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I am UmberDove.

And by that, I mean an artist.  One who hears stories in the wind, who paints because it is what her soul tells her to do, who smiths because the muse moves through her fingertips, who loves nothing more than the promise of an unexplored trail, the sound of the ocean in her ears, and scent of a serious cup of coffee.


The (In)Famous Granola


So it seems that every time I make a batch of granola, about half of it goes to like-minded friends whom I feel need the kind of love that only homemade granola can give. Unfortunatley, I am either selfish or generous (depending on how you look at it) because no one has received this little gift twice. This has caused a small stir of clamoring for the recipe, so I finally had to sit down and write out what goes into the mystery mix. Keep in mind that my granola has never abided by a set recipe, so all the quantities are pretty loose. In other words, feel free to experiment with confidence - I have yet to use a measuring implement, but have never had a bad batch!

Hippy-Snippy Granola

1 1/2 Lbs Rolled Oats (I always buy these in bulk, and this quantity in organic is usually about $1.25)
1 /1/2 - 2 Cups Nuts of Your Desire (I love almonds and cashews, but I have used pecans, hazelnuts, and macadamia nut as well)
1/2 Cups Sunflower Seeds
2 Tbs Sesame Seeds
1/2 Tbs Cinnamon (or more if I'm feeling zesty)
A good shake of Nutmeg

So mix all this good stuff up in bigger bowl. Then go on to the wet goods.

1 1/2 Cups Applesauce (This is the one thing you can not skimp on)
3/4 Cups Brown Sugar
1/3 Cups Maple Syrup (Don't even think about using the fake stuff!)
1/3 Cups Honey (get the stuff that comes in a honey bear - it needs to be runny honey)
2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Mix up this sweet concoction very well, then pour it over the dry goods. Here I use a mixing technique with two spatulas. I stick the spatulas on opposite sides of the bowl, then lift and squeeze them together. By really squishing the granola up (rather than just stirring), the wet can work its way through the whole batch instead of just coating the out sides. Once you have a consistence that looks like sticky little clusters of granola, you're ready for the baking part.

Heat your oven to 350*. Spread the granola in a thin layer over two baking sheets that have been lined in parchment paper (not wax! repeat, never put wax paper in the oven!) or foil. Cook for ten minutes, flip the granola with a big spatula, and put both sheets back in (I change which one is on top every time I flip, just to make sure they cook evenly). Continue on like this for about 35 - 40 min. When the granola is nicely browned (Malibu stacy style) then you are done. Let it cool completely, then enjoy with yogurt and fresh berries!