Sunday, August 16, 2009


It is back to school time and I want some quick and easy breakfast treats and snack options. I have a big bowl, I fill with fruit, nuts, granola and other healthy snacks. Everyone can grab and go as they please. But, I get in a rut and before you know it, no one is grabbing snacks.

My mission, find some good snacks. This recipe is for a homemade granola. I tested several recipes and developed this one. Everyone in my family agreed that it was the best one I have made to date. The best part, it can be eaten dry as a snack, with milk as a cereal, or layered with fruit and yogurt as a parfait.

I like to divide it up into serving size plastic bags, into the big snack bowl and we are good to go.


8 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups wheat germ
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup finely chopped almonds
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup honey
1 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup shredded coconut
2 cups sweetened dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Combine the oats, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, almonds, pecans, and walnuts in a large bowl. Stir together the salt, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, oil, cinnamon, and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then pour over the dry ingredients, and stir to coat. Spread the mixture out evenly on two baking sheets. Bake in the preheated oven until crispy and toasted, about 15 minutes. Stir once halfway through. Remove from oven and add coconut. Cool, then stir in the cranberries.

Store in an airtight container.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Beer-Braised Pork Chops

Today marked my official return to school. Although it is difficult to get back into the routine of working, and mothering, and being a wife, I also enjoy getting back to family dinners. Tonight, I created my own recipe for pork chops. My crew gobbled them up, so I think it was a success. The best part, my husband loved them so much, he is cleaning the kitchen. What a great guy.

Beer-Braised Pork Chops

6 Thick-cut boneless pork chops
1 cup Flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound sliced baby portabella mushrooms
12 oz. can beer
2 teaspoons maple syrup
2 bay leaves

Combine flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a resealable plastic bag. To dredge pork chops, place them in the plastic bag and shake. Add olive oil and butter to large skillet to melt. Add chops and brown on each side. Combine beer and maple syrup. Pour in pan, add bay leaves and bring to simmer. Place sliced mushrooms over pork chops, cover and cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until tender. Remove chops and bring braising liquid to a hard boil. Reduce by half. Turn heat off, add one tablespoon of butter to sauce and stir until butter melts. Pour sauce over chops and serve.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

I'm Back

I have been checked out for a little while. I am getting ready to return to work after the summer off. Over the summer my family welcomed a new member to the family, a beautiful baby granddaughter. Ready, set, cook!