The Laurabar @ Home

I first had a Laurabar about a year ago and I fell in love.  Just four or so little ingredients, no unpronounceables and all sweet goodness.

At $1.00 or more a bar they are a bit pricey and became my treat each month when I went shopping. I would have loved to buy a box of them but I could not see spending the money.

What Is a Laurabar

The base of a Laurabar is dates.  The lowly date.  They aren’t much to look at but they are the sweet goodness that makes the base of a Laurabar.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

After that, the rest is up to you.  You basically have a clean slate with which to work.  Must variations call for nuts of some type and then chocolate or other fruits.  It is so simple it’s hard to believe.

My personal favorite has almonds, chocolate and peanut butter.  Who doesn’t love chocolate and peanut butter?

Seek and Ye Shall Find

I found a recipe for reverse engineered Laurabars (AKA someone took the time to figure out how they made them and shared.)  YES!!!!

I made some Lauraballs, they were OK.  I even tried a few new ingredients but they didn’t quite taste the same.  They weren’t as dense as the store-bought version and they fell apart rather easily.

Recipe Success

I put Laurabars on the back burner (sourdough english muffins took their place) but I never forgot about my sweet little friends.

Then, as it often happens, I got a very timely email from Keeper of the Home with her latest post of 45 Real Food Snacks for Kids.  I knew I needed to make some handy, healthy snacks to take camping with us so I took the time to read through the post.

And there it was…..about halfway down the page….a link….a link back to sweet little Laurabars…..

Meet Foodie With Family

The link took me to Foodie With Family where Rebecca shares her recipe for homemade Laurabars.

This is a much better recipe than the first one I used.  It makes a thicker bar and the proportions of the ingredients lend to a denser, moister bar than I had before.

The basics are this:

4 cups of organic dates

2 cups almonds, raw or toasted

2 cup chocolate chips or carob chips

2 Tbsp organic peanut butter

See, I told you it was simple. See Rebecca’s site here for the details of the recipe.

Here are my notes: 

Dates – for sure you need moist dates. This time mine were a bit dry so I added a few splashes of water until I had the “paste” consistency needed.

Food Processor – Apparently my Aldi-bought generic food processor is smaller than most.  I had to make this recipe in two batches.  I was able to process the nuts and chocolate as one but then I had to do half the dates and nut/chocolate and then the other half.  It makes no difference.  I just dumped half into the bar pan and then did the second half.

Lining the Pan – I am a huge fan of lining the pan whether it’s crackers or Laurabars. It makes clean up so much easier and for these it makes cutting them and working with much better too.  Wax paper works in a pinch if you don’t have parchment.

I couldn’t wait to go camping to have a bar.  I had one already this morning with my coffee. 🙂

Try them and let me know what you think.

Until Next Time,

Be Blessed

This post shared at Growing HomeFar Above Rubies and The Purposeful Mom.

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Delicious From Scratch Hamburger Rolls {Guest Post!}

I am honored to be posting here @Morethanfourwalls.  I “met” Danielle last fall in a MYM group hosted by InspiredToAction.   I love her helpful heart and the way she inspires us women to keep our hearts set on Jesus as we strive to maintain a healthy, happy home with Morethanfourwalls.

I’m impressed that Danielle is now working full-time, yet still bakes from scratch and diligently plans healthy meals for her family.  Props!!!

Today I’m so excited to tell you about these delicious rolls that you can make ahead and freeze.  Then, just take them out and bake when you need them!  The convenience of store-bought at a fraction of the cost!

The Recipe: Delicious From Scratch Hamburger Rolls

photo credit: Cultivating Your Branch

To read the rest, visit the new More Than Four Walls site.  Here’s a direct link to this post.

Making Homemade Yogurt

Homemade yogurt was the first traditional “real” food I ever made.  It seemed easy to do and didn’t need any special equipment or tools.  I didn’t even buy a special yogurt starter culture.   Since March or April 2010 I’ve made probably 50 batches of yogurt a half-gallon at a time.  I’ve only had one batch that did not culture. That’s a 98% success rate – not too bad.

I’d like to share my yogurt recipe with you.

To read more visit the new More Than Four Walls site launched 4/9/12. Here’s a direct link to this post.

Clabbered Milk Smoothie – An Update

A couple of days ago I posted about some milk I was clabbering for the first time.  Yesterday my son and I tried our the clabbered milk smoothie recipe I mentioned……the results………

……Pretty darn good!

As you can see Wyatt enjoyed his smoothie.  Mom did too.  It was slightly more sour than my homemade yogurt. Nothing too strong though. 

As I usually do, I followed the recipe to the letter since this was my first time using clabbered milk. When I poured the milk into the measuring cup it was a mixture between yogurt consistency and liquid.   The clabbered milk does smell sour but remember, sour is not spoiled.  Spoiled and putrid is what happens to store-bought P & H milk.  Souring is natural  for raw milk. You might find it a bit off-putting but don’t let it freak you out. 

A word of caution: pour gently otherwise the clabber plops out and splashes the liquid all over the counter, the stove….and your face.  (Ask me how i know.)

Over all I thought the smoothie was great.  I would certainly make it again and will use clabbered milk in other variations of my normal smoothies. 

I may not clabber milk every week but at least I know if it sours or ends up forgotten again I don’t need to waste it.

Until Next Time,

Be Blessed

Sourdough English Muffins

My aunt gave me 4 homemade sourdough english muffins at Christmas.  They have become my new favorite food obsession. 

I had talked to her months back but I never tried them figuring I should try to conquer sourdough bread first.  Well, the bread is coming along but I think I’m still doing something wrong.  At any rate, I found this sourdough english muffin recipe over at GNOWFGLINS and they’re GRRRRREAT!  (Tony the Tiger has nothin’ on these babies!)

Here are my notes on the recipe:

Liquid – I use whole, raw milk

Flour – i used 1 1/2 cups of white spelt and 1/2 cup of fresh ground spelt.  The second time I used half white spelt and half fresh ground spelt.  I liked them either way. 

There was some discussion in the comments about the amount of flour needed depending on the altitude at which you are cooking.  Erin, the contributor of this recipe is in Alaska.  Here in PA I did have to add more. I did not measure. I just looked for sticky wet dough.  You should end up with dough not batter.  The first time I made them I followed the recipe to the letter and had more of a batter consistency.  They still tasted great but they spread out almost like pancake batter does when they hit the griddle.  I had to really work to get them back to a decent sized muffin.  With firmer, sticky dough I did not have that problem.

I’ll also note that if you are using spelt or other fresh ground grain it does take a bit longer for the liquid to absorb so don’t dump in too much flour right away.  I added the flour and let the bowl sit 5 minutes or so and then checked the consistency, added some more and then started the rise time.

Soda/Powder – The first time I used baking powder….oops.  They did not rise as much as the second batch but I think the too wet dough contributed to that as well (see the Flour section for those details).

Sweetener – I did use raw honey but was thinking about trying some stevia just to see how it would work.

Rising – I did not dust with corn meal when I laid them out to rise. I’m just not a fan of corn meal. I used a bit of flour. 

“Baking” – I guess your technically cooking these, I’m not sure.  I’m only a wanna be chef so my technical terminology is nill.  My griddle does not extremely hot so mine took upwards of 15 minutes (between both sides) to get finished.  Once the dough hit the griddle I used my turner to reshape any areas that got out of whack from the transfer to the griddle.  There were some I flattened a bit with my turner once I flipped them.  I didn’t want them  domed I wanted them flat top and bottom. 

The Finished Product – Oh my! They are good.  Easy to make and easily doubled if you do batch baking.  I just gobbled up one this morning and I only have one left so I must get some started this morning so I don’t run out!

If you try these please let me know what you think or how you made out.  Better yet, stop by GNOWFGLINS and Wardeh know too! 

Until Next Time,

Be Blessed

This post shared on Monday Mania at The Healthy Home Economist and  Make It Yourself Monday at The Purposed Heart.

Golden Fillet of Trout with Wild Rice & Broccoli

In my “neck of the woods” Trout Season is in full swing.  Pass by any creek in the early evening or on the weekends and you’ll see fishermen (and women!) casting away in hopes of catching a large rainbow or perhaps a beautiful palomino trout. 

With a freezer full of trout by late spring I have longed to find a recipe that I really, really liked for preparing these beautiful fish.  I came across a recipe that had potential two years ago and several modifications later the resulting recipe below has become a favorite in our house. 

 Golden Fillet of Trout with Wild Rice

 4-6 trout fillets (depending on size)

 ½ c fresh-ground spelt flour or whole wheat flour

 1 tsp sea salt

 ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

 ½ tsp garlic power or flakes

 ½ tsp onion power or flakes

 2 TBSP butter

 1 TBSP butter

 Juice from 1 lemon

 1 tsp salted capers (optional)

If you are cooking wild rice be sure to start your rice about 30-35 minutes before your trout.  The trout from prep to table takes very little time while the rice can require up to 45 minutes to cook through.  I cook my rice in water and a pat or two of butter. 

Place flour, salt, pepper and garlic in a shallow dish.  If trout fillets are wet, pat dry with a towel.  Season trout lightly with more salt and pepper and pat both sides in flour, shaking gently to remove excess flour. 

 Heat 2 TBSP of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add trout to skillet and cook until they turn a pale golden color, about 3 minutes.  Turn and cook an additional 3-4 minutes. 

Remove trout to a warm serving platter and remove skillet from heat.  Add 1 TBSP butter, lemon juice and capers.  Brown the butter, stirring with a wooden spoon to release any bits from the bottom of the skillet.  Pour sauce over trout and serve immediately.

Broccoli

Steam broccoli in water with 1-2 TBSP of butter until it reaches desired tenderness.

This post part of  Fight Back Friday!  and Monday Mania