Following "Orders"

You know what I’ve noticed lately? I haven’t been posting about the foods that have tickled my sweet tooth. To be honest, for the most part they haven’t been worth mentioning from the usual “oats-in-a-jar” for morning classes, bowls of cereals, or date-balls. But there is one thing that is extra-special to me and makes me antsy whenever I run out, and that’s homemade granola! I munch on granola all day: with meals, between meals, before meals, after meals. You get the point. Most of the time I end up finishing a batch before I think to snap a picture.

Clumpy & Crisp Applesauce Granola

Clumpy and crisp are two things that I love about granola. I was perusing through Kickpleat’s blog, and as soon as I saw this recipe I clicked on it to see what it entailed. Hmm.. I could check off the entire ingredient list! That was a nod from the heavens to make it happen! However, I did make a few changes. Rather than using olive oil I used almond oil, used half oats/half cornflakes, and I also threw in some cashews to the nut mix.

Delicious and addictive

Much like these chewy coconut flapjacks.

What a fun name for these! If you are oat-obsessed like the title of the recipe’s post says, then these are for you. Well, if you love sweet, chewy, and sticky delicious things in general then these are for you too; they are also what the British call “flapjacks”. I know some of you may be thinking, “but those don’t look like pancakes.” That is correct. These are definitely not pancakes. No offense to them because I love those kinds of flapjacks too!

For serious oat lovers!

I snuck in some cornflakes to these as well. I swear ever since I tried the Bakery on Main granolas, I’ve been adding cornflakes even to recipes that sort-of resemble the tree-hugging snack. But who doesn’t want to eat tree-hugging snacks when they taste like baklava?! When my roommate pointed that out, my eyes lit up and suddenly I could taste it. She was right!

Don't believe me?

You need to make these as soon as possible, and try for yourself.

Now moving on to more sweet things, shall we?

I spy poppy seeds...

But not just poppy seeds! When I had spied Katie’s recipe for these Lil’ Lemon Muffins, off to the kitchen I went. These scrumptious little treats didn’t stick around for very long. With this warm weather it was nice to have something baked that tasted light and uplifting.

This was a recipe I had been seeing in a lot of posts recently.

Heather’s famous Cookie Dough Smoothie  recipe caught my eye because of two words: cookie and dough. I usually am not in the mood for smoothies for breakfast unless I had a long night or if that just happens to float my boat that day. When I saw this recipe, my boat decided to come in the next day.

It was surprisingly filling for a smoothie...

but it didn’t quite taste like cookie dough to me. Maybe something was off in how I made it? I didn’t use coconut milk, but I mixed in some coconut shreds to try and make up for it. Oh well, who knows.

More cookies!

These were inspired by a lovely lady I mentioned earlier and a delicious cookie–samoas! I saw Katie’s recipe for Samoas Larabars and next thing I knew I was wiping drool off my chin. There’s only one Girl Scout cookie that I love and I think it’s pretty obvious which one it is. I pretty much followed her recipe, but I crushed up some Three Sisters Cereal Graham Crackerz and mixed it in with the batch after the other ingredients went in the food processor. So that was supposed to be the “cookie” part in a samoa.Then I rolled them in shredded coconut, and took a most delicious bite into one of these. Me oh my, my obsessions list just keeps getting longer!

And now, since I always eat my vegetables...

This was a very simple recipe that I threw together, wanting to use the newly purchased jar of herbes de provence.

Provençal Potato Salad

Ingredients

-1.5 lb. bag of assorted fingerling potatoes, diced

-2-2 1/2 cups cooked cannellini beans

-cooking oil of choice

-1 yellow onion, sliced

-2 garlic cloves, minced

-10 oz. mushrooms, sliced

-1 zucchini squash, sliced

-2 tbl white cooking wine

-1-2 tsp herbes de provence

-sea salt and pepper, to taste

1. Boil the potatoes till tender, but make sure not to overcook them! The last thing we want are overcooked veggies… or overcooked anything for that matter.

2. Heat the pan, and then heat the oil. Cook the onions and garlic till the onions are translucent. Once they are cooked you can add the potatoes and cooking wine. Cook for about two minutes.

3. Add the sliced zucchini, and cook for a few minutes until the squash starts to get tender. That’s when you throw in the mushrooms, beans, and the herbes de provence. Let everything cook together for a couple more minutes–mushrooms don’t take that long to cook.

4. Now ask yourself how salty and peppery would you like your dish, and then enjoy!

Note: on second thought I decided to throw in some avocado and French green beans, and served it cold as a salad.

Much better.

Do you ever have that recipe in a cookbook that you keep meaning to try, and the page is permanently creased because you still haven’t gotten around to it?

Well, I finally made this one: chickpea and sweet potato curry.

My mom’s friend gave me William Sonoma’s vegetarian cookbook a couple years ago for my birthday, and I’ve slowly been checking off the recipes I wanted to try. This particular recipe always stuck out to me, but I never seemed to have all of the ingredients on hand. Okay so I have something to tell you. I love to cook, bake, follow recipes, make my own… the whole shebang! But I usually don’t go out of my way to get all the ingredients I need for a certain recipe. The recipes I gravitate towards are based off of things I already have, not things that I need to go out and buy. There is the rare occasion though when there’s a recipe that I’m just dying to make and I will go out and buy the 3 tubs of mascarpone for it! This may come to a surprise to some of you, but I’m actually a very practical person (who knows how to have fun). I like to keep things simple. I’m a one block of cheese at a time kind of person. Definitely not a hoarder, and I rarely have the impulse to buy something on a whim. However, when I do get something on a whim I don’t feel bad about it–hello balance! Anyway, I think that kind of practicality has led me to get creative with the things I do have on hand, or maybe that childlike sense of wonder just never left. What kinds of sandwiches can I make with this cheese? How can I prepare something in a new way? With a new flavor? In an unexpected cuisine? I do have a lot of ingredients on hand though, but they’re all things that I use–not to be left in the cupboards to collect dust. You’d find all sorts of spices, dried herbs, legumes, oils from almond to avocado to truffle, a 10 lb. bag of basmati, nuts, a 2 lb. tub of dates… those are just a few of my kitchen staples. Perhaps, I will do a post on my kitchen staples. I know Holly has expressed interest in that a few times.

My taste buds were happy that I finally had all of the ingredients on hand.

Speaking of new ways to eat things...a new way to eat red lentils!

I usually eat red lentils as a dhal, a soup, or curry. I’ve been wanting to venture out though so last week I made a hummus, and this week I prepared them as part of a salad… an Indian inspired Rice Red Lentil Salad. I don’t have peanuts so I used pistachios instead, and it turned out wonderfully! Refreshing, slightly sweet, full of flavor, and just what I’ve been in the mood for. When you make this recipe you can’t forget to make the dressing! That would be like yin with no yang, which is impossible.

I know I always share recipes with you all, but this one is an order!

Come to think of it, this post is full of “orders”. I’ve been quite the queen when it comes to cooking up delicious recipes and coming up with some of my own if I do say so myself. I hope you’ve all enjoyed feasting with your eyes, and will soon head to the kitchen to create something tasty to eat! Who knows… maybe you’ll follow one of my “orders”? Or maybe you have one that you’d love to share.