Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Homemade Granola Bars

I've wanted to try another recipe after reading MoneySavingMom's granola bars, the original recipe and instruction came with full pictures. I checked I have most of the ingredient the recipe called for and can't wait to rush home after work and try it out.

The difference between granola and granola bars is the syrupy part. In the homemade granola, you don't need to boil the brown sugar, honey, butter and maple syrup if you have them (use less than for bars). You toast the dry and wet mixture together in the oven.

With the homemade granola bars you'll use more syrup, you toast the dry ingredients first, then boil the syrupy mixture then mix, let them cool compacted in a tray, cut them up in sizes you like and that's it.

Lesson learned:
  • Takes more effort to make granola bars, I like them, but hubby likes the crispy granola better.
  • Will boil the syrup mixture longer, maybe 6 minutes instead of 3 minutes to make it more "hard candy" mainly I don't have a candy thermometer and they cost a bomb too. I'll stick to old fashioned self estimated timing.
  • Will make sure that I have bulk ingredients next time, and trying with chocolate chips, almond, etc.
  • Will certainly make some for our long-haul flight to the US for hubby as flight food isn't that great after you been groggy and flabby for 20 hours

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Homemade Granola

My failed attempt of baking granola bars with this recipe I found last month, it turned out too soggy and a slight eggy-smell that I don't enjoy too much and too embarrassed to let anyone try.

Unfazed, I have decided not to use any recipe that calls for a wet mixture. A "homemade granola" goggling lead me to several prominent recipes that I intend to try, omitting quite a few of the ingredients that that is too expensive to splurge on.

From joyofbaking - straight forward recipe with lots of background and tips that is somewhat useful and what to expect from toasting your own granola.

I used the kitchensinkrecipes for my homemade granola, check out her website if you're more interested on the full recipe. Below my recipehack, ingredients I used in red


3 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup coconut flakes, unsweeteend
3 tablespoons flax seeds
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/4 cup sunflower
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup toasted mixed nuts, chopped (I used pistachios and almonds here) <== I'm planing to put in raw almonds next time
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil <== I used 2 tablespoon of melted butter 2 tablespoons honey 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups mixed dried fruit (I used raisins and dried cherries and cranberries here)

Lesson learned: does not reuse a baking sheet after the first batch, it catches fire easily as it is "crispy". Otherwise, my granola tastes caramel-ly, a better attempt than the 1st.

Hubby and my friend seemed to enjoy snacking on it. I'll be making more as gifts to friends, and also my breakfast~

Saturday, June 13, 2009

It's the weekends!

Slow day for the kitties

Grocery shopping took longer than I thought today, and I always seemed to choose the wrong line, regardless how little the line took this morning when I was checking-out.

In absence of hubby's company early this morning, I have decided to take my colleague's advise to try out the UK-Tesco store-brand items, I bought their chocolate cookies and strawberry jam. Not sure how they will turn out. I've got my milk ready tomorrow morning... MMM... cookies for breakfast!

List of projects to catch-up on (in no particular order):
  • IKEA bag bottom insert
  • Put away the rest of my homeless objects
  • Make toasted oats bar
  • Plant wheatgrass
  • Plant my greens (local spinach & jiu choi)
  • Iron clothes (just got a new ironing board, bought an unstable one)
  • Wash car, maybe wax the car
  • Clean all windows (inside & maybe the outside), and sliding door
  • A shelf above the kitchen trolley with hooks for the cups
  • Bring Dopey to vet, get a cat collar for him
But first, dinner. Can't wait for Sunday.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Late "Spring" Cure 2009

Before: Entire layout

After: Entire Layout

Before: Close-up

After: Close-up

A term used by Apartment Therapy to motivate readers to clean-up and organize their messy spot and post the before and after result on Flickr.

Mine happened late spring and living in a country sitting right on the equator, honestly there's no spring, it's always humid summer.

I did my "Spring" cure last weekend, a long weekend (w00t~! \o/) and finished many projects that was piling since March 09.

I've been looking out for unwanted planks to no avail. I opted to get the soft pine planks from FABIAN, and the wooden brackets (forgotten the name and price, but it's not that expensive), and I've painted them white (Nippon Soft Matt for wood & metal).

I have to admit, I am an IKEA fan, and my corner does look like an IKEA catalogue. I didn't have time to edit the photos with IKEA names & prices on them with IKEA fonts. =)