Friday, February 15, 2013
Back in December, I got a parking ticket. I've gotten a lot of parking tickets in my time, most of them warranted, but this time I was actually in the right. Or at least, I was mostly in the right.
First a little background. A couple of months ago, Pittsburgh instituted the use of these very annoying parking kiosks. I hate these things. You have the input your license plate number and I can never remember mine. It's also been cold, and standing out in the wind and snow any longer than is absolutely essential is not something I want to do. But, because Ted gets very testy about parking tickets (You know Nadine, by not putting $.50 in the meter, you cost us $25), I feel fiscally obligated to pay the kiosk, regardless of how unpleasant the weather makes it.
Now here's what happened. I transposed two numbers from my license plate -- and it was clear that's what I did -- and the mean, nasty cop gave me a ticket. Come On. I was standing right there as he wrote the ticket and showed him my mistake. As he was writing the ticket, he actually looked gleeful. The big, giant gotcha.
Well, anyone who knows me knows that I am not a gotcha kind of gal, and I decided to haul myself down to the Pittsburgh Parking Court and plead my case. Not surprisingly, when I presented my very compelling case to the judge, she threw out my ticket.
Justice prevails. Gotcha Mr. Meter Maid.
This recipe has absolutely nothing to do with parking tickets or the parking justice system. It just so happens that I made them when I got home. They're celebratory -- that is, if granola bars can be celebratory.
Recipe: Cranberry Almond Granola Bars
Loosely adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, by Deb Perelman
1 cup dried cranberries
1-1/4 cups rolled oats
3 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
1/3 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup thinly sliced almonds
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 tsp. freshly grated orange zest
1/4 tsp. almond extract
Preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8×8 baking dish in one direction with parchment paper, allowing the paper to go up the opposing side. Repeat in the opposite direction (this makes it easy to remove the bars from the pan in one piece).
In a large bowl, stir together the dates, oats, flour, wheat germ, almonds, salt, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond butter, olive oil, honey, orange zest, and almond extract until smooth. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, stirring together until the dry ingredients are evenly coated. Spread the batter in the prepared pan, pressing the mixture firmly into the bottom, edges, and corners.
Bake the bars for 20-25 minutes, until they’re brown around the edges. They’ll still seem a bit soft if you press the center (they will set as they cool).
Place the pan over a cooling rack, or in the fridge. If cooling at room temp, you can remove the bars from the pan after about 20-30 minutes, using the pachment “sling” and set them on the rack to cool completely. Once completley cooled, use a serrated knife to cut the bars into squares. (If the bars seem too crumbly to cut, chill them further in the fridge, and then cut them cold.)
Bars can be stored in an airtight container, in the fridge, or frozen.