A Warm Oven cures a Slow Start to Summer

Another dreary morning here.  It has possibly been the worse spring weather-wise in a long time, but I know us Chicagoans are holding out hope for signs of summer.  While life looks gray outdoors, things in my kitchen are HOT!  I have been baking up a storm…some desserts to bring to friends and others just because I’ve wanted to try the recipes.  I’ve stocked up our freezer with delicious treats (because when they are laying around, I feel the need to taste test every hour just to make sure nothing has gone bad).  Everything turned out wonderful and I am looking forward to putting together plates to take with me this weekend.

Oat’N’Toffee Grahams

This recipe is from a magazine. I have had it so long that I don’t remember which one.  I happened to have graham crackers on hand and I was looking for an easy recipe.

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I lined up the grahams per instructions and spread my oat mixture over the top.

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Baked until bubbly, this took closer to 30 minutes for me, but I checked it often.

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Layer with chocolate chips…now I have a confession…I have a GINORMO bag of chocolate chips from Costco, so I did not measure out the chocolate.  In the end, I had a thicker layer of chocolate than intended, so next time (and there will be a next time), I will use fewer chocolate chips. 

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Put the dish back into the warm oven for 2-3 minutes.  Then spread chips with a spatula.

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The recipe says to decorate with sliced almonds.  I was too lazy to slice almonds, so I used pre-chopped walnuts (yum!) and of course some sprinkles to add color!

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I froze the bars to keep them fresh, which worked out really well.  This simple bar has a fabulous flavor combination with the graham crackers, toffee, and of course chocolate.  The walnuts were the perfect addition and I think I liked them better than almonds!

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Oil-Free Zucchini Walnut Raisin Loaf

From Angela at Oh She Glows!

 

Have you ever made a flax egg?  It is seriously the most interesting thing!  You just combine 1 Tbsp flax with 3 Tbsp water and let it sit for 5 minutes…Ta Da!  A vegan egg perfect for baking breads and muffins!

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I love this time of year when there is an abundance of zucchini.  I stock up at the farmer’s market and bake zucchini breads, muffins, and cookies.  It is always fun to find a new recipe to try, especially something different like an oil-free vegan bread.  I followed Angela’s recipe except that I didn’t make the topping.  I made mini loaves and baked them at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.  They turned out perfectly!

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This bread definitely moves to the top of my favorite zucchini recipes!  The texture is perfect, especially with the walnuts and raisins.  You won’t even miss the oil and eggs!  I’m sure you’re hoping one of these mini loaves is for you!

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Good Morning!

Oh my gosh!  I am SORE today.  That fabulous, yet brutal hot yoga class that I took yesterday has definitely left its mark.  My obliques hurt with every move I make.  I LOVE it. I now understand why the celebrities are so committed to their hot  yoga.  Although I consider the tough workout the bonus, the real appeal is the positive energy circulating the room as you delve deeper into your yoga practice.  Now on to breakfast…

I was so excited by last week’s oatmeal bake that I knew I was going to make another one.  I loved pumpkin and add it to everything, so I knew I had to try a baked pumpkin oatmeal.  I found this single serving breakfast recipe on Chelsey’s Blog.  She is a vegan and uses interesting ingredients (flax egg anyone?) which makes trying this recipe even more fun.

The ‘flax egg’ is 3 tablespoons of warm water and 1 tablespoon of flax combined and let to sit for 2-3 minutes.

I used 1/2 cup of oats and 1/2 cup soy milk  (because that is what I had in the house).   I added in 1/2 cup pumpkin, vanilla, my ‘egg’ and then I used pumpkin pie spice for flavor.  The mix tasted good, but not enough spice.  I added in some cinnamon and more to the top before baking.  I baked my oatmeal in a round Pyrex for 20 minutes.

It came out of the oven warm and tasty!  I used a touch of agave and a little more cinnamon to top it off.  Chelsey added apples and peanut butter.  I think nuts would also be a great addition for a little crunch.  The oatmeal was definitely filling and perfect before my spin class.  Plus, it was much easier to make it in the oven as opposed to the stove (where you have to sit by and watch).  I will be making this again and may try to turn it into a bigger bake for the week.  What a good way to start the morning!