Most of the time I post Italian recipes on my blog but one of my favorite things that I make is my homemade granola. I never make it quite the same twice. The recipe is extremely versatile and can be adapted to your liking and seasonal moods.
I recently demonstrated how to make this at an Earth Day event at 21 Acres farm in Woodinville called Bee Sweet, where I used only honey as the sweetener. I often do it that way at home, or sometimes I use a combination of honey and pure maple syrup.
One thing that makes my granola so good is the spices. Most granolas I’ve had are bland compared to this. I typically use a blend of 3-4 spices. I almost always use some cinnamon and then vary what else I had such as nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, cardamon, allspice, and ginger. The sky is the limit.
As far as dried fruits, seeds and nuts, again you can adjust to your taste, both in the types you use and the quantity. Buying a variety of these can be expensive but can last for multiple batches. Or, look for a trail mix that has the stuff you want in it. I’ve done that before and it has worked great.
One last tip… do not add dried fruits until after baking. And if your nuts are already roasted, the same would apply. If you add coconut like I do, if you use shredded or grated, add it for the last 5-10 minutes or it will burn. Or you can add the large flaked coconut.
When I published my cook book a few years ago I did not have my Caesar Salad recipe in it which caused some frustration with my fans. There were a couple of reasons for that. One, the recipe had a lot of ingredients. I needed to simplify it a little while keeping it just as amazing, which I have now done.
Secondly, it was one of our signature items, and our dressing was so much better than our competitors that I didn’t want to share it with the world. But now Frankie’s is closed so, hey, I may as well share the wealth.
Feel free to make it even better with the addition of grilled chicken, shrimp or salmon.
Emulsifying Caesar dressing with a stick blender
I have great news! My cook book, Frankie at Home in the Kitchen, is now available as an eBook on Amazon. It can be downloaded to any device… phone, tablet, laptop or desktop. The regular books have been sold out for a while now (except for a few being sold at gouger prices on Amazon), so this is a great option for those who didn’t have an opportunity to purchase one, or would like a digital copy. Here is the link…
Frankie at Home in the Kitchen eBook
Well it has been over three years since I last posted on this blog. Running our restaurant, Frankie’s Pizza & Pasta, just had to take top priority. But for those of you who are unaware, we had to close our doors a few months ago due to property redevelopment. It was a wonderful 24 years! I miss my staff and all of the loyal customers we had.
Not having the restaurant has our customers feeling lost and clamoring for those wonderful recipes of ours. One which has been especially in demand is our Garlic-Parmesan Soup which we sold each year at our Garlic Festival. So here it is!
Garlic Parmesan Soup Recipe
Oh BTW, now that I’m back on my blog, look forward to hearing from me on a regular basis.
Ciao e grazie! Frankie
Orecchiette Pasta with Salmon & Kale:
Not all pastas are created equal. Some are delicious–and not so healthy. Others are nutritious–but not so tasty. Here is one with the best of both world’s… delicious, heart healthy salmon and fresh kale combine to give you both terrific taste and great health benefits.
Whole Wheat Pasta Pomodoro with Shrimp & Grilled Peppers:
At our restaurant, Frankie’s Pizza and Pasta, in the summer time we grill red and yellow bell peppers to serve with sausage in a seasonal gnocchi dish. One day when I was making lunch, I decided to put them together with some whole wheat pasta along with sautéed shrimp, mushrooms and Pomodoro Sauce. It was a stroke of genius!
I made my first Lemon-Artichoke Pesto several years ago and was not happy with the
Pasta with grilled Shrimp and Lemon-Artichoke-Pistachio Pesto
results. I shelved it, thinking I would come back and work on the recipe another day. Then one day I was grilling some shrimp for an appetizer and it just sounded like the perfect thing to baste the shrimp with. It was! And this time it came out spectacular on the first try. I guess I’ve learned a few things over the years.
This time around I am doing this with pasta and shrimp. But it also makes a fabulous appetizer by simply brushing grilled shrimp skewers with the sauce after grilling.
You will have leftover pesto when you are done. It freezes well. You might even consider making a double batch and freeze what you don’t use in small containers for quick and easy dinners.