Today I woke up and met Brent for a quick Starbucks run with the puppies before he had to run off to work. The day really started off absolutely amazing. It was so relaxing to just sit out and people watch for a while sipping on an Iced Americana. Brent went off to work and I headed home thinking I was going to grab a book and head out to the park in Winter Park and just read a book and get some puppy training in for Oreo. Well, just as I walked in the door my sister shot me this picture,
YES!!!! Taylor Swift and my sisters! Standing in a picture….together! Not exactly what I was expecting when the morning started…My sisters had gone to church this morning and spotted her with her new beau, one of the Kennedy’s, and asked her for a picture. Absolutely jealous.
After I got over the excitement (I literally felt like I somehow was there and got all nervous and excited) I grabbed my book and headed out to the park to read for a while. I found a bench around the fountain and parked myself there thinking a few people might walk by that could help Oreo get over her fear of people.
Oreo was doing fairly good. Children were running past and she’d bark every once in a while. Then, a little three year old boy came by with his father and grandfather and sat on a bench across the fountain from us. As soon as he noticed the Oreo he came running over just to be greeted by Oreo lunging from under the bench right at the boy barking like mad. The poor thing turned right around and ran right back to his father. Munched another french fry and decided to give it another try. This time he walked over tentatively and sat on the bench next to me. He would chat with me, finish his fry, and run back to get another one, then plop back onto the bench next to me.
Oreo got used to the little boy and ended up wanting to play with him. THEN, she noticed his french fry. He obviously didn’t want to give it up so Oreo decided to go on a barking rampage at the poor thing. Naughty. A florida afternoon storm rolled in and we went back to the house.
With the rain beaming down, I decided to make something! Obviously. I have been wanting to make my own granola for a while now and just hadn’t gotten around to doing it. I had been told by a man at the local farmer’s market that once you make your own granola, you will never go back to the store bought stuff. FACT. I will never buy store bought granola ever again. This was just so much better. So this is how I ended up making my granola:
5 Cups Old Fashioned Oats 1/2 Cup Sliced Almonds
1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts 1/4 Cup Chopped Pecans
1/3 Cup Sunflower Seeds 1/3 Cup Flaxseed Meal
3/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon 3/4 Teaspoon Salt
3/4 Cup Agave Nectar 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine oats, all the nuts, flaxseed, seeds, salt and cinnamon.
2. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil and Agave Nectar until it is a thick consistency.
3. Now pour the liquid mixture to the dry mix.
4. Take 2 cookie sheets that have edges to them, and spread out the oat mix among the two. You want to have a thin layer coating the pan.
5. Cook the granola in the oven for 20 minutes. Take the pan out and flip the granola. You want to move the oats that are on the outside of the pan to the inside and visa versa. Then put the pan back in the oven for another ten minutes.
The granola should look a golden brown throughout. Once the granola cools you will get the crunchy texture that you would expect. The batch that I just made came out amazing! I don’t think I will ever buy granola again. It takes not time to make and you can play with the flavors as much as you want.
Add your dried fruit to it once it has completely cooled. Options:
Fruit: Raisins, cranberries, cherries, currants, figs, pineapple, figs, apricots…and the list goes on.
I know the list of ingredients looks a bit longer than normal, but if you don’t have something there is no need to go out an buy it. Substitute it for something else. I made a short little list of some substitutes for ingredients to play with:
Nuts: Almonds, Walnuts, Pecans, Pistachios
Seeds: Sunflower Seeds, Pepitas
Flaxseed: Wheat Germ
Sweetener: Agave Nectar, Honey, Molasses
Mix the recipe up to be whatever you like. Granola is great for that. I am just bottling up the granola as is and not adding any fruits because I am planning on adding in the dried fruit when I prepare the actual meal. That way I can mix up the fruit as I go as well!
Give this one a try if you like granola. It makes enough that you won’t have to make it very often and it keeps really well. It will also end up costing you less that buying the store bought granola. I’m sold.
You want to store this in something air tight. I am using a glass jar because I store everything in glass jars. I find that they have a cleaner look and make the foods on the inside look more appetizing. They are also extremely air tight so foods stay fresher longer.
For a print friendly copy, click here…Printable Recipe
Enjoy your granola! And let me know what combos you come up with!