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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Food To Live By...

Catchy title, isn't it? I didn't come up with it and I can't take the credit.

Food_to_Live_By_cover

Food To Live By is the title of an awesome organic cookbook written by Myra Goodman (with Linda Holland and Pamela McKinstry) of Earthbound Farm. Earthbound Farm might ring a bell to many of you.. you might see their organic produce in your grocery stores, or if you are lucky, you might have visited their Farm Stand in Carmel Valley, California.

Myra and her husband Drew, started organic farming as a way to make ends meet. Selling the raspberries that grew on their land, eventually grew into a pretty huge organic salad business. As a matter of fact, did you know that Earthbound Farm is the first producer of bagged salads? Yep.. true story.

Drew and Myra, their family and employees are all very passionate about organic farming. There are no pesticides used in anything they grow and they continually strive to produce the healthiest fruits and vegetables possible. From a raspberry to lettuce business, Earthbound Farm is now the leading producer in over 100 different varieties of organic salads, vegetables and fruits. And this has all happened within the past 23 years.

Because the Goodman's use no chemicals on their crops, their fruits and vegetables are sold at the peak of freshness. Most within 24 hours of picking. Today, having an abundance of left over produce isn't a problem.. but back when they were first starting, there was always lots of left over fruit. What else could Myra do, but learn how to cook with these "leftovers" and over the years her passion for cooking with organic foods has led to the writing of this book, Food To Live By.

So why, dear friends, am I writing about the Goodman's and their organic farming? Well two reasons. The first reason came by chance about 2 months ago when a lovely woman, Lilli, decided to write to me about how she enjoyed my lil blog and had enjoyed reading a post I had just written regarding our garden this year. Lilli was working as an intern at Earthbound Farm this past summer and she offered to send me Myra's book. I couldn't have been more flattered. Of course, I accepted.. how could I not? Soon I'd have more veggies than I'd know what to do with it and a cookbook who's theme is fresh vegetables and fruits would be the perfect cookbook for finding just the right recipes to use up our harvests. And so Lilli sent me this book and I sat down with it that night and was pretty much delighted with what I was reading.

So before I go on with my 2nd reason, I want to thank you, Lilli. For introducing yourself to me, for your lovely comments, for this cookbook that I now treasure and for becoming a friend. I look forward to hearing all about your adventures at college! =)

Maple Almond Granola

Now for my 2nd reason? Well hey it's time for Weekend Cookbook Challenge No. 20 - this time it's back in Sara's talented hands and this month she's chose the theme of "Show and Tell" which she describes as "Pick a cookbook from your collection that you think we should know about. Your favorite, your funniest, your strangest. Whatever. It's your choice."

So you see.. how could I not pick this book.. you guys SO NEED to KNOW ABOUT THIS BOOK! The recipes are completely droolworthy.. the photos? Amazing. Myra's writing? She makes you feel as if you're a close friend.. it's like she's speaking directly to you and sharing with you her experiences.. it is really one of those books that is entertaining because of both the yummy recipes and a good story to boot!

Maple Almond Granola

Although I have made a few recipes by now.. the Ziti with Ratatouille; the Garlicky String Beans; Provencal Tomato, Eggplant and Zucchini Tian; and Homemade Chai - all of which have blown us away.. SO GOOD!! I can not blog about them as per the publisher's instructions, but that's okay! Because I got to try another recipe that I've had my eye on from the night I read through the book, but haven't gotten around to making yet and that is Earthbound Farm's Famous Maple Almond Granola. This recipe is approved by the publisher's so I can share this totally addicting recipe with all of yous. :D

Firstly, I have to say.. I took this opportunity to play a little bit.. 2 reasons again. Firstly, I'm not a huge granola cereal lover. I like granola to snack on, as does Hubbs. Secondly, I've got a boatload of dried fruit in my pantry and a couple other odds and ends that I felt would be just way yummy in this granola. So, I followed Myra's instructions to a T.. but I added a lil extra of my own. :D

Maple Almond Granola

One word of advice if you decide to make this.. it makes about 8 cups of granola. Double it. Seriously. I just made it and we've already put quite a dent in it.. it won't last until the end of the week, I can guarantee it. heee!

Earthbound Farm's Famous Maple Almond Granola
Adapted from Food To Live By Myra Goodman
Workman Publishing, 2006

Maple Almond Granola Ingredients

4 1/2 c. (18 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
1/4 c. (3 ounces) shelled, raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
1 1/2 c. slivered or coarsely chopped raw almonds
2 TBS. ground cinnamon
1 1/4 c. pure maple syrup, preferably Grade A Dark Amber
1/3 c. canola oil
1 c. raisins

Maple Almond Granola Fixin's

My additions:
1 c. chopped dried mango
3/4 c. chopped dried pineapple and papaya
3/4 c. dried blueberries, cranberries and strawberries
3/4 c. dried Oceanspray orange scented cranberries
3/4 c. butterscotch chips
3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325ยบ F.

Place the oats, sunflower seeds, almonds and cinnamon in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the maple syrup and oil and stir until all the dry ingredients are moistened.

Spread the granola on a roughly 12 by 17-inch rimmed baking sheet. Bake the granola until it begins to brown, about 25 minutes, then stir with a flat spatula. Let the granola continue to bake until it is light golden brown, dry and fragrant, 15 to 20 minutes longer. Stir the granola at least once more as it bakes and watch it carefully during the final minutes because it can burn quickly.

Maple Almond Granola Baking Maple Almond Granola

Place the baking sheet on a cooling rack, add the raisins (and other dried fruits & chips if using), and stir to combine. Let the granola cool completely. Transfer the granola to a airtight container. It can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 month or frozen for up to 6 months. You can serve the granola straight from the freezer. It doesn't get hard and it thaws almost instantly - just pour on some milk. Or if you are like me.. graze on it by the handful. *slurp*

I didn't go with the extra bowl, my kitchen is a fakkin disaster area thanks to Hubbs and his chili and stuffed pepper extravaganza last night.. so I just dumped all the ingredients on the baking sheet (and pizza pan) and mixed with my hands - was sticky but much quicker and 1 less bowl to clean! =)

Maple Almond Granola

Thanks again.. Lilli! Sara! Myra & Drew! Earthbound Farm!

Enjoy!
xoxo

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Comments on "Food To Live By..."

 

Blogger Kalyn said ... (9/16/2007 10:02 PM) : 

I love this book! And I even paid good money for my copy!

Try the Cheesy Zucchini recipe, just fantastic.

 

Blogger Belinda said ... (9/17/2007 12:04 AM) : 

This sounds like a great book, Lisa...and would you believe that I have been wanting to find a good homemade granola recipe for a while now? I'm addicted to those yogurts with the granola on top that you mix in, and I figured if I made my own, the yogurt/granola combinations would be endless! Thanks bunches for sharing this recipe...and your photos look super! :-)

 

Blogger katiez said ... (9/17/2007 4:46 AM) : 

Sounds like a wonderful book! I love it when growing and cooking foods are combined in one book. It's on my WishList

 

Blogger Valli said ... (9/17/2007 8:18 AM) : 

At least 3 times a week I have a "breakfast sundae" which is bananas and yogurt topped with granola. This homemade granola would add that extra something that I am always searching for!

 

Blogger Sara said ... (9/17/2007 10:37 AM) : 

Wow does that look gooooooood. So jealous! I bought that book for my Mom for Christmas and she loves it. I wonder if she'd notice if I stole it when we move there next month.....
Thanks for joining me and WCC darlin'! Always super to have you by my side.

 

Blogger Casey said ... (9/17/2007 10:58 AM) : 

Carmel Valley is only a 40-minute drive from our beach house. I NEED to visit their farm stand.

 

Blogger Deborah said ... (9/17/2007 11:23 AM) : 

I love hearing about different cookbooks - but my husband doesn't because my collection is growing!!! This granola sounds wonderful!

 

Blogger Tartelette said ... (9/17/2007 2:07 PM) : 

That looks wonderful...and you had to add butterscotch and chocolate...love it!!
That book is now on my wishlist, thanks!
Will we hear more about Hubbs' pepper extravanganza? Yes, please!!!

 

Blogger Brilynn said ... (9/17/2007 4:56 PM) : 

Great pics Lis! I need to make some of my own granola soon.

 

Blogger Peabody said ... (9/17/2007 6:39 PM) : 

Well that looks downright good...and almost healthy!
I would have to throw it over ice cream to balance that out :)

 

Blogger Callipygia said ... (9/17/2007 8:01 PM) : 

Can you ever have too much granola? Thanks for the heads up on this book.

 

Anonymous lynn said ... (9/18/2007 9:51 AM) : 

Your granola looks delicious. I love all your extra add-ins. I would never have thought to put dried mango in granola, but I think it would be delicious.

 

Anonymous veron said ... (9/18/2007 11:20 AM) : 

I'm all over this to make a granola parfait with yoghurt and some fruits. And I always buy earthbound farms products when I see them.

 

Anonymous kellypea said ... (9/19/2007 1:53 PM) : 

So somehow, my comment disappeared. I'm sure it's because I'm a dork. Lis, this sounds delicious as does the cookbook. I love how you laid out all your stuff -- gee you didn't know I was a food control freak, did you, hmmmm????

Gorgeous enough to make me want to try (I've never made granola but have thought about it lots...)

 

Blogger Ramona said ... (9/19/2007 4:51 PM) : 

This recipe looks fantastic and no guilt eating it!

 

Blogger Laura said ... (9/20/2007 2:24 PM) : 

I made granola once before but this beats it hands down! Looks like my credit card is going to take another hit, sigh...

 

Blogger Lis said ... (9/21/2007 6:39 AM) : 

Kalyn - Okay I will! =)

Belinda - Ohh yeah I think this granola (without the chocolate/butterscotch) would be excellent on yogurt!

katie - Me too - and this is the first book I've found that does it.

Val - Sounds like a wonderful breakfast!

Sara - Well if she's taken to it like I have, I think you might have problems getting it away from her. hee!

Casey - Go! I'd love to hear about it afterwards! =)

Deborah - Mine too.. therefore uhhmm.. I get lots of "presents" from friends.. shhhhh

Helene - hehe well you know me. ;) I've blogged about his peppers before, they are delish!

Bril - Thanks!

Gracie - HAR!

Callipygia - I never thought about it before, but now that I've made it and have been munching on it daily, no.. no you can not have enough. hehe

Lynn - I have no idea if it's just the Trader Joe brand or if it's the way it's prepared.. but it's the best dried Mango I've ever had.. I think it'd be good on anything. ;)

Sis - So you are the 3rd person to mention granola and yogurt.. I need to try this combo!

Kelly - Yes. You are a dork. But this is why I heart you so. :D

Ramona - Thanks! But yes.. I've added the guilt. heee!

Laura - Your credit card and my credit card should get together and find a 12 step program. hahaha!

xoxo

 

Blogger Elle said ... (9/22/2007 6:55 PM) : 

That is wicked good looking stuff Lis...almost dessert with all the goodies in it. Gotta love those folks at Earthbounf Farms.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9/22/2007 10:24 PM) : 

The way you describe Myra's writing is pretty much the way I feel about you - every time I come by I feel like I'm spending time with a favorite girlfriend. Your personality just jumps off the page.

I'll be checking this one out, thanks!


Ari (Baking and Books)

 

Blogger Alison said ... (9/23/2007 3:48 PM) : 

Looks yummy Lis! I just blogged about my fav granola and I have a hard time not snacking on it all the time too. I used to keep some in my car but got tired of vacuuming out all the granola crumbs in my seat! haha

 

Blogger breadchick said ... (9/23/2007 7:43 PM) : 

OH YUMMMY!!! I don't know how I missed this post but this looks so good!!! I'm going to have to make this very very soon!!

 

Anonymous Sue said ... (9/25/2007 5:25 AM) : 

Thanks for the great recipe. I'm going to go try and bake some right now!

 

Blogger 21Rouge said ... (8/18/2008 11:34 AM) : 

I am going to try the granola recipe but does anyone have the recipe for the granola from "Inn on the Twenty" in Jordan Ontario. It was amazing.

 

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