Five Things

I would consider my “Signature” or most requested dishes.

5. Vegetarian Black Bean Soup. I just blogged about this a few weeks ago, but I’ve been making this for a few years now.  It’s a great and easy riff on traditional tortilla soup, and it turns out great every time!  Definitely a crowd pleaser.

4. Green Beans with Caramelized Onions and almonds.  I’ve seen a few Food Network personalities make versions of this dish, so one Thanksgiving I decided to combine a few recipes and give it a try.  It quickly became a staple at my family’s Thanksgiving table.

3. Rice Krispie treats.  This one is so easy, but so good.  Whenever I make a version of rice krispie treats to bring to a party, they get raves. I love them too, but I feel like people don’t realize that all I did was melt butter and marshmallows and add cereal. I usually make them because I need to pull something together at the last minute, and quickly realize that I could have made a soufflé and gotten fewer compliments.

2. Granola.  I saw a recipe for granola about three years ago and decided to give it a try. At the time, I didn’t even realize you could bake granola at home.  Three years later, my mother requires me to make a big batch to leave with her every time I visit her house.

1. Buttermilk Pancakes.  My grandmother trained me to make these with my great grandmother’s recipe at a very early age.  By the way, this is my great grandmother Sarah Church, aka Sadie.  This is my number one requested dish by friends and family hands down.  They are simple, light, and fluffy every time!

What is your best dish?

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Granola Obsession

I used to think that granola was one of those things that you had to buy from a store.  I didn’t realize you could make it at home until I saw a post on the blog Chocolate and Zucchini in 2010.  It looked so easy and delicious that I decided to give a try.  The rest is history.  These days I make some serious granola.  I highly recommend giving it a try.  The great thing is that you can add, subtract, and substitute ingredients as you feel like it.  Beware, it’s addictive.

This is my favorite version:

Sadie’s Granola

Ingredients

  • 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts (I add a half cup each of sliced almonds, pecans, and walnuts)
  • 1/2 cup seeds (I only use sunflower seeds, unsalted)
  • 2 Tbs oil ( I use olive oil)
  • 6 Tbs maple syrup
  • 1-2 Tbs honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 Tbs vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 egg white
  • 3/4 cup chopped dried fruit (I use half dried cranberries, half raisons)

Method

1. Preheat oven to 300.

2. Combine oil, syrup, spices, salt, sugar, and honey.

3. Combine oats, nuts, and seeds.

4.  Add wet to dry and mix so everything is evenly distributed.

5. Add egg white.  (this will help make little clumps of oats and nuts, it makes a good texture)

6.  Spread mixture out on a greased cookie sheet.  (make sure the cookie sheet has sides, otherwise the granola will get all over the place)

7.  Bake the granola about 40 minutes depending on the oven, or until golden brown.  Check on it every  10  minutes or so and mix it up or turn it around in the oven to ensure that it bakes evenly.  You should be a little conservative because the granola will continue to crisp up after you take it out of the oven, you don’t want to over do it.

8.  Add the dried fruit when the granola has cooled off.  Allow to cool completely before you store it in a sealed container (you don’t want trapped moisture raining on your parade).

I like enjoying my granola with a little almond milk.

FYI: This is a great food-gift.  It’s my go-to hostess gift.  I buy a cute container like a mason jar, fill it with some fabulous home made granola and tie it with a pretty ribbon.  Voila!