Pecan Coconut Cherry Granola and A Deliciously Organic Giveaway
*** Per the instructions in this post, the giveaway ended on Sunday night, 01/23/2011.***
It’s not often that I cook from a cookbook from beginning to end. It’s not often that I do it twice. Three times. And it’s not often that a cookbook becomes like the postcard of a very dear friend. Something you read over and over for fun, to learn, because it touched you somehow. That’s how I feel about Carrie’s book, Deliciously Organic. That’s how I feel about Carrie.
A year ago, I had no idea who Carrie Vitt was. I had no idea I would be privileged to bring her recipes, her family and her words to photographs. I had no idea, just a faint and distant skip in my heart, that we would become friends. When work allows you to connect beyond the image, to understand someone’s journey and decisions, you can’t be anything but grateful.
I know, I know. I am biased. Of course I am! Not only was I given a tremendous "first" cookbook to shoot, her first to write, but all the hard work and the hours spent dissecting recipes and looking over hundreds of images really paid off. Huge thanks to IFP, her publisher, for putting the highest quality demands on both of us. And to the amazing crew of people working on it.
We ate well for the two weeks I worked on her book. We ate very well. Carrie came during the shoot and her recipes took on an even greater dimension. We talked about her reasons for going organic and non processed. We discussed and commented. We established a dialogue and an area of mutual quiet respect. Through food. As it should be.
If you are looking for organic, unprocessed, wholesome ingredients, Carrie’s recipes are simply put just pure gourmandise whether you are making Sour Cream and Lemon Pancakes with Blueberry Puree, Grandma’s Crawfish Etouffee, Roasted Red Onion and Pear Salad, or the Pecan Coconut And Cherry Granola and the Tomato Basil Quiche in the pictures here. (click on continue for recipes at the bottom to get the granola recipe.)
If you are puzzled with the what/why/where of going organic, Carrie’s story and subsequent journey and discoveries will provide some pointers and ways to explore. Carrie’s tone is never preachy or condescending. It can’t be. You realize that when you meet her in real life, trust me. So you listen or read. And you learn. And you share.
Of course I want her to do well! I loved photographing this book! I can’t wait to start on her second! I loved the work but first and foremost it’s not everyday that you first cookbook shoot turns out to be one you handle from ingredient shopping to post processing all by yourself and still leave you elated and rubbing your belly for more good food.
Every dish in this book was photographed, then eaten. That chicken on the back cover? Man…it came out hot from the oven, we set it down on my table, photos were taken and we ate it but a big salad simply dressed of lemon juice and olive oil. I have dreams about that chicken. Yep, I planned every work day around a set menu: one breakfast, one entree, two sides, one dessert. Oh yes…
Again. We ate well. Very well.
And we still do. And now you can too! In honor of Carrie’s book release, I have one copy to giveaway to a lucky reader among you! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and a winner will be picked at random on Sunday night 01/23/2011, midnight eastern time. One entry per person, no anonymous please. I will ship anywhere in the world.
Carrie….I am so flipping proud of you! Virtual flowers and Champagne to celebrate!
Notes: I know…where’s the quiche recipe, right? In the book….we can’t give you all that’s inside the book but I urge you to try it as you as you can. That recipe alone will make for better Sunday mornings…trust me!
Pecan, Coconut and Cherry Granola, printed with permission of Carrie Vitt.
Makes about 8 cups
1 cup (185gr) whole cane sugar or sucanat
¾ cup (180ml) organic maple syrup
4 cups (440gr) rolled oats
1 ½ cups (130gr) coconut, unsweetened
1 ½ cups (150gr) dehydrated whole pecans, or pecan halves
1 cup (160gr) dried cherries, lightly chopped
Preheat your oven to 350º and adjust the top rack to the middle of the oven.
Whisk sugar and maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat until almost smooth. Pour the oats, coconut, pecans into a large bowl and then pour the syrup over them. Stir gently until the syrup coats everything. Spread mixture onto a large baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for twenty minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Break into pieces and add the dried cherries. Add dried fruit after you break up the granola into loose bits and large pieces. Sore in an airtight container.