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Whew, it’s Friday!  At our house we not only look forward to Friday because it’s the end of the school week, but also because it’s movie night.

Suggestions for our Friday flick start flying around on Thursday afternoon and by the time the boys are home from school we usually have it narrowed down to two or three.  At that point the discussion commences, it usually includes some compromise, argument and pouting before finally agreeing on a decision.  I have to say their picks usually aren’t too bad. ‘Despicable Me’ is probably our most recent fav, I think it might be the best animated movie I’ve seen since ‘Up’.

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We are on snow day #2.  The pace is a bit slower around here as the excitement of the fresh snow is wearing off and the temperature is too cold for playing outside.  Our morning has been filled by being crafty with construction paper, glitter and glue sticks.

It’s also been a good morning for baking.  First up was some homemade granola.  The house was filled with the warm smell of cinnamon as a batch toasted in the oven.  This granola recipe has become a bit of a staple around our house and I almost always have a container in the pantry.  We put it on fresh fruit, yogurt, oatmeal or just eat it by the handful for a quick snack.  I’ve found the key to making good granola is to make sure you bake it long enough.  If you don’t it’s rubbery…and no one likes rubbery granola.

We gave this as a gift to friends and teachers this year at Christmas.  Since then I’ve gotten quite a few requests for the recipe so I thought this would be a good place to share it.  It’s been adapted from a granola recipe in The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone.  I made just a few changes to better fit the likes of the people in our house.  Feel free to do the same…

Granola Recipe

6 cups old fashion oats

1/2 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup wheat germ

1/2 shredded coconut

1/2 cup sesame seeds

1 cup chopped nuts or dried fruit (or half of each)

1/4 cup safflower or vegetable oil

1/2 cup brown rice syrup (or maple syrup for a slightly sweeter version)

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Spread oats on a rimmed baking pan, and bake for 10 minutes.  Transfer the oats to a large mixing bowl, and add the sugar, wheat germ, coconut, seeds and nuts or dried fruit.  Stir to mix well, then add the oil, syrup and vanilla extract.  Mix until everything is moistened.

Spread half of the mixture on each of 2 rimmed baking sheets (or bake in 2 batches), and bake for 10 minutes.  Stir after 5 minutes to brown evenly.  If your granola doesn’t seem fully toasted add more time at 5 minute increments.

Let the granola cool completely on the pans, then transfer it to a bowl and stir until crumbly.  Store in an airtight container.

Enjoy!

Alison

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