Monday, January 17, 2011

Home Made Granola

It's delicious.  That's all you need to know.

I made this recipe to give out to friends and family for the holidays.  I thought it would be a nice supplement to the home made Kahlua I made that had been aging since August in my cabinets.

The recipe is painfully easy, but requires some patience on baking time.

It also requires some patience from your boyfriend when you tell him he can't have any.

Luckily John is a very patient man.   :o)

.... who was later rewarded with his own stash of granola. 


3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups old-fashioned oats
2 cups pecans, chopped
1 1/2 cups large unsweetened coconut flakes

I skipped the coconut flakes and instead opted for dried cranberries and bing cherries.  I also used thick cut oats which worked fabulously.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Whisk together maple syrup, sugar, oil, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
Add oats, pecans, and coconut, and toss well to coat.
Spread granola mixture on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.
Bake, stirring every 20 minutes, until golden brown, 50 to 55 minutes.
Let cool completely on sheet.

Recipe taken from Martha Stewart Living, November 2010.


Store in airtight container for up to a week.  I mean, really, two weeks will be just as fine.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow Day!

Yesterday the skies in Columbia, SC dropped 4" of snow.  I spent an opening shift at Panera playing in the snow, snapping pictures, and gossiping with customers who were brave enough to drive in a grab some of our hot coffee.  It was wonderfully magical and beautiful!


I my have spent some time drawing the Mother Bread logo...

I had such a bonding experience with my staff, those that showed up.

I also had my first experience of living in a place where it snows.  This doesn't happen in Florida.  And driving in it, and having to scrape it off my car, and slipping in it, and how it changes the landscape into something much more beautiful...

More from this later, I promise! We'll see how driving tomorrow on all of the melted snow/ice goes...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Beachy Florida Christmas

Ah, routine.  I almost forgot what that was like.

I owe you all pictures from my Christmas Spectacular of North Florida.  I'm still catching up on sleep from the holidays it seems, but seeing family and friends made it worth all the driving.

Sometimes seeing the ocean and big wide expanses of water brings me back in touch with the whole picture.

Did I mention I like the ocean?

And right now I am really appreciating oratorio arias.  (Think opera, but religious, and not staged, and beautiful!)  In particular: Renée Fleming's Sacred Songs Album and Kiri Te Kanawa's Ave Maria Album.  Divine! 

For some perspective, listen to this. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Catch up and restart!

I know, I know. It's been forever.  But this should soothe your wounds for now:

Arlington Marina in Jacksonville, FL

At first I didn't like the gray, overcast weather that kept colors from popping.  Then I learned to step back and appreciate the silvery quality that attracted me.  Perhaps a lesson to be learned... another time.