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No-Bake No-Problem

So, we’re about to open another post talking about the weather.  We hate to be repetitive or predictable, but really, the weather has so much of an effect on what we eat that it really must be mentioned!  At least in this post, anyways.

Because today we’re talking about these:

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No-bake peanut butter banana granola bars!

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You see, we try to always have quick snacks in the house that we can toss into our lunch bags when we go to work.  Lately, though, we’ve been on a huge muffin-kick.  Remember these?  So what do muffins have to do with the weather?  Nothing.  Except that they require an oven…

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And you might recall us mentioning a couple times the heat-wave we experienced a few weeks ago.  Definitely not muffin-baking weather.  Which is where these granola bars come in.

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Our first attempt at these granola bars was made during said heat-wave.  Unfortunately, while they tasted really good, they fell apart very easily and so we knew we needed to give them another try before we gave the recipe to you guys.

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But then the heat wave came to a very abrupt end (as in the temperature literally dropped by about 20 degrees Celsius overnight), and suddenly not using the oven wasn’t such a priority.  But we had already made one attempt, and we knew we couldn’t back down from the challenge!

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On the second attempt, the stars aligned and they turned out just the way we wanted!  Don’t you love it when that happens?

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Confession:  The first time we made these they had chocolate chips in them.  The second time around we went to put chocolate in them again and realized we were all out- yes, it was a shock to us too- so these ones are chocolate-free.  But adding chocolate chips is highly recommended.

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So we’ve put muffin-mania on hold for a few days, because right now we’re all about the no-bake granola bars!  Our oven could use a little vacation, anyways 😉

No-Bake Peanut Butter Banana Granola Bars

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Makes: 12 bars

Ingredients:

3 cups rolled oats, divided
2 tbsp chia seeds (or ground flax seed*)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c. chopped peanuts
1 ripe banana, mashed
1.2 c. peanut butter (we used all-natural)
1/4 c. honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4-1/2 c. chocolate chips, optional

Directions:

Grind one cup of the oats in a blender or food processor until it is a fine flour.  In a large bowl, combine the ground oats with the remaining 2 cups of whole oats, chia seeds, salt and chopped peanuts.

In a separate bowl combine the mashed banana, peanut butter, honey and vanilla and stir until it is smooth and fully mixed.  Pour the peanut butter banana mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until no dry spots remain.  You may add the chocolate chips at this point if you are using them.

Line a 9×9 inch square glass dish with wax paper.  Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the dish and set in the refrigerator for about 2 hours to firm up.  When they are ready, use the edge of the wax paper to gently lift the un-cut bars out of the dish.  Cut into 12 bars and store in an air-tight container in the fridge.

*You can use ground flax seed in place of chia seeds, however we have not personally tried this and cannot guarantee the bars will stay together as well.  If you decide to give this a try, please let us know how they turn out!

~twosaucysisters

What are your favourite no-bake treats?  Have you ever tried making no-bake granola bars?

Rockin’ and Rollin’

We’re pretty sure it has been ages since we’ve talked about pancakes over here- did you think we had given up eating them?

Of course, that would crazy talk!  Who in their right mind would ever give up eating pancakes?

Not us, that’s for sure!  Rest assured, there has been no shortage of pancakes over here, but our pancakes have been looking a little different lately…

You see, we’ve discovered a new way to make pancakes, and quite frankly we may never eat them any other way ever again!

Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the pancake parfait roll-up!

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Seriously people, this is a genius idea!  It’s a fruit-and-yogurt parfait all wrapped up in a thick, fluffy pancake- does it get any better than that?

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This recipe is inspired by an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives seen while doing hamstring curls at the gym.  That’s right, we watch foodie shows while lifting weights…

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Unfortunately there was no sound to accompany the show (yes, we watch silent foodie shows while lifting weights…) so we have no idea what restaurant was being featured and cannot properly give credit to whoever came up with this fantastic idea.

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But we can share it with the world!

So what is so great about a pancake roll-up?  It takes about half  the time of regular pancakes!  Think about it- one giant pancake vs. making a whole bunch of small ones?  Some of you cool kids might have one of those awesome pancake griddles that have enough space to cook a million pancakes all at once, but for those of us who don’t, this is a huge time-saver!

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And the faster you can cook pancakes, the sooner you can eat them.  And of course, fluffy pancake + creamy yogurt + sweet fruit + crunchy granola = breakfast heaven. 🙂

So go make use of all the delicious fruit that is hitting its prime right now, and make yourself this to-die-for breakfast- you may never eat pancakes the same way again!

Pancake Parfait Roll-Up

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

2/3 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)

1 egg, beaten
2/3 c. buttermilk
1 tbsp maple syrup

1 c. yogurt
1 c. fruit of choice
3/4 c. granola

Directions:

Preheat a large frying pan sprayed with cooking spray.

Combine the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.  In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined.  Divide the batter in half and pour onto the frying pan.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until bubbles begin to form on the surface and the edges begin to firm.  Flip and cook for another 2 minutes, then remove to a plate.  Repeat with the rest of the batter.

Spread the pancake with yogurt then sprinkle with fruit and granola.  Roll up and top with the rest of the yogurt, fruit and granola.  Drizzle with a little maple syrup if desired.

~twosaucysisters

Do you ever watch the T.V. at the gym?  Have you ever seen a recipe from a T.V. show that you’ve tried recreating?  How did it turn out?

Cookie Comfort

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The other day we made you waffles.  Today we made you cookies.  Aren’t you people spoiled?

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But that’s ok- we enjoy spoiling you guys, especially when it involves cookies.

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Oatmeal raisin cookies.  We honestly can’t think of anything better to chase the blues away on a rainy day than a fresh-out-of-the-oven oatmeal cookie and a glass of milk.  Except for maybe two cookies.  Yes, that would be better.

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Yes, we know there are other cookies out there that are delicious, too- chocolate chip, ginger snaps, peanut butter cookies, double chocolate cookies, and chickpea cookies (ok, we threw that one in there as a shameless plug, but they are pretty awesome)- but there’s something about a chewy oatmeal raisin cookie that just gets us, you know?

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The oatmeal just makes them so hearty and the raisins get so plump and juicy in the oven that they are simply irresistible!  And these particular cookies are made with whole wheat flour, contain no butter, and have a fraction of the sugar that an average oatmeal cookie has, so you can feel good about eating them, too.  That’s a major win in our books!

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So do yourself a favour- pour a glass of ice-cold milk and make these cookies.  You’ll be glad you did when your beach day gets rained out and you’ve got nothing to do all day.  We know we were!

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 10-11 minutes
Makes: 12 cookies

Ingredients:

1 c. large-flake rolled oats
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 heaped tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/4 c. coconut oil, softened (not melted)
1/4 almond butter
4 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp butter extract (optional)
1/2 c. raisins

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400F.  line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients.  In a separate bowl cream the coconut oil and almond butter together.  Add the egg, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and butter extract (if using).  Stir until fully combined.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until all the dry ingredients have been moistened, adding the raisins in about half way through.

Drop about 2 tablespoons of dough at a time onto your prepared baking sheet.  Roll each clump of dough into a round ball and flatten with a fork or the palm of your hand.  Bake for 10-11 minutes, or until the cookies are slightly browned, but still feel a little soft.  They should feel slightly under-done when they come out, that way they’ll be nice and chewy.  Allow to cool fully before placing them in a container.

You can keep these cookies in the pantry (aka- they don’t need to be refrigerated), but we don’t know how long they will last since ours were all gone in less than 2 days!

~twosaucysisters

Do you like oatmeal cookies?  What is your favourite type of cookie?

Breakfast Back-log

So we’re bringing you a breakfast post two days in a row.  Why? Because we’ve somehow managed to get a major back-log of breakfast recipes piling up, and since we have another bunch of breakfast ideas swirling around in our heads for the next few days (read- there was a big sale on strawberries at the grocery store this week!), we wanted to get some of these recipe to you before we get too carried away with new ones.

What can we say? We love breakfast!

We realized the other day as we were perusing through some past posts that it has been forever since we’ve made a crepe for breakfast!  And with a pile of lemons in our fridge and a giant bag of frozen blueberries in our freezer, we knew what had to be done.

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But first, let’s recap: so far we’ve made pancakes, french toast, and a buckwheat bake (ok, that one’s not lemon-blueberry, but it would taste pretty darn good with blueberries, if you ask us!) so a crepe seemed like a logical next step.

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And while sometimes logic is kind of overrated, this time, it definitely prevailed!

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And while we could launch into a whole spiel about how the tangy, citrus-y flavour of the lemon pairs perfectly with the bright, sweet flavour of the blueberries and the creamy, mellow cottage cheese pulls the whole thing together in a veritable taste sensation, we won’t bother because we’ve already explained the magic that happens when blueberries and lemons are paired together…

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So you already know how delicious this is without us really having to tell you 🙂

Lemon Poppy Seed Blueberry Crepes

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Prep time: 10 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 tbsp chia seeds or ground flax seeds
1/2 tbsp poppy seeds
4 egg whites
juice of 1 lemon (1/4 c.)
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 c. milk of choice
1/4 c. water
1 tbsp honey

For the filling:

1 c. frozen blueberries, thawed, drained (reserve blueberry juice)
2/3 c. cottage cheese

For the blueberry cream:

Reserved blueberry juice
1/4 c. plain yogurt
1/4 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp honey

Directions:

Pre heat greased large frying pan or griddle over medium heat.
Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl, then add the wet ingredients and stir until there are no clumps.
Pour half the batter onto the pan, swirling so that it covers the entire base of the pan. Cook for 2-3min, or until the edges start to curl. Flip and cook for another 2-3min. Remove from pan and repeat with remaining batter.
Divide the cottage cheese and blueberries among each crepe and fold them up, top with blueberry sauce.
For Blueberry sauce:
Mix all ingredients together and drizzle over the crepe.

~twosaucysisters

Simple…Monday

We had a bit of a busy weekend filled with work orientation and starting (and finishing!) a big assignment, and we just never got around to doing our second Simple Sunday post!  Not a very good start to a new tradition, is it?

But no matter, today we are bring you Simple Monday!  It doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, but it’ll have to do.

For today’s post we wanted to give you a recipe for a simple, quick, and healthy breakfast.  After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and yet so many people skip it because they are too rushed in the morning!  Then they either skip it and wait for lunch, or pick up a (cough, cough) “healthy” breakfast sandwich from the drive-through on the way to work.

This is silly, because in 5 minutes, you can have yourself a piping hot bowl of berry-filled oatmeal!

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This oatmeal is made in the microwave in just a few minutes, and is very healthy!  We know that you can buy instant packs of oatmeal at the store that are already flavoured and ready-to-go, but those are often filled with added sugar and preservatives, and do you really want to start your day off with that stuff?

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We certainly don’t!

We used large-flake rolled oats in this recipe, which take about 5-6 minutes in the microwave, but you can make yours even quicker by using different oats.  Most grocery stores have an entire shelf of options, from steel-cut all the way to instant oats that cook in one minute!  So you may use whatever you like, just remember to read the directions on the package, because different oats call for different amounts of water.

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Just be careful to watch your oatmeal carefully to make sure it’s not exploding over the side (you can see we ran into that problem by looking at the side of the bowl- oops.)

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And while we’re on the topic of oatmeal, we also have a great basic recipe for slow-cooker oatmeal, which is super-convenient and makes for an extremely easy and quick morning if you remember to cook it the night before.

The other great thing about this recipe is that you can make it your own!  Not into berries? Cut up some apple and toss it in along with some raisins and walnuts.  Or cut up a banana and throw it in there with cinnamon and walnuts.  Really, the options are endless.  Of course, we often top our oatmeal with a dollop large blob of nut butter, and usually a little yogurt gets thrown on top as well, to increase the satiety value (and because it tastes delicious).  So feel free to adapt this recipe to your liking 🙂

Microwave Berry Oatmeal

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Serves: 1
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 5-6 minutes

Ingredients:

1/2 c. large-flake rolled oats
1/2 c. frozen mixed berries
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 c. water

Directions:

In a bowl, mix the oats, berries, and cinnamon.  Add water and stir until everything is dampened.  Cook in the microwave for 2 minutes on high.  Stop the microwave and stir.  Put the bowl back in the microwave and cook on medium-high for another minute, remove the bowl and stir.  Continue cooking on medium-high for 30 seconds at a time, stirring each time until the oatmeal reaches the thickness you desire.  Put your toppings on top and enjoy!

~twosaucysisters

What are your favourite quick-and-easy breakfasts?

An Accomplishment

You know how there are certain things that in theory shouldn’t be that hard, but you seem to have a particular problem with? Like finding two matching socks in the laundry, keeping your room clean, consistantly breaking your spice grinder (or is that just us?), and so on!  We have things like that, but more kitchen related. For the longest time we struggled with omelettes and crepe making, getting clusters in our granola, and our arch nemesis is still poached eggs (we will conquer you!).   Another long-time struggle we had in the kitchen was granola bars. They’d either be crumbly and falling apart, or they’d turn out more like a muffin bar than a granola bar. Frustrating, right? There are literally thousands of granola bar recipes out there, how could everyone else find it so easy yet we produced failed attempt after failed attempt?

Well, after finally having success with our Lentil Granola Bars and our Pumpkin Spice ones, our confidence in this area was sitting pretty high. So, we made these ones:

Apple and Spice Granola Bars!
We think it’s safe to say that we no longer find granola bars a challenge. 🙂

So. Good. These granola bars are packed with spices, loaded with plump, juicy raisins, and completed with crunchy walnuts. With the grated apple, they could almost taste like a granola-bar version of apple pie!

In fact, we think the next time we make them we’ll put apple chunks and grated apple in! That way it would be even more like apple pie, so we’d be crushing two cravings in one (apple pie+granola bar).

Not to mention apples are a classic fall flavour. They tend to get out-shone by pumpkin, but they shouldn’t be forgotten about! After all, this is when the apples are at their best!

We’re certainly glad we have these, because ready-to-go snacks will be a necessity this weekend! We have national championships (CIS for those who may follow the sport) tomorrow, right here in London! So if you’re in the London area this weekend, where some purple to Thames Valley Golf Course and see some top-quality cross country (and don’t forget to cheer really loudly for your Mustangs. Go Western!).

Apple and Spice Granola Bars

Prep time: 10min
Bake time: 25-30min
Makes: 8 bars

Ingredients:

1.5 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. ground flax seeds
2 tbsp whole flax seeds
1/2 c. apple butter
1 full grated apple (not peeled)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c. raisins
1/4 c. walnuts
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp EACH of ginger and nutmeg

Optional “Frosting”

2 tbsp coconut butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1-2 tsp maple syrup

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
Combine wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls, then mix them together. Place in a lined, greased 8X8 inch baking pan and press down firmly.
Bake for 20-30 min, until slightly browned and firm to the touch.

For the frosting, melt coconut butter down and combine with the rest of the ingredients. Once granola bars are slightly cooled, spread over the top.

-twosaucysisters

Are there any “easy for everyone else” things that you struggle with?

Chocolate vs. Vanilla: The Great Debate

We’re chocolate girls through and through.

Nine times out of ten, if chocolate is an option, you can be sure that we will choose it over anything else.

But even the craziest chocoholics get a hankrin’ for vanilla sometimes, right?  So what do you do when you want both?

Marble.

Because who says that chocolate and vanilla can’t live together in harmony in the same delicious little breakfast cake?

Yes, this is a chocolate-vanilla marble buckwheat bake.  Maybe chocolate and vanilla have had a rocky relationship in the past, always being pitted against one another in the race for favouritism, but we think that this buckwheat bake is changing things.  As a matter-of-fact, we think they could even be friends now!

But even the most radical of buckwheat bakes are not complete without some kind of topping…

Enter chocolate-protein frosting.  Yumm 🙂

Here’s the quick and easy steps to making a marble buckwheat bake:

1. Make 1 recipe of vanilla batter and one of chocolate. (you could try doing a half of each, but that would require half an egg, which is too finicky for our liking!) Besides, wouldn’t you like to have one left over for tomorrow’s breakfast?

2. Once you have both batters ready, drop spoonfuls of each batter into your prepared dish, alternating between the vanilla and the chocolate.

3. Using a knife, carefully swirl the two flavours together, being careful not to blend them, as the chocolate will cover up the vanilla, since its darker.

Swirrrrl!

Chocolate and vanilla, living in harmony 🙂

So today, we encourage you to forget which one you prefer, give chocolate and vanilla a chance to co-exist, and dig in…

Because there are too many other things in life that are more important than deciding between two delicious flavours. 🙂

Chocolate-Vanilla Buckwheat Bake

Prep time: 5 min

Bake Tim: 30 min

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

For the chocolate:

1/4 c. buckwheat flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp buckwheat groats
1/2 banana, mashed
1 egg
3 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp honey or maple syrup

For the vanilla:

1/4 c. oat flour (we thought buckwheat flour would be too dark)
1 tbsp vanilla protein powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp buckwheat groats or steel-cut oats
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 banana, mashed
1 egg
3 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp honey or maple syrup

Directions:

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the dry ingredients for each flavour separately.  Combine the wet ingredients for each flavour in a small bowl (again keeping them separate).

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until fully incorporated.

Spoon each batter into 2 greased oven-proof dishes, alternating between the flavours, as above, and swirl.

Bake at 350C for 30-35 minutes, or until the cakes are set and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

~twosaucysisters

Which do you prefer – chocolate or vanilla? (We know, we know, after all our talk about not deciding, now we’re making you choose!)