honey bunches of oats granola

As I sat at my desk, wearing my fuzzy Ugg slippers, with a big mug of chamomile and an even bigger packet of derivations and proofs, all I could think about is how badly I want to be in the kitchen.

I wanted to feel the warmth of the oven on my face, and pound out my frustrations in butter and sugar.  I hardly recognized my yoga pants without two big hand-prints of flour on them, and my camera looked so unfamiliar without any big, buttery thumbprints.  All I wanted to do is bake something.

So, being the savvy procrastinator that I am, I came up with an excuse why I had to get my hands on my Kitchen Aid.

In order to perform well on my exams, I needed a breakfast fit for a champion. Granola sounded good.  Then my inner procrastinator’s started to kick in:
Maybe this granola will knock those facts about the Hundred Years War out of me!
Maybe this will power me through that last derivation! 
Done. This granola had to be made. ASAP.
Those flashcards can wait…

So now on to the granola.  I bet that we can all agree that the best part of Honey Bunches of Oats are the “honey bunches” — or the little granola clusters.  The recipe that I’m about to share with you all is pure magic, because it turns regular Honey Bunches of Oats into pure granola!  Since I’ve been obsessed with brown butter lately, I browned the butter in this recipe.  Brown butter really takes the ordinary to the extraordinary. 

What do you like to eat when you have a big test?
With love,
Erica


Ingredients 

1 cup Honey Bunches of Oats cereal
1 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup cashews, chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 tbsp ground flax seed
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice

Preheat oven to
325, and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Mix the cereal, flax
seed, and oats together, and pour onto the cookie sheet.  Bake for
about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile in a small saucepan, brown the butter, once the butter is bubbly and aromatic, add the brown sugar.  Add the vanilla and stir
until everything is well combined and the butter is melted, then remove
from heat. 

Pour the oat
mixture into a large bowl.  Add the butter mixture, cashews and
cranberries to the oat mixture and stir until everything is evenly
coated.  Add the cloves, cinnamon, and allspice. Pour it back onto the baking sheet and spread it out evenly,
while pressing down firmly.  Place in oven and cook 20-30 minutes or
until golden brown (do not overcook), stirring occasionally. 
Remove from oven and let it cool completely before storing in an air tight container.

Adapted from Little B Cooks

whole wheat brown butter crepes

This week is exam week at school, and things are starting to get crazy!  My desk is covered in flashcards, textbooks and binders.  I’ve been wearing yoga pants for so long that they may or may not be part of my skin.  My hair coils into my signature “messy ballerina” bun… without an elastic.  I hope you all who have been through exams can sympathize.

my desk at the moment

On Sunday morning, I decided to take a deep breath and have a nice, leisurely breakfast with my family.  Sometimes, I find I just really need a good break (not one of those “spontaneous” hours spent on Pinterest when I should be researching the Hundred Years War…).  

the infamous bun

I needed something quick (I didn’t have all day to wait for dough to rise or the oven to preheat), and I wanted something luxurious (scrambled eggs ‘n ketchup wasn’t gonna cut it).  Crepes were the solution.  I have been experimenting a lot with brown butter recently, and can’t get enough of that rich, nutty flavor!  These crepes have no added sugar, but are full of nutty flavors from that brown butter and some whole wheat flour.  Oh, and the batter whizzes together in the blender in seconds.

My favorite way to eat crepes is with a big dollop of Greek yogurt, some strawberry jam, and some fresh berries.  I could roll up and eat hundreds of these.
What do you like in your crepes?
With love,
Erica

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons Butter
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1 cup milk
Put
the butter in a medium frying pan and cook the butter until the foam has
subsided and there are little brown bits floating. Put all of the ingredients including the melted butter into a blender and blend for 30 seconds. You can make the crepes now, or pop the batter in the fridge and make them another time. When you’re ready to make them, use a tiny bit of butter to grease
the frying pan and wait until the pan is starting to smoke, then turn
the heat down a little bit. Pour a small amount of batter into the pan
and swirl to spread the batter evenly. Flip when browned and then when ready, take out of the pan.  Serve with sweet or savory toppings (recipe ideas to come!)
Adapted from Poires au Chocolat