You know how when you have an idea and then it turns into another idea which turns into another then another and then at the end it’s nothing like what you had initially imagined? That’s what happened with these guys. I went into the kitchen to make maple coconut granola and came out with bars that had no maple or coconut in them!

These turned out very well, much better than I expected. They were slightly chewy right out of the oven but they’ve firmed up considerably since then. I put quite a a bit of nuts in them because my husband will take these to work and he needs the protein but feel free to scale back. Also, use whatever nuts you like. Same with the dried fruit, I had dried cranberries but raisins, dried blueberries, dates, anything would work beautifully.

Cranberry Walnut Granola Bars

Ingredients

2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment or grease pan generously.
  2. Combine oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, cranberries, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and salt in a large bowl. In a seperate bowl, combine honey, egg, applesauce, and vanilla extract; add to dry ingredients. Stir well to make sure everything gets moistened.
  3. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the bars start turning golden brown. Cut into bars shortly after coming out of the oven and allow to cool on cooling rack.
http://fakeginger.com/cranberry-walnut-granola-bars/

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This is by far my favorite slow cooker recipe ever. In my pork chop post I talked about my love of all things pork, so obviously I’m going to love pulled pork. Pork + bbq sauce = best thing ever.

This isn’t even a recipe, just a method I guess. You can use whatever size pork loin you want. I usually aim for 3 pounds but you could do less for a family that eats less than we do or more to feed a crowd.

I posted the bun recipe I used here if you’d like to try your hand at those. They’re made in the bread maker so super simple!

Slow Cooking Thursday – Pulled Pork

Ingredients

pork loin
can of soda (rootbeer, Coke, and Cherry Coke all work great!)
bottle of BBQ sauce

Instructions

  1. Put pork loin in slow cooker and pour soda over top. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Remove pork loin and dispose of juices, keeping 1 cup. Shred pork, put back in slow cooker, and begin adding BBQ sauce until you reach your desired amount. Add reserved juices if you need to.
http://fakeginger.com/slow-cooking-thursday-pulled-pork/

Visit Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for more slow cooking recipes!

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Pork is the one meat that I could eat everyday and never get sick of it. Unfortunately for me, pork is EXPENSIVE around here. I’m consider myself lucky if I can find a pork loin for under $4 a pound. Last week I was lucky enough to find both bone-in and boneless pork chops on crazy sale so I stocked up. Expect lots of pork recipes soon.

I pulled this recipe out of Gourmet just a few nights ago and I’m not even sure why it stood out to me. It’s just a pan fried pork chop and parmesan green beans but together… together they are amazing. I cooked some brown rice to go with everything and the green bean sauce was even good on it.

Pork Cutlets with Smothered Parmesan Green Beans

from Gourmet

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 to 4 large shallots, thinly sliced lengthwise
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2/3 cup dry white wine
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon water, divided
2 teaspoon finely chopped sage
2 (12 ounce) packages frozen frenched green beans (do not thaw)
4 boneless pork cutlets or chops
1/2 cup grated parmesan

Instructions

  1. Heat butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a 12 inch heavy skillet over medium heat until foam subsides. Cook shallots and garlic with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, stirring occassionally until golden, about 5 minutes. Add wine and boil until reduced by half. Add cream, 1/2 cup water, sage, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and bring just to a boil. Add green beans and simmer tightly covered stirring occassionally until beans are tender and liquid is slightly thickened, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to bowl and keep warm.
  2. Clean skillet, then heat remanining 2 tablespoons oil in skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Pat pork dry and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, then cook, turning once, until lightly browned and just cooked through, about 4 minutes total. Transfer pork to a plate.
  3. Pour off oil in skillet. Return skillet to medium-high heat and add remaining tablespoon water, stirring and scraping up brown bits. Stir in bean mixture and meat juices from plate and heat over medium heat. Stir in parmesan.
  4. Serve pork over green beans.
http://fakeginger.com/pork-cutlets-with-smothered-parmesan-green-beans/
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Have I ever told you guys how much I love my bread machine?

I freakin’ love it. And now that my stand mixer is broken (why yes, husband, I am going to mention it every other post until you buy me a new one) I really, really, really love it.

For this recipe, I took a regular bun recipe that called for 10 minutes of kneading (or stand mixing…), an hour of rising here, some slapping down, more rising, etc. and turned it into a super simple bread machine recipe.

These are very good. They’re a little denser than grocery store buns but I liked them better. The tops and bottoms also started to get crunchy after a few minutes but I threw them all in a Ziploc bag and it softened everything right up. So keep that in mind if you want soft buns.

Bread Machine Hamburger Buns

Ingredients

1 cup milk, warmed slightly
1 cup water, room temperature
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon water

Instructions

  1. Add first 7 ingredients to bread machine according to manufacturer's instructions. Set to dough setting and press start. Add flour or water as needed.
  2. Once dough cycle is over, remove dough with floured hands. Divide into 12 even portions and shape into balls by pinching the bottoms together. Allow rolls to double, approximately 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven t0 400.
  4. Combine egg yolk and water. Brush over top of each roll. Bake rolls for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden brown.
http://fakeginger.com/bread-machine-hamburger-buns/


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Whenever I host a party or receive an invite to a party, someone always requests these wings. They’re sticky and salty and sweet and… amazing.

The original recipe, which came from canarygirl.com, calls for them to be oven baked and that’s the method I usually use but I’ve been itching to try them in the slow cooker to see just how tender they would be. And oh my gosh, they were falling of the bone!

Seriously, make these at your next party. Or for a random dinner. Or a midnight snack. I don’t care, just make them!

Slow Cooking Thursday – Sticky Chinese Chicken Wings

Ingredients

3 lbs chicken wings
3/4 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Mix soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic powder together. Toss wings in the mixture and allow to marinate overnight. In the morning, put wings and marinade in slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Remove wings from slow cooker and transfer marinade (now sauce!) to a small saucepan. Allow to simmer until thickened. Pour over wings and enjoy!
http://fakeginger.com/slow-cooking-thursday-sticky-chinese-chicken-wings/
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