Sunday Test Kitchen

Photo by Karen Tedesco
Most Sundays afternoons you’ll find me barefoot in the kitchen. I consider it a spiritual discipline.

There is a mindfulness achieved while chopping carrots, mashing bananas, grinding cashews for butter, and melting coconut oil that I often miss in the hustle and bustle of the week. I slow down. I allow myself to be a little creative and mischievous with ingredients, and try recipes that require practicing patience. Cooking for me is actually a fairly new phenomenon. Twelve years to be exact. I have always been passionate about food, but once my son successfully came through a year of treatment for cancer, food became a way I could keep him well and with me. But I wasn’t willing to sacrifice on taste. I’m not a trained chef (my dream is to visit a cooking school in France or Italy!), but what I do have on my side is a keen curiosity, and a daring to try recipes that I have either passionately enjoyed in a restaurant, discovered in a cookbook, or day-dreamed about!

I will be the first to say that I have burned more bread, nuts, beans, rice in my bare feet than should be allowed! Usually because I start talking to a child, my husband, or the dog. But sometimes magic happens. And nothing gives me more pleasure than to feed well the people that I love the most in the world.

This Sunday I made home-made granola for my husband’s breakfast for the week, fresh hummus for a Greek salad, gave a first-go at making cashew butter, taught my daughter Elise how to make my secret recipe for meatballs, and blindfolded made probably my 300th batch of banana chocolate chip muffins!

This is joy for me!

A dream of mine would be to invite you, my Bread and Honey faithfuls, to come visit my Sunday Test Kitchen and cook with me! What do you think?

My husband loves his Greek yogurt, granola, honey, and blueberries for breakfast every morning, except for Friday croissants and Saturday pancakes! Granola is not all the same, and I would discourage granola from the cereal aisle. Especially, since it’s so easy to make, yummy, and healthy!

Husband’s Favorite Granola

Dry Ingredients:

4 cups of raw oats

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 cup raw sliced almonds

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup raw chopped cashews

1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/2 cup shelled pistachios

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup raw wheat germ (leave off for gluten free)

3 T flax seeds

1 1/2 teasp Kosher salt

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cardamon

Wet Ingredients:

3 T raw honey, room temperature (I use my French rosemary honey)

3 T maple syrup

3 T melted coconut oil

1 T pure vanilla extract

In one bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. In another bowl combine the dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and stir well until they are all well-coated. Generously cover one, maybe two baking sheets with melted coconut oil. Aim for around 1/2- 1 inch deep of mixture on each sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes, stirring regularly. I pull mine out on the earlier side because I prefer the granola not too-toasty. But it’s your own personal taste. Allow to cool for 20 minutes. Feel free to dress-up your Granola with dried Montmorency cherries, raisins, apricots, dates, or if you are like me, dark chocolate chips! I snack on the granola when I’m writing. There’s no beating a yogurt parfait with layers of yogurt, honey, fresh berries, granola and a sprig of fresh mint! And with the help of a little almond butter binder they make great snacking bars!

Bon Appétit!

Farrell

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