Tag Archives: granola

No Baby Yet {recipe: cranberry vanilla granola bars}

16 Jan

Dear Baby,

Today is your due date. It is 11:36 a.m. and you are not here. You have shown no real signs of wanting to be here. That’s ok. I am usually late to stuff too, so maybe this is the first quality that you’ll take from me. Together, we will annoy your dad for the rest of our lives.

I have done a lot in the past few weeks. I have cooked enough meals that if I did not leave the house for a month, we could still eat well. Don’t worry, if you tear my insides up on your way out, it doesn’t matter because I won’t be having to stand up in the kitchen for any length of time. The freezer shelves are packed carefully with lasagnas with homemade sauce and enchiladas and stuffed peppers and other things that are easy to thaw and throw in the oven. Those all sound like dinner foods, huh? Well don’t worry, because we also have roasted chickens and roast beef for lunches and breakfast food too: batches of muffins and pumpkin bread and fresh granola bars.  And snickerdoodles and chocolate peanut butter cookies and oatmeal scotchies for dessert. It is ridiculous, but I couldn’t stop.

There are still some things I have not finished, but I don’t know that they’re too necessary. Like I haven’t made the mobile to go above your crib (that your little eyes won’t even be able to focus on for months), and I haven’t made the clock (that you won’t be able to read for years). All of the important things are in place, you have a carseat an diapers and a crib an a beautiful room, and most of all, parents and grandparents and lots of friends to love you.

Today we planned fun stuff to do, in case this day comes and goes and you are not ready to come out yet, so that we are not sitting there, staring at each other, waiting. But really we are still waiting. Anticipating. We are just doing it at a coffee shop surrounded by life. There’s a table of four people next to us learning French, a couple who looks like they’ve just recently met and are getting to know each other. There are people reading and studying and to my left there’s a woman from Colombia writing letters, and today, an old friend is the barista. So, we will wait, and we will mask our waiting with activities and plans and conversation, but really, we are just excited for you to get here.

So when you are ready, we will be ready too. Ready to love you with a love that I don’t even thing we understand yet.

Love,

Mom


Here’s something I made for quick breakfasts in the mornings to come:

Cranberry Vanilla Granola Bars

Makes 16 granola bars, one 9×13 pan.

2 cups oats (old-fashioned, not quick-cooking)
1 cup sliced almonds
3/4 cup shredded, sweetened coconut, loosely packed
2/3 cup honey
2 T. pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat your oven to 350. Butter  a 9×13 pan and line it with parchment paper.

Pour the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Dump the ingredients into a mixing bowl and reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.

Add honey, vanilla and salt to the oat mixture and stir until everything is coated in honey, then stir in the cranberries. Dump the mixture into your 9×13 pan and press it into the pan (if you wet your fingers, it’s a little bit easier because the granola won’t stick to your fingers. Get it packed in there as tightly as you can.

Bake about 25 minutes, until light golden brown.

Cool for a few hours, then wedge the giant granola rectangle out of its pan and place it on  a cutting board. Use a long, serrated knife to cut the giant rectangle into bars. Put the granola crumbles in a bag for yogurt topping later.

Now, here’s the key. Store these bars and granola-crumb bag in the freezer. They will last longer and be crunchy…rather than awkwardly sticky granola 🙂 If you want them for on-the-go eating, wrap them individually in foil and put them all in a plastic bag in the freezer. That’s what I did.

original  post: https://saltimbocca.wordpress.com/2010/01/16/cranberry-vanilla-granola-bars

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Beat the Tricky Weather {recipe: best granola}

20 Jan
 

Did you ever read Sybil? That is what our weather has been like. It’s cold, then hot, then cold again – all in one day. One day it will be cold in the morning and hot in the afternoon, and the next day it will be hot in the morning and cold in the afternoon. What’s a girl to wear? Is the daily question. But really, what’s a girl to cook? Is my eternal mantra, and the weather sometimes jacks up my plans.

No one wants to come over to your house and have soup when it’s 85 outside. And likewise, your ice cream is not as endearing when it’s skimming below freezing outside.

And on top of that, the allergies. I don’t have bad ones, but it seems like most do. The closest I come is our dog, who gets these horrible bumps inside his ears and on his legs and gnaws at his feet so long and intently that you wonder if he will make it to summer with any feet at all. That’s all to say I can’t imagine those ailments manifesting in my own body. Relentless allergies. 

Can you give us a foolproof recipe for unpredictable weather and allergies?

I can.

Granola! 

 

I have made many a failed batch of granola, but those days are over. This is a forgiving recipe full of hearty nutrients. It will be great for any time of year and any time of day, for that matter. I eat this granola for breakfast, or a snack, or dessert. 

This granola is full of honey. Use local honey to help build up you resistance to allergens!

Go for it and buy organic oats and cereal. You’re already making your own granola, go all-out to make it good for you! If you don’t like something, leave it out! If you love something, add more! That’s the beauty of granola.

 

Granola

3 cups oats 

1 ½ cups nuts, chopped (I used almonds and cashews)

¼ cup flax seeds

½ cup sesame seeds

2 generous cups cereal (I used puffed brown rice cereal and something that was cheerio-type)

2 cups dried fruit, chopped (I used cranberries, cherries and dried apples)

1 cup honey or brown rice syrup

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon butter

¼ cup brown sugar 

¼ cup molasses

2 teaspoons vanilla

 

Preheat oven to 350. Spread first 4 ingredients on 2 9×13 pans and toast for about 15 minutes, you’ll be able to smell  the toasted nuts. Remove from oven and stir in fruits and cereal.

When the pans cool, grease or butter them.

Meanwhile, heat the honey, salt, sugar, molasses, and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until ingredients are combined. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla.

Pour honey mixture into bowl with oat mixture and stir to combine.

Spread the mixture evenly into pans. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the granola turns golden. It will be soft and and sticky.

Let the granola cool for about 5 minutes, then remove from pan and spread on waxed paper. Let rest until completely cooled.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 10 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

 

Original post: https://saltimbocca.wordpress.com/2009/01/20/best-granola