Tag Archives: cranberries

Chocolate Granola


I have an obsession with breakfast food. Cereals and crunchy granola, in particular. I eat a bowl of either one every morning, and another bowl of either one (sometimes I mix ‘em up in the same bowl) for a late night snack.

I also love eggs, bacon, crepes, pancakes, French toast… oh sorry, this post is not about any of these.

Back to my granola. I love it.


I mix it up with a bunch of dried fruits, I sometimes add in chocolate chips, and there are times when I use it to dress up my ice cream. Yep. I’ll take granola any way that I can.

The chocolate granola that I make came about because of my husband. He doesn’t care for breakfast, but he cares a lot for chocolate. This was the best way that I could get him to eat his needed amount of fiber for the day. I’m such a good wifey.


Chocolate Granola

You will need:

  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon wheat germ
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dried fruits (optional)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven at 325.
  • Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl combine the rolled oats, cocoa powder, walnuts, almonds, wheat germ, ground cinnamon, salt and dried fruit. 
  • In a small saucepan, pour in the water, oil, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla; bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  • Pour the honey mixture over the dry ingredients and toss together until all ingredients are coated.
  • Spread onto the baking sheet and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally so the mixture browns evenly.
  • For a crunchier granola, bake it for a few minutes longer; the browner the granola, the crunchier it will be.
  • Place on a wire rack to cool.
  • While the granola is still a bit warm, break up some of the larger clumps.
  • Once the granola has cooled, store in an airtight container.
  • Serve with milk, yogurt or even ice cream and some fruit.
  • Keeps in an airtight container for weeks.


One more thing you should know about granola; it keeps you “regular”. I’m not even going to try to find a fancier way to convey that message. It is what it is. Smile

Add just one other thing; Store-bought granola can be high in fat and calories. (And in price!) Create your own so that you can control the amount of fat, calories and sugar.



Filed under Home, Sweets. Now. Please.

Eye Candy: Valentine’s Day Treats

I confess: I don’t really like this holiday. I mean… I like it, I understand it, but I am from the old school – Valentine’s Day should be every day! I do love flowers (hint hint honey), definitely love a delicious dinner, and bring on the chocolates! But, please don’t go for days on end looking for that “perfect gift” for me. You won’t find it. Unless it’s a winning lottery ticket – well, then,  I will accept that gift with pleasure!

But, here’s something interesting – I LOVE making cookies, cakes, or any other desserts for this holiday. I think it’s the red and pink and white that gets me – such happy colors! I had so much fun working on these treats in the past couple of days, and I can’t wait to eat them up tomorrow. Yes, they will wait to be displayed until tomorrow. There is no way I am going to pull these out before then – they will be gone, and we won’t have anything to go with that delicious bottle of wine.

And this would be a good moment to tell you about that wine:

February 14th is also St. Trifun’s Day – The Saint Guardian of wine and wine growers. This holiday is celebrated in many Christian Orthodox Communities, including Macedonian Orthodox. Celebrations include food and wine, of course! For those that are named Trifun (very common name in Macedonia) it is their Name Day and it is celebrated much like a birthday, but without the cake. Or with the cake, but without the candles. 🙂

Hope you enjoyed that educational and sensational piece of information!

Oh, and about that eye candy:

White Chocolate Pretzel Bark

You will need:

  • 1 cup pretzels, chopped
  • 1/4 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 (12 oz.) bag of white chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening


  • Melt white chocolate chips and shortening in a double boiler.
  • When melted, stir in the pecans, then the pretzels, followed up by the cranberries. Mix well.
  • Spread the mixture onto a wax paper-covered baking sheet.
  • Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until firm.
  • Break into pieces.

Hearts of Sugar Cookies

You will need:

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Stir together the flour, baking soda and baking powder.
  • In a separate large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until smooth.
  • Beat in egg and vanilla.
  • Slowly add in the dry ingredients.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly floured area.
  • Flour your rolling pin and roll your dough out to about 1/4 inch thickness.
  • Press your cookie cutters into the dough until you run out of dough.
  • Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown on the sides.
  • Let cool in cookie sheets for about a minute before removing them to cool on wire racks.

For the icing:

  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoons almond extract
  • Red food coloring

Decorate all your cookies as you please. I made some cut outs with strawberry jam, others were just dipped in the icing, and I even did some piping!

Mini Nutella Cheesecakes

Yep! I got these mini nutella cheesecakes going on again! We all loved them, thus I decided to make them again – ahem, my husband decided that I make them again.


Don’t worry, tutorials with pictures will be back again tomorrow – today is about eye candy, not about my glass bowls, wooden spoons, and red spatulas. 🙂


Filed under Home, Sweets. Now. Please.

Cranberry “Cupcakes”

Did you know that during the early quarter of the 20th century, immigrants entering Ellis Island in New York City were served JELL-O gelatin as a “Welcome to America”? That’s right! So, I am going to serve this very American treat on a very American holiday.

Three words to describe these tasty cups; tart, sweet, flavorful. Oh, I just thought of a fourth one; EASY! Yeah, things in the kitchen don’t always have to be complicated. I learned about this gelatin dessert a few years back during the holiday season. I think it came from a 1970’s cookbook, if I’m not mistaken. They are the most beautiful centerpiece on any dessert table. Their appearance screams, “Happy Holidays”. And, one more great thing about these minis, they are about a 100 calories a piece!

You will need:

  • 1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapple, in juice
  • 1 package (3 oz.) raspberry flavor gelatin
  • 1 package (3 oz.) strawberry flavor gelatin
  • 1 can (16 oz.) whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 2/3 cup walnuts, ground
  • 1 apple, chopped


  • Drain pineapple, reserving juice.
  • Put the gelatin (just the powder) in a large bowl.
  • Add enough water to juice to measure 2 ½ cups; pour into saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Pour the water into the gelatin mix and stir for 2 minutes until completely dissolved.
  • Stir in the pineapple, cranberry sauce, nuts, and apples.
  • Spoon into 24 paper-lined muffin cups.
  • Refrigerate for 2 ½ hours or until firm.
  • Remove desserts from liners before serving.

I took these “cranberry daisies” to a little girl’s birthday party and everybody loved them!


Filed under Home, Sweets. Now. Please.