Recipe #33: Smores bars

Smores bars are exactly what they sound like - smores in bar form. It's intense, to say the least - graham cracker crust, a chocolate chip cookie-dough like concoction as the middle layer (with the addition of mini marshmallows), topped by Hershey's chocolate squares.

I brought it over to my friend's house, thinking it would go over pretty well with her adorable kids. It did. Her little girl's exact words to me were, "Can you bring this every time you come over?" I'd say that's a ringing endorsement. I wasn't a huge fan of it, but it'll definitely stay in my recipe book for sheer popularity factor (adults raved about it too, when I brought the leftovers to work the next day).

Edits to the recipe: 5 oz of graham crackers isn't enough to cover the pan. Omit the sugar, too - why add more sugar to the crust, when the rest of the recipe contains a lot of sugar? 4 ladles.


Recipe #32: Apricot oat bars

I have little respect for Giada de Laurentiis - mostly because she really plays up her overt sexuality on her cooking show. Because we all need to wear a plunging shirt to cook a lasagna, right? (Insert groan and rolling of eyes). Nevertheless, I found myself watching an episode where she was making these apricot oat bars, and I was compelled to give them a try.

A few tweaks: I reduced the sugar by 1/4 cup, used lower-sugar apricot jam, and doubled the number of apricots.

3.5 ladles: I wasn't thrilled with the result, but my co-workers really seemed to like it. I think this would be better with a different kind of jam - maybe strawberry rhubarb - with chunks of fresh strawberry in it. Might have to experiment with it further.


Recipe #31: Whole wheat sweet potato muffins

One of my favorite sites is foodgawker.com. I love looking at the pretty photos and usually find a number of recipes I want to try out. The site makes me realize the following:
A) there are a lot of dedicated home cooks out there
B) there are a lot of dedicated home cooks who blog
C) my blog really pales in comparison, especially my photos
D) how on earth do some of these people claim to have full-time jobs?!

I really wish I had more time to devote to my blog, but...I don't. When I look at the professional quality photos, I'm envious, but realize those people take this whole food blogging thing way more seriously than I do -- I simply want to share things with my friends.

Anyways, the reason why I mention Foodgawker is because I come across really interesting blogs and recipes. Like this one -- for whole wheat sweet potato muffins, by some bodybuilder named Becky. I definitely wouldn't have come across her blog since I have zero interest in body building, but...I was looking for something easy to make with some cans of organic sweet potato that I had laying around.

I followed the recipe pretty closely, though I added a splash of vanilla extract and a pinch of nutmeg.

Here they are:

I'd give them 3.5 ladles. Pros: Moist, easy to make. Cons: Not too much flavor, and can definitely taste the wheat flour. Considering it doesn't have too much sugar or oil, this isn't a bad recipe if you feel like healthy muffins.