As I talked about in my post, Vanilla Everything, vanilla is definitely occupying my thoughts these days. Vanilla extract, vanilla beans, vanilla sugar, vanilla salt, vanilla lollipops, vanilla macarons, vanilla marshmallows, vanilla, vanilla, vanilla. As a matter of fact, I have begun to smell like vanilla. Not an all together unpleasant situation.
Hahahahaha. That last line makes me laugh. We have been watching Jane Austen movies over the Holidays and I find myself speaking like the characters from her books. Katie goes around the house saying, “Emma, don’t shoot my dogs” and John always quotes from the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice– “He simpers and smirks and makes love to us all.”
If you have never seen the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice (Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth), make some time to watch it. It is long, six 55 minute segments, but completely addictive. Settle in with some great movie-watching treats and be prepared to come away quoting your favorite lines.
Speaking of treats, do you consider granola a snack or something more substantial? Certainly it has it’s place as a delicious snack for random munching; however, I like to eat it as a cereal for breakfast and as a topping for fruit and yogurt parfaits. Inspired by all of the vanilla extracts and vanilla beans in my house right now, I decided to take my tried and true granola recipe and rework it to accommodate the wonderful sweetness of vanilla and coconut.
Although the word “delicate” is not generally used in association with granola, I feel that it is the best descriptor for this particular granola. For me, this Vanilla Bean Coconut Granola has a perfect balance of flavors with the vanilla, vanilla beans, coconut, and coconut oil. It is full of good-for-you elements, right down to the chia seeds (which I guess are good for you…at least that’s what people say…it could be that the chia pet people needed a new market, so they started touting chia seeds as the next, great end-all be-all, live-to-be-1000 health product).
Regarding vanilla beans, do not purchase them from the grocery stores because they can be very pricey and of questionable quality. I ordered my beans from Beanilla and am happy with them. At this time Beanilla is offering 25 Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans for $25.00. They are also running a small sale on their Tahitian Vanilla Beans, five for $17.00. The Tahitian beans are especially beautiful, soft and fat and full of wonderfully floral vanilla bean caviar.
You may also like: