Archive for the tag “chocolate”

Chocolate Chewy Granola Bars

I will be the first to admit that I love a good chewy granola bar for many reasons: their slightly sweet but still feel a little healthy because of the oats and nuts, their quick and make for an easy snack and they are fairly cheap and easy to make for a great grab and go for anyone in the family. While you can buy them in the store for quite cheap they are also easy to make at home and have on hand in the freezer.

I decided to make my bars with a combination of dried apricots, coconut, dried cranberries, chocolate and nuts.  They are slightly sweet but you don’t feel like you are eating a candy bar.  They fill you up and my toddler loves them.  Win for all!

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IMG_2144You can buy sliced or slivered almonds but I find it cheaper to buy whole ones and chop them yourself.

IMG_2145Chop to the size you like: here is how I like them.

IMG_2146On a sheet pan, toast the oatmeal and almonds for about 8 minutes or until fragrant (stir once halfway)

IMG_2148In a saucepan combine honey, butter, brown sugar and vanilla extract until sugar is dissolved.

IMG_2150My choice of add ins.  You can customize these granola bars any way you like: dates, dried cherries, m&m’s, any other dried fruit, other nuts and more

IMG_2151Once sugar is dissolved add almond butter if desired. You could also use any other nut butter.

IMG_2152Pour mixture over oats, almonds and wheat germ

IMG_2153Stir until combined.

IMG_2154Add flax seeds and let cool for 5 minutes.

IMG_2155Once the mixture has cooled a little add your desired extras.  The chocolate chips will melt a little which is fine because it will help the bars stick together

IMG_2157Pour mixture into an 8×8 pan lined with tin foil and sprayed with non stick spray or oiled

IMG_2158Press mixture into the pan until it is really compact.  This helps the bars stick together better later.  Really press them in.  Add remaining chocolate chips to the top and gently press them in with a spatula. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

IMG_2164Remove bars from pan and slice into desired size.  Store bars in an air tight container for up to a week (if they last that long) or freeze the rest for later.

IMG_2165YUM!

Chocolate Chewy Granola Bars
Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups rolled oats (quick cooking)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup almond butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp flax seeds
2 tbsp wheat germ
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chocolate chips plus 3 tbsp
 
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  On a sheet pan toast almonds and rolled oats for about 8 minutes or until fragrant.  Stir once in between. Transfer for a big bowl with wheat germ.  In a small saucepan add butter, vanilla, brown sugar and honey.  Heat over medium heat unit sugar is dissolved.  Add almond butter and stir to combine.  Add to bowl and stir to combine.  Allow mixture to cool for about 5 minutes.  Add flax seeds and other add ins.  Press mixture firmly into an 8×8 square pan lined with foil sprayed with nonstick spray.  The more you press the better the bars will stick together later. Top with remaining chocolate chips and press gently with a spatula.  Refrigerate for 2 hours or up to over night.  Remove from pan and slice into desired size.  Store in an airtight container for up to a week or freeze for later. 
All ingredients are optional and can changed depending on your families taste!

Sweet Treats

I LOVE a sweet treat after a meal, by itself, with a cup of coffee or tea or as a dessert! One reason I love the market is because there are always a yummy new treat or chocolate bar to try. Here is what I have been addicted to lately.

 Bite Me Whole Wheat Shortbread Cookies

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How cute are these little leaf and pumpkin cookies!

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Perfect as a dessert a hostess gift or table decor!

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These cookies are slightly sweet from the frosting and the whole wheat shortbread is chewy and delicious!

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I enjoyed the cookies with a cup of delicious pumpkin tea by The Republic of Tea!

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This cup of tea is so delicious and satisfies all my pumpkin cravings!

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Love these cookies!

Chocolate Craving

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This trio is awesome! Enjoy all separate or together!

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This yummy caramel is made in Montana and the market carries 4 flavors (salted caramel, salted chocolate and caramel) including this salted mocha.

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B.T. McElrath’s peppermint crunch choclate bar

Perfect for the holidays!!!!

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Look at those mocha and caramel layers!

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Check out those salt flakes!

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Chuao Firecracker!

Sultry sea salt, smoky chipotle, and popping candy exploding in dark chocolate!!!

IMG_7155Remember the fun childhood Poprocks candies?!?! Those are stuffed into this delicious and spicy chocolate bar! They actually pop in your mouth!

A Crepe Extravaganza (Sweet and Savory)

What Crepe Flavor are you?!?!

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I was inspired by a few different awesome items in the Gig Harbor Market today and I can’t wait to share them with you!!!  I can assure you your mouth will be watering and you will be running to the car headed in the direction of Harbor Greens!

IMG_6218The humble crepe: a thin fluffy batter made of eggs, milk, flour, water, melted butter and a few extras! I made sweet and savory crepes today so I created two different batters (well, 3 actually if you count my chocolate batter.  Read on to find out more!!!)  In the savory batter I added salt and pepper and the sweet batter I added sugar and lemon zest!  Besides the extra ingredients the process is the same for both batters. Blend the ingredients, allow to chill in refrigerator, heat a large skillet, coat with melted butter, pour batter in and form desired crepe size, flip and fill with ingredients! The possibilities are endless!!!!! Experiment, create, be adventurous and enjoy!

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Pour crepe batter into pan to create desired size.  In this case, size does matter 🙂

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Flip when the edges are golden brown

Cooks Note: Making a good crepe is a bit of an art form but anyone can do it! Swirl batter in pan until a thin layer of batter is covering the bottom of the pan.  You want the crepe to be quite thin.  It only takes a few minutes on each side so watch them closely.

 Sweet Crepes

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Sweet batter ingredients. Add water to get desired consistency.

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Fresh lemon zest pairs perfectly with the sweet batter

Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter, Hazelnut and Banana Crepe

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Wild Friends in Portland Oregon is turing out some awesome flavors of peanut butter! Two girls ran out of peanut butter while studying in college and decided to try their hand at making their own instead of buying more! Plus, they filled my wildest dream by combining chocolate coconut and peanut butter!

IMG_6221These hazelnuts are also from Oregon! Ken and June have been harvesting hazelnuts for 50 years on the Melcher Family Farm!

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This delicious and decadent crepe was inspired by Wild Friends chocolate coconut peanut butter.  I was initially looking for Nutella, a chocolate hazelnut spread, however when I spotted the flavored peanut butter my mind instantly changed.  Chocolate, coconut, peanut butter all in one, how can you go wrong?!?! The answer is: you CAN’T!!! Bananas add some sweet and hearty fruit and a slight crunch from the chopped hazelnuts makes this crepe a true chocolate lovers dream! All this awesome crepe needs is a dusting of powdered sugar.Blueberry Lemon Curd Crepe

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Never tried lemon curd before?  Well, after trying this crepe you will be a lemon curd lover! A little sweet, a little sour and a lot lemony this product will leave you wanting to put lemon curd on everything! Especially this crepe with fresh blueberries! Two simple ingredients is all this crepe needs to be perfect!

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Stonewall Kitchen Lemon Curd

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Topped with vanilla whipped cream and fresh blueberries! Oh My!

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Strawberries and Vanilla Whipped Cream Crepe

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Such a classis and so delicious!

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I used frozen defrosted strawberries that I sweetened up with a little agave syrup! Top with vanilla whipped cream for a classic sweet crepe!

Banana Coconut Chocolate Coconut Crepe

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I was feeling a little crazy at the end of my crepe making so I decided to throw some cocoa powder and coconut extract in my sweet crepe batter! It was the best move yet! A chocolate coconut crepe which I filled with a small smear of Wild Friends chocolate coconut peanut butter, bananas and sweetened coconut! Topped off with coconut flakes and powdered sugar! Ummmmm, did you get all that… Whoa!!! It’t even better than it sounds if that is possible!

 Savory Crepes

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Savory batter ingredients.  Notice the salt but not the pepper. Don’t forget the pepper like I did! Add water for desired consistency.

The star of the savory crepes featured is definitely this cheese:

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Lappi Cheese: Named for the Lapland region of Finland this cheese is rich and buttery and oh so versatile.  It is naturally gluten free for those of us who struggle with wheat which makes it a great cheese for any dish!  It is slightly firm but shreds well and melts great for a gooey cheesy goodness! Try this cheese! Weighed by the pound and wrapped inidividually the market has made it possibly to try this delicious cheese without draining your wallet. Find this cheese, and many others, in the refrigerated cheese case in the deli.  Be sure to ask one of the deli boys if you need help finding it!

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Look at that shred!

Ham, Egg, Cheese Crepe

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This crepe is much more than it sounds like! From the salty black forest ham, a fluffy scrambled egg, tangy Lappi cheese and herby fresh basil this crepe is sure to impress and satisfy!

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And, YES, I do enjoy my crepe with a class of wine so you should to!

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Famega Vinho Verde is a crisp and slightly sweet wine that pairs well with this savory crepe! It has a slight sparkling aspect and is smooth and fresh on a warm summer day! Served chilled and even over ice (no shame here!) this wine is a great bottle for any occasion! Currently on sale for only $6.99 a bottle! Don’t miss our weekly ad at HarborGreensMarket.com

Baked Ham, Egg, Cheese and Arugula Crepe

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Fill a crepe with fresh slices of black forest ham, shredded Lappi cheese, fresh arugula, crack an egg on top and fold up the edges! Place on a piece of parchment paper and bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes or until egg is cooked.  I like mine over medium!

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Crispy edges, a baked egg, warm ham and melted cheese! So savory and perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Caramelized Onion, Balsamic Roasted Carrots, Cheese and Thyme Crepe

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This crepe is everything savory and oh so hearty!

Roast carrots in the oven for 20 minutes, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle fresh thyme on top. Caramelize onions in a skillet with olive oil, salt and pepper for about 30 minutes until tender and sweet.  Fill crepe with shredded cheese, warm caramelized onions and carrots. The warmth from the onions and carrots will melt the cheese! Enjoy alone or with a sweet and savory bechamel sauce (aka, white sauce)  to make it a meal!

Crepe Batter Recipe:

Sweet Crepe batter

Ingredients:

2 eggs

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup water (more if needed)

3 tbsp melted butter

1 cup flour

2 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp lemon zest

Chocolate Coconut Crepe Batter

2 eggs

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup water (more if needed)

3 tbsp melted butter

1 1/2 cup flour

2 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tsp coconut extract

Savory Crepe Batter

Ingredients:

2 eggs

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup water (more if needed)

3 tbsp melted butter

1 cup flour

1 tsp of salt

1 tsp of pepper

Preparation:

Blend all ingredients together.  Allow to chill in refrigerator for 15 minutes.  This reduces bubbles.  Butter skillet and pour in batter.  Swirl batter in pan until crepe size is achieved. Flip crepe when edges are slightly brown.  Fill crepe with desired filling.

 

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