My aesthetic this holiday season is somewhere between “marshmallow dipped in white chocolate rolled in crushed candy cane” and “snot-encrusted nose dipped in shredded Kleenex.” I’ve been listening to the twee, unadulterated joy of the She & Him Christmas Party album (10/10 would listen on repeat for 18 days straight) and baking away all my problems. The glue in my holiday baking seems to be cranberries and pistachios, if not for their perfect combination of sweet and crunchy, then probably just because they’re red and green. I also got a good deal on them at Stop & Shop.
Granola is a great last-minute gift for the holidays: it honestly takes less than an hour to make, you probably have most of the ingredients on your shelf, and people will think you’re fancy. I know you want people to think you’re fancy.
Cranberry, Pistachio, Cashew Granola
This recipe is adapted from the Do-It-Yourself Cookbook
- 5 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil or vegetable oil
- 3 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup cashews, loosely chopped
- 1/2 cup pistachios, loosely chopped
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 325*
In a large bowl combine the maple syrup, brown sugar, oil, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until combined. Slowly mix in the rolled oats and cashews and stir until everything is coated in the maple mixture. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper then spread the oat mixture across the whole sheet. Firmly press the mixture down with your hands. Bake at 325* for 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Allow the mixture to cool for an hour, then with your hands break it up into clusters. Stir in the chopped pistachios and cranberries. Stir in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.
Thank god November is over. What a brutal month. July feels like it was 23 seconds ago yet November seemed to last at least eight weeks, which makes perfect sense because math?
Now that it’s December it’s prime holiday party season (also known as drink-all-the-drinks-and-talk-to-your-neighbor’s-second-husband season). If you’re looking for something to bring to said party or just need a new, inventive way to consume chocolate at home, then this is going to be your shit. You can put LITERALLY ANYTHING IN IT. Dried cherries. Granola. Chopped Hazelnuts. Stale Cheetos. Cat hair. Your will to live. Anything.
18 ounces chopped dark chocolate (can be broken up bars of any kind, including semi-sweet)
1 cup pistachios, loosely chopped
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Set a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water (or use a double boiler if you have one). Melt the chocolate and add the coconut oil, stirring. While the chocolate is melting, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Pour the melted chocolate in a large rectangle over the silpat and sprinkle in the nuts and cranberries. Place in the fridge or freezer for 1 hour until firm. Slice or break into pieces. Devour.
This week sucked. I’m not ready to internet-talk about it and I’m not sure if this blog will ever be the right place. That said, I’ve been cooking a lot (I deal with my emotions by baking them into things which is NORMAL AND NOT AVOIDING THINGS).
While I sort out my emotions, here’s a simple fall dish I’ve been making on repeat for the last couple weeks.
Roasted Delicata Squash with Tahini and Walnuts
2 delicata squash, sliced into rings and insides removed
3-4 tablespoons coconut oil
salt to taste
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped finely
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Preheat oven to 400*
Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Rub the sliced delicata squash rings with coconut oil and a sprinkle of salt, making sure to coat them all lightly. Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping the rings with a spatula halfway through. The squash should be lightly browned on both sides and soft throughout. Remove and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
Head a skillet over medium heat. Toast the walnuts for 30-60 seconds, stirring to avoid burning. Arrange the squash in a dish and drizzle with tahini. Sprinkle on walnuts, cilantro, and a bit of salt and pepper. Serve warm or cold.