… in search of better food.
I’ve picked up many recipes and food tips from roommates over the years. Marla taught me that you can freeze soup, Magalie showed me how to make crepes, and Amishi enlightened me that pizza crust doesn’t have to come from the store.
But one of the most lasting additions to my kitchen routine is homemade granola, and credit for that goes to Jainey. I had never seen granola made before I watched her make it, almost every week. This recipe is an adaptation of hers.
I go through granola-making ebbs and flows, but when I get in a good rhythm, I make about a batch a week. It replaces cereal and becomes my primary snack food, eaten with plain Greek yogurt and honey. Jainey would even turn it into dessert by adding chocolate chips. Adapt and enjoy!
Mix these in a large bowl:
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 small glug vanilla
- generous pile of cinnamon (the recipe said a tablespoon, but I don’t measure it anymore…)
- 1/3 cup of canola oil and/or applesauce (I use about half and half, Jainey uses all oil. All applesauce doesn’t work as well.)
Add all these all at once, then mix until well-coated:
- 4 cups rolled oats
- 3 cups nuts and seeds (I usually use walnuts, pecans, cashews, almonds and pepitas. You can also use shredded coconut.)
Spread the granola evenly on two large baking sheets. Bake at 300. Take it out after 11 minutes to stir/flip it, and rotate the two baking sheets, too. Bake it for another 11-13 minutes, until it’s golden.
When the granola comes out, it’ll still be soft and moist, but it will harden as it cools. Let it cool on the pan, and don’t be shy taking it off — it’ll stick a little. (For some reason, it comes off easier if you put some applesauce in the mix than if you use only oil.) Store in an airtight container.
If you like raisins, add them when you’re ready to eat the granola, not before baking. Baking the raisins makes them turn hard and chewy.
Fresh tomatoes from the farmer’s market don’t need a lot of dressing up — no need to spend the day boiling down sauce or doing anything else fancy.
Here’s a simple but yummy sandwich that we keep coming back to:
- Toast up some whole wheat bread. If you don’t bake bread, pick up a loaf at the farmer’s market along with the tomatoes.
- Slather it with plenty of mayo and Dijon mustard. I put both condiments on both pieces of bread, so the textures and flavors mix. I’m told that this makes me strange, but I think it’s well worth it.
- Slice some Swiss cheese and add that.
- Finish the sandwich with some thick slices of tomato, mixing types if you have them. Don’t be shy, they are the star of the sandwich so pile them on!
Nothing really replaces plain corn on the cob, but sometimes, at the height of sweet corn season, you feel like there might be a way to shake things up just a little. Eric likes cutting the corn off the cob, so we came up with this salad of farmer’s market produce.
For two servings of this salad, mix:
1 cob of corn, boiled lightly for 2-3 mins and sliced off the cob
a handful of heirloom grape tomatoes, sliced in half
half a green onion, sliced
2-3 leaves basil, chopped
a splash of olive oil
a smaller splash of red wine vinegar
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
With a brief break between heat waves, baking bread has once again become a reasonable endeavor.
But wouldn’t it be even better to combine fresh-baked bread with summer goodies from the farmer’s market? And wouldn’t it be the best to do it for brunch?
Since Eric gave me a waffle maker last fall, we’ve made waffles an average of once a week. We’ve made them in two states for a couple dozen people, and have frozen over a hundred waffles. Each time, we’ve made adjustments, triangulating our way to the Very Best Waffles.
At long last, here they are.
My favorite thing about these cupcakes is that they are rich and dense and chocolatey. My least favorite thing is that making them involves lots of waiting.
They’re not difficult. It’s just that something always needs to warm up or cool down, and there isn’t a way to hurry that along. Read through to see where you have to let something sit, and definitely make them a day ahead.
It’s not often that I leave a recipe alone. Every recipe has room for a little tinkering, you know — to make it perfect.
But not this one.
These pancakes are hearty, flavorful and distinctive. I’ve made them at home, for ourselves and for company, and on the road. They always get rave reviews.
I love using sweet things in salty contexts. And I love this time of year, when the farmer’s market is at its absolute peak. Tomatoes, peaches, corn…
But I especially can’t resist the local organic watermelon. I usually come home with two, but there’s only so much watermelon you can eat in slices, dripping over the sink. And you definitely can’t bring watermelon in that form to work for lunch.
The no-knead bread recipe shared in the New York Times a few years ago completely changed my bread-eating habits. It’s so easy and yummy that I sometimes make it more than once a week. My two favorite reviews:
My seven-year-old niece: “I like the special peanut butter and jelly sandwiches you bring.”
My friend Dave: “You make your own bread. You are practically Amish!”
But as usual, I couldn’t leave well enough alone, so I tinkered with the recipe to make it even easier. Here are the modifications I’ve made.