Monday, March 22, 2010

cookies in the morning

This breakfast cookie is one of the best I've tried. It's an adaptation from the Sneaky Chef. We eat them more as a mid-morning or after-nap snack, but they are great to grab on your way out the door to eat on the go (and much safer than the usual bowl of cereal in the car trick my husband likes to try).

And of course you can mix up what you add in. We like dried cranberries and sunflower seeds. You could try raisins, apricots, coconut, almonds, pecans - or nothing at all! Play around with fun combinations.

So, here it is.

3-4 cups whole grain cereal flakes (like Total)
1/4 cup wheat germ or oat bran
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup low fat ricotta cheese
1/2 cup dried fruit (optional)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Use a rolling pin or mallet to crush the cereal in a plastic bag. Or just stick it in the food processor. You should have about 2 cups of coarsely crushed cereal when you're done.

Mix together cereal, wheat germ or oat bran (oat bran has a more appealing flavor for kids), flours, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, stir together egg, sugar, oil, vanilla and cheese. Combine the two mixtures.

I like to make bigger cookies, so I use about 1/4 cup per cookie and flatten them slightly on the cookie sheet. Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes, until the edges are just slightly brown. Let them cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

Enjoy... And let me know if you come up with any noteworthy combinations!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

it's that time!

The weather isn't exactly right for planting around here yet, but I went a little crazy with my seed purchases last week. This year I am trying something new: rather than buying a bunch of starts in April or May, I am starting my own in my basement this week. Tomatoes, jalapenos, fennel, parsley, onions, carrots... the list goes on. I am even doing a seed exchange this year with a few friends to get a little variety. My husband has agreed to build me a couple of raised beds in the next few weeks, and my parents and I are going to do a "crop share". Don't I sound like I know what I am doing? This may be a huge disaster, as I am anything but a seasoned gardener. Actually this is only my second year and last year I only dabbled.

One huge inspiration was the new book Grow Great Grub which came out last month. I have just started looking through it, and I love love love it. 

I'll let you know how it goes. Successes and failures and what I learn from all of it - and hopefully a few recipes along the way!

Friday, March 5, 2010


My brand new (dumb) refrigerator broke last weekend. Not convenient. It was four days of freezing ziploc bags of ice to rotate in and out of the cooler. Four days of hoping we weren't ingesting some mutant bacteria that had formed in our jerry rigged cooling system. Thankfully we didn't, and on the plus side, my fridge is very, very clean.

On the negative, I haven't cooked a lot this week, as I didn't want to have leftovers to store and wanted to use what we had. That meant lots of grilled cheese and fruit. Oh well, what can you do? I am just thankful for the repairman that came and fixed it. I am not excited about the $250 invoice, but I am pretty sure it's covered by warranty.

One thing I've learned since we moved a couple of months ago: I really really like modern conveniences. The house was appliance free for almost a month - no fridge, no dishwasher, no washer and dryer. I had to be creative and I spent a lot of time at the sink. I was very happy every time a new appliance arrived at my door.

Now if I could just get myself to go use them...