybe even kids fun run mom.  Here's her recipe.

  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup local honey
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup oats (not quick oats)
  • 2 tablespoons wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (Mini work best, but it doesn’t really matter.)

  • What to do:
    1. Melt the butter, peanut butter and honey in a pot over medium to low heat, stirring constantly. Turn off the burner when melted.
    2. Pour in the cup of oats and the wheat germ. Stir til combined.
    3. Wait til it cools and stir in the coconut and chocolate chips. Or, if you’re impatient with things like this, like I am, go ahead and dump it all right in. The result will be a more uniform chocolate taste.
    4. Pour into foil-lined 8 X 8 pan and stick in the fridge.
    5. Once cooled, flip out (the bars….not you) onto cutting board and cut to the size you like.

    OK, so I'm the type of girl that calls a spade a spade.  And this, folks, is a cookie, not a granola bar.  It's a damn good tasting cookie that the McGhee family snarfed down as if we hadn't seen food in real food in weeks (there's a joke in there somewhere, I know it).  However, I struggle to say that this is a healthy, nutritional snack to give your minis.  BUT, because this recipe is delicious and the minis loved it, I am going to tweak it, maybe add a few things to see if I can increase the nutritional value of it.  And, I will say....it is a HUGE improvement over the HFCS-filled store-bought granola bars.  Give it a try....the McGhee family gave this a huge, sticky, chocoately double thumbs up.

    Tonight's dinner was a spinoff on chicken pot pie.  I made the "stuffing" of the pie, following this this recipe from allrecipes. 

    • 1/3 cup butter
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
    • 2/3 cup milk
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1 cup frozen green peas
    • 1 cup frozen diced carrots
    • 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken meat
    1. In a large saucepan, saute chopped onion in the butter.
    2. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.
    3. Remove from heat and slowly add chicken broth and milk. Stir well. 
    4. Return to heat.  Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Cook for 2 minutes.
    5. Season with salt and pepper. Add frozen peas and carrots and cooked chicken.  Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring often.

    Instead of using a pie crust, I made biscuits using a previously posted recipe.  This time I made some tweaks.  I used a very small amount of all-purpose flour.  And, no, I am not proud of it...but just the tiniest amount of all-purpose flour gives whole wheat baked goods a much more desireable texture. 

    • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
    • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 4 teaspoons baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ cup cold unsalted butter
    • 1 cup milk
    1. Preheat oven to 450.
    2. In a medium sized bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
    3. Mix well with whisk or fork.
    4. Cut the ½ stick butter into little pea sized pieces and then mix the pieces into the flour mixture. Using a fork, try to mash the butter pieces as you mix it together with the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs. It is okay if the outcome just looks like the same pea sized pieces of butter covered with flour.
    5. Then pour in the milk and mix it all together.
    6. Knead the dough with your hands 8 to 10 times and then turn out onto a counter or cutting board.
    7. Pat it out flat with your hands until the dough is a somewhat even ¾-inch thickness (sprinkle with a little flour if necessary). Turn a drinking glass upside down and cut out biscuit rounds.
    8. Then put them on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 450 degrees for 10 – 12 minutes or until lightly browned.

    I served the chicken biscuits with swiss chard.  Never heard of swiss chard?  I hadn't until our CSA started giving it to us every.single.week.  This is what it you want to look for in the grocery store.

    Remove the stalks and chop the leaves.

    Sauteed Swiss Chard
    • olive oil
    • chopped/minced garlic
    • swiss chard
    • balsamic vinegar
    • salt and pepper
    • parmesan cheese
    1.  Saute the garlic in the olive oil for 2 minutes.
    2.  Add swiss chard and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes.  While cooking drizzle balsamic vinegar over swiss chard.
    3.  Season with salt and pepper.  Grate fresh parmesan over the swiss chard.

    OK, so I know you're looking at this picture and thinking, "Heids McGhee, there is no way that my minis are eating that."  Well, I say, do what I do.  Set the plate in front of them and when they start to protest, shoot them your best mama-means-business stank eye.  Don't have a mama-means-business stank eye?  You've got bigger problems than swiss chard!