Happy Holidays! Last week I made granola from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook and it was pretty good and easy! I’ve made a bunch of the recipes so I can recommend the book. (Lentil Soup, Granola, Blueberry Muffins, Potato Skins, Tofu and Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts Pasta Bake)
Today I am making Babka again for our Christmas guests and some people are sad that it isn’t ready yet. Fortunately Dave is making eggs to order. We are so lucky!
I started following Smitten Kitchen on Instagram lately, and I have been making a lot of her recipes as a result. I think I was initially drawn to this one because it looked like chocolate in the middle. I was wrong. It’s filled with dates. I made it anyway.
If I had to predict, I would have said Luke wouldn’t like it and Jack would love it. Mostly based on the fact that Luke is slightly less into oats, and Jack would eat raw oats for every meal if I hadn’t recently read that raw oats aren’t that great for your *digestion*. I was wrong about that too, Luke had seconds and Jack didn’t even finish his.
For once in my lifetime, I was making a recipe that called for an 8X8 pan, which is the size I have. (And the reason so many of my other 9×9 and 10×10 breakfast recipes can be challenging.) So I’m not sure why I didn’t have nearly enough oat mixture to make a top and bottom layer. I did the thinnest layer possible on the bottom and then added the date layer. Then I added a giant handful of oats to the remaining oat mixture, and then I had just enough to cover the dates. So I would definitely add more oats if I were to make this again. I probably won’t make it, because the leftovers were too crumbly to take in a snowboarding pocket, and I think they have just been languishing in the fridge. Of course, I did also make a giant cake this week so maybe no one was desperate for a healthy dessert item when there was cake to be had.
I served the date bars with bacon and the whatever the kids wanted on the side. Luke had an egg and Jack had… oatmeal.
These waffles are an homage to the Grananola Chocolate Chip Waffles at the Southside Walnut Cafe. I can’t recommend my waffle recipe though because they were a little tough. I subbed in some whole wheat flour, but I don’t blame that. I think I just need to continue my quest for the perfect waffle recipe.
What I do recommend is adding granola and chocolate chips to your fave waffle recipe and then serving it up with some more granola, chocolate chips and sliced bananas on top. (I poured some batter into the waffle maker, added a handful of granola and then put some more batter on top. I didn’t want to mix it into the batter because I didn’t want the granola to get too soft.) I did not put any banana in the waffles like they do at the Southside because, yuck.
My homemade granola is a work in progress, first it was too sweet, then not sweet enough. I may now have the perfect recipe. At first I thought it might still be not sweet enough, but I’ve been finding it to be a nice cereal topping, delicious with yogurt and berries from my garden. Maybe you should make it and let me know?
The original recipe that started all this is from cooking light. I just found that it had so much orange juice that it took forever to cook. Like – double or triple the time on the recipe. So I started messing around with it and this is what I have. This makes two cookie sheets worth, because why bother making less?
6 cups old fashioned oats
3/4 cup sliced almonds
6 teaspoons cinnamon – yeah that’s a weird amount.
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1/2 cup orange juice
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat oven to 300 F
Line two cookie sheets with parchment or spray with nonstick spray. Mix the dry ingredients in a huge bowl. In a small sauce pan, heat the orange juice, honey, brown sugar. Stir until the honey and brown sugar is dissolved. Add the vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir. Spread the mixture in an even layer over the two cookie sheets. Bake at 300 for 20 minutes, stirring after 10 minutes. You may need to add time to get the granola to your level of doneness. I like it to be brown and pretty crunchy.
Let it cool on the cookie sheets and then store in a tightly sealed container.
Last weeks FBF was a bit rushed because I had to hurry the kids out the door to school, drop off the dog, and head to the airport for a getaway weekend with the hubby. We went to a dear friend’s wedding party in NYC. We’ve never left the kids or been to NYC so I was a little stressed. I prepared by doing nothing and planning to wing it. It worked out!
Fancy Breakfast Friday consisted of yogurt parfaits – blueberry/yogurt/homemade granola repeat with bananas then strawberries. I am working on perfecting my granola recipe so I will share that at a later date. It’s weird to me that the markup on store bought granola is 700,000% so I should do a cost analysis along with my recipe to see if I am missing something. Our favorite yogurt is brown cow vanilla cream top.