Thursday, August 28, 2014

{Recipe} Homemade Granola - Bear Naked Protein Copycat

We like our granola around here and our favorite has been Bear Naked Protein granola but it's gotten harder to find at the stores where I shop, not to mention expensive ($4/12oz bag).
I set out on a quest to recreate it at home.
Of course there's no recipe on the back of the bag but I took the ingredient list and made my own version with  this basic granola recipe.
Bear Naked Protein Granola Copycat
4 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup crispy rice cereal
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 TBS canola oil*
2 TBS ground flax seed meal
1/4-1/2 tsp Kosher salt(depending on how salty you like it)
1 TBS cinnamon
1 cup dried cranberries (or other dried fruit)**
Heat oven to 350F. On a rimmed baking sheet toss the oats, cereal, sunflower seeds and flax meal with the maple syrup, oil and cinnamon.  Bake 25-30 minutes, tossing once (I toss a few times) until golden brown and crispy.
Remove from oven and add dried fruit. 
Stir to combine and let cool.
Store cooled granola in an airtight container.
I usually double the recipe and use two baking sheets.  
I think it's better than the original and it's around .50/cup vs $2.66/cup!

*Since finding out that canola oil is a GMO vegetable oil and partially hydrogenated=no bueno, I'm going to try using melted coconut oil next time (I'll keep you posted!).
**I've been using this mixture  from Costco instead of the dried cranberries. Yum!
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Thrifty Thursday
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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

{Get Crafty} Chalk Painted Mason Jars

I told you guys that I had a project in mind for my thrifted Mason jars and here it finally is.
I have been chomping at the bit to try out chalk paint but didn't feel like ordering it online so when I saw it for sale at Michael's I did a little happy dance right there in the aisle.  I had a hard time deciding which color to buy but settled on Yesteryear--a soft grey.  I ultimately want to use the paint on a piece of furniture so I chose the color with that in mind. But steps and Mason jars.
I gave them each two coats of the paint and distressed them a bit with an emory board in spots.
I used the gold Sharpie from my Glam Dinosaur Ring Dish project to accentuate the writing on the jar and give it a tiny bit of sparkle.  I also purchased the clear wax for the chalk paint and tried it out on one of the jars to see how it would look. It goes on with a soft cloth and then is buffed to a subtle shine when it's dry.
The jar on the left has the wax on it.  I liked the look with the wax so I did the second jar too.
Before I knew it, I had two new rustic vases.
Now for some garden has been pretty sparse this summer but I managed to pull together two bouquets.
I gathered some roses, black eyed Susans, Rose of Sharon, impatiens and a few greens to make them.
The soft grey really sets off the flowers (and matches my kitchen=bonus!).
Are you a chalk paint expert like my friend Bliss or a newbie like me? 
I'm excited to do some more projects with chalk paint!

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Monday, August 25, 2014

{Recipe} Quick Strawberry Chia Seed Jam

Ch- Ch- Ch-Chia!
Now that I've got a big bag of chia seeds from Costco, I'm looking for more ways to use them apart from my new breakfast favorite- Overnight Oats.  
Chia seed jam is really quick to put together.  I followed this recipe and noted my changes.
2 1/4 cups chopped strawberries
3-4 TBS of sugar (I used 2 TBS of agave)
1-2 TBS chia seeds (I used 2 TBS)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract (next time I'd omit this)
To make the jam:
Add the strawberries and sweetener to a medium pot and cook on medium heat until the berries begin to sweat and get a bit watery.  Once it cooks down some, add the chia seeds and vanilla and stir well. Bring to a low boil and simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes.
Once it has thickened, remove from heat and let cool for about 15 minutes. Pour into an airtight container and refrigerate.  (You can process the jam before storing it but I like my jam a little chunky and I don't mind the seeds).
We tried it on some saltines right away.Yum. It's also good on bread or toasted English muffins.
It should last for about 2 weeks in the fridge.
If you use chia seeds, how do you incorporate them into your diet?

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Friday, August 22, 2014

I Heart Philly

This popped up on my Facebook feed today and I just had to share our beautiful city through the lens of this filmmaker.
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