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

7 Comments
  • Donna Butler-Rawson

    April 13, 2015at6:59 am Reply

    Once again, your words strike a chord with me. Curiousity, in all things, is ingrained in me. I’m learning to slow down and actually take time to enjoy the fruits of my uncharted adventures.

    Oh, and I think your idea of a Sunday Test Kitchen gathering is brilliant!

  • Becca Robinson

    April 13, 2015at8:38 am Reply

    I could not agree more with you about being in the kitchen. Cooking, especially for others, is my happy place. We began making our own granola a few months ago. It is SO much better than anything from the store. May have to give this recipe a try soon!

  • Anne Cecil

    April 13, 2015at9:38 am Reply

    well, you certainly do make it sound so easy. I’m willing to give it a try. wish i were close enough to go barefoot with you in your kitchen, just to be a fly on the wall………before you smack me flat on the wall 🙂

  • Lisa McGinty

    April 13, 2015at12:12 pm Reply

    Love the recipe and can identify with the need to be in the kitchen… it’s such a relaxing and spiritual time for me to be creating through baking and cooking on the occasions that I actually make the time to do it.

    My dream is to attend a cooking school in Italy or France as well one day!

  • Christine Reed

    April 13, 2015at1:24 pm Reply

    This granola recipe looks awesome! Roland loves pistachios. Does it need to be refrigerated for storage? I like to bake and bring joy to others through my goodies but I don’t like to cook at all. I have a pretty bland palate and without an exact recipe, I don’t cook very well. Any recipes you have for cooking veggies or integrating them into casseroles or other foods would be very helpful to me. 😉

  • polly

    April 13, 2015at7:50 pm Reply

    I would love to watching you smile in your kitchen. I would love to watch you be a mama, a shepherd to those little ones of yours, just like you are to all of us. Hugs, Polly

  • Rilana

    April 20, 2015at8:42 am Reply

    Where should we meet in Italy for cooking classes? It must be on a sunday :-)!

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