The only drawback to homemade granola (superior to store-bought, on all counts, in my book) is finding the foresight to make large batches of it in advance. Maybe it’s just me, but my motivation for making anything is pretty closely tied to how soon I’m going to scarf it down.
The basic sequence of events is this: Add your fat and sweetener to your pan over medium-low heat and blend until everything is nice and liquid. Add in the grains and a pinch of salt and toast until golden (8-10 minutes). Mix in whatever nuts and seeds you like and cook for another couple of minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet and sprinkle with your favorite spices (or toasted coconut and chocolate chips!) and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Break it up and throw it in some yogurt or milk and you have a tasty homemade breakfast. Or anytime snack; granola shouldn’t be confined to the morning.
They suggest garlic, red pepper, fresh herbs, grated parmesan or romano cheese, olive oil, onions, even cannellini beans if you want to make it a little heartier.
If you decide to add aromatics like garlic or dried herbs, simmer them in olive oil first and add some of the cooking liquid from the pasta. The starches in the cooking liquid will help mingle the flavours together. Just before you serve the pasta, toss in those extra ingredients.
Any bar worth its rimming salt should be stocked with at least a couple of bottles of bitters. Sure, you can make a cocktail without them, but you can also roast a chicken without salt or pepper. Like these everyday seasonings, cocktail bitters add flavor and depth to almost any beverage, and making your own allows you to put a unique stamp on every cocktail you serve.
I urge you to think of bitters as a sort of “cocktail spice rack”, and to think of every cocktail as a choose-your-own-adventure type of situation. Homemade bitters are so easy to make (you just throw stuff in jars) that there’s no reason not to have a bottle to suit each and every one of your whims. Plus, they make great, super thoughtful gifts. (It’s September, everyone, which means it is just about time to start stressing about the holidays.)
No matter how good you think they would be, never try to eat the fruit soaked for bitters. 😉
If you find yourself at a bar unable to afford decent bourbon (or the well sludge is on happy hour) ask for a splash of aromatic bitters with your drink. Turns a really crappy bourbon into a mediocre-to-poor bourbon, and they’ll never upcharge you for it.
The nice part is they list alternatives. Spinach is the first mentioned, and understandably all the alternatives for spinach should be avoided by those on warfarin/coumadin. The next worst offender on the list for us is blueberries. All things in moderation, but the rest of the list is OK for us.