Wednesday, March 31, 2010

easy homemade granola!!!

If you have walked down the cereal isle of the grocery store, you shouldn't be surprised at how expensive yummy granola is. So while reading my April 2010 copy of Real Simple they had a recipe for making it. So I did! It took about 2 minutes to prep, and only 25 minutes to cook.

Here we go...
  • 4 Cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick cooking)
  • 1 Cup sliced almonds

  • 1/2 Cup shredded coconut (I didn't have any, I guess I'll have to make more this week w/coconut)

  • 1/4 pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 Cup pure maple syrup

  • 2 TBS canola oil

  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt

  • 1 Cup dried fruit (cherries, cranberries, raisins,blueberries)

Heat oven to 350. On rimmed baking sheet, toss the oats, almonds, coconut, pumpkin seeds with the maple syrup, oil, and salt.

Bake, tossing once (oops, I did... like 5 times-ha, and it still worked) until golden and crisp, 25-30 minutes.

Add the dried fruit and toss to combine. Let cool.

Granola will keep in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 3 weeks. Put in mason jar with a cute label... I'm thinking great gift idea for any holiday, birthday, teachers gift, etc.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

chalkboard paint addiction!

I really think I have a chalkboard paint fetish, I've discussed this before, its addicting! I believe you can now buy it in any color now... the possibilities are endless what I can make! I have been using the same $7 can now for over a year, it goes a long way. Anyways, I made signs for the luncheon I had yesterday to state what I was serving.

Super easy to make while watching your favorite TV program. I bought small wood plaques, you really could use any flat surface. I painted the edges white.

I then added the black chalkboard paint and added a stain/glaze around the edges to give it an antique look.

Time for more parties!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Staff Luncheon

My husband attends a staff lunch every Tuesday, so suggested that we have it at our home. What a joy! He works with such amazing people and I was honored to have them at our home. I love to entertain... cooking, decorating, etc. It gives me a great excuse to make things also... I made a burlap tablecloth and runner and added my little white material roses (that I didn't know what to do with). I also made little signs that let the guests know what they were eating. It was fun, looking forward to the next one!

table centerpieces

The dessert table... yum!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Art of Bread Making

My friend Tara from church is the ultimate,master bread-maker. One Sunday before church, she had baked homemade bread for a lunch potluck. Really??? Really!!!! I have a hard time getting ready for church on time, without baking bread. Anyways, if you were the last one in the potluck line, you missed out! I had decided that Jesus must not have served bread like Tara's when he fed the 5000, with 5 loaves, and 12 baskets came back full... because if I was there, my big thigh's would have ran up and ate the left overs in the baskets. Know that I am kidding... we all should know that Jesus is the #1 Bread maker and I know when He serves bread, it is the best for the body and spirit.

Anyways, after everyone was raving on about the bread, Tara decided to offer classes on how to make bread. Well, I attended her second class this month. I had the privilege of learning Whole Wheat Carrot Bread, Soft Pretzels, Oatmeal Bread, and No Knead Bread.

this is Tara... look at what she taught us to make!

Teaching how to knead bread

This is sweet Sarah... she is AMAZING in the kitchen!

I finally know what dough is suppose to feel like!

Adorable Beth! She is so fun.

OH MY.... homemade soft Pretzels!

Fun, fun, fun! I learned how to use the candy thermometer correctly, that you should wash dishes that have flour on them with cold water (not hot), and don't put all the flour in the bowl at once to mix!

It was a great day of fellowship. I'm really excited (my family too) to make bread at home now... my hips are screaming...."Don't do it"

Friday, March 5, 2010

For the love of a tractor and a good man!

I'm so grateful for my dear husband and his love of tractors. The many years we have lived at our home, I do have the cleanest field in the neighborhood! Really...I'm not bragging Jones family!

I often fail to thank my man for always making our home so nice, for making that dirt look like chocolate frosting! So thank you, thank you. Dear husband, I promise not to nag the next time you want to buy another tractor. Remind me of this blog,,, remind me how happy I am when the weeds disappear in the spring, remind me how incredibly hot you are when you drive your tractor (I'm talking your good looks, not the sweat on your brow)!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ole Faithful...artichokes!

I really get excited each spring when I see that those artichokes have been faithful...again! Here is the real kicker. I never planted them from seed, store bought plant, etc. They were brought over from a leaf of someones plant. I shoved it in the ground, and it grew, and grew, and grew. They continues to put a smile on my face and I get big happy artichokes, these plants have grown for about 7 years. Too bad I don't know how to cook an artichoke right! Sometimes I let them overgrow until they turn into a big purple flower. Then ALL the bee's in California come visit them, then I give up ownership and can only view from a distance. At this point, they become poisonous to eat... but are beautiful. I'm so surprised they last through our cold winter.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Easter Garland

Relevant, Garlands, a Chart and a Giveaway!

Monica at The homespun heart is making garland to earn money for a conference. Visit her blog and place an order today, only $10. Great hostess gift for Easter!