Our Favorite Granola Recipe

Are you Granola Crunchy?

Do you like your granola to have big crunchy pieces or be more of a loose texture?  I like the best of both worlds, some clumps for nibbling and some loose bits that can be poured onto my yogurt.  My Mom's been making granola for as long as I can remember and I followed her recipe for a long time until the past few months.  I've been tinkering with changing it up a bit.  I wanted the crunch to be a little easier to munch (double sets of braces in this household!) so I added some coconut oil which makes for a more tender crunch.  I removed the powdered milk from her recipe and added some vanilla and salt to bump up the flavor.  We all love this granola - it's quite addictive and never lasts long in our house!  Enjoy!  

Thanks Mom for teaching me all about granola and a whole lot more!  

Our Favorite Granola Recipe: Photo Step-by-Step:

Our Favorite Granola Recipe
Tina Verrelli – epicuricloud.com

Ingredients:
3 3/4 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick), divided
½ cup ground flaxseed meal or wheat germ
1 cup raw almonds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
½ cup coconut oil, melted
½ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix-Ins:  
You can add whatever you like!
This is what I usually add:
½ cup raisins
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup dried cranberries

Directions:
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Prepare a half-sheet baking pan by lining with parchment paper or spray with non-stick spray.
Using a food processor or blender, grind ¾ cup of the oats to make oat flour.  (I use my KitchenAid 3.5-cup Food Chopper.)
In a small bowl or measuring cup combine the melted coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla.
In a large bowl combine the oat flour, the remaining 3 cups oats, flaxseed meal, almonds, cinnamon and salt.  Pour the liquid mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until well combined.  
Spread on prepared baking sheet and press the mixture flat with a spatula.  
Bake for about 20 minutes, then, use a spatula to turn the mixture over.  Press down to flatten again with a spatula.  Bake for another 25 minutes.  Turn off oven, prop door open slightly and allow to cool in the oven for an hour. (This will help to form nice chunks.)
Remove from oven, and cool completely.  Add whichever add-ins you’d like and store in an airtight container.

Printable Recipe: Our Favorite Granola Recipe

Thank you for spending some time with me in the cloud!  

I hope you enjoy the granola! (  :  Tina

 

 

 

 

Our Favorite Chicken Pot Pie Recipe

We ❤️ Chicken Pot Pie! 

It's definitely a family favorite, but, I had never written my chicken pot pie recipe down - so I took notes the last time I made it - and here it is!  The wine and leeks are a more recent addition.  I find pot pie can be a little bland sometimes - the leeks, the wine and the herbs make a big difference in creating a really flavorful pot pie.  I hope you enjoy!

Step-By-Step Photo Instructions:

Chicken Pot Pie Recipe:
Christina Verrelli – epicuricloud.com
Makes a 2-quart dish – enough for 5-6 servings

Pie Crust: (If you'd like to make your own.)
2½ cups flour (plus extra for rolling)
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, very cold, cut into 1/2” cubes
8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) solid shortening, very cold, cut into ½” cubes
¼ to 1/3 cup icy cold water

Filling:
4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped celery
¾ cup chopped carrots
1 cup thinly sliced leeks
4 cups cooked diced or shredded chicken
¼ cup flour
½ cup dry white wine
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth (plus extra if needed)
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
½ teaspoon dry ground sage
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 cup frozen peas
1 egg
2 tablespoons water

Pie Crust Directions: (If you would like to make your own.)

Add flour and salt to mixing bowl, stand mixer or food processor.  Stir or pulse the flour and salt to combine.  Add butter and shortening to flour.  
Cut butter and shortening into flour until the mixture is sandy with some pea sized pieces left.
•    By-Hand: with a pastry cutter or 2 knives
•    Stand Mixer: w/flat beater on low speed
•    Food Processor: w/multi-purpose blade – pulsing
Sprinkle in the water while stirring or pulsing until it begins to hold together.  Test by taking out a small amount and gently squeezing in your hand – it should hold together.  (You do not want to mix until it forms a uniform ball like pizza or bread dough.)
Pat the dough into a disk shape, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Filling and Assembly Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Arrange oven rack to lower middle position.

In a 12-inch, 3-inch deep skillet or dutch oven melt the butter over medium-low heat.  Add the onion, celery, carrots and leeks to the pan and sauté for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften.  Mix in the chicken, then sprinkle in the flour and stir to combine.  Add the wine and stir to deglaze the pan.  Sprinkle in the herbs and spices.  Stir in the broth.  Bring to simmer and cook stirring frequently for about 10 minutes or until thickened. (If mixture gets too thick stir in a little more broth.)  Stir in the peas.  Pour into 2-quart baking dish.

Roll-out pie crust to fit about 1.5-2 inches larger than baking dish.  Top dish with crust and tuck extra crust under and crimp.

Whisk together egg and water to make egg wash.  Brush crust with egg wash. 

Place baking dish on a baking sheet to catch any drips.  Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the crust is browned and the filling is bubbling.   

Printable Recipe: Our Favorite Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie - epicuricloud.com

Thanks for joining me in the cloud!  I hope you enjoy the recipe! ( : Tina

 

 

 

Peanut Butter and Banana “Barkies” (Dog Cookies) Recipe

peanut butter and banana barkies - epicuricloud.com

Peanut Butter & Banana “Barkies” Recipe
(Dog Cookies)

Tina Verrelli – epicuricloud.com
Makes about 20 Dog Cookies

Ingredients:
1¾ cups old fashioned oats (rolled oats), divided
½ banana cut into 4 chunks
¼ cup peanut butter
1 egg

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease baking sheet.
Place 1½ cups of the oats in chopper or small food processor.  Process until ground to a flour texture.  Pour into a medium-sized mixing bowl.
Place banana, peanut butter and egg in chopper or small food processor.  
Process until well combined, scrape down bowl and process some more, if needed.
Pour mixture into bowl with oat flour.  Add the remaining ¼ cup of (unground) oats.
Stir together.
Scoop 1-tablespoon portions and roll into balls.
Flatten with the tines of a fork in a criss-cross pattern.
Bake for 15 minutes for a softer center.  
Let cool on baking sheet.
Store in air-tight container for a few days or in the refrigerator/freezer for longer.