Best.Ever.Granola

I am in love!  My sister in law has been making this home made granola for about a year now.  I asked for it for Christmas this year!! That is how good it is!




Last week, she sent a bag by my husband.  Let’s just say that he made sure it was okay for me to eat while he was on the way home. 🙂  He declared it safe but there wasn’t much left to enjoy.

I decided that if I wanted to eat it in the quantity that I would like (ahem…) and share it with my family that I needed to make my own.

When I make the time, I love to cook.  I get especially excited about making something that is healthy for my family.  I bought most of my ingredients through my azure standard group or Tropical Traditions.  I am really excited about having a breakfast or snack that is filling, yummy, and healthy.

I changed the recipe up just a little because I had a few things that I wanted to add and didn’t have a few things that I needed.  Thus goes life in my kitchen.

Here’s the ingredient list for my version:

3 cups rolled oats

1/2  cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup chipped coconut (coated in butter/wheat germ or flaxseed)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used coconut this time)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins

First, I had to add in a little butter.  I melted two tablespoons and tossed the coconut in it.  I added in 2 tbs of flaxseed (often use wheatgerm) and stirred until it was nice and coated.  (See there was a reason I needed the butter.)IMG_5244

 I browned the coconut in a pan on the stovetop for just a few minutes.

Now, I could have stopped there and eaten it up.  But I persevered.  I added the coconut, slivered almonds, and brown sugar into the oats.  I also decided to throw in 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds.

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The next step was mixing the maple syrup, the oil (I used coconut oil rather than vegetable), and the salt.  I dumped both mixtures together and stirred. (and tasted just to be safe)

Once mixed well, the granola needs to be put onto two baking sheets (with rims) and flattened.  If you can refrain from eating it raw, you should put both pans into a preheated 250 degree oven.  The hardest part of the entire process is remembering to stir it every 15 minutes for the 1 1/4 hours to keep it from burning.  When it is all baked and cooled, add in your raisins or other dried fruit!

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Your efforts will be worth it!  I promise!

 

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Let them eat candy

halloweenimagesSo, it’s Halloween.  It’s pouring rain today so trick or treating was moved to last night for our parish.  The girls dressed as Elsa, Cinderella, and Rapunzel.  Tinkerbell and Ariel waited in the closet but missed out on the fun and weren’t needed for backup.  Everyone fit fine without too many itchies or complaints.




Today, none of the girls wanted breakfast, or lunch, or supper for that matter.  The garbage cans have had a steady supply of candy wrappers so I haven’t worried that this was anything to worry about.   Nobody needed a temp taken or any tummy medicine.  I have refrained from fussing.  I have learned a few things about this ever so hard parenting gig over the years.

The most important one…..it doesn’t last long.  All of the special moments are just that.  They are but a moment, a second, a memory if you can capture them somehow to remind yourself of the event.  Even though I know these things, I press on at a hurried pace through this mere blink.

I was tagged on facebook today by a friend who has a son the same age as Haigan.  She hosted Halloween parties for years for their little group of friends.  She had posted a picture of the group ready to trick or treat from six years ago.  They were tiny….and excited.   I faintly remembered what child might be mine as I looked over the masks and group of characters.  Recognizing his shoes, I spotted my skeleton.  As I sit typing,  this same little boy is off to a party with friends.  He just texted that he was safely there.  Thank you, Lord.
As I rehung costumes today, I saw a tiny jack o lantern suit in the corner.  I have had it for 20 years since Holton wore it for Halloween.  It feels as though I excitedly ordered that twelve month size pumpkin suit yesterday.  But…..he is at his own house tonight.  I’ve tried luring him over with food and sweet tea.  He says he may be able to come by tomorrow.

So…….. Let there be candy for every meal tomorrow.  It really won’t matter at all.

14,600 days

14,600 days….




Wow!  If 40 years didn’t sound like much……..that number has some weight to it!  Thinking of how I’ve spent some of those days gives me reason to pause.

At work last week someone said something negative about getting older.  All that I could say was, “It beats the alternative.”  And it’s true.  There are so many women who never reach 40.  I am so blessed to have lived those 14,600 days.  I’m so thankful to be at this point in my life and to know myself SO well.  Within a few minutes of entering a “less than nice” mood, I can usually whisper a prayer and turn myself around. Thankfully, I have a few friends who are also comfortable enough to tell me to get over it!  I found this quote that I thought summed up this whole age thing pretty well.  “At age 20, we worry about what others think of us. At 40, we don’t care what they think of us. At 60, we discover they haven’t been thinking of us at all.”  – Ann Landers

I think I might be a little ahead because I’ve already realized that people think of me and what I say/don’t say or do/don’t do WAAAYYY less than I do.  I’ve been guilty of going over and over conversations in my head and overanalyzing how they might have been received.  Nine times out of ten, the person I was talking with had moved on about 30 second later.

Looking back, honestly not many specific days stand out.  I remember high school graduation (my 18th birthday) and the anxiety of my future.  That day was so sad and so exciting all at the same time.  How exciting to have your entire adult life ahead of you!   I remember vaguely the joy of holding each baby for the first time, immeasurable joy all swirled together with medications, unexplainable fatigue and a hint of betadine hovering in the air.  I remember the day that I drove to Jackson to meet Henry for the first time.  The five hours that I sat with him and talked flew by like a few seconds.   So that’s six…..hmmmmm.

What did I do with the other 14,594?  I can’t say that I fully lived many of them, as I know all too well that I wasted many of those days on things that didn’t matter at all.  Some were filled with worry and self doubt.  Some were overshadowed by stress, often brought on by my own stupidity.  Some were spent in the valley of self pity or self comparison.  I’m so thankful to say that most recently they are more often than not filled with self confidence and peace.  I am happy with who I am.  That is NOT the same as me saying that I don’t want to be better, because I do.  I have so much improving to do in so many areas and fall short of who I’d like to be most days.  What I do have is a pretty clear vision of who I want to be (when I grow up….ha ha!)  I pray every day that somehow I will be able to make that day count in someone’s life.  I certainly hope I’m investing of my time and my talents in ways that help those around me.  I don’t feel the need to impress people with “who” I am anymore. I believe I have worth and I know it is only because I have a savior who died for me to make it so.  I am confident that my husband loves me and me only. What a blessing! I know that my children know that my intentions are good and that my heart’s desires for them are pure.

So what have I learned?   I have learned that life is a gift.  EVERY.SINGLE.DAY of it!  I’ve learned that parenting was way harder than I could have dreamed possible.  I’ve also learned that its rewards have no end.  I’ve learned that marriage is hard work on a good day but it’s so worth it!  I’ve learned that when I’m doing something I love, I have a limitless supply of energy.  I need to take more time to chase those things that energize me.  That’s a goal for my next 40 years.

I’m so blessed.  So so very blessed.