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July is over, and I got in 7 recipes if you count the fail.  Sweet!

It doesn’t seem like July would be the kind of month you’d want to make granola in.  Granola is kind of a Fall and Winter dish.  Hearty, needs baking, full of toasted treats.  However, when my Mom talked to me about her desire to make a granola recipe she had seen in the Times, I realized taht deep down it was something I was dying to do!

She sent over this recipe: Olive Oil Granola with Dried Apricot .  I was in.  I headed to Whole Foods to do the supply shopping.  I couldn’t find the sulpher dried apricots.  All they had were good old fashioned, no sulpher added apricots.  They were an ugly brown, oh well- I went with them.  The rest of the ingredients were easy to find.

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 1/2 cups raw pistachios, hulled

1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, hulled

1 cup coconut chips

3/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

3/4 cup chopped dried apricots

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, combine oats, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, coconut chips, maple syrup, olive oil, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and cardamom. Spread mixture on a rimmed baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden brown and well toasted.

2. Transfer granola to a large bowl and add apricots, tossing to combine.

Who knew, well most people probably know, that making granola was so easy?  The only problem I had was having to stir the granola every 10 minutes.  It make the apartment smell great, the cardamon and cinnamon make for a delicious smell, and I couldn’t resist tasting it as soon as it cooled down a bit.  Yum.  I’ve been eating it for breakfast for a week with soy milk.  Double yum.  As soon as I was done with this granola, I wanted to make another and change it up a bit too.  Add different nuts, etc.  I also wanted to get some of the lovely bright orange dried apricots and toss them in.  So I went for it!

I bought raw cashews and pecans and dried apricots.  I still had plenty of oats and the left over pumpkin seeds.  This is what creation looked like in recipe form:

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 1/2 cups raw pecans

1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, hulled

1 cup raw cashews

1 cup coconut chips

1/4 cup pure maple syrup- I ran out!

2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil- To make up for the maple syrup

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom- It is a strong flavor!

1 cup chopped dried apricots

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, combine oats, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, coconut chips, maple syrup, olive oil, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and cardamom. Spread mixture on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper in an even layer and bake for 45 minutes.  I stirred it twice, but the parchment ensures it won’t burn!

2. Transfer granola to a large bowl and add apricots, tossing to combine.

Looking back on this try- I would have chopped the nuts a little bit.  Not only would it spread them out, but they are big nuts in general.

Overall- both of these recipes are easy, and delicious.  I will definitely be making granola in my future!

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So NH+No Work+Mom’s Money=Lots o’ cooking!

Two more recipes for you- and they’re my own, yay!

Turkey Burgers- There was thawed Turkey meat in the fridge and the Gazpacho needed some protein to make it a meal, so Mozzarella Turkey Burgers it was.  I took the turkey meat and mixed it with worcestersire sauce, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper.  Made nice juicy balls and stuck em on the grill. After a few minutes on one side, I flipped them and only pressed a little- you don’t want to lose the moistness.  They flipped once more and then a nice hunk of fresh mozzarella went on top to melt and surround the little guys.  They were moist and yummy- a great accompaniment to a cold soup for a summer meal.

Tuna Steaks- They looked good, so they came home with me.  I mixed up some soy sauce, garlic (3 gloves), and a handful of chopped cilantro.  The tuna steaks sat in a zip-lock with the marinade for about 4 hours before going on the grill.  I placed them on one side for 4 minutes and then flipped them for 2 or 3.  They were slightly overdone, next time lower flame- the steaks were thinner than I thought.  Still, delicious with a fresh garden salad and some oven roasted potatoes.

I love summer cooking!

So tonight I tried something new that wasn’t from a cookbook, just my own imagination.  We had some potatoes in the fridge I wanted to cook, and some scallion we needed to cook.

I sliced the potatoes into about 1/4 inch thick slices- some thicker.  They went in a pan with two chopped scallions, oil and salt.  I put them in a 350 degree oven and let him cook for about an hour, maybe less.

They were delicious!  The first serving wasn’t quite crisp enough, when I went back for seconds they were much crisper and tasted like sour cream & onion potato chips.  Next time I’ll let them sit for a few minutes when they come out.

Verdict: YUM!

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