Granola with roasted cherries

I started making my own granola about a year ago and ever since I’ve really enjoyed experimenting and trying different recipes in search of the “perfect” granola. I’ve posted a few recipes on the blog already and they are all nice in their unique ways. Some have used egg whites for extra crispiness (and protein), different fats, nuts, fruits, and usually honey or agave for sweetness. Basically – the world of granola is free and you can use whatever nuts you have in your pantry, or whatever flavour combinations you like.

However, this particular granola is what I would serve if I had a little cafe somewhere. It’s the kind of breakfast item you’d see as a lighter option but it is so lush and so special. The baked cherries really make this a proper treat! This recipe doesn’t make as much granola as other ones you’d find on the blog so if you want to stock up for a couple of weeks double up on the granola ingredients. The roasted cherries  I stored in a jar in the fridge and enjoyed with my granola (and porridge) throughout the week. I’d recommend eating them within the week though as they won’t keep for long.

More in Granola & Granola toppers: Tropical Fruit and Nut Granola  | Jordan Bourke’s Spelt, help seed and lemon zest granolaAnna Jones’ Easy Clementine Compote

Granola with roasted cherries

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Makes about 6 servings | Prep 10 mins + cooling | Cook 30 mins
Easy | Vegan | Dairy and Gluten Free

You’ll need:

  • 125g porridge oats;
  • 50g whole almonds, roughly chopped;
  • 2 tbsp mixed seeds;
  • 2 tbsp coconut (or sunflower) oil;
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup;
  • 360g cherries, pitted and halved;
  • 1-2 tbsp demerara sugar;
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180˚C, gas mark 4. Line a baking tray with parchment. In a bowl mix together the oats, almonds and seeds. Heat the coconut oil, maple syrup and 2 tbsp water in a small saucepan. Pour over the oat mixture and stir well. Spread out in an even layer on the prepared tray and bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring from time to time, until golden; set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, toss the cherries, sugar and vanilla with a pinch of salt. Tip onto a baking tray and roast for 25-30 minutes, until tender and some of the inky juices have leaked out. Cool slightly before serving with the granola and Greek yogurt, if liked.

Store the granola and baked cherries in airtight containers for up to a week.

Original recipe from Waitrose Food magazine, issue July 2016, available online here.

 

Apple, Pear and Turmeric Smoothie

We recently replaced our broken blender and with the weather starting to get properly warm and pleasant, we’ve been dying to have some smoothies! I stumbled upon this idea from a Waitorse and partners magazine and gave it a go.

I’ve tinkered a little with it as the original was a little too thick for my liking. I added some apple juice, though you can replace that with water if you want to keep the sugar levels down a bit.

More in breakfast: Anna Jones’ Easy Clementine CompoteJordan Bourke’s Spelt, help seed and lemon zest granolaTurkish eggs with spinach, yogurt & feta

Apple, Pear and Turmeric Smoothie

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Serves 1 | Prep 5 mins
Easy | Vegetarian | Gluten-Free

You’ll need:

  • 1 small apple, peel on, cored and roughly chopped into large chunks;
  • 1/2 small pear, peel on, cored and roughly chopped into large chunks;
  • 1 banana;
  • 3 tbsp Greek-style yogurt;
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric;
  • 4 ice cubes;
  • 50-100 ml apple juice.

Put the fruit bit by bit in a blender or fruit processor and start pulsing until smooth. Add the everything apart from the juice and whizz until smooth. Finally, add enough juice (try a little first, adding more as you go on) until you get your desired consistency.

This is a modified recipe, originally published by Waitrose & Partners magazine, not available online.


Previously posted on this day:

== 2019 ==
* Melanzane Parmigiana with Green Salad

== 2018 ==
* Golden Layer Cake with Buttercup Icing

Passion Fruit Caipiroska

With the weather looking so great, it’s the perfect time for a cocktail that reminds you of summer.. even if we are stuck in doors right now. Put your feet up in your garden or balcony if you have those, or open your windows wide, sit back and relax with this refreshing cocktail.

More in drinks: Berry & Rhubarb Gin

Passion Fruit Caipiroska

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Serves 2 | Prep 10 mins
Easy | Gluten-Free | Dairy-free | Vegan

You’ll need:

  • 2 limes, cut into wedges;
  • 4-6 tsp light brown soft sugar;
  • 4 fresh lime leaves (optional);
  • 2 small passion fruit, halved;
  • 60ml vodka;
  • crushed ice (see tip below).

Put the lime wedges, sugar, 2 lime leaves (if using) and the pulp from 1 passion fruit in a cocktail shaker (or a sturdy jug or large cup). Use the end of a rolling pin or a wooden spoon handle to muddle the ingredients together, gently bruising the lime wedges and dissolving the sugar. Stir in the vodka followed by a handful of ice. Add a lid and shake vigorously (or stir well). Taste and add a little more sugar, if liked.

Half-fill 2 tumblers with crushed ice and divide the unstrained caipiroska mixture between them. Fill to the top with crushed ice, decorate with the 2 remaining lime leaves (if using) and passion fruit halves to serve.

Tip: To crush the ice, put a few handfuls of ice in a blender and pulse until crushed. Alternatively, fill a zip-lock/freezer bag with some ice and bash with a rolling pin until crushed.

Original recipe from Waitrose Magazine, issue March 2017, available online here.

Anna Jones’ Easy Clementine Compote

If you know me (or work with me) you will often see me eating a bowl of yogurt, granola and fruit for breakfast. In this regard, I’m fairly consistent – almost always thick Greek yogurt, usually 0% fat/ sometimes Skyr; a good helping of granola (95% homemade) and whatever fruit I’ve gotten my hands on depending on the season. Occasionally though I do like to go a bit fancy with my toppings – and use a compote or stewed fruits.

When I saw this recipe in a recent edition of The Guardian’s Feast, it was perfect timing as I had several clementines about to go off (very rarely does this happen!) and I really didn’t want to bin them. I’m glad I spotted this as it’s a perfect topper from my morning granola ritual. If you like marmalade you will enjoy this. Make it a little sweeter by adding one/two additional spoons of honey.

Eat this with homemade granola: Jordan Bourke’s Spelt, help seed and lemon zest granolaTropical Fruit and Nut Granola

Anna Jones’ Clementine Compote

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Makes 1 Jar | Prep 5 mins | Cook 20 mins
Easy | Can be made Vegan* | Dairy and Gluten Free

You’ll need:

  • 8 clementines, peeled;
  • 3 tbsp honey or maple syrup (if making vegan);
  • 1 pinch flaky salt;
  • A few sprigs of thyme (optional).

Put the peeled mandarin segments in a saucepan, removing any big pieces of pith as you go. Heat the pan to low-medium and add the honey, salt and thyme, if you’re using it. Gently simmer until the fruit breaks down, using a masher to make a jam-like consistency. This should take around 20 minutes.

Spoon over yogurt, granola, porridge or top creamy desserts with it!

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Original recipe by Anna Jones published in Feast, available online here.

A perfect Christmas menu for 10

If you are in need of a Christmas menu, then look no further! Here’s my guide to making the perfect feast for 10, with timing and get ahead information to save you from stressing on the day.  With a little prep a couple of days before the big meal, you will be ready to feed an army of hungry friends and family effortlessly!

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The menu

Canapé:
Mozzarella and olive penguins

Starter:
Pork Terrine

Main:
 Pancetta roast turkey crown with chestnut and sage stuffing

Sides:
Roast potatoes
Honey glazed parsnips and carrots
Stir-fried brussels sprouts with nigella seed
Sticky pigs in blankets
Cranberry Sauce

Dessert:
Salted Caramel Cheesecake 

 

Cooking guide and timelines

Two days before the big meal

  1. Start preparing the terrine by marinating the pork as per Step 1 of the recipe. (~10 minutes)
  2. Make the Cranberry sauce and chill in the fridge until you need to heat it up on the day. (~30 minutes)

The day before

  1. Make the pork terrine and leave to chill until you need it on the day (~1hr).
  2. Make the stuffing from the turkey recipe and chill until the following day (~20 min).
  3. Make the cheesecake and chill (~2hrs).
  4. Make the sticky pigs in blankets and chill (~20 mins).

On the day, for lunch at 1pm – turkey served between 2pm – 2:30 pm 
(Adjust timings as required for a later lunch or dinner).

09:00. Take out the turkey from the fridge as soon as you get up in the morning, around 9am at the latest.
09:00. Prepare the mozzarella penguins and set aside until you need them. (Or make the day ahead and store in an airtight container).
10:00. Prepare the turkey for roasting as per Step 1 from the recipe, heat oven 90C/170C fan/gas 5.
10:30: Put the turkey in the oven and roast as per instructions.
11:00: While the turkey is cooking, prepare the vegetables.
Peel, chop and parboil the roasties, set aside until ready for roasting;
Peel the parsnips and carrots and marinade in the glaze and set aside until ready for roasting;
Halve the sprouts and prepare all the rest of the ingredients for the stir-fry, set aside until ready to stir-fry.
13:20: Take the turkey out of the oven to rest for half an hour.
Put the pre-boiled roast potatoes in the oven, increase oven to 200C fan. roast for                40-50 minutes
13:30: Put the prepared pigs in blankets and stuffing in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Put the parsnips and carrots in the oven, roast for 30 minutes.
13:45: stir fry the sprouts and start making the gravy.
14:00: Carve the turkey.

Needless to say, if you can get your partner/guests involved they can help with making gravy, stir-frying etc.

Your Christmas shopping list

  • 600g carrots;
  • 500g parsnips;
  • 2kg floury potatoes (King Edward, Maris Piper);
  • 800g Brussels Sprouts
  • 3 onions;
  • 3 shallots;
  • 4-5 garlic bulbs;
  • 3 lemons;
  • 300g fresh cranberries;
  • 1 clementine;
  • fresh thyme;
  • fresh sage;
  • fresh chives;
  • fresh rosemary;
  • fresh parsley
  • 100g goose fat;
  • 18 cocktail sausages;
  • 3 packs sliced pancetta;
  • 2 packs dry-cured streaky bacon (20-22 slices)
  • 300g Pork tenderloin;
  • 1050g sausage meat;
  • 4kg turkey crown;
  • 1 pack unsalted butter;
  • 6 eggs;
  • 600g full-fat cream cheese;
  • 300ml soured cream;
  • 75ml double cream;
  • 100g green olives, pitted;
  • 1 jar cornichons;
  • 25g pecans;
  • 140g white breadcrumbs;
  • 140g cooked chestnuts;
  • 75g light brown muscovado sugar;
  • 250g dark chocolate digestives;
  • 397g Carnation Caramel;

From the pantry:

  • olive oil;
  • rapeseed oil;
  • honey;
  • wholegrain mustard;
  • English mustard;
  • Nigella seeds;
  • Brandy
  • Plain flour;
  • Chicken stock;
  • Caster sugar;
  • cocoa powder;
  • Sea salt;
  • Pepper;

I hope you find this guide helpful. If you have any feedback of what more detail and info you’d like please let me know in the comments and I will gladly adjust the guide and add more to it!

oznor
Photo Sarah Ahmad

~Em.