Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bike Rack

D made me a bike rack for my I came out of the womb day. All it took was five 2 x 4's, four hooks, two sawhorse brackets, and one 2 x 10. Oh yeah, some nails as well. He forgot the fifth 2 x 4 to run length wise neat the bottom to act as a brace/wall protector so eventually we will have to take a trip back to a store whose contents and layout mystify me. My brain just cannot wrap itself around Home Depot.

Here are the measurements or ingredients:
Four 2 x 4's cut 83" long
Two 2 x 4's cut 80' long or however long you want the bike rack to be
2 horsesaw brackets
1 1/2 inch nails
2 1/2 inch nails
4 hooks or enough to space them about 18 inches to 22 inches apart.
2 2 x 10s 48 inches long

Directions: Make it look like the above picture...but with one more 2 x 4 nailed across from one end to the other at tire height to prevent the tires from hitting the back wall. Also, you can add smaller hooks to the side beams so you can hang bike locks, tools, tool basket, helmets, etc.

Length of wood may need to be adjusted depending on the angle of the sawhorse brackets. I found this website useful.


This recipe is a modified version of the granola recipe from the Horn of the Moon Cookbook. Good granola. Not too sweet. I experimented for a long time with sweetness and at one point was adding 1/2 cup or more of honey or brown sugar. I quickly realized I liked it less sweet, because you can really taste the toasted oats. Plus dried fruit and coconut shavings add a nice sweetness.

Basic Granola

4 cups Oats (anything but instant oats)
1/2 cup sesame seeds
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 honey (or maple syrup)
1/3 cup sunflower oil
2 tbls. Water
1/4 cup untoasted wheat germ (optional)
1/4 cup untoasted wheat bran (optional)
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup shredded coconut (big flakes the best)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix all ingredients together except for the raisins and coconut. Place on cookie sheet with raised edges. Place in oven. Bake 35 to 40 minutes and stir every five to ten minutes. Usually, I tend to stir it more often as the end of the cooking time nears to avoid burning the oats. Remove from oven. Let cool before breaking it into pieces. Add dried fruit and coconut.

Variations: Lots and lots of variations exist. A few I have tried include:
1. Vanilla granola. Add two teaspoons or a little more of vanilla extract to the oil and water. Stir rapidly and pour over dry ingredients. This will help the vanilla to spread evenly. Also, some people add a vanilla bean to the granola when they store it and this will also impart a vanilla flavor.
2. Ginger and dried peaches granola: Add chopped candied ginger to the granola about 20 minutes before it is done baking. Amount varies depending on taste but a little goes a long way. Add dried peaches instead of raisins.
3. Cranberry granola: substitute cranberries for raisins.

Special note: If you are doubling or tripling the recipe, the cooking time will take a bit longer. The best way to figure out when granola is done is when the oats turn golden and you can smell them baking.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Salad Dressing

This is a recipe for a great basic dressing. I have a soft spot for Annie's Goddess Dressing but sometimes that tahini is too overpowering. Enjoy!

Basic Salad Dressing
1 garlic clove, chopped
4 tbls oil
4 tbls red wine or cider vinegar
1 - 2 tbls yogurt
dash of salt
dash of pepper

Combine ingredients and stir. Store unused dressing in the fridge. Shake well before serving.