Wednesdays are the only day of the week that I have all my boys in school. After I drop them off and before I need to go back and pick them up, I have about 2 hours and 15 minutes where I am HOME ALONE. For an introverted girl like me who is rarely alone, this is GLORIOUS.
Now I feel like I need to do a little disclaimer here: Of course I love my boys to death and they are the cutest things ever, even sweeter than my Triple Layer Brownies. And yes, I know someday I will miss the noise, dirt, stinky socks, and Lego booby traps.
Okay, now can I go on with my rant?
I love my alone time, and I actually find myself in a complete state of panic when I walk into my house after returning from preschool drop-off.
The silence is so shocking.
Now what do I do?
In an effort to make the most of this precious time, I’m almost paralyzed with indecision.
- Should I clean up the house?
- Put the laundry away?
- Get some exercise?
- Organize my junk drawer?
- Test out a new recipe?
- Take a shower?
- Go grocery shopping?
- Iron that pile of shirts on the ironing board?
- Take a nap?
- Dust my ceiling fans?
- Pin some recipes?
- Read a book?
- Meet up with a friend?
- Go get a pedicure?
- Water my flowers?
- Get lost at Target?
- Listen to a podcast?
- Write my grandma a letter?
- Go to the MVD to update my driver’s license picture?
SEE WHAT I MEAN?
My time always goes by really fast, but I’m amazed at how much I can accomplish when someone else is attending to the constant needs of my children. They aren’t extra needy or anything, but kids just need a lot of attention.
So last week, I used a tiny portion of my Wednesday alone time to make this granola. Granola is very easy to make. After making this off and on for the last few years and tweaking it a little each time, this recipe is now perfection to me. My favorite thing about it is the finely ground almonds that coat each little oat. But I also like to leave some almonds chopped up more coarsely for extra crunch. It’s wonderfully sticky and clumpy.
A bowl full of this Homemade Coconut Oil Honey Almond Granola topped with juicy, sweet strawberries and a splash of ice cold whole milk is the way to go my friends. You can feel free to add your favorite granola type mix-ins, but I like mine a little on the plain side.
I hope you get a day this week to do whatever it is that makes your heart happy, whether it’s gathering with friends, watching a favorite show, or going to a nice long walk. Or maybe making granola?
- 1 cup whole almonds, divided
- 3 cups old fashioned oats
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup honey
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a food processor or blender, pulse half of the almonds until they are very finely chopped. Pour them into a large bowl. Then chop the other half of the almonds coarsely, and pour them into the same bowl.
- Pour the oats, salt, and brown sugar into the bowl with the almonds and stir to combine.
- In a small microwaveable bowl, combine honey and coconut oil, and heat for 40 seconds. Stir to dissolve the coconut oil, and add the vanilla and almond extract.
- Pour the honey mixture over the oats, and stir so that they are evenly coated.
- Pour the oat mixture evenly onto a Silpat or parchment lined baking sheet (helpful if it has sides).
- Bake for 5 minutes, and then stir and spread back to an even layer. Return to the oven for 5 more minutes, or until golden brown around the edges.
- Pour the granola and onto a piece of wax paper to cool. Spread it out into a thin layer - about 1/2 inch thick.
- After it cools completely, break the granola into clusters and store in an airtight container.