21 May 2012

Cinnamon Granola with Cherries, Almonds and Coconut

Over the course of the last few weeks, in the midst of attempting to decide where I wanted to go to medical school, I stayed over at my grandparent's apartment in philadelphia a number of times. The last of these visits occurred less than a week before I had to make my choice. I'd decided, entirely last-minute (and not entirely calmly) that I needed to go back (again) to the two schools that I still couldn't choose between, one of which happens to be in philly. I was a total mess - to put it nicely - but my grandparents blew up the air mattress (again), made the bed (again), and stocked the fridge (again). They also patiently listened to me (again) - rambling, laughing, crying - as I tried to sort out everything in my head.

I've since made the decision - I hope you'll all be happy to hear that I'll be staying in new york! - and calmed down rather dramatically - enough to realize that I owed my grandparents a pretty big thank you. My grandmother was easy (nothing in the world makes her quite as happy as a vanilla cupcake from crumbs bakery), but my grandfather was a little tougher. He and I share a slightly obsessive love of cereal so, flipping through my recipe book, I decided I'd make him a batch of my favorite granola. The recipe comes from an Ina Garten cookbook. It's incredibly easy and incredibly delicious - on its own, tossed with fresh berries, sprinkled on a little yogurt or vanilla ice cream. It's also a fantastic gift. Most importantly, my grandfather gives it five stars. What more do you need?
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil
Combine oats, coconut, almonds and cherries in a large bowl
Pour oil and honey over mixture, and toss with a big spoon until coated
Sprinkle with cinnamon, and stir to combine
Spread out mixture on prepared baking sheet and bake 20 - 25 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring every 5 minutes
Let cool, stirring occasionally. Store in an air-tight container. 

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