Healthy Cinnamon Honey Granola

Healthy Cinnamon Honey Granola
I love having a bowl of granola cereal in the evenings.  However, last time I went to the store the price was too high for my liking.  So I decided to make my own!  It's super simple and has a great flavor!  I had a bowl last night and it passed the test.  Super yummy!  

Next time I may try upping the oven temp to see if I can get it a tad more crunchy.  But that's just a personal preference.  This recipe browned nicely and has a great flavor.

You can add dried or fresh fruit to it after you have baked it to add even more flavor.


HOmemade Cinnamon Honey Granola

Ingredients
  • 9 cups oats *see notes

  • 1 cup organic honey (local is best)

  • 1 cup organic coconut oil

  • 1 t himalayan salt

  • 1 t ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 cup pecans, broken (optional)


Instructions
  • Preheat oven 350*.
  • In a large bowl, combine oats, salt, cinnamon, &pecans.
  • In a small saucepan, mix together honey and coconut oil.  Bring to a gentle boil, stirring to help break up clumps.  
  • Pour over dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Spread onto 2 large baking sheets, lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake in oven 15 minutes for soft granola
  •  For a more cereal-like granola, stir granola and place back in over for another 10 min.
  • Cool and store in air-tight container.
Notes:

*I did a mix of old fashioned oats and quick oats, about half and half, to add more texture and variety.

*If you want them a bit crunchier, try using a higher oven temp and check after 15 min




Holiday Shopping With Small Businesses

Holiday Shopping With Small Businesses
Tis the season!  By this time of year shopping for gifts seems to be in full swing.  That's why I was super excited when I was invited to join a One Stop MultiShop vendor event.  There are so many goodies in this group, you won't want to miss out!
So, let me take a moment to introduce some of the vendors who are involved.  There will be a few more joining us, so be sure to check out the group (linked above).

Kacie Schunk  is with KlaySmith Handmade. She is a wife, dog mom, and preschool teacher from Ohio. Kaci makes clay earrings. Her clay earrings are light weight with a variety of different styles, colors, and shapes. 

Miranda Schwarzen owns
Simply Stitched WI
! She makes handmade headwraps in a variety of patterns and textures. Miranda lives in Wisconsin with her 
boyfriend and their dog, Charlee.  
Megan Taylor is our host for the event.  She and her husband live in Guam.  She is a full time Nurse Practioner and collagen enthusiast who enjoys getting to know people, understanding their needs, and figuring out how she can help them feel better.  Her dream is to quit Nurse Practioning full time and one day open up a clinic with free services. She shares  collagen-based skin care products and results that assist with a wide range of needs.

Kelly Watson is a Zyia Stylist. She's a wife, dog momma, and dental hygienist from Pennsylvania. 
Zyia is for everyBODY! Short, tall, big booty, blessed in the chest, new momma, or expecting, Zia has something you can feel comfortable in!

Amanda Rog (that's me!) with Lavender & Coffee, sells custom mug designs and accessories.  L & C has gift sets available to help make your gift complete.  My husband designs most of our mugs.  He's an amazing artists who does logos, illustrations, and book covers.  Our daughter (who is 15 years old) also has some designs available, she definitely takes after her dad!  I offer some crochet accessories to make the mugs a little more fun and personal.  

As I said above, these are just a few of the amazing talented vendors in our event.  Be sure you check out our One Stop MultiShop.  New posts will be made during the dates listed below.  Of course, you are welcome to shop at any time!
November 25th – 30th
December 3rd – 8th
December 15th – New Years
There is also a cash giveaway for each set of dates that can be used with any of the vendors!

Happy Shopping!



DIY Soup Mix

I love using soup mixes in my recipes, but I don't love all the added yuck!  In my family of 5, 3 of us have special dietary needs.  No, they aren't all the same.  So, if I truly make something that we can all enjoy, boxed, canned, pre-made foods are definitely not the place to go.  Not to mention that once you get used to cooking a certain way, the canned/boxed/pre-made stuff just doesn't seem as appetizing.  You can see the difference in this post where I compare pictures of canned vs homemade soup mix.  Wow!  Just look at the difference!  Now, tell me which one you would choose.

That's why I was super excited to find a way to make my own.  Here's the recipe I currently use. Eventually, I plan to find a fully dairy free version to better suit my family's needs.  

Since we are mostly dairy free, when I mix this up I use almond milk.  Even though there is powdered milk in this recipe, it seems to be mild enough that we can still tolerate it.

DIY Soup Mix

Ingredients
  • 2 cup powdered milk
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 Tbs chicken bouillon (see notes)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Instructions
Measure ingredients and place in glass container.
Shake well to combine.
Store in cool dark place in airtight container.

To use: Mix equal parts of soup mix and preferred liquid (almond milk, water).  Heat over medium heat in saucepan, whisking continually.  Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.
To use as a thickener, combine 1/3 mix with 1/4 liquid and add to desired recipe.

Note:
Find the recipe I use for bouillon here.

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Tater Tot Casserole From Scratch

Tater Tot Casserole From Scratch
On Friday mornings I make meals for shut-ins, elderly, or those recovering from a medical procedure.  I have a list of meals I choose from.  Most of them are meals my family used to enjoy.  However, our diets have changed so much that I end up making a totally different version of the meal for my family.  It's amazing the differences I now see in foods.  Food that I once considered home-made from scratch, I now laugh at because I know the difference.  Here's an example:  
The first picture is using canned soup mix.  The second picture shows the same recipe, but made with a homemade soup mix, totally from scratch using dried herbs, seasonings, and almond milk. 
Now for the good part!  Below, I will share with you the recipe I make for my family.  Enjoy!

Tater Tot Casserole

Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground hamburger meat
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup DIY soup mix (see notes below)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (or water)
  • 32 oz frozen tater tots
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Brown ground beef, season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add chopped onion, cook until tender.
  4. Meanwhile, mix soup mix with almond milk and set aside.
  5. In a 9x13 casserole dish, combine ground beef mixture and soup mix.
  6. Top mixture with tater tots.
  7. Bake, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes, until bubbly and tater tots are golden brown.
Note:  If you are not dairy free, you can add cheese to the top and return to the oven to melt it.
You can find the soup mix recipe here.