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November Recipe | Winter Granola

One of my favorite homemade recipes is Granola! It's so easy to make, you can make a bunch to last a while and you can make it with ingredients that you love. 

I just received Tara Stile's new cookbook in the mail two days ago and after sitting and reading it cover to cover, I was SO inspired. She has a great recipe in her book for granola and after a little time in the kitchen, I had myself a container full of yummy, crunchy goodness to last us a week or two. I am not sure it will last two though ;)

I made a few changes to her recipe using pantry items I had in the house. I highly recommend you pick up her new book!

adapted from the Granola recipe in "Make Your Own Rules Diet" by Tara Stiles

Winter Granola


4 cups of organic rolled oats (I purchase mine at Trader Joes)
1/2 c. raw, roasted whole almonds (again, Trader Joes)
1/2 c. of dried cherries (you guessed it, Trader Joes)
1/2 c. of pumpkin seeds (do I need to say it?)
1/2 c. coconut oil, melted (Costco! - you can get a huge container for $20)
1/2 c. pure maple syrup (straight from Vermont, thanks to my in-laws)
1 tablespoon of Cinnamon (Penzey's Vietnamese Cinnamon)
1 teaspoon of Pumpkin Pie Spice (Penzey's)
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract (I love the bourbon vanilla extract from Trader Joes. Are you surprised?)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large bowl, combine the oats, almonds, dried cherries and pumpkin seeds. Stir well. Melt the coconut oil in the microwave and drizzle in the bow. Mix until well incorporated. Warm the syrup (we store ours in the freezer, it never freezes) and drizzle in the bowl. Mix until well incorporated. Add the spices, mix and then finally add the vanilla extract and mix. 

Line a sheet pan with foil, spray with coconut oil spray or use a paper towel to rub melted coconut oil on the foil. Spread the granola evenly on the sheet pan. Bake for 25 minutes. I like to stir and spread the granola back out at 10 minutes out. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Store in a glass container.

Enjoy on it's own, or with greek yogurt. As for me, I will be having a bowl of this with cold almond milk for breakfast!


October Recipe | Curried Cream of Broccoli

The arrival of fall means lots of soups and stews in my house. 

I love to cook but can't always do it. When I can I do my best to make it quick, affordable and healthy. I started playing in the kitchen shortly after my girls were born in 2008. Over the years I have learned to tweak recipes to fit any diet needs within my family. 

I refer to myself as a flexitarian. I eat meat on occasion but I tend to lean towards a vegetarian diet. My main goal just to eat whole, real food. I LOVE recipes that you can tweak to fit any dietary needs and this is one of them. I found it on the website Nom Nom Paleo because my husband follows the Paleo diet. With the switch of just one ingredient I was able to make this soup vegetarian/vegan. My husband can happily add some of his favorite slow cooked pulled meat right on top and I can enjoy it just as is. Versatility in food is my favorite.

Click on THIS LINK to get the recipe. If you wish to make this soup vegetarian/vegan then just switch out the chicken stock for vegetable stock. Easy peasy!! This recipe is already gluten and dairy free so that is a bonus if you don't include them in your diet. But if you love yourself some dairy you can always switch out the coconut milk for heavy cream. 



On Making Choices

As autumn begins to float in and our lives becomes busier, we often find ourselves making too many commitments and spreading ourselves too thin. It's so common during this time of year. Whatever it is that fills your schedule, if you take the time to mindfully reflect on your choices before you make them, you can save yourself a lot of unwelcome stress.

What are ways that you can put this into practice? I find that taking some time to be with my choices and thoughts can often bring me insight into making the best choice for me. It's different for everyone, so take a moment to turn inward and honor what is right for YOU.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Arrive to your yoga or fitness class a bit early to sit and meditate 
  • Find a quite spot during your daily break or lunch
  • Go on a walk or jog
  • Take a long, hot bath 
  • Right before bedtime or during your cup of coffee in the morning
  • In the car (put some relaxing meditative music on to drown out the stressful traffic around you)
  • While you are making a meal 
Those last two are tough for finding solace but if you find those are quiet times for you, then use that time to reflect on your choices. My husband plays with the kids while I make dinner which brings me a nice chunk of quiet to reflect.

And always remember to give yourself grace when making choices. If you find that a choice you made didn't work out in your best interest, then take the time to learn from it and don't beat yourself up about it. Our lives are filled with choices. Every moment of everyday is a choice. What a gift it is to have that!

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