New Favorite Granola

Granola is like bread for me–I have a clear favorite for a few months, maybe even a few years, and then I have to start trying other recipes to see if something better’s out there. This granola has been my favorite for about a year now, and I make it sometimes as many as two times a week. (My oldest son Henry came home from school last week and ate four cups of it. FOUR CUPS of it. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t think any stomach could handle that much granola). Anyway, this recipe comes from Lucinda Scala Quinn’s Mad Hungry, but I’ve made a change or two. 

Great Granola

5 c. rolled oats
1 c. coconut
1/2 c. wheat germ
1/4 c. sesame seeds
1/2 c. nuts (I use sliced almonds or chopped pecans)
1/2 c. honey
1/2 c. coconut oil
1/4 c. water
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. salt
1 c. dried fruit (craisins, raisins, or whatever. We never get around to adding any, though!)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees, and place an oven rack in the center of your oven. Prepare a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine oats, coconut, wheat germ, sesame seeds, and nuts.

Over the stove or in the microwave, heat the honey and oil until dissolved. Add the water, vanilla, and salt. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients, and mix. Spread on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 50-60 minutes, until golden brown, stirring every 20 minutes to prevent scorched edges. Cool completely on a rack, and then store in airtight containers for as long as two weeks!



Sesame Crusted Chicken Wings

Sesame Crusted WingsI’ve checked the book Mad Hungry by Lucinda Scala Quinn out from the library four times, just for this recipe! Although the wings take some time to bake, this recipe is simple and really delicious. I’ve started buying the enormous bag of wings at Costco just because I want to make this dish so often. It’s great for parties or for family dinner–we’ve served them at both!

Sesame Crusted Chicken Wings

20 chicken wings
3 large eggs, beaten
2 t. vegetable oil
1/2 c. sesame seeds
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 t. coarse salt
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1/2 c. fresh bread crumbs
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
Hot sauce, for serving [We are preferring Frank’s Hot Sauce these days–it’s great!]

1.Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the chicken wings in a large bowl. Add the eggs and toss to coat. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with baking parchment or coat the pan with oil.

2. In a small bowl, combine the sesame seeds, flour, salt, cayenne, bread crumbs, and garlic. Dip each wing into the sesame mixture to fully coat. Place the coated wings side by side on the prepared baking sheet.

3. Bake for 30 minutes and increase the temperature to 400 degrees. Cook until the wings are golden brown and sizzling, 20 to 30 more minutes. Immediately remove the wings from the baking sheet while hot. Serve with hot sauce.

Velvety Chocolate Pudding

My 6-year-old Lucy asks for pudding just about every night after dinner. She typically wants tapioca, but Henry usually complains at this. Tonight, because I wanted to try this new recipe, we had chocolate, and oh my! what a pudding! After the first bite, I thought, “This recipe should definitely have the word ‘velvety’ in its name,” and then I looked back at the recipe to see that it did. So, perhaps that was subliminal, but regardless, this pudding is WONDERFUL. And simple. My two most favorite combinations.

The recipe comes from Lucinda Scala Quinn’s Mad Hungry, a really fun cookbook by Martha’s head food editor. Quinn suggests using this as a basis for a chocolate pie (great idea). The high sugar content works well if you’re using a dark chocolate powder. If using something milkier, you may like less sugar. For my family of six, I doubled it, and had just a little leftover. My kids topped it with marshmallows. It looked perfect.

Velvety Chocolate Pudding

  • 3 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons best-quality cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Hefty pinch of coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg, well beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream, for garnishing (optional)

    Henry was helping me with this awesome texture shot.

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt. Press through a sieve into a medium saucepan to eliminate any lumps [I didn’t do this, and had no problem]. Whisk in the milk.
  2. Over medium heat, stir the mixture until thickened, about 2 1/2 minutes. Be sure to get the spoon around the edges of the pan as the mixture thickens. Whisk if needed to combine well. Stir in the butter.
  3. Whisk 1 tablespoon of the hot chocolate mixture into the beaten egg and return to the pudding in the pan. Stir in the vanilla and cook to completely thicken, 2 to 3 more minutes. Strain through a sieve and pour the pudding into four to six 6-ounce pudding cups. Serve warm, or cool first and chill until serving. Press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding to prevent it from forming a skin (unless you like it!). Top with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.

    Lucy gets pudding for dessert.