Alaskan Adventure Updates

Sooo I’ve been doing a lot of things this summer that I don’t normally do.  Hiking, fishing, camping to name a few.  Oh and being in Alaska.

I’ve also made up some recipes, some of which are pretty good, like this coconut almond cashew granola.

Unfortunately I left a few of those cashews sitting on the counter and this seemingly peaceful dog

Jumped up and ate about half her body weight.  You don’t want to know the rest of that story.

There were also a few other recipes which were in need of some serious editing.  Like this peanut butter-stuffed cereal-coated jelly-syruped french toast.

I will not give up until the pb & j turned decadent breakfast food becomes a reality.

I’ve cooked oysters on a fire in Homer, watched seals and sea otters in Seward, and, most impressive of all, learned to drive stick shift.  Those who know me understand what an impressive feat this is, considering I failed my first driving test and refused to drive on the highway alone until, oh, roughly last year.  I still occasionally stall out, but only when I’m at a light on a steep hill with a giant, mean truck-driver behind me.  Of course.

I’ve also had great successes with cupcakes, both vanilla with sour cream chocolate frosting and chocolate beet with cream cheese beet frosting.  When I don’t know what to bring to a gathering, I usually go with cupcakes.  They really never are a bad choice.

With just over a week left in “the last Frontier,” I can safely say I’ll have mixed feelings when I go.  But hey, it’s not over yet.

Coconut Almond Cashew Granola
Loosely based on Granola Bars from Back to Basics by Ina Garten (Clarkson Potter, 2008)

It’s hard to give measurements for this recipe as everything varies with personal taste.  I chose to use cashews, almonds, and raisins because that is what I like and what we had, but any other nuts or dried fruit would also be delicious.  You can also vary the amounts if you want more or less nuts, dried fruit, coconut etc.

1 cup cashews
1 cup almonds
1 cup coconut
1 cup oats (not instant)
1/2 cup raisins

1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Spread oats, almonds, and cashews on one cookie sheet in one layer, and coconut on another.  Put both sheets in the oven to toast, about 3 minutes for the coconut and 5 minutes for the nuts, or until they start to brown and you can smell them.

Meanwhile, on a stovetop combine the syrup, brown sugar, honey, salt, and oil over low heat until sugar dissolves.  Take off heat and add vanilla.

Put oats, coconut, nuts, and raisins in a large bowl.  Pour sauce on top and toss, then pat into parchment-lined baking sheet.

Put in oven for 10 minutes, or until toasty brown.

Let cool for 15 minutes, then break up with hands or  smash into pieces.  Serve on top of yogurt, ice cream, or plain with milk for breakfast.

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