Friday, October 31, 2014

This is my everyday life...and Maple Cinnamon Granola

I am not afraid to admit that my everyday life is a little boring.  And I am totally okay with that, work can be busy enough at times.  Let's just say I enjoy routine, so that when something is spontaneous its even more fun.  The everyday looks a little like this...

This is work...well the real work and how I help pay the bills.  It involves days with a messy desk that gets cleaned before heading home every night.

Some days there are doughnuts, because some days doughnuts are needed and ones that I didn't have to bake.

Since its fall and there are birthdays, there has been pie...

and other baked goods, which means there have been plenty of dirty least favorite part of baking/cooking...especially in my tiny kitchen with limited counter space.  Plus, the "doing dishes" portion of my nights comes right when I want to be heading to the couch to fall asleep...because I probably do that 2-3 nights a week.  

Lately my everyday life has included long runs on the weekends and I am happy I can now just go back to the regular runs.  The runs meant to clear my head, while getting that whole exercising thing accomplished.

So, I also need to admit that I am still not really an adult yet.  I still totally eat cereal for dinner (even though I make Charles real dinner)...and I kind of love it.  Sometimes I shake things up and make granola...because lets be real it’s a delicious slightly healthy treat.  This time of year I normally start things off with this pumpkin spice granola, but this year I thought I would shake things up with this maple cinnamon granola.  This granola was seriously so delicious and I can't wait to make it again.  It’s super easy and delicious!  I am a big granola with milk gal myself, but I am also the kind of person who goes through a gallon of milk by myself in a week.  So whether you eat it with milk, yogurt or plain.  Enjoy!

Up close and personal with breakfast.

Maple Cinnamon Granola:
5 cups rolled (old fashioned) oats
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup pistachios
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 Tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
5 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 Tablespoon molasses
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
8 Tablespoons canola oil
1 cup raisins
1 cup dried cherries

1.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, shredded coconut and nuts.  Stir until well-mixed.

3.  In a separate mixing bowl, stir together the brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, maple syrup, molasses, vanilla extract and canola oil.  Drizzle over the dry ingredients using a spatula to combine until the entire mixture is evenly coated.  Pour the granola onto the sheet pan, and spread into an even layer.  Using the back of the spatula, firmly press down on the granola into the pan.  

4.  Bake for 20 minutes, then carefully mix the granola and press it back down into the pan.  Bake for another 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown and slightly toasted.  Remove the pan from the oven and let cool on a baking sheet for about an hour.  When the granola has cooled break into chunks.  Stir in the dried fruit and store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.  Enjoy!

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