Have I told you all how much I adore Fine Cooking magazine? It's totally expensive at $6.95 an issue but J got me a subscription for my birthday I've been reading it before I go to bed every night. Fine cooking combines the great photography with Cook's Illustrated-style of tips. The layout is really clear and readable with nice food pron shots. They go into ingredients, cuisines and techniques in depth. Throughout the issue there are themes where advice and tips are given.
So in my issue, there's tips on putting together a cheeseboard. Another section has readers write in to give their own tips such as using an ice cream scoop to scoop out the flesh of butternut squash. The highlight of the holiday issue for me was making crispy potato pancakes. The instructions were very clear and they are really good about emphasizing directives that make or break a dish, including using starchy potatoes, grating potatoes in a food processor, and frying only a few in a pan.
So here's the receipe J an I made (a double batch!)
Honey Almond Granola
4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup of oat bran
2 cups who almonds, coarsely chopped (sliced almonds work great)
1 cup nonfot dry milk powder
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pure almond extract (I used amaretto)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup raisins (or dried cranberries or chopped dates - optional)
Position racks in the upprt and lower thirds of theo ven and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray two rimmed baking sheets with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix the oats, oat bran, and almonds. In a smaller bowl whisk the dry milk powder, oil, honey, vanilla, almond flavoring, and salt. Pour the mixture (it will be gloppy) over the oats and stir.
Divide the mixture between two oiled baking sheets and spread in an even layer. Bake for 15 minutes, stir granola, and switch the positions of the pans. Bake until oats are golden brown and the almonds look well toasted, another 10 to 20 minutes, don't overcook. The oats may feel soft but will crisp as they cool. Let cool completely in the pans. When completely cool, stir in raisins, if using.
REALLY useful tips
* Spread the granola in a single layer on the baking sheet for even toasting
* Don't bake granola in a hot oven until completely crisp or it will tasted burned. It should come out a little soft and wilm firm as it cools.
*For added crispness in the granola, turn off oven, leave the door ajar, and let the granola cool in the oven.