Greetings from my empty living room in Springfield, Illinois. I’m typing this from our card table/desk/dining table/only piece of furniture in the upper level of the house. We’ve been here since Sunday and we’re settling in, inch by inch. The past few days have felt exciting [new chapter!], sad [leaving home, friends, family], messy [dust-mud-chaos], happy [first wedding anniversary], stressful [furniture delayed for a week], and fun [life with Ed is always fun]. I can barely process all of the feelings I’m feeling. Every time I start to put my thoughts into words, our dog starts whining or the contractors shoot nails into concrete or the house makes a sound I have to investigate. In other words, I’m distracted. So instead of words, I’m sharing pictures. Below are a few shots from the past couple of days and a recipe for granola that’s been a frequent breakfast and a constant snack during this period of transition.
granola with cherries, coconut, almonds, and walnuts
adapted from Orangette
The internet has no shortage of granola recipes, but this one hits the spot for me. It’s barely sweet from the maple syrup and has a strong savory backbone from the salt and olive oil. There are no clusters here, just perfectly toasted and crispy individual oats, nuts, and coconut flakes. The cherries are tart and chewy and add a cinnamon-y sweetness. I swirl this into vanilla yogurt for a wholesome breakfast and/or snack on it by the handful all day.
As noted on Orangette’s page, you can do any combination of nuts and dried fruit. You can chop the nuts or leave them whole. I’ve tried both and find that slightly chopping them is my ideal.
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1.5 cups unsweetened flaked coconut
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
¾ cup almonds, coarsely chopped
¾ cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup olive oil
Preheat oven to 300° F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, coconut, nuts, cherries, and salt. Drizzle the maple syrup over the contents of the bowl and stir well. Repeat with the olive oil, making sure everything is moistened.
Spread the mixture in an even layer on the parchment-paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes, stirring and flipping the mixture every 15 minutes. The final product should be evenly toasted light brown (the coconut is the best indicator of doneness).
Allow to cool completely and store in an air-tight container.