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!

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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!!

 

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!

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

I Love to Bake!

I could bake all day long, day after day, and never get bored!   I try to bake healthy using whole wheat flour and adding flaxseed or applesauce as substitutes for higher calorie ingredients.   With our current empty-nester status it is not as common to find me baking away in the kitchen these days, but you can bet I am always searching for a new recipe or two to try out.   This weekend I have a family birthday to celebrate and I plan to bake up a bunch of goodies.   The main attraction will be the birthday cake of course and chocolate candies which has been my latest fascination.

I do have some different flavors I will be experimenting with this week – these are filled with a peppermint ganache and melt in your mouth!   I have also decided to explore decorating the candies and cake with a bit more fancy details.   In the past, I normally would just use store-bought frosting mix and tube icing to decorate.   Researching a bit I have discovered two different homemade frosting or icing I am anxious to try.   Having often wondered about the two but falling short of actually looking into them I would just grab the store-bought can of mix.   Buttercream frosting and Royal icing are the star players I am referring to here.   Buttercream is more creamy and has more flavor whereas the royal icing dries hard and can be used to make flowers and other decorations.

You want to keep the Buttercream Frosting in the refrigerator when not using and it will keep for 2 weeks but must be whipped again before using.   The Royal Icing sets quickly, so keep the bowl covered with a damp cloth at all times to prevent drying.

                                                    and Speaking of Snow……

Here is a cute recipe that is perfect for this time of year.    I am sure young and old alike would enjoy it!

Candy in the Snow – Only one ingredient and a generous snowfall needed.   Gently boil 1/2 cup of maple syrup until it has thickened, for about 5 minutes.   Fill a bowl with clean snow and drizzle the hot syrup over it.  The syrup will harden into “candy” you can eat with your fingers.

Monday is Food Day!

Good Monday Morning!   Let’s start the first week of the New Year with my Monday topic pick which is “Food”!   You would think I had enough food over the holidays, especially sweets, to tide me over for at least a month…but nooooo.   I was going to start with the healthy route since I am a huge fan of eating healthy except for the fact that I had these two recipes which I never “got to” over the holidays – so I baked them up yesterday.

Cranberry Orange Biscotti

Lemon Lavender Cookies

I have to mention once again Chef Paul over at The Pantry Blogger and the fantastic giveaway he held recently which I won!   I used several of the great goodies making the above cookies and I am now blessed to have a food grater that I can successfully use without grating my fingers!

My fingers will be forever grateful (nice play on words….I know, I know…corny!)  

Thank you and I look forward to many more of Chef Paul’s wonderful recipes in the coming year!

Over the holiday season I discovered The Spice House which is right in my own neck of the woods.   I was searching on the internet for orris root to use in the potpourri I am making and found them listed.    

I found the shop stocked with all types of herbs and spices, gift sets and even recipes – the above Lemon Lavender Cookies I picked up from them.   I received personal attention as each purchase I made was taken from the jar and bottled up for me.   I can’t wait to head on back there!

I can honestly say that since I have been baking with the fresh chicken eggs there is a definite difference in taste.   The chicks are still laying eggs even in this brutal cold weather but not as many as during the warmer months.  

I must also mention a spectacular email I received yesterday from Sea Willow Herbs informing me that I had won their giveaway!   Thank YOU Jennifer …… I await my gifts with much excitement!!   I am feeling quite fortunate and happy as I bring in the Year 2011 ….