Saturday, December 31, 2011

Asian Chex Mix

A quick, easy, and always tasty party snack, Chex Mix, done up in a whole new way. Sweet, salty, and savory, I have forever loved "Asian" Chex Mix and searched far and wide for a killer recipe to satisfy my quite serious addiction to this crunchy treat. There are tons of possible variations of this snack, types of cereal used, balance of sweet-salty, spice factor etc... but this happens to be my favorite.

Asian Chex Mix
adapted from 

4 cups Rice Chex Cereal
3 cups Corn Chex
3 cups Wheat Chex
2 cups Quaker Oatmeal Squares
2 cups pretzels
2 cups Bugles
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup oil
1/2 of a 2 oz bottle of Nori Goma Furikake
*I did not do this, but in the future I'll add at least 1 tsp of red chili flakes to bump up the flavor.

Preheat oven to 250 deg F. Line two large baking dishes with aluminum foil sprayed with cooking spray.

Mix cereals, pretzels, and bugles in a very large bowl.

Melt butter in a small to medium sized sauce pan. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Add corn syrup, oil, soy sauce, and worcestershire sauce. If you choose to add chili flakes, add these as well so their flavor infuses the sauce. Stir until well blended.

Pour over cereal, mix until sauce is well distributed and no piece is left out of the saucy-goodness! Sprinkle on furikake and mix well.

Distribute cereal into the two baking pans. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. This is very  important! If you don't stir or choose to just lazily toss a few pieces around the pan (which I may have done once or twice...) you'll end up with a burnt bottom layer of Chex Mix.

Let cool on foil over wire racks, then transfer to a large bowl to cool completely. Store in an airtight container (if you have any left!!!).

I hope your new year is filled with as much happiness and delicious goodies as I know mine will be! :)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls

Amidst the excess amount of overindulging that goes on during the holidays, who doesn't need an over-the-top, sugar-explosion of a breakfast to take your indulging to the next level?

I've been eyeing Pioneer Woman's (one of my new favorite people) cinnamon roll recipe for way too long to not have made them yet. After watching an episode of her show the other day featuring the scrumptiously sinful breakfast of my dreams, I absolutely had to give in to my ooey-gooey-buttery- sweet-maple craving.

The original recipe makes 8 pans of cinnamon rolls, and there was no way I was going to let myself have that many irresistible rolls in my house, so unless you have lots of people to give them to, I suggest quartering the recipe like I did.

A few alterations for next time:

  • Cut back on the sugar. The frosting is so sweet that I thought the sugar in the cinnamon rolls could have been reduced by about 1/3.
  • Cut down on butter. I found that I only needed about 2/3-3/4 of the amount of butter the recipe called for to spread over my dough.
  • Don't roll the dough out as long, instead roll it out wider. I was expecting gigantic mounds for cinnamon rolls, but instead got pretty small ones. Not to say they weren't just as tasty. 
  • *note- The recipe calls for 1 bag of powdered sugar to make the maple frosting. I took that to mean 2 lbs, and my frosting turned out just fine. 

Eat these right out of the oven with a cup of coffee and I'm sure they will become a staple breakfast for those mornings when you want an extra special treat. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

This College Girl Cooks- Wholesome and Sweet Oatmeal Pancakes

Having been busy busy busy with finals week, moving to a new apartment, and planning for winter term in addition to the less-than-motivating freezing weather, I've sadly been neglecting my blog, but now that finals are over and all I have to worry about is what fun things to plan for my winter break (can't wait to be home! and warm...) I finally have time to post!

With three final exams and two papers all crammed into a short four day span, these past few days have been some of the most exhausting and stressful I've had in awhile. To help keep me going, I invented a new breakfast treat that has now become one of my favorites! Healthy, filling, warm, and guiltlessly decadent, my oatmeal pancakes are exactly what I needed to make it through finals week, but are so delicious that they've officially earned a permanent place in my breakfast regime. With their creamy, slightly sweet oatmeal banana center and golden-brown crust, these are the perfect meal for any oatmeal lover who wants a tasty, decadent breakfast without having to start off their day with a calorie-bomb. 

On a side note, these are also easily adapted for any vegan oatmeal and pancake lovers, just use your favorite dairy free milk and dairy/egg free pancake mix.

Wholesome and Sweet Oatmeal Pancakes
serves 1

1/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup your favorite pancake mix (I use Trader Joe's Multigrain Pancake and Baking Mix)
approx. 1/4 cup milk (usually slightly less does the trick)
1/2 banana
1/2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
a dash of cinnamon (optional)
your favorite toppings- berries, maple syrup, peanut butter, jam, chocolate chips... whatever you like!

Preheat a griddle or frying pan over medium heat and lightly grease with cooking spray.

In a small bowl microwave oats with slightly less than 1/2 cup water for approximately 1 minute and 30 seconds, until the water has been absorbed and your oats are nice and creamy.

Add 1/4 of a banana and mash it into the oats. Add applesauce, pancake mix, and milk and combine. Slice the rest of your 1/2 banana into the batter, or save to top your cakes with after they've cooked. If desired, add a dash of cinnamon, and even toss in a few chocolate chips for an extra special treat (with the healthiness of this recipe, you deserve it!). 

Pour 1/4 cup batter into griddle, making 3 small cakes. Heat for a couple minutes on first side, until bottom has nicely browned, then flip and do the same. These cakes aren't your typical pancake texture and remain moist and creamy in the middle, so even if they don't seem cooked through since they aren't dry and fluffy, they really are. 

Serve with your favorite topping, I use strawberries, banana, and maple syrup. Enjoy warm and straight off the griddle!