Friday, March 30, 2012

March Foodie Penpals

This month I participated in Foodie Penpals (for more info and how to join click this link). I really love that this is open to anybody - not just those that have blogs! This month I was able to send a package to Becky. I received one from Gigi. Super fun to be able to interact with two new people this month! 

I have to say that waiting for a package is lots of fun. I love knowing that something is in the mail for me ;). I actually got my package the day we were celebrating my son's birthday and since I was in crunch time to get his cake ready, I wasn't able to open it right away... which is my preferred method of opening packages! I'm not patient when it comes to opening fun things... maybe I should just say I'm not patient. 

After the birthday party and my son was in bed (less chaotic) I pulled the package out from where I hid it (so no little people could get into it during the party ;) and opened it.

This is what I found:
 Bubble wrap ;).
 Lots of stuff inside the bubble wrap. I have to say I was excited to get the Sea Salt Chocolate, I've always wanted to try it!
 Recipe cards... I never buy these, but I love to have some on hand.
 Hot pads and a rubber spatula (double sided with two sizes...)
 and how cute is this - a teddy bear for my baby that's due in a few months!
She also sent a recipe for granola and the stuff to make it!

Seriously, this was like opening a Christmas present. I can't wait until next month when I get to do it again.

And now to share the delicious granola recipe that she sent me: 
 You'll need 4 cups of old fashioned oats (not the instant stuff), and 1 cup of slivered almonds.
Plus 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 tsp salt and 1 tsp cinnamon,
As well as 1/3 cup melted butter, 1/3 cup honey and 1/3 cup water.
 Toss them all into a bowl,
 and mix until combined.
Dump onto a cookie sheet, and spread as evenly as possible.
 Bake in a 300 degree oven for about 40 minutes.
 Remove after 15 minutes and stir them around.
 Put back in the oven for 10 more minutes.
 Remove and stir again.
 I varied here from the recipe and added 1-1/2 cups flaked coconut
 and 1 cup craisins, to the granola and mixed them in.
 Then continued baking. Gigi's recipe said to add the coconut and craisins at the end after it had finished baking, but in my tests of making granola years ago I learned I like toasted coconut and craisins that have been cooked in a bit.
This is just my preference and you can make your own judgements as to when to add it - adding them earlier can make the coconut a little too toasty though. Adding a the end will make the granola a bit softer.
 Continue to cook in 5 minute increments (stirring after each as the top layer gets the most toasting) until the desired toastedness has been reached.
Toastedness, is that even a word? 
 When the desired level of toastedness has been reached, remove from oven and allow to cool.
 You can cool in the pan or on parchment paper.
 Once the granola has cooled, comes the best part. Eating it!
 Making this reminded me how much I use to make granola when my husband and I were newlyweds...
 Eating it plain made me want yogurt... so I ate some yogurt, without granola - I didn't think of adding it until my last bite! Sometimes I love my pregnant brain...
 Thanks Gigi for sharing this recipe with me.
I hope you enjoy it, I sure did!


  1. Foodie Penpals sounds like a great idea! I'll probably sign up once we've moved, so I hope it's still going strong in a few months.

  2. Im glad you enjoyed everything! It was much fun putting together your package! And I may just have to change up my recipe for the granola a bit, and cook in the craisins and coconut! :)

  3. this granola looks great. I love all those almonds.

  4. Mmmm! Looks yummy. I am getting so hungry!

    I need to just come over and cook with you now and then so I can pick up a few tips and the DESIRE! I won't expect the LOVE for cooking to come right away, but I could at least put in a little more effort...!


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