Press a Panini lately?

April 20, 2014

A panini is a great addition to every menu. What is a panini? If you like crunchy crust, melted cheese and want it quickly and portable, a panini could fit that order. the first time I discovered a panini was at a rest stop in Italy. My sister, brother and I were on a pajama tour of Europe, 9 countries in 12 days. (i know, such craziness) The tour bus stopped at the fanciest rest stop. No vending machines w mediocre snacks and bad coffee here. The Italians have it right,  traveling is hard enough let’s have cafe style food and hot coffee  at rest stops. Travel is part of the journey so let’s enjoy it.

Ck back for the rest

Crockpot Barley and Lentils

February 23, 2014

I made this for my family and my daughter liked it so much that she told me to put it on the blog. So here it is. The best part is that you load it up in the morning and the crockpot does all the work. I love that. Lentils are high in fiber and a vegetarian source of protein. You can use it as a main or as a tasty side dish. It freezes well so you make once and eat twice. It is important to use as little sodium in this recipe as possible because salt will make the skins of the lentils toughen up. (as it will with beans too).

Software-1 bag of lentils, 2 C of pearl barley, diced sweet onion, chopped celery, chopped carrots, sliced mushrooms, diced green/red pepper, 1 bay leaf, red wine vinegar (optional), 1-14 oz can of italian stewed tomatoes, 1 box of extremely low sodium chicken stock, teaspoon of minced garlic

Hardware-cutting board, knife, colander, bowl, crockpot, ladle,

Steps

Wash lentils and barley carefully to make sure there aren’t any pebbles. Now it is just a matter of layering ingredients in the crock pot. Put them in as the base layer, Add celery, add onions, add mushrooms, add, diced peppers, add bay leaf, minced garlic, tomatoes, chicken stock. Let it go on low for 4-5 hrs. You should stir from time to time. Towards the end of the cooking time, add Garlic Salt and give it a final stir. Ladle it up. I like to splash a little red wine vinegar on top of each bowlful but that is optional. Enjoy.

ps. This is a beautiful base under a nice piece of halibut, salmon, sea bass or seared scallops

Granola Breakfast Loaf bread

February 22, 2014

One of our Granola of the Month Members requested a recipe using our granola in a new way.  Since our granola has so many tasty tidbits and nutritional power packed ingredients, this is a wonderful addition to your muffin recipe collection. This texture comes out like a loaf of sandwich bread rather than a sweet quick bread. (ie banana bread)

Software- 2 and 1/2 C Original Blend of Chef Sonia’s Granola, 1 and 1/2 C unbleached wheat flour, 2 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 tspoon salt, egg substite equivalent to 2 large eggs, 1 C plain low fat yogurt, 1/4 C unsweetened apple sauce, 1/4 C butter, 1/4 C brown sugar,1/4 C pure maple syrup,

note-If you do not have any of my granola, you may substitute another brand but add 1/2 C of chopped nuts, and 1/2 C of dried cranberries. (Disclaimer-it may not be as good as if you had made it with mine, wink.)

Steps.

  • preheat oven to 350 F. Line your muffin pan with paper liners.
  • Set aside. In a large bowl put flour, baking powder, baking soda and whisk to break up lumps.
  • In a medium bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar.
  • Add to the creamed butter, lightly beat egg substitite with yougurt, applesauce, and maple syrup.
  • Pour the wet team (the yogurt mixture) on top of the dry team.
  • Fold the wet ingredients on top of the dry for 10 stirs.
  • Pour in 2 C of the granola. Stir til the granola is incorporated into the batter taking care not to overstir, about 3 stirs (Overstirring any flour mixture creates a tough batter.)
  • Using an ice cream scooper, divide batter into the cupcake liners til about 2/3 full.
  • Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 C of granola as a topping.
  • Cover the muffins lightly with foil to prevent the granola from burning.
  • Put them in the oven. AH- Adult Help needed
  • Bake for 8 mins. Take the foil off and continue to bake til a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs on it. Not completely clean.
  • Remove from oven. AH- Adult Help needed. The carry over heat in the muffins will continue to cook the muffins so they are perfect.

The hardest part is waiting for them to cool down so you can eat them. These are a perfect breakfast on the go as well as afternoon pick me up. Deliciousness you can feel good about. Enjoy. If you like them, please review it and share a comment. Thank you.

Minestrone aka Stone Soup

January 29, 2014

In the winter days, I love to have a lovely bowl of soup. This one is one of my favorites to make since I can load up the Crockpot the night ahead and let it do all the work for me. As a seving suggestion you can have it with cheese pizza (my son’s favorite), garlic bread, or use it as a side dish to anything else…like meatloaf.

Software-Various Veggies – onion, celery, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, potatoes, Frozen peas, frozen corn, Flat leaf italian parsley, Low Sodium Chicken Stock, Italian Stewed Tomatoes, Packet of Beef Stew powder, Small tube or elbow Pasta, bay leaf, minced garlic, lentils, barley, and water. Grated Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top when serving. (optional)

Hardware- Crockpot, can opener, ladle, knife, cutting board, spoon, wooden spoon, One Well Washed River Stone (optional)

Procedure

-Wash all your veggies, peel the onion, cut into small chunks so they cook faster. Chop the parsely while you got the knife and board out and set it aside in the fridge in a tupperware to be added later.

-Wash the lentils and barley in cold water to make sure there aren’t any pebbles. Drain the water and place them in the crockpot as your first layer. Along with your River Stone. (optional)

-Next add all your fresh veggies except the parsley & potatoes. Don’t add the frozen ones yet

-add the stew packet powder, the canned tomatoes, and chicken stock, bay leaf and garlic

Set your crockpot to low and let it go 6 hrs to overnight.

In the morning, give it a stir, add the potatoes, at 2 pm add the pasta and frozen peas and corn. Add in the parsely and give it a final stir. When you get home from afternoon activities, your house should smell great. Ladle it up and receive compliments on a yummy soup.

“TM” from my classroom. Stone Soup is an old folk tale that features a hungery soldier who asks for some food and was denied. So he asks for a stone. She gives him a stone. Soon the stone is bubbling away in a pot of water. As the old woman add what she has at home it becomes a delicious large pot of soup. As we look at the ingredients going into our pot along with our smooth river stone, we discuss characteristics of each one. The ones that mimick stones are frozen peas, lentils, barley, uncooked pasta.

Hip Hip Hurray!

January 3, 2014

A big heartfelt Thank You to all the Granola By The Handful Supporters. We are so blessed to say that Chef Sonia’s had hundreds of people munching in good health this holiday season. We hope you enjoyed giving a gift that was handcrafted with lots of love and care. The Chocolate Cherry Agave was finally ready to join our line up of delicious products. This holiday season we also introduced the Premium Trail Mix of Dried Cranberries, Sour Cherries, Roasted salted Cashews, Honey Roasted Peanuts, Roasted Salted Almonds, And Ghirardelli Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips. Talk about a portable power snack. This trail mix will have you energized and satisfied.  A new seasonal product is the Granola Breakfast Bites. With so many requests, for a granola bar, the Bites are Chef Sonia’s version of an “improved” granola bar. It’s easy to take around, won’t crumble allover your clothes or car. Perfect as an on the go breakfast or whenever you want a lightly sweetened healthy treat. Look for it in your favorite stores around the holidays. If your favorite stores don’t carry our amazing line of products, please pass on our website and tell them you’d like our products in there. Your referral is our best promotion. As always, Thank you for your support and Munch in Good Health in the New Year.

Cheers,

Sonia Chang

Our On line storefront

May 17, 2013

Yippee! We now have a website to buy our amazing granola that you can order from 24/7. Cause you never know when that late night munchies attack will happen. Go ahead and check it out in your PJs. We won’t tell. http://www.granolabythehandful.com

Gluten Free Cooking Demo at Whole Foods Market in Hastings Ranch-5/18/13

May 17, 2013

Simple Guacamole by Sonia Chang at Whole Foods Market

Guacamole is best when mixed up right before serving. If you do have to store it a few hours before using it, then put it in a narrow container and place plastic wrap directly on top of it. The plastic will prevent the air from oxidizing your avocados.

Hardware-big mixing bowl, potato masher, cutting board, knife, plastic juicer, mixing spoon, flatware spoon, zip top plastic bag, pizza slicer

Software-Ripe avocados, Fresh lime juice, Chopped Cilantro, Garlic salt, cherry tomatoes, diced red onions (optional)

Steps

  • Wash the Avacados and lime.
  • Rinse off the cilantro and chop it up by rolling the pizza cutter over the leaves. Remove any thick pieces of stem. Set aside.
  • Rinse off the tomatoes and dice. (optional) Set aside.
  • Cut the avocados in half by rotating the avocado around and keeping your knife still. Give it a twist and pull apart
  • Using your flatware spoon scoop out the shell into the big mixing bowl
  • Putting your hand under a kitchen towel, place the avocado half with the seed stuck in it on the towel. Wack the seed with a knife so that the blade is slightly embedded in the seed. Give the knife a twist to remove the seed. Place your hand over the back of the knife and pinch right behind the seed and this should make the seed fall off the knife w/out any threat of cutting yourself
  • Scoop out the shell into the plastic bag
  • Sprinkle it with garlic salt. Remember to use less because you can always add more later
  • Press the air out of the bag and zip it up. Mash up the avocados by squeezing the bag.
  • Cut the lime in half and put it in the juicer. Squeeze lime juice to a bowl.
  • Open the bag. With a teaspoon add juice to the bag.
  • Add the cilantro and red onions (optional) and smash it around in the bag.
  • Add the tomatoes and stir gently. Chill until ready to serve

 

I like to serve this with baby carrots, celery, or cucumbers. Enjoy.

To see more recipes check out my kids cooking blog www.chefsonia.wordpress.com

I can be reached via email at chef.sonia.s@gmail.com

To order our amazing Wheat Free Original or Wheat Free Jalapeno granola, go to http://www.granolabythehandful.com

Fancy Apple Slice by Sonia Chang at Whole Foods Market

This is a great tasting treat that will wow your guests and you don’t need to tell them how easy it is to make it. It also is a wonderful treat for your lunchbox or next picnic.

Hardware-knife, cutting board, butter knives, serving plate, bowl, 2 small bowls, paper towel

Software-fresh orange, organic fuji apple, organic granny smith apple, spreadable chocolate, peanut/almond butter, your favorite granola

Steps

  • Wash and slice apples
  • Cut orange in half and squeeze over the apple slices to prevent oxidation
  • Toss lightly to coat with juice
  • Pat lightly with paper towel
  • Using the butter knives, put some of each spread in small bowls so that you have one with chocolate and one with nut butter
  • Dip one third of an apple slice in a spread then top with granola.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy.

Yogurt Fresh Fruit Granola Parfait by Sonia at Whole Foods Market

Here is a wonderfully simple and delicious breakfast or snack that kids can feel proud of and create all on their own. Put it in a tall clear glass for that perfect fancy touch to any brunch.

Hardware-egg slicer, colander, serving glass, spoon, piping bag,/Ziploc bag,

Software-fresh bananas, organic fresh strawberries, organic fresh blueberries, mint sprig, vanilla yogurt, granola,

Steps

  • Wash off fruits. Set aside
  • Using an egg slicer cut all the fruit into slices. Set aside in a small bowls
  • Scoop out yogurt into piping bag.
  • Squeeze yogurt into the serving glass
  • Add a layer of prepared fruit
  • Sprinkle with granola.
  • If you have room in your glass repeat the layering process.
  • To add the final touch. Top it with a fanned out strawberry and sprig of fresh mint.

Serve to your guests and receive lots of compliments. Enjoy

Locations where you can get your hands on our Amazing Granola

April 15, 2013

As you know our amazing granola is not your run of the mill granola. We have taken the simple lowly oat and taken it to all new heights of culinary artisanal achievements. No longer does your bowl of oatmeal have to be so bland, or your yogurt so yesterday. By adding just a few tablespoons of our incredibly crunchy and irresistibly delicious granola, you have taken that healthy breakfast/snack to a new level of satisfaction. If it is healthy and good for you, but tastes terrible, you will never eat it. So I have given you a healthy and unbelievably tasty handcrafted munchies buster. Its a “Super Hero”. Keep our granola on hand so you will munch on it instead of that candy bar or be tempted to do a fast food run.

We are growing our retail market in leaps and bounds. Here are some locations that carry our Granola By The Handful. Please stop by and get a bag for you and a bag to gift someone. It will bring a smile to anyone’s face.

The Apple Cart (La Canada), Los Gringos Locos (La Canada), Descanso Garden’s Gift Shop (La Canada), Fancy Corner Gift Shop (La Canada), La Canada Mailboxes (La Canada), The Smoothie Stop (La Canada), The Fritz Winery’s Tasting Room (Napa Valley),  Angel Snack Gift Store (Koreatown),  The Tickle Tree Cafe (La Crescenta), Still Yoga (Silverlake), LA Arboretum’s Gift and Book Store (Arcadia), Keep checking this post since we keep adding more and more locations. If you have a favorite place you like to support and think our granola would compliment what they are selling there, please let me know and I will contact them. 

Yippee! We now have a website to buy our amazing granola that you can order from 24/7. Cause you never know when that late night munchies attack will happen. Go ahead and check it out in your PJs. We won’t tell. http://www.granolabythehandful.com

Recipes Using Our Awesome Granolas

March 26, 2013

Here is an easy snack idea using Chef Sonia’s Original Blend Granola. (The Original Blend has Pecans, Cranberries, Maple Syrup, Brown Sugar, Canola Oil, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Organic Wheat Pockets, Raw Wheat Germ, Flax Seed Meal, and of course Rolled Oats. All toasted up to a perfect Crunch.)


Simple Apple Tart in 30 mins.

Wash 3 green apples. Slice the apples into thin slices. You can leave the skin on. Set aside. Simmer together 2 Tb of brown sugar and 3 Tb of water in a saucepan to create a simple syrup. Toss the sliced green apples in the hot sauce. The heat from the syrup will wilt the apples. Unroll puff pastry dough. Using your fingers, press together any cracks. Arrange the apple slices as you wish on the dough in a thin layer. Bake in a 400 F oven til pastry dough puffs and becomes golden brown. Remove from oven and let it cool a bit. Slice into squares and sprinkle with original blend granola.  Serve immediately and enjoy! 
 

Fancy Apple Slice by Sonia Chang at Whole Foods Market in Hastings Ranch

This is a great tasting treat that will wow your guests and you don’t need to tell them how easy it is to make it. It also is a wonderful treat for your lunchbox or next picnic.

Hardware-knife, cutting board, butter knives, serving plate, bowl, 2 small bowls, paper towel

Software-fresh orange, organic fuji apple, organic granny smith apple, spreadable chocolate, peanut/almond butter, our Original Blend granola

Steps

  • Wash and slice apples
  • Cut orange in half and squeeze over the apple slices to prevent oxidation
  • Toss lightly to coat with juice
  • Pat lightly with paper towel
  • Using the butter knives, put some of each spread in small bowls so that you have one with chocolate and one with nut butter
  • Dip one third of an apple slice in a spread then top with granola.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy.

Check if your child’s school is a peanut free zone. If so use your favorite almond butter or sunflower seed butter. I like creamy Barney butter.
Yogurt Fresh Fruit Granola Parfait by Sonia at Whole Foods Market

Here is a wonderfully simple and delicious breakfast or snack that kids can feel proud of and create all on their own. Put it in a tall clear glass for that perfect fancy touch to any brunch.

Hardware-egg slicer, colander, serving glass, spoon, piping bag,/Ziploc bag,

Software-fresh bananas, organic fresh strawberries, organic fresh blueberries, mint sprig, vanilla yogurt, granola,

Steps

  • Wash off fruits. Set aside
  • Using an egg slicer cut all the fruit into slices. Set aside in a small bowls
  • Scoop out yogurt into piping bag.
  • Squeeze yogurt into the serving glass
  • Add a layer of prepared fruit
  • Sprinkle with granola.
  • If you have room in your glass repeat the layering process.
  • To add the final touch. Top it with a fanned out strawberry and sprig of fresh mint.

Serve to your guests and receive lots of compliments. Enjoy

Crunchy Confetti Cornbread featuring our Jalapeno Granola (really)

You know how on Muffins the crunchy crumb topping is the best part. Well, here is a Cornbread recipe that has that same effect. And believe it or not, our Jalapeno Granola is the crunchy topping that gives it the magic touch.

Moms Next Christmas Boutique Fundraiser

November 30, 2012

Moms Next Christmas Boutique Fundraiser

Granola By The Handful Premiere Launch!


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