Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Breakfast is my favorite meal...I remember a story my friend S. told me a few years ago. She was trying to sell her apartment in Paris. One day, a woman came in to visit, went straight to the kitchen and said, that she was not interested because "la cuisine n'est pas à l'est" (the kitchen window was not facing East)! We all have our priorities when it comes to an apartment location and layout but I found that her comment was a little bit pretentious (considering the beautiful place it was). Then, I thought about it more and realized that she had a point. How nice is it to be able to enjoy  breakfast, flipping through the pages of the newspaper with the sun shinning through the window? Or best, on a terrasse with a beautiful view of the ocean on a beautiful sunny morning with no kidsLe rêve, non?
Obviously this woman was not working (or not in the morning) to be able to have it as a deal-breaker! For me, I don't even come close to be able to ask myself this question. First of all, our kitchen has no window! Second of all, I don't get to be lazy enjoy my breakfast in the morning. Yes, the newspaper comes to my door (one of the petit plaisir of my American life)... but if I get to read the front page in the morning, it's because I laying flat on my bed because of a bad back! Breakfast these days are all about about getting my kids ready (the older one has to be ready; I have a little more leaway with the younger one)... i.e. making sure they are 1) properly dressed and 2) have had breakfast and 3) brushed teeth (we don't always get to the third one).

As I mentioned on my post for Quiche Lorraine, we don't cook eggs&sausages in the morning... but I have to say that if my children were willing to eat it, I'll cook it. Breakfast is a critical meal for everyone (my husband is the perfect example of someone who can NOT properly function without breakfast) but even more so for children (I'll write another post on breakfast). Feeding breakfast to some children is even more of a challenge because some of them (like my daughter) are not really hungry the minute they get up. My daughter is like me: she needs a good hour to develop an appetite for breakfast.... but since she needs her sleep badly, I try to wake her up as late as possible. As a result, most morning, it's a struggle to make her eat something.
What do my children have? A cup of chocolate milk (milk + chocolate, not chocolate milk out of chocolate milk carton because I can control the amount of sugar chocolate, they get) and well, it depends on their humeur du jour! Most days, they'll have a toast/Swedish cracker with butter and jam. Some other days, they'll have dry cereals with or without milk. I am trying to have them eat a piece of fruit as well but since they eat some during the day, it's not so important for their diet. And because I am also  trying to enjoy a minute of my favorite meal feed myself as I prepare a lunch box/think about the library book/come hair/do the dishes/get myself fully ready (did I mention that my husband, while in the house, is of no help in the morning???), they are trying to eat what I am having too! And because granola is one of my favorite any meal breakfast food, I have started to make my own and they both love it. I love granola (Muesli in French because it came from Germany/Switzerland)... but I have not found one I really like in a supermarket. Or if I did, it was way too expensive for our budget...
Since many people were making their own, I figured that I could try to make my own. The result? A little sunshine in my windowless kitchen... I like it a lot... and so do my husband and children. I am surprised that my husband likes it because this granola is not overly sweet (unlike the commercial brands he loves). It does not have raisins either (which I personally don't like in granola but he does (and can always add some))... but somehow it has become a breakfast favorite. We can serve it with milk or yogurt and with/without fruits, which makes it different every day! So, until the fade goes away, we'll have granola for breakfast. Too bad I just don't have the time to fully-truly enjoy it with a cup of coffee and the newspaper, my kitchen is not facing East, this would be Heaven! Bon Appétit!

(Adapted from David Lebovitz)
- 5 cups (450 gr.) rolled oats
- 3 cups (375 gr) nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, etc.)
- 1 cup (125 gr) sunflower seeds
- 3/4 cup (100 gr) sesame seeds
- 1/3 cup (35gr) flax seeds
-  1/2 cup (120 gr) sugar
- 2 ts cinnamon
- 1 ts ground ginger
- a pinch of ground cardamon
- 1 ts sea salt.
- 2/3 cup (180 gr) unsweetened applesauce
- 100 gr agave syrup
- 80 gr honey
 - 2 Tb vegetable oil (I use walnut oil if I put walnuts in the granola; canola would do fine)

  • Preheat oven to 300F
  • Mix in all the dry ingredients together in a LARGE bowl.
  • In a saucepan, heat up the applesauce, syrup, honey and vegetable oil together until smooth.
  • Pour the syrup onto the dry ingredients and mix well.
  • On a cooking sheet, pour half of the dry ingredients
  • Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden brown
  • Bake the other batch the same way.
My Personal Comments:
  • The Cardamon pinch is subtle but delicious
  • Don't be afraid to really cook it until dark golden brown. That way, you'll toast the sesame seeds and they'll give more flavor to the granola
  • Obviously, you could add dry fruits (raisins, cranberries, etc.)
  • When it comes to nuts, I like to mix almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts.


  1. I love all of the seeds in this granola recipe. And the cardamom. How interesting! I will have to try.

  2. There is nothing like home made granola. it is so fresh and you can put as much of each ingredient as you want in the mix. I recall seeing this over at David's too and thinking it looked great! My kids would probably like it as well.

  3. Castle BunniesJanuary 29, 2010

    Can't wait to try. Sounds so delicious!

  4. This looks so yummy. I've been meaning to try making my own granola. I should stop waiting and just do it!

  5. Dans mon ancien presbytère qui a été construit il y a plus de deux siècles , j'ai la chance(?) d'avoir le soleil le matin quand il fait beau...... Maintenant je vais avoir aussi le plaisir de gouter un nouveau "granola"!

  6. Merci de nous en avoir apporté pour le goüter de l'après-spectacle !
    J'ai adoré et m'empresse de recopier cette recette afin de la refaire chez moi .... De ce côté de South Philly, personne ne fonctionne sans un bon (et copieux) petit déjeuner.

    A bientôt !