Time for a post I've been sitting on for awhile! You see, a few weeks ago the Farm's Book Publishing Company sent me a bundle of dessert books to review. One of those was Sweet Utopia by Sharon Valencik, a beautiful full-color tome of mouth-watering dessert recipes. I immediately decided on making the Utopia Granola as Xmas gifts for all my friends. So of course, I couldn't post about how delicious this stuff was until all the gifts were handed out.
I made a couple of variations — Cranberry Pecan Utopia Granola:
And Coconut Almond Utopia Granola (with raisins):
Valencik's granola recipe provides a list of base ingredients (like oats and sugar, of course) and suggests quite a few add-ins, like nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. I love pick-and-choose recipes like this! In a weird way, the freedom to choose my granola add-ins reminds of those Choose Your Own Adventure books from the 80s (anyone remember those?). Your choice influences the final outcome.
And lemme tell ya, the final outcome for both of these granolas was scrumptious. I made two giant batches and bagged them up into nine cute holiday treat bags. The friends who received granola were pretty excited, and all attested that it was delicious. Of course, I also saved a bit for myself, and I believe this is way better than any storebought granola I've tried. It was absolutely delectable topped with a little unsweetened soymilk for breakfast.
So far, I've only tried this recipe, but the gorgeous full-color photos of EVERY dessert have me craving more. Next on the list: Sticky Toffee Pudding (see Voracious Vegan's post for tasty-lookin' pics), Coconut-Almond Cheesecake Pie, Carrot Cake Cookies with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting, and Chocolate Sausage (I know that sounds weird, but it's just a cute name for something that doesn't involve any real or faux sausage ... just raisins, rum, chocolate, nuts, and graham crackers).
I'm not sure I'll be making any more sweets until February though. I'm starting the Adventure Cleanse Tune-Up on January 1st (details to come). So no sugar for almost a month ... but after that, it's on.
Oh, and some of ya'll requested that I post pictures of the punk rock prom dress that my best friend Sheridan made me for Xmas. I have one picture, but my eyes are closed. However, I know Sheridan took one too, so I'll post hers when she sends it to me. Promise.