Thursday, July 24, 2014

Home-made granola...

Home-made Granola

This is a picture of the Home-made Granola that I have fallen in love with.  I've never been much of a fan of any kind of cereal (although I do like oatmeal and cream of wheat in winter). So granola has never even come up when it came to breakfast. Well, a friend of mine had made some and had me try it when I was over at her place. She had originally made it with raisins and found that the dried fruit made the granola less crisp, so she made the one I was tasting with nuts only, no fruit. It was delicious! Such a good roasted nutty taste... and big chunks (for the most part) not pulverized like some you see. 

Anyway, I've made it twice since and think it makes a really good healthy breakfast or snack. So I'm sharing the recipe here. Remember, you can add raisins or dried fruit... but be prepared to lose the crunchiness.

Home-made Granola:

1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
5 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not quick oats and not steel)
2 cups + nuts (I use almonds, macadamia, pecans, and cashews)


1.  Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat to 325. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
2.  Whisk maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in bowl. Whisk in oil until mixture is emulsified - oil is no longer separated.
3.  Fold in oats and nuts and mix until thoroughly covered.
4 . Transfer mixture to prepared baking sheet and spread in thin even layer (3/8 inch).  Using the flat end of a measuring cup, compress oat mixture until very compact (this is important).
5.  Bake until light-medium golden (40 - 45mins) rotating pan once about half way through. 
6.  Remove from oven and cool on wire rack for 1 hour. Break cooled granola into pieces of desired size.

*Granola can be stored in air-tight container* 

As you can see, Julie is always on hand to help me cook... 

Now the next pictures are ones I took after thoroughly cleaning my china cabinet. This gets done 2, possibly 3 times a year. I do the outside shelves more often, but taking down all the crystal on the inside is generally only done before Thanksgiving and Christmas...(when they might be needed) and occasionally in the summer. I don't mind doing it, but just need to set aside the time to spend on it. As you know, sometimes these things need a loving hand... and time to remember how and where that particular piece came into one's possession. It's a literal walk down memory lane.

I have given many pieces away to my daughter and other family members... and will continue to do so... as time goes by. When mom lived with us, we had both her china cabinet as well as mine to deal with. Now we're down to just one.

The cabinet itself is old and was bought in the 70's. It's showing the wear and tear of the years... but it's still a fixture in our house. I always liked crystal and liked letting the kids use it on holidays. Because of this we don't have a lot left... but that's OK. I believe it should be *used* and enjoyed, not hidden away. The china patterns you see are cups/saucers and salad plates that I collected over the years to use for tea or luncheons, showers, etc. I like the eclectic look of using various patterns. The big flat black rock on the bottom left shelf I picked up in Ireland (I really like rocks!). It's one of my favorite things.

This is a picture of the same cabinet after taking everything down, cleaning, and displaying it a bit differently. Nothing is terribly expensive, but each has it's own sentimental value. My mom's china pattern is displayed on the bottom right here. It's a New Orleans pattern... called "Orleans" I believe.

Son and grand daughter dropped by Saturday. She is at the age where climbing is her new adventure. She decided to climb into her grandpa's chair and was very content to play around in it...

And she has discovered the stairs... (I do think a child thinks climbing stairs is the ultimate in fun activities). We tried to put a gate across it, but she stands there shaking the gate until it comes down (she is persistent at 20 months).

Sorry if pictures are a bit blurry as they were taken with my iPhone and she doesn't keep still for very long...


  1. Yum, granola. Straight from my cheap, hippie past.

  2. The granola looks both easy and tasty--the chunks could be passed as cookies.

    1. The chunks actually fall apart pretty easy... but it does make it easier to handle.

  3. The granola does look good. That is something I have never made and must do that. I LOVE CHINA CABINETS...haha! I cannot pass by one without having a peak. There is so much history and love inside these glass doors and every one is so unique. I used to love my mom's cabinet and remember changing things up all the time 'til I drove her nuts. Now I do it with my own. I, too, had a kitchen partner today. Sierra loves to watch me bake. Hugs, Deb

    1. They are fun and full of memories. When I'm at my daughter's house (she has 4 china cabinets), I go through, clean, and straighten them for her. She works full time and never has time... and many of my own and my mother's things are now hers. Deb, I think we share the joy of these memory keepers.

  4. I would love cleaning your china cabinet with you to hear the memories behind your collection. Your granddaughter is at such an adorable age...the granola sounds good but i am to lazy to make it :)

    1. Thanks, Dee. We all have stories behind the little things we collect... little treasure troves of memories that don't mean anything to anyone else but ourselves - unless they mean something to a family member *because* they meant something to us...

  5. I love that you let your cat on the counter and even provide a towel for her, my mother was horrified that we did but now our cats are too old to get up there.

    1. Yes, well... we do keep them off the counter during company dinners... but it's a losing battle on a daily basis and one that's not worth the effort. I clean and disinfect the counters daily (sometimes more so), and put up a quilted cover for them to lie on... and never put food directly on the counter. It's all part of sharing your home with cats.

  6. Your granola recipe sounds very like the one I use for flapjacks, which we eat for snacks. I don't make them often because they are quite high in sugar and fat and we're both watching our weight, but the flavour is wonderful. Homemade is so often best. :-)

    As for the china cabinet - well done. I have a lot of sorting and cleaning to do when we get back and I am NOT looking forward to it.


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