Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Yogurt Parfaits with Chocolate Granola - CWF

If you follow Chocolate With Francois, you know we all talk about the difficulty and complexity of many (most) of the recipes. As I was flipping through the book trying to decide what to choose for the May recipe, I knew it needed to be an easy one. The posting date would fall just after Michael's graduation and Memorial Day weekend. As a child I remember my mom saying "Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today". I really wanted to make this recipe before we left town for the long Memorial Day weekend. I bought the ingredients I didn't have, read the recipe, left the cookbook on the counter and still didn't get it done until we got home. I don't think I listened to her advice as a kid either!!!

Chocolate granola seems a bit counter intuitive since I think of granola as somewhat healthy. I see this recipe for dessert rather than breakfast. The granola is easy to put together, uses ingredients most of us have in our kitchens and is delicious!

To make the parfaits you layer brown sugar glazed bananas, yogurt with orange zest and the chocolate granola. I love brown sugar glazed bananas but didn't care for them in this recipe. As well, I thought the orange zest overpowered the simple flavor of the vanilla yogurt. I think this would be best served with just the vanilla yogurt and the chocolate granola. There's too many flavors going on to really enjoy the yummy chocolate granola.

If you're curious what the other CWF members thought of this recipe and I know I am, you can find the links to their blogs here!

Yogurt Parfaits with Chocolate Granola

Serves 8

Chocolate Granola
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons Dutch processed cocoa powder
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup raisins

One 32 ounce container vanilla yogurt
Grated zest of 1/2 orange


6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
4 ripe bananas, cut into 1/4 inch slices

Make the granola. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, almonds, walnuts, coconut, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cocoa powder. Stir with your hands or a spatula to make sure everything is evenly distributed. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of the honey over the mixture, and mix with a silicone spatula until it is well incorporated. Spread the mixture in the prepared baking sheet, anthd bake for 15 minutes, without stirring. Remove from the oven and let cool.

In a large bowl, mix together the chocolate chips, raisins and the remaining tablespoon of honey. Add the cooled granola and toss the mixture together, slightly breaking up the granola. The granola can be stored in an airtight contained in a cool, dry environment for up to 1 week.

Make the yogurt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the orange zest and yogurt until combined. Keep the yogurt cold until ready to use, up to 2 days.

Make the bananas. Put the butter in a large saute pan over medium high heat, and let it melt until it just begins to brown. Add the brown sugar, and stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until the sugar is melted. Add the bananas, and cook them until they pick up a little bit of color, about 1 minute.

Assemble the parfait. Place a spoonful of warm bananas (the equivalent of 1/2 banana per glass) at the bottom of a tall glass. Place 1/2 cup yogurt over the bananas, and top with the granola, just before serving. Repeat for the remaining 7 glasses.

I am linking this to Tasty Tuesday's, Tuesday's at the Table, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday and Tuesday Night Supper Club.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pink Saturday

Happy Birthday to Pink Saturday! Pink Saturday is celebrating 3 years today!!!
I love all things pink! A big THANK YOU to Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for hosting each week!!

It's a little hard to tell from this picture but everything about this house is pink. I found this house on our trip to Brownville, Nebraska a few weeks ago.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Rosemary Scones

What's your favorite herb? Mine is rosemary with basil running a very close second! I first posted this recipe in August 2009. The rosemary gives these a wonderful earthy flavor that blends well with the sweetness of the jam.

Rosemary Scones
Adapted from Giada De Laurentis

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup jam


1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, from 1 large lemon
2 cups powdered sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or silpat).

In a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar, baking powder, rosemary, sea salt and butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer the mixture to a medium bow. Gradually stir in the cream until the mixture forms a dough. On a lightly floured work surface, rool out the dough into 1/2 inch thick, 10 inch circle. Using a heart shaped cookie cuter, cut out heart shaped pieces of dough and place on the cookie sheet. Gently knead together any leftover pieces of dough and cut into heart shapes and add to the baking sheet. Using a small round measuring spoon, make an indentation in the center of each pastry heart. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon of ham into the indentation. Bake for 18 to 2o minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Transfer scones to a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes.

To make the glaze, mix together lemon juice and powdered sugar until smooth. Gradually add the water until the mixture is thin enough to spread. Using a spoon, drizzle the glaze over the scones. Let the scones set for approximately 30 minutes. Can be stored in an airtight container for 2 days.

My notes on this recipe:

One of the keys a good dough is making sure the butter is very cold. In the summer I keep my flour in the refrigerator, to keep away those pesky summer bugs. If you keep your flour in the refrigerator, allow it to warm to room temperature before using (approximately an hour).

The glaze recipe made way too much glaze for the amount of scones, next time I will cut the recipe in half.

I followed Giada's recipe exactly with one exception. Her recipe called for Strawberry jam. I used my mother in law's homemade, Strawberry Rhubarb jam instead.

I am linking this to Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum.

From The Good Life

I'd planned to post graduation pictures of Tim's son Michael's high school graduation today. I am putting those on hold until next week.

If you live in the midwest, you're "used" to tornadoes. I've lived in the midwest all of my life. I've seen my share of them and certainly spent many an hour huddled in the basement.

What we've all seen this week in Joplin, Missouri isn't one of those tornadoes those of us from the midwest are "used" to, it's an unbelievable scene of devastation. I've been mesmerized by the coverage, so much so I've forced myself to turn off the TV! Last night, as I walked in my house from work, the sun was shining, my house was comfortable and warm. I felt guilty and lucky all at the same time. I paused in my hallway for a moment to be so thankful to have a house and family. It's ironic the subtitle of my blog and the title of my Thursday posts is From The Good Life! So true, this is The Good Life!

Remember what's important! Tell your family how much you love and appreciate them!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Beer Marinated Pork Chops

I first posted this two years ago, thrilled to be grilling after a long winter. If you're like me and have childhood memories of shoe leather pork chops, give this recipe a try. This marinade produces a delicious, tender pork chop.

Pork Chops in Beer Teriyaki Marinade

2/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin (syrupy rice wine)
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger root
2/3 cup of your favorite beer (no dark)
4 1" thick rib or loin pork chops

In a saucepan combine the soy sauce, mirin, vinegar, sugar, gingerroot and the beer. Simmer until the mixture is reduced to about 1 1/3 cups. Let the marinade cool until it is room temperature. In a shallow baking dish or plastic bag, cover the chops thoroughly with the marinade. Marinate overnight, turning them several times.

Pour the marinade in a saucepan and boil it for five minutes. Grill the pork chops on a oiled rack set about 4 inches over glowing coals, basting them with the marinade while cooking, Cook 8 - 10 minutes of each side.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Meet Me On Monday

Did your weekend go as fast as mine? I can't believe it's Monday already. I am really enjoying participating in Meet Me On Monday! It gives me something fun to look forward to on Monday's, my least favorite day of the week! If you want to participate in Meet Me On Monday, you can find the details here!

1. What is your favorite bagel flavor?
I don't eat bagels very often but when I do my choice would be Cinnamon Crunch at Panera!

2. If you had an extra $100 right now, what would you spend it on?
I would put it in the vacation fund! I love vacations!!!

3. What is the last thing that you felt guilt about doing?
I bought a mini bundt pan at Costco. It was so cute the molds were shaped like lady bug's, butterfly's and other insects. After I got it home I decided I would only use it once or twice, so I took it back. Not sure if this was really guilt or not. It's the only thing I can come up with!

4. Soft serve ice cream or hand dipped?
Either one. I love ice cream!!!

5. Are you allergic to anything?

Have a great day!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Pink Saturday! - Zumba

Have you taken a Zumba class? Zumba is a fun way to exercise! The teacher handed out these bracelets in class a few weeks ago. Of course, I chose pink!

Happy Pink Saturday!!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Butterfinger Cheescake

I always been known for my cheesecakes. For family gatherings or parties, people request my cheesecake. So why is it after two years of blogging I haven't posted a cheesecake recipe? I guess I've been too busy trying new recipes.

This recipe comes from a restaurant that used to be at Oak Park Mall in Kansas City, Paradise Diner. It's a rich and creamy cheesecake. Over the years, I've made lots of changes to this recipe. I've used an oreo cookie crust instead of the graham cracker crust, substituted a variety of candy bars, oreo cookies or thin mint cookies for the Butterfingers. The possibilities are endless!! To help a little with the tremendous number of calories and fat in this recipe, you can use the low fat sour cream and cream cheese. Do not use the no fat!!

If you like cheesecake, give this one a try! You won't be sorry!!!!

Butterfinger Cheesecake
- from the Paradise Diner

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
4 ounces butter, melted
Mix together. Pat into the bottom of a 10 inch springform pan.

2 pounds cream cheese
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
4 Butterfinger candy bars, chopped

Cream together cream cheese and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. Scrape bowl after each addition. Mix until smooth. Fold in candy, reserving some for the top of the cheesecake. Pour into crust and bake at 300 degrees 45 minutes to one hour. To test for doneness, shake pan lightly. Cheesecake is done when filling is firm.


1 1/2 cups sour cream
2 tablespoons sugar

Spread on hot cheesecake. Chill overnight. Garnish with remaining chopped Butterfingers.

I am linking this to Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

In My Garden

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hamburger Casserole - Revisited

Do you cook as much in the summertime? Although it's not summertime here yet, we've been so busy. Between enjoying the new camper, working in the yard and graduation, there's just not enough hours in the day. Not a lot of recipes to blog about. There's been a lot of pasta, burgers or brats on the grill, leftovers and pizza. The end result? Not many recipes in my drafts folder. Therefore, I am going to share another recipe from my early days of blogging.

My Dad is very much a meat and potatoes man and those two better not be mixed together. Except for this dish! This is the only casserole I can ever remember my Dad eating.

Hamburger Casserole
Into a well buttered casserole dish, place layers in order . Season each layer with salt and pepper.
2 -3 medium potatoes, sliced
2 -3 carrots, sliced
Can of peas (drained, saving liquid)
1 onion, sliced
1 stalk of celery, sliced
Over top of vegetables, placed 1 pound of ground beef, browned and drained.
Combine liquid from peas with can of tomato soup and pour over the top of ground beef.
Cover. Bake at 325 for 2 hours.

I am linking this to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday's, Tuesday's at the Table, Tuesday Night Supper Club.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Meet Me On Monday!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! It's Monday and that means Meet Me On Monday! If you're interested in participating in this fun party, you can find the details over at Never Growing Old! Here's this week's questions and answers!

1. Crunchy or smooth peanut butter?
Smooth all the way!!!

2. What is your favorite color Rose?
All of them! I just love roses!!

3. Do you remove your shoes when you walk into your home?
I try but sometimes I forget!

4. What is your favorite season?
For me it has to be seasons, I love Spring and Fall. In the midwest we can have some really cold winters and terribly hot summers. We're always ready for warmer weather and the blooming flowers of Spring and cooler weather and the changing leaves of Fall!

5. Approximately how many hours a day do you spend blogging?
Depends...what are we calling "blogging"? If we're including time spent reading blogs, I spend 2 - 4 hours a day. If I don't have something going on, my evening is spent in my favorite chair with my laptop reading all of your wonderful blog posts! If we're just taking into consideration the time actually putting together a blog post, an hour is more like it.

How about you? How many hours do you spend blogging?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Caramel Glazed Scallops - Celebrity Cook Along

Did anyone else feel at a loss when you couldn't get into Blogger on Thursday and Friday? I almost always post Foodie Friday's. This week when I couldn't get into blogger, I had to pass on Foodie Friday. Also, we were camping in the lovely 40 - 50 degree weather this weekend, so no Pink Saturday either!! Then I come home and my Thursday post of From The Good Life is noo where to be found!!! I don't save my posts anywhere else, so it is gone! I've tried before to recreate a post I've lost and just come up with the words.

It's good to be back and I am thrilled to join this month's celebrity cook along over at Happier Than A Pig in Mud features Paula Deen's recipes. I love Paula, she's so entertaining to watch. I've made quite a few of Paula's recipes. My intent was to try a new recipe for this month's event but time just wasn't on my side.

I've made Paula's recipe for Caramel Glazed Sea Scallops several times. I love the way the scallops caramelize with this recipe. This easy preparation makes a beautiful presentation. You can find the original post here!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

CrockPot - Breakfast Casserole

If you read my blog you know I use my crock pot frequently for dinner. Breakfast? I've never cooked breakfast in it. Maybe because I thought we'd be too hungry before it would be done? A few weeks ago when Tim and I went camping, I thought this recipe would be fun to try.

This recipe is easy, versatile and delicious. Since this only takes a couple of hours, we were able to enjoy a late Saturday morning breakfast.

Crockpot Breakfast Casserole - Adapted from Finding Joy in My Kitchen

1-2 thick slices of "older" bread
1 C fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 C fresh green veggies (I used banana peppers)
1 C diced ham, sliced kielbasa sausage (I used Canadian Bacon)
4 eggs
1/4-1/2 C milk
1/2 C colby jack cheese, shredded
salt and pepper, as needed

Begin by spraying the crockpot with olive oil or a cooking spray.

Then, break apart the bread into small chunks. Sprinkle these in the bottom of the crockpot.
Over the top, layer the mushrooms, green veggies and meat. Lightly beat the eggs and milk together, then pour this mixture over the top! Sprinkle with cheese, salt and pepper, as desired.
Cover and cook on high for 1 1/2 -2 hours.

I am linking this to Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday's at the Table and Tuesday Night Supper Club.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Pink Saturday and Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Pink Saturday! Hope all of you have a wonderful Mother's Day!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Rhubarb Dessert - Revisited

The past couple of weeks I have featured recipes from some of the "Mom's" who have touched my life. There was Nana's Chocolate Cake and Mrs. Flint's Banana Bread. Today, I am featuring my Mother In Law, Bernie's Rhubarb Dessert.

You can find the original post and recipe here!

I am linking this to Foodie Friday!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

In My Garden

Despite the cold temperatures and lack of sunshine, things are starting to bloom in the Midwest.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mrs. Flint's Banana Bread - Revisited

In honor of Mother's Day, I am featuring recipes from some of the mother's who have touched my life. Today's recipe is from my good friend Larry's mother. If you like banana bread, give this recipe a try! She always said it was the glaze and really ripe bananas that made this bread so delicious.

Mrs. Flint's Banana Bread

Cream together 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup butter. Add two eggs, 3 mashed RIPE bananas, pinch of sale, 1 teaspoon of soda, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1 3/4 cup flour.

Bake in greased and floured loaf pans at 350 for 45 - 60 minutes. Makes two medium size loaves.

Glaze while still warm with a glaze of powdered sugar, butter, vanilla and milk.

I am linking this to Tuesday's at the Table, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday's and Tuesday Night Supper Club.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Meet Me On Monday

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend!

If you're interested in participating in Meet Me On Monday, you can find the questions and the link at Never Growing Old. Thanks, Jade for hosting such a fun Monday party!

1. What is your favorite kind of muffin?
Blueberry! Especially when they're made with freshly picked blueberries!

2. What was the first car you ever owned?
Not even sure what year it was but a Toyota. My father paid $50.00 for it. Yes, $50.00. Granted this was quite a few years ago. I think everything worked okay except the radio. I used to carry around my little transistor radio that looked like a ball.

3. Which TV Show were you sad to see end?
Ally McBeal! I love Calista Flockhart and was thrilled to see her show up again on Brother's and Sister's!

4. What is your lucky number?
I don't think I have one? 7's but only in Vegas!

5. Pretzels or Potato Chips?I don't eat either one of them very often. I try to choose pretzels but love potato chips, too!

How about you?