Archive for March, 2013

IMG_1318All that’s left of Martha Stewart’s Maple Nut Sticky Bars after packaging up for the school auction.  Paired with a gift certificate for baked goods how can you go wrong.  You can actually taste the product before ordering!  And these sticky bars were resplendent with candied ginger, sticky toffee, and roasted macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, and a few cashews thrown in for good measure.  I know, who has candied ginger and, for gosh sakes, maple sugar!  Martha … come on.  Okay – I admit – I did have both and was happy to be using them.  These were really lovely bars because they weren’t what you expected when you took that first bite.  The ginger packs a punch, but I loved it.  I added extra nuts to the recipe so I changed the name!

Macadamia Maple Sticky Bars

Not stopping there, I made a batch of Cardamom Maple Olive Oil Granola for the Class Basket as well.  What a wonderful, non-traditional granola recipe.  I like Cardamom although many people think it’s too strong of a spice.  Found in Indian, Middle Eastern, and Nordic baking, it has a strong and very distinct smell and flavor.  I have cardamom coffee from the Middle Eastern Market that I wouldn’t drink every day but it makes a nice cup of strong coffee.  I added pine nuts and coconut to the recipe for some extra, crunchy texture.  Super easy!  I went back and made another batch for myself …

Cardamom Maple Olive Oil Granola

Enjoy the Goodies – Raise Alot of Money for the School !

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IMG_1287Two Blokes and A Bus was our destination over Winter Break – actually it was the Mattress Factory parking lot in Bloomington, to be exact.  We couldn’t find the Mattress Factory but saw the towering double-decker coming down the street and just followed!  The moment it pulled into a parking space (a rather large one) the line started forming.  The temp was in the teens and the wind was blowing across Central IL so people started dropping like flies.  I drove 40 minutes for this so I’m staying put.  Just for the record, I would drive much, much farther for good food.

I don’t know the story behind the bus or the guys, but I do think some of them are actually British.  The guy’s accent taking my order sounded a bit contrived.  They’ve outfitted the main floor of the bus with a kitchen and a window for serving/taking orders.  And then upstairs they’ve put in wide booths for communal eating.  It’s cute.  It’s kitschy.  But the food was actually good too.  I had Baja Fish Tacos which could have used a bit more “stuff” on top, but still pretty good.  I tasted the Cuban Black Beans and Rice and those were rich and thick with a slight kick, and I also tried their hummus – an interesting version with what tasted like avocado and green olive.  They have a revolving menu and serve lunch and dinner in a variety of parking lots in Bloomington/Normal (the enlightened place on I-55).  As opposed to the “we’re afraid and too conservative to look to the future and allow creative food trucks in our town” (Peoria – the stuck in the mud place not on I-55).

IMG_1291Visit their Facebook page (I know – sigh – why do I have to go to FB) to find out where they will be on any given day and what they will be serving.  You can also rent the bus for parties, I believe.  Check out their website

I’d say worth the trip!

PS I love the wooden forks – where did those come from?  Where have I been?

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