Last night’s dinner

Here are the muffins (the few that are left). We finished-off the falafel for dinner and I found that simply by wrapping them in foil they reheated well but didn’t get dry. It is also a great excuse to get extra salad into us as I place them on the greek pita then top with; hummous, halved falafel, salad (cucumbers, tatsoi, yellow pepper and tomato) and a bit of that nice honey/mustard dressing from last week.

Tonight’s dinner
Today’s focus is actually on preparing for tomorrow. At 6:00 am I need to catch a train to Toronto, take my mom to an appointment in Markham after I pick-up her and her car and then drive her and the baby back to the ‘O’. It’ll all be fine but I really need to plan ahead (wash and pack enough diapers, sleepers, formula, water…)

I’m going to need some energy and something healthy to keep me going. My mom also needs to be nagged to eat but if she doesn’t eat she has more trouble controlling her Alzheimer’s. It can make for a very interesting day. With all this in mind, I’ve hunted down what looks like a good recipe for granola bars. The only trick is going to be hiding enough from my husband to take them with me.

I’ve taken this off of the internet and now can’t find the address again but you can likely find it by just putting the ingredient list into google.

Things You’ll Need:
2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cups of whole wheat flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 TBSP. of flaxseed
1/4 cup of honey
4 oz. of applesauce
3/4 cup of shredded coconut
1/3 cup of brown sugar
2 oz. of chopped pecans
2 oz. of slivered almonds
You can also add chunks of dark chocolate or raisins (optional)

First you need to preheat your oven to 325. Then lightly grease a 9×13 pan. I use Mazola Pure Cooking spray and spray a little on the pan and take a paper towel to spread it around.

Step 2

mix your ingredientsIn a large mixing bowl you will need to combine oats, flour, vanilla, baking soda, applesauce,honey, flaxseed, and brown sugar. When you are done mixing that stir in nuts and shredded coconut. You have the option of adding your own things to the mix such as raisins or chocolate chips.

Step 3

press in pan and cook Lightly press mixture in 9×13 pan and bake at 325 for 20 minutes. Let them cool for 15 minutes and then cut into bars. Make sure you let them cool completely before serving. This recipe makes 24 bars.

As usual I am doubling the recipe and I don’t have any apple sauce so I’ll just chop up some apples with a bit of cinnamon and cook it down to apple sauce while I get the rest of the recipe ready.

Today is not only preparing for tomorrow though. Today is the husband unit’s birthday. He always says not to do something but I think this is a special day. It is time then for one of his favourite dinners-roast chicken and green beans with banana cream pie.

Normally when I’m doing a special dessert I go to Martha Stewart and go whole hop. Her recipes are usually fussy and very prescriptive but boy oh boy do they work. However, Stephen loves this low-fat recipe for Black Bottom Banana-Cream Pie. I got this recipe almost 20 years ago from Cooking Light and have used it a tonne of times and even though it is low-fat he is crazy for this particular pie. I’ve tried fuller fat recipes thinking they would be a bigger treat but he likes this one the best.

Here is also a no fail recipe for pie dough that I make in a pick batch and freeze in five balls. When you want a single crust pie you just take out one of the balls. Double crust?=two balls. My mom has used this recipe forever, I think she got it off of the shortening box a hundred or so years ago.

In a large bowl place; 5 cups flour (the same mix I’ve described before) and 1 lb. of shortening. In a 1 cup measuring cup, crack one egg and a dash of vinegar. Fill the cup with cold water. Mix the flour and shortening with your fingers until it is crumbly (it’ll look like rough sand). Add the water mixture all at once and mix with your hands only until the dough comes together. DON’T PLAY WITH IT. Either use it right away (I never chill like they say to. Who has the time?) or freeze into the balls described above.

Roll out the pastry and bake at 350 with a piece of parchment paper on the top of it and it weighted down by beans. This is called baking blind and will allow your pastry to cook but not bubble up.

For the chocolate layer
In a small pot combine: 1 T. cornstarch, 2 T. sugar, 2 T. cocoa and a dash of salt. Whisk in 1/3 cup of milk and cook 2 minutes over medium heat. Stir in 1 oz. of chopped chocolate and cook 1 more minute stirring constantly. Spread over the prepared crust.

Top with a layer of bananas that have been tossed in a bit of lemon juice.

For the cream layer
In a pot combine: 1 T. of cornstarch, 1/2 cup sugar, dash salt, 2 eggs, 1 cup of milk and 1 T. butter. Whisk and stir constantly over a medium heat until the mixture boils. Reduce to low and cook 30 seconds or until thick. In a small bowl beat 2 oz. of cream cheese (they call for the light version) until light. Add in 1/4 cup of the custard mix-beat and then add the entire thing to the rest of the custard mix.

Top the bananas with the custard, press plastic wrap on the surface and chill for a few hours (we’ve eaten it WAY before that in the past). The plastic wrap will prevent the top to get that weird skin that pudding would get when your mom made it

Before serving top with either whipped cream or light whipped topping (that’s what the recipe originally calls for) and chocolate curls.

Don’t skip the step with the lemon juice or you will end-up with a yummy pie that has grey bananas in it. None of us are proud so we would still eat it but it won’t look pretty.