Cooking With Kaya Episode 1: C and K’s Granola

Look what we made!


I’m a child of the 70s and 80s which makes me 1) old and 2) able to remember a time before a lot of processed and pre- packaged foods. That’s not to say that those things didn’t exist. Kraft mac n’ cheese was a much loved (if infrequent) treat as were Swanson’s chicken pot pies, hot dogs and potato chips.  But my mom, whose Chinese roots (via Hong Kong) mixed with the hippie, DIY ethos of the time made sure that most of what we ate was homemade and nutritious.  I can’t always vouch for the deliciousness.   Check out my old meatloaf post for a description of how my mom riffed on the classic American dish to varying degrees of success.  This was also the era of carob bars instead of chocolate and health-food store peanut butter made of freshly ground peanuts (and nothing else) instead of JIF or Skippy which contained a whole lot of salt and sugar and tasted how peanut butter SHOULD taste).  But looking back now, I realize how lucky we were to grow up in a house where food was something you cooked and not just retrieved from a box or heated up in the microwave.  I credit my parents with making me the eater I am today and the cook. Today all these years later, I’m proud to carry on the tradition of preparing as many home cooked meals as I can and I think it’s having an effect.  Judging by the way my kids eat, I’m happy to say they’re little chips off the old gluttonous blocks (me AND Shefali, who’s no slouch in the eating department).  I’m also seeing glimmers of a real interest in cooking.  First daughter Kaya loves to watch us cook and help out when she can. Second daughter, Mona, not yet two, lacks basic motor skills but if her man-sized appetite is any indication, she’s going to be a beast in the kitchen.  It’s fair to say that both girls have spent a good portion of their lives in the kitchen because that’s where we spend most of our time. And so it only felt natural to start making videos with them. After all, Kaya’s been part of this blog and in these videos since she was just a baby.

So for her first video where she is an active and willing participant, we decided to make something pretty easy but really good. In fact this is Kaya’s favorite for breakfast: granola.  I basically took a recipe from Alton Brown and made some of my own little tweaks (a little less salt, more oats, coconuts and almonds) and the results have been uniformly GOOD!!!  But don’t just take my word for it. Take Kaya’s.

Here are the ingredients:
3 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds
1 1/2 cups dried coconut flakes
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup of dried cranberries.

And here’s how we do it:


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