Tag Archives: School

Pumpkin Spice Granola

21 Nov

I feel like I’m guest-blogging for my own blog today, which makes no sense.


In actuality, I’m just writing from a different computer since apparently, yet unbeknownst to me, I managed to get the spontaneous combustion feature on my laptop and had to send it in for repair the SECOND time in two years. Now, don’t get me wrong, in the winter it’s nice to have a built-in lap-warmer…to a point, but when it starts to rev its processor with the force and sound of what I can only describe as a jet engine rather than a melodic hum, and the smell of melting plastic fills the air, it’s pretty much a different story altogether.


Needless to say, I’ve been without my computer for a week now, during what is without a doubt the busiest time of the school quarter, and I can only hope Dell gets it together this time and sends my computer back fresh and new!


On that note, Thanksgiving week is upon us! I’m usually pretty amazed and envious that some working folk get not just Wednesday, but the ENTIRE week off! That’s something I’m absolutely not used to, since I’m usually plugging away in non-canceled classes up until Wednesday evening, just in time to head home and hit inevitable, massive amounts of holiday traffic. However, I lucked out this year, and come Tuesday evening, I’ll be home free, ready to prepare for the arrival of Turkey Claus =)


In the mean time, I’ve continued the pumpkin theme with none other than pumpkin spice granola, because let’s face it, nothing says fall quite like pumpkin. And spices. And granola? Go with it. It’s a super yummy, tweaked up version of my Half-Marathon Training Granola (which, by the way, I still haven’t put to marathon training use yet! I know…), and it makes your kitchen smell better than any of those holiday scented spray thingies ever could! Done deal.

Pumpkin Spice Granola


* 4 Cups Old-fashioned oats
* 2 Cups Rice Crispies
* 1 Cup Raw Spanish Peanuts
* 1 Cup Pecans, roughly chopped
* 1/4 Cup Golden flax seeds
* 1/4 Cup Shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
* 2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
* 1 tsp Salt
* 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
* 1 Cup dried cranberries, raisins, or whatever you like
* 3/4 Cup Pumpkin puree (from a can)
* 1/2 Cup Maple syrup
* 2/3 Cup Packed brown sugar
* 4 Tbsp Olive oil
* 2 Tbsp Peanut butter (or almond butter would work!)
* 1 Tbsp Vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325*F and line a baking sheet with parchments paper or a silpat.

Combine all of the dry ingredients, except for the cranberries, in a large bowl.

Stir together all of the wet ingredients, except for the vanilla extract, in a separate, microwave safe bowl. Microwave about a minute, then stir, and heat 2-4 more minutes until bubbly, depending on the strength of your microwave. Mine took about 5 minutes total.
Stir in the vanilla extract.

Pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture, and stir, stir, stir! Combine well, and then pour the mixture onto prepared pan.

Bake for 30 minutes, then remove from oven and move browner, edge areas inward. If you like crumbly granola, you can stir it all up on the pan. If you like chunks of granola like I do, try to only move the brown edges and leave the rest of it in tact. Bake another 10-20 minutes, checking at 5 minute intervals so it doesn’t burn! Remove and let cool FULLY. At this point, if you stirred the whole pan, you will have loose granola, and if you didn’t stir it, break it up into large chunks.

Stir in the dried cranberries. Store in an airtight container, probably for about a week…maybe two? I have no idea if it will keep beyond about 5 days, actually, haha 😉

Cat tested, cat approved!

On the other hand, someone is caged this morning, and clearly NOT amused… =p

I hope your short work/school week kicks off with a great Monday!

Fruit Stand of my Dreams

21 Jul

I realize I haven’t talked much about summer school lately, but that’s more about trying to pretend it doesn’t exist than about it not actually happening.

It’s happening, though, and I know because otherwise I spend more hours than usual in a prolonged state of confusion, brows furrowed, mouth slightly agape, cursing the day I got myself into this mess, all for nothing. Possible, but not probable.

And that’s just the time spent in class. As if that wasn’t enough time spent interpreting a professor’s warp-speed lectures as long-winded reminders of my scientific inadequacies, I get to hear them resonate in my head later as I read about the stuff that I was previously blissfully unaware that I didn’t understand before.

It’s like a daily, “Hey you, here’s another thing you didn’t know, won’t know, but should know. By Monday. Kthanks.” Insert me crying + Major *SAD FACE*

Sometimes information overload lends itself to a hefty dose of self-preservational tactics which include, but aren’t limited to: profuse, unnecessary use of highlighters (through personal experience, I’ve noticed that if you highlight the whole page, it’s not as useful. Weird…), excessive fidgeting, daydreaming about things that are only exciting relative to the current situation (ex: making oatmeal), and writing out to-do lists primarily composed of things I’ve already accomplished, just so I get to cross them off.

I really wish doodling was still in. Whatever happened to that? Doodling was nice.

It’s really not always as bad as I make it out to be, but obviously I’d still rather be in Europe or on a beach somewhere, but I think that goes without saying.

That being said, I’ve also been busy getting ready/shopping for my family’s summer party this weekend! It’s become a thing…usually a thing with a theme. From the Bayou to the Mediterranean, we’ve got a few under our belts, and while I wouldn’t say they’re anything fancy, they are fun and obviously involve lots of awesome food!

This time, Texas style pit BBQ!

In order to make that happen, cue Fruit Stand. Be still my heart, little fruit stand.

It’s like a cross between a grocery store and a farmer’s market- local, fresh, seasonal produce but unlike a once or twice a week farmer’s market, it’s there EVERY. SINGLE. DAY!  Amazing.

The prices are MUCH more reasonable than a farmer’s market, too!  After perusing the aisles as usual, I scored a bunch of yummy stuff for Saturday:

* Seedless watermelon
* Canteloupe
* Honeydew melon
* Yellow Peaches
* Nectarines
* Corn on the cob
* Lettuce
* Celery
* Cilantro
* Avocados
* Yellow Cauliflower
* Cucumbers

There’s really just one problem with this place- they need bigger carts!

I’ve never actually been to a Texas pit BBQ, but I think that just means it involves lots of meat, BBQ sauce, and anything else you can cook over an open flame.

Corn on the cob. Zucchini. And lots of peach cobbler, too! Stay tuned!