Saturday, December 18, 2010

Cherry Almond Granola

I wanted to make a few homemade Christmas gifts to give friends and family. I always make my peppermint bark but this year I've also added granola into my gift-giving routine. Barefoot Contessa takes the credit for this recipe but countless reviewer helped modify the cooking process. The result is fantastic it's yummy over yogurt or ice cream and bonus - it makes your house smell amazing while you're making it!

Cherry Almond Granola

4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
2 cups sliced almonds
1 1/2 cups dried cherries, chopped (dried cranberries or blueberries would be good too)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Toss the oats and almonds together in a large bowl. Pour the vegetable oil and honey over the oat mixture. Add the cinnamon, and stir with a wooden spoon until all the oats and nuts are coated with the liquids. Pour onto a sheet pan. Bake, stirring every five minutes with a spatula, until the mixture turns a nice, even golden brown, about 20 minutes. Then add in coconut and dried cherries. Stir and continue to bake another 5 - 7 minutes until coconut is golden brown.

Remove the granola from the oven and allow to cool, stirring occasionally. Store the cooled granola in an airtight container.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Gulliver's Creamed Corn

If you Google "Gulliver's Corn" this recipe comes up about 9,000 times so it certainly has a small cult following. Apparently it hailed from a famous San Francisco restaurant but as far as I'm concerned, it's just another great recipe that hails from my mother's table. Certainly decedent but holiday worthy.

Gulliver's Creamed Corn

6 Tbls. butter, melted
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (I think one could use a combo of milk and cream to cut the ridiculousness of it all just a bit!)
2 16oz. bags frozen sweet corn
2 tsps. salt
1 tsp. sugar
3 Tbls. flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a 9x13 casserole dish with some of the melted butter. Sprinkle with about a third of the cheese or enough to lightly coat the bottom of the dish. In a 4-quart saucepan or deep saute pan heat cream, salt, sugar until almost boiling. Add corn and cook a few minutes until corn is heated. In a small and separate bowl mix the rest of the melted butter with the flour to make a paste. Slowly mix paste into corn mixture and mix until thickened. Carefully pour corn into dish and then top with remaining cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbling and the cheese slightly browns.