An Easy Homemade Granola Recipe

Homemade Granola | PepperDesignBlog.com

Granola is one of my favorite foods. So great as an afternoon snack, with yogurt and fresh fruit in the morning, or even drizzled in honey as a sweet treat. We made personalized little batches of granola recently with Liv’s friends.

Every Thursday morning I get together with a few of my girlfriends and their kids and we lead a preschool lesson. We call it our co-op preschool and it is one of my weekly treasured times (it’s also part of my village – these ladies are so much more than just playdate pals). Working or maternity leave, I try to make sure that I reserve Thursday mornings for these lessons. It hasn’t always been easy but it’s so worth it!

I wasn’t sure I’d capture the latest lesson that I led at our home (we rotate) on camera – it’s always a little chaotic when you’re on teaching duty with lesson prep and the wild hands of eight little children everywhere, but I did manage a few pictures and thought I’d share them with you. Especially since our class produced excellent homemade granola AND a little no sew kids apron that is super easy to replicate (more on that soon).

Homemade Granola | PepperDesignBlog.com

I decided to talk high level nutrition with the littles. We discussed ‘grow strong food’ and how it’s important to fill our bodies with what fuels it. I had previously collected a selection of grocery store bin goodies (dried cranberries, golden raisins, blanched almonds, sunflower seeds and even mini chocolate chips) and we passed the dishes around the circle sampling each.

Then we filled small flat ramekins with prepped but not baked granola (recipe below) and everyone chose what toppings they wanted to mix in. Snack and learning in one.

Homemade Granola | Kid's Easy DIY Cloth Napkin Apron | PepperDesignBlog.com

Homemade Granola
 
Ingredients
  • 5 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup honey or agave syrup
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • dried fruit and nuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300.
  2. In a large glass bowl mix oats, nuts, dried fruit, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. In a one cup measuring cup, pour honey or agave and vegetable oil together so that they are mixed, then pour measuring cup contents into rolled oats mixture.
  3. Spread mixture out on a backing sheet lined with parchment paper, bake for 20-25 minutes and allow to cool (during the cooling process the crispy granola will clump and hardened).

Homemade Granola | PepperDesignBlog.com

A note on agave vs honey: honey is easy and probably in the cupboard, but agave behaves so much better in the whole mixing process (we also keep it on hand as a honey substitute). Completely up to you!

Between my junior and senior year of college two of my girlfriends and I spent five weeks in Europe. We were on such a tight budget that we could afford maybe one meal a day while hopping around from country to country (and that was most likely salami and a loaf of bread), and so I planned in advance and brought with me a GIANT bag of homemade granola. Literally survived off of it for weeks on end. Amazing trip – but I can’t say I’d do it that way again! And it took me a while to warm up to the delicious snack again afterwards :).

PS homemade maple oat bars (since we’re talking oats) and a slightly fancier breakfast recipe.

6 Weeks, Sweet Marley Marie

Marley Newborn Photos | PepperDesignBlog.com

Dear Marlowe, you are just over six weeks old and I feel as though newborn-ness is slipping through my fingers. All of a sudden you are a baby and not just a newborn. You feel so big to me already (though I’m sure the rest of the world still see’s the teeny tiny you) and I want it to all slow down.

You have not finished adjusting to this new world. I might even guess that it’s not at all what you expected and that you’re a little wary of it (pure speculation on my part but your discontentment is sometimes too obvious :)). We are figuring it out together though and my greatest moments are when you gaze up at me and suddenly you are still, quiet, safe.

Marley Newborn Photos | PepperDesignBlog.com

These past six weeks have been a blur. Possibly the most exhausting six weeks of my whole life. But for that I love you immensely. Our life just wouldn’t be the same without you, crazy or not.

Marley Newborn Photos | PepperDesignBlog.com

I look forward to the day that I can say ‘ah-ha! we’ve figured it out, this whole family of five thing’, but until then sweet girl, know that I am so over the moon for you. For your coos, your cries, your gazing eyes, your long fingers, your strong grip, your first smiles, your sweet scent.

One favor to ask though… for the love of God, please stop growing so quickly. I want to remember this, all of this. xo mom

A Snowy Mid-Week Getaway

Family Snow Trip to Big Bear | PepperDesignBlog.com

Maternity and paternity leave just wouldn’t be complete without one little getaway as a family. At the invitation of friends we headed up to the mountains this past week for a little cabin time. And to our sweet surprise it snowed the day we arrived, covering everything in the most beautiful blanket of white! Two days of sunshine later and we left the mountain half melted again. It was perfect timing.

Family Snow Trip to Big Bear | PepperDesignBlog.com

Kevin and Taylor built an ‘Olaf’ by request, and there was plenty of sledding to be had just outside of our cabin door.

Family Snow Trip to Big Bear | PepperDesignBlog.com

We were in Big Bear for one full day and on that day we signed Olivia and her bud River (who we were traveling with) up for ski school at the local resort. This is about the age that I learned to ski so it was a little nostalgic seeing her all geared up in a similar pink bib.

Family Snow Trip to Big Bear | PepperDesignBlog.com

Family Snow Trip to Big Bear | PepperDesignBlog.com

She did great! Even rode the ‘big lifts’ twice and lived to tell us stories all about it back at the lodge:

Family Snow Trip to Big Bear | PepperDesignBlog.com

Family Snow Trip to Big Bear | PepperDesignBlog.com

When I wasn’t watching Liv doing her pizza pie thang, I was keeping Marlowe warm at ground zero on my own. And since I brought no reading materials (I figured I’d be chasing an active Taylor all morning :)) I had to resort to sifting through how-to directions on my camera lens. A booklet I’ve never opened before but one carried in my camera bag anyway (have you ever heard of a ‘VC Mechanism?’). It was good for me.

Family Snow Trip to Big Bear | PepperDesignBlog.com

Family Snow Trip to Big Bear | PepperDesignBlog.com

Family Snow Trip to Big Bear | PepperDesignBlog.com

(That starry sleeper is a Kidizen find!)

I know that much of the US is being covered by crazy snow storms (and my heart is going out to my weathered friends), but here in Southern California I was so excited to experience this for two days:

Family Snow Trip to Big Bear | PepperDesignBlog.com

Now back to the grind. Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

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