Recipe: My Favorite Granola

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I love granola.  I often eat it for breakfast with yogurt and fruit, pack it for a snack at work, or grab a handful when I am craving something sweet.

Back in March, during spring break, I had some extra time to test some recipes.  I knew as soon as I saw this Honey-Vanilla Granola over at Kitchen Meets Girl that I would love it.

I have made it almost weekly.  It is the perfect combination of everything that I love about granola – slightly sweet, crunchy, and delicious.

My Favorite Granola

My Favorite Granola

Ingredients

2 large egg whites

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup canola oil

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

Whatever mix-ins you prefer - dried fruit, nuts, chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together egg whites, brown sugar, honey, oil and vanilla extract until smooth.
  3. Add oats and stir it all together.
  4. Spread onto your lined baking sheet in an even, thin layer.
  5. Bake for about 10 minutes, rotate pan, and bake for another 10-15 minutes. When the edges start to brown, it is ready.
  6. Remove pan from oven, and place it on a wire rack. Allow to cool for 30 minutes. As it cools, it will become harder, which will result in a crunchier granola.
  7. Once cool, break granola into chunks, and sprinkle in your favorite mix-ins.
http://cookingformykids.com/2013/06/24/recipe-my-favorite-granola/

Very slightly adapted from Kitchen Meets Girl’s Honey-Vanilla Granola.

Happiness Is…

Happiness is FRIDAY!  After a week where we all battled with different allergy/cold issues, I can honestly, sincerely say, “TGIF!”

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Happiness is fall.  It officially arrives tomorrow, and I am beyond excited.  When I saw pumpkins at HEB, I was taking pictures and smiling like a crazy woman.  And, as my dear husband so fondly pointed out, “Is that really any different than any other day.”  I love you for loving my craziness, Sean!

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Happiness is TWO soccer games tomorrow.  I am not so happy about the early 8 AM one, but I am still thrilled that I get to see my oldest baby play in two games.

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Happiness is Mr. Bear.  Summer brought home the class bear on Wednesday, and he made himself at home very quickly.  Ethan had brought him home a few times when he was in Kindergarten, so Mr. Bear knew his way around. Seeing my little girl beaming while she played dress-up, read books, did homework, and had dinner with Mr. Bear just filled my heart with joy.

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Happiness is celebrating birthdays.  Always.  I celebrate them for my littles…and I celebrate them for me, too.

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Happiness is a sweet husband who knows how to help out and pick up the slack now that I am working and attending meetings during the week.  I love that I can find little things done like the bed made, kitchen cleaned, or homework finished because he values what I do both in our home as a wife and mom and outside of our home as a substitute teacher and parent.

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Happiness is teachers.  I have always, always loved them.  And, now that I am in many classrooms each week, the appreciation level that I have for them has gone up about a billion degrees.

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Happiness if granola.  I eat it probably more than I should.  Sometimes I have yogurt and granola for both breakfast and lunch.  It is quick, easy, and healthy.  When I saw Averie Sunshine’s pumpkin granola this week, I just about did a happy dance.  I worked half a day yesterday, and instead of resting like I was supposed to do, I was in the kitchen making this granola.  Was it worth sacrificing a nap?  Absolutely!

Have a happy, happy weekend!

Beauty in the Unexpected – Recipe: No Bake Chewy Granola Bars

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Yesterday life took a very small unexpected turn.  I went to bed Tuesday feeling rotten and woke up Wednesday feeling even worse.  Luckily, I already had a doctor’s appointment scheduled first thing for an unrelated follow-up, so I was able to get started on some medication.  As soon as we returned home, I made Summer an early lunch and got into bed.

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Summer was right beside me every step of the way.  I had a fever, which put me in and out of consciousness.  At one point, Summer surrounded me with about 15 of her stuffed animals because she wanted to tuck me in all nice and cozy.  She also got me water, held my hand, and brought her little DVD player into bed with us so that we could watch movies on it instead of having to get up and down to change out new ones.  Oh, and she even took some pictures….because that is what Momma does.  I had no idea that a sick day could turn into a day with some definite memory-making moments.  But, it did.  Sometimes, many times, there is so much beauty in the unexpected.

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Such was the case when I decided to make the No Bake Chocolate Chip Granola Bars that I found on sweet Lauren’s blog.  As I have mentioned many times, I am always looking for snack and breakfast recipes.  It is a bonus if it can play a dual role.  So, even though we already have a Granola Bar recipe that we love, I knew that, after making The Best Cinnamon Rolls Ever, Lauren’s recipes are the real deal.  The granola bars were a hit.  And, on a day like yesterday when I was partly taken out of commission, it is always nice to have homemade treats on hand for the littles.

No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars

No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars

Ingredients

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup honey

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup peanut butter

2 cups quick cooking oats {not rolled oats!}

1 cup crispy rice cereal

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, stir oats and rice cereal together, and set aside.
  2. In a small cooking pan, melt butter, honey, brown sugar, and peanut butter together over medium high heat until it comes to a bubble.
  3. Reduce the heat and cook 2 more minutes.
  4. Pour in vanilla and stir.
  5. Pour over the cereal/oats mixture, and stir to combine.
  6. Cover a 12x8 or 13x9 pan with parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking spray.
  7. Pour in the oats mixture and press out to be about 3/4 inch in thickness. It is very important to really press the mixture down so that they stick together.
  8. Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips and press down lightly.
  9. Cool to room temperature for at least 2 hours.
  10. Store covered or wrapped in plastic wrap to hold in the freshness.
http://cookingformykids.com/2012/03/29/beauty-in-the-unexpected-recipe-no-bake-chewy-granola-bars/

Enjoy your day…and find the beauty in the unexpected.

I linked up at the following:

Mrs. Fox’s Sweets for Mrs. Fox’s Sweets Party

Polkadots on Parade for Wow Me Wednesday

Sugar and Dots for What I Whipped up Wednesday

Something Swanky for Sweet Treats Thursday