Posts Tagged ‘homemade’

Unrecipe of the Week: Homemade Granola

August 15, 2012

I have never been keen on granola, but once I tried this homemade version, I am hooked!

Since discovering the high iron content of dried fruits and nuts, I was inspired to whip up another batch tonight.  It is quick and easy, and has none of the additives found in the store bought versions.  It does pack some calories, so use it as I do: as a topping for plain Greek yogurt and fruit.

Here is the ultimate “unrecipe”. Use this as a guideline and tailor it to suit your taste.

Homemade Granola:

Mix together 2 cups of old fashioned rolled oats (dry oatmeal), 1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut, 1 cup of slivered almonds, ¼ cup vegetable oil, and about ¼ cup of honey. Stir to coat and pour onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees, stirring often until golden brown. This should take about 30 minutes. Watch it carefully: it goes from brown to burnt quickly!

Remove the granola from the oven and allow it to cool slightly. Add diced dried fruit to taste. I used a combination of figs, apricots and cranberries. Dried cherries could be a nice addition too. You can also add some additional nuts, such as cashews or pecans. Sprinkle with a little brown sugar to sweeten, and mix well.

Store the cooled granola in an airtight container and enjoy!

Unrecipe of the Week

September 23, 2009

Chicken Soup

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The first cold of the season has officially infiltrated our home, signaling the time is right for homemade chicken soup.
It’s simple to make, and soothes our stuffy noses and our soul.

Take a whole chicken and have it cut in quarters.

Put the chicken into a large stock pot, fill it 3/4 way up with water and bring it to a boil.

When the mixture starts to boil, skim off the foam that rises to the surface.

Add a large onion cut into quarters, a handful of parsley, and carrots, celery and one or 2 parsnips, all cut into 2″ chunks.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Reduce the heat so that the soup is gently boiling.

Cook for 3 to 4 hours.

Strain the soup to remove all of the chicken and vegetables. Refridgerate the broth until the fat comes to the top and solidifies. Skim this off  before serving.

To serve, reheat the broth until boiling. Shred the chicken, discarding the skin and bones and add it to the soup. The carrots can be diced and added back in as well. Discard all of the other vegetables. Add cooked noodles or matza balls as desired,

The soup freezes well and can be used as needed. The plain broth is a great base for all kinds of other soups.

Enjoy!

Hint: Did you know that some chickens are better than others for soup making? Ask your butcher for a “soup chicken” which is specifically an older hen. Free range chickens, although great for roasting, don’t have enough fat to make a tasty soup.

photo: Glasshouse Images

Channeling My Inner Housewive

August 6, 2009

Woman Wearing ApronSomehow, I went from being a successful, high-pressured fashion executive to a New York City housewife in one fell swoop. Let me tell you, it was a shock to my system!

Previously, my days were spent designing clothing and accessories, managing a team of 40 and being part of a business that generated $1 billion dollars in sales.

Suddenly, my days are spent cleaning, buying groceries, cooking, walking back and forth across town picking up and delivering a child, and then cleaning up all over again. As someone who’s self worth has been so clearly defined by my accomplishments, this left me feeling unappreciated and bitter.

This week however, my mindset has been transformed, after spending a few days with a friend and her daughter at their beautiful home in East Hampton.

V is the original Urban Pioneer woman. An accomplished artist, V has channeled her creativity and passions into her home and family.  A masterful quilter, she has made the magnificent quilts and pillows that grace the beds in her home. She also donates many of them to charity, and takes commissions on a limited basis.
Her lush garden provides much of the family’s produce, and at the end of the season she freezes and cans the last harvest to provide vegetables and homemade sauces for the winter months.

She creates her own convenience foods, by mixing up dry ingredients for pancakes and spice mixes to use at a later date. Time permitting, Monday is a day to make breads and stocks, freezing them or canning them for future use.

She has also made her home chemical free, by mixing up her own soaps and cleaning products.

But this isn’t someone who is a crazy over achiever, or someone who requires an unnatural level of perfection. This is a woman who enjoys the challenges that these undertakings provide, and has in many ways simplified her life to allow herself the time to do the things she enjoys for the people she loves.

As a result, her daughter is a healthful and experimental eater, appreciating the flavors and freshness that she has been exposed to. Her desire to preserve the environment, and her love of animals comes naturally. She is a smart, self- assured and happy child, who is surrounded by parents who set positive examples for her through their actions.

I love to cook, and I enjoy the challenges of making something from scratch. In watching V, I realized that I too, could indulge my passions and define my accomplishments by creating projects that challenge my creativity and still benefit my family. My daughter is becoming interested in cooking, and I have the power to fuel that interest and help her explore new foods and techniques. I now have the precious gift of time to be able to take her to the zoo, work on art projects, or go to visit friends.

I have made the conscious decision to embrace my present situation and make the most of my time while I have an abundance of it. Some day I will be back in the working world, swigging Maalox, and reminiscing about my time off.  It’s never too late to strive to create some positive memories that I can cherish down the road.

Thanks V!!!

You can see V’s beautiful quilts and gain insight into her life through her popular website, BUMBLE BEANS.

photo: Glasshouse Images


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