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Maple Pumpkin Granola

If you’re a long-time follower of the blog, you know that I have a thing for granola. Well, homemade granola, that is. To be honest, I don’t know why people buy it in the store. It’s insanely easy to make, I think even Greg could rock a batch. Remember his guest post? The other benefit. Your house will smell so good while the granola is baking and crisping up in your oven.

I had extra pumpkin puree left from a previous recipe, so I was super excited when I came across the original recipe from The Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook. I doubled up the recipe (this stuff is great, you’ll want to make a double batch, too) and swapped out their suggested nuts and seeds for pumpkin seeds, sliced almonds and sunflower seeds.

It’s not a terribly sweet  granola, it’s just right and the pumpkin flavor is more subtle than you’d think. Enjoy.

Maple Pumpkin Granolaadapted from The Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup good-quality maple syrup
  • 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 325°F.

In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, salt, pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin puree and maple syrup. Add in the oats, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and sunflower seeds and stir until well combined.

Divide the granola between two large rimmed baking sheets. Bake for about 40 minutes, stirring the granola every 10 minutes. The granola is done when its dry and golden-brown.

Allow granola to cool on baking sheets. Add the dried cranberries, a half cup to each baking sheet. Store in an airtight container.

 

 

Strawberry Freezer Jam – Way Back Wednesday

It seems as though there might be some sort of Strawberry theme this week. Earlier in the week, I told you all about Roasted Strawberry Lemonade. Today, we go way back to last August, when I learned the fun skill of making freezer jam. It changed my life forever. Ok, that might be a bit of an exaggeration.

Here’s the post:

If you follow my adventures on the made by mike facebook page, you’ll know that I was on a bit of a jam making kick over the past weekend. If you don’t follow my adventures on the made by mike facebook page, then you are completely in the dark, and you clearly don’t love me as much as I thought you did. And frankly, that just breaks my heart. Ok, perhaps that was a bit melodramatic. But you should join all the fun on the made by mike facebook page. See how I made it all easy for you to just click one of those three links to get there?

Back to the jam.

A few weeks back, a friend at work asked if I’d make her some freezer jam. I’d never heard of it, but was intrigued. Coincidentally, not long after that, I received the September 2011 issue of Everyday Food magazine with an article about making freezer jam from the bounty of summer fruits available this time of year. It’s a great “how-to” article, and if you download the digital issue on an iPad, there’s a terrific instructional video about the jam making process.

Over a long three-day weekend, I made three different flavors of freezer jam. There was peach (with fresh peaches from my hometown), cherry, and of course strawberry. Best of all there’s only four ingredients in the jam. My favorite part of the process was listening to the metal lids “pop” as the jam was cooling on the counter. Each little “pop” got me more excited about slathering a piece of toast or english muffin with the sweet and fruity spread.

Strawberry Freezer Jam - adapted from Everyday Food, September 2011

  • 3 pounds strawberries, rinsed, hulled and crushed with a potato masher (about 5 cups when crushed)
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, from 2 lemons
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (1.75 ounces) powdered, no-sugar-needed pectin

Thoroughly wash, rinse and dry seven 8-ounce glass jars with tight-fitting lids.

In a medium pot, combine the crushed strawberries and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

In a bowl, whisk together the sugar and pectin. Add to fruit, stirring until the sugar mixture completely dissolves and fruit returns to a full rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat.

Transfer fruit mixture to jars, leaving a 1/2-inch of head space on top. Seal and let sit at room temperature until the jam is set, 2 to 3 hours. The jam will last for up to three weeks in the refrigerator, or up to 6 months in the freezer. Allow frozen jam to thaw in the refrigerator.

penne frittata with basil and ricotta & roasted fingerling potatoes with seasoned salt

Ladies and gentlemen, my longest blog title yet. Sorry about that. Well, not really because these two recipes from Martha Stewart Living magazine are pretty great.

It all started when I was at the grocery store and came across a big bag of multi-colored perfect little fingerling potatoes. There’s just something about them, that I can’t resist. Particularly the purple ones. After a bit of research, I found that Martha had a very simple recipe for Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Seasoned Salt. My partner Greg was particularly enamored with these roasted potatoes. I wanted some baked eggy-goodness to go with the fingerlings. A few moments later after searching for frittata recipes, I was sold on the Penne Frittata with Basil and Ricotta. Thankfully, our grocery store had some pretty great looking basil in the middle of January. And really, how can you go wrong with eggs, pasta, basil and cheese?

Paired, these two relatively simple recipes made for a filling comfort-food inspired dinner. They turned into great left-overs the next night too.

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