Cranberry Orange Granola with Crystallized Ginger

Cranberry Orange Granola with Crystallized Ginger and Kumquats
Bowl by Roger Baumann. Photo by Marta Bartolomei Edmonds.
I love granola. It’s the perfect everyday breakfast and it’s even better when you make it at home.
The first few recipes I tried, and the most common recipes out there, are packed with sugar and butter. While I love what sugar and butter can do to a good pastry, I would rather stay away from it in my granola. When I came across Nigella Lawson’s granola recipe, I was intrigued as it used applesauce, honey and a tad bit of canola oil as a binder. Using her recipe as a base, I have experimented with a few combinations and like the version I share with you today as a healthy granola that I can feel good about eating on a daily basis.
This particular version uses some spiced cranberry orange relish that I had left-over from Thanksgiving. You can substitute the relish with equal parts of cranberry sauce and orange marmalade. The results are fragrant, slightly tangy and sweet granola. This is a super easy recipe, but do watch it when baking as it’s super easy to overcook.
Cranberry Orange Granola
4 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup raw sesame seeds
1/2 cup flax seed
1/2 cup cranberry orange relish
1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup wildflower honey
2 Tbsp canola oil
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1. Preheat oven to 265° F. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Mix dry ingredient in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the cranberry orange relish applesauce, wildflower honey, and canola oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until well incorporated.
3. Distribute the mixture evenly in the two cookie sheets and spread evenly. Bake until the granola is golden and feels dry to the touch, for about two hours. Allow to cool and dry completely before storing it in an airtight container.
Makes 8 cups of granola.

Glazed Lemon Muffins

Glazed Lemon Muffin Recipe
Plate by Roger Baumann. Photo by Marta Bartolomei Edmonds.
Tangy and sweet, these lemon muffins are a summertime breakfast favorite. Our family’s love affair with lemon muffins began at the Daily Coffee Bar in Bozeman, Montana. During our years in college, we went there often and almost always ordered the same thing: lemon muffins and a mocha. We loved their lemon muffins so much that I began making them once we moved to New York City when we felt particularly homesick.
This lemon muffin recipe makes a light, lemony and not particularly sweet muffin. The glaze completes the muffin with sweetness and the tart and fresh elements of real lemon juice. Just thinking about them makes my mouth water.
For light and airy lemon muffins, the trick is to work quickly when mixing the flour into the liquids, mix the ingredients by hand with a wooden spoon and do not over mix. Make sure that the flour is completely incorporated into the liquids, but stop mixing as soon as there are no longer flour lumps in the batter.
Favorite Glazed Lemon Muffins
Plate by Roger Baumann. Photo by Marta Bartolomei Edmonds.
Glazed Lemon Muffins
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon extract
1/2 buttermilk
1/3 cup oil
Lemon Glaze
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil a 12-cup muffin pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the buttermilk, oil, lemon juice, lemon extract, sugar and eggs until just combined (do not over beat). Using a wooden spoon, fold in the flour mixture in a few swift strokes to form a smooth batter.
3. Divide the batter into the 12 muffin tins. Bake for 20 minutes or until the muffins are lightly golden around the edges and a wooden pick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
4. While the muffins are baking, prepare the lemon glaze by stirring the sugar into the lemon juice until all the sugar crystals are completely dissolved.
4. Remove the muffins from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove them from the muffin pan and brush them generously with the lemon glaze. Allow them to sit at room temperature to cool completely and soak the lemon glaze.
Makes 12 muffins.

Mini Chocolate Chip Scones

Mini Chocolate Chip Scone Recipe
Photo by Marta Bartolomei Edmonds.
From June to September each year the Bozeman, MT community would gather to support local farmers, craftspeople and bakers like me at the Farmer’s Market in Bogert Park. Vincent Van Scone was our small operation that consisted of baked breakfast goods, especially scones, and a weekly auction of Scott’s chalkboard reproduction of a Van Gogh painting. We were twenty six then and already dreaming about how to carve out a little place in the world.
During the summers, our home would smell like coffee cake and chalk on Friday nights as Scott would prepare the chalkboard Van Gogh, spreading the big box of chalk all over the floor. The living room and dining room would slowly fill up with coffee cakes as I baked them in batches through the night. In early Saturday mornings, it was the aroma of strong Puerto Rican coffee brewing in large quantities and the gentle buttery smell of scones baked with blueberries, raspberries, peaches or plums that would wake Angelica up.
Scott and I would load up our rickety old wooden picnic table (no, not the ones that fold) onto the roof of our copper Salvation Army Store-bought 1972 Jeep Wagoneer. The crates of still-warm scones, coffee cakes, coffee and other supplies would go in the back. Little Angelica would jump in next to us and Scott would drive us a block to the Bozeman Farmer’s Market to set up. After hauling the heavy wooden table to my spot, Scott and Angelica would disappear – Scott to return the car home and Angelica to get her best friend Chloe to play in Bogert Park. Scott often came back with a bunch of fresh wildflowers or sweat pea blossoms for the table, just in time for the Farmer’s Market “opening bell”. Friends and customers would stop by for their morning fix of baked goods and fresh brewed Puerto Rican coffee and we would catch up on the week’s events.
Our weekends these days are very different, but each time I make scones, my heart swells for those great Vincent Van Scone weekends and those sweet pea blossoms on my rickety red picnic table.
If you are new to making scones, you might be interested in these tips.
You might also be interested in my other scone recipes: Raspberry Almond Scones, Spiced Pumpkin Scones.
Mini Chocolate Chip Scones
2 cups flour
2 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold butter
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon turbinado sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 450°. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the mini chocolate chips. Stir in the whipping cream, egg and vanilla extract with a few swift strokes until a crumbly dough forms. Don’t worry if there are still some dry spots.
2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gather the dough into a ball. Gently press the dough into a ¾ inch thick disk.
3. Brush the disk with heavy cream and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Cut the disk into 8 even wedges.
4. Arrange the wedges 1 inch apart on a baking sheet. Bake in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with fresh whipped cream.
Makes 8 scones.

Crispy Brown Rice Treats

Crispy Brown Rice Treats Recipe - Wheat Free and Sugar Free Recipe
Plate by Roger Baumann. Photo by Marta Bartolomei Edmonds.
These wholesome bars have been a favorite in our home for the past fifteen years. Crispy brown rice treats are a healthier version of the Rice Krispies Treats you might have grown up with. We got rid of the marshmallow and butter and replaced it with toasted almond butter and the gentle sweetness of brown rice syrup. For fun, we’ve also added some carob chips. These bars are well balanced and lightly sweet, making them a healthy snack any time of the day. What’s best is that they are super easy to make.
Crispy Brown Rice Treats
1/2 cup brown rice syrup*
1/2 cup almond butter*
2 cups crispy brown rice*
1 cup carob chips (optional)*
1 teaspoon vanilla
oil for greasing
1. Oil a 9″ x 13″ pan and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the brown rice syrup, almond butter and vanilla. Add the Rice Crispies and carob chips and fold into the brown rice syrup mixture.
2. Pour the rice crispy mixture into the oiled pan . Rub a little oil in your hands and press down firmly to flatten the mixture. Cut into 1.5″ squares and enjoy.
Makes 48 bars
*Visit your local health food store for these ingredients.

Best Homemade Bagels

Emeril Lagasse Bagel Recipe
Photo by Marta Bartolomei Edmonds.
This winter we traveled to Colorado and Wyoming to visit our family. During our visit we were treated to a truly special breakfast with a New York twist: homemade bagels. Our nephew and young chef, Keith, woke up early in the morning and, with his dad’s help, prepared us the best homemade bagels we had ever had. We enjoyed an assortment of warm bagels right out of the oven, including asiago cheese, everything, garlic, salt, sesame, poppy seed and chocolate chip. Sharing this breakfast with our talented nephew was one of the highlights of a restful and healing vacation.
Keith uses Emeril Lagasse’s Homemade Bagel recipe. The bagels are soft and chewy on the inside and crusty on the outside. Our nine year old nephew impressed us with these fantastic homemade bagels and inspired me to try to make these at home.
According to Keith, they are time consuming, but easy to make.
Emeril’s Homemade Bagels
2 cups warm water, about 110 degrees F
2 (1/4-ounce) packets active dry yeast
3 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
Optional Toppings:
1/2 cup lightly toasted chopped onions (2 teaspoons each)
2 tablespoons poppy seeds (about 1/2 teaspoon each)
2 tablespoons sesame seeds (about 1/2 teaspoon each)
1 tablespoon kosher salt (about 1/4 teaspoon each)
1. Combine the water, yeast, and 3 tablespoons of the sugar in the bowl of an upright mixer fitted with a dough hook. Stir and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Gradually add 4 cups of the flour and the salt, and mix until the mixture comes together.
2. Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups additional flour 1/2 cup at a time to make a stiff dough, either stirring with the wooden spoon or working with your hands. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and no longer sticky, about 5 minutes, adding just as much flour as needed. (Dough should be heavier and stiffer than regular yeast bread dough.)
3. Grease a large bowl with 1 teaspoon of the oil. Place the dough in the bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until almost doubled, about 1 hour.
4. Remove from the bowl and punch down the dough. Divide into 12 equal pieces, about 2 to 3 ounces each, measuring about 4 inches across. Form each piece of dough into a ball. Roll each ball into a 4 to 6-inch log. Join the ends and place fingers through the hole and roll the ends together. Repeat with the remaining dough. Place on a lightly greased surface, cover with a clean cloth, and let rest until risen but not doubled in a draft-free spot, 20 to 30 minutes.
5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet with the remaining teaspoon of oil.
6. In a large, heavy pot, bring 12 cups of water and the remaining tablespoon of sugar to a boil. In batches, add the bagels to the water and boil, turning, for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Flip bagels onto the prepared sheet pan. Bake for 5 minutes, turn over and cook for another 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.
Makes 12 bagels

Spiced Pumpkin Scones

Spiced Pumpkin Scone Recipe
Photo by Marta Bartolomei Edmonds.
It’s pumpkin time! My favorite time of the year. Pumpkin is the perfect fall vegetable. Delicious and versatile it lends itself to many applications in anything from breakfast to dessert.
I love to sneak pumpkin into my dishes whenever I can, especially in the fall. Sunday morning I made a batch of pumpkin scones that I wanted to share with you. They are moist, light, with a touch of spice and sweetness. Serve them with a little butter and dark maple syrup.
When you make these, keep in mind that this particular recipe will yield a very wet dough that will likely stick to your hands. Don’t get frustrated, the results are worth the mess! If you are new to making scones, take a look at these scone baking tips.
Also, if you love pumpkin as much as I do, try these pumpkin muffins.
Spiced Pumpkin Scones
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon turbinado sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 450°. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, pumpkin, egg, vanilla extract, and spices. Stir the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture with a few swift strokes until a loose wet dough forms.
2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gather the dough into a ball. Gently press the dough into a ¾ inch thick disk.
3. Sprinkle the disk with turbinado sugar and cinnamon. Using a knife, cut the disk into 8 wedges.
4. Arrange the wedges ½ inch apart on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake in the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.
Makes 8 scones.

Childhood Bran Muffins

Raisin Bran Muffin Recipe
Photo by Marta Bartolomei Edmonds.
Waking up to the smell of fresh baked bran muffins right out of the oven at my grandparents’ home jelled my love of baked goods as a young child. My grandfather, Pito, would get up at five in the morning to meditate. He would sometimes follow his ritual by making bran muffins from scratch. The smell would wake me up with a smile and I would walk over to the kitchen where a basket of muffins was waiting for me.
The gesture of making bread from simple, healthy ingredients impresses me even today as a wholesome act of love and care amongst family. These are the things that stay with you as you grow older and I thank my grandfather for sharing them with us.
This bran muffin recipe is wonderfully versatile and easy to make. It makes a moist muffin that is not too sweet. What is great about this recipe is that it makes a rather large batch (24 muffins); you can make the batter ahead of time and it will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days. So you can wake up, scoop the batter into muffin tins and bake for fresh baked muffins every morning.
The recipe was inspired by the Raisin Walnut Bran Muffins served in Bozeman’s best coffee bar.
Bran Muffins
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup hot water
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup wheat bran
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups unbleached flour
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
handful of raisins (optional)
handful of toasted walnut (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat 24 muffin tins with oil and set aside. Combine the hot water and baking soda in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Whisk oats, bran, wheat flour, unbleached flour, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl to blend. In a separate large bowl, mix oil, brown sugar, buttermilk and eggs lightly. Add the hot water mixture and the flour mixture and stir to incorporate.
3. Divide muffins into 24 muffin tins and bake for 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. Cool in a rack for five minutes. Serve hot with butter or at room temperature.
Makes 24 muffins.

Blending a Berry Oaty Smoothie

Today I honor the blender. Essential for making morning time smoothies, good gazpacho, silky hummus or grinding coffee beans for a fresh cup of coffee, the blender is indispensable in any kitchen. If you want to do away with kitchen gadgets, the blender is a fantastic multi-tasker: it can take on a spice grinder, a coffee grinder, even a food processor or mixer. This morning I reached for the blender to make a refreshing summertime smoothie and remembered the origins of my particular blender: the Osterizer Galaxie Pulse Matic 10.
I remember sitting with Papi and Carolina in the living room when Carolina got up and ceremoniously brought over a large unwrapped box and placed it on the floor in front of us. From the box, I could guess that it was a blender that must have been manufactured around the late seventies or early eighties. It was a surprise to see this intact, never scuffed, seal unbroken, dust-free blender box on the floor in front of us. This blender, despite its twenty or more years in existence, had never been used but carefully kept.
This was Spring 2001 and no particular occasion for gift giving. We had driven up to see how Papi was recovering from his liver transplant surgery. We drove up from the city and arrived late at night. He had waited up for us and greeted us at the door. He aged 20 years in a matter of weeks after his surgery. I could see my grandfather Abuelo Paco’s features clearly in his aged face: a receding hairline, thin wrinkles on his forehead and kind loving eyes, weary from the enormous battle he had endured.
They explained that the blender was given to them as a wedding present and that they
never had any use for it and wondered if we would like to have it. We pulled it out of the box and it was a chrome plated beauty with a heavy glass jar. We had recently moved to the city and didn’t have a blender, so we gratefully accepted.
At the time I did not know this would be the last gift my father would give me. Perhaps because it holds such a place, the Osterizer Galaxie Pulse Matic 10 blender is an object of mystery to me. Every time I use it, I remember my father. I wonder who gave them this wedding present. I wonder when Papi and Carolina got married and who attended. And, what compelled them to care and carry this particular wedding gift for over twenty years without ever opening it or using it?
Today I use my vintage blender to make a light summertime berry smoothie with oats, the smoothie version of my Everyday Breakfast. Cool, refreshing and satisfying. Enjoy one for breakfast or when you need a boost anytime of the day. See my notes about yogurt here. I like my smoothies, thick and icy, but you might prefer yours a little thinner. Simply add more or less liquid as you are blending until you get the right consistency.
Berry Oaty Smoothie
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup soy milk
2 tablespoons rolled oats
1 tablespoon honey
2 cups ice cubes
1. Purée all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Serve.
Makes 2 servings.

Raspberry Almond Scones

Raspberry Almond Scone Recipe
Bowl by Scott Bartolomei Edmonds. Photo by Marta Bartolomei Edmonds
Here’s what I’ve learned about scones so far:

  • Work quickly.
  • Keep the butter cold.
  • The less you touch the dough the better it will be.
  • It’s much easier to incorporate the butter into the flour with your hands (instead of using a pastry cutter or knifes) but the heat from your hands will melt the butter, so work quickly and freeze the mixture for a few minutes when you are done to keep the butter hard.
  • Pour the liquids into the flour mixture, not the other way around.
  • Stir the liquid into the flour mixture with a few swift strokes (about 6 – 10 strokes). The mixture will still have dry spots, that is okay.
  • Pat the dough gently into a disk, do not overpack.

Raspberry Almond Scones
1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup quick oats
2 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup slivered almonds
handful of fresh raspberries
1 teaspoon turbinado sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 450°. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the whipping cream, egg, almond extract, almonds and raspberries with a few swift strokes until a crumbly dough forms.
2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gather the dough into a ball. Gently press the dough into a ¾ inch thick disk.
3. Brush the disk with heavy cream and sprinkle the turbinado sugar. Using a knife, cut the disk into 8 wedges.
4. Arrange the wedges ½ inch apart on a baking sheet. Bake in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.
Makes 8 scones.

Corn Bread in a Skillet

Skillet Corn Bread Recipe
When I was fourteen years old, my mom flew out to Rochester, NY to visit me. She stayed in a hotel near Marketplace Mall, and I was going to stay with her for the weekend. My dad dropped me off after work that night. I still remember getting out of his 1980-something light blue Honda Civic. It was cold and wet and he was bundled up with his golfer’s cap and scarf. His work shoes had those rubber covers to protect them from the wet. He got out of the car with me. As I approached the door to the lobby, I could see my beautiful mother there in her gorgeous handmade woolen coat. My dad froze right before we got to the door and said goodbye to me. I was a little confused at the time, but I said goodbye right back and stepped through the glass doors and into the lobby. I looked back as the doors closed. My dad was still standing there. I kept walking and jumped into my mother’s arms.
That night, we had dinner at the restaurant in the hotel and we ordered some cornbread. It was fantastic. My mom and I were so enthusiastic about it that she bought a ‘cornbread’ skillet along with some cornbread mix. Since then, cornbread always reminds me of that awkward reunion and the tender but short moments spent with my mom that winter back in 1986.
The recipe I give you today is one I have enjoyed over many years. I scratched it into brown paper about twelve years ago. Every once in a while I adjust the recipe by adding things like blueberries or cut down on the sugar and add chipotle for a kick. Mostly, I like it just the way it is, served with a little butter and honey. This recipe makes a light and moist cornbread that is on the sweet side.
Corn Bread
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup unbleached flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
1/2 cup brown sugar (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter over low heat in a 9″ cast iron skillet, set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, stir the brown sugar into the buttermilk until any lumps of sugar dissolve. Add the egg and vanilla and lightly stir. Then, stir in the cooled melted butter.
2. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and lightly mix until any lumps of flour disappear. Do not over mix. Pour the batter into the buttered skillet and bake until golden, about 30 minutes.
Makes 1 loaf.