I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for specialty grocery stores and the health-food sections of regular grocery stores. Countless hours of my life have been spent wandering through isles, transfixed by pretty packaging and obscure, high-quality ingredients. There are many instances when I believe it’s worth the splurge. Cheese, seafood, olive oil, certain cuts of meat? Totally worth the splurge.
*3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
*2 Tbsp. brown sugar
*1 tsp. ground cinnamon
*1/4 tsp. salt
*1/3 cup honey
*1/4 cup canola oil
*1 tsp. almond or vanilla extract
*3/4 cup dried cranberries
*1/2 cup golden raisins
*1/2 cup chopped almonds
*Preheat oven to 300*F.
*In large bowl combine oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. In another bowl, combine honey, oil, and extract and stir until well combined. Pour mixture over oat mixture. Stir until well-combine. Use hands, if necessary.
*Pour mixture into a large baking sheet or pan. Spread into a thin, even layer. Bake 45 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Stir the mixture once or twice while it cools (it will harden as it cools). Once cooled, add in cranberries, raisins, and almonds. Store in an airtight container or zip top bag.
This post marks a first for Espresso + Cream because it’s the first time I am posting in my new apartment. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am about this. No longer will I be a bogging nomad, jumping from kitchen to kitchen, because I have a kitchen and dining room of my very own!
The kitchen is quite small, the dining room is actually a table in my living room, and I am currently storing canned goods in the drawers of my entry way table, but 2010 is about new beginnings and being thankful, and what really matters is that it is a place of my own, to live and cook and eat and blog!
Today I give you an oats alternative for everyone, including myself, who is tired of oatmeal. I go through phases when it comes to oatmeal, but for the last six months, I’ve just been stuck on one emotion when it comes to oats: bored. (unless you put them in a cookie, which is a whole different story)
So this morning for breakfast I enjoyed a bowl of oat-pudding, which reminds me that I should find a better name for this dish since I don’t think oat-pudding really screams ‘delicious’. Allowing the oats and yogurt to rest makes for a creamy, pudding-like consistency, and the beauty is that you can throw it together the night before and wake up with a delicious breakfast in no time.
*Mix together the uncooked oats and yogurt and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. Stir in remaining ingredients before serving.
Crazy, busy, wonderful. Those three words really are not even close to being enough to describe my past two weeks, but they will have to suffice for now, because my brain is only functioning at 50% at the moment due to over-use and exhaustion. I’ve spent the better part of the last couple weeks filming holiday craft and decorating videos for Better Homes and Gardens – 100 Days of Holidays.
I was introduced to a whole new world that doesn’t involve food and had the opportunity to learn so much about decorating! It was awesome to spend days going to the Christmas tree farm, decorating wreaths, and hanging garland. It really got me in the holiday spirit, so much so that I feel like Christmas should be right around the corner. The videos aren’t online yet, but I’ll make sure to post a link when they are, which should be right around Thanksgiving time.
Simplicity is the name of the game for these chocolate clusters, because sometimes you just want a bit of something sweet right now, instead of laboring in the kitchen over a fancy dessert. I melted a bag of milk chocolate chips, though I would have used dark chocolate if we had it around the house, then stirred in a cup of shredded coconut, a cup of chopped pecans, and a half a cup of dried cranberries. Stirred it all together and dropped it in heaping tablespoons onto parchment paper. Give these little chocolate treats a half an hour in the freezer before eating and you have yourself a delicious and quick no-bake chocolate dessert.