pumpkin spice & walnut granola 

october 9th, 2015

homesweet-pumpkin

Lately, I've been desperately trying to slow down the hours, days, and weeks. It's my favorite time of year (much like everyone else in New England) and I'm savoring these crisp and sunny days before the winter air settles in. It can be easy to let this time of year pass you by in the city. You see trees with scarlet and gold leaves here and there, but the colors don't overwhelm you the way they do in the mountains.

This past weekend I zipped up to my old stomping grounds in Vermont, and boy, do I miss it there. I moved to Burlington when I was eighteen, and quickly fell in love with its mountains and its people. Vermont felt like home right away. My first fall there was basically my first fall, ever. I remember walking down to Lake Champlain, looking out to the Adirondacks and thinking that their slopes and ridges looked like they were on fire. The colors burned so bright they blazed, and it took my breath away year after year. Still does. From September to November I was determined to spend as much time as I possibly could outside. There were sunrise and sunset hikes on Camel's Hump, weekends in the apple orchards, pumpkin picking, and long solo runs along the lake. Though the air grew cooler and the days shorter, I always found myself feeling indescribably warm this time of year. A combination of beautiful views, good company, and the sweet and spicy scents often floating from the kitchen made for happy memories in one of my happy places. 

So, this granola. While it can't take me back in time, it sure does bring back a whole lot of happy memories with it's warming, nutty, and spicy flavors. It's cozy and inviting and makes both your heart and belly feel full. I like to make big batches of it to sprinkle on yogurt, add to oatmeal, and to snack on morning, noon, and night. I hope you enjoy this simple recipe as much as I do :).

pumpkin walnut granola

ingredients - 

  • 3 cups rolled oats 
  • 1 1/3 cups raw walnuts, halved or chopped
  • 1/3 cup raw pepitas
  • 1 Tbsp flax seeds 
  • 2 dashes of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice 
  • 1/4 cup refined coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup honey

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine oats, flax seeds, walnuts, pepitas, spices, and salt.

In a small pan, melt the refined coconut oil and then whisk in pumpkin puree and honey. Mix well until the contents are evenly combined. Add to the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until all dry ingredients are coated. 

Spread half of the mixture evenly on a baking sheet. Place in the oven for 7 minutes, stir contents around a bit, rotate, and place in the oven for another 7 or so minutes. *Keep an eye on it! It can go from crispy to burnt to a crisp quite quickly (speaking from experience.) 

Once golden brown, remove your granola from the oven and let it cool. Enjoy warm over yogurt, with a splash of milk, or store in an airtight container to enjoy at a later time. 

Let me know how your pumpkin granola turns out by tagging #HSrecipes on instagram, and be sure to follow me @homesweet_mary. Happy baking! 

frittata + goat cheese and spring greens

may 13, 2015

Spring has finally sprung in the Northeast. I know I sound like a broken record at this point, gushing about the sunshine and warmth we're finally experiencing here in Boston, but after such a long and cold winter I feel I've earned the right to obsess. Boston is in full bloom, and it feels like an entirely different city. Suddenly there are all sorts of open air markets and art walks popping up in every nook and neighborhood, lending the perfect excuse to soak up some sun and explore this city.

The longer days have made me feel lighter, with morning runs and sunset walks along the Charles River becoming a part of my daily routine. All of this activity and energy has (obviously) led to an increase in appetite as well, and I've found myself craving something bright and satisfying morning, noon, and night. After some time spent weaving through the market I filled my bag with what looked the best and most fresh, asparagus, tuscan kale, and chives. As much as I love veggies on their own, I decided to add some eggs to make a healthy but hearty springtime meal. This frittata is versatile, light, and a snap to whip up. It's full of good greens n' things and topped with goat cheese, chives, and lemon thyme right from my little window box. Enjoy this frittata in good company for breakfast, lunch, dinner and anytime in between. Bon appetit!

spring frittata -

serves 4 

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp refined coconut oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 handfuls tuscan kale, ripped into pieces 
  • 8 spears asparagus, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 tsp lemon thyme, minced
  • 1 Tbsp chives, minced
  • 2 oz crumbled goat cheese 
  • salt to taste
  • fresh ground pepper to taste 

Preheat your oven to 400°.

Prepare the onion, garlic, kale, and asparagus as instructed above. Quick tip - asparagus has a natural breaking point. Bend each spear until it snaps, discarding the root side of the stalk. 

Melt the coconut oil in an 8 inch cast iron pan over low heat. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and sauté until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the asparagus and cook until bright green. Next, add your kale and cook down until wilted. In the meantime, whisk 6 eggs together in a medium bowl, then adding the milk, salt, and pepper. Once the kale has cooked down, pour the egg mixture evenly over the sautéed vegetables. Increase heat to medium, and allow the eggs to cook until the outside edges begin to set, roughly 5 minutes. *Do not stir or shake at any point! Remove from heat and crumble any desired amount of goat cheese on top (go wild if you're a cheese lover like me). Top it off with a sprinkling of minced chives and lemon thyme, then placing the frittata in your oven to bake for 15-20 minutes. It's done when it appears golden-brown and has completely set in the middle. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes. Enjoy warm or at room temperature anytime of the day!