Thursday, March 24, 2011

Nutty Vanilla Apricot Granola

I really love being on break, because it gives me a chance to finally get in the kitchen and make some of the delicious recipes I've seen floating around the blog world. Like granola! I think I tend to pass by granola pretty easily because it's usually so sugar-laden and SO expensive! (hello, whole foods??) But I wanted to make something for my friend L, since we had decided to meet in the city for lunch at
Plant Cafe.

I had been deciding between a peanut butter brownie and cinnamon swirl bread, when I remembered she wasn't eating sweets! So after a quick check, I decided granola would be perfect.

I found several recipes I liked but none that sounded perfect to me, so I did what I do best and combined a bunch of ideas into one recipe I hoped would be a success. Luckily for me, and I guess L too, I think it was!

So here's my recipe for Nutty Vanilla Apricot Granola:


• 3 cups old-fashioned oats
• 1 cup chopped raw, unsalted almonds
• ½ cup chopped walnuts
• ½ cup chopped dried apricots
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• ¼ cup safflower oil (canola is okay too)
• ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons honey
• 2 teaspoons cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
2. In a medium bowl, combine oats, nuts and apricots.
3. Add vanilla, oil, honey and cinnamon and mix well so that the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
4. Spread the mixture onto a greased cooking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before storing in an air tight container for up to a week. (If it lasts that long!)

Happy Baking!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Blue Ribbon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hi guys!

It's been a while, but I'm finally back in the kitchen! I'm only home for 10 days, but I'm seriously making the most of my kitchen time! The day after I got back I made my favorite Whole Wheat Bread and later two loaves of Challah. Today, I made an old favorite, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread and a new-to-my-readers Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.
This is my trusty recipe for cookies that I've been making since I was old enough to wield a wooden spoon and mixing bowl! The dough isn't overly sweet, but complements the dark chocolate of the cookies perfectly and is my favorite to fall back on.

Blue Ribbon Chocolate Chip Cookies

• 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
• ¼ tsp. baking soda
• 1/8 tsp. salt
• ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
• ¼ cup white sugar
• ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
• 1 large egg
• 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
• 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
2. In a medium bowl combine flour, soda, and salt. Mix well with a whisk and set aside.
3. In a large bowl blend sugars. Add butter and mix to form a grainy paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add eggs and vanilla extract, and mix until light and fluffy.
4. Add the flour mixture and chocolate chips and combine until just mixed. Do not over-mix.
5. Drop by tablespoonful onto a parchment-paper lined baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake 22-24 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely on parchment paper before storing in an airtight container for up to a week.

Happy Baking!