Sunday, April 14, 2013

When the fog rolls in

When the fog rolls into the greater Los Angeles area, the local NPR host always says, "temperatures should be warming up later, after the morning burn off". In code this means, "don't worry folks- you'll get your dose of Vitamin D today... no reason to panic". But this weekend, despite their claims of warm rays making their way through, we were socked in all weekend long. The morning fog became cloud cover, the cloud cover got thicker, and the temperature started dropping. It was gray, it was cold, and damn it was lovely.

Blame it on my childhood in Pittsburgh, my heart that still lies in New England, or the way that the Portland mist energized me, but I am a lover of weather. Rain, wind, thunderstorms and frost- weather makes my clock tick and my toes wiggle. Don't get me wrong, I love the sunshine that falls upon the hills of Topanga just as much as anyone. But, the small moments when I do get to experience a little bit of weather, I am always a little bit happier. Because in the end, it makes that sunshine feel so much better. 

This weekend, with puffy vests and scarfs wrapped around me, I basked in the foggy weather with lots of celebrating to do. Often, the fog forces me inward- in bed, wrapped in blankets- but this weekend, there was too much on the docket for that silliness. Celebrating birthdays, babies, and just friends being together we went from Filmore to Venice, Carpenteria to Topanga- good people, good food, and great weather. 

Now, Sunday evening is winding down and so are we. We started a fire in the wood stove for the first time since early March and are finally hunkering down the way the fog wanted us to.  Monday is coming too quickly and school is looming over our heads. I can tell you one thing, foggy weather isn't nearly as nice at school as it is at home. But, c'est la vie as my mom always said! This is the routine-we work, we play, we work again. And, a little baking on Sunday night makes it that much easier. 

I have two rotating snacks that Adam and I thrive off of all week long. Not only does making them sooth my anxious stomach before a long work week but it also keeps us going through the busy school days that often seem never ending. The breakfast cookies are about 95% easier to make but the granola is pretty much the best thing you've ever had. Try both of them, you won't be disappointed, we are making the granola for this week.


Breakfast cookies: found here

3 mashed bananas (ripe), 1/3 cup apple sauce, 2 cups oats, 1/4 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup raisins, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp cinnamon. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

***If I don't have any bananas I use 1 cup of pumpkin instead and added a little nutmeg. They are sweeter with the banana b/c banana's are simply sweeter so if you use pumpkin you might want to add a little maple syrup or honey.***

The Best Granola: adapted from Bon Appetit February 2013

  • 1 large egg white
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts (such as almonds or pecans)
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut shavings
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1/4 cup warmed coconut oil (olive oil if you don't have it but the coconut oil really makes it)
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup dried cherries or cranberries (or both mixed!)

  • Preheat oven to 300°F. Combine 1 large beaten egg white, 3 cups old-fashioned oats, 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts (such as almonds, pistachios, pecans, or walnuts), 1 1/2 cups coconut shavings, 1/2 cup agave syrup, 1/4 cup olive oil or warmed coconut oil, 1/4 cup sesame seeds, 2 tablespoons (packed) light brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon in a large bowl; toss to combine. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet.
    Bake granola, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden brown and dry, 40-45 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet (it will crisp as it cools).
    Mix in 1 cup dried cherries or cranberries.


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