Cooking challenge breakfast results: Megan makes a granola parfait, her husband writes a song

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Screen Shot 2014-06-09 at 2.04.49 PMHey Homies, I know I said that I would post the results the day after I made all my foods, but… I recorded myself making today’s breakfast — the granola parfait — and I thought you’d want to see how poorly my first day is going.

So far there’s been THREE trips to the grocery store, TWO hours to make a parfait, and ONE variation on a theme of “Only You” sung by that guy I married about my cooking skills…

WARNING: There are swear words in this video… it is after all a video of Megan attempting to do something in the kitchen. Oh, and if you have trouble hearing me through my mumbling, I’ve made captions via closed captioning on the YouTubes.

Now I’m off to make the summer salad, which you’ll hear all about tomorrow!

Comments on Cooking challenge breakfast results: Megan makes a granola parfait, her husband writes a song

  1. Megan – make sure to put a piece of bread in with the brown sugar so it doesn’t harden. If it’s managed to harden since this video was made, stick it in the microwave to “defrost” and then stick the bread in.

      • I’ve heard sticking a marshmallow in with brown sugar does the same thing. But only JetPuf marshmallows (that’s a joke). But figured maybe using a marshmallow would be less decision making than bread…ammirite?

        • I’ve never heard that, but given the consistency and the science behind it, it would probably work! Basically you want something to generate moisture. Apple slices also work; they even sell little brown clay thingies specifically for this purpose. Just a slice of store bought sandwich bread will do. If you have a glass jar or something to keep the brown sugar in, do that; if not, just rip the bread in half and stick it in the bag and make sure to seal it up really well.

      • Any kind of bread that isn’t stale already. Maybe something with a mild flavor, I’m not sure how rye brown sugar would taste down the line o.O

      • I keep mine in a tightly sealed container at room temperature (no need for bread if it’s well sealed). I hadn’t heard of freezing. Do you think it makes a difference?

  2. Yes, thank you for sharing. And not even five minutes before watching this I asked myself “Does lemon juice go bad?” so I giggled at the vanilla part. Also I love that your bigger dog was like “Do I want granola? Well since you asked….”

  3. Lols, Meghan. This video was awesome.

    I’m sure you gave yourself lots of “for future reference” -type tips when you were doing this. However, when I first learned to sew things – a process that many people find comically easy but I find profanity-inducing, if oddly satisfying – there were a few things that helped me out immensely.

    1. I always, even if I think they are stupid/intuitive/as obscure as a Pyramid Text/whatever, read the entire directions (in your case, recipe) out loud before I begin. Somehow hearing the steps in my own voice helps give me a better sense of guidance so I’m not completely emotionally derailed when I accidently sew a pocket closed at step 17.

    2. Similarly, I lay out, cut and prepare all my fabric and notions before I start sewing – in cooking land, that would translate to laying out all the ingredients and doing all chopping before I began to cook. In fancy cooking land, prepping all your ingredients is referred to as assembling your mise en place – it means you can just focus on getting things in the pan or the oven without having to stop and do other steps. I always try to prepare mise en place when I cook. Not only does this save multiple trips to the pantry, which annoy me, but it lets me see right away if there are essential ingredients I am missing.

    3. I clean up as I go. This is largely because my main deterrent is not effort but mess – I will remember a project as easier and more satisfying if I don’t have a prolonged period of clean-up afterward.

    4. If I have something that is pretty close, I go for it. In the case of your granola, substituting the white sugar for the brown would have lost you some complexity of flavor, but probably not irreparably damaged the recipe. If you were doing some fancy-ass Escoffier shit, then the slightly different absorbency levels of brown and white sugar might have been an issue, but you were basically just sweetening the oats. Similarly, small amounts of light olive oil generally work fine in recipes that call for vegetable oil. If the recipe has a lot of oil, or if you only have extra virgin, you might notice an olivey taste. Also, it gets expensive to use extra virgin for cooking.

    5. I give myself permission to be good enough. Not settle for mediocrity, not quit because perfection is impossible. Just to be good.

    Looking forward to the next installment!

    • Yes read all the instructions before you start cooking. Eventually with practice this is how you tell a “good” recipe from a “bad” recipe.
      And the fancy term for laying out all the ingredients before you start cooking: mis en place (as mentioned above). It’s French for “put everything in place”.

      • Yes, yes, yes. I’ve found recipes online that on the surface seemed tasty, but after reading I noticed they left out where to add ingredients, mentioned an ingredient in the instructions that wasn’t on the ingredient list, didn’t have oven temperatures, etc. I’m picky about recipes.
        Also, in regards to using white sugar instead of brown sugar, you can add a bit of molasses if you use white sugar to get the same flavor profile as brown sugar.
        Also, I love mise en place. I bought prep bowls just so I can mise en place the shit out of things I’m cooking.

  4. First off, you are sooooo adorkable! ♡ Totally loved watching this video.

    Also, it might help ya relax more in the kitchen by playing music in the background. Personally I blast 90s rock and dance/sing around while cooking. It looks beyond silly but it keeps me calm and mellow while cooking.

  5. “How do you measure 1/4 tsp?!?”
    That was the best.

    I made this recipe this morning. I made some deviations. I didn’t “layer” it in a glass — I just mixed everything in a bowl. And I didn’t add more honey because the granola was sweet enough for me. And I skipped the mint because I don’t like mint that way. Ok so …basically I made my own yogurt parfait recipe but with this recipe’s granola. LOL!

    Oh except I didn’t have canola oil either. I just used olive oil. I do this all the time btw and I find the “olive” taste cooks out. I’ve even done it for cakes.

    I was really pleased with how the granola turned out. I was munching it all day today. I may never buy granola again.

  6. Megan, I absolutely adore you. I’m a fairly decent cook, but some of that even resonates for me… “Is this clean? Eh, it’s clean enough…”

    I totally agree with everyone that says to get all your ingredients together before you start cooking. I’ll add to that that with the ingredients you should also gather any supplies you need (cookie sheets, bowls, pots, pans, measuring spoons/cups. You were asking about 1/4 teaspoon. They make measuring spoons in all different sizes. I LOVE having multiple sets of measuring spoons and cups so if one is dirty it doesn’t prevent me from continuing to cook whatever I want. I have a set like this that has every measuring spoon or cup you could every possibly need.

    Or you could get something like this that’s multipurpose and you resize depending on how much you’re measuring: KitchenArt Pro Adjust-A-Teaspoon (they also have this one in a resizeable tablespoon… all your measuring spoon needs in only 2 spoons!)

    Happy Cooking!

    • Ooooh, that first set is magical. My only problem with buying intricate cooking paraphernalia is that I cook this intensely once every 2 years (apparently). So for most of the time, they just take up space in my tiny kitchen.

      • You should probably go for the 2nd one then. They make different ones that are adjustable like that. That was just the first one I found on Amazon. However, if you’re intrigued by the 1st, the cups are all entirely stackable and therefore don’t take up too much space… probably 4-5″ diameter circle w/ a handle. Spoons stack up pretty well too and can be kept on the ring so they stay together.

        Also helpful if you’re using fewer spoons: Knowing the conversions:
        3 tsp = 1 Tbsp
        4 Tbsp = 1/4 c.

        Then you don’t need every possible spoon, you can count out however many you need. I will gladly admit that I have counted out 6 tsps of some ingredient because my 1 Tbsp was dirty and I was too lazy to wash it 😉

  7. Here’s a tip about granola: If you make it at a non-breakfast time (like, say, a sunday afternoon when you are marathoning a tv show) then you can cook it for 20 minutes and then just let it cool in the warm, then cooling oven, and it will be crunchy the next morning, and it will last you a week. Then, breakfast doesn’t take two hours — it takes two minutes.

    Also, you can totally use olive oil in place of vegetable oil.

    • Ha. I totally mention that in the post I’m writing tomorrow. Basically Game of Thrones ate into my pre-making granola time. Yeah, I don’t recommend doing ALL that at breakfast time. 😉

  8. I have been there – well I think any cook has been there. Can’t tell you how many times either my husband or I have run out to the store for the other while cooking. Bonus: your SO may also bring you something to help you deal with the stress – like chocolate or wine or some amazing bread that goes perfectly with your dish. Or I have just called it close enough – no sour cream? Greek yogurt subbed in (actually because of this I now use Greek yogurt on my burritos instead of sour cream). It may sound cliche but it really does get easier each time you make the same recipe. Keep up the good work.

    • Hah! Yes, I’ve sent boyfriend out to get things I’ve forgotten. There have been plenty of “OH SHIT, we forgot to get buns!” He’ll go get buns, and this last time brought back some candy for me.

  9. Holy crap you suck at cooking…I’m saying this in the most amused way possible. You’re adorably unskilled. Practice! Also, read the whole recipe before you start making it.

  10. I am disconcerted by how friggin’ gorgeous you are. Your goofy, nerdy, tomboy writing personna (and the funny faces in most of your pictures) did not properly prepare me for how incredible you look in motion. Is that weird? It’s probably weird. But damn.

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