I love to try new things. Sometimes a dish can turn out delicious and satisfying. Sometimes it can turn out bland and missing that certain je ne sais quoi. Sometimes that dish may have loads of cream and butter that is so devine that I cannot stop eating it, only to feel sick afterwards. There have been times that I have tried something new with guests over, only to feel embarrassed because it wasn’t what I had expected and I disliked the impression of mediocre. There are times that I will try a different brand of food. Even though I know, the one I always buy is wonderful, only to deside never to stray from my brand of food again. My brand never fails and more expensive doesn’t always mean better. However, I usually get what I pay for. Phew, I think I just confused myself.
Sometimes, I’ll learn from my mistakes in the kitchen. For example, I don’t try new dishes out on my guests anymore. I believe Ina Garten once said not to do that, but I’ve always had to learn things the hard way. My Father likes telling the story of when I was a little girl and I placed my hand on a hot stove eye. He had told me numerous times that it was hot. That was the first, of many times, that I have gotten burned in the kitchen.
Sometimes I will try at something until I am in tears. I am terribly stubborn like that. I tried making a Black Bean Dip once using dried black beans. For whatever reason, those pesky things took three days to get soft and edible. I could have gone and gotten a can but that would have been too easy.
In keeping with trying things out, I have concocted a new Healthier Granola. I love my original Granola recipe from Neiman Marcus Taste cookbook but, it is like candy, as my friend said to me. It is made with brown sugar and vegetable oil. There is definitely a time and place for it, like when Lingering Sunday Mornings. However, this Healthier Granola is good, really good (which says a lot because it does have to compare to the sweet one). And, I feel good after eating it. There is no sugar in it. So, no early morning sugar crashes. I found the original recipe in the magazine Clean Eating. They had a wonderful article on Glorious Granolas. I tweaked the recipe a bit by adding more goodies to the granola, like walnuts, flax-seed, and pumpkin seeds. I don’t use the sunflower seeds they suggested because I couldn’t find them shelled and unsalted at the farmers market.
I do make this for my client who is working to lower her cholesterol. This is a great way to start the day. Add a little greek yogurt and fresh berries and make a granola parfait. Yum-
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup chopped roasted hazelnut
1/2 cup ground almonds (also known as an almond flour)
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup honey
2 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp hemp seeds
2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
2 tbsp flax seeds
Zest and juice of one lemon, lime or a grapefruit (just use half of the grapefruit for juice)
1 cup dried cranberries (I do use the sweetened ones, unsweetened can be hard to find)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together first seven ingredients and then spread them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Stir around half way through. After baking, mix in your citrus and cranberries. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
The trials and tribulations of the kitchen remind me of the Serenity Prayer.
“God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change,
courage to change the things we can,
and wisdom to know the difference.”
I am still learning and attaining more wisdom, mostly, by trial and error. Isn’t life grand? Here’s to enjoying a Healthier Granola, with a little not so good for you Granola spinkled in every once in a while. Cheers to trying new things and coming out on top!