6-Cup Grainfree Granola Sweetened with Sorghum Syrup

grain free granola

Saturday morning I met my old roommates for brunch at a newish place in 12 South, the three of us gathered around an enormous round table that had me leaning in to listen and talk. We’ve been doing these get-togethers sporadically over the last few years, one month a dinner at a new Lebanese place, another month a brunch at the fancy historic building in Rutledge Hill. One standout was the macaron-making party we held the month before Tim and I got married, a night in which Sara rocked my world by tilting her glass bowl while beating egg whites, a simple but fantastic strategy that has forever turned what, to me, was always a chore into what I now deem part miracle, at least. Between our work schedules and our social schedules and all kinds of random trips out of town, finding a day and time that works for the three of us to meet up always takes us a dozen or so emails back and forth. So when we finally are sitting down to eat, there’s been some space since our last meeting and … [Read more...]

Baked Cherry (Einkorn) Cake Doughnuts

cherry doughnuts

This morning before we got up, talking ourselves into starting the day, Tim suggested baked goods. "Cake?" he started. No, we'd just had banana cake. "Muffins?" No, I made him streusel-topped blueberry muffins on Saturday, the one thing he wanted (not cake, not ice cream) as his birthday treat. (We loved those muffins, and we wanted more of those muffins, but how could we give them a new twist?) "What about doughnuts?" I asked him. That blueberry-buckle-turned-muffin recipe is truly a standout, altogether worthy of the birthday remake it received, so surely it could be doughnuts, too. We'd loved it last summer after blueberry-picking, and we'd loved it this past weekend on the road (right down to the last one we'd packed and saved for Sunday afternoon, eating it with our hands after church). I don't know what it is about this recipe---The fluffy interior of the crumb, the crumbly topping so decadent and sweet, the bright bursts of blueberry mixed into each bite---but it's officially … [Read more...]

Soft & Chewy Salted Caramel

Two years ago, I made my dad caramels for his birthday. They were hard and crunchy, like gold-wrapped Werther’s, the kind that would crack like glass when you bit them. While I’d been after something a little more chewy that time, since that's how Dad likes them most, it turned out candy-making could be something of an art, especially when you were new to it, so all I could muster were those smooth caramel stones, best for placing between your tongue and the roof of your mouth and slowly melting away. I gave them to him, presenting them proudly, and I put my candy thermometer away. But then this year, when Tim and I were up visiting a few months ago, talking to my dad in the kitchen about dinner plans or about something we’d baked, Dad, almost out of nowhere, asked if I’d thought about trying caramels again. Maybe soft and chewy this time? he'd asked, hopefully, like it would really mean something to him if I could. Now I know a lot of people would say their dad is … [Read more...]

Birthday Giveaway Three (or, how far we’ve come)

It’s pretty easy to see things I’ve inherited. I have my dad’s olive skin, my mom’s round face, the bump on my nose found in both sides of my gene pool. I like good conversation, working in the garden, making a big meal to eat with people I love. And, sometimes, when I laugh very hard or hear myself telling a story like it's a routine, I think how my grandma used to do those things. … [Read more...]

how we spend our days (+ announcement!)

"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives" (Annie Dillard) I read the above quote a few years ago, back when I was compiling a 25th anniversary scrapbook for my parents in which people wrote and told of gifts and memories and experiences they’d had with my mom and my dad, and I was reflecting then the way I’ve been reflecting lately, about what are the most meaningful things we do, about what we really want. I've been asking myself: How am I spending my days, since that’s how I’m spending my life? And then, is the way I am spending them good? Of course the easy way to define our days is by our full-time gigs, be it school or work or motherhood or something else that requires most of our time, and I’ve done that before: I’ve sat down to dinner with friends and explained my class load. I’ve called myself a copywriter. I’ve mentally calculated some kind of personal net worth. But the older I get, the more I see those things---while important---are not the only … [Read more...]

what has been coming

This month of June has been continual change. From trips out of town to friends taking new jobs to continually decreasing pants sizes, it's been one thing after another. For many of these things, I guess it's really been more of a culmination, in which wheels that have been in motion, things have been coming, in these last few weeks finally have. It’s exciting. It’s terrifying. It’s something we’ll talk more about next week (along with a big announcement! stay tuned!). But meanwhile, let’s talk about another kind of change, a specific one that’s been happening in my kitchen and could happen in yours: buckwheat flour. Because, thing is, it's not just June that's been change for me; it's 2010, which over the last six months has brought one new realization after another. What started with the removal of refined sugars and flours in a new year’s resolution led to the reading of labels and analyzing of ingredient lists, avoiding things I couldn’t pronounce or recognize in favor of … [Read more...]