Friday, September 27, 2013

homemade lara bars

Oh god I love lara bars. They're my favorite breakfast, although we hardly ever have them at home. I'm guilty of eating them in grocery stores when I'm really hungry and having to have just the wrapper rung up at the register.

A former student of mine brought me back dates from Saudi Arabia. They are the best dates I've ever had. I still have so many that I've been making lara bars some mornings. My favorite is to knock off the cherry pie bar with just dates, dried cherries and walnuts.

 To make: put equal parts dried cherries, dates and walnuts into a food processor. Whirl. Done. (The cherry pie bar actually has almonds in it, but I prefer walnuts anyway.)

 I'd like to try making their banana bread version soon using this recipe (roasted almonds, banana chips & dates.) Excited to hang with my friend Jeremy that's in town this weekend and watch the last episode of Breaking Bad (eep!!). Happy weekend!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Happy Friday

Happy Friday y'all. Thinking about brussel sprouts because we need to use them up in our fridge.

Saturday, September 14, 2013


Things are good, but very busy. I'm clocking more than 10 hours on campus multiple days every week, so I'm not doing much of anything until the weekends. I haven't made much lately other than some muffins and catching up on sewing hems of some pants and skirts (boring). I never posted the jewelry I made for my bridesmaids, so here are those. They are so simple, but somehow took far longer than they should have.

Monday, September 2, 2013

homemade salad dressings

I don't remember buying any salad dressing in the past few years. I can't believe how much better tasting homemade dressing is and how easy it is to make. I always figured that it tasted so much better because it was freshly made. While this is true, Amy also pointed out that the quality of oil used in bottled dressing is typically really poor. Ew.

 My go-to dressings are a lemon-basil dressing from Real Simple, balsamic vinaigrette (I don't measure anything), and greek dressing. The secret to making a great greek dressing is to steal the olive oil you use from the jar/container of olives you're using. Or a little of the brine if there's not any oil to steal. We occasionally make a honey mustard dressing out of honey, dijon & rice vinegar. It's sooo good.

We didn't do a whole lot this weekend, but we did go to a float spa (weird and intriguing) and I started my first batch of fermented pickled carrots. The carrots will be really fun to watch over the next week. They'll start bubbling and getting foamy at the top of the jar as the bacteria does its thing. Prepping a batch of these takes less than 10 minutes. The instructions (click on photo to enlarge) just using a brine solution, black whole peppercorns, dill, garlic and the pickling vegetable of your choice (the instructor mentioned that carrots and pickling cucumbers really work best for this recipe).

This method of pickling is pretty much no fail. You follow the brine ratio and pack a clean jar with your veggies and herbs. Then it just sits and you scrape off the foam on the top for several days. And it can live in your fridge for a while and you can enjoy the healthy benefits of eating lactobacillus :).

(Instructions thanks to Kate Payne from Whole Food's class on 8/13)