Kitchen Dreaming

April 11th

granola, cooling

I made one of my domestic bliss folders for a girlfriend the other day and took about an hour to go through my blog archives to find photos and recipes I’ve posted. I printed these out and when I was going through them, a thought crossed my mind: wouldn’t it be fun to make my own cookbook? I was driving to work this morning thinking about how — even better! — wouldn’t it be fun to have my own cooking show?
I would prepare healthy, quick recipes in a no fuss manner and include information on how you could add meat if so desired. I think I’d format my cookbook in the same way. Each recipe would have a small icon at the bottom of the page indicating the amount of meat to add for carnivores. I’d also had a heavy dose of quotes and statistics about how living a vegetarian lifestyle is healthier and better for the environment. While perched on my soap box, I’d include icons to show how many minutes you’d have to walk to burn off one serving of the recipe at hand. And then there would be the desserts. Oh, the desserts. Eat the veggie dinner and top it off with a large dose of sugary goodness. The five mile walk is often worth the five minutes of nirvana.
The cookbook would come packaged in a cloth tote with a small tag encouraging the owner to forgo those horrid plastic grocery bags. I’d also strongly recommend buying locally and growing your own garden. {Now stepping off said soap box.}
Until the producers of FoodTV come knocking, how about some granola?


I found some glass jars at Ikea and love them. They are cheap, reusable and pretty. I filled them with a basic homemade granola and added a piece of ribbon and stamped tag. We collectively celebrated Easter and Spring in my office with a large crunchy bowl, topped off with vanilla soy milk.

Nutty Spring Granola:
8 cups rolled oat
3 cups of extras: coconut, nuts, seeds
1 cup (or more!) of peanut butter. The chunkier the better.
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon of salt

Spread oats out on a large jelly roll pan and toast them at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Be watchful. These will need to come out of the oven after 5 minutes and be stirred or they will burn.

In a saucepan on medium heat, add your molasses, honey, peanut butter, vanilla and almond extracts and salt. Stir this until it is a wonderful gooey consistency. Remove from heat.

Place toasted oats in a large bowl. Add any or all of your extras now. I used two cups of raw coconut, a cup of peanuts and a mixed bag of toasted nuts. Pour the saucepan over your bowl, carefully mixing the ingredients. Return all of this to your jelly roll pan and into the oven for another 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.
Again, don’t leave the kitchen. This will burn if you don’t regularly mix it.
Let the granola cool (a great time to gather your jars, cards and ribbon). Spoon this into your jars and package with a small box of soy milk. Voila — a perfect Spring gift.

Easter granola

If you are looking for some kitchen inspiration today:
A great feature on brownies in The New York Times
— I’ll never be too old for grilled cheese. Even better with horseradish!
Smitten and Cookthink push me to be a better cook and photographer
— And for some vegetarian and athletic inspiration — a resource

Tonight I’ll be enjoying LOST while conducting some pinot noir research, searching for a clean apron and working out the kinks in my new banana bread/chocolate chip cookie hybrid.


Posted in
Domestic Art, June Cleaver, Recipes
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41 Responses

  1. Your cookbook ideas are fabulous. I might send you a copy of the family cookbook I made–but there’s not much that’s truly healthy in it as we eat Southern style.

    Thank you for the granola recipe. My daughter constantly asks me for new granola recipes and now I can share yours with her.

  2. Ohh I’m just laughing at your daydreaming. My cousin and I would actually film ourselves doing a food tv show when we were little! Martha sent me a recipe for banana walnut chocolate chip cookies in the mail (in a ploy to get me to subscribe to MSL), would you like me to e-mail you it? It sounded yummy when I was reading it!

  3. Yum – that granola recipe sounds fabulous. I usually follow the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe for granola which is somewhat similar, but I’ve never thought of adding peanut butter before. Sounds like the perfect combination! And your banana bread/chocolate chip cookie hybrid sounds very intriguing 🙂

  4. Great ideas Miss Kelli. Love your idea to include a burn-off exercise quotient for each recipe.

    I love to mix granola with my yogurt in the morning. Your recipe is on my to do list.

  5. I would totally buy that cookbook.

  6. That looks like the yummiest granola ever Kelli!

  7. You’re too cute. I’ll start to worry about you when you decide to sew all those cookbook tote bags yourself!

  8. that stuff sounds so so good! keeping your imagination alive to i see! drea mbi girlie!

  9. You have an adorable site. I’m linking you if you dono’t mind!!!


  10. Oooh – I just might have to steal this idea. 🙂

    hee hee!

    I think I will do some pinot noir “research” soon myself – tee hee. 🙂

  11. OK, so now I’m officially hungry for granola.
    Looks soooo good.

  12. I love the whole concept, except the reality of seeing how many miles it would take me to walk off the dessert. Nooo!! Already I’m starting to skip recipes that have entirely too much butter (a relative term) because I just.can’ it.

    The granola sounds de-lish, by the way.

  13. The granola looks yummy!

    And you can make your own cookbook at

  14. Thanks for the link to the Brownie feature. I am a Brownie Purist/Snob, so I will be trying the “The Classic Brownie” recipe.

  15. Okay Martha Stewart. 😉

  16. So many good things about this entry.. Grilled cheese, granola-food in general! Yum yum! A cookbook would be wonderful, all your food always looks so delicious!

  17. Can’t wait to hear more about that banana bread/choc chip hybrid!!

  18. That sounds SO good….

  19. Mmmmm….sounds like a great recipe for a perfect evening. And my boys finally ate grilled cheese for the first time…finally! I swear they are not of my body sometimes. We live in Wisconsin of all places. You HAVE to like cheese here…it is the law.

  20. Mmmmm…..homemade granola. I haven’t done that in awhile, thanks for reminding me. I love it with some yogurt!

    ps. your mom’s quilts are amazing

  21. It sounded yummy until you got to the soy milk. That’s were I draw the line, it’s got to be the real stuff for me. I will write this recipe out and try it…ciao

  22. Ms Lala April 11, 2007

    Oooohhhhh!!! Granola me likey…and where can I sign up for a domestic bliss folder? You truly rock!

  23. I think you should have a cookery show. I’ll watch it while I’m on a break from designing my fabric line…

  24. I think you should definitely have a cookery show! I need to make some granola. I think I’ll do that today 🙂

  25. Pinot Noir…..I guess how the research went…..
    Anyway, I have my own recipes book, obviously, but not so nice! I like your idea (less the calories count…..)

  26. Yumola! I fell asleep before the end of Lost. Need to rewatch a bit this evening! 🙂

  27. Dude – I would totally love to have an Africankelli cookbook.

    That granola looks delicious! I make my own but never use peanut butter… I’m going to try that next week instead of buying cereal.

    cookies and wine… yum yum

  28. Looks like a great recipe, hopefully Food Network will come knocking soon! So what did you think about Julia, should have know!

  29. Kelli, this granola looks wonderful. It will be cold and rainy this Sunday in Richmond, so this may be my little project!

  30. Kristen April 12, 2007

    OH – I am so glad you posted this. I’ve been looking for a granola recipe and this looks great. I’ve been buying The Baker brand, but home made is so much better! YUMMY

  31. I definitely think you should do the cookbook and I’d buy more than one. 🙂

  32. hee! that last paragraph made me laugh out loud!

  33. I made my own cookbook…sort of. I printed off or photocopied all the recipes I’ve made, or would eat, from each of my cookbooks and bookmarks online. Then I bought a HUGE binder, a hundred plastic pages, and filled them up, of course with dessert first. I still look thru cookbooks for ideas, for fun, but when I want to eat, and soon, or want to go straight to “my tastes” without fuss, I have my own cookbook full of only things i’d like

  34. love the cookbook idea… my mother just wrote a cookbook with some other indian aunties and it was an adventure! it is an indian cookbook for the non-indian cook (and the american-born kids, like me, who don’t have the time or know-how for the 3-day meal prep). it is gorgeous. and they just won this big cookbook award for it… the tabasco community cookbook award… so exciting! if you are interested i can send you a copy… send me your snail mail address!

  35. At last a recipe for granola! Visiting from Adriennes’s have a great trip and best of luck to you!

  36. If you want to have some fun designing your dream cookbook, I wholeheartedly recommend It has tons of fun layouts/colours/options for filling a book with your pictures and recipes — I think they even have a cookbook layout if you want. I just used them to put together my wedding album (finally, after two years) and am loving the result! A cookbook would be great fun to put together too (or a photo book of your trips…). It is an inexpensive option while you await the call from Food Network! (I swear I don’t work for blurb — just love the idea of self-published books)

  37. you ought to write up a proposal to an agent or an editor and see how easy it might be to publish your cookbook. i was also going to recommend blurb. i downloaded the software and imported stuff from my food blog to see how it would come out, but haven’t had time to really work with the tool and my content in depth.

  38. That looks delicious! Such pretty presentation!