Round Up Post

Hi Y’all!

It’s been a really long time since I posted to this blog. If you look at my last blog post, you can see I didn’t carry out that resolution very well.

I’ve got a good excuse, I promise. I’ve been in graduate school. I’m ready to graduate this May, wahoo! I promise you haven’t missed much. You see, while I’ve been in school I haven’t had much time at all to cook. And when I have had time to cook, all I’ve been able to do is take a hasty iPhone photo of it.

I stopped blogging quite a while ago when my got life so busy I could barely keep clean underwear in my house. That’s the best way I can think to describe going to graduate school. It’s like someone hits the fast forward button on your life so you barely have time to do your laundry or vacuum behind the refrigerator, but simultaneously it feels like someone else hit the pause button because it is the looooongest couple years of your life. I had someone say to me a few weeks ago: “Well it was your choice to go back to school!” I’m not saying I didn’t sign up for it. I definitely did. But there is no way I truly understood what I was getting myself into before I was already knee deep in it.

It bums me out big time that I haven’t had much time to do is to cook like I used too. It’s one of the best forms of stress relief for me. But it was the thing that had to give. M started a new job last year that requires him to travel four days out of the week, so most days I’m fending for myself anyway.

As another form of stress relief, I’ve kept my toes in the shallow end of the blogging world by reading this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this and that. Haven’t hand time to comment on anything, but I’ve been reading them all religiously!

I’m starting to come out of the fog now. I’ll be done by May 13!! (Woo hoo-hallelujah- jimney-crickets!) Aside from having that degree in hand, I’m looking forward to joining the real world that keeps their eyebrows regularly groomed. It truly is the little things in life.

Because I haven’t cooked much, I don’t have many updates for you all in the way of recipes. I have managed to snap a few iPhone photos on the rare occasions I’ve been in the kitchen. Here’s a roundup:

First one isn’t cooking but it is food! I think these parsley seedlings from last summer are super cute. I grew them on my front porch and started sprouting them in these empty eggshells.

parsley

My dad now thinks I am a professional baker after tasting my all-time favorite no knead bread recipe from the NYT. Don’t tell him that I barely had to lift a finger! Hint, pair with my favorite dipping oil.

no knead bread

A lentil salad I made for my mom a few weeks ago after she had surgery. Martha knows best. First of all, I LOVE anything with goat cheese, but I subbed tomatoes for bell pepper because of what I had on hand. Tip: Trader Joes has amazing pre-cooked lentils in their refrigerated section if you are in a pinch. Definitely will be making this again this summer!

Lentil Salad

My old stand by and one of my first ever blog posts, chicken soup:

Chicken soup

I’ve become obsessed with my new milk frother and pour over from Sur la table. Some breakfast highlights:

Capegg muffin french toast breakfast pour over coffee

A lazy after work dinner, perfected…olives, blood orange, almonds, peppered goat cheese, blueberries, hummus & pita:

Cheese three

My fav liquids of the moment include blueberry lemon drops, lemon and mint infused water and green smoothies:

blueberry lemon droplemon mint water Smoothie

And I saved the best, dessert, for last! A chocolate birthday cake, chocolate covered oreos, chocolate covered strawberries:

Birthday cake chocolate covered oreos chocolate covered strawberries

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Honey Almond Sunflower Seed Granola

I had always written granola off as one of those things that is really hard to make.  Why else would they sell so much of the premade stuff? WRONG!  Granola now goes in the same category as spaghetti sauce: it is very easy to make it homemade, slightly cheaper to make it homemade and tastes much better when it is homemade!  The other perk is that you have complete control over what goes in your granola.

I googled “Almond Granola” (because I had sliced almonds and oats) and found these instruction on ehow.com.

The only alteration I made was with the nuts.  I only had a 1/2 cup of sliced almonds, so I added 1 cup of unsalted raw sunflower seeds.

Honey Almond Sunflower Seed Granola

Preheat the oven to 300 F.  In a large bowl combine:

4 cups oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 sunflower seeds, unsalted
1/4 tsp. salt

In a small bowl mix together:

1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup canola oil

Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds. Add:

1 tsp. Vanilla

Pour the honey liquid into the large bowl of oats. Stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Spread granola mixture on to a baking pan. Make sure the granola is spread out evenly so that it will not burn. Bake for 35- 40 minutes until golden brown. Cool completely on the baking pan. Crumble and store in an airtight container.

My favorite thing to do with granola?  Parfait!  Vanilla yogurt with canned peaches are the best.

I have read that you can make granola using applesauce and apple juice as the sweeteners instead of  honey and brown sugar.  Has anyone made granola this way before?  I think I would like to try this healthier version to see how it tastes.  This recipe was almost too sweet/candy tasting.