{#TheLeftoversClub} Chocolate Chocolate Chip Almond Oatmeal Bars

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Almond Oat Bars |Recipe for Random

Taking a moment out of my dreaded move to do a post. Believe me it’s a welcome distraction. Sidebar: I have lots o’crap and it’s all from my hobbies that I enjoy. They are space suckers, fo reals!

It’s the first Thursday of the month. You know what that means!?!?!!

 

Not hump day but The Leftover’s Club timmy time!

I always ponder what I want to make and send to my food blog pal. Will it be cupcakes, fudge, some caramel trifecta … you know those little bites of empty calorie goodness? A minute on the lips and years on the thighs (and tummy). YOLO!

Nope … hopes crashed and dashed – just kidding. I’ve been finding The Leftovers Club a great way to stretch my creativity … it allows me to step out of my quite comfortable box. It’s needed and of course you don’t want to give your blog buddy something that they will not enjoy. That would not be cool and would not make me “the best blogger”, ha ha.

These chocolate chocolate chip almond oatmeal bars is my take on the Larabar. I have seen recipes on pinterest and pinned several recipes in preparation of trying to be healthy … yeah about that.

When I saw that Johanna from Notes from a Messy Kitchen is a marathon runner and that she makes and eats healthier fare than what my normal modus operandi usually is … I had to turn to my “Think Healthy, Be Healthy” pinterest board for inspiration.

I’ve been following Johanna on instagram for a few weeks and I must say her healthy creations have left me drooling. Hmm, healthy can be yummy? Shut the front door!

 

These CCCAOB’s are quite easy to make. You simply gather the ingredients place them in your food processor and pulse. Easy peasy, peeps, easy peasy. No baking. No additional sugars. Gluten Free. I believe Paleo friendly? If you not a fan of dates you can always try prunes, raisins, and or figs. You could also add crisped rice if you are looking to add additional texture. Play around with recipe and make it your own.

I found the taste to be pleasant. It will never replace the taste of an honest to goodness brownie or chocolate chip oatmeal cookie but it’s not horrible. The chocolate flavor shines and the bits of chocolate chips don’t make you feel deprived.

Johanna, I hope you will find them enjoyable.

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Are you a food blogger that loves getting mail that contains treats? Are you looking for a way to network with other bloggers? Are you looking for a way to get your blog out into the world wide web? Then be sure to sign up for The Leftovers Club. Go ahead an stretch those wings!

 

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Almond Oatmeal Bar
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/3 cup dates, pitted
  2. 1 cup almonds
  3. 6 tablespoons quick oats
  4. 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  5. 1 tablespoon hazelnut butter
  6. 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  7. 3 tablespoons water, warm
  8. 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  9. 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  10. 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, all natural
Instructions
  1. Before you begin if your dates are on the dry side be sure to reconstitute them by soaking them in hot water for at least five minutes and drain. I sliced my dates in half to make them manageable.
  2. Add all ingredients except the mini chocolate chips into your food processor and pulse until mixed. Mixture should textured; don't mince ... you are looking for a "paste" like texture. If the mixture is on the dry side add equal parts dates and water until you get the desired result.
  3. Spoon mixture into a mixing bowl and fold in mini chocolate chips.
  4. Press into a loaf pan and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before cutting into bars or if you rather you can shape into balls. Refrigerating the mixture allows it to form better in my experience.
Notes
  1. You can use your favorite "butter" ... peanut, almond, cashew in place of the hazelnut butter. Or forgo it all together and just add an additional tablespoon of coconut oil.
Adapted from Homemade Larabars from Chocolate Covered Katie
Recipe for Random http://www.recipe4random.com/
 

 

White Cheddar Popcorn

White Cheddar Popcorn| Licious Food

Welcome to my contribution to the Leftovers Club! Here’s hoping you will enjoy it Aly of Cooking in Stilettos. It’s my favorite snack food and I want to share the love.

Can you believe it September, my most favorite-ist month? This year has flown! Yes, I am still alive and will be turning another year older on Saturday (yay, me). If my Mom happens to be reading this … one word, Amazon … actually three words, Amazon Gift Card.

So essentially life is good. I entered a contest, I made it to the semifinals, and then I lost. Poop. Thank you to all that voted! I’m sure the best person won.

I’m alive and kicking with a roof over my head. Still living la vida loca in Virginia. I have pushed my LA dream back to 2014 for some health care. If you don’t have it … you truly-uly miss it and I wants it. I have also been busy working on taking the next step with this blog. I can’t wait to reveal it and host a little giveaway as thanks; sort of like giving a birthday gift to a lucky reader.

Now on to today’s post (in my Oprah voice) white CHEDDDDAR PopCORRRRRRRN! I love white cheddar popcorn. It’s fantabulous and I could eat it all day, every day. My most favorite white cheddar popcorn is Oogie’s and it’s very hard to find it where I live. I have tried lots and lots of other brands and it’s not as good as Oogie’s. It’s a Debbie Downer moment each time I try another brand that just does not compare. What constitutes a good white cheddar popcorn? It should taste of cheese with a subtle undertones of onion and garlic with a kiss of salt. I’m not big on salty. Salty over powers the cheese and that just blows. What do you do When you can not find your favorite snack? Why you simply make it and surprise it’s quite easy!

Bonus – when you add cheese popcorn to caramel popcorn that is simply freakin’ delicious. Trust me and check out this post I did awhile back … Cheese and Caramel Popcorn, it was an introduction to my love of Oogie’s and the sweet and cheesey delight.

So, the next time you have a movie night make it a white cheddar popcorn night!

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White Cheddar Popcorn
A Licious Original Recipe

Ingredients
1 ounce white cheddar powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
6 cups of popcorn, popped
Olive Oil Spray

Directions
In a small bowl combine white cheddar powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, white pepper. Set aside.

Using either a large bowl or in my case a roasting pan, add popped popcorn and coat popcorn with oil. Leave no popcorn dry! I found that the spray help me coat the popcorn evenly and not leave it oily. Next add the cheese mix to the popcorn and toss, toss, toss and toss some more. Then serve to the hungry masses!

“Hail Mary” Bacon Cheese Dip

Hail Mary Bacon Cheese Dip| Licious Food

Another day of blogging?! Holy Shnikes! It’s my favorite day coming up soon and I want to share some yums with you! Original “Licious Food” yums.

My favorite day (ok, one of my many fave days) – Superbowl Sunday, is a day that I will have to work but hopefully you won’t.

I love the Superbowl simply for the parties and usually the half time show. That’s right, I’m here for the food -whoop whoop!

Can you tell I was never sports oriented? I was that girl/kid that was always picked last for EVERYTHING. I excel better at solo types of sports, just a fact, although I was pretty bad ass at volleyball.

So let me tell you about this dip. It’s the jam. It’s like a loaded baked potato without the potato — that’s why potato chips were invented.

Why is sour cream, cream cheese, bacon, and cheese so magical? I guess it’s one of life’s mysteries.

To get the full impact be sure to make this dip at least a day ahead. The flavors need to meld together.

I bet you can’t have just one chip? ;)

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Looking for more dips? Check out these previous postings: 

BBQ Chicken Dip

BBQ Chicken Dip

Steak and Cheese Dip

Steak and Cheese Dip

“Hail Mary” Bacon Cheese Dip
“A Licious Food Original Recipe”

 Ingredients
4 oz cheese, extra sharp and crumbled
8 oz sour cream, light
3 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 c bacon crumbles
1 t. bacon rendering (grease)
1/2 t. garlic powder
1t. dried parsley
1/2t. black pepper
1/2t. ranch powder
pinch of cayenne pepper

Directions
The great thing about this dip is that I used my food processor/Ninja to make this particular yum.

Slice bacon into pieces (About 4 to 5 slices) and cook/bake in the oven or atop your stove. Cook bacon to nice and crispy and let cool. Reserve 1 teaspoon of baking grease.

In your food processor/Ninja take the 4 ounces of cheese, cut them into 1/2 inch slices, insert into your processor. You will be using your blades to crumble the cheese. Should resemble crumbles, no one crumb will look the same. Remove the cheese crumbles from the processor into a large bowl.

Next add the sour cream, cream cheese, bacon rendering, and spices into the food processor. Pulse until incorporated, no cream cheese lumps. It might look soupy however when refrigerated it will firm up again.

Pour mixture into the large bowl that contains the cheese crumbles and add the cooled bacon pieces. Fold the cheese and bacon into the sour cream mixture. Cover and Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, however if you can prepare this dip a day ahead then all the better. Let those flavors meld!

Serve with your favorite potato chip (That would be Utz’s Kettle Classics Dark Russet Kettle Chips for me)!

Makes Approximately: 1 and 1/2 cups.

Caramel/Cheese Popcorn

sweet & salty popcorn

Do you like your sweet with some salty? I do, too. Candy corn and peanuts, butter mints and peanuts, buttered popcorn and plain M&Ms … I could be the Bubba of sweet and salty mixes but I won’t.

Today, I am writing to you about what your Superbowl party needs – no WANTS! The combo of cheese popcorn and caramel popcorn. Have you seen this? I have been seeing this mixture on my grocers’ shelves as of late yet I resisted. What if I didn’t like it? That’s four plus dollars down the drain. Renokulous, RE-DONK-U-LOUS. Yet, I wanted to try it and on my own terms.

Have you ever heard of Oogie’s Gourmet Popcorn? Their White Cheddar Popcorn is “Oh Em Gee” good! If it was a man, I would marry it …maybe a long term boyfriend. Over the holiday’s I won a box of Oogie’s Gourmet Popcorn (more on that in another post coming soon). It has the right amount of tang from the cheese and does not make you feel like you need to go work some calories off at the gym after eating. It’s all natural, too, so no words you can’t pronounce on the ingredients list.

What to use for the caramel corn? I could always buy it and be done with it … no fuss, no muss. That’s just not me, I have the need to dabble in the kitchen and make messes in said kitchen. My catering teacher in high school told me I was a messy cook and I thought to myself, “duh.” Creativity can be messy, embrace it and then make sure you have cleaning supplies nearby or better yet a maid. Sadly, I don’t have the latter.

Luckily, a week ago my mail carrier delivered a new cookbook to me. It’s entitled Sweet Confections: Beautiful Candy to Make at Home by Nina Wanat. GET THIS BOOK!

It’s beautifully illustrated; the way it is written and recipes are explained you will be a confident confectioner in no time. If you are looking for a gift for that “sweetie” in your life that loves to bake then get them “Sweet Confections”. You want to razzle dazzle a special man/lady in your life on Valentine’s Day with some homemade goodness … get this book! Toffee, Truffles, Fudge, Alcoholic Lollies …GET THIS BOOK!

When you combine Oogie’s White Cheddar popcorn and the buttery sweetness of Nina’s Caramel popcorn together, you have Winner Winner Chicken Dinner.  I combined equal parts of each popcorn into a rather large bowl and then gave it a good “Superbowl Shuffle” and serve.  That’s all I have to say about that (I love the movie, “Forrest Gump”).

A very special thank you to Nina Wanat and her publisher, LARK, for allowing me to re-print the recipe for Caramel Corn.

Until Next Time,

Jennifer

Caramel Corn
by Nina Wanat, Sweet Confections: Beautiful Candy to Make at Home, reprinted with permission

INGREDIENTS
10 cups popped popcorn, unsalted and unbuttered
1 cup roasted nuts, such as peanuts or almonds (optional)
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar, granulated
2 Tablespoons water
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons corn syrup
1 Tablespoon molasses
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 225F. Pour popcorn and roasted nuts (I optioned out for nuts), if using, into a roasting pan.

Combine sugars, water, butter, cream, corn syrup, molasses, and salt in a 2-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a heatproof silicone spatula, until the mixture reaches 250F.

Remove from heat. Stir in the baking soda, and mix thoroughly ti incorporate.

Pour the syrup over the popcorn, and stir until popcorn is coated. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. The caramel corn is done when it’s dry and crispy when cool. Store in an airtight container.

Marshmallows

Mmmm, Marshmallows

Do you have a cooking bucket list? I do and boy is that list long!  Well, I can finally cross off marshmallows – Done and Doner!

Over the holidays I decided to try my hand at making them even though the thought scared me. Deciding to put my fears aside I collected all the ingredients needed to make marshmallows and waited two weeks.

 I’m a procrastinator … I’ll do it but tomorrow or perhaps the next day or better yet the 12th of never.

Cue the snow!

There is nothing like snow waylaying you to make you venture into the kitchen to try the impossible.  Being trapped in the house trumps procrastination – every time!  So with being cooped up in the house I dug out all the ingredients and made marshmallows and you know what? I don’t know what I was afraid of … it was actually pretty easy and straight forward.  Who knew sugar, corn syrup, gelatin, and meringue powder could transform itself to delectableness!  Makes that saying, “Nothing to fear but fear itself” quite true.

Once you experience the taste of homemade marshmallows you will never return to your local market for store bought – you will insist on handcrafted with love marshmallows.  They add some much needed oomph to your hot cocoa and they make Rice Krispie® Treats spectacular!  Do it yourself marshmallows will have you dreaming about other places where you could use them … say like Moon Pies or Marshmallow dipped strawberries.  The possibilities are endless!

Until Next Time,
Jennifer

Marshmallows
Courtesy of Gourmet Magazine/Epicurious and adapted very slightly by me.  Please find Gourmet’s recipe below.

Ingredients
about 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup hot water (about 115°F.)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoon plus 1 Teaspoon Meringue Powder
4 Tablespoon Water
pinch of Cream of Tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Directions

Oil bottom and sides of a 13- by 9- by 2-inch rectangular metal baking pan and dust bottom and sides with some confectioners’ sugar.

In bowl of a standing electric mixer or in a large bowl sprinkle gelatin over cold water and let stand to soften.

In a 3-quart heavy saucepan cook granulated sugar, corn syrup, hot water, and salt over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to moderate and boil mixture, without stirring, until a candy or digital thermometer registers 240°F., about 12 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour sugar mixture over gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved.

With standing or a hand-held electric mixer beat mixture on high speed until white, thick, and nearly tripled in volume, about 6 minutes if using standing mixer or about 10 minutes if using hand-held mixer. In a large bowl with cleaned beaters mix meringue powder and the 4 tablespoons of water until they just hold stiff peaks. Beat whites, cream of tartar, and vanilla into sugar mixture until just combined. Pour mixture into baking pan and sift 1/4 cup confectioners― sugar evenly over top. Chill marshmallow, uncovered, until firm, at least 3 hours, and up to 1 day.

Run a thin knife around edges of pan and invert pan onto a large cutting board. Lifting up one corner of inverted pan, with fingers loosen marshmallow and let drop onto cutting board. With a large knife trim edges of marshmallow and cut marshmallow into roughly 1-inch cubes. Sift remaining confectioners’ sugar into a large bowl and add marshmallows in batches, tossing to evenly coat. Marshmallows keep in an airtight container at cool room temperature one week.