I realize it has been quite a while since I have posted any recipes! While there has been nothing particularly glamourous coming out of my kitchen, there has been lots of simple and homey meals which are the foundation for time spent well together. Last night I made my first pot roast not from a recipe. I actually have never made a pot roast before, Im not a huge fan of red meat. My husband on the other hand, will make burgers and serve them with a side of sausage. We can be worlds apart on our preferences and passions when it comes to food sometimes, but having the opportunity to meet him where he is and just make something simply because I know he will like it can help our home feel a little more welcoming to him. That is sort of the point of cooking right? It's more than just chemistry and composition, its about heart and soul.
Last weekend we were able to have dinner with a family we love dearly. Jeff and Melissa used to work at my favorite vegan diner in the city, but we met them through a church we were both attending at the time. Jeff was there to celebrate with Xavier and I after I accepted his proposal, announcing the news to the entire restaurant while popping open a wonderful bottle of champagne. Melissa and I were pregnant about the same time, the birth of her son Abraham preceded Julian's by just a few months. She also seems to be the one I turn to most when I have questions about living sustainably, or my garden, and sometimes just need someone to listen, she is the best listener. I knew she would prepare something delicious, and I was right! She served us a spread of creamy orzo with some sort of rolled and baked eggplant, tomato and cheese concoction that was so good that Xavier ate two whole plates! There were sauteed green beans with toasted walnuts and garlic, and a berry clafoutis. The meal was so satisfying, and encouraged long, meaningful connection and conversation.
As I mentioned before, knowing Melissa would prepare such a wonderful meal, I wanted to bring her a little hostess gift to thank her. Earlier in the week I had gone through my pantry to make room for the next bulk grains/beans run and ended up putting together a yummy granola for giving. It was perfect for the occasion! It's deeply toasty, just sweet enough and perfect for topping greek yogurt in the morning (or honestly at night, when I want a little tiny sweet snack)
Granola For Giving
4 c of Organic Thick Cut Oats
Roasted & Salted Almonds
Unsulphured Coconut Flakes
I left out the exact measurements because you can really play with and adjust the ratios. I honestly just put a little of this and a little of that and mixed it all together until it tasted right. Melting the coconut oil is the only way to get it to coat the oats properly, so I highly recomend that. Then I popped it into the oven for about an hour at 275 degrees until it got little crunchy. I leave mine in a little longer to get that toasty flavor, but some people may not prefer that. Pressing some foil on top and weighting it down helps the granola to be a little chunkier, if you like that. After it cools, toss in the nuts and raisins. It stores best in an airtight container, and should be eaten with in the week. You can seriously add pretty much anything you'd like, maybe some vanilla or real maple syrup instead of the honey, or maybe omit the cinnamon and add another spice, or adding dried cranberries with walnuts. If you eat a lot of granola (or buy a lot, I should say, because I think the packaged granolas tend to be way overpriced and filled with preservatives) you should really consider making your own for giving, or keeping.
If you try it, let me know how it works out, or what you added! This certainly is getting me excited for the gift giving season, Id love to get a couple of packages from friends with home made goodies like this.
Thanks for reading!