Granola Goodness

Granola Pic2With all the crazy weather outside (helloooooooooooooooooooooo winter storms with 12+ inches of snow), there’s only one way to stay sane:  COOK.  AND EAT.  AND COOK SOME MORE.  AND THEN EAT A LITTLE MORE.  Why not?  This week’s cabin-fever inspired recipe was granola.  Let me ask you this, friend readers:  why the h-e-double-hockeysticks haven’t I made home-made granola before?!?!  Usually I go to Fairway or Whole Foods and spend at least 11 million dollars on .75lbs of delicious, nut-filled, healthy granola (by the price you’d think it was chunk of precious stones rather than almonds in it).  When you make it at home it’s just as tasty and sees a significantly lower proportion of moolah fly from my wallet into the coffers of “the Man.”  And while sticking it to the Man is definitely one of my main goals in life ~_^, I’m most excited about the tasty, healthy granola that now graces my breakfast table.  Want to partake in the granola goodness?  Try out this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup steel cut oats
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds (aka pepita)
  • 1/2 cup raw sliced almonds
  • 2 Tablespoons raw chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened, flaked coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup (I prefer grade B or any of the darker grades because it has a stronger maple flavor)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit (I like tart Montmorency cherries, but you can use any other dried fruit like raisins, goji berries, blueberries, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped, toasted pecans

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, pumpkin seeds, almonds, chia seeds, coconut, and cinnamon.  Mix well to distribute the cinnamon.
  3. Add the maple syrup, olive oil, and vanilla.  Mix to combine.
  4. Put the granola on a non-stick baking sheet and spread to form a single layer.  Bake for 10 minutes, then stir.  Bake for another 5-10 minutes, until golden brown and nutty smelling.  The cook time will change a lot depending on the age of your ingredients and your oven.  Be careful not to overcook!
  5. Take the granola out of the oven.  Add the fruit and pecans to the granola on the warm baking tray and mix (if you use raw pecans, you’ll have to add them earlier to make sure they get toasted with the other ingredients).  Let it all cool on the tray and store in an air-tight container.  This recipe makes enough to fill a quart container.

I love to eat this in the morning with plain, full-fat yogurt and some mixed berries.  Bon appetite!

What’s on the Menu? Exploring foodie ephemera with the New York Pulic Library

Food.  Growing it, storing it, cooking it, eating it, and collecting bits of its history.  It doesn’t matter, I’m interested in it all!  I tend to stumble across of lot of interesting sites on the internet that are dedicated to food culture.  Here’s my latest fascinating find.

The New York Public Library has a host of interesting websites, but the one I found is called What’s on the Menu?  It’s a collection of 45,000+ historic menus from the mid-1800’s to the present.  Each menu is presented as a high-quality scan that you can view, and if you’re feeling helpful, you can even assist with the library’s transcription’s efforts right through your web browser.  Sign up and you can help review transcriptions and get even  more involved in the database build.

NYPL Whats on the MenuAccompanying the site is the What’s on the Menu? Blog.  The latest posts include notes on train menus, the history of Chinese food in America, and even information on food history as related to the TV show Mad Men!

Do you know any other websites that have collections of food-related ephemera?  Share in the comments below!