Cooking Hussy


Homemade Lara Bar – Cherry and Almond November 25, 2009

Filed under: Appetizer — cookinghussy @ 1:10 pm

The holidays are here! Tomorrow morning Chris and I will be waking up bright and early to catch a 7:50 a.m. flight to Houston. We’ll be visiting his family in Texas for Thanksgiving.  While I hate early morning flights, I think I hate airport food even more. Unlike most people, I get to see what my blood sugar does (real time now with my Dexcom!) when I eat a scone or even worse, a fast food breakfast sandwich. Not good people, not good! So I’ll bring a little snack of my own, homemade Lara bars.  If you’ve never had a Lara bar, you are missing out. They are made with only a handful of ingredients, all real foods like dates, dried fruit, nuts and spices. So basic, in fact, that you can make your own and save about $4 a bar! I followed this recipe from Enlightened Cooking to make some Very Cherry Bars.

“LARA BARS use a multi-layer package that keeps out UV light and oxygen, which, in turn, maintains freshness without the use of preservatives. I use plain old plastic wrap and my refrigerator, then pop one in my bag when I’m ready to go.” – Cooking Hussy Note: Yep, this worked well for me too!

  • 1/2cup chopped dates (roughly chopped whole dates, not pre-chopped)
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries or dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cup whole almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Place the dates (minus seeds!) and cherries in a food processor. Pulse until processed to a paste. Transfer paste to a medium bowl (don’t clean processor). Or, if your cherries are a bit too dried, transfer to a big chopping block and chop away.

Add the nuts to the processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the nuts, along with the cinnamon, to the bowl with the fruit paste. Use your fingers to knead the nuts into the paste (just keep squishing, it’s fun).
Divide mixture in half, then in half again (4 balls). Place each piece on a sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap the plastic around each bar and start squishing into a bar shape form, 3 and 1/2 inches long, 1 inch wide and 3/4-inch thick); press against countertop to flatten bottom side, flattening top side and ends with flat of hand. Tightly wrap the plastic around each bar and store in the refrigerator. Makes 4 bars.

Nutrition per Serving (1 bar): Calories 207; Fat 9.4 g (sat .8g, mono 5.2g, poly 3.1g); Protein 3.9g; Cholesterol 0mg; Carbohydrate 24.9g; Sodium 0.4mg. (Note: I did the nutrition analysis using Diet Analysis Plus 7.0.1)

Notes: I look forward to trying some varieties with walnuts and dried apricots as well!


Garlic Butter Roast Chicken November 22, 2009

Filed under: Main Dish — cookinghussy @ 7:00 pm

Beautiful, isn’t it? My very first roasted chicken. While working at the Chopping Block, I’d seen them stuff gobs of butter under the skin of chicken before roasting it and having it come out with crispy skin and juicy meat. I’ve wanted to try it and finally got to Whole Foods to buy a free-range, organic chicken. I’ve read too much to purchase or eat a regular grocery store chicken! Anyway, we had friends over to enjoy this with us and I’m pleased to say we all really enjoyed it.

  • 1 free range, organic roasting chicken
  • 4 cloves garlic – minced or pressed
  • 1/2 stick (yikes!) butter
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 onion

Start by mixing the garlic with the butter, mash it up with a fork if you need to. Rinse the chicken under cold water and pat try. Gently peel back the skin of the chicken with your fingers (wash your hands first!). Take pieced of garlic butter and spread around under the skin, even for the drumsticks. Once it’s evenly spread around, lightly spray with oil on the outside. Salt and pepper well. Stuff the inside of the chicken with a cut lemon and onion.

Roast in the oven at 450 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until the temperature of the thigh meat reaches 155 degrees. Let sit for 10 minutes before carving. Enjoy!

Servings: 4 entree servings


Roasted, Stuffed and Baked Poblano Peppers November 14, 2009

Filed under: Misc. — cookinghussy @ 5:00 pm

Baked Poblanos 1

I made these roasted, stuff poblanos several weeks ago. I *thought* I saved a link to the base recipe I used as a starter, but I failed! I can tell you what I remember though and post some links of some similar recipes to go from.

Baked Poblanos 2

Start by roasting 5-6 poblano peppers. I do this on the gas burners, roasting each until the skin is black. Then toss them all in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to basically steam the skins off. Gently peel the charred skin off and cut out the center and seeds. Set these aside. Then make the stuffing. I know sauted a can of black beans, onions, garlic, some leftover shredded chicken and spices (cayenne and cumin for sure). Stuff each pepper with the sauted mixture and cover with some shredded cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or so in a dish. I served mine on a bed of spinach topped with fresh salsa, cilantro and tomatoes. This recipe looks pretty good too!

Baked Poblanos 3