Monday, February 18, 2013

Good Taste: pure vanilla review and homemade granola

I made some homemade granola that I want to share with you but first let me tell you a little about the book Pure Vanilla where I got the recipe.

“Even with a history as rich as hers, poor vanilla is often overlooked and misunderstood, a mere afterthought in recipes. Is it because we’ve taken this lush, soft spice for granted for so long? Been comforted and soothed by her simplicity and her quiet, sweet manner to the point that we consider her only a supporting character and never the star? Hundreds of cookbooks wax poetic about her sexy, super-popular sister chocolate, while vanilla watches longingly from the sidelines, quietly waiting for her due in the culinary world.”            
Shauna Sever, author Pure Vanilla & blogger at Piece of Cake

Blog Vanilla Granola-001Yup, I’m guilty as charged of overlooking vanilla and never really giving it much thought. I use vanilla extract in baking but I’ve never bought the gourmet or high-end vanilla extract. I just grab a little brown bottle off the shelf at my grocery store and add the obligatory teaspoon or so to my mixing bowl.

Pure Vanilla, not only gives us pages and pages of delicious vanilla recipes but a brief history of vanilla and an interesting section on how vanilla beans are grown and harvested. I didn’t realize that the vanilla bean came from the vanilla orchid and was the second most expensive spice in the world.

The recipes put vanilla in the spotlight. Cakes and pies, cookies, bars and more – like these fun Vanilla Lollipops.

These Cherry-Vanilla Shortbread Cake Squares look amazing. There are dozens and dozens of recipes – not just desserts – how about Vanilla Brown Sugar & Black Pepper Bacon or a Vanilla Martini?

I decided to try out a simple recipe from the book. Honey Vanilla Granola Clusters.

Blog Vanilla GranolaThis was so quick and easy to make. All you do is whisk together the ingredients and spread the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes.

But…. ssshhhh. Don’t tell. I added some chocolate chips to mine. The vanilla is still the star of this recipe but these granola clusters will mainly be eaten by a certain teenage boy who only has eyes for chocolate.

The granola clusters can be stored in an airtight container or you can package them up for quick snacks or lunch bags.

Once I wrapped up the clusters, I put all the bits and pieces that were left on the baking sheet into cupcake liners. These are for me to munch on while I’m working…

Thanks so much for stopping by.
Signature Box 3

I received a copy of Pure Vanilla for the purposes of review. All opinions are mine. 

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  1. yum! i make homemade granola all the time now. organic coconut oil is awesome in it!

    happy monday.


  2. Uhm those granola looks so delicious, and the book sounds like a must have for the book shelve! Thank you for recipe and the tip, have a happy week!

  3. How fantastic... I will be making this! And, as always, your styling is beautiful!

  4. I'm guilty of overlooking the quality of vanilla too! Coincidentally I just paid more for a little bottle yesterday. I'm looking forward to giving it a try! This book looks amazing! I'm certainly intrigued!

  5. This looks like a great cookbook. They look delish! Thanks for sharing ;)

  6. oh my gosh i love granola, my mom would always make it for us, going to try this for sure, the pure vanilla.... nothing better!

  7. This looks awesome! I absolutely love vanilla. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Yummy!! I love granola, this looks fantastic!

  9. Mmm, that granola looks delicious! I love vanilla!

  10. awesome! I just made granola over the weekend! love this xox

  11. Mouth watering...vanilla granola? Yes Please!


  12. I love vanilla! I agree it's an under utilized spice

  13. Must have this book! Vanilla is my favorite (even over chocolate). Thanks for sharing.

  14. Those sound so good ... especially with the chocolate chip addition! :) Neat sounding book.

  15. What a pretty (and delicious!) book! I love vanilla granola!

  16. What a gorgeous book! I use vanilla in everything (and make my own) and it is the BEST! I have been wanting to try granola...especially if I can add chocolate chips!


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