Back from the joy of holiday travel and cooking again. In one of the many airports we visited over the past days, we ate at an Au Bon Pain. My daughter is nearly fluent in French and informed me this translates to "Really expensive and mediocre food."

She got yogurt and granola. I think it was about $12, but it was a good size and I figured I'd get her leftovers. Thought I'd make my own granola for mixing with yogurt when I got home. Here's one version.

I dried some fruit a week ago. The easiest method to dry fruit is toss a bunch of chopped and/or frozen fruit on a baking sheet, sprinkle some sugar on it and bake at 170°F (the lowest setting on most ovens) until they all look like raisins - soft, but not hard, still moist. 170°F is kind of high for fruit dehydration, but if you don't overdo it, the fruit will dehydrate and not bake. The fruit was reserved.

fruit for granola (before)
Pre-drying stage for mixed berries

The granola was tossed together quickly. To a large roasting pan (enamel on steel) I added: rolled oats (8 C), wheat bran (1/2 C), oat bran (1/2 C), sunflower seeds (1/2 C), flax seeds (handful) and slivered almonds (1/2 C). On this mixture I poured on a mixture of melted butter (1/4 pound), brown sugar (1 C), trace salt and vanilla extract (2 t) and stirred it all up. I baked the pan in a 350°F oven giving a thorough stir every 10 minutes - set a timer! I did this until the mixture had dried to a near crispy stage (about 50 minutes total). It cooled and the reserved dried fruit was mixed in. Yum.

Note the little fingers grabbing the goodness as it cools


Desperation Dinners: The potroast

Sunday I plopped a chuck roast into a pan, added salt and pepper and put it in a 225°F for 4 hours. Then I took it out, placed assorted roots around it (turnips, carrots, potatoes and brussels sprouts), a tad more salt and pepper and tossed it in the fridge.

I heated the entire pan covered for 30 minutes and uncovered for 30 minutes at 350°F. Nice meal for a weeknight.


General purpose chocolate sauce

Hot chocolate season is upon us and we're out of Hershey's syrup. So, I took a shot at my own:

heated and immersion blendered:

dark chocolate unsweetened powder, 3/4 C
sugar, 1C
water, 1C
sweetened condensed milk, about 3 oz

It's a little thin but tasty. I added about 2 oz of this and 4 oz of milk and steamed it using one of these.

Anyone else got a good general purposed chocolate sauce recipe?


Loot from Jungle Jim's in Cincinnati

click image for better view

The past week had FAST meals going on. Scallops and couscous with some veggies, leftover lasagna, etc. Nice but nothing blogworthy. Today we decided to get some inspiration, shlep the kid for a 3 h round trip to Jungle Jim's and get some fun things to eat. Didn't get the oh so stinky Dorian though. Wasn't that bold.