Keeping the Light On
A couple days ago I did a photo shoot with my friend, who along with myself is a die hard Harry Potter fanatic. I don't remember the last time I shot something that wasn't food, and this portrait was immensely fun to do. (Credit to Joel Robison for the fantastic idea and tutorial by the way!)
living the fantasy (that's a giraffe by the way)
I'm incredibly glad I cut back on the amount of classes I took this quarter: it has definitely given me a lot more time for hobbies and extracirrculars like this, and it has definitely re-lit the spark I originally had for photography before I became consumed by food photos. San Luis Obispo is such a beautiful place to study, and it would be idiotic to not take advantage of it. Don't get me wrong I still love styling and taking pictures of food, but it can get repetitive at times and in all honestly can sometimes require more work.
I think granola falls under two distinct categories: really forgettable or really good. Really forgettable granola leaves me disappointed and thirsty, but give me some really good granola and I'll go through multiple bowls. This time I trusted my gut and went with a recipe from my girl Ina.
definitely a hands job
I followed the suggestions from the reviews of the recipe and increased the amount of honey and oil along with adding the cherries last minute so they don't dry out and burn. I threw in a healthy dose of salt because I feel like most cereals/granolas taste a lot better with it. Pretty simple as most recipes go, although I will say just ditch the spoon from the get-go and mix the granola with your hands as it's ten times more efficient.
This granola combines my all time favorite combination of cherries and almonds (see the black cherry frangipane tart). I was a little hesitant about the coconut as it's not my favorite flavor, but once it became nice and toasted it provided the perfect compliment to the tart cherries. All in all a winner in my book- especially when eaten with ice cold milk.
a brekkie I'd wake up to
Cherry Cinnamon Granola
adapted from Ina Garten
MAKES 10 CUPS
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
2 cups sliced almonds
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup good honey
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups dried cherries, chopped
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Toss the oats, coconut, almonds, and together in a large bowl. Pour the vegetable oil and honey over the oat mixture. Add the cinnamon and salt, and stir with a wooden spoon until all the oats and nuts are coated with the liquids. Pour onto a sheet pan (you may have to split it amongst two). Bake, stirring occasionally with a spatula, until the mixture turns a nice, even golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. During the last 5 to 10 minutes toss in the dried cherries. Don't worry about the granola becoming crisp because it will do so as it cools.
Remove the granola from the oven and allow to cool, stirring occasionally. Store the cooled granola in an airtight container.