Monday, January 23, 2012

26 Years

Yesterday I turned 26, which as my brother assured me, "Statistically, makes you more likely to make it to 27," and as my old/older friend Drew explained (from 26), "It is all downhill." Not a particularly climactic birthday, eh?

Nonetheless, I celebrated in style... well at least my favorite kind of style: good food and a long walk.

Matt, turned gourmet chef, made me orange-cinnamon french toast for breakfast, and an amazing pan of dark-chocolate brownies for dessert.  Both were delicious!

The best french toast and brownies EVER.

After our morning meal, we braved the elements and went for a very long walk/hike that took us along a raging creek, up into the woods, onto snow and ice, through the rain and wind, and finally to some beer, salad rolls, and red curry!

The raging creek.

Woods and "the view."

The icy road home. Red Curry and beer: not pictured. 

We returned wet, tired, and prepared to demolish some brownies and ice cream. As it turns out, I am my father's daughter, and ended my birthday at precisely 10 p.m..  It's good to be old. 

I really appreciate all the well wishes I received from friends/family over the last couple days-- thanks!  I had a truly lovely birthday, and am very much looking forward to the year ahead (perhaps there will even be some upward slopes along the downhill!). 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy Granola Year

It is officially 2012, so our household (and all the other lucky government employees who managed to take the bulk of December off) must return to work. 

I'm ready for the change, but I've been trying to prepare some convenient foods for quick meals.  I'm also trying to trick Matt into eating less donuts.  So, this morning I made a big batch of granola, and I believe it will get both of my proverbial birds stoned at once.

The nice thing about granola is that you can pretty much throw whatever you want in it and assume it will turn out OK.  I used what we had on hand, but was pretty disappointed to not have some raisins to mix in.  Next time.

Honey and Sunflower Seed Granola 
(loosely adapted from here)

8 cups rolled oats
1.5 cups sunflower seeds
1 cup flax meal
2 T cinnamon
1 cup honey
2/3 cup olive or vegetable oil
1 T vanilla

Preheat Oven to 300°  F
In a large bowl mix the oats, sunflower seeds, flax meal, and cinnamon together. Then, in a saucepan over low-medium heat combine all the liquids.  This step isn't totally necessary, but makes coating 8 cups of oats in honey much easier. When the liquid mixture is quite easy to stir pour it over the dry ingredients and stir together very well. If more liquid is necessary add a little more honey or a small amount of water.  

Then, on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper distribute about 1/3 of the mixture. This recipe makes 3 trays worth, but could easily be cut in half. Cook for 27-30 minutes stirring every 7-10 minutes. Allow to cool completely on parchment paper before attempting to move. Enjoy.