Gingerbread Spice Dutch Baby

IMG_5129

Easy. Delicious. And, really, how cool looking is it – all puffy in that cast iron skillet?

I had never even heard of a “Dutch Baby” until I bought my copy of the Smitten Kitchen cookbook last fall.  But when I saw her gorgeous photo and read the description and ingredients for Gingerbread Spice Dutch Baby, I knew I had to try it.  Kind of sounded like a cross between a popover, and the Swedish pancakes my mom used to make when we were kids, but with gingerbread spices thrown in.  My kind of breakfast!

So one chilly Sunday morning I made one.  So easy.  I mean, really, SO easy (like, seriously, you mix the ingredients in a blender and then bake it for 15 minutes in the oven). And delicious.  It’s amazingly light and hearty at the same time.  And it makes your kitchen smell really good.  A perfect weekend morning breakfast treat…I’ve made them dozens of times since.

Gingerbread Spice Dutch Baby

INGREDIENTS

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon light molasses

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 cup whole milk

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Powdered sugar, for dusting

Pure maple syrup, for drizzling

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the eggs in a blender and blend for 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth and pale in color. Add the brown sugar, molasses, flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, salt, and milk and blend until smooth.

Melt the butter in a 9-inch ovenproof skillet over high heat, swirling it up the sides to evenly coat the pan. Pour the batter into the skillet and immediately transfer to the oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the pancake is puffed up.

Remove from the oven, dust with powdered sugar, and drizzle with maple syrup. Serve immediately.

Advertisements

Fried Egg Sandwich with Bacon and Blue Cheese [Egg Sandwich Lyonnaise]

2013-06-06 003

The first time I had a Salade Lyonnaise was at a birthday lunch for my sister-in-law Kelly at Café Chloe (a cute little French restaurant here in San Diego) and I was instantly in love.  The combination of bitter greens (typically frisée), lardons (crisp bacon pieces), croutons and a poached egg tossed in a warm vinaigrette…c’est bon.

Then our friend Christine (of “Blanquette de Veau” fame) served it at a dinner party at her home.  Again.  C’est bon.  So when I saw that Smitten Kitchen posted a recipe for a sandwich that was inspired by Salade Lyonnaise, I knew I had to make it.  She fries the egg, rather than poaching, and uses a little of the bacon grease to make the vinaigrette (oh my!) and adds crumbled blue cheese, all on a crusty ciabatta roll.  C’est très bon.  It’s a quick and easy and really delicious weeknight dinner.  Add a glass of white Burgundy, some pommes frites (aka shoestring French fries) and voilà…you’ve turned your kitchen into a little French bistro!

Fried Egg Sandwich with Bacon and Blue Cheese [Egg Sandwich Lyonnaise]

Makes 2 sandwiches

INGREDIENTS

2 ciabatta rolls

1 1/2 cups frisée (French curly endive), torn into-bite size pieces (I couldn’t find frisée either time I’ve made the sandwiches – I used a Spring mix once and arugula once…both were delicious)
1 bacon slice, preferably thick-cut (I actually used two slices!)
1 tablespoon minced shallot (from 1 small)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

1 to 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, divided
2 large eggs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

Split your rolls and put them in to toast.

Place frisée in a medium bowl.

Cut bacon crosswise into 1/4-inch wide lardons. In a small heavy skillet, cook bacon over moderate heat, until pieces are crisp. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels, reserving bacon fat in pan. Add shallot to bacon fat and cook for one minute, stirring. Add red wine vinegar and let hiss and bubble for 20 to 30 seconds, then remove from heat and whisk in Dijon. Immediately pour hot dressing over frisée and toss with drained lardons, salt and pepper.

Remove rolls from toaster and divide bacon-frisée salad between each bottom bun. You’ll want to heap on more than seems feasible or needed, especially once you realize how tasty it is. Top each salad pile with half (2 tablespoons) of the blue cheese.

Reheat skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and swirl it to coat the pan. Crack one egg into the skillet, season with salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium. I like to cover the skillet with a small lid at this point, as it seems to help the egg cook faster and more evenly. In one minute, you should have a perfect sunny-side-up egg. However, I find that for this sandwich, to somewhat rein in the mess, it helps to then flip the egg for 20 to 30 seconds, until the yolk is still runny, but less likely to run right off your sandwich.

Remove the egg from the pan and place it on top of the bacon-frisée salad on the bun. Repeat with remaining egg and come on, what are you waiting for? Dig in.

Cinnamon Roll Cake

2013-09-29 001

Debra, one of my very favorite coworkers, had a birthday (a BIG birthday) last month.  Okay, really, Debra’s not just one of my favorite coworkers, but one of my very favorite people on the whole planet.  Really.  She’s kind and thoughtful and funny and generous and has a laugh that is absolutely contagious.

I was invited to her surprise party but couldn’t make it, so I wanted to do something special to make up for missing it.  I asked her wife what her favorite baked good was.  She said, “Deb loves cinnamon rolls…lemon bars too, but cinnamon rolls are her favorite.”  Cinnamon rolls.  Hmmm…I think I’ve made them once or twice and I really didn’t have time to do the whole wait-for-the-yeast-to-rise thing.

Then I remembered seeing a recipe that someone had posted on Facebook for a Cinnamon Roll Cake.  I tried to find which friend had posted it (spent way too much time on that little venture), but couldn’t.  So I Googled.  Duh.  There were dozens of them…seems to be a popular recipe on Pinterest and the food blog circuit.  And they are all exactly the same recipe. So I went to the blog that I thought looked cutest (The Girl Who Ate Everything) and made that one.  It was really easy and smelled heavenly while baking.

(As a little side note here, it smelled so good baking that it caught Tony’s attention.  He came into the kitchen and asked what I was baking.  I told him it was for Debra’s birthday.  He said something along the lines of, “how come you always bake such good stuff for work and not for me?” Guilt.  So I made a second one!!!!  Crazy, I know…but at least this way I got to sample it!  And it tasted just as heavenly as it smelled.  All warm and cinnamon-y and gooey and delicious.  Tony loved it and the neighbors we shared it with did too.)  

2013-09-29 003

The next day, I took the one I made for Debra to work and left it on her desk.  And then waited for her to discover it.  A while later, she walked over to my cubicle and said, “Bruser…did you make this delicious cinnamon cake”?  And I said, “yes, it’s a cinnamon roll cake.”  And she said, “Cinnamon rolls are my favorite thing.”  And I said, “I know.”  Giggle, giggle.  And she said, “how did you know?”  Giggle, giggle.  “Did my wife tell you?”  More giggling.  Anyway…it was very cute.  She said she loved it.  Said it might even be one of the best things she’s ever eaten in her life, “like a cinnamon roll and coffee cake all in one.”

Later that night, Debra texted me a picture of her son 14-year-old Ethan eating a piece of the cake.  She said, “He’s in heaven, Bruser!”

IMG950862

So here you have it.  Cinnamon Roll Cake.  Like coffee cake and cinnamon roll all in one.  You don’t even have to wait until one of your favorite people’s birthday.  Make one this weekend. You’ll be so happy you might even laugh like Debra.

Cinnamon Roll Cake

INGREDIENTS

Cake:
3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1-1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup butter, melted

Topping:
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon

DIRECTIONS
Mix everything together except for the butter. Slowly stir in the melted butter and pour into a greased 9×13 pan.

For the topping, mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Drop evenly over the batter and swirl with a knife. Bake at 350° for 28-32 minutes.

Glaze:
2 c. powdered sugar
5 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

While still warm drizzle the glaze over the cake.

Wake-Up Casserole

wake up casserole 1

It’s rare that both of our kids are in San Diego at the same time.  Kyle is 26 and lives in Portland, OR and Ally, 24, lives in New Orleans.  But a couple of weeks ago, they were.  And, really, there’s nothing that makes me happier.

1016132_10151679826647148_1703726185_n

My three favorite people…Kyle, Tony and Ally

Kyle’s visit was really brief…basically stopping here on his way to and back from La Fonda (in Baja, Mexico) for his bachelor party weekend.  (Oh yeah, did I mention?  Kyle and Calla are getting married!  In TEN days!!! 10 days!!  In Sonoma.  At the White Barn at Oak Hill.  OMG!  So excited!!!)

Kyle and Calla

Calla and Kyle

Ally is here, off and on, for a longer stretch before the wedding.  I picked her up at the airport after she had been in Mexico City for two weeks and she and I drove to LA for Calla’s shower/camping/hiking/fair maiden weekend.  Then we came back.  Then Kyle was here.  Then Kyle went to Mexico, then back to Portland.

Then Ally left for a week to teach drumming to 7 to 9 year old girls at the Bay Area Girls Rock Camp (how cool is that?)  And now she’s back.  And her boyfriend Jackson will be here.  And then we’ll all leave for Sonoma for the wedding.  Kyle and Calla’s wedding!!!!  In 10 days!!

Okay, I was going somewhere food-related with this.  Right.  Wake-Up Casserole.  One of our favorite weekend breakfast dishes when they were younger and still living at home was Wake-Up Casserole.  It’s got everything you want for breakfast – eggs, potatoes, cheese and bacon (or ham) all in one dish.  It’s super easy and super delicious.  The recipe was in the Food section of the Union-Tribune many years ago.  I’ve since lost the original recipe, but, really, its so easy, I could basically make it just from memory.  Though I did look it up online, just so I could get a more accurate idea of the quantities so I could share.  I found it at allrecipes.com  (And you know what?  I really did do a pretty good job of memorizing it.)

So they were both here on the Friday morning before Kyle left for La Fonda.  I made Wake-Up Casserole.  Everyone was happy.  Especially me (and it didn’t have anything to do with the casserole)!

Wake-Up Casserole

(adapted from the U-T via my memory and allrecipes.com)

 INGREDIENTS

8 frozen hash brown patties

3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

10 slices cooked bacon, crumbled, from one of those 2.1 oz packages of fully cooked bacon (or you can use fully cooked ham, diced, if you prefer)

8 eggs

3/4 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground mustard

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease a 13×9″ baking dish.  Place hash brown patties in a single layer on bottom of dish.  Sprinkle with cheese and bacon (or ham).

In a bowl, beat eggs, milk, salt and mustard.  Pour over cheese and  bacon (or ham).

Cover dish with foil and bake for 45-50 minutes.  Uncover; bake 10-15 minutes longer until edges are golden brown, eggs are set and a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

Pistachio Pound Cake

523216_10150701652462148_496916874_n

This recipe was in the April 2012 issue of Bon Appétit, in their RSVP section (where readers write in to request their favorite restaurant recipes).  The reader who wrote in said, “The sublime pistachio pound cake at the Tasting Room in Houston is my dream dessert.”  And as soon as I read through the recipe, I couldn’t wait to make it.  And I did.  And it was so good that I was just looking for excuses to make it again.  For a couple of months, any time we either entertained here or we’d go to someone’s house for dinner, I’d volunteer  to bring a dessert and I’d make another Pistachio Pound Cake.  It’s buttery and light and citrusy and full of pistachios (don’t you just love pistachios?)  And it’s absolutely  gorgeous when you slice into it.  Yes, even sublime.

It’s delicious “dressed up” for dessert with some fresh whipped cream on the side (and maybe even a sprinkling of sugared pistachios…I did that once) and perfect for breakfast with coffee.

Anybody have a good excuse for me to make another one?

530866_10150701652382148_1346867416_n

Pistachio Pound Cake

INGREDIENTS

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 cups all-purpose flour plus more
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1 cup shelled, unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped, divided

DIRECTIONS

Arrange a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 325°F. Coat a 9x5x3″ loaf pan with nonstick spray. Dust pan with flour; tap out excess.

Whisk 2 cups flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add sugar; beat until well incorporated, 1-2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions. Add juices and zests; beat until well combined (mixture will look curdled), 2-3 minutes. Add dry ingredients; reduce speed to low and beat just until blended. Fold in 3/4 cup pistachios. Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup pistachios over.

Bake cake, rotating halfway through, until a tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely in pan. Run a sharp knife around sides to loosen; unmold cake. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

 Serve accompanied with a dollop of freshly whipped cream and sprinkled with a few sugared pistachios (optional).

Sugared Pistachios

Heat oven to 350°.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.  Slightly whisk an egg white in a small cup.  Transfer 1 tablespoon egg white to a medium bowl; whisk until frothy (discard remaining egg white).  Add 1 cup coarsely chopped pistachios and 3 tablespoons sugar; toss to combine.  Spread on lined baking sheet.  Bake for about 8 minutes or until dry and toasted.  Cool; break apart.

Chilaquiles

2013-04-30 001

A couple of Saturdays ago we had dinner at our friends Chip and Dale’s (yes, you read that right).  Chip had cooked a couple of pork butts on his beloved Kamodo grill (and not a “Big Green Egg” kamado…Chip’s is the authentic kind, made in Mexico) and then shredded the meat for carnitas tacos.  Everything was muy delicioso, as it always is at Chip and Dale’s (stop snickering…those are their names) and, as usual, there was a ton of food and a ton of food left over, so Dale sent us home with our own little stash of shredded pork.

Come Monday, I’m driving home from work and thinking about how much I’m looking forward to making our own carnitas tacos for dinner.  Alas, I open the fridge to discover that someone (who shall remain nameless, but he’s the only other person who lives at this house) had been snacking on the leftover pulled pork.  Slight change of plans.  What shall we make?  And, at this point, I don’t feel like going to the grocery store, so what shall we make using what we have on hand?  Tortilla chips, eggs, cheese, salsa verde, a little sour cream…Chilaquiles!

Chilaquiles (pronounced chee-la-KEE-les) is a traditional Mexican dish, usually eaten for breakfast or brunch, that consists of fried tortilla strips simmered in a red or green salsa.  From there, you find many different variations, with additions such as fried or scrambled eggs, cheese, chiles, shredded chicken or pork, sour cream, onions and cilantro.

I found a recipe that looked interesting and easy at Redbook magazine online.  It’s a baked version and you basically just layer all the ingredients lasagna-style and then put it in the oven for ten minutes.  It was suggested as a way to use leftover Thanksgiving turkey.  It was really, really good (and really, really easy).  The guilty leftover-pork-snacking-person just kept saying, “yum” between bites.  We’ll be making this one again… I’ll have to remember it next November!

Note: just made these again.  I skipped the whole first step of simmering the salsa in oil.  No need.  Just put a generous tablespoon of oil in the ovenproof skillet before starting the layering.  

Chilaquiles

(adapted from redbookmag.com)

INGREDIENTS

2 cups green salsa

2 cups leftover cooked turkey (or chicken or pork), shredded

4-6 ounces lightly salted restaurant-style corn tortilla chips

1/2 cup sour cream

1 cup jalapeño (or regular) Jack cheese, shredded

2 eggs, fried over-easy or to your liking

1/4 cup crumbled Cotija cheese (optional)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

DIRECTIONS

Heat oven to 425º.  In a small saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil over medium heat.  Add salsa and heat to simmering.

Spray a large, deep ovenproof skillet with cooking spray. Spread half of the salsa on bottom of skillet. Add half of the shredded meat, half of the chips, half of the sour cream, and half of the cheese. Repeat with the remaining salsa, meat, chips, sour cream, and cheese to make one more layer.

Bake for about 10 minutes, or until hot and cheese has melted.

While that’s baking, fry your eggs.

Remove chilaquiles from oven and spoon onto individual plates then top with fried egg, crumbled Cotija cheese (if using) and fresh cilantro.

Tally Me Banana Bread

2013-03-06 005

The other day, at the end of the work day,  I was sitting in my cubicle and heard people laughing and talking about banana bread.  So of course, I assumed there was some banana bread to be had and made a B-line for the office where the laughing and talking was coming from.  I was a little disappointed to see only a big box of past-their-prime bananas that were definitely ready to be made into banana bread.  I actually had been thinking about Smitten Kitchen’s “jacked up banana bread” and the following day we were having one of our monthly potlucks, so I grabbed a couple of bunches.   I didn’t catch the story of why or where the bananas came from, but when someone else asked the banana bearing coworker why she had so many bananas, naturally, I broke into my best Harry Belafonte “come Mr. Tally Man…tally me banana!”  Lol.  Hey.  It was the end of the day.

2013-03-06_11-59-04_768

So I get home with all of these bananas and Tony asks what I’m planning on doing with them.  I told him I’m going to make banana bread for the potluck.  He says, “you know how much I love banana bread, why don’t you ever make it for me?  You always bake the good stuff for work.”  (Right.  Same man who rolls his eyes and says things like, “what are we supposed to do with so many cookies/brownies/a whole cake?”)  Well…lucky for Tony I just happened to have a package of little aluminum foil mini-loaf pans.  I made three mini loaves, took two to work and left one just for him.  He was a happy camper.  (And, I still have a bunch of bananas in the freezer…Acai bowl????)

SK’s recipe is just about the best banana bread I’ve ever had.  And its really easy.  One bowl and a wooden spoon.  The only thing I change is that I add walnuts.  And name given this recipe by Deb of SK is “Elise’s Friend Heidi’s Friend Mrs. Hockmeyer’s Banana Bread, As Jacked Up by Deb (adapted from Simply Recipes)”.  That’s a little long.  Let’s just call it Tally Me Banana Bread.

Tally Me Banana Bread

INGREDIENTS

3 to 4 ripe bananas, smashed

1/3 cup salted butter, melted

3/4 to 1 cup light brown sugar (depending on the level of sweetness you prefer)

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)

1 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

pinch of ground cloves

1-1/2 cups flour

3/4 cup chopped walnuts (divided use)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, vanilla and bourbon, then the spices. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. If using walnuts, stir in 1/2 cup now.  Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup walnuts on top. Bake for 50 minutes to one hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

Acai Bowl with Tropically Inspired Everyday Granola…and a little Aloha

2013-02-17 005

Tony and I recently went to Oahu, Hawaii.  Well, actually, Tony was there on business (my father-in-law owns a commercial property in Honolulu and for the past year or so, Tony has been helping out with the property management) and I was finally able to “tag along” and flew over to meet him for a few days.

We had a really great time exploring the island.  We drove to the North Shore one day and just happened upon the Volcom Pipe Pro surf contest at Banzai Pipeline.  THAT was very cool.

2013-02-02 010

2013-02-02 020

Volcom Pipe Pro, Pipeline, North Shore, Oahu

We did a couple of really beautiful hikes…on the Kanealole Trail in the rainforest and all the way to the top of Diamond Head crater.  We even spent a little time just relaxing on Waikiki Beach and watching spectacular sunsets from our lanai.

Kanealole Trail

Kanealole Trail

View from the top of Diamond Head

View from the top of Diamond Head

Sunset at Duke's

Sunset at Duke’s

And, I guess it goes without saying, we ate some really good food too – fabulous dinners at Town (by far my favorite…the Salted Chocolate Pretzel Tart was to die for!) and Nico’s at Pier 38; mai tai’s and a gorgeous sunset at Duke’s and a yummy and healthy lunch at the very hip Fresh.  I even had my first ever Acai bowl from the Tropical Tribe food truck…which brings me to the point of this post.

photo1

Acai.  Pronounced ah-sah-yee.  The latest “superfood” that’s been popping up in health food stores and breakfast cafes and smoothie shops.  The berries are supposedly good for everything…anti-aging, weight loss, and overall health.  They come from acai palm trees found in Central and South America.  I admit I’m usually pretty skeptical anytime anything is called a superfood (I tried the goji berry and blech!) and it wasn’t really on my list of top five things to do in Hawaii, but the young Brazilian guy who owns Tropical Tribe is considering leasing space from my father-in-law, so Tony suggested we go by and give it a try.  So we did.  We had just finished our Diamond Head hike and were pretty hungry.  They do acai shakes and bowls…we opted for the bowl, served with granola, a little fruit and drizzled with honey.  It was a delicious, healthy and satisfying mid-morning snack.

So, upon returning to San Diego, I was inspired to make my own acai bowl, but frankly, didn’t know much about acai or where to even buy it.  I Googled and must have found a hundred different recipes.  And, as it turns out, our local health food store carries acai in the frozen individual puree packets.  (Apparently, you can also buy it in juice form and even sorbet.)  So I bought some and played around and experimented with a couple of different recipes.

2013-02-17 001

You’re basically just making a really thick smoothie.  The instructions on the brand I bought said to just break up the frozen packet and put it in a blender with some frozen fruit, a little liquid (if needed) and a little sweetener (if desired).  Well, I don’t know if it’s because our blender is about a thousand years old, but those frozen chunks of acai weren’t going anywhere at first!  I had to let them defrost a bit.  Then I blended the acai, frozen fruit and juice together until smooth; added half a banana and some agave syrup.  I topped it with some Everyday Granola (new tropically inspired version!), sliced banana and strawberry.  Is it a superfood?  Am I aging less?  Lol.  that has yet to be seen, but it is yumminess and aloha in a bowl!

Acai Bowl with Tropically Inspired Everyday Granola…and a little Aloha

(makes one large serving or two smallish servings)

INGREDIENTS

1 3.5-ounce pouch frozen acai puree

1 cup frozen fruit (any combination of your faves.  I used a berry medley and pineapple)

1/4 cup orange juice

1 whole banana, peeled and cut in half (divided use)

1 tablespoon agave syrup or honey (or more or less, adjust to your taste)

1/2 cup Everyday Granola (Tropically Inspired version…see below)

1/2 cup your favorite fresh fruit

DIRECTIONS

Defrost acai packet slightly (if you have a really powerful blender, you probably can skip this step) and put in blender.  Add about a cup of your favorite frozen fruits.  Pour in orange juice (you might need more or less of this too, depending on the thickness you want).  Blend until smooth.  Cut half of the banana into big chunks; add to blender.  Add agave or honey.  Blend again until everything is incorporated and smooth.

Spoon into a bowl (or two) and top with Everyday Granola (tropically inspired version, see below, or regular); the other half a banana, sliced, and whatever other fresh fruit you like (berries are really good).

PS…Tropically Inspired Everyday Granola

2013-02-17 004

While we were in Hawaii, I bought some plain Greek yogurt and a bag of really expensive tropical granola to have for breakfast, while sitting on our lanai watching the sun rise over Waikiki & Diamond Head.

Sunrise over Diamond Head

Sunrise over Diamond Head

The granola wasn’t as good as Everyday Granola, of course, but it did have big pieces of macadamia nuts in it. I love macadamias!  Our friends Chip & Dale have a macadamia tree in their backyard and if you’ve ever wondered why macadamia nuts are so expensive, ask Chip & Dale about the whole process of picking them and shelling them and dehydrating them and husking them.  Oy. I mean, I’m talking over 7300 nuts this year!!!  We were the lucky recipients of a bag of macadamias, which I had been dying to use.  Ah ha moment…tropical granola.  So I made a batch of Everyday Granola, substituting the macs for pecans and a tropical dried fruit mix (kiwi, pineapple, mango, papaya) instead of my usual dried cranberries and golden raisins.

Aloooooo-HA!

Three of My All-Time Favorite Recipes…#3 Everyday Granola

We can’t get enough of this granola!  Ever since the recipe (adapted from Molly Wizenberg’s Everyday Granola, Bon Appétit, June 2010) was published, I make a batch probably every other weekend.  We eat it five or six days a week.  I have mine with Greek yogurt and strawberries and Tony has his with milk.  It’s so easy.  It makes your kitchen smell so good while it’s cooking and I promise, you’ll discover why Molly called it EVERYday granola!  If you only read this blog once and make only one recipe, it should be this one.

PS…Molly is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit.  This recipe appeared in her column “Cooking Life.”  I hadn’t paid much attention to her prior to this (aaagh…sorry Molly!), but soon after, bought her book, “A Homemade Life” (which I LOVED!) and now follow her blog Orangette.

Homemade Granola to Eat Every Single Day

INGREDIENTS

3 cups old-fashioned oats

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

1 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup shredded cocount (I prefer sweetened; the original recipe calls for unsweetened)

3 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup honey

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup assorted dried fruit (I usually use Trader Joe’s Golden Berry Blend)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 300°F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Mix first 7 ingredients in large bowl. Stir honey and oil in saucepan over medium-low heat until smooth. Pour honey mixture over oat mixture; toss. Spread on prepared sheet. Bake until golden, stirring every 10 minutes, about 40 minutes. Place sheet on rack. Stir granola; cool. Mix in fruit.  Store in an airtight container.