Friday, October 22, 2010

Gran Ola

I don't think oats (GF, natch) and I are meant to get along.

The first time I used them, they were supposed to mend happily into granola bars. FAIL.

The second time, they were burned to black. FAIL.

And last night, they turned out...well. No burns, no obvious dilemma or mishap. But the taste...definitely a problem.

The other problem, is that I can't quite put my finger on what's wrong. Too much oil? Too little peaut butter? Too little peanut butter is the reason most problems do occur, after all.

Here's how it went down:
2 cups oats
1t cinnamon
1t salt

Stir all together in a large bowl.

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1T vanilla
1/4 cup brown sugar

Mix all together. Once mixed, poor over oat mixture.

Now, stir all THAT up together. It should all be fairly well stuck together, with little pieces being crumbly, not completely unlike a cobbler topping.

I added a handful of both sunflower seeds and peanuts, tossed the mixture a bit, and threw it all onto a parchment-lined baking tray (the kind with an inch lip in case things get crazy in the stirring process) and pop it into a 325 oven. I checked every 10 minutes so the burn episode didn't happen (again) and stirred all them oats up for an even crisp.

After they were done (oats a little tan, looking nice), I let them cool completely on the stove before adding in a handful of dried fruit. I used mangos, raisins, and the "bits and pieces" of leftovers from Trader Joe's. You know the bag. Or is it "odds and ends"? Meh, I'm too lazy to go the 758,549 steps into my kitchen.

So, you see? The whole concoction personally sounds great. But the different.

Next time:
Melt some peanut butter with syrup on the stove, for a little more of that delicious nut flavor.
Use a different kind of seed/nut medley.

Then we will see. In the meantime, I'm going to go enjoy my second bowl of this strange, abstract granola.

Have a good day!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Po Lenta

is pretty much my new love. I mean, I don't want to marry it in 9 months. And it's definitely too much of a blond for me to be attracted to. but it's my new food love. My stomach and taste buds would agree with me.

What I love so dearly about this cooked corn meal business, is that it's so versatile. Flexible. It does what you want, no questions. What's not to love?

A month ago, I experimented with polenta, just sliced up the pre-made kind you find in a tube at Trader Joe's (ahem, please grace Kitsap County sometime. Please? Because Tacoma is just so far away.) all thin like, put it in a baking dish and smothered it in sauteed spinach, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and other various garden-like necessities. Oh, and cheese. Duh. Bake at 350.

It was so good! And then you know what I did?

Forgot about it. That Po Lenta, feeling used and hurt, after I had given it so much love. But you know, I think it knew I would come back to it. Its just too darn good.

So yesterday, I find another tube of polenta in my favorite man's fridge. And all those feelings came rushing back. LOVE!

(I'm going to insert my apology here, for my agonizing love story that you really just want to end. I'm sorry. It won't (may?) happen again.) Double parenthesis. Legal? Don't think so.

Back to my food love.

I made the same style of casserole. More like lasagna, actually (see what I mean about it being so versatile? It crosses culture barriers). Again with the spinach, tomatoes, onion, LOTS of garlic.

OH! And I threw in some mashed up tofu. The first time I had bought it firm, over extra-firm. It felt wrong, but it definitely was the way to go with its ricotta-like texture.

And then, the real kicker....

POLENTA CHIPS. Yes. Thank you memory, for kicking in and bringing me a recipe from from so long ago. In that recipe, they call them croutons, which would also work mighty fine.

Enjoy. I really need a camera to document these important, new loves. Too bad the floor ran into my old Nikon. Or was it the other way around?