sesame snap crackle pop

I felt like having a little something sweet with my tea tonight.

These take just a few minutes to make and hit the spot — the Sesame Snap Crackle Pop treats taste like Halva, or Sesame Snaps.

 

 


Ingredients:

4 tbsp. butter

8 tbsp. tahini

6 cups mini marshmallows

10 cups Rice Krispies cereal


 

Grab a large pot and add the butter and tahini. Tahini is a sesame paste/butter that you should be able to find in your grocery store down the isle with organic items, along with cashew or almond butter (which would also work great with this recipe!). Heat these two ingredients over medium heat until they melt, stirring occasionally.

Add the mini marshmallows and keep stirring. It takes about 2 minutes for the marshmallows to melt.

Remove the pot from the element. Dump in the Rice Krispies cereal and fold through the marshmallow and tahini mixture until it’s one giant sticky mess.

Scoop the mixture into a 9×9 pan and pat it down. I find that running a little cold water over your hands every couple of pats helps keep the warm sticky treat from sticking to your fingers.

Let the pan sit for about 5 minutes and then place it upside down on a cutting mat. The treat is still warm and will pop out of the pan. Let it sit until it cools (if you can wait that long) and then cut it into little squares. Grab a cup of tea, and enjoy.

Warning: These are downright addictive!

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my big fat greek muffins

… otherwise known as Apple Orange Bran Muffins.

If you’re thinking what do apples and oranges have to do with Greek muffins? Then just pause for a moment to watch the clip below (the wedding speech near the end of the movie: My Big Fat Greek Wedding).


and so … there you go!

Time to start cooking — Grab a mixing bowl and a spoon, and the following ingredients:


1 Dixie cup of unsweetened apple sauce (about 1/3 cup)
1 1/2 Cups Bran
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder


Empty the Dixie cup of applesauce — you know, the kind that’s the perfect size for packing in lunches (about 1/3 of a cup) — into the mixing bowl. Add the 1 1/2 cups of bran, and then the orange juice and milk. I used Roger’s 100% Natural Wheat Bran, Tropicana No Pulp Orange Juice and 1% milk. Mix all these ingredients together until the bran is well coated.

While the bran is absorbing the liquid, pull out the rest of the ingredients and pop the muffin liners into the muffin tin. Preheat the oven to 375°F

Add about 1/3 cup of brown sugar. This is the part where I admit I don’t really use my measuring cups for measuring, more as scoops. Sometimes I even just shake the brown sugar into the bowl directly from the bag; the precise scientific method. If you like sweeter muffins, pack the brown sugar in the 1/3 cup measure, or add a little more. Mix the brown sugar into the wet batter.

Next, add the tsp. of vanilla and 1 large egg — I always buy Omega3 eggs, because extra Omega’s are recommended for people with Crohn’s, and I figure every little bit helps! Mix well.

Finally, add the cup of flour, 1 tsp. of both baking soda and baking powder, and then stir all 3 dry ingredients into the wet mixture. Just mix the batter well enough to combine the ingredients.

The oven should beep that it’s preheated and ready to go as you are dividing the muffin batter into the 12 muffin liners.

The muffins will take 20-25 minutes depending on your oven. Once they are done, remove them from the oven and let them sit in the pan for a couple minutes, while you pull out a cooling rack, clean up the ingredients, etc. and then remove them from the muffin tin and place them on the cooling rack.

 

appleorangebran3Enjoy them while they’re warm from the oven or save them and eat them for breakfast throughout the week while you’re on your way to work.

I make these muffins, or variations of, at least once a week and have never had a batch flop!

banana yogurt oatmeal muffins

The title says it all.
I had some Greek yogurt that I needed to use up before it expired and a ripe banana — that’s all the inspiration I needed  to grab a mixing bowl — add a little of this, and a little of that, and presto … muffins.
They only took about 10 minutes to make, and about 22-25 min. to bake. So, within about half an hour my house smells wonderful and I am all set for breakfast this week.

 


1 ripe banana
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (a generous 1/2 cup, even 2/3 would be fine)
1/2 cup milk (with a squirt or two of lemon juice)
1 cup oatmeal
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. JELL-O Instant Vanilla Pudding powder (*optional)


You could use 2 mixing bowls, one for wet and one for dry ingredients, but I’m a big fan of simplifying where possible and for this recipe it makes no difference, so I just used 1 bowl.

Peel the banana and thinly slice it into the bowl, thoroughly mashing it with a fork.

Next, measure in a cup or so of Quaker Oats Quick Oats and then pour in the 1/2 cup of milk with a couple of squirts of lemon juice, and a generous 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt. Mix the ingredients all together so that the oatmeal is coated.

Leave the oatmeal to soak up the liquid and soften, while getting the rest of your ingredients out of your cupboards. Place a dozen muffin liners in the muffin pan and turn the oven on to preheat (380°F).

Time to finish the muffin batter.

Add 1/3 cup of brown sugar and 1 egg and combine thoroughly. Don’t worry about over-stirring.

Finally, add the flour, baking soda, and baking powder all at once. Also, if you choose, the JELL-O Instant Vanilla Pudding powder (I find this helps the muffins stay moister longer). Stir the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until combined. Once there are no more dry patches, stop stirring.

Next, scoop the batter into the 12 muffin cups. I use the ladle that came with my cutlery set; one ladle full is the perfect amount to get 12 equal sized muffins.

The oven will have just finished preheating. Put the muffins in the oven and set the timer for 22-25 minutes depending on your oven.

I must admit that I was curious about how my little banana yogurt concoction would turn out, and the smell was hard to resist; I scarfed one while they were still hot. The muffins have a very spongy, moist texture and are not very sweet with a subtle banana flavor and a touch of a tang from the Greek yogurt. Once they have cooled, and over the next couple of days, I’m sure the banana flavour will become stronger.

Chocolate chips and nuts could also be tossed in if this makes you happy. About a year ago I was diagnosed with Crohn’s and both of those additions are now ingredients I avoid.

I think another time I might try replacing the milk with orange juice (my favorite is Tropicana No Pulp). Mango juice would probably be a really good swap as well.

If you give these a go, I’d love to hear how they turned out for you!