19 January 2010

Maple-Pecan Granola

Thanks to this chick for inspiration on how to make crunchy pecan granola. That's the kind I always want from Trader Joe's ya know.

Maple-Pecan Granola
4 c. rolled oats
1 1/2 c. chopped pecans (almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds...)
1/4 c. Butter (half a stick)
1/2 c. honey
1/4 c. real maple syrup
1/4 tsp (a couple dashes?) each cinnamon and nutmeg
1/4 tsp. vanilla

1. Stir up the oats and nuts in big mixing bowl.

2. Melt butter in microwave in glass measuring cup. Add honey and syrup and microwave for 30 seconds more. Stir in the cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Pour butter-honey mixture over oat mixture and stir up the whole thing really well.

3. Spread evenly on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for 25 minutes at 300. Don't stir. Turn oven off and leave granola in there for another 20 minutes (or even longer. If you forget about it, it's fine). Remove, let cool completely, and transfer to storage container.

14 January 2010

Artisan Bread

I don't know what artisan bread really is; all I know is that if I make Grandma Dingler's bread recipe and then put it on a cookie sheet instead of in a loaf pan and make some slashes in the top, it looks a lot cooler than when I put it in a loaf pan :)

Now that I got your attention, here is my favorite recipe for...

straight-up white bread
1 pkg yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
1 c. warm water (120 degrees?)
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 c. flour (you can do 2 c. white flour and 1 c. wheat flour)

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl. Add sugar, let it hang out a few minutes. Add salt, let it hang out a few minutes more.

2. Mix in flour with a spoon. Add more if necessary. Knead until smooth. Cover and let rise for about 1 1/2 hrs.

3. Punch down and get air bubbles out. Shape into a loaf and place on a cookie sheet (or in a loaf pan if you want a nice conventional loaf of bread). Make some slashes in the top with a good sharp knife and let it rise again for about an hour.

4. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes (optional: before baking, brush with milk). Remove from pan and cool on rack. Eat warm slices with butter and jam.

07 January 2010

Balsamic Mushrooms

This is our favorite way to fix mushrooms...

Balsamic Mushrooms from Martha Stewart
1/4 c. evoo
12 oz. mushrooms, washed, dried and quartered
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Cook mushrooms in oil 5 minutes, turning to prevent sticking. Add vinegar, salt and pepper flakes; cook 1 minute longer.

Today I put these mushrooms straight from the pan onto a bed of spinach leaves. The heat wilted the spinach a little bit which I love, and the mushrooms just tasted like a really substantial dressing. SO GOOD.

06 January 2010

Spaghetti Squash

I made this Spaghetti Squash Gratin last night but used kale instead of chard, omitted the green onions and used plain yogurt instead of sour cream.

It was so good that Ken said, can you please make this again, often? :)