Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Our Big Boy Helper

This is what is going on outside as I write this. Ben took the day off to get caught up on stuff he wants to do. Little did he realize what a helper we had under our own roof! Earlier they stacked a bunch of wood that Ben had already split and Z scratched his cheek all up from carrying the wood. Now they're out there unloading the wood in the truck bed and splitting more (hence the ear protection). Perhaps I'm not the only one nesting...

As I mentioned before I have two recipes to share. They were SO awesome and I was just too busy this summer to blog about them sooner.

(found in the Wonder Years magazine)
Mix 1c. peanut butter and 1c. honey
Add 3 c. rolled oats, 1/2 c. flax seed, 1 c. dried fruit (ie. raisins, craisins, etc.) and nuts,
1 c. chocolate chips. Mix well, roll into balls. Refrigerate for an hour or freeze.

Now here's my feedback after making them three times. I recently added a half cup of wheat germ and would have added nutritious yeast if I'd had any at the beginning with the flax seed. Don't use too much flax seed as it gets overwhelming, but in moderation it's my favorite part of the texture. I did a cheap version and a fancier version. I love it with pecans, walnuts and craisins, but honestly it's just a good with cheapo nuts and raisins. I did not like the chocolate chips in it and omitted them all together this last time. I added chex cereal and some granola in it's place. Tiny choc. chips might be OK though. Also, I like these straight out of the freezer, but maybe that's because I'm pregnant and I like frozen stuff more right now than usual. They are very gooey and could be called "Gooey Balls", but they're easier to manage when frozen. Oh yeah, spray the bowl before you start and spray or butter your hands before rolling to help with the stickiness.

Rhubarb Crumble from Grandma J. in TN (Thanks Grandma!!)
1/2 c. walnuts
1 c. flour
1/2 c. rolled oats
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 c. unsalted butter at room temp.
2 lbs rhubarb
3/4-1 c. white sugar
5 T flour

Preheat oven to 375 F. Toast the walnuts in a baking pan until lightly browned and aromatic. Let cool and coarsely chop. Combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and stir to mix. Working quickly with your hands or a pastry blender, add the butter until the mixture has a crumbly texture. Stir in the chopped walnuts and set aside.

Wash and trim the rhubarb in a large bowl and add the sugar and flour. Toss until the rhubarb is well coated. Microwave for 8-10 min., stirring occasionally to pre-cook the rhubarb. Spread the rhubarb evenly into a 12 in. baking dish. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit and bake until the rhubarb is tender and bubbling, approx. 45 min. to an hour. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream if desired.

You can replace half the rhubarb with strawberries for a yummy twist.

Feedback: This wasn't as hard as it sounds, I realized I had a pastry blender and didn't know it, so that made it quick and easy (it's a hand tool, not electric!). I made this for a vegan friend of ours and used Earth Balance as a butter substitute. Worked great! I think I doubled the topping as that's my sweetie's favorite part. I made this at the end of rhubarb season and wished I'd tried it earlier. Next year, we'll surely be using this as an alternative to pie, which is usually all we do with our rhubarb. I highly recommend printing this and saving it for next year or buying some frozen rhubarb so you don't have to wait. It's that good.


Nicki said...

oooh I do have a love of rhubarb! I have a TON in the freezer from my grandparent's garden this year. A couple of years ago I got my hands on a rhubarb cookbook but I still love my grandma's rhubarb upside down cake and rhubarb crisp (it's very similar to your rhubarb crunch) the best. I hadn't forgotten about peanut butter balls, I think I'm going to be making a batch of those pretty soon! I usually use a La Leche League recipe that has dry milk in but I think I might try yours instead this time!

Dana said...

uh oh... i'm gonna hafta make this for dave... his request for his birthday was a rhubarb pie and this sounds right up his alley! :)