Sweet Heart Granola

No Comments 20 April 2010

I’ve already told the story of my introduction to Wax Orchards fudge. The Admiral’s mood softens at its very mention, making it much easier to bring up the subject of the new boat-toy  I just can’t live without. I’ve been curious about Wax Orchards other products and the recipies on their web site.  Fruit Sweet is a key ingredient in ‘most all of the recipies, so I thought that would be a good place to start.
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Fruit-Sweet_tn Fruit Sweet is usually an online purchase, but since I live near Woodinville, I stopped in and picked up a 32 oz. jug. My plan was to try the Sweet Heart Granola recipe. It looks easy. Something I can’t screw up. And if it turns out, granola is virtually an onboard essential. Breakfast, snacks…..anytime. Throw in some M&Ms, almonds, raisins, peanuts and chocolate chips and you’ve got trail mix. How cool if I could make my own.2 cups rolled oats, 1/8 cup canola oil, 1/3 cup Wax Orchards Fruit Sweet, 1/2 cup grape nuts cereal. I gathered all the ingredients and a bowl. Add oil to rolled oats. Mix/rub with hands to coat oats thoroughly…….Dang that seems like a lot of oil…..Oops, I used 1/2 cup of oil instead of 1/8 cup. How to save it? Better quad it. Everything gets multiplied by 4. Add Wax Orchards Fruit Sweet and stir; add grape nuts cereal and stir again. I spread the quad recipie onto 3 cookie sheets to bake for 40 minutes at 300°. Twice I grabbed the cookie sheets out of the oven and mixed things up. 40 minutes to perfection; crisp and golden brown. I slid the granola off the cookie sheets into a large bowl to cool. Of course, I had to try a piping-hot sample. Could I enhance the marvelous nutty flavor?….I tossed in 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. Perfect.Fruit Sweet surprised me. I was expecting a sticky-sweet syrupy concentrate as overpowering as the white frosting on a cheap cake. But it really doesn’t taste all that sweet, more like apple juice with some pear tossed in and a hint of Karo syrup; and it’s not a bit sticky. Regardless…..this granola is GREAT. I thought I’d be sprinkling it with rasins, cranberries, almonds, dried cherries, whatever. No way, this is just plain fabulous, all by itself.
Sweet Heart Granola is ideal for boating. Breakfast or snacks, plain or with milk……or as a base for Trail Mix; you’ll love it. My quad-quantity experiment produced two gallon-sized freezer bags each half full of granola (about 6.5 cups/bag). I’m quite sure it’s not going to last very long. I think it would be fun to try the Granola Scones recipe, too. For breakfast, may I recommend adding a few Almond Accents with milk. And for snacks, plain is perfect.

– original recipe from Sweet Inspirations by Patti Lynch –


Velkommen’s liverburger doggie treats

2 Comments 22 March 2010

Lots of boaters enjoy the onboard companionship of their pets.  I’ve seen plenty of salty dogs and a few salty cats.  Most dogs handle the rigors of boating with more patience and grace than their owners.  But who is really the owner….shall we say, who is really in command, here? 

“Steady now, steady….don’t trip over my water bowl.  Remember….bow-wow in, starboard tie.  Most convenient when I want to dash out the transom door.  Fenders deployed?  Dock lines ready?  Step lively there, and don’t you dare step on my tail.  Quickly, make her fast.  First, a B-I-G stretch, then I need a little stroll on the beach.  You did pick a port with a sandy beach or nicely manicured lawn, didn’t you?  We canines have to think of everything, for everyone, and all-the-time, too. Captain, schmapton…..there is only one leader of the pack here.”

Well, my two boneheads are landlubbers.  The boat is fine, when tied to the dock, albeit small, but the noise of those two diesels while underway combined with a little rockin’ and rollin’……well, it’s tolerable, but just barely.  So to keep my hounds happy and to stretch my boating dollar…….(Have you seen how expensive top quality dog treats are?)  Let me introduce you to Velkommen’s liverburger doggie treats.

7-liverberger-dog-treats_tnThese little squares are just bound to have Bowser beggin’ for more.  And the cool part is they are easy to make, hound-healthy and wallet-friendly.  They keep for ages in the freezer and they make perfect gift packages for your Lassie-lovin’ friends with the added personal touch of being able to say, “I made ‘em myself.”

I’ll bet cats would find their way around one of these little treats, too.  Now I don’t  have a cat, myself, but I have a friend with a couple of mousers.  Maybe I should see what kinda beer he’s drinkin’ and experiment on his finicky felines.  Betcha two to one they pass up their Fancy Feast in favor of Velkommen’s liverburger treats.  Now, I’ve got nothin’ to sell here, so don’t go lookin’ for any shoppin’ carts.  I’m just sharin’ a dandy recipe, ya gotta make it yerself.  But I gaurantee it’ll make your faithful pet cuddle a little closer when the weather sets in.

You need the proper tools.  I use a stick blender, I’m using a 200 watt Cuisinart CSB-77.  It is plenty adequate but more power is better.  Next time I’ll go for the 300 watt Viking.  Then you need a good heavy-duty mixer, like a 325 watt KitchenAid Artisan KSM150PS.  Then you need a large bowl that fits your mixer and three large cookie sheets.  And it’s easiest to use a non-stick silicone baking mat like Silpat on top of the cookie sheets.  Next, the ingredients:

  • 2 pounds raw liver
  • 1 pound hamburger
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups corn meal
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp brewers yeast

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  1. - Cut the liver into medium-sized chunks and puree it with the stick blender.
  2. - Toss in small chunks of hamburger, pureeing it into the liver mixture.
  3. - Throw in the eggs and get ready to use the big mixer.  The soup gets really thick from here on and you need some decent horsepower.
  4. - Preheat the oven to 350° – it’s nice to have a double oven, or 3 oven racks because this recipe makes 3 cookie sheets worth of treats. 
  5. 4-thick-mix_tn 5-oven-ready_tn 6-squares_tn
  6. - Add the flour and corn meal slowly, while mixing.  You can see it’s very thick.
  7. - Toss in the oregano and brewers yeast.
  8. - Place the non-stick silicone baking mat on the cookie sheet and spread the mixture almost edge to edge, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick with a heavy spatula.
  9. - Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.
  10. - Slide the liverburger off the silicone mat onto a cutting board and slice into 1 inch squares while warm. 
  11. – Refrigerate or freeze after they cool.

Of course these treats are best made at home.   But afloat or ashore, they’ll be an instant favorite; White Fang and Buck will be drooling for more.  Looking for the main ingredients?  Double D Meats at 5602 – 232nd SW in Mountlake Terrace (425) 778-7363 can fix you up in short order.


Wax Orchards – Oh so good!!!

No Comments 21 March 2010

So I get a call a couple weeks ago from a contractor, Commercial Improvements, who needed a suspended ceiling for a project he was doing at the Woodinville Commerce Center.  A slight coincidence, I started my business back in 1983 doing most of the original tenant improvements at the Woodinville Commerce Center for owner/developer Peter Henning.  Later, I leased one of the warehouse units for a number of years, until I could build my own.  Well…….my buddy Bill and I are working away on a Saturday and along comes the the new tenant.  He was very complimentary of our work and gave us each a jar of Wax Orchards Fudge.  Now compliments are hard to come by in the construction world and gifts, even more so.  You can bet the tolerances on this job will be measured in microns.  Started in 1920 on Vashon Island, Wax Orchards now has a new office/warehouse in Woodinville.

Unlike my better-half, I’m not a chocoholic; I can take it or leave it.  But last night she had a tiny taste on the tip of a spoon and totally swooned.  “This is absolutely Heavenly!” she said.  She’s also a bit picky so I knew it had to be darned good.  Well, for a wee taste of desert this afternoon, we topped a tiny ball of Snoqualmie French Vanilla Custard with a tablespoon (45 cal.) of Wax Orchards Fudge Fantasy and added maybe a teaspoon of crushed walnuts.  What a KNOCKOUT!!  Fudge Fantasy is absolutely the thickest, richest, creamiest, most flavorful fudge on the planet.  It has to be warmed a bit to even be coaxed out of the jar.

“Bite me,” you say……”anything that good has got to be bad for you.”  Not so fast, matey.  Go to the Wax Orchards website; check out nutritional analysis and the endorsements and prepare to be amazed.  Diabetic friendly, fruit-sweetened, heart healthy, fat free, vegan, gluten-free, lactose-free…….How can anything taste so good and still be healthy?  After you peruse their product offerings: fudge, syrups, fruit sweeteners,  be sure to surf through the links on their menu bar.  There are a number of recipes that sound fabulous along with health information aimed at diabetes and weight control.  Besides being worthy of your upper-deck, Wax Orchards website is a great resource.  Wax Orchard’s products are sure to be found in the finer and healthier Northwest galleys……Velkommen’s, for sure. 

But, please, don’t take my word for it……..try a bite.


Aspen Cranberry-Orange Bread

No Comments 21 February 2010

Aspen Cran-Orange BreadYummy-yummy, what a treat!  Kinda like banana bread, except it’s Cranberry Orange.  Almost a cake, you could put a scoop of vanilla ice cream beside it and call it dessert!  This one is great for the boat because:

  • The little ‘milk carton’ container is easy to stow away in the pantry.
  • Prep is easy with a minimun of clean up…..a mixing bowl, a whisk and a 4″ x 8″ loaf pan are about all it takes.
  • The only ingredients not in the ‘milk carton’ are 2 eggs, 1/4 cup of vegetable oil and 1/2 cup of water.  Stuff you probably have on board or can easily find at the next port.
  • Pop it in a 350° oven for 45 minutes……easy and yummy; ideal for the boat.

This wonderful bread is made by the Aspen Mulling Company.  They make a Spiced Pumpkin Bread mix, too.  I may try it tomorrow evening, because I don’t think the Cranberry Orange Bread will last very long. 

They have a nice web site and online store with an interesting list of products that I’m anxious to try.  Everything on the list would would be perfect for the galley.  Some are low calorie and some are not, but all sound wonderful.  If you peruse their web site you will even find some recipies and ideas for enjoying their products. 

Ahoy, If I can bake bread, then you can bake bread.  Give ‘em a try.

……….am I prescient, or what?  The Cranberry Orange loaf didn’t even last 24 hours.  It’s gone, evaporated….right into thin air; magic!  Well there is only one clear course of action:  try out the Spiced Pumpkin Bread.

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Spiced Pumpkin Bread Spiced-Pumpkin_tn Surprise, surprise…it’s yummy, too. Dang, you’d think I was a baker……gourmet designer bread two evenings in a row. It’s a good thing Aspen Mulling doesn’t have more gourmet bread selections.

The Cranberry Orange is at its best when it’s hot out of the oven while the Spiced Pumpkin is most flavorful after chilling overnight in the refrigerator.  So what’s my favorite? I’d have to give the nod to the Cranberry Orange. You can order it in a 12-pack ya know. Why don’t they call it a half-rack? Mmmmm Mmmmmm Mmmmmm!!


Essential Marigold Bouillon

No Comments 01 January 2010

Marigold Bouillon Powder

Marigold Bouillon Powder

I was recently introduced to Marigold Bouillon Powder. What a find !!! This is not at all like the ‘too salty’ and ‘too strong’ little cubes that I come to mind when I think of bouillon. This is a great tasting powdered product that can be used as a seasoning, all by itself…..or used to make stock or used as a hot drink. Just one teaspoon in a cup of hot water makes a delightful beverage with only 17 calories per cup.
None of the local stores seem to carry the Marigold brand, perhaps because it’s an English company with products made in Switzerland. I finally tracked it down on Amazon. Amazon shows both a standard and a ‘reduced salt’ vegetable bouillon available. I chose the reduced salt variety. It came in a 6 pack with each little container being 150 grams or 5.29 ounces. Translated: each container is about 2/3 of a soda pop can in size. So the price tag for six of these was $33.23 plus shipping.
So, the next time you do some shopping at Amazon, be sure to add some of this marvelous bouillon to your shopping cart. It has all of the nautical attributes: easy storage, multiple uses, all natural/no preservatives, flavorful and lo-cal. How can a nice hot mug of this stuff be only 17 calories? I thought everything really good was high-calorie…….I guess there are exceptions to every rule.

Avast. Just try it…’ll like it…….guaranteed.

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