A Granola Master Spills All
Here, the blogs you should be reading right now with recipes and cooking tips from their creators. Plus: Each subject's insider picks lead us to the next blogger of the week.
The Blog: A Sweet Spoonful
Megan Gordon is a Seattle-based food writer who blogs about seasonal cooking, baking and whole grains. She is also the creator of the fantastic, not-too-sweet Marge Granola.
What, to you, makes perfect granola?
I started Marge Granola because I was so tired of overly sweet or dry, dusty bags of granola. So many of the store-bought brands could double as dessert; others taste like a boring handful of oats. So we load ours with nuts and seeds, and we have a few tricks up our sleeve that make Marge stand out: We use a little more salt than many other brands—salt just amps up the flavor of everything!—and we use olive oil to bake each blend, resulting in a really nice, warm, toasty flavor. And as far as the perfect bake time, granola is much like cookies in that it firms up as it cools. So when you pull it out of the oven it should be golden brown but may still appear soft in texture; if you wait until it's crunchy to pull it out of the oven, it's likely overbaked.
What are some fun uses for granola, beyond breakfast?
As a topping for fruit crisps, cobblers or pies: It's as simple as working a little butter into your favorite granola to create clumps and then sprinkling it over seasonal fruit. I've long been a fan of adding granola to cookie and bar recipes, too. And of course, who could neglect toasty granola sprinkled on top of good vanilla ice cream?
What is most exciting grain for you right now?
My friends are growing tired of hearing me talk about millet. Long thought of as birdseed, millet is a tiny little yellow orb of a grain that is slowly working its way into mainstream menus. It has a mild corn flavor, a really lovely light texture and can be cooked into a porridge in the morning, a pilaf as lunch or dinner, or tossed raw into any baked goods—cookies, granola, muffins or scones—for an extra boost of crunch and nutrition. I love it in this cheesy greens and grains gratin.
Any favorite gluten-free recipes?
Yes! I've been mildly obsessed with these little Buckwheat Poppy Thumbprint Cookies—they take a matter of minutes to throw together and are surprisingly tender and flavorful. They've been in heavy rotation, and I can't wait to start experimenting with more fall fruit compotes as a filling for them.
What are three blogs you're loving right now?
The Yellow House is beautiful and highly literary, and the food just speaks to me: It's super seasonal and not at all fussy.
I find I'm always learning from something on My New Roots. Whether it's a new-to-me ingredient like maca or an interesting way to think about a recipe or preparation (have you tried that Life Changing Loaf of Bread?!).
Seven Spoons has beautiful recipes from sumptuous summer ice creams to hearty fall minestrone and everything in between. And her writing has a special cadence to it—I always look around my own kitchen just a little differently after reading one of Tara's posts.
Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.
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