Cranberry and Orange Granola

I’m currently obsessed with  bon appetit’s cranberry, orange, and maple granola. Well, granola in general, but this is my favorite recipe. It isn’t too sweet, thanks to the orange and cranberry, and is more filling than most breakfast cereals. Yum.

The recipe can be found here:

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (preferably Grade B)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon hazelnut or grapeseed oil
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup candied orange peel, sliced into long, thin strips


  • Preheat oven to 300°. Spread oats on a large rimmed baking sheet. Toast, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and fragrant, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a heatproof bowl; add almonds and let cool slightly. Coat same baking sheet with nonstick spray. Whisk maple syrup, butter, and hazelnut oil in a small bowl to blend. Pour syrup mixture over oats; stir thoroughly to coat. Spread mixture on prepared sheet.
  • Bake granola, stirring occasionally, until the oats are light golden, about 15 minutes. Stir in the cranberries and raisins; bake for 10 minutes longer. Remove granola from oven and let cool slightly. Stir in the orange peel. Let cool completely, then break into pieces. Store airtight at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
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photos from the past couple of months

I kind of abandoned my blog to start writing my thesis. Terrible I know. I haven’t stopped cooking. Or taking pictures. Or rather Jonathon hasn’t stopped taking pictures. Here are some things we’ve been whipping up in the kitchen.

Chicken korma, chole saag, naan, and rice.


Chicken korma.Image

Chai tea cupcakes.Image

Pork sausage, arugula, caramelized onion, provolone, and balsamic vinegar open faced sandwich. Image

New Year’s Eve Brinner. Coconut waffles, fruit salad, and mimosas. Image

Christmas goodies/gifts for friends. Fudge, ginger cookies, honeycomb, and caramel.Image

Barley and mushroom risotto with manchego cheese. Image

I totally forgot what this was but it was some Indian inspired dish with lentils and spinach.Image

Cranberry, orange, and maple granola.Image

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Menu: Week of November 11th

I didn’t blog last week. Sorry! And I probably won’t post this week either, besides the post today. I’ve been ridiculously busy at work. And then my mom came. We had a nice time making bread pudding and chatting when I wasn’t grading papers or popping into lab on the weekend to do crosses. She took lots of pictures. Here is one of J and me in the bulk section at our shopping market. I make funny pictures

Ah that is better. I’m actually smiling. Look at all the groceries!
Last week:

Saturday- Vegetable soup and garlic bread. A great way to get rid of leftover vegetables in the fridge. 

Sunday-Ground turkey and quinoa patties with salad. I saw this recipe on a blog and had to try it. It was actually quite delicious and I think I’ll be putting quinoa in burgers from now on. 

Monday-Beef and eggplant and choy (from the garden!) stirfry over rice. My favorite chinese restaurant makes a delicious eggplant dish. I tried to recreate it and failed miserably. That said, the stir-fry was still delicious. 

Tuesday-Spinach and sun-dried tomato panini.

Wednesday-Pasta with tuna and parsley + squash.

Thursday-Takeout. Jonathon was sick so I didn’t make dinner.

Friday-Pumpkin soup. I had a leftover pumpkin from the fields at work. I roasted it in the oven, saving seeds as a snack, then added onion, celery, and half a green apple. Done! Instant soup.

This week: It’s soup week and pasta week! J wanted soup for dinner every night. Because we only thought of 4 soup recipes, we decided to throw in a few other meals for good measure. I’ve blogged most of the recipes before. Sweet! Now all I need is some rain to make Winter complete.

Saturday- Tabbouleh and sausage.

Sunday-Vegetarian chili

Monday-Spicy pasta bake.

Tuesday-Chicken udon.

Wednesday-Corn chowder and spinach.

Thursday-Chicken barley soup. Bulk barley. It’s easy. 

Friday-Pasta w/ broccoli.  I have some mediocre pasta sauce I made back in summer. We have leftover pasta in bulk jars and decided it was time to use up the sauce. Why broccoli? We’ll it is a seasonal vegetable I haven’t had recently. 

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Chicken Gumbo

The recipe is loosely based off “Chicken and sausage gumbo” recipe in William’s Sonoma One Pot cookbook. The meat and broth proportions are the same, but I altered the roux and added spices. I wasn’t going to make soup and only add salt and pepper for spices.

I probably should have made this soup a couple of months ago when okra was in season, but I really wasn’t feeling in the mood for gumbo until temperatures dropped below 80F. I’m always in the mood for chicken, oh wait, I’m not. I actually hate chicken, unless it is in soup.



My roux wasn’t cooked long enough, but other than that, the soup tasted amazing. Don’t expect authentic gumbo as I have no idea what real gumbo should taste like… Maybe I should call this sausage, chicken, and okra spicy soup.


Chicken Gumbo

serves: 4-6

  • 1 lb boneless chicken breast
  • 12 oz precooked andouille sausage, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 bell pepper (red or green), diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds romoved, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • chicken broth, 6 cups
  • 2 cups okra
  • Spice mix (cayenne, paprika, garlic powder, oregano, thyme)
  • Rice

In a medium sauce pan, heat chicken broth.

In a second sauce pan (large), add 1 tsp oil and heat through. Add chicken and sausage to oil, seasoning with salt and pepper, and cook until browned. Remove meat to plate and set aside. Add remaining oil to sauce pan and heat. Whisk in flour. Cook roux over medium heat until browned. Add onion, celery, bell pepper. Cook about 5 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeno and cook about two more minutes.

Stir in broth and return meat to the pot. Add spice mix. bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 40 minutes. (It is better to simmer longer, but I hate waiting…)

Add okra and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low again, and simmer about 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning and serve over rice.



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Stuffed zucchini

And for the final zucchini centered post, stuffed summer squash!

I usually shy away from stuffed anything because I feel that it is wasteful to throw out insides. This recipe however has you chop insides and mix them into the zucchini shells. Win! And there is also sautéed onions and peppers. Yum!

Not pretty, but healthy (ish) and a great way to turn a vegetable side into main dish.

“Stuffed Zucchini”

from DFC “Twelve for Forty” #1

Serves: 2

  • 6 small zucchini
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion (red or white)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped bell pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 jalapeno (seeds removed, diced)
  • 1/4 cup grated jack cheese

Preheat oven to 350F.

Drop zucchini in boiling water for 6 minutes. Drain and let cool.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Saute onions, bell peppers, and jalapeno until tender. Add garlic and cook for another minute until garlic golden brown. Remove from heat and transfer vegetables to mixing bowl. Add rice, tomato, cumin, and salt.

Cut zucchini lengthwise and scoop out insides. Chop and transfer to mixing bowl with remaining vegetables and rice.

Fill shells and top with cheese. Place on oiled baking sheet and bake until cheese melted and slightly browned about 20 minutes.


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Menu plan: Week October 30th

No fun pictures to share today.

I usually try a few new recipes each week. The downside is sometimes I try things I don’t like, such as this stir-fry. This week, however, I know I’m going to be tired and busy. So, I’ll be playing it safe in the meal department and mostly making meals I’ve made many times before and don’t have or need recipes for. As always, I’ll be mixing vegetarian with meat dishes, unhealthy comfort food with healthier meal options.

In the fridge: chipotles en adobo, 1 jalapeno, hummus

In the pantry: quinoa, rice

In the garden: basil

Saturday- Greasy chinese food. I was too tired to cook and wanted to fill my body with lots of junk food after a long long day. Weights in morning, trip to Napa to visit family, 2ish mile hike up hill, Costco for dog food and Halloween candy, C0-op for food, car cleaning. Oh and J’s car broke down. I managed to remember everything on my shopping list, but finished the evening off by leaving some eampty bags in my shopping cart and driving home. 

Sunday-Halloween party with friends. I feel super guilty not making anything, but my Aunt’s caretaker made me a pineapple pound cake that I shouldn’t eat by myself and a bunch of crackers. Guess what I’ll be bringing?

Monday-Corn and cheese chowder and salad. I’ve tried to make corn chowder before and was less than happy with it. I’m hoping this time around it goes better as I will be using fresh corn and lots of cheese.

Tuesday-Turkey burgers w. chipotle sauce and kale chips. Have I mentioned that I’m obsessed with kale chips? 

Wednesday-Gouda skillet mac ‘n cheese and salad.

Thursday-Chipotle pork, quinoa, roasted cauliflower.

Friday-Pesto roasted root vegetables and side of chipotle beans.

Reflections: I am going to make good use of the leftover chipotle by putting them in three meals.  Loving all the seasonal vegetables. I’m looking forward to cauliflower, kale, lettuce, turnips, and summer squash. I am also looking forward to pomegranate in my salad and lots of apples. Nom

Happy Halloween and all that!

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Zucchini Fritters

My co-op has a fun flyer/program. It is called “Twelve for Forty”. Basically, they post recipes for dinner 6 nights per week for people sticking to a budget. If you follow their plan, you can make dinner for two adults for only $40. And the best part is, you don’t even have to plan meals as it is done for you. I think it is a great idea. You can save money by avoiding impulse purchases and save time by having meals planned ahead of time. While I do not follow their plan (sorry Davis Food Co-op, I do my own meal planning, following a budget of 42 for $120!), I’ve been inspired to make some of their recipes. They do not dissappoint. The meals are easy to make and everything I’ve tried has been tasty. This recipe is from the second “Twelve for Forty” ever, dating back to July 17th, 2009.

Golden fritters. Not so healthy, but I’m a sucker for almost anything that has been pan fried.
The menu recommends serving them with rice, but I wanted to mix things up a little so I mixed peas, ham, and seasonal herbs in. In retrospect, I’d say the meal was a little carb-heavy and I think the fritters would go better with a green salad with some protein (meat, nuts, tofu) mixed in.


“Summer Squash Fritters”

Serves: 2

  • 2 cups grated summer squash
  • 1/2 cup minced or grated onion
  • 1/4 cup finely grated cheese
  • 1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg white
  • 6 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup half and half (I used soy milk)
  • 2-4 tbsp olive oil (I used canola b/c it is better for frying)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper*
  • 1/4 tsp paprika*
  • 1/4 tsp salt*
*Not in recipe. I added for extra flavor.

Mix all the ingredents together in a bowl.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in cast iron pan over medium heat. Drop in batter (~1/4 cup at a time) and flatten. Cook over medium heat until golden brown (~4 mins). Flip and cook until browned. Add extra oil as necessary.

Serve warm! Unfortunately, like most fried food, these fritters are not as tasty the next day.


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