cereal bars

cereal bar
cereal bar
cereal bar
cereal bar

As I’ve mentioned before, I changed my diet habits and am trying to eat well-balanced and healthy. So far, this has been really paying off. I lost about twenty-five pounds already and have no problem continuing this healthy lifestyle (which was always the hard part when I tried dieting in the past).
One of the big advantages are the blogs that offer recipes and healthy alternatives, but I’m also pretty good at inventing recipes myself so far. I’ve also been taking a couple of cooking lessons, organized by the organic food store I’ve been going to recently (its location, close to my office, is pretty convenient). Last week, I tried my hand at these delicious cereal bars, together with my friend Céline (whom I’ve met on Twitter, no less).
I tell you: these are easy as pie and are so delicious!

Cereal bars
5 cups of oats – 1 cup of sesame – 1 cup of sunflower seeds – 1 cup of coconut flakes – 1 cup of pumpkin seeds – 1 cup of almonds (roughly chopped) – 1 cup of oil (either sesame or sunflower oil will work) – 1 cup of rice syrup (I used 1/2 cup of rice syrup and 1/2 cup of agave syrup, but I think maple syrup would work equally well)

Preheat your oven to 150° Celcius.
Mix all ingredients, except for the syrup. Once all ingredients are mixed, add the syrup.
Put a sheet of baking paper on a baking plate and divide the mixture onto the plate.
Bake the crunch for about 15 minutes. Now this is the tricky part: bake the crunch for another 15 minutes, while keeping an eye on it every 5 minutes until it is golden brown and time to get it out of the oven.
At this point, the crunch will still be soft, so it’s best you divide the crunch into bars while it is still hot. Leave to cool completely.

See, I told you, easy as pie! Enjoy!

penne with butternut squash, pancetta & sage

Penne with butternut, pancetta & sage

Penne with butternut, pancetta & sage

Penne with butternut, pancetta & sage

Penne with butternut, pancetta & sage

Penne with butternut, pancetta & sage

I guess I’m a sucker for fall recipes, especially recipes involving any kind of pumpkin. So, when I stumbled upon butternut squash in my local supermarket, I ventured out online pursuing the best pumpkin/butternut recipes.

One of them was this penne with butternut squash, pancetta and sage. Sage goes extremely well with any variety of pumpkin, so it’ll be no surprise when I tell you that this one was a winner.
On a side note: Martha Stewart offers some of the best recipes, especially if you’re looking for typical American dishes. I just love her website (yes, I do realize that my (desperate) housewife-level is increasing rapidly right now).

Because I don’t always use the oven on weeknights, I usually put the butternut in a frying pan. If you don’t have fresh sage leaves around, you can easily replace them with dried sage herbs. You might want to add a tablespoon (or two) and taste to your liking. My experience, when using dried herbs, is that you have to use a lot more before it comes near the taste of fresh herbs.

(in the last photo you can see my one and only Le Creuset oven dish and my superb Microplane grater, both purchased at Byttebier)

Asparagus

asparagus

asparagus

asparagus

asparagus

asparagus

The asparagus season is full on which means asparagus dishes make it on our plate on a weekly base. I try to do something new with them now and then (tonight we had them with zucchini and soy sauce), but my favorite recipe never disappoints: asparagus with linguine and ganda ham.

Preparation:
Peel the asparagus and cook them for 8-10 minutes.
Cook the linguine and drain.
Add the cream to the asparagus and the linguine and toss until well combined. I also tend to add a bit of the cooking water of the asparagus as it adds to the overall taste.
Cut the Ganda Ham into strips and add it to the pasta and asparagus.
Finish with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.

Ingredients (serves 4):
– 1kg asparagus
– 250g linguine
– 200g Ganda Ham
– 125ml cream (light)
– 50g parmesan cheese

The tea towel featured in the last photo is by Hay (one can never own too many tea towels).
For more information on Ganda Ham, please visit their website by clicking here.