EVOO Granola with Vanilla Love

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This Granola is a staple in our Kitchen. We use it for everything from yogurt to ice cream topper, and everything in-between It is especially great treat for Vegans, and people who cannot have gluten. But don’t let that scare you. I have converted many a die-hard junk cereal fans to my way of enjoying something healthy that does not taste healthy.

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The stuff you need

6 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cup chopped nuts of your choice (pecans are my fav)
1/4 cup cashews or sunflower seeds
1 cup dried apples (optional)
1 cup corn flakes
1/2 cup Krispy rice cereal
1 1/2 cup shredded sweet coconut
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 mild extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins

What to do

1.Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

2.In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts (or seeds),apples,cereals,coconut,and brown sugar.

3.In saucepan, honey, oil, vanilla and salt. Heat over a medium flame until very hot.

4.Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans (jelly roll). Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 20-30 minutes to achieve an even color.

5.Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add dried fruit and mix until evenly distributed.

This is a very large batch and keeps well stored in a mason jar or Ziploc

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Hearty Veggie Sandwiches

 

Where’s the Meat? Who Cares? When you sink your teeth into this delicious Veggie Sandwich, you won’t miss the meat for one moment. This little yummy sandwich is so delicious and healthy, it actually won a “Taste of Home” contest was published in their latest cookbook! Enjoy

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                 Hearty Veggie Sandwiches
by Micki Sannar

The stuff you need:

2 teaspoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
4 slices whole wheat bread
4 slices cheddar cheese (3/4 ounce each)
2 slices red onion
1/4 cup sliced ripe olives, drained
1 small tomato, sliced
1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and sliced
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons Italian salad dressing
2 lettuce leaves

What to do:

1.Spread mayonnaise and mustard over two slices of bread; layer with
the cheese, onion, olives, tomato and avocado. Sprinkle with pepper.

2.Drizzle each sandwich with 1 tablespoon of dressing.Top with lettuce.

3.Drizzle remaining dressing over remaining bread; place over
sandwiches.

Yield: 2 servings.

If it’s a Pizookie, you are family!

A Pizookie is not just your average, ordinary, everyday dessert, it is an experience.

The first time I heard about the Pizookie (pronounced pa zoo key), was from my dear friend Tiffany. She talked about it as if was some kind of forbidden love affair

I felt so honored when, one day she brought me a batch of her famous Pizookie cookie dough. And, Ohhh,  let me tell you sista (or brotha), It was beyond delicious.

I have since learned that a Pizookie can be just about any cookie dough, spread over nearly an entire surface, forming a large, beautiful circle (don’t laugh, to me cookie dough is beautiful). Feel free to use whatever baking surface you can get your hands on. Perhaps a pizza stone, baking pan, cookie sheet, pie tin, or even tin foil (if you must). Once baked, it is served piping hot with vanilla ice cream on top. No scooping into individual portions, it is what it is…One big cookie, and as many spoons as there are people.

Now keep in mind that, a Pizookie is not meant to be enjoyed alone. Sharing your freshly baked Pizookie is a special experience. Trust me, it tastes best when it’s shared with those you love (or want to love). You may be tempted to eat the whole darn thing by yourself, and…. you may even have the ability to do so. However, sharing your Pizookie is essential in order to complete the fun, family & friendship experience that comes with your monster of a cookie.

Life , love, &  friendship does not get any sweeter than this!

Bon Appetite

Micki’s Healthier, Yummy, & Fun Pizookie

This dessert recipe is made using heart happy olive oil in the place of butter. Whole wheat pastry flour and oats replace the white flour usually found in a treat like this…Although made healthy, I believe you will agree that this Pizookie is as delicious as it is fun to eat!

Besides, who says healthy food has to taste like healthy food?

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour  or whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup quick oats

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

2/3 cup pure or mild flavored EVOO

¼ cup sugar

1 ¼ cups brown sugar

2 eggs

2 tablespoons milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup semi-sweet  or dark chocolate chips

Low- fat vanilla bean ice cream (optional- but not for me)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray your choice of baking pan with olive oil or olive oil cooking spray.

Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

In mixer bowl, add the sugar and brown sugar. Mix medium speed until smooth and well blended.

Add eggs, milk, and vanilla. Mix again on medium speed until well blended.

Add flour mixture to moist mixture and blend until thoroughly combined. Fold n the chocolate chips

Place all of the cookie dough right smack dab in the center of you baking pan.. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Top that piping hot Pizookie with ice cream and start enjoying!!!

Mini Whole Grain, Lemon Olive Oil Cakes with Lemon Basil Syrup

 
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Mini Lemon Cakes with Basil Lemon Syrup

Headed Into The Dessert Months

As we head into the dessert months, I am excited to share new recipes with you.  And as always, I am busy converting recipes from  delicious originals  into a fantastic healthier versions.

Why eat unhealthy desserts when healthier versions taste fantastic and are better for you.

Today’s recipe is a favorite of my friend, Chef Bryan Woolley. I converted his recipe with him on Chef’s Stage at the Utah Home and Garden Show last weekend! I really have a great time cooking with Bryan, and he really enjoyed the taste of a healthy version of one of his signature recipes.

Remember, when someone tells you that desserts can not be made with olive oil, or whole grains, you just make this little yummy for them, and KNOCK THEIR SOCKS OFF!!!

Mini Lemon Cakes with Lemon Basil SyrupBasic IngredientsCake Ingredients

1/3 cup pure or Meyer Lemon extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 Tbsp

¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour. plus additional for dusting

2/3 cup plus ¼ cup sugar

¼ tsp salt

3 large eggs, separated, at room temperature for 30 minutes

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp lemon zest

 

 For Syrup

1 ¼ cups sugar

1 ½ cups water

1 strip fresh lemon zest

½ cup fresh lemon juice

8 large fresh basil sprigs

To make cakes:

Put oven rack in middle position in a preheated  350°F oven. Generously brush 8 muffin cups with olive oi. Dust cups with cake flour, knocking out excess. Spray entire pan with olive oil cooking spray.

Beat together olive oil, 2/3 cup sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, then add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until well blended. Beat in lemon juice and 2 teaspoons zest until combined. Add flour and mix at low speed until just combined. 

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In a separate mixer bowel, beat egg  whites with remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt in another bowl with cleaned beaters until they hold soft peaks. Add 2 tablespoons sugar, a little at a time, beating, then beat until whites just hold stiff peaks. Stir 1/4 of whites into yolk mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly.

Adding just 1/4 of the egg whites to the batter, lightens it up a bit

Adding 1/4 of the egg whites will lighten the batter just a bit.

 Spoon batter into 8 prepared muffin cups. Blend remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon zest with your fingertips and sprinkle over batter, then bake until cakes are puffed, edges are golden, and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool cakes in pan on a rack 15 minutes, then lift out cakes carefully (tops will break easily) and cool completely on rack.

Be sure to oil your pans really well, these babies have been known to stick!

Make sure to oil and flour the pan really well, these babies stick like no other.

To make syrup:

Bring all syrup ingredients to a boil, covered, in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, then remove lid and boil 10 minutes. Pour syrup through a sieve into a bowl, pressing on and then discarding solids. Cool to room temperature. 

Bring to a Light Boil

Use a very fine strainer

Use a Very Fine Strainer

 To assemble dessert:

Drizzle about a tablespoon of the syrup on a plate. Place mini cake in the center. Dust with Powder sugar, a dallop of light vanilla bean ice cream (optional), and a sprig of fresh basil.

Just another tip when photographing your masterpiece, make sure your nice camera is charged, so that you do not have to use your cookpix!!!

You can fin my cookbook, Olive Oil Desserts at Fine Booksellers everywhere

 or visit www.oliveoildesserts.com to learn more!!!

Better Eating For 2009 And A Bran Muffin

As much as I enjoyed the break, I am excited to get back to posting food stuff again. Did you know that many experts in the food industry are saying that 2009 will bring in a comeback of comfort food?  That’s right, out with all of the fancy foods and in with the traditional old fashioned foods. Just in time for the release of my cookbook.

Why not add a little bran into the new year

Why not add a little bran into the new year ?

 

Wow! I cannot believe how fast time can fly by. I hope you enjoyed the Christmas season as much as our family did.

Food, cooking, and sharing food are so much a part of our lives. My question is, why give up the foods you love the most if you don’t have to? I know that this is the start of a new year, and you probably made a resolution or two regarding health, exercise, and diet. If so,  good for you. I know that I am vowing to do better in 2009 . The cool thing is, comfort food can be delicious and healthy. And please, please, whatever you do, don’t give up dessert. It would make me very sad ;(

A little story:

I ran into a friend of mine that I have not seen for a few months. I wouldn’t say she was too overweight before, but when I saw her, she looked great! Not to big, not to small, she was glowing, her weight was down (lost 40lbs), and she said that she felt great. When I asked her what she was doing to lose weight, her response was something different than what I would usually from someone who has lost more than a few pounds.  She assured me that she has not been on the latest diet, she was not taking HCG injections (I am very concerned about these), and not drinking slim fast instead of eating. She lost weight and got healthy over time by changing a few things and also by lowering the amount she was eating. When she wound eat out, she would normally eat a whole burrito. Then she started asking herself, “do I really need to eat the whole burrito, or can I just stop at eating half?” Just by being honest with herself about what she was eating, and how much she was eating, she could make some small adjustments. And those small adjustments added up to better health, a slimmer body, and an increase in energy. She did give up soda completely, and although it was diet soda she was drinking, she felt that it was still contributing to poor health and her weight being higher than she wanted (lots of sodium). Our little visit inspired me to share a few tips that I am hoping will help everyone in the new year.  

I am sure you have heard most all of this before, but I always enjoy a little reminder here and there, and I hope you will too.

Drink water…. Lots of water: It is best to drink 8-12 ounces 15-30 minutes prior to a meal. Not only is water great for your body, it also fills you up, which helps to curb overeating.

Share a whole portion of your meal with someone else: If you can’t find someone to split a portion with you, then package it up and eat it for another meal. I use to live in Japan, and always noticed how small a meal size was. It was funny to return home to America because one portion in the USA would feed 3-4 people in Japan.

Cut down or give up soda:  I love a great fizzy drink. I don’t know what it is about a little co2 in our drinks, but it just feels great going down. If you don’t like soda, then you are a step ahead of a lot of folks. I love to drink herb tea mixed with juice. If you must have soda, how about limiting it a bit more or mixing plain soda water it with juice?

Cut down on prepackaged and fast food: This is a tuffy for many. The problem with these types of food is that a great deal of them are not food at all. They are packed with trans fatty acids, which are directly linked to diseases of the heart and colon.  Also, try not to be fooled by packaging and labels. When a package reads something like “natural flavor”,  unfortunately our darling FDA allows many non-foods to be called natural. If a product has no expiration date or one that is one year from the date you are reading it, it is s good guess that there is not much food in it. If you must eat fast, look for places which have fresher foods and an open kitchen. It’s nice see how your food is prepared.

Try new foods: It’s fun to try something new. I have a friend and her children hated vegetables. One evening, I was making asparagus and asked if they would like to try some. They loved it! All I did was lightly stir-fry it in olive oil, sprinkle a clove of garlic, and a few Italian seasonings. Now their mom serves them  asparagus, and they love it. Why not set a goal to try a new (real) food once a week? Be simple and creative, it’s fun.

 Eat Fiber: Fiber fills you up and keeps you feeling satisfied longer. When possible, check labels and notice how many grams of fiber are in your food. Men need about 30 to 35 grams of fiber a day and Women need 25-30 grams a day. The average American Diet (fast food) contains about 10-15 grams of fiber per day. Some foods which are high in fiber might surprise you…. ½ avocado- 6 grams, 1 cup raspberries- 8 grams  1 medium pear with skin -6 grams, 1 cup split peas -16 grams !. To add a little fiber, we have been known throw a bit of wheat germ in our pancake mix and not even our guests notice.

Okay this is long enough. As my contribution to help you in your start for the new year, I thought you might enjoy my bran muffin recipe. Bran muffins are not just for breakfast anymore!

This recipe makes about 55-60 delicious full size bran muffins. Make as many as you like, then store the remainder of the mix in the refrigerator in an airtight container. It keeps for up to 6 weeks.

And remember…..Whatever the question, dessert is the answer!!!

Happy Baking!

Micki

Bran Muffin Recipe from  Olive Oil Desserts

2 cups      

4 cups      

5 tsp         

2 cups      

2/3 cups   

2 tsp         

1 quart     

2 cups      

5 cups       

1  tsp        

 

boiling hot water

all bran cereal

baking soda

granulated sugar

pure olive oil

pure vanilla extract

low-fat buttermilk

40 % bran cereal

flour ( I love to use whole wheat pastry flour)

salt

 

 

 

Preparation

 

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line muffin tins with

paper liners or coat with olive oil cooking spray.

2. In a medium size mixing bowl, add boiling

water, all-bran, and baking soda. Mix until all

ingredients are moistened and set aside.

3. And in a large mixing bowl add sugar, olive

oil, vanilla & butter extracts, buttermilk, and

bran flakes. Blend together until well mixed.

4. Add water/bran mixture and blend. Fold in flour

and salt, mixing until completely moistened.

5. Fill muffin tins ⅔ full and bake for 15~20

minutes. Cool on wire racks.

 

Keep unused batter in the refrigerator for up to six weeks

 

 

 

Picking Our Next President Is As Easy As Pie!

 

   Picking Our Next President Is As Easy As Pie

    a recipe for solutions by Micki Sannar

My Fellow Americans, With financial markets free falling, the mortgage industry hanging by a thread,  jobs at risk, global warming, health care at a breaking point, terrorism fears, foreign fuel issues, voter fraud, computer hackers, secret wire taps, and high cholesterol , many Americans are on overload. As if all of this is not bad enough, we have to elect a new President! Aghhhh, are you as frustrated and confused as I am?

Who do we trust? Who do we believe? Who has it right? Who would best be able to lead our great nation? And by what criteria should we choose our new leader? I too have asked myself these very questions, and have come up with what I believe to be a reasonable solution.

Scrap the whole dirty politics as usual and let’s have an Apple Pie Bake Off! Obama and his Apple Pie vs McCain and his Apple Pie. Really, if either of these men are a real live, red blooded American, they should surely be able to bake an Apple Pie

Honestly now, either candidate can say “I am going to do this”, or, “I am going to do that”. Just think about it, if either one of these gentlemen wants to SHOW us which of them is truly as “American as Apple Pie”; they are going to have to bake. Then, we will have a national taste test which will be comprised of a bipartisan committee of blindfolded grandmas, over the age of 75, ten of them from each state in the union. No need to worry about voter fraud, or hanging/pregnant chads of any kind, because everyone knows that grandma is as honest as can be.

So there you have it, a practical, simple, solution to electing our new President.

Oh yes, just in case either candidate is searching for the perfect Apple Pie recipe, try mine! It is made with heart healthy olive oil, and tastes fantastic! And should either candidate win with my recipe (and one of them will), I will be expecting a position in the new cabinet as the Secretary of Agriculture.

A small price to pay to the use of my recipe, don’t ya think?

 

 

 

 

Perfect Olive Oil Pie Crust yields 1~2 piece pie crust

Oil pie crusts are notorious for being difficult to work with. After much experimenting, this crust came out perfect. It is the most simplest pie crust you will ever make. It bakes up light and crispy.

I N G R E D I E N T S

2½ cups……………. flour, sifted

1 tablespoon…….. granulated sugar

1 teaspoon………… salt

½ cup………………. pure olive oil

cup……………….. buttermilk

1 teaspoon………… pure vanilla extract

 EGG WASH

1 medium…………. egg white

2 teaspoons………. cold water

 

P R E PA R AT I O N

1. In mixing bowl add flour, sugar, and salt.

Mix together.

2. Add olive oil, buttermilk, and vanilla. Using

a spatula, blend all ingredients. If necessary,

add a sprinkle of flour to create desired texture;

not too wet and not too dry.

3. Divide dough into 2 equal parts. Form balls

and wrap individually in plastic wrap. Flatten

with the palm of your hand. Let rest for 5~10

minutes (no need to refrigerate).

4. Roll out between wax or parchment paper.

Assemble pie according to recipe instructions.

Egg wash preparation

Mix egg white and water together until well

blended. Using a pastry brush, brush egg mixture

on the top pie crust. Dust the top of the

crust with 1~2 teaspoonfuls of sugar. Bake according

to recipe instructions.

The egg and water mixture brushed on top helps

the sugar stick to the crust as well as making the pie shine!

 

All American Apple Pie Serves 10 to 12

Now all you need is a hot dog and a Chevrolet.

INGREDIENTS

1 recipe…………….Olive Oil Pie Crust

5 cups………………. tart apples, peeled and

chopped

1 teaspoon………… pure vanilla extract

1 cup………………… granulated sugar

1 teaspoon………… cinnamon

½ teaspoon……….. nutmeg

1 teaspoon………… lemon zest

2 tablespoons……. all purpose flour

1 tablespoon…….. pure olive oil

 

P R E PA R AT I O N

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare top and bottom

of Olive Oil Pie Crust.

2. In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients

and blend well.

3. Pour into prepared pie shell. Assemble top

crust, pinch edges together to seal and slice

small holes in the crust for ventilation.

4. Brush with egg wash  and sprinkle

sugar on top. Place pie plate onto a large

cookie sheet (to catch any running juices).

5. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature

to 350°F and without opening oven door, bake

for another 45 minutes. Remove and let cool

for 30~45 minutes. Serve with light vanilla ice

cream or frozen yogurt.

Pucker Up

 

When life gives you lemons.....
When life gives you lemons…..

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade right?

 Not so fast missy!

Although I love a nice tall glass of lemonade as much the next guy, there is so much more to lemons (and life) than just plain old lemonade.

 Did you also know that lemons

·     Are the top source of citric acid

·     Packed with vitamin C

·     Act as a natural laxative (the juice of one lemon blended with one egg yolk)

·     Fresh lemon juice has only 4 calories

·     Are a natural therapy for treating fever

·     When heated, creates salicyclic acid, which is a natural pain reliever.

·     Are excellent thirst quencher

·     A natural insect repellent

·     Lighten hair color in the sun

·     Are an natural body detoxifier

·     Keep fruits like apples and pears from going brown

·     Have a delicious and soothing aroma

·     Add incredible flavor to baked goods  

Lemon tips

·     When needing only a few drops of lemon  juice, prick one end with a fork and squeeze the desired amount.

·     Lemon juice can be frozen for up to 6 month and still taste fresh. To freeze, place juice in ice cube trays.

·     When a recipe calls for fresh squeezed lemons, squeeze upside down to avoid seeds from dropping into your recipe.

·     To extend the shelf life of a lemon, keep them in your refrigerator in a clean jar, cover them with cold water and seal the jar well.

A couple of useless facts about lemons

·     There are 18 varieties of lemons worldwide

·     On his second voyage, Christopher Columbus brought the first lemons (and lemon trees) to America.

So, when life gives you lemons, go ahead and make lemonade…….

But, don’t forget the cookies!!

Extreme Lemon Sugar Cookies

 ⅔ cup……………….. pure olive oil

1 cup………………… granulated sugar

1 large………………  egg

2½ teaspoons……. pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons……. lemon zest (one large lemon)

2 tablespoons……. fresh lemon juice

2¼ cups……………. flour (whole wheat pastry flour works well)

1 teaspoon………… baking powder

½ teaspoon……….. baking soda

½ teaspoon……….. salt

½ cup……………….  additional sugar for rolling

½ cup……………….  powdered sugar for dusting.

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat cookie sheets

with olive oil cooking spray.

2. In mixer bowl add olive oil, sugar, egg,

vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Blend

until smooth.

3. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and

salt. Mix until well blended.

4. Drop by teaspoonfuls or by small size cookie

scoop into sugar and roll until well coated.

Place on prepared cookie sheets.

5. Bake 8 minutes, cool on wire racks, dust

with powdered sugar. Pucker up, and enjoy!!!

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