Monthly Archives: June 2010

MYO Granola Bars, just the way you like them

 pistachios and dried cranberries

Ahhh, I finally have just what I want after complaining for years about granola bars that are too nutty, too sweet, wrong flavors, etc. I finally decided to give it a try and make my own. Wow, why didn’t I do this a long time ago? I made two flavors (hoping at least one of them would be edible). Luckily, they both came out wonderfully and I can’t decide which one I like best.

For the first batch, my daughter suggested apricots and cashews. Yum, great idea and great tasting. I love the sweetness of the apricots and the mellow flavor of the cashews. Batch number two had pistachios and dried cranberries. Another home run with the tartness of the cranberries and the distinct saltiness of the pistachios. Once again, I can’t decide which one I like best but judging from which one is disappearing in the hands of Husband and Daughter, the pistachio bars are a bigger hit, but not by much.

The recipe below gives the measurements for what I used. Go ahead and switch it up using whatever nuts or fruits sound good to you. I’m going to give peanuts a try next time. Haven’t decided on the fruit yet. Also, I’ve added mini GF chocolate chips just because I happened to have some, but I can tell these bars would be just as great without them.

cashews and dried apricots

MYO Granola Bars
1 cup nuts
1 cup GF oats (I use Bob’s Redmill brand)
1/2 cup mini GF chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life brand)
1/2 cup dried fruit
1/4 cup ground flax meal
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup raw honey (plus a tablespoon)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Chop nuts in a processor or by hand until smaller in size but not too fine.
3. Add all other ingredients to nuts in a large bowl and mix.
4. Spray a 9×9 glass dish and spread nut mixture into pan until evenly distributed.
5. Bake for 25 minutes or until sides begin to brown.
6. Cool completely before turning out onto a board and cutting into squares (if you have the willpower to wait that long, which I did not!)

These are a satisfying treat and great to take with you when you know you’ll be out all day and may need something to snack on. If it’s the middle of summer in AZ (like it is here) I would suggest leaving out the chips if you’re taking them with you. I know these will be gone before I get a chance to take them with me, but the next batch will be bigger now that I know this works so well. Give it a try and let me know how it turns out.



Filed under fruit, gluten free, granola, oats, vegetarian

The new bagel in the house

Perhaps I should title this post- Udi’s does it again! While stocking up on their fabulous white and whole grain breads at Whole Foods today, I noticed something different in the freezer. Bagels! Now, I’ve had Glutino bagels and I was pleased with them, although they tend to be a little dense. In a pinch, they are good to have in the freezer…up until now…

I’m a true believer in Udi’s and can’t say enough about their wonderful products. Yes, I would be on the payroll if they’d have me, but I’m not. I’ve talked about bread before here and I still stand by the bread from Gluten Free Creations here in town, but move over for Udi’s, really!

If you haven’t had their bread, you are truly missing something. I’ve actually fooled people who didn’t know it was GF bread, and if you’ve eaten most GF breads you know that’s not easy to do. Most of them are only good for a doorstop. The bread can actually be eaten without toasting, smells wonderful and toasts to a beautiful, crusty golden brown. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. But, today we’re talking bagels!

These bagels are so much like I remember bagels to be. Daughter closed her eyes and ate her half and smiled widely. “It’s crunchy,” she said. “Just the way they should be.” She’s not kidding, these bagels are soft on the inside, crunchy on the outside and have just enough “chew” to make it cream-cheese-worthy. Of course, my half had just butter, but Daughter had to do it up right with the cream cheese. Since she’s only been GF for about 6 months now, she appreciated it immensely. I haven’t had a bagel like this in about 5 years so this was a major treat for me.

This took me back to mornings spent on the floor of our apartment in NYC with the Sunday Times, bagels, coffee, and music. The paper was spread out all over the floor and we sat on the floor without speaking, just eating and reading. I know what I’m doing Sunday morning!

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Filed under bagel, bread, breakfast, gluten free, Udi's, vegetarian

Liberty Market

I had the great pleasure to visit Liberty Market in Gilbert, AZ this weekend. Not only did I have the best vanilla Americano that I have had in a very long time, but this is a photo of the salad I ordered. Is that beautiful or what? The greens were crisp and fresh, the tomatoes plump and ripe and the mozzarella was perfectly fresh and not too firm. And that’s not even the best part. Drizzled over the top with perfection was a sweet, tart, delectable balsamic reduction. It was so beautiful, I wanted to take it home with me. I wished I had brought my usual bag of bread in my purse (GF) to dip.

Daughter had the same salad and ate the entire thing, greens and all. And if you know her, you know that’s pretty amazing. She loves veggies, being a vegetarian, but salad is not her thing. She gave it a try and left nothing on the plate.

I highly recommend Liberty Market if you’re in Gilbert. The rest of our dining party raved about their sandwiches and salads. It’s a casual place with a coffee bar. You order up front, then grab a seat and smiling staff bring your food to the table. It’s worth the drive, if only for an awesome cup of coffee.

Of course, if you are GF, be careful and check with the staff before diving in. I made sure there was no bread or croutons used and stayed away from anything that might be contaminated. Always use caution and tell wait staff that you are GF so they are aware of your needs.


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Filed under gluten free, restaurants, salad

Raw Lemon/Blueberry Pie

Wow, it’s hot out there. I always seem to blank out just how hot it can get in Arizona. Then summer hits and it starts all over again. It’s just the beginning of June and already we’re in triple digits! Dang it. But I know we’ll weather it out (pun intended). But what to do when it’s hot? Not cook, that’s for sure. The cooler, the better.

After having a fabulous raw pie at Pomegranate recently, I decided to give it a shot and try it myself. The pie at the restaurant was a raw mixed-berry pie. Since I love lemonade in the heat of AZ, I decided to give that a try…no recipe, just wing it (cuz’ I fly like that, you see). It turned out fabulous and I’m only disappointed that I made such a small pie. It’s tart and sweet, cold and refreshing, just like lemonade with the extra bonus of a crunchy, sweet, nuttty crust.

Next time, it will be much bigger, not just the 4-inch springform. This recipe was for a small pie, so double it up if you’re doing a normal pie size, like 8 or 9 inch. It’s tart, which is the way I like it. Add more honey/agave if you like your lemonade sweeter.

Now once you read this, don’t let the cashews scare you away. This was the first time I’ve done this and I was worried, but trust me…it’s amazing! Be brave and do it, you won’t be disappointed.

Raw Lemon/Blueberry Pie

4-5 whole pitted dates
One handful of raw almonds and pecans (about 1/2 cup)
1-2 Tbs raw honey (or agave if you’re keeping it vegan)
1 Tbs ground flaxseed
pinch of sea salt

1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 2 hours
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
zest of one large lemon
4-5 fresh blueberries
1-2 Tbs raw honey (or agave if you’re keeing it vegan)
pinch of sea salt

1. For the crust, place everything in the processor and grind until sticky but not creamy. Use one Tbs honey and 4 dates first, then add more if you need it.
2. Press crust into pan and set aside.
3. For filling, drain cashews and process until smooth, adding lemon juice as needed when it gets hard to grind.
4. Add everything else, once again adding honey slowly to taste.
4. Pour mixture into pie pan and place in freezer if you want to eat within an hour, or refrigerate overnight.

I served this with sliced strawberries and blueberries, but it’s just as good on its own. It’s refreshing and light, yet totally non-dairy and your friends won’t believe it’s made of cashews. The creamy texture is deceiving but so lovely…As an added bonus, it’s loaded with protein from the nuts.



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