granola, cooling

I made one of my domestic bliss folders for a girlfriend the other day and took about an hour to go through my blog archives to find photos and recipes I’ve posted. I printed these out and when I was going through them, a thought crossed my mind: wouldn’t it be fun to make my own cookbook? I was driving to work this morning thinking about how — even better! — wouldn’t it be fun to have my own cooking show?
I would prepare healthy, quick recipes in a no fuss manner and include information on how you could add meat if so desired. I think I’d format my cookbook in the same way. Each recipe would have a small icon at the bottom of the page indicating the amount of meat to add for carnivores. I’d also had a heavy dose of quotes and statistics about how living a vegetarian lifestyle is healthier and better for the environment. While perched on my soap box, I’d include icons to show how many minutes you’d have to walk to burn off one serving of the recipe at hand. And then there would be the desserts. Oh, the desserts. Eat the veggie dinner and top it off with a large dose of sugary goodness. The five mile walk is often worth the five minutes of nirvana.
The cookbook would come packaged in a cloth tote with a small tag encouraging the owner to forgo those horrid plastic grocery bags. I’d also strongly recommend buying locally and growing your own garden. {Now stepping off said soap box.}
Until the producers of FoodTV come knocking, how about some granola?

granola

I found some glass jars at Ikea and love them. They are cheap, reusable and pretty. I filled them with a basic homemade granola and added a piece of ribbon and stamped tag. We collectively celebrated Easter and Spring in my office with a large crunchy bowl, topped off with vanilla soy milk.

Nutty Spring Granola:
8 cups rolled oat
3 cups of extras: coconut, nuts, seeds
1 cup (or more!) of peanut butter. The chunkier the better.
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon of salt

Spread oats out on a large jelly roll pan and toast them at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Be watchful. These will need to come out of the oven after 5 minutes and be stirred or they will burn.

In a saucepan on medium heat, add your molasses, honey, peanut butter, vanilla and almond extracts and salt. Stir this until it is a wonderful gooey consistency. Remove from heat.

Place toasted oats in a large bowl. Add any or all of your extras now. I used two cups of raw coconut, a cup of peanuts and a mixed bag of toasted nuts. Pour the saucepan over your bowl, carefully mixing the ingredients. Return all of this to your jelly roll pan and into the oven for another 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.
Again, don’t leave the kitchen. This will burn if you don’t regularly mix it.
Let the granola cool (a great time to gather your jars, cards and ribbon). Spoon this into your jars and package with a small box of soy milk. Voila — a perfect Spring gift.

Easter granola

If you are looking for some kitchen inspiration today:
A great feature on brownies in The New York Times
— I’ll never be too old for grilled cheese. Even better with horseradish!
Smitten and Cookthink push me to be a better cook and photographer
— And for some vegetarian and athletic inspiration — a resource

Tonight I’ll be enjoying LOST while conducting some pinot noir research, searching for a clean apron and working out the kinks in my new banana bread/chocolate chip cookie hybrid.

Cheers,
Kelli