Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I made these cupcakes today for my friend Emily at her birthday request. =) They're "Irish Car Bomb" cupcakes (Guinness chocolate cake, Bailey's filling, and Bailey's buttercream frosting) and I found the incredible recipe at Annie's Eats. I can't wait to share them with her and the rest of our friends at her birthday lunch tomorrow!

I hope everyone had a good St. Patrick's Day! 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Spring Break!

My spring break from school sure crept up on me! My last school didn't have spring break since they had quarters instead of semesters. Anyway, this is usually what people think of when they think "spring break":

Alas, that will not be me. My spring break will be spent at home. Sigh.

I have a rather massive amount of homework to do this week, most of which is for English class. Also, my house is a mess, so some spring cleaning is definitely gon' be happ'nin' all up in here, yo. (Sorry about that, I'm watching an episode of The Wire so I can send it back to Netflix and the 'hood lingo is catching.) But I want to have some lazy time too. So I've laid out a schedule for myself which includes one school task and one cleaning task a day, and once those are done I can do whatever I want. Woohoo! Except today I'm doing things a little backwards since our mail comes early and I want to get this DVD back to Netflix. ;-) 

The other day I realized I still haven't posted about my new baby: the 12-cup KitchenAid  food processor my wonderful husband bought me for Valentine's Day! I am in love. It's been so much fun to play with! One thing I'm planning to do this weekend is make egg rolls. I have an awesome recipe for homemade ones that I rarely make because without a food processor, chopping the veggies for the filling is a huge pain. But now the only time-consuming part is actually filling and frying them. Stay tuned for the recipe later this week!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Homemade Granola Bars

I love granola bars! But I haven't found very many store-bought types I like, and I think it's cheaper to make my own anyway, especially since I'm super picky about ingredients. It took me awhile to find a homemade recipe I like, though. I like them soft but not gooey, and I like them to hold together.

This one fits the bill! I found the original on, but of course I had to change it up a bit as always! Below is the version with my changes:

2 cups oats (I've used both old-fashioned and quick oats and they both work fine)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup craisins
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup honey
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 inch baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, and spray with vegetable oil spray.
In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl, thoroughly blend oil, honey, egg, and vanilla; pour into the flour mixture, and mix by hand until the liquid is evenly distributed. Press evenly into the prepared baking pan.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are golden. Cool completely in pan before turning out onto a cutting board and cutting into bars.

Note: The wheat germ, flaxseed, and chia seeds aren't necessary to the recipe; if you don't have them you can substitute equal amounts of flour. But they provide some awesome extra nutrients such as fiber, iron, protein, and vitamins!