Maple Pumpkin Granola


Hello there– On a trek through Target a couple weeks ago I spied it– a big end display of canned pumpkin!  I couldn’t help dropping a couple cans in my cart!!  Let the pumpkin baking begin!!

Love this crunchy granola– here with yogurt & honey– or sprinkled on oatmeal or ice cream– or scooped by the handful when I wander into the kitchen looking for a mid afternoon munch.


3 cups whole oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats, almonds, walnuts and coconut.  In a separate bowl mix up the pumpkin puree, olive oil, maple syrup, salt & cinnamon.  Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ones and stir until it’s all well blended.

Cover a large baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.  Spread the oat mixture evening over the baking sheet and pop it into a 350 degree oven.

Cook for 10 minutes and then take it out and stir it up on the pan.  Bake ten more and stir it again.  Bake ten minutes more for a total of 30, maybe 35  minutes.


Oatmeal Granola Chocolate Chip Cookies


Hello Cookie Lovers–  We have an old family favorite when it comes to cookies around here.  The page in my cooking notebook that has this recipe is stained and faded from so much use.  The original recipe from a friend in Spain called for granola (like here), but over the years we’ve thrown in any flakey cereal in it’s place (no Cheerios please!)  Sometimes we added in nuts or currants or dried cranberries white chocolate chunks.  It’a a basic recipe you can mix up to suit your cookie preferences.  Just trying to say– it’s a good cookie, soft on the inside an crispy around the edges. I think it could become a favorite of your family too.

1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup while sugar
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup flour
1  1/4 cup oats
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup coconut
1 cup granola
2 cups chocolate chips

With an electric mixer, beat together butter, 2 sugars and eggs until they are smooth and creamy.  Then beat in the flour, oats, salt and baking powder.  Finally mix in the coconut, granola and chocolate chips.  It will be a stiff batter.

Then drop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Will make about 3 dozen medium cookies.  Put them in a 350 degree oven for 12 to 14 minutes until they are beautifully browned on top.  Best eaten (at least one or two) hot from the oven!!


Cranberry Apricot Granola

IMG_5742Hello Breakfast Eating Buddies–  I’m a granola fan, the nuttier and fruitier the better.  At the risk of alienating some of you who are reading– this is kind of the “fruit cake” version of granola– lots of candied fruit and crunchy nuts.  Add a little plain yogurt and it’s breakfast in a bowl.

3 cups whole oats (oatmeal)
1 cup whole toasted almonds, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
2/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/4 cup currants

Mix the oats, almonds, walnuts, syrup, salt and cinnamon all up in a big bowl and then spread it onto 2 baking sheets, lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray.   Pop it into a 300 degree oven for 30 minutes, stirring it around once about half way through.

When it’s out of the oven and cooled, mix in the cranberries, apricots and currants.  Store it in an airtight container.  That’s it!  So easy.

Granola Chocolate Chip Cookies

IMG_2268Hello all– Larry had some friends over for a quick planning meeting a couple nights ago.  They sat out in the backyard, the coolest spot on a warm evening, and bounced ideas back and forth.  And maybe you’re like this– I can’t have people over without feeding them a little something (it’s a neurosis I deal with!) .  So I set out these big nutty granola cookies.     They liked them.  And I liked nibbling up all the leftover cookies this week.  Crunchy, nutty chewy good.

2 sticks (1/2 pound) butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup flour
2 1/2 cups granola*
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 cups chocolate chips (12 oz. pkg.)

With an electric mixer beat together the butter, sugars and eggs.  Then mix in the flour, granola, baking powder and salt.  Add in the chocolate chips last.  Scoop out spoonfuls of cookie dough onto baking sheets sprayed with cooking spray and pop them in a 350 degree oven for 12 to 14 minutes until they are browned and crispy.

Makes about 3 dozen large cookies (or 5 dozen smallish ones)

*I use a granola that I like to make with maple syrup–

It has lots of nuts, but if your granola doesn’t have a lot of nuts, you can stir in a half cup or more of walnuts or pecans.

Nutty Maple Granola

IMG_0833Hi all–  I’m taken with this new granola recipe.  Had a bowlful for breakfast, took a little baggie-ful to snack on at recess break at work and then ate more before bed.  It’s the nuts. Nutty delicious.   I got the recipe from my culinary cousin, Brenda.  We drove out to eat breakfast by her fireplace when we were in Chicago and this stuff was on the table –SOOO good (along with everything else she made).  I’ll be keeping a tubful of this in my kitchen cupboard from now on…  (thanks Brenda!)

Cooking Spray
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup chopped raw, unsalted walnuts
1/2 cup chopped unsalted almonds
1/2 cup chopped unsalted pecans
2/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
1/2 cup currants* or raisins, optional

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.  Prepare a large rimmed baking sheet lined with foil.

IMG_0819In a medium bowl combine the oats, nuts, maple syrup, salt, pumpkin pie spice.  Spread the mixture onto the baking sheet and bake until golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Transfer the sheet to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Stir in the currants (or raisins).  Store in an airtight container.

Feel free to eat it morning, noon and night.

And thanks Bigarels for the luxurious maple syrup!

*I use currants instead of raisins because they are small enough to add sweetness but not to taste gummy.  I know they’re hard to find in Socal–Look at Sprouts.

Good Granola

IMG_8421Good morning everyone–When all our kids come down to visit, my very favorite part of the day is breakfast.  Larry makes the coffee while I tuck something into the oven.  The family drifts in by ones or twos– we squeeze around the kitchen table and talk about the day ahead or note who’s on facebook this morning…  This photo is the remains of breakfast after everyone’s moved on the start the day.  I also took a lovable picture of everyone pajama-ed and still a bit bleary-eyed, but promised I wouldn’t put that one on line!  Anyway, I hope you like this granola– fresh and hearty, lots of nutty crunch.  I like it best with thick Greek yogurt and some orange marmalade or “Jessica style” with yogurt and maple syrup.

4 cups oatmeal
3/4 cup wheat germ
3/4 cup wheat bran
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup almonds, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix the oatmeal, wheat germ, bran, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts and pecans in a heat proof bowl.  Then in a saucepan stir together the salt, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, oil, cinnamon and vanilla.  Put it over a medium flame and stir until it boils.
Pour the honey mixture over the oats etc. and thoroughly mix it all together.

Spread the granola on two cookie sheets lined with foil.  Bake it all up at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so.  Let it cool in the pan and then break it up to store in an airtight container.  Makes a bunch– about 10 cups!

P.S.– You can add in dried fruit– raisins, cranberries, apricots, apples… after it has cooled.

Crunchy Banana Oatmeal

Hello oatmeal fans–  Yesterday I spent the entire day cooking up food to send to you on the blog– Laurel and my mom were my taste testers– 3 breakfasts, a couple lunch treats, 3 dishes for dinner and 2 desserts!  It was a real cook-o-rama!!  But my favorite dish of the day was this crunchy banana oatmeal.  Delish!!

2 bananas, smooshed to a paste
2 2/3 cups oatmeal
4 cups milk
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tab. melted butter (optional)
1/4 tsp. salt
more bananas, sliced
sliced almonds

Mix the smashed bananas, oatmeal, milk, brown sugar, butter and salt up and pour it into a 2 quart baking dish.  Cook it up at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.  Then spoon it into bowls and top it off with bananas, granola, sliced almonds and a drizzle of honey.

If you’re an oatmeal aficionado like me, I promise you’ll like this one!

Pear Granola Crisp

Breakfast with friends.  So to round out the eggs and cinnamon rolls, we baked up some little cups of pear crisp.  Not too sweet and with a friendly little crunch on top.  Good hot from the oven or cooled as well.  Or serve it up with ice cream for after dinner dessert.

4 cups of peeled sliced pears
1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
dash of salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sliced toasted almonds
1/2 cup granola

Mound the pears in a 9″ pie plate– or in 8 small baking cups for individual servings.  Pour the orange juice over the pears.  Then stir together the sugar, flour, pumpkin pie spice and salt.  With a pastry blender (or food processor) cut in the butter until it’s crumbly.  Mix in the almonds and granola and spoon the mixture over the pears.  Bake at 375 degrees about 40 minutes until the top is browned and the fruit is tender.  (If you are using the small baking cups, cook it 5 or 10 minutes less).  Enjoy!!