Thursday, March 5, 2009

granola = lenten "dessert"

Dear Cameron the Canon Camera,
I love you. Like...I really love you.
Like a lot, a lot.
Yours truly,


Yes, I FINALLY broke down and bought a new camera. Which has actually made me literally broke. And yes, I like to name inanimate objects.

That is beyond the point, however. The point is, is that I have discovered an amazing camera, and it is good. And I am ironically happy that my old (nameless) camera broke, because Cameron takes wickedly good close-up shots of my concoctions on "Macro" mode that Old Nameless could never come close to capturing. Yeah, yeah, I know this blog is supposed to be about food...I promise you, we're getting there. Just bear with my inner camera-nerd for a sec, alrighty? :)

Now why do I love Cameron so? Let me show you why...

AGH LOOK AT THOSE BEAUTIFUL ALMONDS. Amazing! He's simply amazing! Look how he captures those almond-lines! And the light dusting of salt! Siiigh...simply takes my breath away.

And those OATS! Now, I know, I'm weird and have a thing for actually liking the taste of dry oatmeal...but doesn't this picture just make you want to nose-dive into that oat-y goodness?? Yeah...the detail floors me. I predict that Cameron and I will be together for a very long time. :)

But anyways, back to food. Lent's been kind of rough so far. When your diet consists of 1/3
desserts (Okay, I exaggerate. Not that much....but Dear Relatives Reading This, Please stop freaking out. Love, Patti), you tend to crave sweet things constantly when you're deprived of them.

Enter: homemade granola. I perused a slew of granola recipes on, but in the end, made up my own recipe based on what ingredients I had in my cupboards. Want to know a sneaky granola trick? It's super easier than you may think, and it's such a fun recipe because you can improvise every time you make it. All you really need are a bowlful of dry ingredients and some heated-up liquid (which has some kind of sweetener and some kind of fat) to pour
all over the dry stuff.

I ended up using oatmeal, chopped almonds, and raisins for my dry goods. The liquidy part was made up of brown sugar, honey, peanut butter, and cinnamon, the peanut butter acting as the "fat" in this case. A lot of the recipes I looked over used either butter or vegetable oil...but that just sounded disgusting to me. And being aware of the mantra, "Everything is better with peanut butter," peanut butter is what I chose as my delicious butter/oil replacement.

And...oh oh oh, what could be in this bottle??

Why our old friend, Vanilla Vodka, of course! Remember him? And yes, he does now smell (and taste o.O) like vanilla vodka, even though he is vanilla extract through and through. Anyways, I broke this puppy out for the first time since August and used it in the granola. And it must've done the trick, because this granola came out wickedly good. I really, though, am craving to bake real desserts with this homemade vanilla. Mmmm, imagine it used in a tray of ooey gooey brownies....OMG YUM.

But oh well. Granola will have to suffice for now. :)

Pretend-It's-Dessert Granola
*Note: You might want to double this recipe...just sayin'.

2 cups oatmeal
1/3 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

In large bowl, combine oatmeal, almonds, and raisins. Set aside.

In saucepan, combine peanut butter, brown sugar, honey, and cinnamon. Heat until liquified and slightly boiled. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla.

Pour liquid stuff over dry stuff. Stir to coat. Spread in baking pan, and bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool and store and eat!


Lizzy said...

omg! We have the same camera! :) What color is yours? Isn't it nice? :)Canon is the new thang.

redmenace said...

I LOVE homemade granola. Thanks for the recipe!

Valentina Craig said...

Love, love, love this recipe! I miss your blog, can you get started again?