Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Homemade Granola

My daughter loves granola and eats it with fruit and yogurt every morning. A couple of weeks ago my husband suggested I try making it. He thought I would enjoy the challenge and the savings! However the bonus for me was knowing exactly what went into something my family eats every day. I love to play around with recipes so I found one I liked and got started. Whenever I adjust recipes I usually only change one thing at a time. So for the first run on this recipe I substituted the vegetable oil with coconut oil. I have completely eliminated vegetable oil from our diet so it was an obvious choice. This is the adapted recipe after one try, my changes in red:

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown


  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 3/4 cup shredded sweet coconut
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil -- substituted with 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar. In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil and salt. Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color. -- baked for an extra 20 minutes to ahcieve a deeper color & crunch

Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add raisins and mix until evenly distributed.

We really liked it but found it a bit sweet so here are some planned changes for future batches:

- switch out the maple syrup with agave nectar. This
link talks about using agave nectar in recipes.
- decrease the brown sugar
- substitute shredded coconut with unsweetened variety

What I just described is the process I use to adapt a recipe to our tastes. I believe in feeding my family as well as possible and one way I achieve this is by making the things we like as healthy as possible without compromising the flavor.

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you'll try this recipe, let me know what you think!

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

BlogHer Book Club: The Rules of Inheritance

The Rules of Inheritance is Claire Bidwell Smith's journey through grief. This book could have not arrived at a better time for me as the first anniversary of my mother's passing away is just two months away. At times the book's rawness was too much for me and I had to put it down, but then I would pick it up again and devour several chapters at a time staying up past my bedtime. She is honest and does not hide her feelings. Anyone that knows anything about grieving will tell you sometimes the feelings are downright scary. There are two moments in this book when I can relate to the extent that I feel like she is telling my story.

At the end of Chapter 7 Bridwell has a realization that took my breath away. She says "Nothing is every going to bring either one of them back" (pg. 161) As I put the book down I asked myself why this one line had made me so sad and I realized minutes later that it was because I hadn't come to that conclusion yet in my own grief process.

My biggest fear is something that Bridwell realizes during a therapy session. It's that everything will stop. She notices that she stopped doing a lot of things and I know that for one I have lost some of my crafty mojo since last May. It takes an immense amount of energy to just do something when I have a constant dull pain inside of me. I could have written this line “It was like, without my mother, I couldn’t possible go on” (pg. 250).

I will recommend this book to anyone that is grieving or has at some point in their lives. Nothing makes one feel better than knowing that they are not alone. It’s nice to have ones feelings validated and that’s what I feel this book did for me. I have a long way to go in my grieving process but I think this book helped me take two steps forward. And for that I will always be thankful Claire. Thank you from the bottom of my broken heart.

Please join me at the BlogHer Book Club page HERE for more discussions about this book.

This was a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentine's Cookies

These cookies are not only beautiful, they are also delicious! The recipe I used explains that they are copies of the soft cookies found in grocery stores. I think they are much better than those!

They are soft, buttery and the icing adds the right amount of sweetness. Find the recipe from Annie's Eats: here. Please make these soon, I know you'll love them!
And lastly a peak at our crafts from this afternoon. My daughter and I made a mailbox to hold all her valentines. It is due tomorrow and she told me it was her favorite homework for Kindergarten, much more fun the math! Ha! I think she takes after her mommy, crafts over math always! We also worked on the valentines she will hand out in school. As you can see she is still obsessed with owls, they read "I'll owl-ways be your friend!" They were easy for her to make and she had fun! Inspiration can be found here: Mailbox & Owl Valentines.

Thank you so much for stopping by and may you have a wonderful Valentines Day!

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