Los Angeles, 2010, Granola


I fall in love with Los Angeles a little more each time I visit. This time we were lucky enough to have some really amazing meals. Many of them were at Bryan’s parents’ house—his mom is a wonderful cook and his dad an excellent sommelier. I came home with great family recipes (and some excellent wine) which I will undoubtedly be sharing with all of you as the year progresses. But we also managed to get out for dinner. Rustic Canyon Wine Bar in Santa Monica blew my mind early in the trip. The meal was pretty close to perfect and included a beet salad that may be the best salad I have ever eaten in my life. The pear tart and cinnamon sugar donuts were equally exceptional. I also really loved Church & State in downtown Los Angeles, which some friends recommended. Really outstanding bistro cooking and such a charming atmosphere. If I lived in Los Angeles I would be a regular at both places. If you live in Los Angeles—go!


We returned to Chicago in time to ring in the new year. This year we did it quietly, at home. It remains exciting that it is our home. I can’t believe it is 2010. It sounds like a year out of a science fiction movie. I thought some homemade granola would be a good start to this new decade and so I whipped up a batch of my new favorite granola.

I have tried plenty of granola and granola recipes in my day, but nothing has ever topped this one. Brooklyn’s Early Bird Granola was kind enough to share their recipe for the perfect granola with the internet and now we can make it at home whenever we like. The recipe produces the same granola you can pick up at Brooklyn Flea! Outstanding! It is the breakfast of 2010!

Feel free to play around with this recipe to suit your taste. I happen to like it a little salty, but you might like it sweeter. As written, it is a pretty perfect blend of sweet and salty. Choose your olive oil and maple syrup wisely, make sure you enjoy the taste of them.


I hope that it is an excellent year for all of you. Lets resolve to take what we eat more seriously! to cook more! to have friends and family over as often as possible! and to better appreciate these crazy lives of ours.

I’m looking forward to another year of fun!

Granola (adapted from Early Bird Granola)

  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, hulled
  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds, hulled
  • 1 cup coconut chips
  • 1 1/2 cup raw pecans, very coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup, preferably Grade A
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 300°F.
Place oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, pecans, syrup, olive oil, sugar, and salt in a large bowl and mix until well combined. Spread granola mixture in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Transfer to oven and bake, stirring every 10 minutes, until granola is toasted, about 45-55 minutes. It should be nice and golden brown.
Remove granola from oven and season with additional salt, if desired. Let cool completely before serving or storing in an airtight container for up to 1 month.


22 comments to “Los Angeles, 2010, Granola”

  1. Where does one find coconut chips? This looks fab.

  2. Hey Beth! Our local grocery store has them. Whole Foods has them. Look around, you’ll find them pretty easily in San Francisco. If you’re not in an urban area you can order them online…

  3. Mmm, Mmm! I’ve been planning to try a new granola recipe and this looks fantastic. :-) Happy New Year!

  4. Yes, we need be more serious in our food, health is so important.
    I love the last image , it is very beautiful.

  5. Sivan Harlap says:

    January 2nd, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Happy New Year Tim! Best wishes to you and Brian in 2010! The granola looks fab!

  6. Best wishes for the coming year. I’ve really enjoyed following your blog so far.
    And thanks for the amazing granola recipe!

  7. I’m terribly excited to try this granola out this week. I’m glad I found your blog, it’s gorgeous and wonderful.

  8. This looks like a granola recipe for me as I have an aversion to dried fruit and it doesn’t (thankfully) have any. I’m an Angeleno and glad you enjoyed your visit here. It’s a special place with great food. Rustic Canyon is one of my favorite places. Still have to try Church & State. Happy New Year.

  9. Thanks for all of the warm wishes, everyone!

    Charles, I think maybe I don’t like dried fruit either. At least not in granola. I think you’ll like this one, I can’t stop eating it! And get yourself to Church & State! They have a fixed price thing on Sunday evenings that seems particularly lovely.

  10. Tim, my man – can you enlighten on why the maple syrup should preferably be Grade A? I’d always heard that Grade B is actually better. But maybe not when cooked? 2010 is full of so many questions. How will we ever answer them all? (Note: You don’t have to answer that last question. But you can if you want to.)

  11. Hi Davey, we won’t answer all of them.
    Grade B usually is better because it is more flavorful and often you’d want a strong maple flavor. In this case, I am guessing they didn’t. I didn’t. The milder syrup works better because it doesn’t give the granola a strong maple flavor just a nice maple-y sweetness. These are all guesses because I was lazy and didn’t experiment with this one. But the granola is real good- make it! (even if you use B)

  12. Karin's Mom says:

    January 4th, 2010 at 3:30 am

    Okay, Tim, don’t fail me now. Aaron is dating a new girl who is lactose-intolerant and gluten-free. I need some help with finding recipes that taste good but fit the requirements. I could really use a good cookbook on this topic. Downstate illinois doesn’t do gluten -free and lactose-intolerant.

  13. that’s wonderful — and i share your love of LA — i’m off there myself over the long weekend in January and i cannot wait. Next time you’re there, do a Sunday supper at Lucques — it’s a magical experience.

  14. Happy New Year, Tim! While you were visiting the West coast, I was on the East (NYC) for my sister’s wedding. Although it’s tough sometimes to have our family so spread out around the U.S., it’s also kind of a nice excuse to visit different cities now and again. Just love homemade granola – and this one looks great. Thanks!

    @Karin’s Mom – You are so thoughtful to make the effort to cook/bake things that your son’s (?) girlfriend can eat. Check out the Gluten-Free Girl’s website. She has a cookbook out, too. My husband and I are both lactose intolerant, and I’ve found that you can substitute soy milk, soy cheese, etc. into many traditional recipes with great success. Good luck!

  15. Thanks, Dawn- that is helpful! I was sort of at a loss for suggestions, but Gluten-Free Girl is perfect. And I completely agree that having people to visit is a nice excuse for travel!

  16. This recipe looks awesome. I am on a mission for more interesting breakfast in my house. This, along with some of the awesome farm yogurt from Gene’s Sausage Shop (been there yet? Come scout it out and visit us!) looks like JUST what I need.

  17. Great combination of ingredients — love those pumpkin seeds, they’re health power houses!
    Happy 2010 to you!

  18. I love granola, especially with olive oil and maple syrup. Any suggestions on a good, reasonably priced maple syrup?

  19. Mmm it looks just delicious. I can’t seem to find a good granola in New Zealand, so I’ll definitely be making this.

  20. Because I am perpetually late to all great parties, I have only just discovered your site! Duh. Love everything about it! Plus, I am originally from Chicago, and lived in Los Angeles for five years (working for Joe Miller of Church and State, no less!), so I was all over your last few posts! Will be back to visit often. Lovely work!

  21. Great post! Growing up, my mum used to visit the health food store and make a fresh batch of Granola each weekend. I’d always have it with Goat’s milk. My love of Granola was recently re-ignited by a hotel that offered a delicious custom blend that was served with plain organic yoghurt. I’ll definately try this recipe and I think I’ll add dried cherries :) Thanks!

  22. Loved loved loved this granola!

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