I had one of those not-great-cooking days today... I thought everything was going to turn out all wrong, and it really frustrated me. The end result was, everything turned out different than I wanted... But none of it turned out wrong--exactly.
I have wanted to try making my own granola for a while now but have never been sure about it. But Kate had a great looking, simple granola recipe on her blog that looked perfect to try out. I mixed it up last night, using brown rice syrup instead of maple syrup, and let it sit in a sealed container in the fridge overnight. This morning I baked it before church, at 350 degrees. Kate had said to bake it for about 7 minutes, but mine was nowhere near done after that. I baked it for about 10 minutes, and then let it sit and cool while I was at church.
After church I wanted to make a nice lunch. But first, I put the granola back in the oven at around 275, because it still wasn't dried out. I took it out finally when I smelled the almonds beginning to get overdone. I thought it was ruined! But I let it cool, and this time it was finally dry and granola-like... and it still tasted just fine. Delicious, actually. Phew! Thanks for the recipe, Kate! Next time I'll try a lower temperature and cook it for longer--the settings in the recipe just didn't work for my oven.
As for lunch, I had been wanting to try the Garlicky Kale from VWaV (p. 120), and I had also wanted to make this nutritional yeast gravy from The Grit. So I decided to do kale, mashed potatoes, and gravy. Seemed simple enough.
The garlicky part of the kale didn't work out. The recipe said to sauté the garlic over medium-high heat, but when I put the garlic in the pan it burned to a crisp instantly. I took it off the heat, and after letting it cool for a moment I stirred the kale in. The result was garlic-less kale because I had to go through the kale and pick out all the little charred pieces of garlic. Hmm...
On to the gravy: The recipe said the margarine and flour and nutritional yeast would form a roux. Instead, it formed clumps that looked like moist breadcrumbs. This was disheartening, but I continued with the recipe. In the end, the gravy came together just fine--perfect, in fact. It was SO TASTY! It had been a long time since I had mashed potatoes and gravy!
End result: Everything was fine. The kale was just great, sans garlic. It was lovely stirred into the mashed potatoes and topped with the gravy. Interesting day in the kitchen, but I really can't complain this time. Nothing was ruined and everything was fine. But it was certainly unnerving!