Hello and Granola

How do you start a food blog? Do you just start taking pictures and pop them up with some words and maybe a recipe- lather, rinse, repeat? Not really sure- but that’s the approach I’m taking. So hello there.

This past weekend Jered and I went on a quick jaunt to Washington, Virginia to visit the famous Inn at Little Washington where we had a most fantastic meal. The restaurant just earned its third Michelin star in September of 2018, and we were itching to see what all the fuss was about. In the last two years or so we’ve had the opportunity to dine at two 3-star restaurants, both by Thomas Keller. In March of 2017 we visited The French Laundry and got bit pretty hard by the Michelin bug. A little over a year later we visted Per Se on a whirlwind tour of New York City. This weekend was our first non Tommy Keller experience and we were very curious to experience three stars in a completely different context.

Of course, these dinners ain’t free, and a stay at the Inn itself (the property is both a famous fancy inn and houses the restaurant), was a bit out of our league- at $900 a night we couldn’t quite justify the expense. Thankfully for us, there was a delightful Inn less than a mile from where we’d eat dinner that we ended up staying at, for a fraction of the cost. The hosts Drew and Deb made our stay quite the experience, from hand-crafted cocktails in the evening, to a three course homemade breakfast the next morning. If you find yourself in Washington, Virginia, I’d highly recommend the Gay Street Inn.

What does all this have to do with granola? Well, that three course breakfast we had featured a delicious yogurt, fruit, and granola parfait that inspired me to toast up some oats for us to enjoy at home. The Inn has their recipe posted on their blog, but I have trouble following recipes because I’m a rebel at heart… so here’s how it went.

I emptied an entire container of oats (probably about 4 or 5 cups) into a giant bowl. To that, I added probably a cup of unsweetened shredded coconut, 1 cup of raw walnuts, and 1 cup of raw pecans.

In a small pot I added 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, a few glugs of sunflower oil, about a half cup of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of honey, about a teaspoon of diamond crystal kosher salt (this salt is big and flaky, if you use regular table salt I’d use half that amount), and a little bit of cinnamon sugar I had left from making bomboloni last week. I melted all of that down. Stirred the melted goop into the oat mixture, and spread all of that out onto a cookie sheet.

I ended up doing two batches to get it properly toasted. I put each sheet pan in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, stirred it around thoroughly, rotated the sheet, and put it back in for another 15-20 minutes. You want the oats to get nice and toasty. Keep an eye on it as it starts to smell good- it can get dark quickly.

I let it all cool spread out on some foil on the counter, and then popped the cooled granola into a glass jar. We had some this morning for breakfast with julienned honey crisp apples and some plain yogurt- it’s a nice breakfast treat!

Granola

(loosely adapted from this recipe at The Gay Street Inn)

  • 4-5 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar and about 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil (or other neutral oil)
  • 1 tsp flaky kosher salt

    Preheat oven to 350 Degrees. Mix the oats, nuts, and coconut in a large bowl. Place the sugars, butter, oil, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer to melt the butter and sugar. Place the melted mixture in the bowl with the oats and toss to coat. Place half the coated oats on a cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Stir thoroughly and rotate the sheet pan, then bake for another 10-15 minutes. Once done, cool completely before putting it in a nice jar or a resealable plastic bag to store. (Repeat with remaining oat mixture).