From Madrid to Granola

Madrid sunshinemadrid poodleAfter a rather unfortunate (read: embarrassing and expensive) start to my travels, a weekend that revolved around a brunch reservation in Madrid was wonderfully restorative.  The concept of brunch seems to be taking off in Spain’s capital and my friend Britney picked out a fun little spot: The Toast Cafe (this seems like a trendy name for a Spanish brunch spot, actually), where their brunch menu includes a primero plato of a massive fluffy pancake AND a segundo plato of picante huevos rancheros…we practically rolled out of there we were so full by the end of it.thetoasthuevos rancheros at toast cafeThe sun was shining, brunch was bright, and we wandered around the city until an equally delicious dinner.  It was all about catching up and good food. Mostly talking about boys…so, a weekend of food and girl talk. Priorities! (Gracias, mi hermana!)
Sunny Madrid kicked off what would be a trip that only saw sunshine.  I still can’t believe my luck – seventeen days of solid blue skies.  Of course, I arrived back in Ottawa on a cold, wet evening. Seems fair.tulips at homeSince being home, I’ve had gal pals over for breakfast a couple times; I love starting the day with those quiet hang outs while we swap stories over mugs of milky Earl Grey. My friends are enthusiastic taste testers so they’re always fun to feed. This little blog already has three different granola recipes, and it’s such an easy thing to make that I feel a little silly posting another one.  But! In the spirit of all things seasonal, this is my “Spring Granola” – light and bright and sunny. The morning I first made it was another rainy one, and so a contrasting breakfast seemed in order.granola 1more granolaLike all granola, the “recipe” is highly adaptable to your tastes. Go nuts. Below is how I’ve been making mine. For a slightly more indulgent breakfast (or a light dessert), serve with Greek yogurt and dollop of lemon curd.lemon poppy seed granola with lemon curd
Lemon Poppy Seed Granola

4 ½ cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup whole natural almonds
1 cup pecan halves
¾ cup poppy seeds
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the wet ingredients and stir well.
Spread thinly over baking sheets and bake until oats are just golden – 15 to 20 minutes, checking halfway through to give the granola a stir or switch the positions of the baking sheets.
Let cool before serving.  The granola can be stored for up to a month in an airtight container.

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