Olive Oil Granola with Pistachios & Pumpkin Seeds

I’ve mentioned before why it makes sense to make homemade granola – it’s fresh, tastes really good, and is missing preservatives, extra sugar and artificial junk. I’ll add that it costs so much less to make a batch of your own than buying those fancy little bags of granola that can be priced at 10 bucks each, or more.

I’ve had this recipe from Melissa Clark on my hanging-magnetic-refrigerator file for quite a while, and I’ve seen it featured on other website and blogs. I think of it every time one of those fancy bags tempts me to throw it into my shopping basket. I make a mental note to myself to make some when I get home and then…don’t. But since I don’t buy any either, things have been sadly granola-less in my world.

Seems like getting around to making granola, as simple and good as it is, nonetheless becomes one of those tasks that seems to lose priority. Like Swiffing (Swiffering?) up tumbleweeds of dusty dog hair or sorting the accumulated piles of stuff that like to live in the third row of the minivan.

After making a few batches, I see how much it resembles my favorite granola recipe, but I think I like this version even better. Maybe its the olive oil. This stuff is deliciously addictive; salty, sweet and crunchy, and it has a nice chunky texture, my favorite way to eat granola.


Olive Oil Granola with Pistachios & Pumpkin Seeds

Adapted from Melissa Clark


  • 3 cups rolled oats (old-fashioned)
  • 1 1/2 cups raw, shelled pistachios (Trader Joe's is my favorite source for these)
  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup unsweetened dried coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground golden flaxseed (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Heat oven to 300 degrees, with oven racks placed in the middle of the oven.
  2. Put the ingredients in a large bowl in the order listed, then stir very well to mix.
  3. Spread the mixture on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 45 minutes, stirring about every 15 minutes, until the granola looks golden and toasted.
  4. Transfer to a bowl to cool. If you let it cool too much in the pan it tends to harden and stick.
  5. You can mix in dried fruit of your choice - cherries and cranberries are my faves..

Rhubarb Bellini


I usually drink my bubbles straight up, but sometimes it’s fun to play around with the basics. A glass of cold, cold Prosecco is soooo nice at the end of a long day, especially a very warm, humid one.

I had a few rhubarb stalks, not enough to bake with, so I made a puree with some sugar and lemon – perfect for a variation on the classic peachy Bellini.

Unless you’re having a party, you’ll most likely have some leftover rhubarb puree (it makes more than enough for a bottle’s worth of Bellini’s), but it’s delicious on scones, toast or gelato.


Rhubarb Bellini

Serving Size: 8


  • 2 cups rhubarb, chopped (about 2 large stalks)
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Thinly peeled zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • Chilled Prosecco


  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat to a slow bubble and cook until the rhubarb softens to a mushy texture, about 15 minutes.
  2. Puree the rhubarb with an immersion blender, small food processor or by hand with a potato masher until smooth. Refrigerate until cold. Or if you're very thirsty, chill the puree in a bowl of ice water until cold.
  3. Pop open a bottle of cold Prosecco or other sparkling wine. Spoon 1 - 2 tablespoons of the puree into flutes. Pour some Prosecco over, stir to blend and top off with more Prosecco, pouring gradually ( the mixture will bubble madly for a minute).
  4. Salute!

Italian greyhound with rosemary sugar

Gin and Grapefruit with Rosemary

It’s pretty close to a new season, when there’s not much better than lingering with a cocktail at the end of the day, celebrating the return of warm sun and longer days.

It also means that dinner gets cooked and eaten later than usual, but that’s all part of getting into summer mode. I stock up on chilled rosé for summer drinking, but every once in a while I like to start the night (or afternoon. Ahem) off with something a little lighter in alcohol.

A few weeks ago, Molly of Orangette wrote about a pretty salmon-colored drink she liked that included the liqueur Aperol, a brand of Italian bitters very much like Campari.

That drink, a Pamplemousse, is mixed with fresh grapefruit juice and white wine. But it reminded me how refreshing grapefruit juice can be in a cocktail, especially with gin in a warm weather drink, blended into Salty Dogs or Greyhounds.

After a short search around my local liquor stores, I rounded up a bottle of Aperol. As much as I love a simple Campari and soda with lime, Aperol might be even better to my taste. It’s not quite as bitter and has a tiny bit more sweetness and more complex hints of herbal-citrus flavors.

Rosemary Sugar

I made my Italian Greyhound and embellished it a little by rimming the glass with rosemary sugar – easily made in a mini food processor or spice grinder: 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary and 1/4 cup sugar.

Italian Greyhound Cocktail with Rosemary Sugar

I love, love, love this drink! It makes me appreciate gin – a spirit I don’t usually drink- all those herbs, roots and botanicals get along so nicely together and it’s dangerously thirst-quenching.

Italian Greyhound with Rosemary Sugar

Yield: makes one drink


    Rosemary Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 -2 ounces gin (depending on the time of day)
  • 4 ounces freshly squeezed pink or red grapefruit juice
  • Splash Aperol


  1. Combine the rosemary and sugar.
  2. Rub the edge of a glass on a wedge of fresh citrus - grapefruit would be perfect. Put some of the rosemary sugar on a plate and rim the glass.
  3. Fill the glass with crushed ice. Add the gin and juice, and top with a splash or two of Aperol.
  4. Swirl or stir gently - enjoy.