I know it’s been a while since we really had a chance to bond. I’m sorry. It’s me, not you. My free time is spent with the gym or the couch. I’m starting to think my brain shuts off at a certain time of the night, making it virtually impossible to even think of something to say to you, let alone the lack of baking/cooking I’ve been doing.
I even totally forgot to post pictures from Easter! My sister did a fabulous job of setting up, cooking, baking, and entertaining. She made these individual parfaits with homemade granola that were out of this world. It’s now my go-to for granola.
You’d be disappointed if I told you what I had for lunch during the work week. I haven’t had my infamous arugula salad in weeks now. I drink far too much coffee throughout the day, I’ve had a huge craving to make classic chocolate chip cookies, and I think about sushi 24/7.
Oh, by the way, I turned 21 in January. Not 35, not 87. 21. The BIG 2 1. How come I act like an 87 year old sometimes? And how come I feel like I have the problems of a 35 year old? My car died yesterday (RIP Jeep Liberty, we had some prettty great memories together). I guess my mother is sick of hearing about my problems and actually gave me some really great words-of-wisdom: “You are 21, and it’s better to have to deal with problems now, than later, because they just get bigger and more expensive.” After that, we had dinner and wine.
Well put mama. So here I am. It’s after midnight on Wednesday and I am going to hold my head high. I will lease myself a new whip and realize that life ain’t that bad.
No one likes a Debbie Downer, right? They’re just no fun. Heck, why can’t we all just smile and get along? Well, QGFE, I’ll tell you why. No one is perfect. Me? No where near. But it’s little life lessons that help you learn and prepare for the next impact.
You’ll be one year old in a little over two weeks. What a year this has been! Starting a blog, running half marathons, turning 21, a trip to Vegas, two internships, a broken car. It’s been one hell of an unexpected year. Life is bumpy and sometimes takes you where you never thought you’d be. But in the end, just know that you can end each and every day roaming around the never ending world of food blogs. Haha, just kidding. That only cures 99% of problems. For the other 1%, wine will definitely do the trick!
Phew, I feel a lot better. Glad we talked, QFGE. Until next time…
Easy Homemade Granola Adapted from “Baked: New Frontiers in Baking” by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
2 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
scant 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup golden raisins (optional)
1/3 cup dried cherries (optional)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, toss the oats with the cinnamon and salt. In a medium bowl, stir together the oil, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla. Whisk until completely combined.
Pour the honey mixture over the oats mixture and use your hands to combine them: Gather up some of the mixture in each hand and make a fist. Repeat until all of the oats are coated with the honey mixture.
Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread it out evenly, but leave a few clumps here and there for texture. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and use a metal spatula to lift and flip the granola. Sprinkle the almonds over the granola and return the baking sheet to the oven.
Bake for 5 minutes, then remove from the oven and use a metal spatula to lift and flip the granola. Sprinkle the walnuts over the granola and return the baking sheet to the oven.
Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven. Let cool completely. If using, sprinkle the raisins and cherries over the granola, and use your hands to transfer it to an airtight container.