Coconut-Cardamom Granola with Tart Cherries

January 9, 2015

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While I haven’t made any new year resolutions involving my diet I have felt compelled to eat things that are not made entirely of butter and sugar. The past few months have been indulgent, to say the least. Homemade granola is one of my favorite breakfasts, it is so easy to make a large batch to have on hand for something quick and healthy in the morning.

This version is lightly scented with cardamom and studded with bright, tart dried cherries. This recipe includes an egg white (to help create the clumps) but could easily be omitted to make the recipe vegan. I kept the sugar level really low but it can be increased if you have a sweet tooth. I like mine with some freshly made cashew milk or plain yogurt drizzled with honey. If you have never made granola you have to try it – so easy and nothing like the stuff you buy in the store!

DSC_0739Ingredients

Makes About 8 Cups

4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup dried shredded coconut

1.5 cups raw almonds

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 cup coconut oil

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 egg white

1 tablespoon vanilla paste

1 heaping cup dried cherries

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. In a large mixing bowl combine the oats, shredded coconut, almonds, cardamom and salt. Add the coconut oil (heat it over the stovetop or in microwave to liquify) and maple syrup. Lightly beat the egg white with the vanilla, add to the oats and mix well to combine.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the oat mixture on the pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes, turning once with a spatula halfway through. The granola is done when it’s a beautiful golden brown color. Let cool and then break up the clumps to your liking and sprinkle in the cherries. Store up to two weeks in an airtight container.

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Eleven Months

January 6, 2015

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My little elf turned 11 months old on Christmas Eve! We drove down to Humboldt for the holidays and she did really well on the drive until the last hour or so when she decided she was really over it. Of course she doesn’t understand the whole Christmas concept yet but she really enjoyed looking at the twinkling lights on the tree and playing with ribbon. She mastered crawling while at my moms house, before she had just been army crawling around but the carpet helped her gain traction and now she is FAST. Walking is coming up next, exciting but I am tired just thinking about it!

Twenty Fifteen

January 1, 2015

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Happy New Year! Last night we had a cozy night in with a roaring fire, champagne and fresh dungeness crab dinner. Greta went to sleep at 7 and I managed to stay up till 11:15 before deciding to throw in the towel. The fireworks at midnight woke me up anyways so I watched the clock tick over before falling back asleep. The crazy glitter filled nights out of the past were fun but I much prefer a quiet night in and waking up feeling rested on the first day of the year.

The sun has been shining brightly today but it is freeeeeezing! Literally, everything is frozen solid outside. We managed to take a quick trip to the dog park and then out for tacos at Tienda Santa Cruz in St Johns. If you haven’t been you must go! Best tacos in town. Greta enjoyed her rice and beans, they are her new favorite.

Wishing you all the best in 2015!

Ten Months

December 31, 2014

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So behind with these monthly updates, I guess that is what comes with a mobile baby! Greta learned to army crawl on her tummy while visiting her Great Grandma Barbara at Thanksgiving. I think it had been hard for her with all our hardwood at home so the carpet was a useful to help her get the traction she needed. She has been exploring new foods and seems to love everything so far – she really enjoyed sharing my turkey dinner!

Brown Butter Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

November 19, 2014

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip

These cookies are pretty alright. Just kidding! These are the best cookies I have ever stuffed into my mouth, you should stop whatever you are doing and get some butter softening to make them IMMEDIATELY! Seriously, so good. The nutty brown butter with bittersweet chocolate and sea salt is a holy trifecta that can’t be beat.

I used this recipe from Joy the Baker and made the following changes: dark brown sugar instead of light because that is what I had in my pantry, whole wheat flour, added an extra 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and this magic vanilla sea salt* instead of regular old boring salt. You could totally make your own by combining a little fleur de sel with a piece of vanilla bean in a small jar and letting it chill out for a while. Happy cookie baking!

*also delicious sprinkled on top of oatmeal, trust me.

Pear + Gorgonzola Flatbread

November 14, 2014

gorgonzola flatbread

I dreamed this up when I was in a moment of snack desperation yesterday and it is going to be my new go-to! Would also make a lovely appetizer at a party. Simply toast a piece of flatbread (I used a piece of naan leftover from an indian dinner earlier in the week) and top with thinly sliced pear and crumbled gorgonzola. Pop back into the oven to broil for 30 seconds until the cheese has melted and drizzle with honey. Slice into pieces and serve warm. SO GOOD.

Nine Months

November 12, 2014

Nine Months

Greta turned 9 months old a few weeks ago, I feel like so much has happened! She now has all four front teeth and is thisclose to crawling. I haven’t been pushing her to crawl as I am kind of terrified of what will come with her newfound mobility. Currently she can army crawl and roll to get where she wants to go and I am already having to keep a constant eye on her.

She is having a lot of fun exploring new foods and reading books. I am having so much fun with her and it brings me so much joy to see her little personality shining through. This year has gone by so quickly and the need to slow down and cherish these last few months of her being a baby is strong. Trying to soak up every moment with my sweet girl.

Old Fashioned Bourbon-Vanilla Apple Crisp

October 21, 2014

Old Fashioned Vanilla-Bourbon Apple Crisp

I would take apple crisp over apple pie any day. I might be a bit biased as I grew up on the stuff but in my mind the crunchy oat topping is the perfect match for sweetly spiced apples. Served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream it just can’t be beat. Leave off the ice cream and you can almost get away with eating it for breakfast! Almost.

Old Fashioned Vanilla-Bourbon Apple Crisp

This recipe is based off the one my mom gave me (thanks mom!), spiked with bourbon and a touch of vanilla. Because you can’t go wrong with bourbon. Extra points for picking your own apples but totally not necessary. If you make at least one apple dessert a year I highly recommend investing in an apple peeler/corer/slicer, they are magic!

Old Fashioned Vanilla-Bourbon Apple Crisp

Ingredients

Serves 6

5 medium sized apples (I used Empire)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons bourbon

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

1/3 cup flour

3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch salt

6 tablespoons chilled butter

Lightly grease an 8×8″ baking dish or 9″ pie dish. Peel, core and slice apples thinly. Toss with lemon juice, bourbon and vanilla and pour into the baking dish. In a mixing bowl combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and pinch of salt. Cut the chilled butter into the flour and oat mixture until it forms a crumb approximately the size of small peas. Top the apples with the oat mixture and bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Old Fashioned Vanilla-Bourbon Apple Crisp

They need to change the saying to “easy as crisp”. Simple to make and really easy to eat! Enjoy.

Draper Girls Country Farm

October 15, 2014

The last weekend in September we loaded up the car and headed out to the gorge in search of u-pick apples, landing at the charming Draper Girls Country Farm outside of Hood River. We weren’t the only people with this grand idea – seemed like half of Portland was there on that glorious sunny day. It was a little too sunny which seems like a funny thing to complain about but it was pushing 85, not exactly my fall apple picking fantasy. We persevered and managed to pick two buckets of apples , one honeycrisp for snacking and one a mix for baking. We were so hot and tired after we forgot to visit the baby animals, sob! Next time…

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I’ve been busy cooking up apple recipes and will be sharing them shortly! One miiiiiight include bourbon and is quite possibly the best dessert I have ever tasted.

38 Weeks

October 13, 2014

I am a terrible procrastinator. Throughout my school years I always waited until the night before to complete my essays and projects, I guess I am just one of those people who works better under pressure. So in typical Megan form I waited until the last possible minute to have some maternity photos taken. I think I was also waiting for my bump to really pop out, I have a long torso so I feel like I didn’t look convincingly pregnant until those last couple weeks.

My friend Anja came over with honey pie from Sweedeedee (thanks buddy, you know the way to a pregnant ladies heart) and we spent some time photographing my enormous belly. I was just a little over 38 weeks pregnant at the time these were taken. So glad we got them when we did because I had Greta just a few days later at exactly 39 weeks!

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Photography by Anja Verdugo

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