Monday, July 24, 2023

Granola for Abby, Amelia, Anna, & Callie!

I brought a couple of jars of this granola on a college-visit road trip.  We were looking at schools for my youngest and her friend Callie came with us.  Callie loved the granola so much that her mom asked for the recipe.  Apparently, they have been making this granola non-stop at their house ever since!  That was 3 years ago!   Another of my daughter's besties, Amelia,  asked for the recipe last week. It made me so happy to pass the recipe along.  

I have another granola recipe on my blog and many friends are very very fond of it. The BEST Granola recipe is certainly a favorite but this one has become a favorite, too.   Both recipes use olive oil and maple syrup - these are key flavor ingredients.  I have found Lucini brand of olive oil works best and grade A medium amber maple syrup is my choice for best flavor.


Granola for Abby, Amelia, Anna & Callie!

1 cups raw almonds with skin

4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (organic preferred)

¾ cup grade A amber maple syrup

¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil (I use Lucini brand for this recipe)

3 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon kosher salt or kosher sea salt 

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  Put oats, almonds, cinnamon, and salt into large bowl – stir ingredients together with large spoon or spatula to distribute ingredients.  Pour maple syrup and olive oil over and stir to mix and coat all ingredients.  Pour granola onto prepared parchment-lined pan and spread so that ingredients are in one layer.  Bake in oven for 30-45 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for about 10 minutes before eating.  Cool completely before storing in glass jars or other containers.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Air-fryer Chicken for Delia!


My son taught me how to use an air-fryer and now I am hooked!   I purchased the kind with the basket and also chose one on the smaller side.  They can take up a lot of counter space depending on the size and style.  Mine is the Cosori 4 Qt. with 7 cooking functions.  I chose it for the small size and the color - it's a pretty sage green!
This recipe is from NYT Cooking and recipe is designed for one large boneless, skinless chicken breast.  I have played around and used it for three large chicken breast and also used it for 6-7 thin-cut chicken breast cutlets. All are a success - so easy, fast, delicious AND (the best part)  CLEANUP is EASY!  I just put the basket right into my dishwasher on the top rack - done!  

 Air-Fryer Chicken for Delia:  Adapted from NYT Cooking


1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast, OR 2-3 large boneless, skinless chicken breast, OR 5-8 boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets (thin cut)


Freshly cracked black pepper

teaspoons light brown sugar

1 Tablespoon rice vinegar

1 Tablespoon soy sauce

2 Teaspoons olive oil


Heat air fryer to 400 degrees, if preheating is recommended for your air fryer.

My air-fryer has a "Chicken" setting - it cooks at either 350 or 415.  After I preheat to 400 I use the 415 setting for 13 minutes.  Flipping chicken after 6 minutes.  (if using the cutlets I don't bother flipping because they are usually done in about 6-8 minutes!)

Cut chicken breast in half crosswise into two pieces of equal weight, creating one shorter, thicker piece and one longer, thinner piece.  OR just keep breast as is or use thin-cut cutlets!

Season chicken generously on all sides with salt and pepper; rub brown sugar all over. (Chicken breast can be seasoned and left uncovered for up to 12 hours in the refrigerator. Let the chicken come to room temperature before cooking.)

In a medium bowl, combine the rice vinegar, soy sauce and olive oil. Toss chicken in soy sauce mixture until well coated and allow chicken to sit in marinade for 5 minutes.

Transfer chicken to the air fryer basket, setting leftover marinade aside. Cook for 6 minutes and flip the chicken over. Cook until chicken is lightly browned, the sauce has turned slightly sticky on the chicken and the internal temperature at the thickest part of the meat reaches 165 degrees, another 6 to 10 minutes. If using whole (thick) breast then it may need a few more minutes to cook through.

Transfer the chicken to a cutting board to rest for at least 5 minutes so the juices can settle and redistribute. Slice the chicken against the grain. Pour any sauce left at the bottom of the air fryer over the chicken and serve. For extra flavor, squeeze lime wedge all over the chicken,.


Pre-heat to 400 degrees

I used my "Chicken Setting" - 13 min at 415.

Flip over after about 6 minutes

Easy Cleaup....WOW!  Such joy!

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

My Favorite Irish Soda Bread (American & German, too)!

 St. Patrick's Day is the perfect time to make Soda Bread!  Here are three recipes for you to choose from.

Everytime I make these I'm surprised at how simple and incredibly delicious they are - sooooo good!  

Sunday, January 29, 2023

ALMONDS: Brined, Sugared, and Tamari

From front to back:  Tamari, Brined, and Sugared
I showed you how to make Tamari Almonds in an earlier post.  Here are two more options to add to your pantry:  Brined and Sugared!  The brined almonds are salty and crunchy.  The sugared almonds are sweet with caramelized, cinnamon coating that reminds me of Christmas Markets in Germany.

Sugar & Cinnamon Almonds

 1 cups raw almonds with skin

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

pinch of salt


Preheat oven to 350° F.

Pour almonds onto sheet pan and place in oven for 10 minutes until roasted to light golden (cut one open to see if interior of almond has changed from white to light golden brown).

Remove from oven, and add almonds, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, and water to a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium/high heat.  Once boiling, decrease heat to medium and cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon.  The mixture will go from liquid to sticky and then to white and granulated. Continue cooking, stirring constantly until the sugar coats the almonds with a light caramel color.  Once almonds are coated with caramel remove from heat and turn out to a pan covered with silpat or parchment - allow to cool.

Brined & Roasted Almonds 
recipe from Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden

 8 ounces (1 1/2 cups) raw almonds with skin

1 cup water

1/3 cup kosher salt


Preheat oven to 375° F.

Bring water to a boil in a saucepan.  Add salt and stir to dissolve.  Add the almonds to the hot brine, remove from heat, and let them soak for 30 minutes.

Drain the almonds and spread them evenly in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Roast until almonds are lightly toasted and fragrant, about 12 minutes.  Take one out to test - cut open to expose interior which should be light golden brown.  The nuts will still be soft but once completely cooled they will be very crunchy and salty.  

The sugared almonds at the beginning - bringing to a boil.

I like this kosher sea salt and use it for all my recipes. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Tiramis├╣ (for the Beautiful Szalay Ladies)


Tiramis├╣ is one of those desserts that everyone really seems to adore- it's just so special!  I make it even more special by preparing individual little jars of tiramisu.  It’s just as delicious made in a larger pan and then everyone can scoop out as much as they desire.  
I still favor the individual little jars – cute and pretty AND delicious!


Tiramis├╣ (adapted slightly from NYTimes Food)

4 large egg yolks

½ cup/100 grams granulated sugar, divided in half

¾ cup heavy cream

1 cup/227 grams mascarpone (8 ounces)

1¾ cups espresso or very strong coffee

1 Tablespoons vanilla

2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

About 24 ladyfingers (from one 7-ounce/200-gram package)

1 to 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped or shaved


Using an electric mixer in a medium bowl, whip together egg yolks and ¼ cup/50 grams sugar until very pale yellow and about tripled in volume. A slight ribbon should fall from the beaters (or whisk attachment) when lifted from the bowl.

 In the medium bowl, whip cream and remaining ¼ cup/50 grams sugar until it creates soft-medium peaks. Add mascarpone and continue to whip until it creates a soft, spreadable mixture with medium peaks. Gently fold the mascarpone mixture into the sweetened egg yolks until combined.

Combine espresso (or strong coffee) and vanilla in a bowl and set aside.

Using a small sifter sprinkle the bottom of a dish with 1 tablespoon cocoa powder. You can use an 8x8-inch baking dish, or any 8 to 9-inch ceramic dish.  OR use 12 small glass WECK jars or other ramekins – for individual tiramisus!

Using half of the ladyfingers: Working one at a time, quickly dip each ladyfinger into the espresso mixture and place them at the bottom of the baking dish. Repeat, until you’ve got an even layer, breaking the ladyfingers in half as needed to fill in any obvious gaps. Spread half the mascarpone mixture onto the ladyfingers in one even layer. Repeat with remaining espresso-dipped ladyfingers and mascarpone mixture.

Dust top layer with remaining tablespoon of cocoa powder. Top with shaved or finely grated chocolate, if desired.

 Cover with plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours (24 is better!) before scooping to serve.

Monday, December 12, 2022

Salad, Salad, Salad! FOR: Mary S., Julie, Cason, and everyone!

One of my recent salad creations! 
Star ingredients are Rob's greens from Young Harvests Farm, concorde pear, roasted sweet potato, manchego cheese, & toasted pecans.

I have become an excellent salad maker!  When my kids were younger I used to follow recipes for vinaigrettes and salad components.  The salads were always delicious and appreciated. We certainly had our favorites and I made them over and over (see one of my favorites HERE).  During these past two years I have become better at just using whatever lettuces and other items seem like a good combination.  What I have realized is that my salad creations are always delicious! It's all about how the flavor and texture of the salad ingredients compliment each other.  

Special "thank you!" to the ROB who grows the MOST DELICIOUS (and sustainably grown) salad greens - at Young Harvests Farm .  Everything Rob grows is exceptional in taste and nutrients because he is using techniques that save the natural ecosystems in the soil.  He even found a way to package the greens in compostable bags.  I buy his greens every week at the Bethesda Central Farm Market.  Rob's compostable bags (and small containers) go right into our backyard compost!  

Two Techniques:

1.  Using whisk or fork, emulsify lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, & salt & pepper in bowl prior to adding ingredients.  (or use just lemon and olive oil - leave out vinegar) 

2.  Put all ingredients into a large bowl.  Salt and pepper and mix ingredients - taste to see if you properly seasoned.  Then add squeeze of lemon, vinegar, and olive oil to taste.  Mix again. (or use just lemon and olive oil - leave out vinegar)

These ingredients really "MAKE" a salad for me:

  • Spanish Olive Oil (Picual or Arbequina)
  • Freshly Squeezed Lemon
  • White Balsamic
  • freshly ground pepper and kosher sea salt
  • combination of lettuces, pea shoots, and herbs
  • fruit in season such as: figs, plums, peaches, berries, pears, apples
  • roasted or seasoned nuts such as: roasted pecans, almonds or walnuts, tamari or marcona almonds
  • Goat Cheese (Chevre) or Sheep Cheese (6-month Manchego)
  • Avocado
  • crunchy veggies such as cucumber, fennel, carrot, or endive (shaved thin or sliced thick)
  • yellow and/or orange grape tomatoes
When I make a salad even heartier I'll add chicken, steak, roasted sweet potato, soft-boiled egg, sliced gold or red beets, steamed yukon gold potatoes, anchovies, green lentils, or tuna.

Technique 1: squeezing fresh lemon into the bowl

Technique 1:  emulsifying lemon, vinegar, and olive oil

Technique 1:  Adding all my greens to the bowl with the emulsified vinaigrette.  Ready to mix!

Salad-Making Lesson with Mary S. and Gail

Adding dijon mustard to the vinaigrette is always a wonderful option ;)

My attempt to recreate a delicious salad I enjoyed with Hong.

Preping a little gift for Cason & the Epoch Boys (the remaining spanish olive oil, lemon, and red plum)

Salad-making Lesson with Beautiful Julie!

My FAVORITE Vinegar!!!!!

Ingredients for a salad