Cherry Pecan Granola

Cherry Pecan Granola

After eating Mary’s Wild Oats at Zingerman’s Roadhouse in Ann Arbor a number of times I was on a quest to recreate it at home. At $7.50 a pop it’s not cheap to eat granola at their restaurant, but it’s made from inexpensive and easy-to-find ingredients so I figured I could make a similar version myself. I searched the web, but Zingerman’s has not yet parted with their recipe, although their description on the website gave me a enough clues of what ingredients to look for when comparing other recipes. Oats, of course, honey, butter, dried cranberries and whole almonds.

Homemade Granola

Of course, the beauty of making your own granola is that you can adapt it to your tastes, which is what I’ve done here. You can easily change out the choice of nuts, sweeteners and dried fruits to your own favorites. I found a good base recipe on CDKitchen’s website and adapted that to include my favorites. I’ve experimented enough times that my current favorite recipe combo is the recipe below. It includes, pecans, dried cherries, cinnamon and honey. Shhh… but I’d argue that my version is even better than the recipe I was first out to find.

I purchased a yogurt maker a number of months ago, so in addition to making my own granola each week I also make a batch of fresh vanilla yogurt. I also pick up fresh berries or bananas and consistently eat the combination for breakfast every morning. It keeps me full until my workday lunch at noon and I never get bored with it. This past week I made a version with pistachios and maple syrup, also tasty! So, feel free to try different variations until you find the perfect one for you!

Cherry Pecan Granola

Adapted from cdkitchen

  • 4 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup honey (or other sweetener)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup dried tart cherries

 

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Mix oats, pecans, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl combine oil and honey; you do not need to stir. Microwave for 60 seconds then pour over oats mixture.

Stir oil mixture into oats until it is completely incorporated into the oats mixture. It will still look a little dry. Spread on a large baking sheet covered with parchment paper.

Bake for 40 minutes, stirring carefully every 10 minutes. Let granola cool completely then add to a large Ziploc or other storage container. Mix in dried cherries. Store at room temperature for up to one week.

Raspberry Baked Oatmeal

Raspberry Baked Oatmeal

First off, I apologize for the long and unintended blogging hiatus. I stated a new job earlier this year and I forgot how much that can take out of you.

Before writing this post I’ve passed this recipe for baked oatmeal on to at least ten people so I knew that I needed to get it up on my blog for the rest of the world to enjoy.

The raspberry baked oatmeal is an adaptation of a Blackberry and Ginger Baked Oatmeal I found on Babble. I’ll admit that I made the Blackberry and Ginger version first and I love it even more than with raspberries. I tried to change things up when I couldn’t find decent blackberries in the store the one week, but this recipe is flexible and will work well no matter your favorite berry.

It’s great fresh out of the oven, bur reheats nicely in the microwave for about one minute or so. I make it on Sundays and put it in the fridge for an easy breakfast before work the rest of the week. It’s my new go to first meal of the day!

Baked Oatmeal with Raspberries

adapted from Babble

  • 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, plus more for top
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 large bananas
  • 2 pints of fresh raspberries

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 8” square baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, sugar, ginger, baking powder, spices, and salt.

In a small bowl whisk together the milk, egg, and butter.

lice the bananas and layer on the bottom the prepared baking dish. Spread half of the berries over the bananas. Spoon the oat mixture over the top, and then pour in the milk mixture. Press the remaining berries into the oats, and sprinkle top with cinnamon.

Bake for 35 – 45 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes or refrigerate and reheat leftovers.

Mud Hen Bars

Mud Hen Bars

I’d never had anything quite like a Mud Hen Bar before I made these after finding them on the Two Peas and Their Pod blog (which found the recipe on the Sunday Baker blog) . They’re a layered bar ‘cookie’, but have their own unique qualities compared to other varieties I’ve made or have eaten. Each of tier gives the dessert a mix of texture and flavor that I loved. The bottom layer is a lovely light yellow cake (Two Peas referred to it as a cookie base, but mine out very much like a cake). The middle layer consists of mini-marshmallows and chocolate chips to create a gooey center and the top is a brown sugar meringue which finishes the Mud Hen Bars with a nice crackle and almost caramel-like taste. There is some debate about where the name of these came from, but you’ll enjoy contemplating that while taking a bite of one of these!

Like Two Peas and Their Pod, I left out the nuts from the base layer. Find the recipe here.