So...the good news is that our kitchen is nearly finished and we were able to set it up this past weekend and start using it again (See photos below). The bad news is that I caught a stinker of a cold which has literally knocked me flat for the past few days and all my best laid plans of having amazing new dishes to share with you got totally sidetracked! I'm on the mend now (all except my voice which is virtually non-existent--thank goodness this is not a video blog) and all I could manage over the weekend was this super simple Maple Cherry Granola (which I debated calling Sickbed Granola but then decided against since that seems less than appetizing!) From looking at the recipe, I didn't really expect much but I was dying to use my oven and help dispel the polyurethane smell in the house too, and you know what? It turns out that this easy, throw-together thing is actually memorable. Full of flavor, crunch and deliciousness! If you're looking for a no-brainer breakfast option (or feeling under the weather) this Maple Cherry Granola's the one for you!!
I LOVE homemade granola. If you've ever made it yourself or tasted someone else's homemade version, you'll agree that there's just no comparison with the store-bought brands, right? But sometimes you just don't have the energy or inclination and I get it totally. But I promise you that with this one, you can really whip it up in just minutes with ingredients you likely have in your pantry and be granola-happy for weeks!
My family went nuts for this and it's definitely going on my regular rotation! The combination of the maple flavor with the crunchy oats, nuts, cinnamon and chewy, tangy dried cherries is a real mouth-pleaser. And though it's super simple, a mason jar filled with this yummy concoction, would actually make a great little gift--that is, if you're able to part with it!!
My favorite way to eat this is on top of yogurt, but it's pretty terrific just by the handful too!
And now, cause I promised, here are some photos of the kitchen--if you have absolutely no interest in the goings-on of our new kitchen or are just pressed for time--I totally get it. Just scroll down to the recipe below. But folks have been asking for more kitchen peeps, so here are few more photos. In this first one, you can sorta get an idea of our countertops.
And I am now the proud owner of a pull-out spice rack drawer.
And a baking drawer--note the surgical precision of the layout!
And a brand new, compartmentalized pantry--Annabel, I promise I will try to keep it organized!
And here's a look inside our cabinets
And finally, a little overview. Still have to paint our old table and get some new stools, but it's all coming together and we feel overjoyed and so incredibly lucky to be living in such an amazing new space!!!
Maple Cherry Granola
Makes about 6 1/2 cups
Prep Time: 12 minutes; Bake Time: 1 hour
- 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, roughly chopped (you could use any nut you like)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup dried cherries (you can use any dried fruit you prefer)
1. Preheat oven to 225ºF and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. Place the oats, cashews salt and cinnamon into a large bowl and mix well. When you measure out the maple syrup, add the vanilla to the cup as well and stir together. Then, pour the mixture over the dried ingredients in the bowl and mix until well combined.
3. Turn the mixture out onto the prepared sheet and smooth into an even layer.
4. Bake for about 1 hour, stirring the mixture once throughout the process and re-spreading it into an even layer. It will look golden and smell heavenly.
5. Let cool and break apart. Add the dried cherries and toss to mix. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks (I like to use mason jars).
Note: Recipe adapted from The Gourmet Kitchen by Jennifer Farley. I subbed in cherries for dried blueberries and cut down on the salt.