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Chocolate-Glazed Honey Macaroons

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Once upon a time I entered some honey macaroons into the Kansas state fair and won a  blue ribbon for them.  Then I promised you I would share the recipe.  Well I may be a bit slow, but a promise is a promise!  I thought this was the perfect time since I’m giving away a gallon of coconut oil and this recipe has some in it.  I figured one of you guys would need a lot of ways to use up that coconut oil once the giveaway was over.  (I’m still packing just in case the winner agrees to let me move in until the oil is gone. hehehe)

We have a special honey class in our state fair baking competition and I won for the cookies last year.  I had never entered the honey cookies category before, but knew from looking at past year’s cookies what I wasn’t going to do, which was a flour-based cookie.  I wanted to do something different that the other bakers hadn’t.  I did lots of brainstorming and finally decided that a honey coconut macaroon might be nice.  Luckily I found a great recipe at Gourmande in the Kitchen and all I had to do was create a glaze for them.

Less heavy than a normal macaroon, these are light, sweet, tender, and very moist.  And the coconut-flavored chocolate just puts them over the top.  I love these cookies because not only are they tasty, they also are allergy friendly (gluten-free, dairy-free) and healthy (good fat & naturally sweetened).  I do hope you enjoy them!

For more coconut oil recipes, check out my Coconut Oil Coffee, Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Vegan Gluten-Free Mounds Cake, Dairy-Free White Cupcakes, Homemade Magic Shell, and Vegan Dark Chocolate Cake Pops.

Honey Coconut Macaroons

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Printable recipe with picture

Cookies
2 ¼ cups (180 g) unsweetened shredded coconut
2 large egg whites
¼ cup (60 g) raw local honey
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of fine sea salt

Honey & Coconut Chocolate Glaze
¼ cup dark chocolate chips
1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
1 teaspoon local raw honey

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

Process the coconut in a food processor until very fine.  Whisk together egg whites, honey, vanilla, and salt until combined, then stir in the coconut until completely moistened.  Using a small cookie scoop, portion out the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.

Bake until pale golden in spots, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Make the Glaze: Place the chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds at 50% power.  Stir, then repeat. Stir until residual heats melts the chocolate completely, then stir in the coconut oil and honey. Drizzle over the cooled macaroons and serve immediately, or allow to set before storing.  It takes this glaze several hours to set up, but the cookies are so moist they will  not suffer for being left out.

Recipe source: adapted from Gourmande in the Kitchen

Honey Whole Wheat Beer Bread

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Sheesh, I know what you guys are thinking. That with all the alcohol-laden recipes I’ve been posting lately, I must be a secret raging alcoholic! Well, I promise I’m not.  While I will take a sip once in a while, I generally dislike it on several levels. Besides the taste, and abstaining for scriptural reasons like not wanting to cause a brother to sin against their conscience (1 Corinthians 8:9-13), I’ve seen firsthand the effect it can have on a person’s health and on a family if abused, and I steer clear of alcohol so that I don’t continue that legacy.

However, while I have a personal distaste for it in its pure state, I do have quite a fondness for adding it to my baked goods. A little bit can really intensify the flavor in a recipe, and the baking (and cooking) process eliminates the alcohol content so that it will not have an intoxicating effect on your body.  Win-win!

Because of my fondness for baking with it, you really might think I had an alcohol problem if you took a look in my cupboard! I’ve got rum, bourbon, and brandy upstairs (great for so many things, including a fantastic fruit cake recipe I’ll be sharing come October–it takes two months to make), and I keep a few beers in the basement. Beer is my least favorite alcohol, but I make sure I always have a few on hand because one of my favorite breads happens to be beer bread. Go figure.

Beer creates magic when you put it in a quick bread, supplanting a yeasty flavor that quick breads lack, and it’s just so delicious! I’m very excited about my newest variation on beer bread (I can not believe this is my fourth beer bread post! Stop the madness!) because it is not only delicious, but healthy!

My favorite beer bread has white flour, butter, and white sugar in it, but I wanted something more wholesome this time so I used white whole wheat flour, canola oil, and honey. I was so delighted when I sliced into this loaf and took my first bite! I couldn’t believe how soft, tender and moist it was, and the flavor was incredible. Very yeasty, with a mild sweetness.  I think that honey and beer were meant to come together in bread!

You may remember the leftover Guiness I was going to throw out because I’d already made cupcakes and brownies and couldn’t take it any more. I’m so glad I decided to use the last of it to make this bread because it added a much more intense yeasty flavor to the bread than what I usually get from the lighter colored beers I use and it was quite lovely! But if you have a lighter beer, don’t make a special trip to the store, it will work just fine here and your bread will be much lighter in color (if you use white whole wheat flour like I did), and you might fool healthy-phobic people into thinking it’s white bread.

And lest you think that the beer-haters in your family won’t dig this, just remember I hate beer, and it literally makes my husband gag to even smell it.  (Remember when he threw up after I served him vodka sauce on his spaghetti?  Yeah, alcohol and him do not mix!)  But we both love this bread.  I think you will too.

Honey Whole Wheat Beer Bread

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

3 cups white whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder, such as Rumford
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
¼ cup canola oil
1/3 cup honey
12 oz. (1 1/2 cups) beer

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter or oil a loaf pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a smaller bowl, beat the egg until uniform in color, then whisk in the oil, honey, and beer. Pour into the larger bowl and whisk well to combine. Pour into prepared pan, smooth the top, and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool for at least 15 minutes prior to cutting. Wrap leftovers in plastic wrap or keep in a Ziploc bag with the air pressed out. This bread freezes well too, just slice it before you freeze it and you can take it out slice by slice, as you need it.

A Veronica’s Cornucopia Original

Honey Banana Peanut Butter Muffins

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My Dad used to make what I thought was one of the most delicious meals ever out of torn Ezekiel bread pieces, a sliced banana, and natural peanut butter all mixed up in a bowl together and drizzled with honey.  Sweets were a rarity in our home so when he let me try this, I was thrilled because I felt like I was eating dessert.  This was how I was introduced to the trifecta of banana, peanut butter and honey and I’ve been a fan ever since.

I first made these muffins in miniature form almost a year ago when I had a single overripe banana and wanted to use it in something before it started growing white stuff.  (I’ll include that recipe too for those interested.)  It was only natural for me to reach for the peanut butter and honey, and I was really pleased with the result.  I’ve made many subsequent batches, adapting it on a larger scale to make the standard dozen since the small batch doesn’t last long enough to suit us.

This is a straightforward recipe, no fancy ingredients, naturally sweetened, and it’s all mashed and mixed together in one bowl using a single fork.  The result is a moist and flavorful muffin with the perfect balance of banana, peanut butter and honey.

By the way, these healthy, low-sugar muffins are dog tested and approved!  My Jessie is such a treat snob that when she approves something I’ve made, you can bet your pup will most likely dig it too.  For doggies, you can bake them up in mini-muffin tins, depending on the dog’s size.  Or just share yours, which is what I like to do.  That way I feel justified when I reach for a second one, since I didn’t eat all of the first.  :)

Honey Banana Peanut Butter Muffins

Printable Recipe
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3 medium overripe bananas
¾ cup peanut butter
¼ cup honey
½ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 ¼ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons chopped nuts (for topping)

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with papers or spray with oil.

Peel bananas and place in a large mixing bowl. Mash with a fork (you should have about 1 ¼ cups of mashed banana), then mix in the peanut butter with your fork until well blended. Next mix in the honey and once the mixture is uniform in color, stir in the milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Measure in the flour and baking soda, and stir with your fork just until mixed. The batter will be thick but try not to overwork it to get it mixed. It’s OK if a few lumps remain. Using an ice cream scoop, divide batter between muffin cups, filling 3/4 full. Sprinkle nuts in the middle of each muffin (nuts will spread out as the muffins bake). Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean, and remove to cooling rack. Leave in tin for five minutes, then remove to cool completely.

Makes 12 muffins

Per muffin: 196 calories; 9 g fat; 26 g carbohydrates; 2.4 g fiber; 6 g protein; 5 Points Plus

Secret Recipe Club

Honey Banana Peanut Butter Bites


Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 medium overripe banana
¼ cup chunky peanut butter
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
¼ cup buttermilk
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 12 mini muffin cups.

Mash the banana in a medium bowl an stir in the peanut butter, honey, and buttermilk. Stir in the remaining ingredients just until moistened. Divide between muffin cups, filling about 3/4 full. Bake for 15 minutes (or until done) and remove to cooling rack. Leave in tin for five minutes, then remove to cool completely.

Makes 12 mini muffins.

Nutrition Info (per muffin): 66 calories; 3 g fat; 84 mg sodium; 77 mg potassium; 9 carb; 1 g fiber; 2 g protein; 2 Points Plus

Recipes by Veronica Miller

**Veronica’s note: to make these into vegan muffins, replace the honey with agave nectar, the buttermilk with non-dairy milk, and the baking soda with baking powder.  I have done this and they are equally delicious, though I do prefer the honey flavor with banana and peanut butter.**

Honey-Garlic Wings


When I needed a recipe for wings so I could make them for Den’s potluck at work, my friend Marina pulled through for me with this one.  I used a 4 lb bag of frozen wings and increased the sauce accordingly and as you can see, it still wasn’t enough to fill my [old school 1980’s] crockpot.  So if you’re needing to make enough for a large crowd, I’d suggest doubling the recipe….and then making it twice. Believe me, they will go fast.

Honey Garlic Wings

2 1/2 lb. wings, trimmed and separated
1/2 c soy sauce
3 Tbsp. honey
3/4 c water
4 large garlic cloves
2 tsp. minced fresh ginger

Combine soy sauce, honey and water in a small bowl.  Heat wok and add a little oil. When hot, add garlic and ginger. Stir-fry for a second or two. Add wings and stir-fry until nicely browned, adding more oil if needed. Add soy sauce mixture and turn heat down to simmer. Cover and cook 20 to 25 minutes or until wings are cooked through. Stir occasionally. Remove lid and turn heat up to high. Cook wings, stirring all the while, until sauce is reduced enough to glaze wings.

Recipe courtesy of Marina C.

Veronica’s Notes:I ended up with so much sauce in the pan that the wings basically boiled in it until done.  To keep from overcooking them, I removed them with a slotted spoon and continued simmering the sauce until it was cooked down enough I could put the wings back in and glaze them. I don’t know if my chicken was extra juicy and that caused the overabundance of sauce, but just thought I’d warn you.  I think I will try leaving out the water next time.

Honey-Whole Wheat Bread

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Somehow with my car breaking down along with the microwave and Dennis finding out he needed to have oral surgery to remove a cyst, I completely forgot to blog this recipe, despite the fact that it was one of the small things that got me through the week.  Bake up a couple loaves yourself and see what kind of magic good, fresh bread can work on your life. 
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This. Bread. Is. Very. Good.

Honey-Whole Wheat Bread
from the back of a Gold Medal Whole Wheat Flour bag

2 packages regular active dry yeast
1/4 c warm water (105-115 degrees F)
1/2 c honey
1/4 c butter or margarine
3 t salt
2 1/2 c very warm water (120-130 degrees F)
4 1/2 c Gold Medal whole wheat flour
2 3/4 to 3 3/4 c Gold Medal all-purpose flour

In small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water; set aside.  in large bowl, mix honey, butter, salt and very warm water; cool 5 minutes.

To cooled honey mixture, beat in 3 c of the whole wheat flour with electric mixer on low speed, scraping bowl frequently, until moistened.  Beat on medium speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl frequently.  Beat in remaining 1 1/2 c whole wheat flour and dissolved yeast.  With spoon, stir in 2 1/4 to 2 3/4 c of the all-purpose flour until dough pulls cleanly away from side of bowl.

Place dough on floured work surface.  knead in remaining 1/2 to 1 c all-purpose flour; continue kneading 5-10 minutes until dough is smooth and springy.  Grease large bowl with shortening or cooking spray; place dough in bowl, turning dough to grease all sides.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and cloth towel.  let rise in warm place (80-85 degrees F) 30-45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Generously grease 2 (9×5) loaf pans with shortening or cooking spray.  Gently push fist into dough to deflate; divide in half.  On lightly floured surface, roll each half of dough with rolling pin into 18×8 inch rectangle.  Starting with one 8-inch side, roll up dough tightly, pressing with thumbs to seal after each turn.  Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal; pinch each end to seal.  Fold ends under loaf; place seam side down in pan.  Cover; let rise in warm place 30-45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.  uncover dough; bake 30 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 350; bake 10-15 minutes longer or until loaves sound hollow when lightly tapped.  Immediately remove from pans to cooling racks.  Cool completely, about 1 hour.

Makes 2 loaves (16 slices each)

Veronica’s Notes: You can use whatever brand of flour you happen to have.  Just don’t tell Gold Medal I told you that. :)

I used my usual quick method, as follows: substitute rapid acting yeast & omit the first 1/4 c water.  Mix the yeast with the whole wheat flour.  Combine the honey, butter, salt & water in a saucepan and heat until butter is melted.  Cool until warm to the touch, then add to the flour & yeast mixture and mix according to directions.  Skip the first rise and as soon as you’re done kneading, shape into loaves and place in pans to rise for 1 hour.  Bake according to the recipe.

P.S. We got my car working and now just need a new microwave.  Den has his surgery on Thursday and we now have the money for it.

Honey Oatmeal Bread


**Note: This post is an eyesore but I don’t want to change the content because I’m keepin’ it real.  This is how the original post looked and read, and I want to be able to read it again ten years from now and cringe as much as I’m cringing now. :)  (Although I am adding a new photo of this in rolls-form, and plan to add more next time I make this into bread again.)

I will let you in on the people I’m identifying here.  This was back in my MySpace days, where I originally posted this, when I was friends with a couple gals who went by Red (Kim) and Kitchen Bitch (Krista).  Red’s white bread was the first yeast bread that required kneading that I’d ever made.  This was the second one and it is still my favorite after three years of baking with yeast.  It has the best, softest, texture and an incredible taste.  I hope you overlook the bad photos and delirious writing and make it!**

Well I’ve made Red’s bread which got me over my fear of making it, so I decided to tackle the Bitch’s bread…Kitchen Bitch, that is!  :)  Kim can have “Red’s Bread” and Krista can have “Bitchin’ Bread”–am I a great marketing schemer or what?  If you guys ever do open bread shops, I want 10% of your profits. Ha!

(It’s after 1 AM and I’m sleep-deprived.  In case you didn’t notice.)

OK, so Krista sent me this recipe quite a while back, but since the directions called for a stand mixer with dough hooks (which I don’t have) and I was scared to make bread in the first place, let alone try to modify a recipe to suit my lack of kitchen apparatus, I saved it for a later date.

The date came today.  Emboldened by my most recent success with the white bread, I decided I was going to go for the Honey Oatmeal Bread, despite my lack of dough hooks and despite the fact that it was nearly 11 PM.  It was a huge success and totally worth staying up for–even better than my first bread attempt!  The taste is unbelievable and the texture is crazy soft.  I’m in love.  I wish I had a good camera to show off the beauty of these loaves, but you can get a general idea from the back-up camera that I’m using.

Honey Oatmeal Bread
from KitchenAid

1 1/2 c water
1/2 c honey
1/3 c butter or margarine
5 1/2 to 6 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 c quick cooking oats (Krista says rolled oats work fine too)
2 t salt
2 pkgs active dry yeast or 4 1/2 tsp jarred yeast
2 eggs
1 egg white
1 T water
Additional oatmeal for decoration (optional)

Place water, honey, and butter in small saucepan. Heat over low heat until mixture is very warm. (120-130 F)

First place oats, then 5 c flour, salt, and yeast in mixer bowl. Attach bowl and dough hook to mixer. Turn to Speed 2 and mix about 15 seconds.

Continuing on Speed 2, gradually add warm mixture to flour mixture and mix about 1 minute. Add whole eggs and mix about 1 minute longer.

Continuing on Speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 c at a time, and mix about 2 minutes or until dough starts to clean the sides of bowl. Knead on Speed 2 about 2 minutes longer.

Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover (I use plastic wrap) and let rise in a warm, non-drafty place (I use my oven with the light on) about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. Sometimes this takes longer than 1 hour. Let it go until it has doubled.

Punch dough down and divide in half. Shape each half into a loaf and place in greased bread baking pans. Cover (I use a clean dish cloth for this) and let rise again in a warm, draft free place (oven again) until doubled in bulk…usually an hour, sometimes a bit more.

Beat the egg white and water and brush the tops of loaves GENTLY. Sprinkle with oatmeal if desired. Bake at 375 F (preheat the oven so it is up to temp) for 30-40 minutes. Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire racks.

Krista recommends brushing the crust with butter or margarine after removing from pans and so do I.

Yields 32 servings (16 slices per loaf). Nutritional info per slice: 134 cal, 4 g pro, 24 g carb, 3 g fat, 13 mg chol, 162 mg sod

Veronica’s Notes:  To make this by hand, mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.  Beat the eggs in a small bowl.  Pour in warm liquid and mix with a spoon until blended, then dump in the beaten eggs and fold the dough over and over until all the egg is incorporated and you’ve got a ridiculously sticky mass attached to your hand.  Add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, kneading it in.  I just knead my bread dough in the bowl to keep from dirtying another surface.  Once you have kneaded in all the flour and continued to knead for a few minutes, follow the instructions on the recipe.   I used instant yeast so I was able to skip the first rising and go straight to shaping the halves into loaves and sticking them in the pans.  Krista wouldn’t recommend this and she’s probably right that using regular yeast and allowing the bread to rise longer develops a fuller flavor, but I seriously can’t imagine bread getting any better than this.  If it’s better her way, the taste would probably give me a heart attack so it’s partly in the interest of my own health that I’m sticking to my own method.

Honey Whole Wheat Cornbread


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This is my favorite cornbread and I make it more often than any other kind.  Hearty and rustic, it is excellent smeared with butter and paired with chili or stew.

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Honey Whole Wheat Cornbread

Makes one 9×13″ pan or 24 muffins
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups corn meal
4 teaspoons baking powder*
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey
2 cups milk (I usually use skim)

Combine the corn meal, flour,  baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, honey & milk.  Stir into the flour mixture just enough to moisten the batter.  Pour into a greased 9 by 13 inch baking pan or 24 greased muffin cups. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20-35 minutes or until golden brown.

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*Due to the large quantity of baking powder in this recipe, I recommend using an aluminum-free baking powder, such as Rumford, to avoid a funny after-taste. (If you weren’t aware, most brands have aluminum in them.)  If you bake often, I’d recommend investing in an aluminum-free baking powder to ensure the best taste in your quick breads and cakes.

Honey Bun Cake

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It’s the height of spring here in Kansas and today was our warmest yet, 84 degrees.  I had the day off for a routine doctor appointment so I got to enjoy a bit of the sunlight today, and had enough time to try out a few of the recipes I’ve gotten from fellow foodies.

Since I had a bit more time in the morning than I usually do, I actually cooked breakfast rather than dumping it into a bowl.  I chose to make the French Toast that my friend, Kimberly, posted on MySpace (you can get it here), which has brown sugar and nutmeg in the batter with cinnamon sprinkled on top.  It was delish!  Next time I will add vanilla and possibly some orange zest.  I love French Toast!

French Toast with melted butter (ate it as soon as the syrup was on):

I stopped at my Mom and Dad’s house to drop off some eggs (I have a local supplier) and Dad was out back so I went to go see what he was up to.  He had just picked some garlic and was cleaning it off to give to his girls (I’ve got two sisters).  Like how he’s labeled for easier identification?

Dad loves to be outdoors and chat, especially now that he’s not working, so he kept me there as long as he could, showing me around his “garden.”  I put that in quotes b/c it’s not a traditional garden, by far.  In any case, I was glad to stay, glad to feel the sun, glad to smell the herbs & weeds and soil, glad to spend some time with my father for no particular reason.  (He had a stroke last October, leaving him without the ability to read, and although I visit once or twice a week–it’s usually b/c I have to fill his medicine container, read to him and pay his bills….Mom doesn’t do any of this b/c…well, she’s a long story.)

Here’s what I meant when I said his isn’t a traditional garden.  In this photo, there are so many things to notice that you really don’t see anything.

This is his garden–a mishmash of scattered herbs, dead poppies, weeds, grass, all lined with concrete blocks with toilet lids & rocks on top and a compost pile in front.

I asked him to show me where his garlic was and he pointed to about seven different places.  I thought the funniest one was amongst the iris.  You probably can’t see it, but the tops are thinner than the iris leaves.

He also has comfrey, which you can make tea with to help heal broken bones (I used this when I broke my tailbone):

Horseradish (the big leaves behind all the grass, garlic & various weeds)

A goji plant (he says he’s the only one in KS that has one but I wouldn’t believe him unless he actually had to travel to China to get it)

And, thinking of our dinner tonight, I picked some tarragon:

And some sage:

I had a good chuckle over the “volunteer” squash and broccoli plants that had cropped up in Dad’s old compost pile (right next to the new one–ewwww!)

Here’s a close-up of the broccoli

And over what Dad considered “lawn decorations,” like the toilet tank lids (some broken) and his seashell collection in the bowl of an antique sink.

 

I call him “Alta reincarnate” when I see stuff like this b/c his mother (Alta) would never throw anything away and used a lot of crazy stuff like this to decorate with (including plastic soda bottles).  He’s also got an old cement mixer & toilet in his yard.  I do like these huge chunks of glass, though:


Oh yeah, and laughed a little over the lamb’s quarters too:


Apparently this is just a weed but can be eaten. He didn’t plant them, they just sprung up as weeds do, but since he’s got so much Alta in him, he’s going to eat them b/c otherwise it would be “wasting” (wasting weeds!?!).  Oh no, I just realized I do the same thing with food–I can’t waste it!  It’s in my blood!  But I don’t know if I’d be eating weeds.

On the way home, I stopped at Food For Thought for some local ground bison.  The Whole Foods by us ran out and hasn’t had it for a while (it’s just a local store, not a part of the big chain) so I took advantage of being uptown to stop at the health-food store I grew up with.  It started out in this rinky dink little place (where it says Central Food Mart)

And then moved across the street to this larger location (though probably still laughably small by big-city standards).


I didn’t take many pictures, but this is an adorable store with lots of fascinating things for sale–they’re not just about the vitamins and gluten-free products.  I liked this one, though I managed to refrain from purchasing (I prefer poking my enemies with real pins):

Here’s their organic produce section.


I headed home with four pounds of bison and actually took time to prepare myself a decent (late) lunch rather than slapping a sandwich together.  I had a Morningstar Farms Hickory Barbecue Riblet (it’s actually meatless) with what has become my new favorite side dish–green bean salad (recipe here).

Instead of making my own vinaigrette, I just use Kraft Sundried Tomato Vinaigrette and sprinkle on some dried basil.  It might not be as delicious as originally intended, but I love it. And I love the riblets too–they’re the bomb.  They have a really meaty texture and are kind of like shredded brisket that has been compacted.

I’ve been wanting to make Tucky‘s Honey Bun Cake ever since she posted her Mom’s recipe for it on a bulletin, but I haven’t had the time until today.  I headed out to get some sour cream and then whipped it up into two shallow pans b/c I wanted to keep one and give the other away.  Doing it this way, there wasn’t quite enough batter to cover the filling layer, but it still worked out and baked up nicely.


 For dinner, I made Sweet Bacon Chicken Wraps (recipe here) using my friend Kim‘s idea of leaving the breasts whole and adding in herbs between the chicken and bacon (and then I couldn’t help sprinkling it over the top too). This is where Dad’s sage & tarragon came into play, and I also added some basil and rosemary.

If I hadn’t used fake chicken breasts, this would have probably killed me, but I only suffered a mild aneurysm.  Thank goodness for fake poultry!  This was so incredible, it’s almost enough to make me try it with real chicken.  Brown sugar and chili pepper on bacon-wrapped chicken–what could be wrong with that?!  And if you’re wondering why I would bother using fake chicken if I’m going to use real bacon, then you’ll have to ask b/c I don’t feel like getting into it (and you are probably better off staying out of my head, anyway).

As good as dinner was, we could hardly wait to clear the table for dessert–the sweet cinnamon smell was calling to us!!!!  I served up two therapeutic-sized slices and we gobbled it up in silence–the only sounds being our forks scraping the plates.  Then we both looked at the rest of the cake and then looked at each other.  And smiled.  I nodded and served us up another slice.  Then the cake seemed to be a little bit crooked so we evened it up with a thin sliver.  And then another.  The cake is more than half gone now, but I’m consoling myself with the fact that if I’d made the cake in one pan, only a quarter of it would be gone.  Is there something wrong with me for thinking that a quarter of a cake isn’t that much? :)

All in all, a very nice & relaxed day (even the Dr. visit wasn’t bad–he was very happy that I’ve lost 15 pounds–and we parted with our usual hug) and the cake was…well, the frosting on the cake (though it might have undone some of my weight loss efforts)!  To make the ending as sweet for you as it was for us, I’ll leave you with the Honeybun Cake recipe, compliments of Tucky & her dear Mother.


Honey Bun Cake

BATTER:

1 box yellow cake mix
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 (8-oz) container sour cream
MIX WELL

FILLING:
1 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
MIX WELL

ICING:
1/2 cup milk
3 cups powdered sugar
MIX WELL WITH MIXER

TO PREPARE:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 9×13 pan.  Pour HALF the batter into the pan and sprinkle with filling. Pour remaining batter on top and bake at 350 degrees for 40 min. While cake is hot, poke holes in the top of the cake with a fork and then pour & spread icing onto the cake.  Chill and serve!

*Veronica’s Notes: I used two disposable 12.25×8.13×1.13 pans and divided everything between them.  I did double the icing, but that wasn’t necessary.  Also, I served it at room temperature and it was delicious.  I’m chilling it now to see if it’s better that way b/c I think the cake is still in need of some trimming.

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