Tropical Edamame Granola Recipe

Tropical Edamame Granola

A few weeks ago, A Beautiful Mess posted a loose granola recipe that was wonderful. I hadn’t thought about making my own granola but it makes sense. A) it is cheaper to buy the various foodstuffs like nuts and dried fruit, B) you can customize your recipe to reflect what you like in granola, and C) I knew it would make my house smell like the muesli I loved at the local Rewe when I was a teenager. So I made a batch of my own with cashews, dried pineapple, and dried cranberries (to make it like that old muesli) and it was a huge hit! My father eats granola bars everyday at work and texted me that he didn’t think we needed to buy any anymore.


Which boosted my already too large ego. But I wanted to make actual bars. I would rather have a granola bar, just to be quicker and easier than making a mess with the loose kind, since I would just eat it by hand rather than put it in yogurt.


So I did a quick search and found one that I could easily adapt for my own means. I decided to use edamame, a slight addiction in our household. It is a salty, crunchy, nutty bean. We buy tons a week. Ironically, we only became fans of it after we moved away from Japan.


Tropical Edamame Granola Recipe

2 cups old fashioned oats

¾ cup packed dark brown sugar

½ cup edamame

¾ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 cup all purpose flour

¾ cup dried fruit (I julienned dried mango and pineapple)

½ teaspoon salt (I cut the salt a bit due to the saltiness of the edamame)

½ cup honey

1 egg, beaten

½ cup olive oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter a baking dish.


In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, edamame, spice, flour, fruit, and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in honey, egg, oil, and vanilla. The original recipe called for mixing with your hands. I didn’t do that. It mixed just fine with a spoon. I did pat the mixture evenly into the pan.

The mixings prior to the wet ingredient addition.


Into the oven with you!


Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the oven. You should see the edges darken and harden. Remove and cool for a few minutes, then cut into the bars while the mixture is warm.

Mmm. About all I can say.


And success! These had a great spicy flavor with just enough salt from the edamame and sweetness from the honey and fruit. There are a variety of textures going on in this granola, which I love. What are your favorite granola mixings? Let me know if anyone else tries this recipe!


Brown Buttered Chocolatey Chippy Goodness

My sister Sarah adores chocolate chip cookies. She knows her way around the kitchen but somehow, whenever she gets that cookie-feeling, it is up to me to make the dough. She’ll bake them, don’t get me wrong. Apparently, I make magical cookie dough.

This time, I was the one with some serious cookie cravings. I rewatched the fabulous movie “Stranger Than Fiction” the other day. If you’ve never seen it and you are a fan of Will Ferrell, Dustin Hoffman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, or Emma Thompson, you should stop what you are doing and watch it. It’s the movie that made me realize just what a talented actor Will Ferrell really is; he is so sweet and awkward, it’s adorable.

Back to my point, in the film Gyllenhaal plays a baker and in a great scene, she forces Ferrell’s Harold Crick, an IRS agent who has started hearing someone narrate his life (yes, it is so great), eat cookies.

Stranger Than Fiction Cookie Scene

Which got me wanting chocolate chips. I have followed the blog Une Gamine Dans La Cuisine for years. Trust me when I say every recipe is terrific. I make her salted millionaire’s shortbread for basically any occasion (just last weekend for a family party). So it was a no brainer for me to try one of her many chocolate chip recipes.

This recipe was altered a smidge by me, mostly adding a whole bag of chocolate chips and no nuts. It calls for brown butter, which lends the most fantastic dark coloring to the end result. I typed out how I made the cookies but check out the original one if you want to see what she did!

1 2/4 cups of all purpose flour

½ teaspoon of baking soda

14 Tablespoons of butter

½ cup of granulated sugar

¾ cup of packed dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 egg

1 egg yolk

1 bag chocolate chips

In a bowl, mix flour and baking soda.

Heat 10 Tablespoons of butter in a pan at medium to high heat until it is completely melted. Continue cooking the melted butter by swirling the pan until the butter darkens. It will take you a few minutes; it took me about four to five minutes because I didn’t have the stove up too high. Pour the melted brown butter into a heatproof bowl, or, as I did, directly in the mixer bowl, over the other 4 Tablespoons of butter and stir until it is melted.

The butter was a lot more brown in real life. Not sure why it’s so light in the pic.

In the mixer bowl, add the sugars, salt, and vanilla with the butter and mix until it is mixed. Add the egg and yolk and mix until the mixture is smooth and there are no lumps. Let the mixture stand 3 minutes and whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat this 2 more times. It will let the mixture become perfectly incorporated and delicious. Not that I am condoning eating raw dough. Because I would never do that. Eat dough. With an extra spoon.

Smooth and dreamy looking sugary buttery goodness.

Putting the mixer on the lowest mix level, add the flour until it is just combined. Add the chocolate chips and mix really quickly.

And I did not eat this with a spoon. Really.

Just as she did, I let the dough refrigerate. I was making dinner, so I wrapped up the mixing bowl and left it in the fridge for about two hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 and line a sheet with parchment paper.

Now I’m not precise when it comes to portioning. If you check out her page, you will see that she is a lot more professional about the cookie sizes. Me, bigger is better so I just popped a few tablespoons worth of dough and called that a cookie.

Weird shot, but I had to show you how gooey these suckers were in the oven!

Bake the cookies for about 10 to 14 minutes, rotating the sheet hallway through, at the 5 minute mark. Mine cooked in 10 minutes on each batch.

Told you, bigger is better, at least when it comes to cookies.

For fun, I put a smidge of different salts on the last two batches, a red Hawaiian sea salt and black Sicilian sea salt. They were delicious! Honestly, these might be the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever made. They had a terrific crunch but were gooey and warm. The chocolate to dough ratio was perfect, at least in my mind. I hope you all enjoy the recipe and check out Une Gamine Dans La Cuisine!

Still Here!

Hi, everybody, just a quick word to let you know I’m still here! It has been slightly chaotic of late. The house is starting to look lived in, I’m starting to find my way around, and I’m still looking for a job. But the craftiness will return soon!!! I taught myself to knit last week and will have some fingerless gloves to share with you before too long. Stay tuned!

DIY: Vintage Trunk to Boo Box

The move is nearing its climax, we head down to the new house on Saturday. Despite the craziness, my brother Zac and I were able to tackle a project that I’ve been procrastinating for, well, years.

At least a decade ago, I was given a terrific vintage trunk. I couldn’t tell you how old it was, but even then it was a bit ragged. Nevertheless, I loved that trunk. It was black with brass hinges and was my “memory chest.” Nine moves later, soon to be ten, the trunk has seen better days. The vintage look of the chest no longer matches any of my Ikea-like modern furniture. And so I decided to redecorate the trunk. And promptly decided to put that decision on hold. For months.

About two months ago, I found some leftover cherry hued paint. It would perfectly match my bedroom color palette: black, white, gold/yellow, and cherry. I immediately decided to paint the trunk then and there. It was one of those spur of the moment actions that I’ve since regretted, like the time I dyed my naturally dark brown hair blonde from a box. Not one of my brighter moments. And no, there will be no pictures posted of that decision.

I didn’t finish the paint job but it really wouldn’t have mattered. I taped the hardware, which could not be removed, in the most ridiculous fashion imaginable. Frustrated, I cursed the stupid box and decided it could wait until I returned from vacation. And now, with the move, I couldn’t just leave the job undone.

Thankfully, Zac is far more capable when it comes to these things. He needed something to do, I needed a hand. We bought a Valspar satin red all purpose can of spray paint at Lowe’s and went to it. You can see the original black paint and my atrocious paint job as we worked on taping the hinges properly.

My dog Scooby really wanted to be part of the project.

Zac commenced to spraying the whole thing down in the time it took me to make supper. It turned a bit more pink than we had thought but I actually liked the color. Then we decided the discolored brass looked off and he suggested painting the hardware black. That meant another trip out for some metal appropriate paint. Once painted, Zac said, “It looks like a pirate chest.” Which reminded me of “Hook” and the boo box. Yep, I am such a ’90s kid.

Now the inside was another story. As you can tell from the stickers, I have had this box since elementary school. The inside paper covering is an odd blue and beige pattern. It was ratty, to say least. We bought black and white patterned contact paper to cover it up. That job is not completed, but it already looks fantastic!

Next up, I’m going to make the trunk into a bench by attaching a cushion to the top. When I get my own place, I’m thinking it will be a living room fixture. I love that it still looks vintage but has a modern flair.

DIY: Jeans to Denim Vest

Due to move number two of 2012, I haven’t been as up to date on the blogging as I would like. This move is much less complicated than an overseas one in terms of logistics. But you certainly realize how much stuff you have when you pack up after only six months. Which brings me to today’s DIY.


I have been wanting a nice denim vest for a while now. I wear vests and blazers quite a bit; it can honestly make an outfit look together on those days when you certainly aren’t. However, the cheapskate that I am just couldn’t wrap her head around paying so much for a vest. Then I remembered that I already had extra denim in the form of old jeans that don’t fit and leftover material from my brother’s cutoffs. Using the cutoff castaways first, I decided to make a vest by hand. I couldn’t find a tutorial online so I decided to just wing it.


The first thing I did was cut the material along the inside seam to open the material up.


Then I sewed the two pieces together. 



And that’s when I stopped using the camera. I hemmed the top of the material, and sewed the lefthand panel to the back and the same on the right. Using another vest, I cut out an armhole on one side, then matched up the material and cut an identical hole on the other. I hemmed up the armholes and the front, making the front panels into “V” shapes, like a vest. I then put the vest on to ensure that it would fit properly.


Let me tell you, it didn’t. Not because of the way I made the vest but because it was made using male skinny jeans. 




It hit me at a great spot but there was no way that sucker was going to button up. My brother suggested making it more like a corset, adding rivets to the front and lacing it up. I like that idea. Since I have a pair of wide legged jeans that I bought at Old Navy for a few bucks that just don’t look good, I am going to make another vest that will hopefully fit like a glove, er, a vest. But I am really happy that I was able to make this! Come on, it is SO much cheaper and efficient! When I make the next one, I will be certain to photo every step for you all!


DIY: Cross-Stitched “Game of Thrones” Bookmarks

“A Game of Thrones.” The show has it all: swords, dragons, hot men, incest, blood. Hey, it even has zombies (well, kind of). When I moved back from Germany, I was in the midst of my final semester of college and hard at work. Needless to say, I needed some distraction. I had heard about the “Song of Fire and Ice” book series from friends and colleagues for years but never seemed to get around to reading them. One episode into GoT and I was hooked. I bought the five books and forced myself to wait until after my finals were due to read them.

I grew up reading books like “The Lord of the Rings” and “Harry Potter,” very character-driven fantasy books. This series is similar in a few respects. While there are protagonists or point of view characters, you can find yourself rooting for the other characters. I have quite a few favorites in this series like Jon Snow, Catelyn Stark, Littlefinger, Ser Jorah, and, of course, Tyrion. I am excited for House Martell to become part of the television series; I love the family of Dorne!

I found these cross-stitched bookmarks on Black Lupin’s Deviant Art (for Houses Tully, Arryn, Tyrell and Martell click here and for Stark, Lannister, Targaryen, Baratheon and Greyjoy click here) and immediately began work on my Lannister bookmark. I put “A Lannister Always Pays His Debts” on the opposite side, just to make it a little cooler. Then I made the Stark one for my younger sister. When my father started reading the books and mentioned that he thought House Tully was interesting and liked the Blackfish (AKA Ser Brynden, Catelyn’s uncle who will be in the upcoming season), I decided to adapt the existing Tully bookmark to reflect his arms.

I will admit that I could have made these look a bit more finished. If I were making these bookmarks as a gift, I would probably sew them onto a coordinating fabric and attach a ribbon. But since it’s only for me and family members, I got a bit antsy and just had to finish them. These are a great example of modern cross-stitchery. We don’t just make cute little kitties and “Home Sweet Home” signs. Some of the projects I’ve completed have been Rorschach from “The Watchmen,” a “Star Wars” picture, and am currently working on a “X-Men” villains picture. I love cross-stitching and have been doing it since childhood. It’s great for my nerves and always ends up being more fun than any other project!