oats n' notes

Food & lifestyle from the the granola factory bakery

Category Archives: appetizers

Burrata with Heirloom Tomatoes and Toasted Bread


Prep Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 2-3


  • 1 ball of burrata
  • 1-2 heirloom tomaotes, 4 oz. each
  • 1/4 cup of capers, rinsed.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Finishing Quality Olive Oil
  • Fresh Basil
  • 1 loaf of rosemary-olive oil ciabatta
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice tomatoes, lengthwise in 1/3″ thickness. In a meausuring glass, combine garlic, red pepper flakes, olive oil and microwave for 45 seconds. Let it sit for at least five minutes for the flavors to blend.

Arrange sliced tomatoes on a serving plate. Meanwhile, brush the bread with the olive oil and garlic mixture and toast in oven for 5-10 minutes. After toasted, add the bread to the plate, along with the burrata in a small serving bowl. Drizzle the remaining olive oil and garlic mixture over the tomatoes. Add the capers a few drops of balsamic vinegar, basil, parmesan and crushed maldon sea salt. Serve at room temperature.

Granola Banana Bread Bites with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting


by Dea Castrejon

Growing up, I remember coming home from school and having a snack. It was sort of like a relaxing tradition after a long hard day of elementary pre-algebra and vocabulary testing. However, I was a very particular, okay really, I was a crazy picky child when it came to my snacks. I remember one of the most popular after school snacks was bagel bites. Do you remember these? Or, do these still exist? These snacks were in the frozen food section of the grocery store. They were mini half bagels, topped with red sauce, cheese, and tiny pepperoni bits. You could quickly microwave the bites or throw them in the oven for a short bit.

Yet, as I alluded to before, I was a very odd and picky child. Not only did I really not care for most cheeses growing up, but I absolutely could not, would not, and was utterly repelled by pizza sauce (still am!). Simply put, bagel bites were out of the question in my after school snack options.

This is sort of an odd segway into today’s granola recipe, but after I finished baking these bite size snacks, I simply wished these were around for my after school snack years ago instead of bagel bites. On account of our 30 days of granola, I decided to make granola banana bread bites with a small swirl of honey cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Oh my goodness, these are sooooo good! I have a weakness for banana bread, and the frosting!?! It is my absolute favorite. Maybe it is a good thing I didn’t know how to make these when I was younger!

Granola Banana Bread Bites

*makes 2 cupcake pans/ 24 banana bites

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 ½ cup AP flour

1 cup All Natural Honey Pecan Granola

2 eggs

3 ripe bananas

Honey Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

1 stick of Cream cheese (I use 1/3 fat)

1 stick of unsalted butter, softened

3/4-1 cup powdered sugar (to your sweetness)

1/2 heaping tablespoon cinnamon

2-3 tablespoons of honey

Preheat your oven to 350ºF.  Line cupcake pan or spray with oil.  Next, cream butter and sugar until smooth.  Beat eggs and add them into the butter and sugar mixture.  In a separate bowl, mash bananas and set aside.  And, in one more mixing bowl (you should have 3 now), combine flour and baking soda.  Finally, mix all three bowls of ingredients together.  Add a cup of the Bethlehem Inn All Natural Honey Pecan granola and fold in.

IMG_2828 IMG_2831 IMG_2832


Once mixed entirely, scoop a spoonful of the mixture into the cupcake pan until it is halfway full.  Repeat until you have run out of batter.  Place the pans in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

IMG_2835 IMG_2836

While the banana bites are baking, let’s prepare the cream cheese frosting.

Begin by whipping together the cream cheese and the butter.  Add the remainder of the ingredients and hand mix until creamy and smooth.  That’s it!  Put it in the refrigerator until the bites have cooled from the oven.

Once the banana bites are baked, allow them to cool for about 15 minutes.  To dress, use a small frosting tip starting in the center of the bite and swirl in a circle until you get to the outside.  Or, you can simply take a knife and smooth over a dollop of the frosting…your choice!

IMG_2843 IMG_2845 IMG_2844

So, whether these granola banana bites are a new after school snack for your picky kids (like me), or an adult coffee break snack, or even the perfect small bites for a ladies luncheon/brunch, I promise that you will not be disappointed in this treat.  They are so delicious!
IMG_2856 IMG_2857 IMG_2863 IMG_2861

Crostini with Crumbled Bacon Granola Topping




by Dea Castrejon

We had the pleasure of cooking tapas with a new friend of ours from Madrid, Spain. Fiona Redondo, one of my husband’s coworkers, is temporarily living here in Bethlehem for a six-month work stint.  During this time, we have been fortunate enough to meet up on a few occasions, where we have learned more about her, as well as the Spanish culture.

On our most recent visit, Fiona explained that “tapas en Madrid” is a very popular practice among the public on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, especially in the summertime. For anyone who is unfamiliar, tapas are appetizers, snacks or small plates of food in Spanish cuisine. These “tiny meals” are usually enjoyed with a company of friends over some sort of beer or wine. Fiona also explained that the serpentine streets of Madrid are heavily spotted with tapas bars, each known for certain specialties, and all are invariably packed with people for this weekly tradition.

So in honor of our wonderful new friend, and of course the utility of granola, we will be uniting a little bit of Spain with the taste of The Granola Factory.

Fiona and I put together a beautiful tapas plate: crunchy toast with fresh mozzarella, arugula, sliced peaches, and a crumbled, crispy mixture of bacon and honey pecan granola. The final touch to our plate was a drizzle of honey balsamic vinegar reduction. This is easily one of the prettiest pieces I have ever made, and I can attest, the taste matches the eye-appeal!

I am so excited to share this recipe with you!

Crunchy Toast with Crumbled Granola Topping

*Makes 24 crunchy toasts

1 sourdough baguette

7 pieces of bacon

1 cup Organic Honey Pecan Granola

1 ball of fresh mozzarella cheese

2 cups arugula

1 or 2 peaches, sliced

1 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoon of honey

Preheat your oven to 400ºF. Place the bacon on a foil lined baking sheet and cook for 8 minutes. Drain any grease, flip the bacon, and cook for another 8 minutes, or until crunchy. Set on stovetop to cool. Once cool, chop up bacon into small pieces (like “bacon bits”), and mix in with a bowl of granola. Set aside until you assemble your tapas.

While bacon is still cooking, you can gather and prepare the rest of your tapas ingredients. Slice peaches and fresh mozzarella. Set aside. Next, grab a small frying pan to start the honey balsamic reduction. Turn stovetop to medium high heat and pour in balsamic vinegar. Let this bubble up a little bit, stirring the vinegar every so often. As the vinegar starts to thicken (about 5-7 minutes), add honey. Not only does this help thicken the reduction more quickly, but the sweeter taste will certainly complement this dish.

Line another baking sheet with foil and cut baguette into ½ inch slices. Lay out the pieces of bread on the sheet and place in oven. Because the oven is sitting at such a high temperature, these pieces of bread will only take a couple of minutes to become crunchy (about 3-5).

Remove bread slices from oven and immediately start to assemble. Start with a piece of crunchy toast. Add a slice of mozzarella, a couple of arugula leaves, and a slice of peach. Top toast with a spoonful of the granola bacon mixture, and to end, drizzle about ½ tablespoon of reduction on each crunchy toast. Plate two pieces for each tapas dish. How pretty is that!


IMG_2126 Apparently, the rule in Madrid is that you order one tapas and move on, but after tasting these bad boys, I think we will take another round of vino and tapas!

Enjoy! Or, as they would say in Madrid, “¡Buen provecho!”

Warm Brie With Pine Nuts, Olives and Golden Raisins



This recipe is great for entertaining. The olive-raisin relish can be prepared ahead, and the dish can be heated and served easily, allowing you to enjoy your guests at the party!


  • 1/2 cup chopped homemade or store-bough roasted red peppers
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons chopped oil-cured olives
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 1 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces mild brie
  • Garnish: fresh oregano


  1. Mix together peppers, pine nuts, olives, raisins, oregano and oil. Let stand for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, let cheese stand at room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake cheese in an ovenproof serving dish until just starting to melt around the edges, 5 to 7 minutes. Top with relish. Garnish with oregano and serve immediately.

Recipe Adapted From Martha Stewart Living, June 2010

Salmon and Dill Ceviche




Prep: 20 minutes | Inactive Time: 3 hours. | Yield: 6 servings


  • 1 lb. skinless fresh salmon fillet.
  • 1/2 lb. smoked salmon, thickly sliced
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (3 limes)
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh dill
  • 3 tablespoons drained capers
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 box  crackers

Cut the fresh salmon and smoked salmon in 1/4-inch dice. Place the salmon in a mixing bowl and add the lime juice, shallots, olive oil, dill, capers, two mustards, salt and pepper. Mix well, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a 3 hours for the salmon to marinate.

When ready to serve, dish salmon mixture into a serving bowl and garnish with dill. Serve with crackers and lemon slices.

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten