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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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!!!

Funny Chocolate!!!

 What’s So Funny About Chocolate?

I have always taken my chocolate seriously….and I mean seriously!!! I never met a chocolate I didn’t fall in love with. However, I must admit I do eat dark, healthy chocolate daily as I know that it is full of healthy flavanoids and antioxidants. Each day I enjoy 2-3 little squares of gourmet healthy chocolate. In total, I am consuming 15,300 ORAC and 2,250 units of flavonoids , Plus 1 billion beneficial micro-organisms.

I will proclaim it here and now…I LOVE CHOCOLATE! I love how it tastes, and I love how it makes me feel.

Now, before I get too serious and bore you to sleep, I want to share some very funny chocolate quotes. If you know me or the writings from my cookbook, Olive Oil Desserts, you know how much I  love food quotes.  If you don’t know me, that’s okay…. I still think you will get a giggle 😉

I was going to post some health info about chocolate, but I just can’t get serious about chocolate right now, not when I am reading these quotes . So, oh well…I guess I will share more about the healthy benefits of dark chocolate on my next post.

So, here ya go…. and oh yes…..have a healthy and sweet day. Micki

  • SEVEN DAYS WITHOUT CHOCOLATE MAKES ONE WEAK.
  • LIFE WITHOUT CHOCOLATE IS NO LIFE AT ALL. 
  •  I WANT IT ALL!!! AND I WANT IT DIPPED IN CHOCOLATE.
  • CHOCOLATE IS CHEAPER THAN THERAPY, AND YOU DON’T NEED AN APPOINTMENT.
  • CHOCOLATE DOESN’T MAKE THE WORLD GO AROUND. BUT IT CERTAINLY MAKES THE TRIP WORTHWHILE.
  • AND ON THE EIGHTH DAY GOD CREATED CHOCOLATE.
  • THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE CHOCOLATE.
  • SO MUCH CHOCOLATE. SO LITTLE TIME!
  • IF THERE IS NO CHOCOLATE IN HEAVEN, I’M NOT GOING!
  • IN THE COOKIES OF LIFE, FRIENDS ARE THE CHOCOLATE CHIPS.
  • LIFE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES. . . FULL OF NUTS.
  • WHAT CAME FIRST, WOMAN OR THE CHOCOLATE BAR?
  • CHOCOLATE. . . IT ISN’T JUST FOR BREAKFAST ANYMORE.
  • I WOULD GIVE UP CHOCOLATE, BUT I’M NO QUITTER.
  • THERE’S NOTHING BETTER THAN A GOOD FRIEND, EXCEPT A GOOD FRIEND WITH CHOCOLATE
  • CHOCOLATE: HERE TODAY… GONE TODAY!
  • CHOCOLATE MILK: THE POOR MAN’S CHAMPAGNE
  • PUT THE CHOCOLATE IN THE BAG AND NOBODY GETS HURT.
  • A DAY WITHOUT CHOCOLATE, IS A DAY WITHOUT SUNSHINE. 
  • IF IT WERE NOT FOR CHOCOLATE, THERE WOULD NOT BE A NEED FOR CONTROL TOP PANTY HOSE. AN ENTIRE GARMENT INDUSTRY WOULD HAVE BEEN DEVASTATED! 
  • IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED, HAVE A CHOCOLATE.
  • THERE ARE FOUR BASIC FOOD GROUPS: MILK CHOCOLATE, DARK CHOCOLATE, WHITE CHOCOLATE, AND CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES
  • NOBODY KNOWS THE TRUFFLES I’VE SEEN

Okay, let’s get serious for just a moment…. or maybe not, that will be my next post… stay tuned!

As always, feel free to email me anytime.

 

Mic

A Few Useless and Not So Useless Bits of Olive Oil Information

A Few Useless And Not So Useless Facts About Olive Oil
just in case you were wondering…
 
• Olive oil is medically proven to be good for your heart and good for your overall health.
• Olive oil aids in lowering your LDL cholesterol (mine has dropped 100 points since making the switch to olive oil)
• Olive oil is not a genetically modified food!
• Olive oil is great for lactose intolerant people.
• Olive oil does not contain trans fatty acids (bad for you).
• Olive oil is not hydrogenated (bad for you).
• Olive oil can be kept in your food storage.
• Olive oil can be stored in your refrigerator.
• Olive oil can be frozen.
• Olive oil is technically a fruit juice.
• Olive oil is pressed and not chemically extracted.
• Olive oil is a great massage oil.
• Olive oil was called “the great therapeutic” by Hippocrates.
• Olive oil is produced by over 450 companies in California and Texas.
• Olive oil is high in healthy monounsaturated fats (good for you).
• Olive oil tastes great in traditional desserts (come see for yourself).
• Olive oil makes your heart and tummy smile.
• Olive Oil Desserts have 1/3 less fat and calories.
• Olive Oyl was Popeye’s girlfriend.
• Olive oil has so many beneficial uses, I will need to continue this list on another post!!!

And there will be another post, oh yes….. another post indeed…..

Have a sweet day,

Micki

Buy a copy Of Olive Oil Desserts Today!!!

 

The Proper Care and Storage of your Olive Oil –

Olive oil is your friend and must not be treated like all other oils. Olive oil can be fragile, yet well worth the effort to keep it fresh. After cooking or baking with your well preserved olive oil, you won’t regret taking a little extra time to keep it fresh.

Olive oil producers all over the globe are well aware that is that once olive oil is produced, it must be packaged immediately to avoid oxidization (exposure to air). When olive oil is exposed to air and light, it begins to become rancid.  If you have ever tasted rancid olive oil, it is a taste you will not soon forget. For this reason, fresh pressed olive oil is  bottled right a way, and stored in a dark glass container or metal tin.

Olive oil which is stored in unopened tins will remain fresh for up to 5 years.

If you are planning on using  your opened olive oil within 3 months, it is acceptable to store it in  an airtight container, away from light, and at room temperature.

You may also store your olive oil in the refrigerator. However, please note that sedimentation occurs at temperatures lower than 37 degrees Fahrenheit, and your olive oil will begin to harden (it looks like little clouds). However, it does disappear when the oil returns to room temperature.

Freezing olive oil works well and does not destroy the healthy benefits associated with it. However, be sure and use some of your oil before freezing because expansion may cause your olive oil bottle to crack (or your tin to bulge). When ready to use, place on the counter and bring back to room temperature, it’s just that simple.

It is important to check the “best before” or “bottled on” date on your olive oil label.
Unlike a fine wine, the quality of olive oil does not improve with time. Use your fresh pressed oil within 6 months.

Therefore, you see…. storing your olive oil is simple and fun! Enjoy using olive oil in all of your cooking and baking; it will make your heart smile!!!

Excerpt- Is Someone Having A Heart Attack or Stroke?

By now, many people are aware that olive oil is very high in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). And those MUFA’s have been medically proven to reduce the risk of heart disease. However, nothing is 100% foolproof, and if someone you are with were having a heart attack or stroke, would you know what signs to look for?

Someone sent me an email the other day and mentioned how helpful a page in my cookbook was. It is only one page, but that page teaches you how to recognize the signs and symptoms associated with a heart attack or stroke in progress. Sometimes the person who is displaying these symptoms may not know what is happening to them.

Please read an excerpt from Olive Oil Desserts and learn the signs. Who knows… someday you may save a life with this simple information!

Heart Attack Warning Signs

• Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of the chest
that lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back.

• Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

• Shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort.

• Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

• Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of
the body.

Stroke Warning Signs

• Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.

 • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.

 • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.

 • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.

Not all of these warning signs occur in every heart attack or stroke. If some
start to occur, get help immediately. Heart attack and stroke are medical
emergencies! Call 9-1-1 

Source: American Heart Association

I am wishing you a sweet day, filled with healthy and happy baking, without trans fats and hydrogenated oils!!! Go olive oil!!!! (can you tell I love the stuff?)
 
Micki

P.S. Recipes and olive oil info coming soon!!!

Source: American Heart Association
 
I am wishing you a sweet day, filled with healthy and happy baking…. without those yucky trans fats and hydrogenated oils!!!

Go olive oil!!!! (can you tell I love the stuff?)
 
Micki

P.S Recipes and olive oil info coming soon!!!

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

 

 

 

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