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Friday, December 12, 2014

Mark Bittman's Granola

            So I like Mark Bittman well enough. He's right up there with the cool guy with the clever bow tie,Chris Kimball. His cookbook How To Cook Everything is on of my most used and most worn cookbooks and for good reason,it's good. He also was one of the past featured chefs in my favoritist cooking group,I Heart Cooking Clubs,so score for two fro me!

    This week's recipe challenge with IHCC was the Mystery Box Madness Challenge. ( insert that Law & Order theme music,dunh dunh DUNH) I was thrilled to know this and I accepted the challenge whole-heartedly mainly because I just got both of my Diana Henry cookbooks in the mail. Her cookbooks are lovely,but an extra week to go through them was the luck of the draw.

  Ok so here goes it with the Mystery Box Madness Challenge: you choose a recipe either by the current featured chef or a past featured chef that contains three of the ingredients from the specific list.
 The Ingredients:                                          
rolled oats
coconut milk
hot peppers/chiles

The Chefs:
Diana Henry-featured chef
Nigella Lawson
Mark Bittman
Giada de Laurentiis
Jamie Oliver
Tessa Kiros
Rick Bayless
Madjur Jaffrey
Yotam Ottolenghi
Donna Hay
Nigel Slater

                      It being the holday season and all ,I was hoping to make some sort of recipe I could double as a food gift. My man Mark came to the rescue: granola. I picked chocoalte,cherries,cinnamon and rolled oats as my ingredients. Yes yes, I know that's four ingredients but granola ain't too tasty without chocolate. 

              My most favorite gift is a homemade gift. Truly a homemade gift is the essence of giving,sharing a piece of you with someone you love. I also looooove an excuse to use a mason jar,so heck really this challenge was made for me! Christmas gifts 1-4 checked off the list,whew! As I type the granola filled with rolled oats,almonds,walnuts,sesame seeds,coconut,cinnamon,ginger,a pinch of salt,honey and maple syrup is cooling. I gently stirred in the dried cherries and cranberries and the chocolate chips will be added in a little while.

     I have to say I am thrilled that my first challenge back with IHCC worked out this way. I enjoy cooking,blogging about it and sharing what I've learned on my journey. So ta-da: granola.
Thanks Mark.

adapted from Mark Bittman

Yield: About 8 cupsTime: 30 minutes
6 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking or instant)
2 cups mixed nuts and seeds: a combination of sunflower seeds, chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews, sesame seeds. I used chopped walnuts,sesame seeds and sliced almonds.
1 cup shredded coconut,unsweetened
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
a pinch of ground ginger
Dash salt
1 /2 to 1 cup honey or maple syrup, or to taste
1 cup raisins or chopped dried fruit
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. In a bowl, combine the oats, nuts and seeds, the coconut if you’re using it, cinnamon, salt, and sweetener. Spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or a little longer, stirring occasionally. The mixture should brown evenly; the browner it gets without burning, the crunchier the granola will be.
  2. Remove the pan from the oven and add the raisins. Cool on a rack, stirring once in a while until the granola reaches room temperature. Transfer to a sealed container and store in the refrigerator; it will keep indefinitely. ( Ok so see that word indefinitely.It means that you can make it mid-December,give it as a lovely homemade gift a few weeks later AND it still be just as fresh as the day you made it. In fact,there ain't nothing wrong with a little aged granola,just means the flavors hae had time to marinate.Perfect.)


  1. Granola makes such a lovely gift! It sounds good with the chocolate chips!
    I've only made one recipe from Mark Bittman (my first) last week, and have recently purchased three of his books at the recent book sale, so am looking forward to try some of his recipes!

  2. I am a fan of both Bittman and granola and have made a couple of his granola recipes--always with good success. I like the combination of ingredients you put in this one. ;-)

  3. Chocolate chip granola! What a treat!

  4. I think I've been doing something wrong - I've never had granola with chocolate! The combination of ingredients sound fantastic.

  5. I'm sure whoever that you gifted that granola to will be absolutely delighted. I would too if it were me. Granola with chocolate is probably the best combination :)

  6. Bittman's recipes are always good to go. I haven't tried his granola yet. Now I will.