Tuesday, June 05, 2012

The Most Important Meal of the Day

I have told you how I have trouble with lunch. I get wrapped up in projects and forget to eat...or the fridge is full of "ingredients" and not "food" and cooking for just myself seems like a hassle. Unfortunately, I also have trouble with breakfast.

Breakfast foods are my heart's desire. Pancakes and waffles. Eggs: poached, scrambled, fried, or rolled into an omelet. Bacon. Sausage. Biscuits. Sweet rolls. Fruit. Bagels. Lox. Burritos and cold pizza. Big glasses of milk and steaming mugs of coffee or tea. Those foods make me drool. Except when I wake up. Food sounds gross first thing in the morning.

I need to get up, move around, wake up a bit before I want to partake of a delicious morning meal...BUT, I always stay in bed as.late.as.possible. (I have my fabulous friend, insomnia, to thank for that.) So, if I am on a schedule, you can pretty much count out time for breakfast after I have finally drug my butt through the shower and gotten myself presentable for the world. If I am not leaving the house, when I finally think I am ready to eat, I am probably wrapped up in a project or the fridge is full of "ingredients" instead of "food." Sound familiar? Yes. It is the same song and dance that is my excuse for not eating lunch. Second verse, same as the first.

I require something simple to eat that is also easily portable, if need be. Brown Sugar Granola is the tasty solution. I can have it as cereal with milk, fresh or dried fruit optional. I can fill a baggie with these crunchy morsels and some dried fruit to gobble by the handful on the go. Or, I can gorge on savor it my favorite way, as a topping with Greek Honey Yogurt and fresh fruit. (BTW...Hubs favorite way to inhale enjoy it is sprinkled over a bowl of vanilla ice cream.) Brown Sugar Granola is one way I manage to (sometimes) get breakfast On My Plate.

(adapted from The Food Network)

1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup water
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon kosher salt
8 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not instant or steel cut)
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1 cup almonds, coarsely chopped

Heat oven to 275F.
Line baking sheets with parchment.
Combine brown sugar and water in a microwavable bowl or measuring cup.
Microwave on 'High' for 5 minutes, until sugar is dissolved.
Remove from microwave, stir in salt and vanilla.
 Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine oats and nuts.
Add the brown sugar mixture and stir to coat evenly.
Spread on cookie sheets and bake for about 1 hour, until oats and nuts are roasted.
When granola has cooled completely, store in an air-tight container.
Note: I have found that it keeps better if I don't mix dried fruit in for storage and just add to individual portions. 
(Serves 10-12)

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