A Holiday Gift Giving Easy Solution

November 11, 2014

Free Granola and other goodies at Byblos Meditteranean Bakery on Thurs. Nov 13. 3-7 pm.

This year let Chef Sonia’s take the stress out of Holiday Gift Giving. Need a gift for the friend, relative, boss, coworker, teacher, coach, secretary, carpool driver, crossing guard, scout leader, neighbor, mailman, anyone who likes to eat (haha). No seriously, our fabulous granola gift boxes make one unique and tasty gift. This VIP Sneak Peek is for our loyal granola fans to come taste all the yumminess for yourself. Pre order all your gifts and get free gifts for yourself.  I’ll have Byblos pizza for you to try too. While your here you can order a pizza “to go” using the Thurs nite to go special pricing. Yeah even better.
If you can’t make it, we can still ship out gift boxes for you via UPS (you will get 10% off shipping). Simply go to my website and place your order. I have a few new fun things for the gift box which will be unveiled at the sneak peek. And some lucky winner will get to take some home.

Halloween Spooks & Spiders Beware

October 29, 2014

Halloween spirit & sounds visited our home early this season. In August my sweet musician decided to fulfill his dream of creating a creepy eire completely original Halloween album. This proves that God has a sense of humor to put me, Ms unicorns & rainbows with Mr. Jack-O-Lantern. Well, I tried to be as encouraging & supportive as I could. And of course created a few cute Halloween edible ideas to nibble on while the music plays. So if your feeling inspired to create a Spooktacular Ghostly Good Meal, feel free to follow along.

Such a festive meal as this requires playing with your food. May I recommend the Spooky meal ideas from my Hastings Ranch  whole foods class. Or if you want to mix it up a bit, the pumpkin pancakes recipe  (under seasonal recipes) with nutella to draw the jack o lantern face would be fun too.

To be continued

Kiddie Cup Drawer Clutter

September 3, 2014

As moms we all have those lidded kiddie cups that come with a drink at restaurants. They are handy for accident prone kids, and some adults (like me). The cups are small enough for little hands and fit nicely in cup holders. The problem is when you get home, they fill up your drawer/cupboard and since the cups sizes vary from maker to maker, the lids are all different sizes too. I have found that by poking a chopstick thru the straw hole, you can keep them somewhat stacked and prevent them from floating around in your drawers. The cups usually stack ok. But finding the right lid in a hurry was a problem. Hopefully this will help you too. 

What I like to reuse the cups for….

That cup of water by the bed, freezing extra smoothies in and taking them with me on an errand. Put it in the cup holder and by the time, i come back to the car, it is defrosted nicely. Makes for a nice pick me up for me or the kids after school. I used them at a girlscout meeting so that the lids were insurance that we wouldn’t have a spill in the auditorium. If you bring different designed ones then the girls can remember what cup is theirs by the design. (or use masking tape and sharpie)

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. The panini we had there was ham & cheese. You could easy replicate this at home. A panini is also a great way to use up any left over hamburger buns, hotdog buns, ciabatta rolls, ect. A panini can make fridge leftovers look like they got an upgrade. Go ahead and be creative. They also freeze well. Squish them but don’t brown them very much, then when you want to use them let them defrost in the fridge and toast them in our toaster oven or fry pan til they are golden brown. That should be enough heat to remelt the cheese and soften the bread too.

Hardware- cutting board, butter knife, plate, panini press or if you don’t have one, no worries, you can use a frying pan/cast iron skillet and flatest plate you have or a crockpot (just for the weight of the stone), aluminum foil, chef knife, pancake flipper

Software- your favorite melting cheese, your favorite sandwich deli meat, soft spreadable butter or a spritzer bottle of “I can’t believe it’s not butter”, Bonus Flavor Burst- pesto or sundried tomato spread or olive tapenade or garlic artichoke spread. (pick one so as not to muddle the flavors)


spread your bread with the Bonus Flavor Burst of your choice.

Add the meat on top of that, then the cheese

top your sandwich with bread.

If you have a panini press, then follow the manufacturer’s directions. If you don’t, then do what I do…

Turn your stove to med low heat. Place your fry pan/cast iron skillet on the heat.

if your using a softened butter, you can plop  a small piece on the fry pan.

once the butter has melted, carefully lay your sandwich on the butter, top it with the foil piece and place the crock on top. The weight of the crock will compress your sandwich. Be careful to watch since you might have to keep a hand on top so that the crock doesn’t slide off.

Once you feel that it isn’t compressing any more, using a pancake flipper, turn the sandwich over and cover it with foil and place the crock on top again to finish the compressing process.

Once you feel that the sanwich is golden brown on both sides of the bread, place it on the cutting board and cut it in half on an angle.

Next comes the hard part, waiting for it to cool down. Many of mouths have been burnt by the hot melted cheese in a panini. Have some grapes, pear, or apple slices and you have the best roadtrip pitstop sandwich ever.

My favorites are…

turkey, provalone, pesto/leftover meatloaf, motzerella, sundried tomato spread/canadian bacon, pepperjack cheese/ leftover rotisserie chicken, garlic artichoke spread and brie

ps. feel free to post some of your favorite combos. I’d love to hear them.



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,


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.)


  • 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)


-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.


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)


  • 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


  • 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,


  • 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


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