Friday, June 12, 2009

Back to Earth

Oh yeah, I have a blog!

Holy crap, I've been busy. Even for me...between two choirs and work, a week hasn't gone by since February where I haven't been out of the house. And now tonight, on a lovely rainy June Friday, I've had a chance to sit, veg out on the Internet and do nothing.

Okay, I will admit that I did do a deep cleaning of the Camelbacks (in preparation for hiking to start sometime SOON - weather, did you hear that?), made a homemade dinner, baked up a batch of granola and did some writing. BUT STILL. It was done all at home with Chris happily programming downstairs and the dog always within about 5 feet of me.

And I did veg out on the Internet. A highly enjoyable pastime if not a total waste of time. But that is why we love it, do we not?

And for lack of anything else more interesting to post about - as befitting this evening of relaxing - here is my "recipe" (technique, really) for my killer homemade granola. The best part of this recipe is that if you don't have one of these ingredients, just sub it out for something else. No butter? Use oil. No Grape Nuts? Use Cheerios. The only thing that stays the same for me is the oats.

Mighty Nom Granola

(Exact amounts are to taste)
- 3 cups regular rolled oats
- Grape Nuts (or the generic version that neither of us like and we're trying to use up)
- Roughly chopped mixed unsalted nuts (cashews, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts)
- Raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup applesauce
- 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup or combo
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- Cooking spray
- Dried fruit
- Toasted coconut

First, mix all the dry, raw ingredients together (oats through pepitas) in a big bowl. In a saucepan, melt the butter then add the applesauce, honey, cinnamon, cardamom, salt, and brown sugar. Cook for just a minute. Pour over the oat mixture.

Spray a sheet pan with cooking spray and spread the mixture on the pan in an even layer. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 3 ten minute intervals, stirring at each break. When golden brown, take out of the oven and cool in the pan on a rack. Don't worry if everything seems soft. It will crisp as it cools.

Once cool, stir in the fruit and the coconut and try to stop eating it long enough to put in an airtight container. Use as a topping for yogurt or ice cream. Or just eat it as a snack.