I'm trying to do a little rearranging of the Fall Decor. Yes, caps here. It seems to have overwhelmed my home just a bit short of the way Christmas does and that's monumental. I have these shelves in my living room and they are jammed packed with everything from pictures to books to candles to...well, whatever. I have a hard time saying "No" to anything and everything I love. Anyway, I read an article somewhere the other day to the effect that you should only use 60% of your shelves for your 'whatever' (as if we go by rules). I think I'm at 110%. I really need to declutter and I'm having nightmares.
Anyway, I added some real pumpkins, albeit small ones to my mantel. :)
Saturday I made a fire for the first time this season. It was afternoon and I was busy in the kitchen where I could see it and enjoy. I love a fire in the late afternoon, especially when I'm making dinner. If I could ever design my own home I'd have a fireplace in the kitchen right next to a table where we had cozy meals. But this is good enough.
I tried my hand at making granola for the first time. As I'm allergic to sunflower seeds and oil I've always had to be careful of granola and energy/breakfast bars. A lot of 'healthy' snacks also have sunflower oil and I have to carefully read labels. I came across a recipe for a healthy and easy to make granola in Redbook magazine by Carla Hall, who is a co-host on The Chew (love that show). I had to change it up, of course, by eliminating the sunflowers seeds. I also needed to make a few other changes that may have been recipe glitches or my own. Here's my version or you can go to The Chew website and search Carla's recipe.
Simple Granola with Fruit and Nuts (Blondie's Version)
3 cups oats
3/4 c slivered almonds
3/4 c raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1/4 c canola oil
1/2 c maple syrup
2 t vanilla extract
1 c dried cranberries
1 c dried apricots (chopped)
(you may substitute any dried fruit you like chopped uniformly)
2 T honey
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
In a large bowl mix the first 5 dry ingredients. In a small bowl stir together the oil, syrup and vanilla. Drizzle the syrup mixture over the dry and mix thoroughly. Spread on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 50 minutes, stirring every once in a while to brown evenly. Remove and toss with dried fruit. Drizzle with honey and let cool. Store in an airtight container.
I doubled the recipe...this is an easy recipe but not so fast to put together. I made several individual portions to give to family member who absolutely loved it. You can eat it by the handful (as The Husband did), or top vanilla yogurt as daughter Abigail tried this morning. Big thumbs up. :)
I had another recipe I wanted to try...very simple and it was good hot and cold. A simple appetizer. I rolled out two containers of ready made crescent rolls into a rectangular shape, spread 8 oz. cream cheese and 1/4 c Parmesan, down the middle and sprinkled that with 1/2 cup chopped red pepper and then pinched it closed. Flip it over seam side down on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cut into 2 inch wedges. I served this with the potato soup I had made Saturday.
This was a fantastic potato soup recipe I Pinned from The Pioneer Woman blog...you all know Ree, right? Love her. I'll spare you a recipe here and just give you the link. This is a winner but beware, there is a lot of chopping involved. I would also eliminate half the bacon at the beginning and sub butter...the soup really had a smokey bacon flavor I could live without. And I would add the carrots at the end, I didn't find the color of the soup too appetizing with the orange color. I'm really sorry I can't give you the link but you can go to her website, The Pioneer Woman or go to my Pinterest site and look under Healthy Soups and Stews.
We are off to a great week weather-wise here in the upper Midwest and that encourages me to finish up my yard work. I have some new lilies to plant which will make me smile next summer and be grateful that I took the time to plant them. And I have seeds from the cone flowers that I grabbed up when we were at the lake in August. I'm hoping they will come up next spring. I also want to say that my morning glories have an abundance of seed pods that will be ready to pluck off the vine in about 3-4 weeks. My vine has a combo of pink and blue flowers. If anyone wants any of these seeds (and I can give you a nice supply), let me know and I can have them sent off to you in a New York (Chicago) minute. Email me your name and address and I'll ship them off as soon as they look dried.
Off I go. Not sure if you are a Mets or Chicago Cubs fan but we are rooting here in Chi Town for our Cubbies. Wow---what an exciting time. We have season tickets so we will have seats next week and hopefully at The World Series. Well, not me...I will totally forfeit to my sons, true sports fans.
Have a great week, friends!