Once again, it seems as though I’ve fallen behind in just about every area of my life. Well, perhaps not the laundry, but that would be the only thing.
There are seeds still to be planted in the garden, and weeds still to remove. There is no surface in our home that would pass a ‘white-glove’ test, or even a ‘brown-glove’ test! The dust layer has gotten thick enough to plow, and until yesterday, there was hardly anything to eat in the house. The pantry was so bare it could have become a spare room, as grocery-shopping had been more of a ‘fly-over’ on my way home from work. Actually, it was getting to be sort of a game to see if I could put together a decent meal without even going to the store.
The office work has been stacking up (I’m currently working out of piles instead of files) and cooking, baking, writing and taking pictures for my little blog have not even made the ‘to-do’ list. Nary a cake nor cookie has emerged from this kitchen, except for this sweet little ‘cupcake dress’. This was for a bridal shower for my friend Jennifer’s daughter. And because Jennifer is not a total flake with a camera (ahem … that would be me), there is actually a picture of it, which she has been gracious enough to share with me so that I can share it with you. Thanks Jennifer!
There has been time away for another bridal shower and wedding–a lot of time really, since it was our daughter Mary’s wedding–and then there’s that whole ‘work-for-a-living’ thing. Add in a couple of priority projects (more fencing for the sheep, completion of the garden fence, and demolition of my disintegrating greenhouse) and everything else just skidded to a halt.
(And if I’m being totally transparent, there was–and still is–basketball. First there was March Madness, then the NBA play-offs, and now the finals. Basketball is important stuff here people, really! In fact, I’m thinking about learning to love the WNBA this summer, because those women are crazy-good athletes!)
But today is a slower sort of day. Work is calming down for the summer, and it is raining. I did some combat shopping yesterday (five hours and five stores worth with another hour of putting it all away), so today my friends, is a good day to get caught up with some baking and writing–and maybe even a few photos! Today is a Granola and Oatmeal Cookie kind of day. Actually, it was bill paying day too, but after excavating through the piles on my desk, they’re all done for the month. Now I can do something fun, like baking.
I’m taking today to restock a few things for the week–vinaigrette for the nightly salad, cookies for the husband’s lunchbox, and Granola just because.
Just because I love it.
Because it’s the perfect added little crunch to a bowl of fresh fruit and yogurt. Because it’s a handy and portable afternoon snack (just add a few more nuts and some dried fruit–or chocolate chips).
Because the tiniest ramekin full of granola with a little milk poured over is a comforting and satisfying bed-time snack.
I could go on, but really, home-made granola tastes better and is cheaper and more nutritious than anything you can buy in the store–chocolate chips not withstanding. There are an infinite number of variations of ingredients, so you can change things around to suit your tastes and needs.
I’ve been trying out some different granola recipes lately, but my current favorite is a riff on this one from Julie at Lovely Little Kitchen . I’m really liking hers at the moment because of the short baking time, the ground nuts, and the lovely flavor that using coconut oil adds. (Her blog is pretty great too–I love reading her even if I’m not trying out her recipes!) You can find her original recipe here or try my version, which is a little less sweet (my preference for most things not dessert).
Cookies and Granola … not such a terrible way to spend a rainy day after all !
I hope today has found you with a bit of something to enjoy~
Thanks for reading, and please comment if you think this is something you might like to try, or even if you have no intention of trying it. Maybe you HATE granola! (Hopefully you love cupcakes…) Your comments are what make this whole bloggy thing work!
Quick Coconut~Almond Granola
(adapted from a recipe by Lovely Little Kitchen)
1 cup almonds, divided in half
3 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar (or 1/3 cup for sweeter granola; using the lesser amount of sugar will also result in a slightly less crunchy texture)
1/3 cup honey ( rice or maple syrup will work too)
3 Tblsp coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a food processor, pulse 1/2 cup of the almonds until they are very finely chopped.
- Coarsely chop the other1/2 cup of the almonds.
- Place the almonds, along with the oats, coconut, salt, cinnamon and brown sugar into a large bowl, and combine them thoroughly.
- Put the honey and coconut oil into a small microwave-safe bowl, and heat for a few seconds to melt the oil. Stir, dissolving the coconut oil into the honey, and then add the vanilla and almond extract.
- Pour the honey mixture over the oats, stirring to combine them until the oat mixture is well coated.
- Spread the granola mixture evenly onto a large, parchment lined baking sheet. Use one with sides so you don’t lose any of those lovely grains onto the oven floor.
- Bake the granola for 5 minutes, and then stir it around. Return it to the oven for 5 more minutes.
- You can pour the granola in a thin layer onto a piece of wax paper to let it cool, or leave it (as I do) to cool on the baking sheet.
- When it cools completely, you can break the granola into clusters and store in an airtight container or bag.