Monthly Archives: March 2011

cherry-almond vegan granola

I’m about the farthest you can get from vegan. My love and adoration for bacon will never allow me to make this leap. But you know what? This Cherry-Almond Vegan Granola is incredibly edible. It’s a great snack to have on hand, and you don’t have to feel too guilty about enjoying a handful now and then.

Instead of the melted butter and sugar combination found in most granola recipes, this version uses apple juice and molasses. The apple juice adds a great unexpected flavor and aroma to the granola.

cherry-almond vegan granola

  • cooking spray
  • 3 cups rolled oats (not quick cooking)
  • 2/3 cup wheat germ
  • 1 cup whole raw almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dried cherries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray sheet pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine oats, wheat germ, almonds, nutmeg and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, mix apple juice, molasses and vanilla extract. Pour the apple juice mixture into the oat and almond mixture. Stir to coat all ingredients well. Spread mixture evenly onto sheet pan.

Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool at least 20 minutes. Stir in dried cherries. Store in an airtight container.

 

*Don’t forget that you can win some of my tasty granola. Click here for more details.

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wordless wednesday

pistachio-apricot granola – everyday food challenge

So after I finished making and baking four batches of granola on Sunday, I had a revelation. I told Greg that I was pretty sure that I could be very happy quitting my job to make granola full-time. Wishful thinking, I just don’t think that there’s gold in them there jars. However, the small chunks of dried apricots in the Pistachio-Apricot Granola are kind of goldish in hue… Are you with me?

While I may not be a granola mogul anytime soon, I do love making a homemade batch, and knowing every single ingredient that’s in it. Even better, I love the smell that wafts from the oven as the granola bakes. The following recipe is from the April 2011 issue of Everyday Food magazine.  It features four different variations on a standard granola recipe. I’ve made two of the versions, and they are fantastic.  Here’s the first:

Pistachio-Apricot Granolaadapted from Everyday Food, April 2011

  • 3 cups rolled oats (not quick cooking)
  • 1 cup unsalted shelled pistachios
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter cut into pieces
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup dried apricots, diced

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a bowl, combine oats and pistachios. In a small saucepan, combine butter, honey, cinnamon and salt over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until butter melts.

Pour melted butter mixture over oat mixture and toss until oats and nuts are completely coated. Transfer mixture to a parchment-lined baking sheet and spread in an even layer. Bake until oats are golden, 30 to 35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

Let cool completely, about 20 minutes, them stir in apricots.

*Don’t forget that you can win some of my tasty granola. Click here for more details.

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made by mike’s one year blogiversary

I’ve been blogging for a good many years. About a year ago, I changed the direction of my blog to focus on food and photography. I re-branded my blog’s identity to made by mike. What you might not know, is how I settled on made by mike. It all goes back to a batch of granola I made in January of 2010.

If you’ve every received treats from me, you know that they don’t typically come on a paper plate or wrapped in a napkin. All of my years of Martha-devotion have taught me that presentation is always key in any gift. So usually there’s a clear plastic bag or crisp white box with an orange ribbon attached.

When I made my first batch of granola to give to friends I designed some inserts to go into the jar caps. I included the name of the granola then added a line, “made by mike.” That’s when it hit me that that should be my blog’s focus and title. It’s too bad that some putz had purchased madebymike.com, and just sits on it and doesn’t use it for anything. But alas, I own madebymikeblog.com….a small victory, I guess.


I hope that you’ve enjoyed this first year of made by mike and are looking forward to the next as much as I am. In honor of my granola inspiration, I’ll be presenting three recipes in the next three days. That’s a preview of the trio below. On top there’s the Coffee, Hazelnut and Banana Granola. The bottom row from left to right has Cherry Almond Vegan Granola (I made this for a local vegan bake sale to benefit Japan relief.) and finally, Pistachio-Apricot Granola.

As a special gift to one of my blog readers, if you’ll take but a moment to comment below on your favorite post from this past year, I’ll pick a random comment and send to you a jar of your choice of made by mike granola. I’ll pick one winner after 5 pm on Friday, April 1, 2011.

Enjoying my blog? I hope that you’ll consider becoming a fan on facebook or that you’ll follow me on twitter.

linguine with asparagus and egg – everyday food challenge

Once again, it’s confession time at made by mike. I love a runny egg yolk. At breakfast I like to dip my toast into the yolk of an over-easy fried egg. I enjoy a piping hot bowl of pasta Carbonaro with its yolky sauce. I was very happy when I came across the recipe for Linguine with Asparagus and Egg in the new April edition of Everyday Food magazine.

It’s a quick recipe. Well the slicing of the thin asparagus wasn’t quick, and kind of felt dangerous. Sharp chef’s knife plus thin, prone to rolling, asparagus equals a recipe for a potential bloody disaster. Thankfully, I made it through the task a little shaken, but unscathed. Ok, perhaps that was a bit of a dramatization.

Once the pasta and asparagus have cooked and drained you stir in butter, Parmesan cheese and a bit of the reserved pasta water to create a sauce. All that’s left is to nestle a poached egg on top. One stab of your fork, and you release the runny yolk to add another level of richness to the sauce. It’s pretty fantastic.

Linguine with Asparagus and Egg - Everyday Food, April 2011

  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3/4 pound of linguine
  • 1 large bunch of thin asparagus, ends trimmed, halved lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 4 large eggs
  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions, adding asparagus in the last minute of cooking. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid; drain pasta and asparagus and return to pot along with the butter and Parmesan. Toss until butter is melted, adding enough pasta water to create a thin sauce that coats the pasta.
  2. While pasta is cooking, in a large straight-sided skillet, heat 2 inches of water over medium heat until a few bubbles rise to the top. Crack each egg into a small bowl and gently pour into the skillet. Cook until whites are set and yolks are runny, 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer each egg to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. To serve, divide pasta and asparagus among four bowls, top each serving with an egg, and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan if desired.

wordless wednesday

honey punch

It’s St. Patrick’s Day, and while many of you will be enjoying a green beer, I thought I’d feature a little pot of gold. Golden Honey Punch, that is.

As I wrote last week, I’m working my through two delightful jars of Kilker North honey. This punch recipe from Food Network magazine is pretty great. You make a simple syrup on the stove top with water and honey. Add some fresh lemon juice, vodka (I went with a citrus variety), apricot nectar and a bottle of sparkling apple juice for a little fizzy goodness. It’s a pretty sweet and refreshing punch. Perfect for a summer picnic.  Well, that’s a couple months away.  Guess I’ll keep sipping this one…

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frozen honey cream – everyday food challenge

My delightful friend Jennie and her husband Aidan tend to a bee hive which produces the most wonderful wildflower honey. Recently, Jennie gave me a couple of jars of their harvested liquid gold.

I was going to use the honey for a week’s worth of posts that highlighted the honey as a main ingredient. Unfortunately, the first recipe I made, Frozen Honey Cream, was so great that I’ve now made two batches. My supply of honey is dwindling and all I want to do is make more-more-more. It’s really that good.

The recipe is from Everyday Food Magazine. I found it while doing a recipe search of marthastewart.com. It was touted as an effortless dessert. That’s partially true. There was very little effort putting the three ingredients together. A stand mixer made easy work of whipping the cream to stiff peaks, and then incorporating the piping hot honey into the four egg yolks. The real effort came in waiting the two hours for it to firm up in the freezer before dipping into its sweetened creaminess. A side note: two hours in the freezer made for a very soft freeze. If you can wait a day or so, it’s a lot firmer. Good luck with that waiting. I’ve been wanting to make homemade ice cream for years, but haven’t invested in an ice cream maker. The advantage of this recipe is that one is not needed. It’s a no-churn frozen delight.

Confessions time. The natural light in our kitchen is phenomenal in the morning. That’s when I took the final shots of the dished up frozen cream. So yes, that’s what I ate for breakfast this morning. Don’t judge me until you’ve tasted this for yourself.

Now I have a little less than one full jar of Kilker North honey remaining. That’s more than enough for a third batch of frozen honey cream. Or I could branch out and try making a couple of these other recipes: honey lace cookies, pomegranate-honey coolers, honey pistachio biscotti, honey ricotta cheesecake, or some crunchy honey nut granola. Which sounds good to you? Do you have a favorite honey-centric recipe? Share it in the comments section.

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wordless wednesday, not cluckless wednesday

spring seedlings

Late last week I had the opportunity to escape from the curse of this very long winter. I spent some time at the Crown Point Ecology Center in Bath, Ohio. Greg and I are CSA members this year, and I’m doing some volunteer work on the center’s marketing committee. I wanted to get some photographs of the progress that Tim and Whitney are making on getting the plants ready for this Spring’s organic plant sale. As I walked through the warm greenhouse, I was excited to see all of the green. Including the tiny 3-week old artichoke plants. There were lots of lettuce, onions and grasses sprouting. I counted several varieties of thyme including orange, German and summer. The beginnings of great rosemary plants were also peaking just above the potting soil. If you are in the Akron area in May, be sure to mark your calendars for the plant sale. The organic plant sale is May 14 & 15, 9:00-4:00PM (Sat) 11:00-3:00PM (Sun). Last year I purchased several herbs, tomato plants and peppers.

Enjoying my blog? I hope that you’ll consider becoming a fan on facebook or that you’ll follow me on twitter. It would mean the world to me.

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