Tag Archives: almonds

Granola

This is a new kitchen staple and I thought it was time to share it with the world. Right? I’ve adapted and adaptation of (I think) and adaptation of an Ina G recipe. I like mine a little less sweet and with a LOT of nuts, but you can do whatever you like. That’s the beauty of these infinitely adaptable granola recipes (see also chewy granola bars). Here’s how I eat mine:

  • Mix a grated golden delicious apple with Greek yogurt and serve with ~1/4 C granola
  • Layer cut up nectarine with 1/4 C granola, top with keffir
  • Sprinkle a bit over vanilla ice cream

It is just so good. I keep it in a tupperware on the counter with a 1/4 C scoop in the container and we just work away at it. I’d estimate that a batch lasts us 2-3 weeks, so I often just half it. Including the FULL recipe below, so feel free to cut in half or tweak as you see fit. Try it!

  • 4 Cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2 Cups similar-sized nuts (I use chopped almonds and pecans)
  • 1/2 Cup veggie oil
  • 1/4 – 1/2 Cup honey (I use somewhere in between)
  • 2 Cups similar-sized fruit (I use dried cherries, yellow raisins and diced apricots)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup toasted coconut (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees and adjust rack to lower middle position
  2. Toss oats, nuts, oil, honey, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Setting bowl aside, pour into a sheet or jelly roll pan and back in oven, turning regularly (every 10 min or so) for 20-40 minutes. Note: I know that’s a big difference, but it just depends on your oven and how toasty you like. This is not the recipe that you can pop in and forget. Just keep an eye on it, ok?
  3. Let granola cool slightly and pour back into bowl. Add dried fruit and coconut and toss. At this point, if you want it sweeter or saltier or toastier, you can adjust as needed and just pop it back in the oven for 5 minutes
  4. Let cool and then store in an airtight container

Romesco sauce

I have been a bad, bad blogger. Life’s just been a bit nutso with work and family and blah, blah, blah. Anyway, I am back on this horse….starting with Romesco sauce. Yum. My mom and I first tried this as an accompaniment for empanadas and it was de-licious. Now, I am not about to make empanadas on any given Monday, so I needed some other dishes for this crazy yummy (one might say sick delicious) goodness. That turned out not to be an issue at all. Here’s what it is excellent with:

For breakfast, with a fried egg

As an appetizer with grilled sausage

As a side, with roasted potatoes

On a sandwich, with roast pork, arugula and whatever else your little Dagwood heart desires

Finally, I would like to note that, while the ingredient list is somewhat long, there is ONE step for actually making the sauce. That’s as easy as it gets, people. So, let’s get started:

Makes about 4 cups

1 Cup Marcona almonds, toasted

7 cloves garlic

3/4 Cup EVOO

2 Tablespoons sherry vinegar (2 parts red wine to 1 part balsamic does in a pinch)

1 small hot chili (serrano, thai, etc.) or 1/4 t cayenne

2 Cups roasted red bell peppers (it’s better if you roast them fresh, but I use canned about 75% of the time)

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon kosher salt

In a food processor, puree everything except the peppers until smooth. Add the peppers and puree until smooth, but textured. Sauce keeps for about a week in the fridge

Salty Redneck Toffee

There are so many versions of this recipe floating out there in cyberspace, that I can’t even begin to imagine who to credit for this insanely delicious/addictive treat. A lot of recipes use Matzoh and I have served that during Passover. My favorite version, however, is with Saltines. Lordy, lordy.

Approximately 40 Saltine crackers (enough to cover one rimmed baking sheet)
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
A big pinch of kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon good vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semi- or bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup toasted sliced almonds
Extra kosher salt for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 11-by-17-inch baking sheet completely with foil, and then line the base of the foil with parchment paper, cut to fit. A pain, but it will be worth it when you end up with foil-less crackers

Fully line the bottom of the baking sheet with Saltines, covering all parts. You may need to cut crackers to fill gaps- it’s better if they don’t overlap.

In a medium heavy-duty saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together, and stir it over medium heat until it begins to boil. Once it has begun boiling, let it bubble for three more minutes, stirring it well. It will thicken a bit as it cooks. Remove from the heat and add the salt and vanilla. Quickly pour it over the crackers and spread evenly. Be ready to move quickly here, because it starts to set FAST.

Bake the caramel-covered crackers for 15 minutes, watching carefully as it will bubble and the corners might darken too quickly and/or burn. Reduce the heat by 15 degrees if this starts to happen.

Remove from oven and immediately cover with chocolate chips. Let stand five minutes, and then spread them evenly across the caramel with an offset spatula. Occasionally my chocolate chips got wonky and wouldn’t spread right. I just put the whole tray back in the off (but warm) oven for 3 minutes and it melted better.

Sprinkle chocolate-covered caramel crackers with your toasted nuts and then a bit of Kosher salt. Not much salt, as the Saltines are already pretty salty. God help you if you used salted butter too.

Set aside to cool. You may want to do this in another room of the house, outside or in the fridge. My kitchen gets too hot for anything to actually “cool.” Break it into pieces (Saltines break nicely) and store it in a container.