Posts Tagged ‘Nuts’

Harvest Granola

October 4th, 2010

Harvest granola

Mornings are always better when they come with a bowl of granola.  My usual granola recipe is from Yummy Supper – chunky and chewy, with lots of cranberries and almonds.  My mom uses Nigella Lawson’s recipe from Feast which uses applesauce as one of the sweeteners.

When I was out in Vancouver, my sister’s friend had a bag of homemade granola her parents had sent from home.  It was full of pretty green pumpkin seeds and golden flax.  I used this as the starting point for the recipe below.

1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup cane syrup
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup golden flax
1/2 cup sesame seeds
4 cups oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup dried cranberries

In a large bowl, stir all the ingredients (except the cranberries) together until everything is evenly distributed.
Dump the granola out into a very large cake pan or a deep broiling pan and spread out in an even layer.
Roast at 325ºF for 45-60 minutes, stirring gently at 15 minute intervals.  The granola should be evenly browned when it’s done.
Once the granola is out of the oven, stir through the cranberries.
Cool completely before storing in an air-tight container.

Fruit and Nut Yogurt Cups

September 1st, 2010

With my new job comes a new challenge: box lunches.  I’m now working across town at our shiny new branch library, as opposed to being a quick walk from the downtown library.  This spells the end of dashing home for lunch and tossing something together from scratch.  I’ll be packing my lunch to take with me every morning which means a complete overhaul of my lunch process.  I’ve been scavenging for grain and bean salad recipes, reading the Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special cookbook for soup ideas and trying to make sure I hit all the food groups with whatever I end up tossing in my lunch bag.

The lunch idea that has made me happiest came from The Kitchn, over at Apartment Therapy:

Lunchtime yogurt cup

Simple Mason jar yogurt cups.  This one is has blackberries on the bottom, smothered with 2% yogurt and sprinkled with almonds.  Next up: blueberries with toasted walnuts.  Then maybe some pineapple and coconut, or applesauce and raisins.  Endless possibilities and endless lunchtime smiles.

Stilton Shortcakes with Poached Pears

December 30th, 2007

I’ve been wanting to make this dessert since I picked up David Lebovitz‘s Ripe for Dessert earlier this year. It’s a great little cookbook, full of fruity desserts and gorgeous photos. I finally got around to trying these shortcakes the other night, and they were perfect for a cold winter’s night. I’ve made a few changes to David’s original recipe, but the basics remain the same.

2 cups water
2/3 cup honey
juice of one lemon
four Bartlett pears (peeled/cored/quartered)

2 cups flour
1 tbsp white sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 stick butter (cut into cubes)
1 cup crumbled Stilton cheese
2/3 cup buttermilk

whipped cream (with 1 tsp vanilla)
toasted walnuts

In a large saucepan, bring the water, honey and lemon juice to a fast simmer.
Toss in the pear slices, and cook for about 15 minutes, or until slightly translucent.
Remove the pears from the poaching liquid, and leave it to simmer down to a syrup – about another 15-25 minutes.
Once the pears have cooled off, slice them into bite-sized pieces and set aside.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Cut in the butter and cheese with a pastry blender, or use a food processor.
When the butter is in very small pieces, sprinkle in the buttermilk as you toss the mixture with a fork.
Gently knead the dough into a flattened round, then roll out to 1-inch thickness.
Cut out shortcakes with a 3-inch round cookiecutter, or the rim of a floured glass. Place on a baking sheet.
Bake at 375°F for 15-20 minutes, turning the baking sheet around at the half point so that the shortcakes brown evenly.

To serve, cut a shortcake in half, then top it with whipped cream, pears, a bit of syrup and a handful of toasted walnuts.

Chocolate Baci cookies

November 30th, 2006


When I was in Italy, one of the recurring dessert themes I observed was an abundance of chocolate-hazelnut confections.  My favourite chocolate gelato was the Baci flavour, and the little chocolate from which it took its name weren’t half bad either.  I wanted to recreate the idea in a cookie, so modified one of my recipes from last Christmas’s baking.

1/2 cup margarine
2/3 cup white sugar
1 large egg yolk
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
Nutella chocolate-hazelnut spread
whole hazelnuts

Cream together the softened margarine and sugar.
Beat in the egg, milk and vanilla, stirring until completely smooth.
Gently stir in the dry ingredients. The batter will take a while to come together – just keep mixing slowly and steadily.
Form the cookie dough into a ball and refridgerate for at least one hour.
Once the dough is properly chilled, roll out small balls – about a teaspoon’s worth of dough per cookie.
Bake the cookies for 7-8 minutes at 350ºF.
As soon as you pull the cookies out of the oven, make a deep dent in the top of each one with a thimble. Move the cookies to a rack to cool completely.
To complete the Baci cookies, spoon a small amount of Nutella into the indentations, and top with a single hazelnut.

You can also top these cookies with cream cheese icing and a walnut, or any other combination you can think of.

Fettuccine with Walnuts and Zucchini Ribbons

August 2nd, 2006

Fettuccine with Zucchini and Walnuts

I came across a neat-looking pasta dish in either Gourmet or Bon Appétit magazine last month, photocopied the recipe, and finally got around to trying it out tonight. I’ve made a lot of changes, since it was a last-minute supper, and we didn’t have any anchovies or large amounts of basil. The rich taste of the walnuts was a nice flavour with the salty cheese and simple zucchini, and I think I’ll try adding some taragon next time I make this.

4 portions fettuccine, cooked
2-3 small zucchinis
2-3 green onions
a handful each of fresh basil and fresh parsley
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
a splash of olive oil
a pinch of red pepper flakes
a pie plateful of toasted walnuts
salt and pepper to taste
large quantities of Romano cheese

Using a vegetable peeler, slice the zucchinis lengthwise into long ribbons.
Chop the green onions and the herbs, and dump the all the ingredients (except the pasta and cheese) into a large skillet.
Sauté the vegetables over medium heat until the zucchini is just starting to soften.
Stir the greenery into the pasta, and top with as much cheese and you like. (the more, the better)

As you may notice from the above quantities, I’m pretty carefree with my pasta dishes. I measure with handfuls and sidelong glances, stirring and dumping at the same time. So far, this seems to be the best way of dealing with dishes like this one. ;)
The amount and kinds of herbs used is very flexible. Tarragon would be great with the walnuts, and the original recipe called for a 1/4 cup of chopped mint leaves.

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