Roast Butternut Soup with Parmesan Croutons

Butternut Soup with Parmesan Croutons

Roast Butternut Soup with Parmesan Croutons

Dear readers, this soup  is absolutely delicious!!  Roasting the squash creates a rich, caramelized flavor that in the finished soup is amazing.  You can go ahead and cook the squash in the chicken broth, but it won’t be the same,  I’m telling you.   You will not believe the creaminess of this soup without the use of heavy cream.  And don’t even think about skipping the Parmesan croutons…..even it you use packaged ones instead of homemade.

I realize I’ve swooned over other soups,  but, with each new soup I make, I think it’s the best and it becomes my favorite, and the one last week is like “broccoli who?”.  January will best be remembered as soup month around here, and just in case you think I’m being a little over dramatic and that I need to go to some kind of soup-overload-rehab, you’re only thinking that because you haven’t made this one yet.

Even though the soup is perfectly seasoned according to the recipe, you may want to further perk up the flavor, by adding a pinch of nutmeg and a pinch of garlic powder, being careful as to the amounts because each of these items can be quite strong.

BUTTERNUT SOUP WITH PARMESAN CROUTONS

YIELD:  Makes  2 quarts or about 8 servings

Butternut squash, onion, garlic, celery and chicken broth, plus seasonings.

Butternut squash, onion, garlic, celery and chicken broth, plus seasonings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 3 pounds), peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes**
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • herb mixture, such as Fine Herbs, Italian Herb mix, Herbs de Provence
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh sage, or 2 tsp. dry rubbed sage
  • 3 cans (14.5 oz. each) reduced sodium chicken broth (vegetarians may substitute vegetable broth)
  • Croutons:
  • 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh sage or 1 tsp. dry rubbed sage
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups cubed French bread ( 1/2-inch cubes)
  • cooking spray
  • additional grated Parmesan cheese, optional

**As a small savings in time, you may want to use precut squash cubes from the market.  I prefer to peel and cut my squash because I feel that it is fresher when purchased whole, and not as likely to be dried out.

Directions:

1.  Place squash in a 15-in. x 10-in. baking pan lightly coated with cooking spray.  Drizzle with 1 Tablespoon oil; sprinkle with pepper, and sprinkle on a small amount of herb mixture.  Toss to coat.

Dice squash, drizzle with olive oil, pepper and herbs, then bake.

Dice squash, drizzle with olive oil, pepper and herbs, then bake.

Bake, uncovered, at 425*F for 30-35 minutes or until tender, stirring every 15 minutes.  Set aside.  This will smell wonderful when it comes out of the oven and you will want to eat it, but please don’t.

Roasted squash pierces easily and has some browned edges.

Roasted squash pierces easily and has some browned edges.

2.  While squash is roasting, in a Dutch oven, saute the onion, celery and sage in remaining oil until tender.

Slowly sauté the onions, celery and garlic.

Slowly sauté the onions, celery,  garlic and sage.

Stir in the broth and squash.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes to allow flavors to blend.  Cool slightly.

Add squash and chicken broth to Dutch oven.

Add squash and chicken broth to Dutch oven.

3.  In a blender, or with an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth.  Return to the pan;  heat through. This makes a thick mixture.

Puree the mixture for a thick, wonderfully flavorful soup.

Puree the mixture for a thick, wonderfully flavorful soup.

If you prefer a thinner soup, add some additional broth, and rebalance the seasoning if necessary.

4.  For croutons, in a small bowl, combine the cheese, oil, sage and garlic.  Add bread cubes and spritz with cooking spray; toss to coat.  Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.

5.  Bake at 425*F. for 5 – 8 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally.  Sprinkle each serving of soup with croutons and additional cheese if desired.

Top soup with Parmesan croutons and enjoy.

Top soup with Parmesan croutons and enjoy.

Nutritional Profile:  1 cup of soup with 1/4 cup croutons equals 179 calories, 8 g. fat, 1 mg cholesterol,  541 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber,  5 g protein.

SOURCE:   Adapted from Taste of Home

Advertisements

Onion and Arugula Frittata with Goat Cheese

Onion and Arugula Frittata with Goat Cheese

Onion and Arugula Frittata with Goat Cheese

Frittatas are omelets for people who have too many things going on.  Heat an oven ready pan, put in the garnishes, pour the eggs over, pop into the oven and let the oven finish the job while you get the rest of the meal ready.

A frittata can be transformed by a variety of ingredients.  In this one I’m using caramelized onions and arugula, but any number of other inclusions will work.  Mushrooms, asparagus, ham, broccoli, cheese, whatever floats your boat for flavor combinations is ok.  Frittatas are suitable for any time of the day – or night!   Snuggled up to some toast or an English muffin, it’s breakfast.  Pair it up with a salad and roll and call it lunch.  Add a bowl of soup to expand the meal and it becomes supper.   For a dish that’s so simple to make, it has a pretty swanky reputation.

For any dieters among you, a frittata is the perfect food.  Load it up with veggies and some extra egg whites, and it becomes about as healthy as it can get.  Serve it warm, at room temperature or cold (hello, 20-second breakfast of leftovers.)

IMG_6154

One final thing I love about a frittata…..  It’s an oven to table meal.  Just take the whole darn thing from the oven to the table and serve it straight out of the pan.    Wonderful, indeed!!

With this recipe it’s the pairing of sweetly caramelized onions and the peppery arugula with the silkiness of eggs and creamy goat cheese that really puts this one over the top.  I had a very hard time limiting myself to just one serving.  I ate the two pieces that were leftover, one day for lunch, and the other,  one morning for breakfast and  had just as much enjoyment as the first time around.

 ONION AND ARUGULA FRITTATA WITH GOAT CHEESE

Yield:   Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1  Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 medium sweet onions, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • pinch of red pepper flakes, optional
  • 4 cups arugula
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese crumbles

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Heat the olive oil in a medium oven-safe skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions, reduce the heat to low and cook the onions until they’re golden brown and caramelized, 20 to 25 minutes.

Slowly caramelize the onions until they're fragrant and golden.

Slowly caramelize the onions until they’re fragrant and golden.

2.  Season the onions to taste with salt and red pepper flakes, if using.  Add the arugula and cook until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.  Raise the heat to medium high.

Next add the arugula and stir a bit till it wilts.

Next add the arugula and stir a bit till it wilts.

3.  In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, egg whites and milk to combine.  Pour the mixture into the pan and let it cook  2 to 3 minutes to set the base.  Sprinkle the goat cheese on top of the egg mixture.

Pour in the egg mixture, and sprinkle on goat cheese.

Pour in the egg mixture, and sprinkle on goat cheese.

4.  Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the frittata is set, 15 to 20 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.  The frittata can be served warm, at room temperature or chilled.

IMG_6158

 Onion and arugula frittata with goat cheese.

Onion and arugula frittata with goat cheese.

Additional notes: 

1.  Be sure to allow enough time to properly caramelize the onions.  Onions caramelize best in a large skillet with plenty of room over very low heat.  Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking.

2.  This frittata may be made with a variety of other healthy leafy greens.  Try subbing in collards, spinach, chard or kale for the arugula.

SOURCE:   The Incredible Egg

Creamy Avocado Dressing

Like me, you probably did your share of holiday indulging ( no, we weren’t counting those pigs in a blanket per se), but now it’s time to try to undo the damage, i.e., unwanted pounds, by walking that straight and narrow path of good intentions known as New Year’s Resolutions.  I resolve to eat my meals on smaller plates, and to make those meals healthier.  Ha!  Here goes….

Creamy Avocado Dressing

Creamy Avocado Dressing

Hopefully that will be a little easier with this incredible salad dressing.  It’s creamy and seems quite indulgent, but its thick texture and rich taste come from healthy avocados.  Toss it with lettuce, cucumbers, and halved cherry tomatoes for a simple salad, and you’ll feel like you’re being bad, when you’re really being so good!

Makes a simple salad feel indulgent.

Makes a simple salad feel indulgent.

CREAMY AVOCADO DRESSING

Very few ingredients.

Very few ingredients.

Yield:   Makes  1 1/2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe avocados, halved and pitted  (I used 1 large Florida avocado)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin oil
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

1.  Scoop the avocado flesh into the bowl of a food processor.*  Add the garlic and lemon juice and process until coarse.

2.  Add the vinegar and process until the mixture begins to look smooth.  Gradually add the olive oil and mix until totally smooth.  The texture can be thinned by adding a little water of desired.

3.  Season the dressing to taste with salt and pepper, and transfer it to a storage container.  The dressing will keep for up to three days in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

IMG_6094

*  No food processor?  Don’t feel like getting your big processor “dirty” with this small recipe?  Do this instead.  Make this dressing much like you would make guacamole, by using your trusty potato masher.  Be sure to mince the garlic well first, and add both the vinegar and oil gradually until the texture is smooth.

Another use for this mixture is to toss it with cooked quinoa or bulgur for an easy grain salad.

SOURCE:    Pure WOW

Gardener’s Ratatouille

Gardner's Ratatouille

Gardner’s Ratatouille

What could be better at this time of year than Ratatouille, a vegetable stew.  Using all the fresh vegetables that are so plentiful now, I made up a large pan of this dish.  We love it when I first make it, and we like it even better the second time around when the  flavor seems to get even better.

Extras can be slowly reheated very successfully, but it is actually quite good served cold.  We particularly enjoy folding the leftovers inside a croissant, for a light lunch.  If you wish you can turn this dish into a hearty meal by adding some protein such as grilled sausages during the final stage of cooking.

The ingredients listed provide a guideline;  you can change up the vegetables to suit your taste, or what’s available when you make it.  For instance I used yellow summer squash instead of zucchini.  A red pepper can take the place of a green pepper.  One thing you must do, if making this dish, is use lots of fresh herbs.  Unfortunately I didn’t have any fresh oregano, so I used dried, ( 1 teaspoon),  but I did use fresh basil and parsley.   Fresh herbs make a hugh difference in the taste.

Also, you know how eggplant can soak up a lot of oil, well this recipe only uses 2 teaspoons olive oil to sauté the onions, the rest of the moisture comes from the vegetables as they are cooked slowly while covered, and the eggplant takes on the flavors of the vegetables and herbs it is cooked with.  Also, be sure to cut all the vegetables the same size to ensure even cooking.

GARDENER’S RATATOUILLE

Yield:  6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

    Beautiful Fresh Vegetables

    Beautiful Fresh Vegetables

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cups chopped plum tomato ( about 1 pound, or 3 tomatoes)
  • 2 cups chopped peeled eggplant (aubergine)
  • 1  1/2 cups chopped zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1.   Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion;  sauté 3 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.

Saute onions with peppers.

Saute onions, then add tomatoes

Add tomato, eggplant, pepper, squash, and garlic.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer slowly about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add in all the remaining vegetables.

Add in all the remaining vegetables.

2.  When vegetables are tender, stir in oregano and remaining ingredients;  cook, uncovered 5 minutes or until most of the liquid evaporates.

Garnish with chopped parsley before serving.

Garnish with chopped parsley before serving.

IMG_4978

Serving size:  3/4 cup.   Calories, 91,  Fat, 3 g,  Protein, 2.8g., Carb 16g.. Fiber  4.6 g.,  Sodium 308 mg.

SOURCE:  Cooking Light

Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

This morning was very chilly for mid-September,  and the prediction is for a cooler than average day.  So right away I am thinking about making chili in the slow cooker.  I’m always amazed at how quickly I adapt to the next season.  Even though I’m not ready to give up all that summer has to offer,  one cool morning, and I’m looking for a sweater or jacket and thinking about chili.  Go figure!

I do  know that there’s nothing quite so enticing than walking into the kitchen and taking in the tantalizing aroma of onions, garlic, and chili powder from a big pot of chili bubbling on the stove or in the crock pot.  Serving up steaming bowls of chili with all the fixings is fun and warming in the fall especially if you’ve been outdoors at a football game or other event in cool weather.

If you have ever worried that chili isn’t good for you,  stop worrying now.  There are a number of tricks you can do to keep it healthy but still hearty.   First, start with a lean meat, like chicken, turkey or lean beef;  second add at least 3 cups of fresh vegetables to boost fiber;  and third, be selective in your toppings, keeping to low-fat cheese and  sour cream,  good-fat avocado, and plenty of fresh options like scallions, radishes, jalapeños, onion, and cilantro.

IMG_5034

This recipe for turkey chili made in the crock pot incorporates all the “tricks” mentioned above.  It’s a meal we really enjoy and I like the simplicity of starting it in the morning and having a meal ready to put on the table except for cutting up a few garnishes at the last minute.

SLOW-COOKER TURKEY CHILI

Yield:   4 – 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1  1/4 pound lean ground turkeyIMG_5029
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 ( 1.25-oz. ) envelope chili seasoning mix
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, chopped ( i omitted this)
  • 1 ( 28-oz ) can crushed tomatoes, or fresh tomatoes, in season
  • 1 ( 15-oz. ) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 ( 4-oz. ) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Toppings to include any of: shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, finely chopped red onion, sliced jalapeños, radishes, or scallions

1.  Cook turkey in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often with wooden spoon to crumble turkey.

Cooked and crumbled turkey with seasonings added.

Cooked and crumbled turkey with seasonings added.

Add chopped onions and garlic, cooking till softened.  Add contents of seasoning envelope and chicken broth.  Cook and stir about 2 minutes.

IMG_5032

2.  Spoon mixture into a 5 1/2 quart slow cooker;  stir in corn, and next 5 ingredients until well blended.

Everything mixed together in the crock pot.

Everything mixed together in the crock pot.

Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours.   Serve with desired toppings.

Hearty, warming, just right on a cool day.

Hearty, warming, just right on a cool day.

SOURCE:  Southern Living Magazine

Potatoes au Gratin

Potatoes au Gratin

Potatoes au Gratin

Calling all potato lovers!  If you are anything like me you love potatoes in any form.  And really, potatoes are  a healthy, non-fattening food.  Its how they are cooked and what you put on them that makes all the difference.

The potato is best known for its carbohydrate content (approximately 26 gm, in a medium potato), with starch being its predominant form.  A large quantity of this starch is resistant to digestion, and so it reaches the large intestines largely intact.  This resistant starch is considered to have many beneficial effects similar to those of fiber.  When you eat the skin of a potato this increases the fiber benefit.  Without getting into a lengthy physiological explanation, let me just say that the bulk that fiber provides offers protection against colon cancer, improves glucose tolerance, lowers plasma cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and increases satiety (feelings of fullness and satisfaction).

Most notably potatoes contain high levels of Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and Potassium.  A medium potato also contains about 75 gm. water.  So you see, potatoes can be a healthy food.  Preparation is the key in preserving the nutrients.

The following recipe for Potatoes au Gratin in one that I like to make as an accompaniment to baked ham, or meatloaf.  You will note that I have kept the above mentioned facts in mind in my preparation:  using a good quality Idaho potato,  limiting the amount of cheese and using cheeses that provide good favor, and using low-fat milk with just a little flour for thickening.  Chopped green onions many be added as desired to the potato mixture for further flavor.

POTATOES AU GRATIN

Yield:   4 servings

Ingredients:

Note that only three potatoes are used to make 4 servings.

Note that only three potatoes are used to make 4 servings.

  • 1 lb. Idaho baking potatoes
  • 3 oz. grated cheese (Swiss, cheddar, Monterey Jack, Colby are all good )
  • 3/4 cup milk  (I use skim milk with no problems)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  •  black pepper, to taste
  • 1  1/2 teaspoon flour
  • paprika

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Lightly butter a shallow au gratin dish, or spray with non-stick baking spray.

2.  Slice potatoes into 1/4-inch thick rounds.

3.  Arrange one layer of potatoes to cover the bottom of the baking dish.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

4.  Mix together the cheese and flour, and sprinkle 1/3  of it over top of potatoes.

5.  Repeat with another layer of the potatoes, salt and pepper, 1/3 of the cheese and flour mixture.

Layering the potatoes with cheese/flour mixture.

Layering the potatoes with cheese/flour mixture.

6.  Repeat a third layer of potatoes, cheese and flour.    Warm the milk in the microwave, then pour gently over the potatoes.  Sprinkle with paprika.   Bake for 50 minutes until potatoes are tender and milk is absorbed.

Just out of the oven, nicely browned and crusty.

Ready for the oven.

Out of the oven, nicely browned and crusty.

Out of the oven, nicely browned and crusty.

SOURCE:   a Carolyn Original

A Meal for Cinco de Mayo

Mexican chicken, yellow rice, and black bean and corn salad.

Mexican chicken, yellow rice, and Southwestern black bean salad.

With this Sunday coming up being the 5th of May, that means its Cinco de Mayo.  This Mexican holiday commemorates the victory of Mexican military over the French at the battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War in 1862.  This relatively little known holiday is a big day in Mexico and Mexican and Chicano communities.  Over the past few years, since Mexican foods have become so popular here in the U.S., this little holiday has also gained importance and now provides a good reason/excuse for putting together a Mexican meal and perhaps having a party.  Pinatas anyone?

The Mexican Chicken recipe produces an extremely tasty dish that is low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates.  It can be served over rice, or wrapped in a tortilla, or simply eaten as is.

Mexican Chicken

Mexican Chicken

Along with it I served yellow rice, for those who can eat carbs, and a corn and black bean  salad.   The recipe for the salad is included here also.

The menu included Mexican Chicken, yellow rice, and corn and black bean salad.

The menu included Mexican Chicken, yellow rice, and Southwestern black bean salad.

I love this salad as it makes a great side dish, or appetizer served with chips.  It can also be used as a topping on taco salads or served with grilled meats.  Nutritionally, it is very low in saturated fat, and loaded with antioxidants.  The carbohydrates that the beans and corn provide are complex carbs for the most part, and do not have an immediate impact on blood sugar.  Use fresh sweet corn when it is in season, otherwise, frozen, thawed corn,  or canned corn will work just fine also.

MEXICAN CHICKEN

The menu includes all these ingredients plus chicken.

The menu includes all these ingredients plus chicken.

Servings:   about 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp. taco seasoning
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup enchilada sauce
  • 4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 green onions, chopped

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.   Grease or spray an 8-inch  baking dish.

2.  Sprinkle chicken on all sides with the taco seasoning.

Sprinkle chicken all over with taco seasoning.

Sprinkle chicken all over with taco seasoning.

Grill or pan sauté  until just cooked.  Remove from the pan or grill and cut into smaller bite-size pieces.

Pan grill or saute the chicken breasts.

Pan grill or saute the chicken breasts.

Cut into smaller pieces and coat with enchilada sauce.

Cut into smaller pieces and coat with enchilada sauce.

3.  Place chicken in the prepared baking dish, sprinkle with salt if desired, and add enchilada sauce.  Toss to coat with the sauce.  Sprinkle cheese over the top.

Spread in a baking dish.

Spread in a baking dish.

Top with grated cheese.

Top with grated cheese.

4.  Bake at 350* for 10 – 20 minutes until heated through and bubbly.  Scatter green onions over the top.

Once baked, sprinkle with green onions.

Once baked, sprinkle with green onions.

Serve over rice or wrapped in a tortilla if desired.  The yellow rice I served was Carolina brand packaged mix that only required water added before cooking.

Nutritional index:  calories, 266,  carb. 4 g.  fat, 12 g.

SOURCE:   genaw.com/low carb

IMG_3928

SOUTHWESTERN BLACK BEAN SALAD

SERVINGS:   about 6 – 8

Ingredients:

  • 15,5 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained

    Corn and black bean salad with avocados.

    Southwestern black bean salad with avocados.

  • 9 oz, cooked corn, fresh or frozen (thawed if frozen)
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped,  or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 – 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped ( or more to taste)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 medium avocado, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, diced.  (optional)

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine beans, corn, tomato, onion, scallion, cilantro, salt and pepper.

Squeeze fresh lime juice into the mixture (to taste) and olive oil.  Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.   Add avocado before serving.

A delicious side dish, topping or dip, and so good for you!

A delicious side dish, topping or dip, and so good for you!

Nutritional profile:  Wt. Watcher Points+;  2 pt.,  calories: 79.5,   fat:  3.5 g.,  Carb:  12 g. Sodium:  127mg.(with no added salt)

SOURCE:    skinnytaste.com

Chewy Granola Bars

When September and back-to-school time rolls around I always think of these bars.  That’s because my children loved them and I always made them to have as after school snacks, or to pack in lunch boxes.  I still make them because Mr. D. likes them a lot and I like to have them around for a healthy snack.

These bars can be customized to your taste by the addition of your favorite fruits and nuts or chips.  They are a great way to use up small amounts of fruits, or chips left over from another recipe.  They also freeze well and pack well so you can have them available all the time.  They can easily go along on a hike, a car trip, or camping.  What I like to do is wrap each square individually in plastic wrap, place in a covered container in the freezer, and take out the desired number as needed.  Last weekend Mr. D, and his friend went fishing for the day, and took some of these bars along to munch on.  His friend called to thank me and tell me how much he liked them.

These bars smell wonderful as they are baking, and eating one leads to wanting  another one, so they don’t last long.  It’s good to make a double recipe if you want to have a quantity on hand;  some to eat, and some to freeze.

CHEWY GRANOLA BARS

YIELD:  about 1 dozen bars, cut 2″ x 4 1/2″

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 2/3 cups quick rolled oats
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cups oat flour  (or 1/3 cup quick oats, processed till finely ground in a food processor or blender)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2-3 cups mixed dried fruit and nuts (example: cranberries, apricots, dates, raisins, coconut, almonds, walnuts, chocolate chips)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup honey, maple syrup, or corn syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon water

DIRECTIONS

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 13″ x 9 ” pan.

2.  Stir together all the dry ingredients including fruits and nuts.

3.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, melted butter, syrup or honey and water.

4.  Toss the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients until the mixture is evenly crumbly.

5.  Spread in prepared pan to evenly cover the bottom and pat down gently.

6.  Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until golden brown around the edges.  Remove from oven, loosen the edges and let cool for 5 minutes.

7.  Use a knife ( or bench knife) to cut bars while still warm.  Cool on rack.  Wrap individually to store or with parchment paper between the layers in an air tight container.  These bars freeze well.

SOURCE:   King Arthur Flour