Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Best Homemade Granola

Every year, my mom makes a huge batch of this granola to give out as Christmas gifts. I usually run out in March, grieve a little, and then try to convince her to make more. This was the first time I've made it myself, and I couldn't believe how easy it was. Maybe it's my inner Monica Gellar, but I felt a little bit triumphant in creating something that's more delicious and way healthier than what you can buy in bakeries or stores.

what you need: 
4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut (be careful if using organic - it burns easily)
2 cups sliced almonds
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (my EVOO of choice for cooking & baking)
1/2 cup good honey (get local honey - it helps protect against local allergens)
1 1/4 cup dried apricots, diced into small pieces
3/4 cup dried cherries

how to make it:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Combine oats, coconut, almonds in a large bowl
  • Whisk together the honey and EVOO in a small bowl, pour over oat mixture until it is evenly covered
  • Pour granola onto a baking pan, spread evenly (line it with parchment paper or a silpat if you don't want it to stick)

  • Bake for 20 - 30 minutes, checking and stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn't burn 
  • Exact baking time varies by oven - just stay close & watch it around 20 minutes - it will be done when it has an even, golden brown color

  • Once cooled, mix in the apricots, cashews and cherries (I like keep the dried fruit minimal, but you can also add in dried cranberries, dried figs, etc.)
  • Voila! Add some berries and greek yogurt, and dig right in
  • Store the rest in an airtight container

Confession time: after I made this, I definitely had it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Several days in a row. I dare you to try and not do the same.

(Recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa's homemade granola. All photos by the talented Rachel Ashley.)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Rainy Day Links

In San Diego, we're experiencing this little-known phenomenon called weather this weekend. It's so rare for us to have a stormy day, much less an entire stormy weekend. I'm really appreciating the occasion to pause and hibernate for a few days. But before I sign off, I wanted to share a round up of what I've been reading this week...

A recipe for a hot ginger toddy that I'm planning on making later today, when I'm snuggled up on the couch with a good book.

Why I'm working on adding more fermented foods to my diet. Recipe coming soon for kimchi brussels sprouts.

This minimalist, library-themed hotel in Thailand that I can't stop day dreaming about.

Homemade, healthier nutella. Yes, please.

My girl Michelle Obama announced this week that food labels are getting a makeover, with more realistic serving sizes, prominent calorie counts and an added sugars column.

Have you heard of laughter yoga?

Cute, printable Oscar party ballots.

Have a great weekend, friends!

Photograph: Greg Kandel for Vogue Italia, November 2007