Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cherry Almond Granola

I'd like to begin by saying that nothing so good should be this easy.  It's dangerous.  It's golden, and crispy, and chewy, and sweet, and crunchy.  Good for breakfast, snack, or dessert.  What more could you want?
For the past couple of years Greg has been the granola maker in our household (he also makes the pasta, banana bread, best ever chocolate chip cookies, and cosmos--just to name a few).  That all changed a couple days ago when I made the granola.  You see, I'm hosting a brunch this weekend, and I've decided to make way too many dishes--all by myself.  There's a reason for this...I'll explain.

Every few months I decide we should cook for a lot of people.  Many people.  Too many people.  And so many dishes.  Sometimes I am wise and declare a potluck, whereupon my culinary-inclined friends descend on our apartment with any number of gourmet and delectable dishes in tow.  Other times I am not so wise, and I decide to make everything myself.  The catch here is that Greg is inevitably roped into making the final frantic dish as I plead my need to try to pull my hair back and put on mascara at the last moment.  (I so rarely wear mascara anymore that every time, I essentially have to retrain myself in this odd feminine ceremony.  Point being, it's not speedy.)  So there's Greg, in the kitchen, cursing the day that he agreed to let me invite over virtually everyone we know.  And the doorbell rings and he's still grating cheese, or whatnot, and he's never very pleased with me about this.
Okay, so this time I promised that he could vamoose altogether.  He's making banana bread a couple days prior, helping clean the apartment, and out the door he goes.  I will do the rest.

Are you all laughing, too?  Well.  It should be exciting, anyway.

In hopes of being functional when the guests do arrive, I have mapped out an elaborate preparation schedule, which, I am happy to say, is already under way.  (Six cups of heavy cream have already been purchased.  I kid you not.)  And, granola--the wonderful store-able food that it is--could be made a week in advance.  (See below for complete recipe.)

And it was a piece of cake!  Er...not so much cake as old-fashioned oats 'n' stuff.  It's as good as cake.  In fact, my mom likes it so much that Greg made her a batch and shipped it cross country last year for her birthday.  Really people, try this granola.  Excellent in milk.  With yogurt.  You could maybe sprinkle it on vanilla ice cream, though that might be a bit decadent.  Dunno, haven't tried that myself.

I'll keep you posted on the brunch.  If I'm super cool, I'll remember to take pictures of the food.  Keep fingers crossed for good weather, as April and her showers head out of town.

Cherry and Almond Granola, an Ina Garten Recipe

4 C old-fashioned rolled oats
2 C sweetened, shredded coconut
2 C sliced almonds
1 1/2 C dried cherries, chopped
1/2 C veggie oil
1/3 C honey
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Combine the oats, coconut, almonds, and cherries together in a large bowl. Pour the vegetable oil and honey over the oat mixture. Add the cinnamon, and stir with a wooden spoon until all the oats and nuts are coated.

Pour onto a pan. Bake, stirring occasionally with a spatula, until the mixture turns a nice, even golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove the granola from the oven and allow to cool, stirring occasionally. Store the cooled granola in an airtight container.


  1. some day I might surprise you and be one of the knocks at your door. Then you will know I have "arrived" in more ways than one. :)

    Love you bg. Wish I could be there to taste all the wonderfulness.

  2. I could eat those dried cherries from Trader Joe's all day long and on just about anything. The granola looks terrific!