Sometimes I think to myself, ‘Ya know, I really don’t get made fun of enough for being a vegetarian and going to art school and having ridiculously long hair and having a strange infatuation with Janis Joplin. I should really seal the deal with something like making my own granola from scratch.’ But I hear that granola is totally socially acceptable these days, and perhaps even embraced by all different walks of life – so I strongly encourage you to make this, because it is in fact delicious. And so much better for you and cheaper than that stuff they sell at the grocery store. People tend to think granola is a health food by default, which is really not true at all. Most granolas that you buy at the store have so much sugar and fat in them that you might as well be buying Coco Puffs. I will tell you right now, I am extremely particular about the food I buy. If it comes in a package, you should probably think twice before eating it. So after a lifetime of scrutinizing nutritional labels on cereal boxes, I finally said ‘duh! why don’t I just make this myself’ (okay, sorry, ending rant. no offense to anyone who does like coco puffs). But besides any of that, the cool thing about making your own anything is that you can change it up to suit your preferences. Some of these pictures are from the first time I made this granola with almonds, some of them I made with pistachios. You can use whatever you want. (hooray diversity!)
3 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds (or any other type of raw nut)
3 Tbsp ground flax
1/2 cup shredded coconut (if you can find unsweetened, use that, and increase the maple syrup to your taste, but I usually can’t so this is done with sweetened)
1 tsp cinnamon
4 1/2 Tbsp egg whites
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup maple syrup (or honey or agave)
2 Tbsp Tavern on the Green Meyer Lemon Olive Oil
1/2 cup raisins (or any other dried fruit)
Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, nuts, flax, and cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk together the egg whites, salt, maple syrup and olive oil. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix well. Spread mixture out on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 30 min or until toasted and golden brown. About 15 min in, stir the granola a bit and add the coconut. After cooled, mix in the dried fruit and store in an airtight container.
Included in the exciting barbeque fare of last weekend was this peach cobbler I threw together. And when I say threw together, I don’t mean it in the way a girl says “oh this outfit? Just something I threw together!” when she actually spent days dissecting the difference between a plain white tee from Urban Outfitters and a v neck from American Apparel (HUGE, let me tell you…). No, I mean this in the sense that I was like “hey, I need a dessert quick, I haven’t gone food shopping in a while, and oh look! a pile of almost overripe peaches!” I feel like this dessert was a bit of a lame milestone for me because it’s the first time I’ve baked something without a real base recipe (does that make me sound like a looser? probably). I mean, when I cook, I never use recipes – I just throw things that I like together in a pot. But baking is intimidating because it’s more of a science and I don’t know about you, but I failed AP Physics. And you know what? This actually wasn’t a total fail (I mean, it was gone by the end of the party, what more can I say?) but if you’re going to make this, there are a couple of adjustments I would suggest:
- either increase the amount of peaches or decrease the amount of cobbler topping. Who knew biscuits grew that much in the oven? I didn’t… obviously.
- use a deeper dish – I believe the one I used was 13 x 9 and it definitely should have been 11 x 7 or even 8 x 8, the ratio of peach to cobbler was way off
- actually go out and buy buttermilk – like I said, I threw this together, and all the biscuit or cobbler recipes I saw called for buttermilk, which I clearly don’t have lying around, so I researched substitutes and found that going half milk half plain yogurt is supposed to work, and it tasted fine, but I just have a feeling that authentic buttermilk would be better, especially because it was 1% milk and fat free yogurt, and let’s be honest… fat is what makes desserts delicious
so without further a due, here is the somewhat failed…
6 peaches, pits removed and sliced into eights
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. amaretto
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cup flour
4 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
4 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup plain yogurt
Preheat oven to 350°. Mix together all of the filling ingredients and pour into your baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With a pastry cutter, cut in butter until the size of peas. Whisk together yogurt and milk and pour into flour mixture. Stir until dough forms. Spoon onto peach filling in six mounds and sprinkle tops with sugar. Bake 30-45 minutes, until tops are golden brown.
One of my close friends from home just left for Argentina this week for a study abroad program next semester (apparently they start school really early there? Which only adds to my freaking out about how quickly the summer is going…) Anyway, we decided to throw her a going away party and thought that it should be super patriotic themed, so that she could, ya know, get her fill of America while she still can. And when I say we decided upon this, I mostly mean me, seeing as how no one else really got the memo and I was the only one who baked a cherry pie with patriotic ornamentation and got dressed up in stars and stripes and whatnot. Let’s top this all off with the fact that I own a legitimate picnic basket, that I decided to break out just for this occasion. haha. Clearly…. I’m really into theme parties.
Well, I will tell you this much, regardless of anyone’s stance on patriotism, everyone loved this pie (thanks Smitten Kitchen! you’ve always done me well), especially my friend Ali, who I’m sure is eating some amazing dulce de leche in Argentina right now.
My mom and I have a fairly unique/ unorthodox relationship. And when I say that, I mean it in the sense that I do all the dinner cooking, apron wearing and Martha Stewart watching, while she eats popsicles for lunch and has facebook mobile on her blackberry (I say this in the most loving of ways, of course haha). But anyway, she gets really excited when I come home for the summer because it means that I cook her dinner all the time, and I guess because she doesn’t really cook, she’s very easily impressed. Soooo when I had a large quantity of tomatoes from our back yard and an eggplant from the farmer’s market that needed to be used up, I just put them in the oven for a little bit and then mixed them in with some pasta and cheese, and my mom was BLOWN. THE HELL. AWAY. I think it might just be attributed to how local and fresh everything was (I am a bit biased, I always think my tomatoes taste better than any others), but to be honest, this was really good.
(about 2 servings)
3-4 cups cherry tomatoes
1/2 medium sized eggplant
1/2 red onion
1 cup white beans
2 cups whole wheat pasta
about 2 oz. mozzarella cheese
1 Tbsp. Garlic and Rosemary Olive Oil
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450. Cut up eggplant into about 1 in. square cubes and thinly slice onion. Toss together with cherry tomatoes in olive oil and salt and pepper. Pour onto a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes (after about 15, mix in the beans and stir vegetables). Cut up cheese into small cubes. When vegetables are done, toss together with pasta and cheese. Yum!
Last week we had this lunch-business-meeting-type thing, and accordingly, all of the food was made with Tavern Direct products. I can’t say that I have recipes for any of these, because I didn’t actually make any of them, but they’re all pretty much self explanatory: