Monday, September 22, 2014

Melissa's Homemade Granola with Dried Cherries

My wonderful coworker Melissa made this delicious homemade granola for me postpartum to enjoy with some Greek yogurt.  She brought over the granola and yogurt along with some exceptional scones to enjoy the next day for breakfast.  I became obsessed with the granola and begged her to share the recipe.  I've been eating granola and yogurt for breakfast nearly every day for the past three weeks now.  Never gets old.  This recipe is so easy and smells so yummy baking in the oven.  You can definitely experiment with different nuts and dried fruit/raisins too.  I have used dried cherries and dried cranberries so far.  Also, feel free to also up the cinnamon; I love cinnamon so I use a little more than recommended and I also add a pinch of nutmeg.   The first time I did not have coconut so don't worry if you skip it.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

4 cups of old fashioned oats
1 cup of almonds (sliced or whole depending on your preference)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup of coconut
1/4 cup of honey
1/4 cup of oil
1/2 cup of dried cherries (I used 2, 5oz packages)

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Combine first 5 ingredients
  3. Heat oil and honey in a small saucepan
  4. Pour oil/honey over the dry mix and stir
  5.  Spread granola over a large baking pan sprayed with some Pam
  6. Bake for 20 minutes
  7. Let cool for at least 1 hr 
  8. Break up and finally add your fruit.  Enjoy and store in an air tight container! 

Fried Rice

Fried rice is just so easy to make and the ingredients are fairly simple.  Just choose your protein or go plain with just veggies.  This recipe is sure to satisfy your hunger and cravings. If you want to a do a veggie fried rice, feel free to add in other veggies like broccoli, snap peas, green beans, etc.  Add some fried tofu if you have the time!  (see my chow mein recipe for instructions on how to fry tofu)  The picture shown is my fried rice with Chinese Sausage (Lap Xuong)

Ingredients:

2 cups of cooked white rice (I use Jasmine rice)
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
Vegetable oil
1/2 bag of frozen carrots and peas thawed
1 bunch of green onions chopped
1 medium white onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
Soy sauce (I probably end up using about 1/4 cup if that)
Salt and Pepper to taste
6 eggs

Step 1 - Prepare the eggs
Some people like to cook the egg right into the rice but I prefer it this way.  You are more than welcome to just scramble the eggs when you are almost done with frying the rice.

  1. Whisk eggs in a large mixing bowl
  2. Heat a medium skillet medium high and coat with oil.
  3. Using a ladle, pour enough egg to just coat the pan to form a thin layer.  Swirl the egg around to cover the area of the skillet.  Flip using a wide spatula if necessary.  
  4.  Place cooked egg layer on a plate.
  5.  Repeat ladle process.
  6. Once you have all your thin egg layers piled on top of one another, use a knife to roughly cut strips.  This is easier said than done.  I usually just use the side of the spatula to cut down.  Kind of like cutting into cake layers.  You want to end up with 1 to 2 inch egg ribbons.  Set aside.
Step 2 - Cook your protein.  You may skip this if you just want veggie fried rice.

Chicken:
  1. Cut about a pound of chicken into 1 inch strips.  Season with salt and pepper. 
  2. Coat with about 1 tablespoon of corn starch.
  3. Heat oil in a skillet medium high heat and cook your chicken.  Set aside and add to cooked fried rice.  
Shrimp:
  1. Peel and devein about a pound of shrimp.  Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet medium high heat and cook shrimp until opaque.  Set aside and add to cooked fried rice
Chinese sausage:
  1. Cook according to package directions.  If you cannot read the directions b/c it's in Chinese...
    1. Boil sausage for about 5 minutes.
    2. Heat a little oil in skillet over medium high heat and continually roll sausage around for about 5 minutes with some soy sauce.  Cut into small pieces and set aside to add to cooked fried rice. 
Step 3 - Fry the rice

  1. Heat about 1/8 cup of vegetable oil  and sesame oil in a wok on medium high heat.  You'll want enough oil to cover the rice so you might want to add more as you go.  Better safe than sorry to be on the low side.  
  2. Carefully add in your onions and garlic and saute for a few minutes. I like to use a heavy wooden spoon throughout this frying process.
  3. Spoon in your rice and keep tossing; coating rice with the oil.  You may add more if you see that the rice is sticking to the bottom of the wok.  Be careful not to over oil. 
  4. Douse rice with soy sauce until and continue stirring; add enough soy sauce to get the "color" of fried rice.  Keep stirring!  Make sure you continuously bring the bottom to the top so that the rice keeps from sticking to the wok.  Trust me your arm will get tired.  
  5. Add in your peas and carrots.  Salt and pepper to taste.  I probably use about 1 tablespoon of salt but I just eyeball it and keep tasting to get it just right.  
  6. Add in your egg and serve!