Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Breakfast: bright and fresh

Taking a clue from my favorite, fancy coffee shop, Bassam's Coffee House and Tea Room, I decided to make granola and yogurt parfaits for breakfast yesterday morning. I enjoy their parfaits so much that I thought I might try my hand at making one and, while it wasn't nearly as good as their version, it turns out I can make a decently beautiful and tasty parfait. Such a refreshing breakfast!

The glass frosted up instantly because of the high humidity but you can get an idea of all the tasty layers

On Sunday, I knew I would need granola for the parfait so I whipped up more of a "kitchen sink style" of granola than I usually make. I usually follow the recipe from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, but I knew I didn't have any coconut so I just mixed a little honey, a drizzle of oil, a couple spoonfuls of maple sugar and various flavorings (a pinch of cinnamon and allspice, a splash each of vanilla and lemon extract) until it smelled good enough to eat. I stirred in a few scoops of oats and even a half scoop of rolled barley along with whatever nuts I could find in the freezer. After the grains were well coated with the "dressing" I baked the granola for a half hour or so, really just until it looked crispy and delicious.

I love improvising with recipes because sometimes it leads to delicious discoveries; with this particular recipe experimentation, since I wasn't trying to follow a recipe exactly, I felt comfortable adding a little rolled barley to the granola. Turns out, rolled barley is extra crunchy and delicious in granola. I love it!

See the different grains? the cute little barley sticking up in the middle?
 You can see in the close up of the granola a difference between the grains. The rolled oats are wider in diameter but rolled to a thinner depth. The barley is narrower in diameter but thicker in depth. I think the compactness of the barley is what makes it crunchier. Whatever the reason, it's a happy discovery! so, remember to experiment with your cooking!

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