Spiced Maple Molasses Granola

I was so excited to tell you about my latest take on homemade granola that I did something stupid.

Really, really stupid.  Still feeling bad days later kind of stupid.

I dropped the camera.  And not just any camera.  The really nice dslr camera Matt and I bought together that I was afraid to touch for the first month.  The camera that has safely been up and down mountains, on sea-faring boats, and through crowds of thieves.

The camera could get through all that but couldn’t make it through my first week as a food blogger.  See there probably isn’t a camera in the world that is a perfect match for a girl who is flailing about the kitchen, five minutes before she needs to run out the door, trying to get the perfect shot of a bowl of granola so she can write another post when she gets home from work at midnight.

So the camera fell.  And the lens is hurtin’.  And I feel dumb, but my tragic story should not stop you from making this tasty granola.  It’s actually super easy and as long as you aren’t trying to take a perfectly “pin”-able photo while sprinting out the door, nothing bad will happen.  And should something bad happen, at least your house will smell of warm baking spices for days and you’ll have an abundance of yummy spiced granola to help comfort you.

Okay…gather your goods.

Oatmeal, coconut, almonds.  You could use pecans but almonds have more crunch.  Golden raisins, candied ginger, dried apricots.  Molasses, maple syrup, butter, oil.  Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, clove.  Anything else you might put in your favorite spiced molasses cookies.

Melt the butter, oil, syrup, and molasses.

Add your spices, nuts, coconut, and oats.  Admire the many shades of brown as you stir to combine.

Now it’s time to get toasty.

Golden and toasty, take it out of the oven and let it cool on a rack.  Get your dog out of the kitchen.  Get yourself out of the kitchen.  Go for a walk- it’ll make you feel better about all the granola you’re about to consume.

Welcome back.  Add your dried fruit, candied ginger, and…

…that’s it.  You’re done. Wasn’t that easy?  You never have to spend $6 on 4 ounces of artisanal granola again!  Put it in some mason jars.  Keep the big one for yourself.  Give the pint jars to friends.  Bake some apples and sprinkle granola on top.  Add a dollop of yogurt, call it breakfast; add a scoop of cinnamon ice cream and call it dessert.

And don’t worry too much about me and my camera issues.  Thankfully I have a boyfriend who accepts me for the clumsy, spastic klutz that I am and insisted we spring for the diamond warranty.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Spiced Maple Molasses Granola
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This granola is easily customized with whatever dried fruits and nuts you like and makes a very nice home-made gift.
Serves: yields 7 cups
  • 4 c. Old-Fashioned Oats
  • 1 c. Whole Almonds
  • ½ c. Coconut
  • ¼ tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Ground Ginger
  • ½ tsp. Cardamom
  • ½ tsp. Ground Cloves
  • ½ tsp. Nutmeg
  • ¼ c. Maple Syrup
  • ¼ c. Molasses
  • ¼ c. Olive Oil (or Vegetable Oil)
  • 2 T. Butter
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • ½ c. Golden Raisins
  • ½ c. Dried Apricots, chopped
  • ½ c. Candied Ginger, slivered
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Combine oats, coconut, almonds, salt, and spices.
  3. Melt butter with oil, maple syrup, and molasses. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  4. Add dry ingredients to butter and syrup mixture. Stir until oats and nuts are well-coated.
  5. Spread mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake until golden and toasty, about 30 minutes. Watch carefully and stir several times while baking to prevent burning.
  6. Allow granola to cool on baking rack.
  7. When granola has cooled completely, add dried fruit and candied ginger. Store in airtight container.


Kale, Radicchio & Wheat Berry Salad with Parmesan

This is a salad that aims to please.  It’s hearty and healthy, grainy and nutty.  It’s easy to make, beautiful to admire.  It’s there when you need it and willing to cater to your whims.  This salad won’t let you down.

What  are we waiting for?  Let’s put it together.  Get the wheatberries simmering; this’ll take awhile.  Let them do their thing while you do yours.  Take out the trash , iron a shirt, water your houseplants.  We’ll meet back in forty-five.

Assemble your team.  Dark green kale meets garnet-colored radicchio, crisp apple, shallot, and walnuts.

Kale gets chopped, rinsed, and spun while radicchio is turned into ribbons.  Toast the nuts, turn the apple into matchsticks, and slice the shallot.

Treat your wheatberries to some zippy dijon, a glug of walnut oil, couple splashes of vinegar.  Grab the rest of the gang and toss in a big bowl.  Add curls and shards of Parmesan.

Congratulations, now you have a big tasty salad that’s going to see you through the week.  Put it in your lunchbox, eat it straight from the salad bowl at midnight, or serve it as a side.  You could saute it and serve it warm.  You could add some lentils or sweet potatoes.  Don’t like the idea of a vegetarian main course?  That’s fine, top it with a luscious, bone in, grilled, double cut pork chop.  This salad is not here to judge.  This salad works for you.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Kale, Radicchio & Wheat Berry Salad with Parmesan
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This versatile salad makes a satisfying, healthy lunch or a great side with pork for an autumnal or winter dinner.
Serves: 6 as lunch, 8 or more as side dish
  • 1 c. Uncooked Wheat Berries, cooked according to package instructions
  • 1 bunch Dinosaur Kale, tough center stalk removed, leaves chopped
  • ½ head Radicchio, thinly sliced
  • 1 Honeycrisp Apple, julienned and sprinkled with lemon juice
  • 1 handful Walnut, toasted and chopped
  • 1 medium Shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 T. Dijon Mustard
  • 1-2 T. Walnut or Olive Oil
  • 1-2 T. White Wine Vinegar.
  • Kosher Salt
  • Coarse Black Pepper
  • Parmesan (Sharp Cheddar would be good, too)
  1. Place warm, cooked wheat berries in large salad bowl, add 1-2 T. dijon mustard (depending on how much bite you like) and toss to coat.
  2. Add oil and vinegar, season generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Add kale, radicchio, and shallot. Toss well, seaon with additional oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper as needed.
  4. Add nuts and apples, toss gently.
  5. Divide among plates and top with plenty of shaved Parmesan.

Balsamic Glazed Strawberries with Zabaglione

I’m walking the line here, hanging on to summer produce, embracing the flavors of fall.

I managed to find some late season, tiny, local strawberries at the farmer’s market for my fruit photoshoot and after their hard day of looking perfectly adorable, I had the audacity to make them into dessert.

As you may have noticed, these strawberries have a dark side.  These are not June’s bright and innocent strawberries destined for shortcake.  No, no.  Cloaked in sticky, dark balsamic, these are the black turtleneck-wearing, chain-smoking poets of the berry world.

What could we ever serve with such berries?  Ice cream?  Too cute.  Pudding?  Too trendy.  How about zabaglione?  Understated sophistication.  Perfect.  These berries can appreciate that.  Plus it’s fun to say.

A couple yolks and some sugar get dropped in a bowl.  Add some booze.  Place over simmering water, whisk.

Keep whisking.

Whisk it real good.

The more you whisk, the more you get to eat.

Balsamic Glazed Strawberries with Zabaglione
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This dessert can easily be made for 1 person or 10. The zabaglione is delicous with almost any fresh or roasted fruit. Serve some cookies or biscotti along side for a more composed dessert.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 2
  • •Pint of Strawberries
  • •3 T. Balsamic Vinegar
  • •1 t. Raw Sugar
  • •1 Sprig Fresh Thyme (optional, or subsitute another herb)
  • •2 Egg Yolks
  • •2 T. Sugar
  • •⅓ c. Marsala
  1. Simmer balsamic in small saucepan over low heat until reduced by half. Meanwhile, remove strawberry stems. Add strawberries to reduced vinegar and roast in 400° oven until berries are warm and flavors are concentrated, about ten minutes. Add thyme leaves, sprinkle in raw sugar, and allow to cool slightly.
  2. Place egg yolks and sugar in heatproof bowl and whisk until pale yellow. Whisk in marsala and place over a medium saucepan of simmering water. Whisk rapidly until the mixture is light and foamy.
  3. Place berries in the bottom of parfait glasses or bowls. Spoon warm zabaglione over the top.

Skillet Roasted Duck Breast with Italian Plums

The air has turned crisp.  Evening is setting in earlier and earlier.  Summer is behind us and fall has arrived.  Time to roast, time to braise, time to unpack the sweaters, time for earthy red wines.

Time for Duck!

Datenight Duck.  Beautifully seared and roasted duck breasts with sweet, herby roasted plums and red wine sauce.  Just like going to a restaurant except I’ll be in slippers.

Let’s gather our ingredients.

Plums, a shallot, a few sprigs from the garden.  Halve your plums, mince your shallots, chop the herbs, and score your duck breast.  We’ll be cooking in no time.

Let the duck skin get nice and cripsy, then flip and let it finish in the oven.  Look- aren’t you glad you scored that skin.

Plate the duck.  Make it look all restauranty.  Call your date to the table.  Realize that $6 bottle of red just won’t do.  Revel in your awesomeness.


Skillet Roasted Duck Breasts with Italian Plums
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This recipe can easily be doubled, tripled, or quadrupled if you are cooking for a group. I serve the duck over frisee which offers a little bitterness to offset the sweetness of the plums as well as roasted fingerling potatoes.
Serves: 2
  • Duck Breasts (I used 1 large Magret breast which weighed in at almost 1 lb. Feel free to use 2 small breasts, if you prefer)
  • 6 Italian Plums
  • A Few Sprigs of Hearty Herbs (Sage & Rosemary are good choices)
  • 1 Small Shallot, Minced
  • ¼ c. Dry Red Wine
  • 1 T. Butter
  • Handful of Frisee
  • Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. If serving with potatoes, get these into the oven while you work on the duck. Toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Score the duck skin in a diamond pattern, taking care not to cut through the meat. Season with salt and pepper. Heat iron skillet (any oven-proof pan will do) and place duck skin-side down. Allow duck skin to become crisp and golden, about 8 minutes.
  4. While the duck is being seared, halve and pit the plums and mince the herbs.
  5. When the duck skin is appropriately golden, pour off most of the rendered fat (save this!), flip the duck, add the plums & herbs, season with salt and pepper and roast in oven until the duck is rosy and the plums are very juicy, about 8 minutes for medium-rare. Remove duck and plums, tent, and allow to rest on cutting board.
  6. Meanwhile, over medium-high heat, add minced shallots to pan juices and saute until translucent. Add red wine and allow to reduce by half. Turn off heat and finish sauce with butter and season as necessary. Thinly slice duck breast and fan over a mound of frisee and a few roasted potatoes. Top with roasted plums and spoon sauce over meat.

Welcome to StrawberryPlum + A Taste of What to Expect

Thank you for finding your way to strawberryplum.com.  I can’t wait to start showing you some of the food that comes out of my kitchen, but I reckon we’d better get introductions out of the way first.

My name is Sarah and I love to cook.

And eat.

And talk about what I cook and eat.  I’d love to share my favorite recipes with you!

Coming up next…I pay homage to my title ingredients before bidding a final good-bye to summer.

See you soon!  -Sarah