The changing seasons brings lots of need to clear out mental clutter, get re-organized, tend the homefires. Clean and prepare for winter by canning, baking, cooking ahead. Arranging the closets for lots of sweaters and coats plus, making hats, gloves and scarves for little people.
My friend Jayne said the other night, while we were putting by apples for freezing, “there is just something about preparing food for you family that just makes you feel good.” It’s so true. This year more than any other, I’ve tried to have the future in mind. What is coming up this month, this season, usually I’m much more in the moment, fly by the seat of my pants and usually my brain can’t hold all that immediate information and I drop the ball on lots of things. But I’ve tried this year to think about my little family, plan ahead, write things down and so on.
Here are a few pictures of our Salsa experiment. Turned out really good. More like Rotel. Mild tasting but perfect starter for so many things!
Homemade granola taste wonderful with this fall colored addition. Chocolate-candy coated sunflower seeds. Izzo calls them M&Ms.
Mary’s Super Wonderful Granola
2 1/2 cups rolled oats (original, not quick oats)
1 cup peanuts or almonds (or both)
1/4 cup flax seed
1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds (I used chocolate covered sunflower seeds)
1/2 cup coconut (I used unsweetened, but sweetened might be ok)
1/2 cup dried fruit (I used half dried cranberries and half raisins)
scant 1/4 cup cooking oil (olive oil has too strong of taste)
1/2 cup honey (you can use corn syrup, maple syrup— not waffle syrup, or molasses— which will have a really strong taste)
Mix the oat, nuts and grains in a large bowl. Measure oil into the measuring cup and swirl it around before pouring into bowl. Then measure out the honey in the same, unwashed cup. The oil will help the honey not stick to the cup.
Toss everything together until evenly coated and then pour out into a baking pan. I use a large roasting pan, it keeps everything together, and makes stirring super easy.
Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes, turning it with a spatula every 3-5 minutes. You want everything to be an even golden brown. When it is finished cooking, add the raisins and fruit and stir to combine.
On a cookie sheet lined with wax paper or parchment, spread out granola to cool (you can stir in a handful of chocolate chips after granola is cooled).
Keep in an airtight container for 2 weeks.