Coconut Almond Granola

It hasn’t seemed much like winter here, with the balmy temperatures of the last week, but nevertheless, a spate of holiday parties, wrapping presents, and baking have put us in a festive mood. And now that I finally have a noticeable baby bump, that has made the last few weeks pretty exciting too–this pregnancy thing seems all the more real (now just to feel him move! Any day now…).

Amidst all of the rich food, I’ve tried to stay tried and true to my everyday breakfast of yogurt and granola. Granola is an easy enough thing to put together, it hardly seems to need a recipe, but nevertheless, I tried a new version today that seemed worth posting.

I added cardamom, one of my favorite spices–it adds such a unique flavor to everything–and I left out the dried fruit since the natural sugar seemed overkill since I sometimes add granola to sweetened, rather than plain, Greek yogurt. Hope you enjoy! What have you all been cooking lately?

Coconut ALmond Granola

Coconut Almond Granola

Adapted from Honey Almond Granola, Cookie & Kate

  • 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats 
  • 1½ cups almonds, chopped (or other nuts*)
  • 1/8 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup flaked coconut
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, nuts, cinnamon and cardamom. Stir thoroughly to combine.
Stir in the oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. Turn the granola out into a roasting pan and use a large spoon to spread it in an even layer. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring halfway. The granola should be turning lightly golden. The granola will crisp up as it cools.
Let the granola cool and store the granola in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 to 2 weeks, or keep it in the freezer for longer shelf life.

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Spinach, Tomato, and Feta Strata

Aya and Kileken get married!

Aya and Kileken get married!

We were all so, so, so excited to spend this past weekend in New Hampshire, celebrating the wedding of Aya and Kileken. There’s not a good way to sum up the weekend in words, except to say that it was a magical and meaningful coming together of two people that we all love very much, and two people who are fated to be with one another. Aya and Kileken’s families are full of incredible people, and to see their family and friends come together in such a beautiful place that holds a dear meaning to all of us was just so special. (As an aside, doesn’t Aya look stunning?)

Pre-Wedding Brunch at the cabin with Sara, Garriy, Naomi, Molly, and Ryan.

Pre-Wedding Brunch at the cabin with Sara, Garriy, Naomi, Molly, and Ryan.

I was lucky enough to get to spend the weekend with so many good friends, including the lovely ladies who all blog here together. We stayed in a quaint (read: bizarre and chintzy) cabin in South Tamworth that had a gorgeous river behind it with some awesome waterfalls. Naomi, Garriy, and I spent the morning of the wedding day watching frogs hop around in the river and putting our hair underneath the waterfalls, but not before having a great breakfast with Sara, Ryan, and Molly. It felt like being back in college, but more grown up, and with slightly nicer digs.

Sara and Felicia: Gorgeous ladies livin it up at the wedding.

I knew that we wouldn’t have too much time to cook, but that sitting around the table and catching up would be exactly what the weekend needed, so I planned ahead for a Trader Joe’s stop and a recipe that would be easy to pull together for brunch. The notion of a make-ahead dish that could be popped in the oven in the morning appealed, but most of the ones I’m familiar with involve lots of sugar, or lots of sausage and gloppy cheese–not really our style. So, after some searching around on Foodily (my fav recipe search engine), I came up with a Spinach and Feta Strata. Stratas are like savory bread puddings and since I’m not a sugar breakfast fan, I really enjoy them.

This one turned out well, and I would definitely make it again for brunch or even a casual dinner, as it’s especially convenient for a crowd or around the holidays.

Aya, we love you so much–thank you for having and awesome wedding and have fun in Greece!

Spinach, Tomato, and Feta Strata

Spinach, Tomato, and Feta Strata

modified from a Pamela Salzman recipe

  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 10 ounces fresh spinach leaves
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 ½ cups whole milk
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2/3 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 1 C. cherry tomatoes, halfed; or 2 large tomatoes (when in season), seeded and diced
  • 8 cups of whole wheat, spelt or sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (I used Trader Joe’s seeded sourdough bread)
  • Butter or olive oil for greasing baking dish

Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and sauté until tender, about 4-5 minutes.  Add the spinach and cook until wilted, a few more minutes. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the milk, sea salt and pepper.  Stir in the cheeses, tomato, bread and spinach-onion mixture.

Lightly grease a 13 x 9 –inch baking dish and pour the strata mixture into the dish.  Cover and refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Uncover baking dish and bake for 45-55 minutes or until egg mixture is set and top is golden brown. Can be can be frozen if wrapped tightly.  Thaw in the refrigerator before baking. Serves 8.