coconut cashew granola

In addition to blogging more, {you guys have noticed that, right?!} I decided I wanted to change it up a bit. I blog a lot about family and beauty because that’s what I know. Why not add a few more categories into the mix? Like food…something that is talked about a lot in our home!

At two years old,  Remi really knows how to put away the groceries. He constantly asks for a ‘nack and is quick to correct me if I offer him something that isn’t snack-worthy. Typically, I can curb his snack cravings with an offer of greek yogurt, raisins, or applesauce; but, sometimes he just wants something a little junk-ier. I feel ya, kid.

One of the best things about this granola is that Remi LOVES it. He constantly asks for “cranola”–not to be confused with Crayola! I made it thinking that it would be an easy breakfast option, but it quickly made it into the snack line up at this house. Granola is such a great food for breakfast or anytime because it can be customized to your liking. Not fond of nuts or raisins? Nix them and add in dried bananas or chocolate chips. Seriously–just use what you have on hand. There’s no wrong way to make granola unless, of course, you don’t make it at all!

Round up your ingredients, preheat your oven, grab a little helper and get to baking!

homemade granola ingredientseast texas wildflower local honeyhomemade granola ingredients butterhomemade granola little helpercoconut cashew granola recipe card

 

Coconut Cashew Granola

5 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1 cup raisins
2 cups flaked coconut (I used sweetened)
1 cup salted cashews
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 beaten egg white
 
1. Preheat oven to 300°.
2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until evenly coated with butter and honey. Stir in beaten egg white.
3. Spread mixture on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 minutes.
4. Turn off oven and allow granola to cool completely.
5. Break into pieces. Enjoy!
 
Note: If you don’t like your granola in clusters, skip the egg white. 
 
coconut cashew granola
 

MMM! So good! Especially when it’s still warm. Because, let’s be honest–who really waits for things to cool completely before digging in? ;)

 

Happy Mother’s Day!

xo, Kelsey

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Valentine’s Day + baked oatmeal

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Valentine’s Day. A day dedicated to flowers and chocolate and $5 greeting cards. I’m not sure what it is, but my whole attitude toward this holiday has been different this year. I remember totally looking forward to Valentine’s day when Jarrett and I were dating—even the first year of being married—expecting him to prove his love for me. Why should I expect him to love me more on one day out of the year than all the rest? What is all of the hype about? This year, I’m a little more  grounded in myself, my walk with Christ, and my relationship with my husband. I’ve learned to cherish the times we spend together—to enjoy when he’s home and not working out of town. I can’t place all of my joy in one holiday. It’s like a weight has been lifted. Neither one of us really stressed about getting the other person gifts this year. We didn’t feel like we had to compete with all of the extravagant surprises people posted pictures of on Facebook. Sure, those things are great, but unnecessary for me. I’d rather have a surprise on an ordinary day than on a specified holiday. But then again, I’m not your typical “send me flowers” kind of girl. Sure, they’re beautiful, but flowers die. I know I’m coming across as cynical and I’m not meaning to. The only way I can describe it is: no pressure. Jarrett always insists that I not spend money on him. This is the first year I didn’t feel guilty. I wrote him a sweet note. I felt good about it. He took care of Remington today so I could go to Target and buy some new workout clothes and an arm band for my iPhone AND he cooked dinner. That was a blessing to me. Maybe we’re just comfortable. Maybe we’re getting old! ;) Whatever it is, I like it. Oh, and that crazy little Valentine mantle up there? It’s a hodge-podge mess of things I already had and I love it!

Now on to the good stuff: baked oatmeal. I used to hate breakfast AND waking up, but now I can look forward to it when I know I have some of this waiting on me with my coffee. Can’t forget the coffee.

Baked Oatmeal

adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie’s original Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal

makes 4-6 servings

  • 2 cups oats
  • 2 very ripe mashed bananas
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 Tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • a few shakes of cinnamon
  • optional: berries, sliced almonds, whatever add-ins you desire

Preheat oven to 350. Mix ingredients and pour into a sprayed 8×8 baking dish or individual ramekins. Bake 12-15 minutes if using ramekins, or increase baking time to 15-18 minutes if using 8×8 dish.

baked oatmeal

I opted for blueberries and strawberries with additional bananas on top. YUM!

This is one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast. Remington loves it! I love how easy it is and that there are so many different options. You never have to eat it the same way once. It also freezes well. Just line the dish with foil and when you’re done baking, let it cool and wrap it up. Couldn’t be simpler and tastes SO good.

Enjoy some time with your love!

Kelsey

Taquito Surprise: It’s what’s for dinner.

The year is 2010; the month is May. If I had to pick a day, I’d say it’s probably the 6th.  J and I are experiencing newlywed bliss in our cramped cozy cinder block house. Life is simple. Life is good. Jarrett comes home from work exhausted and sweaty, kicks off his boots, and collapses into the recliner. I’ve been waiting for this moment all day. My inner culinary genius has been brainstorming up something perfect for my man for dinner. I knew I wanted to combine all of his favorite foods for a unique and delicious meal. He would praise me for knowing exactly what he wanted. I would be in the Wifey Hall of Fame. This meal was going to be legendary. Clearly, I didn’t trust my own cooking because I made sure that I had already eaten dinner, but I digress. I saunter over to his recliner with a cold beer and a plate of hot food. Jarrett thanks me and accepts. I scurry back to the kitchen to finish the dishes and wait for the praises to echo through the room. They don’t. Instead, I hear a cautious “What is this called?” Crap. In all of my culinary brainstorming I had forgotten to think of a name. “Taquito Surprise,” I hear myself say. Taquito Surprise? Good save, Kelsey. I’m practically turning blue cleaning up the kitchen—holding my breath to hear his praise. “It’s good, babe,” he says. Good? I blew it. I’m a terrible wife. I just knew he was going to love it, but I was wrong. He’s probably wondering why he even married me! OK, maybe I am a bit dramatic.

What exactly is in Taquito Surprise, you might ask? Well, I don’t really remember. Maybe that’s part of the surprise element. I know it consisted of the obvious: taquitos from a box, along with some scrambled eggs, hot sauce, onions, cheese, jalapenos, etc. I have no idea what else I put in there. I’m not real sure why it seemed like a good idea at the time. Maybe, because I didn’t know how to cook anything else. I could subsist solely on cereal for the rest of my days and be just fine. This wife stuff was going to take some serious getting used to. Jarrett could tell I was crushed and immediately began to tell me how good dinner was. I didn’t believe him, but I held my head high and said “I’m glad you like it!” To this day he still talks about Taquito Surprise. He still tells me he liked it. I know he’s lying, but if he really is telling the truth, then maybe I’ll make it for our anniversary dinner this year! :)

The point is: I’m glad those days are behind me. Thankfully, I’ve learned how to cook a decent meal. I’ve gotten over my fear of deboning a chicken. Don’t get me wrong, I still hate touching any kind of food with bones in it, but I can get it done. I never really learned to cook until I had to because I came from a family of wonderful cooks. They made the food and I greedily ate. I didn’t hang around in the kitchen to see how it was done. Now, I actually enjoy cooking and baking. Sometimes, it’s discouraging just to head to the grocery store because REAL food can be so dang expensive; however, I get such a sense of pride when I can give my family great fuel for their bodies. I feel accomplished when I pack a good lunch for Remi to take to Mother’s Day Out or make a healthy dinner. I’ve realized the payoff is so much greater than taking the “easy” way out. Overly processed foods and junk just end up making you feel yucky! We still buy some things out of convenience, but for the most part we’re learning to cook and eat better food. This, along with our c25k adventure should yield some exciting results. I can’t wait!

workout wednesday: glutes

I’ve always been a dancer. As a kid, I was much more concerned about pirouettes than P.E. Let me rephrase: I hated P.E. with a passion. Like faking having asthma so I wouldn’t have to run the dreaded “mile” outside. How redneck is it to make a bunch of elementary school kids run through an empty field to an old soccer goal and back and tell them it was a mile? Regardless of how far it really was, I always had a stitch in my side before I made it halfway there. You would think being one of the last kids to finish would prompt me to try a little harder, but it didn’t. I hated everything about P.E. except for the huge parachute we got to play with. That was pretty awesome. Thinking back now, I can credit dance for they fact that I was never overweight as a teenager. I wasn’t “in shape,” but I guess I did just enough to stay in the same size clothes. I never stopped to think that when I stopped dancing {got married & had a kid} that I’d gain weight and lose muscle tone.  I’ve been told one of my best features was my butt. For some reason it came as a shock that after having Remi I had no butt. WEIRD, right? I mean, I wasn’t working out or anything! I. Was. Clueless. So in honor of my former “good” butt, I’ve been working on my glutes. I must be doing something right because they are SORE today. This butt conversation is getting a little awkward so I’m just going to show you one of the exercises I’ve been doing.workout

Start out in this position with your hands and feet on the ground and the stability ball underneath you. You’ll need a smaller exercise ball than the one I’m using here, that way you’ll be able to raise your feet up a bit higher than the rest of your body.

workout2

Check out that awesome action shot! Like I said, smaller stability ball yields better results because it will be able to keep your knees bent, etc. Try not to fling your legs up, but rather, raise them up in a controlled motion. If you don’t feel it in your glutes, you’re not doing it right! However, I’m not a professional, so feel free to disregard my workout/fitness advice!

When Remington got home from Mother’s Day Out yesterday he immediately noticed the stability ball in the living room and was a little freaked. He kept saying “Ball, Momma!” but would not get close to it. I’m telling on myself with that one because I obviously haven’t been using it enough.

On a different note, I can’t wait for dinner tonight! All of Gina’s skinny recipes that I’ve tried have been wonderful, but I have to say the Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup is one of my absolute favorites! The smell is killing me! I just want to eat a bowl now, but I will have self control and wait until my husband gets home. Maybe. crockpot

Don’t you love my old school hand-crank can opener? I refuse to buy one of the electric can openers because I cannot figure them out for the life of me! My mom has had and electric one for like…forever and every time she asked me to open a can I had to bust out the manual one. I’ve tried all kinds! I don’t know why I can never use the electric ones!

What are you having for dinner?

Until next time,

Kelsey

cookies.

This week has been kind of..whatever..so I haven’t felt like posting. No one likes a Debbie Downer. Today was pretty good, though. The little bambino was sick, but hubby stayed home with him so I could have some “me” time and go to Bible study. SO, SO thankful for that man and all he does for me. To show my appreciation I baked him and his coworker some chocolate chip cookies for the road tonight. They’re pretty delicious. I’ve eaten like two five. But I’m watching a workout video right now so…that’s gotta count for something. Here’s to finding the motivation to do anything other than sit on the couch. Eh, maybe tomorrow. ;)

Until next time,

Kelsey

Go make these cookies. Your husband will thank you.

broccoli and chocolate

Does anyone else remember the song Broccoli and Chocolate by Mary Kate and Ashley? Ok, I’m pretty sure it was written by someone else, but I definitely remember watching them sing it on one of their VHS tapes. Yeah, I watched all of their movies and wanted to be just like them. Now, not so much. I prefer to smile with my teeth and brush my hair once in a while, but I still think they’re kinda cool if you’re into that hippie-boho-chic thing. I wanted to post the video on here, but unfortunately YouTube is lame and I couldn’t find it! I always think of that song whenever I hear the word broccoli. It’s inevitable. I made broccoli cheese soup the other night for dinner and couldn’t stop singing that song over and over. Weird, I know. What’s worse is that I only remember like two lines of the song so I’m sure you can imagine how that went. All I can say is it’s probably a good thing that Remi was the only one home with me. He never questions my craziness. So without further ado, here’s the recipe!

broccoli cheese

Broccoli Cheese soup adapted from Cooking on Clover Lane (love her recipes!)

1 box of vegetable broth
1 cup of water
1 small container of half and half (about 1 cup)
1 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup flour (I meant to use Whole Wheat, but accidentally used white..still came out fine)
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
4 cups broccoli florets (I used a bag of frozen)
1 package chopped, cooked ham
  1. In a large pot over medium high heat combine all ingredients but broccoli and ham.
  2. WHISK together to break up lumps.
  3. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.
  4. Stir in the broccoli and ham and simmer for 15-20 minutes until broccoli is tender.
  5. I prefer to leave the broccoli whole rather than mash it up. Totally up to you!
  6. Serve with extra cheese and crusty bread! Enjoy!

This recipe was so easy and was a big hit at my house. In my opinion, the vegetable broth was a little strong in flavor at first just because I’m not used to it. The soup was definitely good, but it was WAY better the next day for lunch. If you have the time, I definitely suggest making this the night before you need it and reheating it. So yummy! I’d love to hear from you if you decide to make this!

Until next time,

Kelsey

 

 

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