Popcorn Granola

Happy May Day, everyone!

I’ve been doing a lot of baking recently and wanted to make some options that were a little more outside the box of the normal food stuffs, plus for those who have been eating more healthy this spring, this recipe is all natural, includes no added sugar, and would fit in a real food necessity, which meets the needs for some of my friends.  This is another recipe from the Trail Blazers cookbook, and I am thrilled to share it.

Popcorn Granola

Popcorn Granola

3 1/2-4 qts hot popped corn
1 c shredded coconut
1 c sunflower seeds
2/3 c raisins
1/2 c honey
1/2 c melted butter
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt

Combine popcorn, coconut, seeds, and raisins.  Blend remaining ingredients together and pour over mixture.  Toss to coat thoroughly.  Spread on lightly buttered rimmed baking sheet and bake in a 275-degree oven for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.  Cool to crisp.  Store in airtight container.  Makes about 4 1/2 quarts.

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Zucchini Raisin Bars

We’ve had a busy start to the year.  I’ve mentioned how I have brought some treats into work this fall to thank others for their work and recognize the ways in which their efforts are improving the campus experience for our students.  One particular department was treated poorly by a student with whom I was working, and so I decided snacks would be in order.  And, I knew some of the folks in the department are particularly health-conscious, so what makes that better than making a sweet treat with vegetables and fruit in it?  I decided to go with this recipe for zucchini raisin bars that I had written down on a recipe card, but never had made.

The recipe provides both a frosting option and a powdered sugar dusting option.  I went with the powdered sugar option for ease of time.

zucchini-raisin-bars

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Raisin-Oatmeal Brickle Cookies

When I made cookies to take into some folks last week, I also saw this recipe my cousin Katie had put into our family cookbook.  At our start of the year kickoff meeting at work, we were celebrating ten years of a meeting where our campus staff get together and share the “news you need to know.”  To celebrate, I volunteered to make some “sweet treats” for door prizes and one of the departments had said oatmeal raisin cookies might be what they wanted for their prize.  This recipe that had a little twist — golden raisins and bits of heath bit-o-brickle — added a little bit of fun to the traditional oatmeal raisin cookie.

Generally, when I’m making cookies, I don’t spend much time worrying about putting parchment paper down before baking.  However, with the bit-o-brickle in here, it added another level of sticky to the cookies and I found the parchment paper to be a necessity.

These cookies get pretty sweet.  That added toffee adds another dimension of sugar to the already-sweet cookies.  I also thought they spread better when I rolled the cookies into balls instead of really dropping them onto the pan to bake.

raisin-oatmeal-brickle-cookies

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Zucchini Carrot Cake

Last weekend, I went to a wedding which was beautiful!  My friend Minda, who lived here for a few months, married Dan and the wedding was authentically them.  The food was delicious, and even more delicious were the cakes.  That’s right.  Cakes.  Each table had its own cake and then guests were able to mingle around and find other cakes, the varieties of which I loved — White Chocolate, Chocolate with Salted Caramel, Lemon with Raspberry Filling, etc.

As we were talking, my friend Kara and I both suggested we made the best carrot cake and I decided to proceed with making mine — also because we’re in the season of the zucchini, and my carrot cake calls for a little zucchini in it.

Taken from the aptly named The Classic Zucchini Cookbook, they also share this could be called a “garden” cake because of the zucchini in it.  I modified the recipe a little bit, but overall, it matches with the recipe in the book.

carrot zucchini cake.jpg

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