Chocolate coconut breakfast squares made with Quaker® Simply Granola

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Quaker. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias #LoveMyCereal #QuakerUp

Quaker Simply Granola Chocolate Coconut Granola Squares - #Cbias #LoveMyCereal #QuakerUp #Spon

Isn’t it amazing how life changes us? If you would have asked me 12 years ago who was the person I worried about taking care of in the morning,  I would have replied -”me – and only me!”

Today “me” is the person I worry about the least, especially in the morning. That’s because mornings are all about making sure JP is up, fed and dressed by 7am with his lunch and schoolbag ready along with a hearty lunch for husband to take to work. By the time all that is taken care of, it’s time to run out the door to bring JP to school for the ungodly hour of 7:30am.

So yeah.. There’s no such thing as “me” time in the morning, I’m lucky to get the chance to put on makeup sometimes! I might try to be a supermom, but at some point we supermoms need to eat or we’re not super at anything. I can wake up starving some mornings, so I’ve  taken to eating my chocolate-coconut granola squares to satisfy the hunger. I like to use Quaker® Oats for my breakfast baking because they make the perfect filler. There’s also Quaker® Real Medleys®, Quaker® Oatmeal Squares, Quaker® Life and last but not least, Quaker® Simply Granola

Made from Quaker® Simply Granola (I used the kind with the almonds and raisins) these are decadent, filling  and will keep you going with the energy you need to pull you through the morning. I love them because they’re easy to eat in the car on the way to work with a hot cup of coffee or cold orange juice. I’m so thrilled that I thought to use them, because there’s both raisins and sliced almonds among all the granola clusters, making it a hearty ingredient for my recipe.

I found mine in the cereal section at Walmart.

Quaker Simply Granola Chocolate Coconut Granola Squares - #Cbias #LoveMyCereal #QuakerUp #Spon

When I got home, I got all my ingredients together:

  • 1 1/4 cup of flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup of butter or margarine
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • 2 cups of Quaker® Simply Granola
  • 1 cup of Quaker® Rolled Oats
  • 1 bag of chocolate chips
  • 1 bag of shredded coconut

Quaker Simply Granola Chocolate Coconut Granola Squares - #Cbias #LoveMyCereal #QuakerUp #Spon

First, I creamed the butter with the sugars until it was light & fluffy, then added an egg one at a time and continued beating on low. Then, while that beats slowly in the mixer, I mixed together the flour, salt, cinnamon &  baking soda in a separate bowl.

Slowly add the flour mixture to the fluffy wet mixture while it mixes. Once the flour is all mixed in, stir in the granola and rolled oats. Bake in a greased pan for 35 minutes at 350F. I let it cool completely when it came out of the oven before applying the chocolate & coconut.

After the squares have cooled, It’s time to make the the chocolate part. In a double boiler, I melted the chocolate chips until it was smooth and thick. I layered it on top of the cooked bars and smoothed it out with a large spatula before I dusted it off with some shredded coconut.

Quaker Simply Granola Chocolate Coconut Granola Squares - #Cbias #LoveMyCereal #QuakerUp #Spon

Chill in the fridge for a few hours before cutting them into squares, and store them in an airtight container. Enjoy!!!

Quaker Simply Granola Chocolate Coconut Granola Squares - #Cbias #LoveMyCereal #QuakerUp #Spon

What are some of YOUR favorite breakfast recipes? I’d love to hear about them!

Follow Quaker® on Pinterest and Facebook for great ideas and special announcements.

 

 

 

 

Western Union helps families stay close to loved ones when they are so far away

As most of you know, I am not from Texas or the United States. I grew up in Canada until I decided to come to school here and study at the Art Institute. To make a long story short, Not long after I started I met my husband and we’ve been together ever since. I graduated in 2006 and we wed in 2007 and had our firstborn son by 2009.

That sounds all sweet and nice, but there’s another side to it. When I watched this video put out by western union, it touched my heart. As an ex-pat, I knew how every single one of these people in the video felt. I got kinda weepy watching the very last lady from Brazil – take a look for yourself and see what I mean…

Similar to the people in the video, we do a lot of skype to maintain close ties, and JP talks to his nana and nonno as often as possible. Here he is showing my dad all about his video games!

Besides family, there’s plenty of other things that I miss from Canada, and that’s some of the local foods that are only available over there. Because it’s in North America, you can expect to find the same type of things you normally find over here – with a few minor differences.

Canada (specifically Montreal) isn’t really known for a “national” cuisine, and that’s probably because there’s so many different ethnicities all crammed into 1 tiny city. As far as native food is concerned, one of the things I miss the most is poutine.

behindthestudio-5

I know, I know – it’s 100% junk food, but it’s delicious and I miss it! You may have heard of it, because it’s popularity has been spreading in the US, but it’s still pretty difficult to find here in Dallas. It’s basically French fries, cheese curds topped with a savory brown gravy. MmmMmmMmm!

That being said, when I get a craving I must take matters into my own hands, and make it myself. The trouble is, finding the right gravy and the right cheese can be difficult. Luckily for me, I’ve found a local grocery store that sells cheese curds and my mother keeps me in a good supply of poutine sauce mix every time she sends me a care package from home.

behindthestudio-4

So this is what I do – I order a large french fry from any local fast food chain, go home and make the sauce then top with yummy cheese curds and dig in. It’s a small slice of heaven when I’m missing home!

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Crispy, cheesy fried rice balls with Minute Rice®

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I was given the opportunity to try Minute Rice, and our family loves it. Although I was paid to write this post, I’m sure you will find this recipe delicious!

Fried Rice Balls with Minute Rice - #MinuteHoliday #ad

I can cook lots of different things pretty well, but let me let you in on a little kitchen confession… One of the foods that i consistently burn is rice! You would think its kind of a simple side dish to make, no? Well yes, it is but when I cook it from scratch I almost always have a layer stuck to the bottom of the pan, and the rice is still a little bit hard to the bite.

*sigh*

Since rice is a side dish, whenever I make it there’s always a main course and another side that I’m making as well – so my attention can be divided in the cooking process. This is probably part of the problem! Rice is one of those great, gluten-free pantry staples that are easy, making both Minute® Rice White Rice and Minute® Rice Brown Rice wonderful choices to have when putting together a quick dinner. There’s even some newer products out too like Multi-Grain Medley, Quinoa and Thai Red Rice that cook in as little as 10 minutes! Again, cooking brown rice from scratch is nearly impossible for me to get it to turn out right.

So as a solution, I rarely use the kind of rice that can be cooked from scratch. Instead, I use instant rice such as Minute Rice® to make my life easier with consistent results. I’ve been cooking up a lot of different appetizers lately, and I’ve got a real winner for you today – fried rice balls, otherwise known as arancini in Italian. These balls are made of rice, stuffed with a mozzarella cube in the middle, breaded and fried to perfection! You can add a little Marianna dipping sauce on the side for some extra flavor too.

I started with making a large batch of minute rice, and instead of using water as the package directions recommend, I used chicken stock.

Fried Rice Balls with Minute Rice - #MinuteHoliday #ad

The rice is so simple to make – I made a large batch (2 cups dry rice + 2 cups of chicken stock) and let it cool on the counter while I got my other ingredients ready. You will need:

  • 1 cup of Italian bread crumbs
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup shredded Asiago cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Vegetable oil for frying

The rice is pretty hot once it’s ready to eat… See the steam? I let it cool until it was warm.

Fried Rice Balls with Minute Rice - #MinuteHoliday #ad

While that was cooling, I sliced some mozzarella cheese into small cubes so they can be stuffed into the rice balls as little surprises. I also grated some Asiago cheese and mixed it together with the Parmesan cheese. Once the rice is warm to the touch, mix in the cheese and crack one of the eggs in the mix.

Fried Rice Balls with Minute Rice - #MinuteHoliday #ad

Fried Rice Balls with Minute Rice - #MinuteHoliday #ad

Fried Rice Balls with Minute Rice - #MinuteHoliday #ad

Blend it all together until its nice and sticky. Be careful not to add the egg while the rice is too hot or you may have scrambled eggs in your rice, and you don’t want that. A nice, sticky, messy mess is what you want.

Fried Rice Balls with Minute Rice - #MinuteHoliday #ad Grab a little handful of the rice, and put a little piece of the mozzarella in the middle. Form it into a sticky rice ball. Now its time to get it ready for frying, and that’s where you need the other 2 eggs and the breadcrumbs. Lightly beat the eggs in a bowl and dip the rice ball in the egg and then coat it in the breadcrumbs. Set it aside until you have the oil in the pan nice and hot.

Fried Rice Balls with Minute Rice - #MinuteHoliday #ad

When the oil is nice and hot (med to med. high) drop each ball in the pan Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn on one side! Fry until the outside is brown and crispy.

Fried Rice Balls with Minute Rice - #MinuteHoliday #ad Serve with marinara sauce for a delicious appetizer!

Fried Rice Balls with Minute Rice - #MinuteHoliday #ad

Fried Rice Balls with Minute Rice - #MinuteHoliday #ad

 Learn more about Minute® Rice and all their products they have available, including their treasure trove of recipes!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Minute® Rice.

 

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