Granola Made Simple

Granola Made Simple

Years ago, a friend made me granola. It was amazing and she shared the recipe. I made it a lot then life got busy and it had quite a few ingredients. I just couldn’t keep up with keeping the ingredients in the kitchen and making it. I abandoned it.

Fast forward a decade or so, I am sitting a Girl Scout Women of Distinction breakfast in Providence, Rhode Island. The breakfast starter was granola, plain Greek yogurt, blueberries, and honey. It was divine! It got me thinking about granola again. What a nice change for breakfast would it be outside of my usual of Wasa crispbread and cheese or homemade bread and cheese. I went to the grocery store looking for granola. While there was a huge selection, none of them seem to work for me. I don’t know if it was all the ingredients with some I could not pronounce or the sugar or fat content, but I walked away empty handed. Off to the Internet, I went to seek out an easy simple granola recipe. I found it on The Live Fit Girls blog.

Granola Made Simple



The recipe was super easy and quick. Only six ingredients needed to make this recipe and you can make it in about 30 minutes. The key to this recipe is the quality of ingredients. I used organic and local products. They are worth seeking out especially the honey. That said if you can not find organic and local then buy what you can. I couldn’t find raw local honey, but I did buy some organic at the grocery store. As for my rolled oats, I went with Bob’s Red Mill Organic Old Fashioned Rolled Oats Whole Grain. Bob’s Red Mill products are always good quality. And they haven’t paid me to say so.

The preparation could not have been easier. Chop almonds and mix with oats then toast in the oven. While the oats mixture is toasting, you mix the wet ingredients. Once the oats are done then drizzle the honey mixture over the oats then pop by in the oven. The important step is in the toasting. You toast first at 350F then complete the toasting with the oven off. It makes the granola less likely to burn.

I made this recipe at night after a crazy day. Only took me 30 minutes. I let the granola cool overnight and it was ready for breakfast the next day. Recently I have been making this once a week and when I make my bread. Trying to use my time efficiently. Plus the house smells amazing… the sweet smell of toasted oats, almonds, and honey then the next day the house smells of freshly baked bread. Good to live in my house.

This recipe is really a winner at my house especially with my son who is not a breakfast eater and he loves this granola. It is fresh, flavorful, and you can pronounce all of the ingredients. We have it with blueberries, plain Greek yogurt, and local honey. It will keep you going the whole day. It even tastes yummy with just milk if you run out of yogurt. As for yogurt, use a good Greek yogurt. I’d recommend Fage or Chobai and I buy the fat-free versions.

Granola Made Simple


  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup raw almonds, chopped
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 2 teaspoons melted coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix dry ingredients in a glass baking dish and toast them in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • While the oats are toasting, combine the wet ingredients.
  • After the oats are toasted (they should be very aromatic), drizzle the honey mixture over the oats. Stir until well combined.
  • On a baking sheet lined with wax paper form a single layer of the oat mixture.
  • Place the baking sheet back in the oven and turn the over OFF. This will allow the granola to finish toasting without burning. Let it sit in the oven for 5-8 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
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Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake

The Birthday Cake. It is one of the most important baked good other than bread. The birthday cake is just special. I really think so. And a birthday cake is best when it is homemade from scratch.
Yes, I just wrote that… best when it is homemade from scratch. I believe that cooking and baking while necessary part of life, can be done with love and passion. That’s what makes it special. A birthday cake from scratch is an action of love and appreciation in an age of the grocery store brought cakes and processed everything. Sure, it may taste differently each time you make it or not look perfect (case in point above), but it will be meaningful. 
I asked my son, soon be to aged 6, what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday. His request was I bake him a cake. A chocolate cake. A special Momma cake. As a softie of a Momma, how could I have said no to the request even though life is moving at light-speed for me? Baking a cake is not only good for him by making him happy, but for me. I find cooking and baking good thinking time. And it makes me happy. He didn’t help me in the process this time, but he did enjoy licking what was left in the icing bowl. 
One of my favorite cake recipes is a classic chocolate cake recipe off the Hershey Cocoa box. The cake is called “Perfectly Chocolate” chocolate cake. It is easy to make make with ingredients in your cupboard. Within an hour from start to finish (plus some cooling time), you can make a wonderful chocolate cake. Rich and moist.

So next birthday, make a birthday cake from scratch. And will make it special for yourself or the birthday person. 



Currently my house smells like croissants and strong black coffee. I thinks that’s a pretty darn good way to start off a Sunday. Sunday morning breakfast traditionally for is us is one of having treats… yummy treats. And croissants definitely fit the bill. 

While I’m a better good baker, I haven’t been successful in making croissants or any bread for that matter. We’ve gotten into the habit of getting “fresh” croissant from Wal-Mart or Harris Tweeter. There are OK, but let’s face it nothing really beats fresh out of the oven. 
I got really excited when I was at Trader Joe’s recently (which by the way is one of my favorite grocery stores) and I can across these. I couldn’t pass them up. So I picked up a package of  Mini Croissants and Chocolate Croissants. You can rarely go wrong with any Trader Joe’s product. 

The directions seem simple enough. 

The one drawback is you have to think ahead. The croissants need to proof overnight so if you can remember to take them then you’ll have fresh croissant in the morning. You just take them out of the package placing on a buttered baking sheet uncovered overnight. 
This is what they look like in the morning before baking. They’ve grown quiet a bit. I actually was surprised. It worked. 

For a bakery finish, use an egg wash right before baking.

After 20 minutes of baking at 350F, this is the result… beautiful flavorful, buttery, flaky croissants!
I will definitely stocking my freezer with these gems! Now only if Trader Joe’s wasn’t over an hour drive away one-way…
Making of the Cheesecake

Making of the Cheesecake

Cheesecakes are fast becoming a holiday tradition in our house. We love them. And I love to make them with my son. We’ve been cooking and baking together since he was able to stand.

We recently made an Oreo Cheesecake together. My son did it pretty much did it all while I read the directions and took the photos.

And the finished cheesecake! Yum!

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