GRANOLA
Adapted sightly from Alton Brown
Makes about 6 cups

3 cups rolled oats
1 cup almonds, slivered or chopped
3/4 cup shredded sweet coconut 
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup pure maple syrup 
3/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup raisins (optional)


Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar.

In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, and salt. Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.
Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. 

Add raisins (if using) and mix until evenly distributed.


SAUTEED MUSHROOMS AND CHICKPEAS

8-10 ounces mushrooms, ends trimmed and sliced
2 Tablepoons unsalted butter
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 Tablepoons chicken stock or dry white wine
kosure salt and freshly ground pepper
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 Tablespoons fresh chopped green onion/chives
8-10 slices french bread
olive oil


Preheat the oven broiler.

Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add red onion and sautée, for about three minutes. 

Add mushrooms and continue cooking; stirring for about five minutes.

Add chicken stock, reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook for about five minutes.




Uncover and stir in chickpeas continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about two minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Set the bread on a baking sheet and drizzle with a little olive oil. Set under broiler for about a minute, watch closely so it doesn't burn. Top each piece with mushrooms and chickpeas and sprinkle with chives and serve immediately.
CARROT CAKE OATMEAL COOKIES
Makes 14 cookies


1 cup instant oats
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoon coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup honey or pure maple syrup
3/4 cup shredded carrots

Frosting: (optional)
Powdered Sugar
vanilla
cream or milk

Notes: It’s incredibly important to measure both the oats and flour correctly, using the spoon­-and-level method.  If scooped directly from the container using the measuring cup, you’ll end up with too much, which will dry out your cookies and make them crumbly. To make your own instant oats, pulse 1 cup of old ­fashioned oats in a food processor about 15 times.



In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. 

In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, egg, and vanilla. Stir in the honey until thoroughly incorporated. 

Add in the flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated. Fold in the carrots. 

Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. (If chilling longer, cover with plastic wrap, ensuring it touches the entire surface of the cookie dough.) 

 Preheat the oven to 325°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper  

Drop the cookie dough into  rounded scoops on the baking sheet. (If chilled longer than 1.5 hours, flatten slightly.)


 Bake at 325°F for 12­-15 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for at least 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.


Drizzle with frosting if you need your cookies a little sweeter. To make frosting pour about 1/2 cup of powdered sugar in a bowl add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and add a splash of cream. Use a whisk and mix. Add more cream until you have your desired consistency.


RETURN TO WWW.ALAGRAHAM.COM

SLOW COOKER PORK CARNITAS
Adapted from here
serves 6-8

1 tablespoon chili powder 
2 teaspoons ground cumin 
2 teaspoons dried oregano 
2 teaspoons salt, or more, to taste 
1 teaspoon ground black pepper 
4 pound pork shoulder, excess fat trimmed
4 cloves garlic, peeled 2 onions, quartered
 2 oranges, juiced 
2 limes, juiced 
cilantro, garnish (optional)

In a small bowl, combine chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Season pork  with spice mixture, rubbing in thoroughly on all sides. Place garlic, onions, orange juice, lime juice and seasoned pork into a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 8 hours or high for 4-­5 hours.
Once the pork is cooked,preheat your broiler to high heat and prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Use a fork to shred the meat into bite-sized pieces, and return the shredded meat into the slow cooker for a few minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the meat to the prepared baking sheet, spreading it out evenly in a single layer. 


Reserve the remaining broth from the slow cooker.

Place the sheet under the broiler for about 3-4 minutes, or until the edges of the pork begin crisping up. You don't want to broil much longer than that because the meat will dry out. Remove the sheet, and use a spatula or tongs to toss the pork. Then ladle about 1/4 cup of the remaining slow cooker broth over the porkGarnish with cilantro. 

Serve immediately in tacos, burritos, salads, omelets, you get the idea.



LEMON CAKE
Slightly adapted from Barefoot Contessa
Serves 8

1/4 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup + 1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup grated lemon zest
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons lemon juice, divided
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons buttermilk, room temperature (see *NOTE)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 3/4 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup heavy cream
lemon zest and blueberries for garnish (optional)

*NOTE: I never have buttermilk on hand I simply make it by adding 1 teaspoon of white vinegar (or 1 teaspoon lemon juice) to 1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons of milk and let it sit for 5 minutes. It will curdle a little bit and it is the perfect substitute for buttermilk.

* Also with regards to the frosting it is taste as you go until you get the sweetness and texture you want. Start with half the cream and whip it for a little bit with the sugar and lemon juice. If it is dry and clumpy add more cream  as needed until you have just the right consistency.

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  1. Grease and flour (8-inch round pan) ~ OR ~ (8 1/2 x 4 1/4 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pan), lining the bottom with parchment paper, if desired.
  1. MAKE THE CAKE:
  2. Cream, using paddle attachment, butter and 1 cup granulated sugar in bowl of electric mixer until light and fluffy, approximately 3-5 minutes.
  1. With mixer on medium speed, add eggs, one at a time, and the lemon zest.
  1. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl.
  1. In another bowl, combine 2 Tablespoons lemon juice, buttermilk and vanilla.
  1. Alternately, add flour and buttermilk mixtures to batter, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  1. Add batter to pan, smoothing the top.
  1. Bake 45 minutes - 1 hour, until tester comes out clean.
  1. When it is done baking, cool for 10 minutes.
  1. MAKE LEMON SYRUP:
  2. Combine 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 cup lemon juice in small saucepan, cooking over low heat until sugar dissolves.
  3. Remove cake from pan and set on cake platter.
  4. Spoon lemon syrup over the cake and allow cake to cool completely.
  1. MAKE FROSTING:
  2. In a standing mixer with a wire whisk attachment beat the half of the heavy cream, powdered sugar and lemon juice. Slowly, add more cream until the texture is smooth and soft peaks form. 
  1. Pour frosting over the top of the cake and allow to drizzle down the sides.

    1. Garnish with lemon zest and Sugared blueberries (simply wet blueberries sprinkled with sugar then dried) and a lemon curl. 



    PEACH RASPBERRY SORBET

    2 pounds peaches, skins and pits removed
    1 cup raspberries
    1 1/4 cup water 
    1 1/4 cup sugar

    Add the sugar and water to a sauce pan and bring to a boil, stirring continuously. Add the peaches and raspberries. 


    Use a handheld immersion blender or a counter top blender and puree the ingredients together. Taste it and add more simple syrup (sugar and water) if needed.

    Cool in the fridge or freezer and once the mixture is cold, not frozen add to an ice cream maker using manufacturers instructions. Mine takes 20 minutes. I like it best right when it is right out the ice cream maker and it is really smooth. Add to a freezer safe container and freeze.

    RETURN TO WWW.ALAGRAHAM.COM
    OATMEAL PANCAKES- GLUTEN FREE
    makes about 12-16 pancakes 

    1 3/4 cup freshly ground oat flour (make by pulsing old fashioned oats in a food processor; 2 1/4 cups old fashioned oats should make 1 3/4 cups of oat flour.)
    2 tablespoon brown sugar (optional)
    2 teaspoons cinnamon (optional)
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1/2  teaspoon salt
    1 cup milk
    2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
    2 large eggs
     1 cup cooked oatmeal - directions on package


    Make the oatmeal per package directions. For myself, I bring 1 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil. Add old fashioned oats and simmer on low, stirring occasionally until the oatmeal is thick, about 4-5 minutes. Set aside.


    Grind the old fashioned oats in a food processor to make the oat flour. Measure and pulse 2 1/4 cups of old fashioned oats in a food processor until finely ground, it should make nearly 1 3/4 cups of oat flour. 


    Whisk all the dry ingredients together in a bowl: oat flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.in another bowl mix the wet ingredients: milk, coconut oil, eggs and cooked oatmeal. Add the wet ingredients into the dry and gently combine. 


    Heat a griddle or a large pan over medium heat. Spray with coconut oil cooking spray or grease with butter. Add pancake batter, about 1/4 cup, and cook for about 2 minutes on one side or until the bottom is golden-brown then flip and cook other side for an additional 2 minutes. Serve warm with warm maple syrup, honey, fresh berries or powdered sugar. 

    RETURN TO WWW.ALAGRAHAM.COM