Sweet Garbanzo Beans

Although Garbanzo Beans or Chickpeas can be a challenge to grow in the garden, they are readily available in the grocery store either canned or dried.   I think the main problem I had with my success in growing the beans last summer was the location I picked to grow them.   It wasn’t a good choice – very heat intensive and it was a HOT one down south!   I did manage to produce about a handful for harvest so at this point I won’t be growing them again any time soon.   They sent up a long stem and only one or two pods (with one bean each) grew on each stem.   Regardless of my not so successful harvest … I absolutely love Garbanzo Beans!

I could eat them right out of the can in a salad or toasted in the oven nice and crispy crunchy!   I thought for a nice snack I would add a little sweetness and they came out pretty good!

Sweet Garbanzo Beans

  • 1 can 15.5 oz. Garbanzo Beans
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered chai mix

Rinse and drain the beans – toss them with the olive oil and sugar and then spread out on a cookie sheet.   Toast them in the oven at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes stirring a few times so they will not burn.

Once roasted, remove from the oven and toss with the other dry ingredients.   If you don’t have chai mixture or there is some other combination you would like to try … nutmeg, allspice – give it a try!

Enjoy a Healthy Snack!!

Head on over to Munchie Monday and share a recipe and browse through recipes added by others.    Stay healthy!

Advertisements

Easy Blueberry Muffins

Happy Munchie Monday!   Make sure to head on over and share your recipe here!

Blueberry Muffins

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg or 1 tablespoon flaxseed + 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix all ingredients and carefully stir in the blueberries.  Spoon the batter into a greased muffin tin or cupcake baking cups.   Bake 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.

How to Make Graham Crackers

I have always wondered how to make Graham Crackers and finally came across a recipe and guess what……they taste just like store-bought graham crackers!   Once again I left the topping off, but if you want the total graham cracker experience, sprinkle on the topping!

Graham Crackers

  • 2 1/2 cups plus 2 TB all-purpose flour (I used 1 cup whole wheat as a substitute for 1 cup all-purpose)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 tspn baking soda
  • 3/4 tspn coarse sea salt or kosher
  • 7 TB unsalted butter, cut into 1″ cubes and frozen
  • 1/3 cup clover honey
  • 5 TB milk
  • 2 TB vanilla extract

Topping – 3 TB granulated sugar and 1 tspn ground cinnamon

Combine flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt in bowl of mixer.  Mix to incorporate.  Add butter and mix on low until consistency of coarse meal.

In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, milk and vanilla extract.  Add to the flour mixture until dough barely comes together.   It will be quite sticky.   Lay on large piece of plastic wrap, dust with flour, form into rectangle 1″ thick.  Wrap and chill for 2 hours or overnight.

When ready to make crackers – roll out half the dough; returning other half to chill.   Layer down the flour (very sticky to work with until you get the flour integrated in).  Roll dough 1/8″ thick.   Cut the dough into squares and place on baking sheets.  Chill again for 30-45 minutes.   You can use the knife and make line indents to resemble the graham cracker look (see pictures).

Bake 20-25 minutes on 350 degrees depending on thickness.   Watch carefully so they don’t burn!  I created some shapes with cookie cutters.

Head on over to Munchie Monday to see more recipes or add one of your own!   Enjoy!!

 

Crazy Cardinal and Edible Bird’s Nest

I mentioned this female cardinal a while back and she is at it again.   She will fly into the window for some unknown reason and I actually caught it on video this morning.   At first I thought she saw something in the house and moved things out of the way so she would stop.  I was concerned she was going to hurt herself.   After watching the video, I can see her reflection in the window and I got to thinking maybe she is flying at her own image for some reason.   The male cardinal is not far away when she does this so it’s possible she is guarding her space from another female cardinal.   Watch the video – she doesn’t hurt herself and the dogs usually start barking at her insane behavior and she leaves after a few minutes.

The video of the crazy cardinal fits the theme of today’s cookie craft!   Perfect for the upcoming Spring season and Easter celebrations.   These simple to make bird nests will add a special touch to your parties and celebrations.

Bird’s Nest Cookies

1 lb. chocolate or vanilla candy coating

2 cups chow mein noodles

2 cups corn flakes, chopped

Mix the noodles and corn flakes gently with a rubber spatula.   Melt the candy coating in the microwave and pour over the dry mixture.   Blend until all is coated evenly.   Drop onto wax paper and shape into a nest.   You may have to work to create the shape you are trying to achieve.   Place the nest shapes in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to harden.   Add M&M candies to the center as your eggs.

Featuring FoodPress

How’s this for a switcharoo … instead of FoodPress doing the featuring – my Friday Feature is …

FoodPress

Serving up the hottest dishes on WordPress just about sums up the mission of the FoodPress blog.   A relatively new blog featuring some fantastic food bloggers from WordPress updated regularly and well worth a visit.   I have been checking in on a steady basis and have found some talented cooks and food photographers on the site.   Here are a few from the last few days …

Janae Monir = pizza dough – everyone needs to know this!

Party Pretties from Erin – perk up that party…neat website!

Tomatoes in Love <—love the name of the blog

Beautiful Chocolate and we know how I love this!

Seasonal Kitchen – an organic and natural food blog  ..  right up my alley ..

First Look, Then Cook – another cool name and great recipes!

Treshop’s recipe for Scarlet Barley …can we say – healthy!

 A groovy granola recipe from  Somethin Yummy … snack on this!

If you are looking for some good food recipes, stop by the blog and have a look around.   If you write a good food blog, here are a few tips if you would like to be featured on FoodPress Five ways to get featured on FoodPress.

Happy Feature Friday …. if you have a good idea for a Friday feature, let me know!   Do make sure to round up a good recipe to share this coming Monday on the newest blog I have created Munchie Monday!   Who knows maybe one day FoodPress will feature all the recipes shared there!

Grow some Herbs!

Have you ever grown herbs in your garden?   How about a pot or two on a windowsill in your home?    Many people have and are Happy Herb Growers … best part is … it’s relatively easy.   Growing herbs indoors in the winter takes a bit more of  your attention, but if you watch the progress on a daily basis, you will be successful.   A warm sunny windowsill is required or grow lights working 10-12 hrs. a day.    The air in the home is very dry so the soil will need watering almost on a daily basis if under grow lights.   At first the seedlings will grow slowly, but once established they will take off.   What better thrill when you are cooking dinner and you can turn to your herbs, snip off some basil, parsley or oregano to add to your meal and impress your guests with your cooking skills and also your gardening expertise!

I always include herbs in my gardening plans and this year is no exception.   I started several herbs back in November and they are at the “taking off” stage in their growth.   Here is my Dill …..

I love the taste and smell of Dill and I have found planting the seeds all together so the herb grows in a cluster works well since it can grow up to 4-5′ in height and this method supports each individual plant.   Dill requires full sun once planted out and once the days become extremely hot, it will bolt and go to seed.   The neat feature with Dill is that you can use the leaves, the flower head and the seeds in your food preparations.   Using the flower head along with other herbs and spices is recommended when canning up pickles.   Dill works great on seafood, in cheeses, breads and salads.

Drying dill for later use is an easy process.   Snip the amount of dill or other herb (basil, oregano, sage)  gather in a bunch and tie the stems.   Hang upside down in a cool, dark location and in a couple of weeks you have dried herbs.   Find a glass or plastic container for storage and use generously in your cooking adventures.   Experiment with different combinations in your garden and in your kitchen.   The fresh flavors that herbs offer can turn an ordinary meal into a work of art!

I am thinking of adding that bunch of dill to some grated ginger and lemon along with white wine vinegar and oil for a nice salad dressing….oh, and I can’t forget the garlic!   What do you think … time to grow some herbs in your garden or on that lonely windowsill??

I Created a Poll and Need your Input!

Last week I thought to create a day on my blog to share recipes with my readers.   Instead of reading only recipes I post, I decided to take it a step further and create a weekly tradition on Mondays where everyone can share a recipe of their own or one they like.   Installing a feature from inlinkz.com makes this easy.   As Piglet in Portugal suggested the name “Munchie Monday”, I also had another suggestion for “Menu Monday”.   Undecided on what to name this weekly event, I created a poll and ask you…my readers to help decide.

Once the name is decided by popular vote, I will install the link each Monday and all you have to do is click and add the information where your recipe is – either on your website, blog or if you use a recipe site.   This will be a nice way to share with others and gain exposure for your blog or website.   Depending on how this concept takes off, we may even have themes each week such as appetizers or using a specific food.   For Monday next week…any type of recipe you wish to share, be it appetizer, main course, dessert is welcome.  Thanks in advance and I look forward to all the great sharing fun ahead!

Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment and please do take a moment and cast a vote for the name you prefer.   Happy Monday to you all!

I would also like to Thank Kim at DragonflyScrolls for the wonderful award she has bestowed on myself and fellow bloggers who are undertaking the Challenge at WordPress to create a blog post daily or weekly.   It definitely has been a challenge and I will say the benefits from participating in this challenge are remarkable.  

To step outside our comfort zone and take on challenges in life can only build a stronger character and open our eyes to the many wonderful people, places and customs in the world around us.  -Debbie