No, that’s not my house.
But we’ll get to that in a second.
There’s something you need to know…
I got a new computer!
For the past year, I’ve been working on the most ghetto, non-functioning laptop. Without an enter key. Without access to special characters. Every single post on this blog is made possible by a clunky external keyboard.
According to Apple, nothing can be fixed. My laptop is just old.
But Santa knows what’s up.
On Monday, I sat in front of my BIG NEW SCREEN and watched YouTube for the first time in months.
I love YouTube.
And in this case, it was the River Cottage that caught my eye.
The River Cottage is that beautiful farmhouse pictured above. It’s located in Dorset, England. It’s also home to chef Hugh Fearnley- Whittingstall and the backdrop for his farm-to-table cooking series. The episodes are filmed in his rustic kitchen. I’m drawn to the scenery. The light. The earthy-ness…
Here’s what I made this week, inspired by the series:
Toasted Granola with Vanilla Bean Yogurt and Strawberries
I could eat this everyday.
The original version featured stewed rhubarb as the fruit component, but it’s out of season now. I used strawberries instead. Cooked gently with clementines and honey, it was a lovely addition to my almond scented granola.
For the yogurt, simply add vanilla bean seeds, vanilla paste, or in my case homemade vanilla sugar.
Here is my granola recipe:
- 4 c. old fashioned oats
- 4 c. puffed rice cereal
- 1/3 c. coconut oil
- 1/2 c. honey
- handful of slivered almonds
- 1 capful of good quality almond extract
Mix everything together and spread onto a lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake at @325 F for about 30 minutes.
Sesame Roasted Carrots
Is sexy an appropriate word here?
When I watched Hugh make this recipe, I literally went out the next day and bought a bag of carrots.
These babies are heirlooms.
And I learned a new slicing technique:
Using a sharp knife, cut the carrot on a diagonal creating a 2-inch piece. Then, roll the carrot. Make another diagonal cut. Roll the carrot again. Make another cut. Roll the carrot again. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. This method exposes more surface area on the carrot allowing for maximum caramelization. It might be hard to visualize but I promise, it’s very easy. And worth it. Practice with a pen, minus the knife.
Or, you can watch it here.
The veggies are roasted with rapeseed oil (not grape seed), sesame seeds and finished with chopped parsley.
Hugh makes a quick orange/raisin reduction to drizzle over before serving. I skipped this step, only because I had my fill of dried fruits thanks to this next recipe…
Morning Tea Slice
These are homemade fruit and nut bars.
Here’s the recipe:
- 100g millet flakes
- 75g whole, skin-on almonds
- 175g unsulphured dried apricots
- 200g pitted dates, chopped
- 100g dried apples
- 50g raisins
- 2 dried figs, tough stem ends snipped off
- Freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
- ¼-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
- Finely grated zest of 1 orange and juice of about ½ the fruit
I didn’t have millet flakes or dried apples, so I used oats and cranberries as substitutes.
What I like, is that the whole thing is made in the food processor. Just blitz until sticky (add more juice if necessary). The mixture is pressed into a lined pan and refrigerated until firm. I froze mine to speed up the process.
These bars are very rich; a small slice is all you need.
They taste like Christmas.
It’s been a busy week.
Winding down with YouTube and a functioning keyboard was a welcome relief. It’s the little things…
What has inspired you lately?