Tuesday, September 28, 2010
In our efforts to eat well, I am constantly replacing store bought items with things I can make at home. This route always ends up being tastier and cheaper and doesn't require a lot of extra work. I have some good recipes to share with you and I guarantee they will replace some of the items you purchase most at the grocery store. Today we're talking granola.
Our granola jar is pictured above. It's typically rattling empty because I can't keep up with making enough batches to keep it full. This granola recipe is the best. The best. And I'm going to keep this short and sweet so you can put your computer away and go make a batch.
I've made at least ten granola recipes in my search for the best one and I think I can finally rest easy with this recipe. Some recipes require way more ingredients than the average person keeps on hand. Others require such vast quantities of oil and sweeteners that they can't possibly be better for you than any store bought brand. This recipe is perfect because it is a bare bones foundation on which you can build your own perfect granola. It also only includes a teensy bit of oil and good for you natural sweeteners. And the best part? It's easy to keep your pantry stocked with the ingredients so you can bake up a batch at a moment's notice.
NOTE: I usually make a double batch and spread it on two pans to bake. I find it's easiest to throw this together before I start preparing dinner. Then I can easily stir it while I'm in the kitchen making dinner. My favorite way to eat this? In a bowl with a bit of Greek-style yogurt or milk*, a spoonful of ground flaxseed, and a handful of frozen blueberries. Now go to it!
Adapted from Bon Appetit
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans (or almonds or walnuts)
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3 tablespoons (packed) brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt
1/3 cup honey (or agave nectar) (tip: spray your measuring cup with cooking spray before you measure and the honey will slide right out)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup assorted dried fruit (optional)
Preheat oven to 300. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Mix first 7 ingredients in large bowl. Stir honey and oil in saucepan over medium-low heat until smooth. Pour honey mixture over oat mixture; toss. Spread on prepared sheet. Bake until golden, stirring every 10 minutes, for about 30 to 40 minutes. Place sheet on rack. Stir granola; cool. Mix in fruit.
DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 week ahead. Store airtight.
*Chicago readers: I swear, when you eat this with milk, it tastes nearly identical to the famous and delicious oatmeal shakes at Irazu. I swear. It's the best.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Dictaphone Parcel was awarded the Passion Pictures Prize in London, in February 2010.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
We have been on a movie kick in our house recently. We've been picking movies at random from our Instant Watch queue on Netflix, or taking turns choosing influential movies that shaped us throughout our childhoods and early years of adulthood (see last month when Charlie made me watch Short Circuit, one of his favorite childhood movies).
We tend to gravitate toward documentaries in our house, so I thought I'd share some our favorites. You'll be happy to know most of these are available on Instant Watch, so you might want to go ahead and add them to your queue now.
The UP Series
The Up Series is a series of documentary films that have followed the lives of fourteen British children since 1964, when they were seven years old. The children were selected to represent the range of socio-economic backgrounds in Britain at that time, with the explicit assumption that each child's social class predetermines their future. Every seven years, the director, Michael Apted, films new material from as many of the fourteen as he can get to participate. Filming for the next installment in the series, 56 Up, is expected in late 2011 or early 2012.
Touching the Void
No Impact Man
Man on Wire
The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
American Teen follows the lives of four teenagers--a jock, the popular girl, the artsy girl and the geek--in one small town in Indiana through their senior year of high school. We see the insecurities, the cliques, the jealousies, the first loves and heartbreaks, and the struggle to make profound decisions about the future. Filming daily for ten months, filmmaker Nanette Burstein developed a deep understanding of her subjects. The result is a film that goes beyond the enduring stereotypes of high school to render complex young people trying to find their way into adulthood.
If you have a favorite documentary to share please do!
Film descriptions via Wikipedia
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Do you have a favorite tomato sauce recipe? It's a good thing to have handy when the last of the summer tomatoes stack up and you've tired of tomato salads and sandwiches.
We don't eat a lot of pasta in our house but since we've been training for the marathon, we've created a Friday night tradition of big bowls of pasta before our long runs on Saturday mornings. This is a good tradition. In fact, It might be the best part of marathon training. I recommend you waste no time and get a pot of this sauce going as soon as possible.
[If you're working with fresh tomatoes, you'll need about 4-5 lbs for this recipe. Slice a small x on one end of each tomato. Boil a pot of water, drop the tomatoes in for 30-45 seconds, and then drop them in an ice bath for one minute. The tomato skins will peel right off. Set a fine mesh sieve over a bowl. Then break each tomato apart over the sieve. The seeds will drop into the sieve and the juices will collect in the bowl below. Place the tomato pieces and juices into the bowl and proceed with the recipe below.]
Basic Tomato Sauce
2 tablespoons good olive oil
2 cups chopped yellow onion
3 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 cup good red wine
2 (14-ounce) cans pureed tomatoes
2 (14-ounce) cans chopped or diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook for 1 more minute. Add the wine and cook on high heat, scraping up all the brown bits in the pan, until almost all the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook at a low simmer for 30-45 minutes.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
Thursday, September 2, 2010
I'm handing it over to Charlie today so he can tell you a little about eggs. He is master of the poached egg in our house and how he cooks them so perfectly is a mystery to me. I've learned to leave it to him, sip my coffee, and wait for my plate.
I know I'm not the first to say it, but eggs are the best. Versatile. Helpful in the chemistry and flavor of all manner of delicious baked goods. A breakfast staple. An essential ingredient in the chicken-egg conundrum.
For my money, the best way to prepare an egg is to poach. Poaching transforms the egg into a buttery spreadable thing. It's the product of good timing and the right temperature that leaves the egg solid but not too solid.
To get a good poach I put a pot of water on the stove and bring it up to an almost-boil. A few bubbles, but nothing too serious. Then I pour in a little white vinegar and create a whirlpool for the egg by swirling a wooden spoon around the perimeter of the pot. I crack the egg into the middle of the whirlpool (where it sort of swirls around and sticks to itself as it cooks), let it go for six minutes, then pull it out with a slotted spoon, pat it dry, and pop it onto a piece of toast.
Ed.: Cutting the toast into strips makes it all the better for sopping up the yolk. Also butter + Vegemite on toast takes it to a whole new level.