mom’s honey granola

My mom makes a delicious granola, one that went down in infamy in my brother’s fifth grade classroom cookbook as: “my mom’s favorite recipe because she has it for breakfast every morning.” Just the smell of this baking transports me to good old Longfellow Road.

And how adorable is this note he included in mom’s copy of the cookbook?note from matty

transcription:

Dear Mom,
In honor of Mother’s Day, I’d like to thank you for the many things you do for me. You are always there for me. We are also cooking all the time. We’re always doing Book Projects together. You’re always letting me invite someone over to play.
I have many wonderful memories about you. My favorite is when I threw up peanut butter & jelly sandwitches on your hand in Ocean City.
Thanks for being my mom!
Love,
Matt

without further ado….

mom’s honey granola
2 cups old fashioned oats
4 TBLS butter
1/4 cup honey
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup dried cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 325. Melt butter and add honey. Then add cinnamon and slivered almonds. Pour over oats, and mix to coat.

2. Spread mixture on a baking sheet. Bake at 325 for 30 minutes. Take it out just as it starts to turn golden. It will continue to harden after you take it out. If it bakes too long, it will be very hard and burnt and also lame.

3. Take granola out of oven, and stir in cranberries. ENJOY! (and watch out for PB&J sandWITCHES!)
granola

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an ode to millet

I have a lot of favorites.  For example: popsicles are my favorite summer treat (clearly), soup is my favorite winter meal (obvi), snap+cider is my favorite drink (what else is there?), and millet wins favorite in the grain category.  It’s just so tiny and cute and crunchy and nutty….I love it so.

Two millet recipes in particular have stolen my affection this year.  The first is Philly’s own Metropolitan Bakery millet muffin, which has been served for years at the Gryphon Cafe (arguably the center of the universe, for those who did not know).  The other is smitten kitchen‘s crackly banana bread recipe, that a friend who knows my love of millet passed along. Thanks MJ :)

Metropolitan Millet Muffins
from Tastebook – I usually halve this recipe, but really, I always want more, and they’re best when shared, so it’s probably a good idea to whip up the full version.

INGREDIENTS

4 cups all-purpose flour (I use whole wheat pastry flour)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups millet, lightly toasted* and cooled
6 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar

DIRECTIONS

Preheat over to 375 degrees. Butter 24 muffin-pan cups.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Stir in millet. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla.

In the bowl of a mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. At low speed, add the flour mixture alternately with the egg mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Take care not to over mix (this direction gives me great anxiety – but it is very true – otherwise your muffins will be tough and dry, and nobody wants that).

Spoon batter evenly into the prepared muffin-pan cups. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, rotating the pans between the upper and lower oven racks half way through. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for five minutes and then remove from pan and continue to cool on a wire rack.

*toast the millet by spreading it out on a cookie sheet and baking it in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. Every three or four minutes, take the pan out and give it a careful shake, to make sure that every kernel of millet gets toasted.

IMG_3291

Crackly Banana Bread
from smitten kitchen

INGREDIENTS
3 large ripe-to-over-ripe bananas
1 large egg
1/3 cup (80 ml) virgin coconut oil, warmed until it liquefies, or olive oil
1/3 cup (65 grams) light brown sugar
1/4 to 1/3 cup (60 to 80 ml) maple syrup (less for less sweetness, of course)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
Salt
1 1/2 cups (180 grams) white whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup (50 grams) toasted millet

Preheat your oven to 350°F and butter a 9×5-inch loaf pan. In the bottom of a large bowl, mash bananas with a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon until virtually smooth but a few tiny lumps remain. Whisk in egg, then oil, brown sugar, syrup and vanilla extract. Sprinkle baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves over mixture and stir until combined (again – do not over mix! No tough muffins here!). Stir in flour until just combined, then add millet.

Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake until a tester comes out clean, about 40 to 50 minutes. Cool loaf in pan on rack.
IMG_3292
I couldn’t decide between muffins or a loaf – so I made BOTH. YUM.

Risotto: An Experiment

Like many others, I have always feared making a risotto.  I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so the thought of all the ways such a delicate dish could go wrong kept me at bay.  Until today.

Several friends have been making risotto lately, and they gave me courage (Thanks Krista, Jen and Sonja!).  I had two acorn squash hidden in the back of the fridge needing to be put to good use.  After some online recipe hunting, I came across this Faux Martha post.  I edited to my liking and available ingredients.

Image

Acorn Squash Risotto with Leeks, Mushrooms and Gruyere Cheese
1/2 c. acorn squash, roasted
2 tbsp. salted butter
1 c. leeks, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
A handful of mushrooms, sliced
1 c. jasmine rice
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. marjoram
dash of cloves – I threw in one whole clove, then removed at the end.
dash of freshly grated nutmeg
1 bay leaf
3 c. veggie stock
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 c. gruyere cheese, grated
3 tbsp. heavy cream – I used whole milk

Roast acorn squash. Place in a 350° oven. Bake for about 20 minutes or until you are able to cut squash in half. Place the two halves on a baking sheet, skin side down sprinkled with a bit of olive oil. Bake for another 20 minutes or until squash is soft. Allow to cool. Remove squash from outer peel. Mash and set aside. (This can be done up to a week in advance.)  I roasted two squash, to use the second set as serving dishes.

  1. In a saucepan, melt butter on medium-high heat. Saute leeks, mushrooms and garlic until leeks are translucent.
  2. Add rice to pan, coating with butter mixture. Add acorn squash and spices. Stir.
  3. Cook over medium heat, adding one cup of chicken stock at a time until liquid is absorbed. Stir often. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Before serving, remove bay leaf (and whole clove!) and stir in cheese and cream/milk. Garnish a sprinkle of extra gruyere.

If you prepared extra acorn squash, serve the risotto in the shell of the extra squash (flesh still intact so it maintains its form – there’s nothing wrong with a little extra squash!).
acorn squash risotto

SUPER pleased with the results!  Incredible flavor, each ingredient both stands out and blends into the whole in beautiful ways.  Will definitely be attempting more risottos in the future.
You’re invited :)