Thursday, December 17, 2009


I'm exhausted. Really, I am. It's all my fault, of course, because I don't sleep when I have the opportunity to and I generally stay up until all hours of the night, fretting about work. It's what I do, and it's part of what makes me good at my job.

The trip to Santa Maria for work wasn't necessarily tiring because of the travel, it was tiring because being in a new place, surrounded by new people, having to get used to a new building and new methods? That's tiring. I was on edge and wired all of Monday and Tuesday and got by on adrenaline until about midday yesterday, when I just sort of collapsed into a heap in the screening room and let my brain shut down for a much-needed fifteen minute break.

It says a lot about how focused I was on work that the only photo I took of the hotel was of my granola.

And this with my phone, not even with a proper camera. I remembered thinking while I was having it that I should take a picture for when I blog about the recipe to make this granola, which I find is great for breakfast with a cup of low or nonfat plain yogurt. I really like Greek-style plain yogurt, and I don't like sweetened yogurts at all, so I need a little something to boost up my yogurt when I eat it. This granola is great- not too sweet (not very sweet at all, really), crisp, flavorful, and delicious.

adapted from Nigella Lawson's granola in "Feast"

5 cups rolled oats
1 cup sesame seeds (I used black sesame seeds, of course you can use white)
1/2 walnut halves
1/2 cup pecan halves
1 1/3 cups slivered, blanched almonds
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 cup applesauce, unsweetened
1/2 cup maple syrup (I used grade B)
1 tablespoon canola oil (or vegetable oil)

Mini chocolate chips
Dried cranberries

Very simple, this one:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Stir the wet ingredients together in a bowl, preferably with a beloved spoon from childhood memories.

Measure out all the dry ingredients and dump into a large mixing bowl. Mix them all up so that the cinnamon and ginger are dispersed.

Combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients, stirring with a rubber spatula to coat everything as well as you can. Divide the ingredients in half, pressing onto two rimmed baking sheets, spreading out the mix evenly.

Bake in the oven for a total of 40 - 50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. I stir the granola and swap out the cookie sheets, so that what was on the top rack is now on the bottom and vice versa. I also turn the racks, so the left side is now on the right side. I'm very weird about that kind of thing.

Take the granola out and let cool. Contemplate what to add to the granola as you wait. I added half a cup of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips to the jar that I knew that I would put half the granola in.

I dumped the chocolate chips onto the cooled granola and mixed around, then put the mixture into my jar.

The other half of the granola, on the other baking sheet, was poured into a freezer bag, plain. I like some plain, some flavored. I've been eating the plain granola with yogurt and prunes.

But the morning after I made the granola, I had the plain one with a cup of Fage yogurt. It was delicious.

A word of warning about this, though- it really is very, very unsweetened. The original recipe calls for honey and brown sugar, I believe, whereas I just put in a very insignificant amount of maple syrup. I don't like very sweet food for breakfast, never have, so I'm never going to go full-sugar on my granola. Maybe add half a cup of brown sugar to the above recipe to appease the inner sugar-craving child?

Time to get some more work done before I go to sleep, too exhausted to think coherently (much less type out recipes!).