Sunday, December 30, 2012

THAT doesn't taste like wild hickory nuts ...,

... at least, I don't think so.  To be honest, I'm not sure I know what wild hickory nuts taste like.  All I know for sure is that I think my granola tastes pretty damn good, and it seems as if a few others agree.

This year for Christmas I made several batches of granola and gave them out to various friends (If you didn't get a jar, don't be shy - I can make more!).  It has gotten some good reviews from folks, as well as a couple of requests for the recipe.

I can't take credit for the recipe - I believe it comes from the good people at Cooks Illustrated -  but I do take a few liberties with the original recipe depending on what I have around.

And with that, here's the recipe ...


  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup packed (2 1/3 ounces) light brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups (10 ounces) raw almonds , chopped coarse
  • 2 cups raisins or other dried fruit, chopped

Original Notes:

  • Chopping the almonds by hand is the first choice for superior texture and crunch. If you prefer not to hand chop, substitute an equal quantity of slivered or sliced almonds. (A food processor does a lousy job of chopping whole nuts evenly.)
  • Use a single type of your favorite dried fruit or a combination.
  • Do not use quick oats.

My Notes:

  • Got sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds (or other seeds you think might taste good)?  Throw some in!  I don't measure, but I guess I usually toss in 1/3 to 1/2 cup of seeds total.
  • In my opinion almonds seem to be the tastiest to use, but if you've got raw walnuts or pecans, it's worth giving them a try to see what you think.
  • I found that the maple syrup/brown sugar/vanilla/salt/oil mixture didn't really coat the oat/nut/seed all that well, so I upped the quantities of the liquid mixture by about another 1/2 (so 1/2 cup each of maple syrup & brown sugar, 3/4 cup of oil, 6 teaspoons of vanilla - I didn't bother increasing the salt).  I'd suggest starting with the original recipe but feel free to experiment.


  1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in large bowl. Whisk in oil. Fold in oats and almonds until thoroughly coated.
  3. Transfer oat mixture to prepared baking sheet and spread across sheet into thin, even layer (about 3/8 inch thick). Using stiff metal spatula, compress oat mixture until very compact. Bake until lightly browned, 40 to 45 minutes, rotating pan once halfway through baking.
  4. Remove granola from oven and cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 1 hour.
  5. Break cooled granola into pieces of desired size. Stir in dried fruit.
  6. (Granola can be stored in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.)
So there you have it - happy eating!

I gotta ask, though - please let me give it out again next year for Christmas, OK?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Singing with Ray Mason

Just weeks after getting a chance to sing with the fabulous Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby at a house party concert in Woods Hole (they asked me to sing some harmony vocals on "Goin' Back" to close the evening's entertainment), I got to sing with another great songwriter & performer, Ray Mason.  My friend Belinda of Bubbles in the Think Tank captured us on video:

If you get a chance to see any of these fabulous performers in concert or buy their albums ... DO IT!

Oh, and please invite me along.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I'm on a brand-new CD! And we're having a Release Party this week!

The Chandler Travis Three-O, a four-person spinoff of the Chandler Travis Philharmonic (I'm sure most of you know that I'm a member of both), have produced our debut CD, "This is What Bears Look Like Underwater", and we are having a release party this Friday (October 12) at Club Passim in Harvard Square (47 Palmer St).  The show starts at 8pm, and it's just us - no opening act.

The show is even available as a live HD video stream for those of you who:
  • live too far from Cambridge to make it
  • aren't crazy enough to drive from the far-flung Isle of Langerhans to get to the show
  • are afraid of Cambridge
You can buy tickets in advance from Club Passim ($15 or $13 if you're a Passim member)
You can even buy your live stream "ticket" from Concert Window ($3 and yes, the band gets a portion of that!)

Of course, we'll have the CD available for sale at the show (we're even doing a deal with Club Passim that if you become a member of Passim that night you get a free copy of the CD as a thank you gift for your membership).   If you want to listen to the album ahead of time or can't make it to the show and want to order it online, check out this preview:

Sure hope to see you there!

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Record About Records!

I am the Associate Producer (ie "Musician Wrangler") on a new project being put together by my friends Belinda & January Fairy over at Bubbles in the Think Tank.  We have started the below Kickstarter campaign to try and raise the funds for the project.

The Petite Seven Inch Record - it's a record about records, featuring tracks from some of our favorite musicians: Chandler Travis, Paulette, Ray Mason, and David Greenberger, with some additional musicians soon to be announced once we have all the i's crossed and t's dotted.

I sure hope you'll watch the video, read the pitch, and decide to help us finance the project.  We have until the end of January to raise the funds.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012