Homemade Granola

Comfort food is an important thing, and when you’re travelling from town to town, having something that makes you feel a little bit more at home is really nice. Homemade granola is definitely my comfort food. When I’m home, my morning ritual is to have a bowl of plain yogurt with honey and raw oats or granola, and maybe a little something special on top like dates, shredded coconut, or fresh fruit.

Since we’re on the road for an entire month, I decided to make a huge batch of granola for breakfasts and midday snacks. I used my mom’s recipe as a base, and combined it with my friend Gina from Hello There Home‘s recipe, and I came out with what I think will be my go-to breakfast for years to come.

Granola is one of those foods that is easily adaptable to whatever you have in your pantry. Don’t feel limited by the specific ingredients; it’s a good place to start, but there many ways to customize!

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Ingredients:

4 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 c.shredded coconut
1/2 c.chopped walnuts
1/2 c. sunflower seeds
1/4 c. flax seeds
1/4 c. pumpkin seeds
1/2 c. honey
1/4 c. coconut oil

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How it’s done:

1. Preheat oven to 350*
2. In a saucepan on low heat, melt honey and oil together.
3. Mix all dry ingredients together. Pour in the honey and oil mixture and stir until it’s well coated.
4. Spread on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 min. Take it out, stir, and repeat every 5 min or so for 30 min or until the granola is golden brown.
5. Let it cool and add dried fruit (dates, apricots, etc).

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I hope you have some fun with this recipe! I might just eat some right now for a little mid-drive snack!

Cheers,
Lauren.

P.S. The batch in the photos is a double batch. This recipe will make one cookie tray’s worth of granola. 🙂

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Pancake Party!

I think everyone loves creating new traditions. It’s exciting to find something you love and have it regularly in your life. This past winter, when we were living in Brooks, we started a few traditions. Some were a weekly occurrence, some only happened a few times. We had Scary Movie Sunday a few times, and watched The Sixth Sense and Tremors, but the most lasting tradition we started was our Saturday morning Pancakes Party! We shared a few pictures of our parties on Facebook, and some of you inquired about the recipe, so here it is, Zoltan’s famous Yummy Pancakes Recipe.

Ingredients:
2 eggs
1 3/4 cup milk
2 TB melted butter
2 cups flour
2 TB sugar
2 TB baking powder
1 ts salt
some vanilla
fruit/chocolate chips as desired

How-To:
1. Beat eggs until frothy
2. Add milk and butter
3. Combine dry ingredients
4. Add to wet ingredients
5. Add fruit, chocolate chips, or whatever you’re spicing your pancakes up with. Or leave them plain!
6. Grill away!
7. Serve with whipped cream, jam, maple syrup or anything sweet!

Let us know how your pancake making goes! We’re trying to have some tour pancake parties, but the crazy schedule makes it a little difficult. Hopefully it’ll happen soon!

Until next time,
Lauren.

Emeril Lagasse’s Chocolate Praline Pie

For the first time since we started touring over two years ago, we find ourselves with four months off and living in regular society! It’s been a bit of an adjustment but we love it all, living in one place, having a closet, getting involved in the community for longer than a day, making meals, all that stuff that most people probably take for granted.

Earlier this week was Zoltan’s 27th birthday, so we decided to have people over! It was wonderful, inviting our friends to our house (that we share with two bachelors) and serving tea and desserts, and playing board games.

In honour of this special event, Zoltan decided to make himself a pie. The particular pie he decided to make, Emeril Lagasse’s Chocolate Pecan Pie, was something I had heard about for years, since before we were married, but I had NEVER tasted it! Most food items Zoltan talks about he actually makes, but this was the exception. And let me tell you, it was the RICHEST and most DELICIOUS chocolate pie I’ve ever had.

So we’ve decided to spill the beans and share this recipe with you so you can enjoy it as well. It’s a bit time consuming, and has lots of sugar in it, but don’t be afraid. Try it. You’ll love it.

Emeril Lagasse’s Chocolate Praline Pie

 

Step 1: Pralines

2½ cups packed brown sugar
2 TB butter
¼ cup water
2 cups pecan pieces

1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and set aside.
2. Combine brown sugar, butter and water in a heavy pan over medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture begins to boil (3-4 min).
3. Add pecan pieces and stir for 5 minutes.
4. Drop pecans by the spoonful onto the wax paper to cool.
5. Once they have cooled you want to get the excess sugar off. You can do this by rubbing them between your hands, or agitating them in a colander

 

Step 2: Pie Crust

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
¾ cup oreo cookie crumbs
4 TB butter
2 TB sugar
1 egg white

1. Mix all ingredients together.
2. Press into a 9-10in pie pan and bake at 375˚ for 10-15 minutes.

 

Step 3: Pudding

2 cups whipping cream
¼ cornstarch
½  packed brown sugar
½  Lyle’s golden syrup (Do not substitute with corn syrup, it needs to by Lyle’s. You can find it at most grocery stores)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. In a medium pan, combine whipping cream, cornstarch, brown sugar and syrup and cook until it becomes slightly thick custard (about 10 min.)
2. Stir in chocolate chips until they melt.
3. Place a piece of wax paper right on top touching the pudding so it doesn’t get a skin on top
4. When the pudding is cooled, fold ½ of the pralines into the pudding and pour it into the pie shell, and sprinkle more of the crumbled pralines on top. (You will probably have pralines left over).
5. Let the pie chill, and enjoy!

The finished pie!
The finished pie!

Heading South

After driving from Bend, OR to Redding, CA (6 hours), using free wifi at McDonalds and meeting a few students from Bethel, camping in Shasta National Forest, waking up to thick smoke hanging over the region, using more free wifi at McDonalds, going thrifting, meeting a lady in her 80s who, with her husband, sold all their belongings and travelled in a motorhome for twenty years, making a plan for the day, and driving south, we finally made it to Ventura County in southern California.

California is an amazing place. Beautiful landscapes, fresh citrus fruits, delicious foods, sunny weather; it pretty much has it all. I kind of fell in love. Unfortuately, the one day we decided to go to the beach, it was cold(er) and rainy, but we did it anyway and went body surfing and enjoyed the wind and waves.

Before that, though, we decided to check out Whitney Drums, a drum company based out of Carpenteria, CA that Jay has been looking into. JT, the owner of Whitney Drums showed us around his workshop and demoed some drums and a few random instruments he has also made, and as we were leaving, loaded us up with fresh fruits that were from right there on the property! Zoltan has always wanted to pick fresh oranges from a tree (his favorite fruit) so he was quite excited about this!

Zoltan and I would love to grow most of our food someday, so seeing orchards and farms in action is very inspiring for us! And of course delicious, when you’re able to reap the benefits! If you’re interested in growing your own food, or even just eating healthy, you should check out my friend Gina’s blog “hello there home” for some great ideas and recipes, and lots of DIY inspiration!

Until next time,
Lauren.