"No matter how terrified you may be, own your fear and take that leap anyway because whether you land on your feet or on your butt, the journey is well worth it."
-- Laurie Laliberte
"If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough."
-- Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
-- Anais Nin

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Everything but the . . .

We all know I've been playing around a lot with recipes from Pinterest lately. And I'm having a blast doing it. The only problem is that I can be so busy Sunday through Wednesday that I forget (or cant find time) to post my results on the blog as I promised you all I would. So I've decided to stop beating myself up over it and just accept the fact that other areas of my life are more important. Accomplishing other tasks that actually earn me money must take precedence right now.

That said, rather than struggle and whine about having not enough time, I shall promise you this: I will continue my Wednesday posts sporadically as I find time to put them up. This way I can focus on making sure I'm consistent with the posts that are most important to me. Those, of course would be the Sunday mornings that have cultivated a loyal following.

Some of you may find it ironic, then, that today's post not only came about because of the Wednesday Pinterest series, but also that it's an original recipe. (Perhaps I should have put it up on Friday and split the difference?)

The recipes that inspired this one also inspired a favorite way to consume granola in general, which I shall reveal when I finally give them their space on the blog. Enough blathering, here's the recipe:

Kitchen Sink Granola

5c rolled oats
1T cinnamon
1T pumpkin spice (no, I didn't make my own, but I will eventually)
1/2c white sugar or your favorite measures-like-sugar substitute
1/2t salt
1t baking powder

1c canned pumpkin puree (freeze the rest in a small container; you'll use it eventually)
2/3c unsweetened applesauce
1/4c honey

1c walnuts (no need to toast them first)
1/2c sunflower kernels

1c craisins
1c raisins

1c white chocolate chips

Dump all dry ingredients (the first group) into a 6-quart or larger crock pot and combine (I use a wire whisk.)
Mix wet ingredients (the second group) in a separate bowl
Add wet ingredients to dry and stir (with a spoon) to combine thoroughly
Set crock pot to high and, if desired, timer to 4 hours -- vent lid with a chopstick or wooden spoon
As granola cooks, stir every half hour
After 2 hours, add next group of ingredients (if you tweak the recipe and add other seeds or nuts, you will want to add them now)
After 3 hours, add last group of ingredients (if you choose to add other dried fruits, now is the time to do so)
From here, you will want to stir more frequently and/or change the heat setting to low (total cook time is about 4 hours.)

Your granola is done when it's a warm brown color and fairly dry in texture.
It will dry and begin to really crisp as it cools.
I allow it to cool in the crock pot and continue to stir every half hour or so.
Once cool, add white chocolate chips, transfer to an airtight container, and use within about 2 weeks.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that although the name seems obvious, the mix-ins were chosen at random. They happened to be yummy stuff I had in the pantry/fridge/freezer. I had to stop myself from adding m&m's because I knew I was more likely to consume this for breakfast than for any other meal. And we all know peanut m&m's are not for breakfast.

My advice regarding mix-ins: Yes, I chose to use an excessive amount of mix-ins, but notice I was careful not to exceed 5 cups, the amount of oats.

I'm actually still playing with this one and haven't found a final combination I really love. That said, I also forgot to take pictures before devouring the last of it. Instead, enjoy the pic below of the snowstorm that closed schools in Oklahoma City for up to two days in some areas. (Amateurs.)

Happy Crock Potting!

It snowed all day, near blizzard conditions at times, and it was gone within 24 hours.
But it was nice to have a taste of home.

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