Granola 1.0

Something wonderful happened, I have my original granola recipe back.  This is all thanks to Gluten-free Girl.  When she was up last, she brought a bunch of family recipes to share.  Low and behold, there was a recipe card with my hand writing and THE granola recipe.  I wanted to jump and shout and knock myself out.

This isn’t just a recipe, it’s part of my heritage.  It’s part of the history I built for my family.  That’s what food is.  It’s a chance to share memories with benchmarks so to speak.  This was breakfast when my boys were young.  Yes, they got to eat Cookie Crisp at their Besta’s, but at home they ate healthy granola.

You need to do this.  Not necessarily make granola, but establish a heritage, a history if you will.  Make something to make memories.  It doesn’t matter what it is, but be sure you don’t lose the recipe for 20 years.  Your family will thank you for it.

6 cups old fashioned oatmeal

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup sesame seeds

3 cups coconut

1 cup wheat germ

mix together in a large bowl

combine:  1/2 cup oil

1 cup honey

stir into the grains and mix until well moistened.

add 1 cup water and stir until crumbly

Place in a large oiled pan and bake at 225 degrees for 2 1/2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes.  Turn off the oven and let it cool with the door closed.  Store in tight fitting containers.  Makes about 12 cups.

*  From the Recipe Box:

I add 1 cup bran and I increase the honey to 1 1/2 cups and the oil to 3/4 cup.

1/2 cup slivered almonds may be added when you turn off the oven.  I add 1 cup raisins when the granola is totally cool or they get too hard.

We like lots of other dried fruit in it as well, but it can soften the granola so I keep it in a jar next to it to be added when ready to eat.

We like it as much with yogurt as we do with milk.

and remember:  It’s OK to feel afraid….but don’t let that stand in your way.  Big kiss, Lynn

Asparagus Cheese Tart

Another recipe from the Costco Magazine.  They had me at asparagus this time.  I’ve mentioned my 2 favorite foods are watermelon and asparagus, so you know I’m in.  This one looked totally la-di-da and yet super easy.  Our favorite nephew, his wife and daughter were here and it was voted a total winner.  Our 2 year old great niece even helped roll out the puff pastry dough and grate the cheese.

This is a really nummy nibble.  I will be making it all year, or at least as long as I can get fresh asparagus.  Look at the intensity on her face as she grates the cheese.  Isn’t it more important  than the squiggly cut puff pastry?  Yeah, I think so.  I wish you could have seen her piercing the pastry with a fork.  It sort of reminded me of the Psycho shower scene.  She was into it.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

1 tablespoon flour

1 sheet (about 8 ounces) frozen puff pastry, thawed

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup grated Gruyere Cheese

1 pound medium asparagus, trimmed

S and P to taste

Sprinkle flour onto the work surface, roll out the pastry dough to a 14 x 9 inch rectangle.  Trim the dough for neat edges, then transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.  Score the pastry dough lightly with a 1-inch border on all sides.  Pierce the interior dough with a fork.  Bake until light golden, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Remove the pastry from the oven and sprinkle with the cheeses.  Place the trimmed asparagus on the interior of the tart, alternating with ends and tips.  Drizzle the asparagus with the olive oil, scattering thyme on top and season with salt and pepper.

Bake until puff pastry is golden and asparagus is tender, about 15 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Makes about 6 servings.

*  From the Recipe Box:

This recipe was from the March 2020 Costco Connection.  I get really good recipes from that publication.

G would like to see twice the cheese on the tart.  We like our cheese.

Even with a 2 year old sous chef, it turned out fabulous.  Appearance isn’t everything.  Let these kids help people.

and remember:  Erin go Bragh my darlings.  Big kiss, Lynn


Giada De Laurentiis’s Hazelnut Cookies

I’m still trolling sites for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe for G.  What makes it a little harder for me is my lack of appreciation for a chocolate chip cookie.  This one is a crispy cookie.  It has a really distinct snap.  And, of course, I love Hazelnuts and not just because my grandma was named Hazel.

Full disclosure, G did not enjoy these as well as the original Toll House recipe.  I don’t think anything will ever replace those in his heart of hearts.  I, on the other hand, found these quite enjoyable.  I liked the taste of the hazelnuts and the candy.  I would have left out the chocolate chips.  I know, there is something wrong with me.

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup (packed) light brown sugar

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

4 ounces English toffee candy (recommended: Heath or Skor bar), finely chopped

1 cup hazelnuts, toasted, husked, and chopped

1 (12-ounce) bag semisweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Line 2 heavy large baking sheets with parchment paper. Finely chop the oats in a food processor. Transfer the oats to a medium bowl. Mix in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars in a large bowl until fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and stir just until blended. Stir in the toffee, hazelnuts, and chocolate chips.
  4. For each cookie, drop 1 rounded tablespoonful of dough onto sheet, spacing 1-inch apart (do not flatten dough). Bake until the cookies are golden (cookies will flatten slightly), about 15 minutes. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely. (The cookies can be prepared 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.)

*  From the Recipe Box:

I didn’t like how slowly they were cooking, so I bumped the temperature up to 350 degrees.  I’m not sure how much of a difference it made, but the second tray was crispier.

Chilling the dough made a huge difference in baking quality.

and remember:  We all have 2 important fates.  One is the result of whatever mess we were born into, and one is the result of deciding that is not fucking good enough.  Big kiss, Lynn

Pork Chops in Mushroom Gravy

My love affair with You Tube continues.  I can’t take credit for this recipe, someone named David Hood contributed it to You Tube, but I can tell you how nummy it is.  The recipe was quick and easy to put together.  For some reason, lots of people think pork is tricky and takes longer to assemble.  I so disagree.  My mom would fry pork chops until they were well and truly dead.  Things that you needed to worry about when cooking pork are no longer valid.  Lighten up people.

I’m going to compare and contrast this recipe with Jason Smith’s Pork Chop recipe that I wrote about Feb. of last year.  While similar, there really isn’t a contest.  For me, Jason’s is far superior, but G thinks they are neck and neck.  Because of Jason, I now know how to make a sauce using Balsamic vinegar, butter and cream.  That has been an amazing addition to my repertoire.   I love the asparagus and tomatoes he adds to the sauce as well.  So, I’m glad I tried this one, but I’m going to stick with Jason’s for the long haul.  Try them both and let me know what you think.

  • 4 pork chops bone-in or boneless
  • kosher salt
  • pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1.5 cups mushrooms sliced
  • 1 small yellow onion sliced
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour (I used cornstarch when G-F Girl was here.  Both worked fine)
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1 tsp flat leaf parsley chopped; optional for garnish
  • Pat pork chops dry and season generously with kosher salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • When butter is melted, add pork chops and sear on each side for about 5 minutes (less if you are using boneless pork chops). Remove from pan.
  • Using same pan and renderings from the meat add mushrooms and onions and cook until golden brown and caramelized. Add a little more oil if pan becomes too dry.
  • Add flour and stir to coat. Cook 1-2 minutes.
  • Add in broth and whisk gently until thickened.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Place pork chops back in the pan and cover with gravy. Allow to heat through.
  • Plate and spoon gravy over pork chops to serve. Optional: Garnish with fresh thyme and parsley.

and remember:  Everything happens for a reason.  But sometimes, the reason is that you’re stupid and make bad decisions.  Big kiss, Lynn