Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Best Damn Breakfast

So, while I may travel a lot and move around WAY TOO MUCH, I am a bit of a creature of habit. Every morning during the week I eat the same thing for breakfast (that is, when I've run out of my favorite cereal that I force my family and friends to bring me) - Vanilla Yogurt with Granola. Nothing special, right? WRONG!! I make that granola and in my humble opinion it's damn good. I could wait for the next family cookbook to come out, but then only a few of you would get the recipe, so I'm willing to part with it here on the world wide web. I actually got it from another food blog who created it based on a restaurant in Chicago.

Homemade Granola
Preheat oven to 375F
Mix Together:
3 1/2 cups oats
1/2 cup coconut (unsweetened)
3 tblspn flax seeds
3 tblspn sesame seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup toasted nuts (I think pecans taste best)
2 tspn cinnamon
1 tspn salt
1/4 cup brown sugar

In a separate small bowl whisk together:
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tblspn honey
1 tblspn maple syrup
2 tspn vanilla extract

Add this to the dry ingredients, stir well and spread out on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 5 mintues, until golden brown. Once done, add:
2 cups dried fruit.
Enjoy!!

In the summer, I've stopped adding dried fruit since there is so much available. But in the winter I usually add dried blueberries, cranberries and raisins. Put this granola on vanilla or plain yogurt with fresh fruit and you'll be satisfied for at least a few hours!


Another thing that I miss terribly is vanilla lattes. Oh yes, I can get them here but the closest coffee shop is not within walking distance like at my sister's house nor are they on every corner here in suburbia. So I decided to try my hand at vanilla syrup. I'm not sure why I waited so long to do this as it's really just a simple syrup with vanilla but most of the recipes I saw wanted me to use vanilla beans and while yes I can buy those - I have TWO very large bottles of vanilla I need to get through (one of many purchases I made at Sams before moving!). Anywho, I understand now why they suggest the vanilla bean as the extract causes the syrup to be a little off in color. But I don't care about that - it's going into my coffee anyway! So here's that recipe too, in case you live in the boonies (or foreign country) and can't get your vanilla latte fix.

Vanilla Syrup
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Bring water and sugar to a boil. Remove from heat, add vanilla - enjoy!

So that's it - until next time!!
~Monica

1 comment:

Måns said...

Hey, Konsum sells a pretty good vanilla suryp from Espresso House, and of course every Espresso House in town sells it too. The suryp that is, not just the coffee.

/M;