Friday, May 12, 2017

Best Home-made Granola





This recipe was shared with me by Hannah Silva a few years ago.  Truly the best granola I have ever had!  Super easy to make too.

3 cups rolled oat
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup unsweetened coconut chips (If I can't find them, I just use shredded coconut)
1 1/4 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup maple syrup, preferably Grade B (I always use a good quality, but whatever I can find)
1/2 cup olive oil
dried cran-cherries (to your liking)

Place all the ingredients except maple syrup, olive oil, and cran-cherries, in a large bowl and mix well.  Add the maple sugar and olive oil and mix well.  Place on large cookie sheets lined with parchment paper and pour mixture onto pans.  Spread mixture until evenly distributed.  Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring every 15.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Add cran-cherries and break granola up into small chunks.  Store in an airtight container for up to one month (if it can last that long!)

Makes about 7 cups

NOTE:  You can really use any combination of nuts and any dried fruit you desire.  Such a great flavor!  The original recipe calls for 1 tsp kosher salt, but I never salt anything, thus I omitted it.




Friday, May 5, 2017

My Little Piece of Paradise!

I thought I would give you a little peek into my silence over the last while.  The weather is warmer and I am living in the yard every spare second I get!  I have water features all over my property to make "working" in the yard therapeutic.  It is a wonderful way to relax and unwind from my stressful, crazy life as a realtor!  I think a lot while I garden and it is good for my soul.  I am NOT a photographer and that is painfully evident, but it will give you an idea of what makes my heart sing.  Always a work in progress, this has been a year of ripping things out.  The sage was completely removed from the first weeping rock we installed, as it was much too big and by the end of the season, you could scarcely see the fountain at all.  That was like removing a tree - the roots are insane!  Took me a complete day of hard work, sweat, and breaking my husband's shovel to get them out.  :)   I planted some new bushes that remain small and have a beautiful golden color.  

East side yard - gets lots of shade and is such a relaxing place to chill. You are barely able -to see the chimney pot fountain my husband made behind the bench.  Super nice sou

Also east side - looking toward the street

Flower pot on east side

East side toward front

East side toward front - love the turbine - it spins in the wind

Very front east side

Front east side - love the little tree - the flowers are pretty well spent here, but so pretty in early spring!


One of many bird houses

My little squirrel friend

Flower pot in front of garage

Rabbit in front landscape

Front door

My funky little owl on the front porch - he often wears a chalk board sign welcoming guests to please come on in!

Front pots

Front pots

Love this little tree - it replaced a weeping cherry tree that failed to weep.

Front mill stone water feature - one of my favorites and the first one we ever installed.

Funky upcycled owl

Front bench under the Japanese maple - one of only two trees that remain from the previous owners

Chillin rabbit in the front bed

front landscape

Front weeping rock - we had to have this one craned in - I killed 3 trees here before we decided to go with the fact there is too much water and install the rock.  It is the low point on our property.  Such beautiful sound.


Swing by the front weeping rock.  A favorite spot for our grand daughters.

Front landscape

Another favorite birdhouse - this one is "occupied" every year! - Different bird families on each level

Another front yard sitting spot on the west side of the house

Yes, I am obsessed with bird houses - the one in the background is an old ammunition box

And another one!



More bird house and a rusty owl

Love the shutter angel


My other millstone fountain on the west side of the house

West side - more bird houses

And yup, another

You didn't think I was done, did you?

Newly planted tomatoes in the garden boxes - we plant a "salsa" garden every year.  The other box has all kinds of peppers.  Nothing like fresh salsa!

One of four pots on the back patio

Another back patio pot

My chill spot on the back patio - this area is "waterproof" and I can watch the storms from here.

Fairy gardens for the grand daughters



Back yard weeping rock - the first one we ever installed

The back west corner of the yard - archway leads to the garden boxes

Upper deck and the perfect "perch" to watch all my crazy birds.

If you need me, I'll be chillin' in the back yard!  Come sit awhile.  I never get tired of it.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

I got this recipe from my mother 36 years ago and have to say it is still my favorite sugar cookie recipe.





Cookie Dough

2 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream (I substitute Greek Yogurt all the time and it is perfect)
1 cup butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tarter
7 cups flour

Cream together sugar and butter; add sour cream , eggs and vanilla.  Blend well.  Gradually add dry ingredients until mixture forms a ball.  Roll out mixture on a lightly floured surface, cut out with cookie cutters.  Place cookies on cookie sheet and back at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes.  

After cookies have cooled, dust with sugar or icing.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/4 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
3 T milk
4 oz cream cheese, softened

Cream together softened butter and cream cheese; add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth.  Can tint with food coloring if desired.