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Posts Tagged ‘granola’

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February 14th. Valentine’s Day. To some it’s a Hallmark holiday, to others it’s simply nervewracking, but to us it’s a day to embrace all that is red, pink and heart shaped…and each other, of course. This Valentine’s Day we decided to share the love and spread some cheer by hosting a brunch.

As our first Saucy-sponsored event, we had many expectations to not only live up to but to completely blow away. The menu was edited and re-edited throughout the week until we were confident that our choices would result in both festive cheer and satisfied palates. Prep began with a 9am wake up. Despite our sleepy eyes and slightly grumpy attitudes, we were soon cracking eggs and measuring flour with true Saucy gusto. With the quiche baking in the oven, we finished the scone dough and heading out on a hunt for our 20th bag of Valentine’s m&ms. It was a Valentine’s Day miracle–one bag left with our name on it. Giddy as ever, we hurried back home, took the quiche out of the oven and popped in a batch of granola. We cleaned up and dressed up, put on our aprons and tackled the scones. Before we knew it, guests started to trickle in. We offered them mimosas as we put the finishing touches on our culinary creations. The brunch was a huge success. People left with happy tummies, smiling faces, and a new admiration for our favorite holiday.

dsc01194Clockwise from the top: heart-shaped whole wheat pancakes; fresh berries; raspberry scone; vanilla yogurt with granola; more berries (can’t get enough!); goat cheese, tomato and onion quiche

Goat Cheese, Tomato and Onion Quiche:

5 eggs
1-1 1/2 cups half and half
3 tablespoons goat cheese
1 small onion, diced
1 tomato, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
pie crust!

Line a glass pie pan with pie crust, make it yourself or store-bought works well too. Spread the goat cheese on the bottom. Saute onions in a little bit of canola oil until translucent. Add the onions to the pie pan and layer tomatoes on top. Whisk together 5 eggs and add enough half and half to fill 2 1/2 cups. Pour into pie pan on top of cheese, onions and tomatoes. Bake at 425F for 15 minutes then turn down to 350 for 45 minutes or until eggs have just set.

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Raspberry Scones:

2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons whipping cream
1/3 cup (about) raspberry jam (do not use seedless)
handful of raspberries

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.  Add the cold butter into the dry mixture and incorporate by hand. Gradually add one cup of heavy cream. Gently mix in desired amount of raspberries. Chill covered dough for thirty minutes.  Preheat oven to 400F. On a piece of tin foil, roll dough to a 1/2″ thickness and cut using a heart-shaped cookie cutter.  We experimented with the next part, cutting some partly in half and filling them with jam, while others we left as they were. Bake for about 18 minutes or until lightly golden.  Add more jam if desired and serve warm if possible.

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Happy Valentine’s Day! Love, Stina & Manda

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Oats

If my life were Top Chef and I was involved in last week’s Quickfire challenge involving Oats I totally would have won immunity. Stefan’s Banana Oatmeal Mousse with Almond Crisp and Oat-Almond Petit Four has nothing on my oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Or my granola, for that matter. What started out as a cookie experimentation in my cupcake-dominated life has quickly turned into one of my trademark sweets. There is always a multitude of Quaker Oats in cuddlegan due to my and Nina’s obsession with their grainy goodness so I’m whipping up batches of cookies on a pretty regular basis. In fact, I’m chomping on one right now.

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1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups oats
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Cream together the butter and sugars then blend in the eggs, milk and vanilla. You’re supposed to mix together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl then slowly add it to the wet mixture but I don’t do this…I just throw everything but the oats and chips in the same bowl and blend away. I usually have to incorporate the oats and the chips into the mixture by hand because it gets so thick. I then use an icecream scoop to form the dough into balls and then space them out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Wait a bit for the cookies to cool before removing them from the pan…or eat the cookies right from the pan being careful not to burn your tongue.

Now I have a few secrets to making my cookies top-notch that I probably shouldn’t share. But! I’ll give you one: I use 1 cup of “Old Fashion” oats and 1 1/2 cups of “Instant.” I like the juxtaposition of the bigger heartier oats with the smaller…use all big and your cookie doesn’t seem unified, use all small and the oats are almost lost! And another half-secret is that I like to do the same with chocolate chips.

And, since this post is oat-themed. I’ll take you through my granola as well. My mom and I made granola for the first time this summer and it was so good and so simple that I make it all the time. It’s yummy by itself or paired with yogurt or milk (or ice cream!)…put it in a container, tie it with a bow and you have yourself a nice little home-made thank you gift for old bosses!

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2 cups oats
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Combine the oats, almonds and coconut in a large bowl. Heat oil, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg over low heat until the sugar is dissolved and toss with the dry ingredients. Spread the mixture out on a baking sheets and bake for 30 minutes at 325F, stirring every ten minutes.

That’s the basic recipe. You can also add 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds to the oats and/or dried cranberries or other dried fruit after the baking.

-Amanda

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