i am not exactly what you would call an earthy-crunchy gal. but i do love me some granola. i can eat it by the fist-full. okay, closer to giant bowl-full. it is the perfect little snack on the go. i like it dry, right out of a baggie, mixed with yogurt, sprinkled on oatmeal, baked into cookies, formed into bars, or covered in coconut milk. yum. i am especially in the mood for granola this week since we are doing a lot of outdoor activities and i need to keep healthy and tasty snacks handy. this preggo lady needs to eat.
my favorite store-bought brands are kind healthy grains vanilla blueberry clusters with flaxseed and bakery on main apple raisin walnut granola. really, you can’t go wrong with any of the varieties from either of these brands. so good and flavorful and healthy and crunchy and yummy. and, gluten-free. these are my go-to bags of granola. but sometimes, a girl just wants it homemade. when the mood strikes, i will whip up a batch of some crunchy granola at home. here is how i like to create crunchy granola using some of my favorite ingredients that i can easily swap out depending on my mood. throw in whatever you like!
6 cups rolled oats [amaranth, millet, quinoa are nice additions too]
2 cups mixed nuts and seeds: sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds or cashews
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup finely diced crystallized ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (i like a lot more)
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 tablespoons melted butter
celtic sea salt
1/2 to 1 cup honey, maple syrup, or molasses
1 cup dried unsweetened shredded coconut, optional
1 cup of dried fruit, i like a mix of cherries and blueberries
preheat oven to 350 degrees. in a bowl, combine oats, nuts and seeds, coconut, cinnamon, vanilla, butter, and sweetener. place on a sheet pan and put in oven. bake for 30 minutes or a little longer, stirring occasionally. mixture should brown evenly; the browner it gets without burning, the crunchier the granola will be. remove pan from oven and stir in dried fruit and ginger. sprinkle with salt to taste. cool on a rack, stirring once in a while until granola reaches room temperature. transfer to a sealed container and store in refrigerator.
munch and crunch away!
hubby and i thought it would be nice to kick off the anniversary celebration early [like four'ish days early] by enjoying a mid-week date night.
where to? citizen public house, but of course.
when it was too hard to choose between the yummy beverages, our waiter treated my man to a free beverage tasting to help him make the final choice. this is a great place + kilt lifter fondue. THE BEST EVER + deep sea red crab cakes with smoked red pepper aioli & celery root slaw + MY FAVORITE DISH. EVER. chicken & waffles: buttermilk-marinated fried chicken, oat waffles, almond butter, blue clover honey. plus…gluten free! bonus + THE YUMMIEST OF DESSERTS. donuts & coffee: bourbon glazed donut bread pudding, vanilla sauce, cafe au lait ice cream, topped with brown sugar streusel
after we were fat and happy, took a little drive over to the artsy-fartsy movie theater to watch moonrise kingdom.
by the way, that is one delightful little movie. fabulous acting. lovely scenery. interesting music. quirky and funny and lovely to watch. wes anderson. well done, sir.
well hello there, new week! hubby and i just wrapped up and amazing weekend. and my weekend even started a few hours early which was lovely.
we were busy-busy but managed to find time to eat a lot of food and spend time with friends and family. just what a weekend should be [minus the 105 degree weather, of course. ick]. here are many, many snaps from our time together.
the happy face of a lady who took off early on friday to meet mom for lunch and fabric shopping + my gigantic salad piled high with crunchy lettuce, radishes, cabbage, cauliflower, and a few croutons for good measure + date night with hubby at windsor + the cute little papers they give you for your chewed gum. genius + my handsome man + our plate [yes, we shared! pat on the back for us] of the porkwich and a side of ooey-gooey mac and cheese + some really tasty yogurt from our new favorite fro-yo joint, yogurtology + look at him! so cute! + breakfast of eggs, apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon, and a gluten-free bagel with “everything” toppings + during the summer, our buddies love ice cubes. charlie likes to bob in his bowl and collect all of the ice cubes that he can fit into his mouth. then, he makes his own little private reserve which he guards fiercely + heading out for a few hours with friends at the scottsdale culinary festival’s great american picnic [yes. outdoors. bad call on the first 100 degree plus day of the year] + rustin hanging with miss marley who was a trooper in that heat + relaxing on the lawn while enjoying some grub + that would be ben’s “don’t even think about touching my pastrami sandwich” face + trying to catch a breeze and not melt + a sunday morning strings concert. AMAZING. thank you hubby for sharing your gift with others and glorifying your God + a little post-church lunch at z tejas with the family + chatting and sipping ice water and tea to stay cool + capping off the weekend with a date at benihana [i have been really wanting some teppanyaki...i am blaming it on that little baby of ours] + onion soup + incredible chicken fried rice + the chef masterfully creating our scrumptious food + taking in the final moments of the weekend…together.
is there anything better?
now, while hubby and i do enjoy some tasty morning grub on the weekends, our weekday morning routine usually consists of some quick eggs, grapefruit, smoothies, or granola. something healthy that i can quickly pull together while i am still trying to pull myself together at 5:30 in the morning. [hurray for working when the market works!] this usually means that the more elaborate meals have to be saved for saturday morning…or, dinnertime!
there is something comforting about coming home from a long day at work and having the ol’ olfactory greeted by the aroma of bacon. this week, we cooked up some turkey bacon and piled it high on top of a crispy fried egg. then, we covered it in sharp cheddar and let it melt until it became one smother-y pile of goodness in the pan. once the meat and eggs and cheese were steaming hot, super crispy, and extra oozey…the tasty concoction was delicately placed between a freshly toasted [and buttered] gluten-free bagel.
oh. my. what a heavenly little sandwich.
a warm welcome to a new week! hubby and i had a simply splendid weekend together. here are a few little snaps…
waiting for the baroque concert to begin + my handsome and remarkably talented hubby leading those strings while the youth soloists are featured + a post-concert splurge at jalapeño inferno + we split some queso and mini chimis…it really hit the spot as our evening snack + my current obsession in a cup…32oz iced decaf americano from coffee bean and tea leaf. big coffee flavor in a huge cup with heaps of tiny ice cubes. i can already tell that this will be my go-to summer beverage. it was lovely to sip on our 80-something days…and will be even more refreshing when it is 120 outside [eek] + weekend breakfast snapshots…harissa eggs with gluten-free bagels [a guilt free indulgence] and savory sweet potato hash + charlie’s adorable face…he likes to sit as close to me as possible + driving around town on a warm spring day, just me and my man