Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dark Chocolate Granola

A happy mid-week to everyone!

I'm still playing the role of bad blogger this month. I decided to take yet another mini break, this time to the Oregon and Washington coast. Meaning, I've spent just about every weekend on the road these past two months and no where near a kitchen.  I'll justify this behavior by pointing out the brief Pacific Northwest summer and that I really need the vitamin D.

So, I've been out and about hiking rather than baking but that's healthier, right? After all, testing and evaluating all these baked goods has the potential to be hard on the hips. Running around outside--and inside I suppose, after children--lends a healthy balance.

I also balance healthy with the not so healthy in my diet, so let's talk granola. I love the stuff. I eat oats in the form of oatmeal or granola almost every morning as part of my breakfast routine. I really like a little ordinary low fat granola sprinkled on my cup of non-fat yogurt. I like to pretend it is really good for me, even though I--like those of us who eye-ball nutrition lables--know better.

Granola is one of those foods that is generally perceived as being healthy, but in reality, kind of isn't.

Sorry to dash any illusions there, but just seeing granola on this blog should have been a sign.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Toasted Coconut with Lime Ice Cream

I'm back! I've been traveling a great deal these past few weeks and I'm finally settled in back at home. It was a busy summer.  There were five states to visit, fly fishing to observe, bison to avoid, family to feed, geysers to smell and plenty of driving--probably a little too much for the kids. I also had the pleasure of cooking for a gathering of family while at a rented lodge in Montana.

I've realized that cooking for large groups is something best done out of one's own kitchen. As no matter how well stocked the brochure claims the kitchen is ("It has absolutely everything you will need for any meal you have planned!"), or how well you prepare, something you need will always be missing. Which results in things like… my trying to make individual lemon tarts topped with torched italian meringue without tart rings, a mixer or a candy thermometer.  Attempting Italian meringue with microwaved syrup and some dodgy hand beaters actually worked.

I didn't plan on making tarts there, it just sort of happened. Still, I think I deserve some sort of medal of recognition.

Anyway, I'm back home and I am working on my plan of attack for this week's baking. For today though, we have some yummy ice cream. Which I will admit is my fall back during busy months as it can be prepared relatively quickly and always looks lovely.

Today's ice cream is a combination of toasted coconut and lime. Yes, that's me holding onto the last scraps of summer with something decidedly tropical in flavor. Though regardless of the time of year, one has to admit it is hard to go wrong with such a combination. Harry Nilsson is nodding his head in agreement--his being alive or not is a technicality we're going to overlook.

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