I shouldn't be sitting here right now, there are so many things that need to be done around the house. We still have things in boxes since our move in July but there hasn't been the time (or the space for that matter) to knuckle down and tidy away the last remaining stragglers. The things that, quite frankly, I almost wish we didn't bring with us. Only back in London, all those months ago, those were the very things I thought I couldn't live without. Funny how living in a furnished house, house contents in storage, has made us realise that we actually could survive with fewer personal belongings. Do you ever think that?
The children have both gone back to school today and somehow I'm feeling redundant. As I said, there is so much I should be doing but I can't quite get down to it. There is a bolognese sauce simmering away on the stove (I shall leave it most of the day for a rich, unctuous meal) and an almond bread rising nicely in the oven, so I have achieved something this morning!
I've been cooking a fair bit over the holidays, discovering and inventing new recipes. Since arriving in Vancouver we have all had food sensitivity testing to help iron out our immune problems, our slightly defective gene pool you could say. I've been making my own almond milk, which is easy, fun, mighty tasty but sadly an expensive exercise. And granola. Do you like granola?
I was talking to an assistant in our local grocery shop the other day when she asked what I was going to do with all the nuts I was buying. She told me that customers frequently spend $20 for a single packet of granola which set me thinking how crazy that is. I'm sure you would never do such a thing, but have you ever had granola? Made your own, even? It is super popular here in North America and I can see why. As well as being a tasty, nutty start to the day, it usually incorporates oats and sometimes puffed rice and dried fruits. However, I make a gluten/grain free version and prefer to add my own little extras as it is put into the bowl. Fresh berries, freshly dried fruits from my new toy for example.
gluten, grain free granola
2 cups (8 oz) pecans, roughly broken
2 cups (8 oz) walnuts, roughly broken
2 cups (8 oz) nibbed/flaked almonds
1 1/5 (8 oz) cups sunflower seeds
2 cups (3 oz) coconut flakes
1-2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (6 oz) cup runny honey
Preheat the oven to 350F / 180C.
Place the dry ingredients into a large bowl and combine well. Pour over the honey and mix together thoroughly. Put everything onto a large parchment lined baking tray (or a couple of smaller ones) and put into the oven. Bake for around 40 minutes, until lightly browned. Check several times during the cooking process, mixing the granola around so it cooks evenly and be vigilant about this as if you think honey burns easily, nuts are even more keen! Put onto a large platter and allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
Serve with goat yoghurt or almond milk and fresh berries or dried fruit.
All this talk about eating, my daughter was shown this brilliant video by one of her friends recently. I urge you to watch it, you are in for a very good chuckle. Just make sure you don't eat your granola in this way ..
Well, that's it for today. Thanks for the chat, I feel in the mood for work now! What are you up to?