Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Homemade Granola

Are you ready for another homemade granola recipe?

 I've been going through my pantry, using up all the goods I have in there and found some coconut from Christmas that I bought for cookies and put to the side and forgot. I thought it would be fun to make some granola with it.  My husband always buys these boxes of granola to put on his yogurt every night (the granola, not the boxes) that are around 6 bucks a pop so I thought in the spirit of using up stuff, I would make him some granola and save a few dollars at the end of the week.

This year I've made a bit of a plan for myself to save some money.  I wonder how much money I flush down the drain every month in unused product. I tend to have a habit of buying food with good intentions and forgetting I have it and forget to make what I've planned for it. I'm also a poor planner, but that's another story. I'm just like my mother when I see something new at the grocery store, I like to try it. I used to attend a bible study that I would share my new bakes and cakes but I've since stopped going, I have no where to share my baking. Baking is a lot of fun for me but since it's just the three of us, my waistline is protesting and my freezer is overflowing. Annnnnd, I digress.

Anyway, back to granola.

I made this this morning and I'm pretty pleased with it. It got a little dark but it's still yummy tasting and pretty healthy too!

Set your oven to 375 F
You'll need two sheet pans since this makes a lot and spray them with non stick spray
In a large bowl combine
4 cups Old Fashioned Oats (not the instant)
2 cups sweetened coconut
2 cups chopped up almonds
1 cup chopped up walnuts
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 cup vegetable oil ( I used Smart Balance Veg. oil.)
1/2 cup honey

Mix this all together well and spread out on both sheets.
Bake for around 20 to 25 minutes stirring it around frequently. Watch it! It turns brown pretty quickly and can burn on the edges. I learned that the hard way.
Take it out to cool when it looks nice and toasty brown. When you stir it it'll feel soft but the granola will get crunchy as it sits and cools. After it cools, store it in an airtight container.
It's really good and not too sweet. Great to put on yogurt or even a salad for some extra crunch. I love crunch.

 Did I tell you that's one of my most favorite words? I love to say it.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year New Goals

It's 2014.
I'm still a bit shocked as time seems to fly by so quickly. Last year just flew! I remember when my son was just a baby and thinking that the day when he's a teenager is so far away and I wanted to remember those moments forever because I know it's gone in a blink of an eye. Now, here I am and that time has flown and he's 13. My baby is almost as tall as me. *sad face*
2013 was a hard year for me. In fact the last couple years have been hard. Lots of ups and downs. Poor family relationships, illnesses, uncertainty, parenting and spiritual struggles to name a few.  I've been reading my favorite blogs and I'm a little jealous that  most of them, the year 2013, was one of the best years of their lives. I know that 2014 will be a good year. That's one of my goals for this year and I'm planning on it. To work on positive experiences dominating my life, even when it's hard as I tend to get swallowed up by the negative at times. I found a guy on Instagram and his profile said...."Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it."  That really stuck with me. I'm wanting to start seeing the beauty that I've missed in the midst of my circumstances. Need to open up my eye balls.
Do you make New Years resolutions? I never do because they last all of 24 hours and then I feel like a schmuck for even trying to make them and then not keep them. I do like to make goals. Goals allow a little bit of wiggle room and lets just say the word...failure. A goal to me is like climbing a really steep mountain side. You can do it, it just takes a little time and conditioning of your body. You have to keep plugging away. I don't ever feel like a failure when I've made goals. I tend to be a goal oriented person anyway so it works for me. New Year Goals are better statements in my world and here are a few goals I've set for myself for this next year:

1) Blog more.
I originally began a blog to document crafts I've done and make some cyber friends. The blogging world was a perfect place for me. I could make friends but still stay my loner self. Sounded good but didn't work that way. The blogging world is a hard one to break into,at least I found it that way. I've met some really nice people and I've met some not so nice. Some who are out for the business and some for the love of the craft and people. You can usually tell who's in it to make a business and who really love the people who come to their blog and want to share what they know.  I wanted to fit in so badly I'm ashamed to say I've changed the name a thousand times (ok. not that many, but a lot) Started. Stopped. Started again. Stopped again. Got really intimidated. Stopped. Started. Got afraid I was going to offend people or make people mad and I would stop. I don't feel I'm a very good writer and I actually think I write like a 9 year old. Also, my interests would wax an wane. The blogging world is HUGELY intimidating and unless you have something someone wants or you're hugely controversial, nobody is interested in what you have to say.

  I started it to meet people since I tend to be a very private person. I don't share my personal life with many and trying to share on a public blog scared the bejeezus out of me. So I was really outright boring keeping myself to myself. Plus, I was always afraid of offending someone. . In this next year I'm wanting to be more transparent. Stop protecting myself so much and let people in. I'm terrified of rejection and loss so anything that puts me at risk for those two emotions I avoid. Like the plague. I'm wanting to get past that and be better. I think if you know better you do better. I want to be a better mother, wife, friend, human being. Adding more transparency is a good thing. Believe it or not, in this public arena, I feel it's safer than face to face. It's a good start. I hope it'll bring some healing but I think it will definitely be therapeutic. The big lesson here though is...I need to blog for myself. I do it for myself and to give an outlet to my creativity. It's not about anyone else. It's my space even though it's in a public domain. If I meet others along the way. Cool.

2) Read more.
Geez I love to read. LOVE it. But guilt always raises it's ugly head and I don't read as much as I would like to. Growing up, I always had to hide when I read. Mom, always felt I needed to get other things done than sit around reading. Which is ironic because she's was an avid reader. I always thought she felt guilty not being busy and if she saw me reading when that's what she wanted to be doing, she didn't like it. I need to kill that guilt beast. I'm nearly 47 years old! I can read if I want to, anytime I want to. Oh I remember  recess times at school. I spent the whole time in the school library, sniffing books and perusing the isles. I still love to do that. Yes, I shall read more.

3) Get outside more
I love to garden and go to the beach. I love to walk and hike on trails and be outside. Yeah, but don't take me camping. Eh. Don't like to camp. Give me bed and a potty indoors and you can take me anywhere. Which is another thing I'm wanting more of. Checking out this beautiful state. So many place to see and things to do. I've lived her nearly my whole life and I've yet to see most of it.

4) Make more memories and take more pictures.
 I feel as I get older I have less and less memories of things I did a month ago, a week ago...pft...a day ago, than I used to. I've fallen into a boring, predictable life, which I'm not complaining but predictable and boring doesn't leave you with a lot of lasting memories. Especially with my son and I've got to change that. I like boring and predictable cause...well...it's predictable and for a control freak like me, it works. But I'm pretty tired of it and now since I"m "middle aged" and can see the end of my life a lot clearer than before. It's time to start living. Agree? Yeah...

5) Craft and sew a lot more...
This brings me a lot of pleasure but circumstances and guilt have robbed me of this time as well. Guilt seems to be a bit of a problem for me. Yeah...that's going to change. Stupid Guilt monster.

6) Figure out my spiritual life
What the heck am I doing in this arena. I have no. idea. I've purchased a book called "Chasing God" that I'm pretty excited to read. It's about stopping. Stopping the chase. Let ya know how I like it.

Well, here are a few goals set for 2014 and beyond.
What goals have you set?  Do you set goals? Anything outlandish or scary? Let me know. ;0)