homemade granola

Hiya friends!
Well, I finally perfected my favorite kind of granola, and I want to share it with you.
You see, I like chunky, yet a little flaky, granola.  You know the kind.  The kind where you don't make a mess when you go to shove a big handful into your mouth. The kind where you can grab a chunk and shove that into your mouth instead!   I've been working on this for years.  Years I tell you!  And, the magical day I made a batch that was just the right consistency, I said OHYA!  Write this one down girl!
{the dry ingredients}
But, here's the thing.  I use all ingredients from Trader Joes.  Which is great for those of you that have one near you. It's also great, because the only thing you will need to measure will be the coconut oil and the honey.  But for those that don't have a Trader Joes near you, I will tell you the amount in each bag.  Oh!  The only other possible bummer may be that this recipe makes A LOT.  However, we have found that it freezes beautifully.  The other great thing is that you will have enough to give to your friends you knit with!  Or heck, those non knitters are worthy too.  ☺️
{tthe liquid ingredients}
Okay.  You are gonna need a big roaster for this amount.  You know the one you use for your turkey? Yep.  That's the one.  If you don't have one, I"m sure a friend does!
So, dump all of the dry ingredients into the roasting pan.  And give it a quick stir with your clean hands.  Easy peasy.
Next, mix the melted coconut oil together with the honey and pour it over the mixture.
And you guessed it.  Mix it with your hands.  This part is a little messy.  And sticky.  But don't be scared.  It washes off rather well.
Next you are going to bake in a 350˚ preheated oven.  It's gonna take about an hour.  So leave yourself enough time.  Here's the important part.  You are gonna need to stir every 15 minutes to get it evenly browned.  So get your knitting ready, pour yourself a cup of tea, and set your alarm for 15 minute intervals.  At the hour mark  (your 4th time stirring) I start stirring every 3 minutes or so.  Just to get it that right golden color.
My favorite way to eat this these days is on açaí bowls or any smoothie bowl.  (Do you know how to make those?  Super easy.  Let me know if you need help with those.  Maybe I should do a blog post on the how to's for a bowl.)  But you can eat it in a bowl with your favorite milk, over yogurt or ice cream.  And there is always the just grab a big handful.  The skies the limit!

Ingredients:
1 bag Rolled Oats (Gluten Free) 10 cups
1 bag unsalted, dry toasted Pecan Pieces / 2 cups
1 bag unsalted dry toasted Sliced Almonds / 2 cups
1 bag organic unsweetened flake coconut / 1 3/4 cups
1 bag organic unsweetened coconut chips / 1 3/4 cups
1/2 bag 50% less salt roast & salted cashews / 2 cups
1 bag dried cranberries (or your favorite dried fruit)  /  2 cups
Liquid Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups triple filtered coconut oil
1 3/4 cup honey

Directions:
Combine all bags of ingredients except for the cranberries into a roasting pan.  Add 1/2 bag of cashews.  Mix with your hands.  
Melt coconut oil in the microwave.  Add honey.  Stir to blend as well as possible.  Pour mixture over dry ingredients.  Stir well with your hands. 

Bake at 350˚ for an hour stirring every 15 minutes with a wooden spoon.  Remove from oven and add the bag of cranberries.  Stir to combine.  Bake an additional 3 minutes or so (depending on your oven) until your granola is evenly browned to that golden color.  Watch carefully as to not burn.

Remove from oven.  Press down granola firmly into pan.  Let cool.  

After cool, break apart pieces.  Store in an airtight container.  You can use freezer bags to store in smaller portions. 

Enjoy!  

hiya friends!

Well, hello there, sweet friends!  Happy July!
{My current obsession... Potato skin filled with avacodo.  My version of avocado toast.}

For me, July seems like the beginning of summer.  Maybe it was because we were away so much in June.  I literally spent the night in my bed 4 nights all month.  Crazy, but good.  I was in Florida visiting my sweet mama for the first week.  The second half of the month was spent in Boulder, CO visiting Libby and then Steve and I grabbed her and headed to Lake Tahoe for a couple of weeks.  Five out of our six kids were there.  It was FUN!  Steve and I finished the month in Calistoga, Ca  with a little (A LOT) of wine tasting.

Now I am home... for a bit.  Libby is home for a quick minute, and that has been special.  Andrew is home for the summer and it has been great.  A lot of golf for him.  And of course, I try to get Charlie to come home whenever he can.  Always bribing him with food.

But the big news is... I got a new computer! 😍  I haven't spent much time on my computer lately because I literally ran out of space.  With the amount of photos I have taken through the years, it literally took up all of my space. (50,000+)   I know, I know,  delete them or put them on a hard drive.  But, that just doesn't work for me because the chances of me plugging in the external hard drive to into my computer to find the one photo I am looking for just was never going to work for me.  SO, I would spend hours deleting 500 photos so that I could upload 10 photos.  Ack.  It was driving me crazy.

SO... I'm back with my computer and my camera and I plan on visiting this space a lot more often.

Hope knitting is happening a lot in your lives.  Just wait till you see my Weekender.  🙄

june knitcrate

I was so excited to see this new yarn from Knitcrate. And the sweet extra had me thinking oh YA! A new tape measure!
Membership Crate:
Yarn: 2 skeins of squishy Vidalana Aloft.   Aloft is 48% merino wool, 32% Organic Pima Cotton, and 20% Baby Alpaca blend that is chainette-plied, meaning that each strand is like a tiny braid.  Therefore, it gives each strand amazing definition.   My crate contained Tiger lily.  A beautiful creamsicle orange.
Pattern:  Both patterns (the knit and the crochet) are by Susan Lowman.
Knitting:  Rows of Lavender.  A sweet crescent shawl with a picot edge and faux cables and twisted stitches.
Crochet:  Golden Afternoon.
Bonus:  A sweet tape measure covered in fabric with a sweet house

As always your first knitcrate is 20% off by using the code FKW20 at checkout!

11 years, 1 week, 1 day

I started this project on June 2, 2008.  Yep.  I worked on it that summer and fall quite a bit taking it to all my kids sporting events.  Then I just became tired of the seed stitch.  Over the years I picked it up a few times.  Maybe knitting one color.   However, for at least the last 6 years it sat in a bag.  Four years ago I moved it to the laundry room thinking if I could see it, then maybe I would work on it.  Occasionally it would catch my eye, but most days my eyes would gaze over it not giving it a thought.
Then one day, I felt as if it were longingly looking at me as if to say, "Please give me some love, Leslie".  So I picked it up, organized the yarn and decided to finish it before starting anything else.
This project sat on that set of US 7 needles for 11 years, 1 week and 1 day.  So grateful to free both the needles and the blanket.  It truly was a labor of love.

Pattern:  Seed Stitch Throw
Yarn:  Classic Elite Four Seasons

may knitcrate

You know I love a good Knitcrate and May did not disappoint!  The theme is "farmers market" which got me very excited for the upcoming months and all of the delicious farm stands in our near future!
I might just have my husband take me on a road trip around Pennsylvania while I work on one of these beauties!
Membership Crate:
Yarn:  439 yards of Knitologie Cozy Sock  75% Superwash Merino Wool, 15% Nylon, 10% Cashmere  in Citrus Squeeze.
Knitting:  Squeezed Citrus Socks by Sarah Jordon
Crochet:  Magic Socks by Lilia Vanini
Bonus:  In case the knitter in you doesn't want to knit socks there is a Bonus Cowl pattern.  The Jounce Cowl is light and perfect for spring and cool summer nights.
The Sock Crate:
Yarn: Vidalana Delight Sport  100% Superwash Merino Sport weight in Strawberries.
Pattern:  Dancing Butterfly by Cynthia Levy.

This is currently in my suitcase for our road trip to Yosemite.  I can't wait to cast on.

As always, your first crate is 20% off by using the code FKW20 at checkout.

a big blanket

That's a big ball!
I have always wanted to make one of those big chunky blankets.  And I knew just the birthday girl who might like it.  So, I purchased 2 big balls from Woolly & Co.  I could have used only 1 ball and still had a nice size blanket.   However, I ended up using part of the second ball to get the length I wanted.  It is the quickest knit with such pleasing results.  It literally took an hour and a half!
I cast on 23 stitches onto my arm. :)  And knit until the piece measured about 70 inches
Finished Measurements ::  42" x 70"
(If I were to use 1 ball, I would cast on 18-20 stitches and knit until the ball runs out!)

life

It's been a busy half of May.  I honestly can't believe it is the 17th of the month!

As the world has been turning.  I've been:
getting reacquainted with an old knitting project :: welcoming home my college boy :: visiting Asheville, the Blue Ridge Mountains and Charleston :: mourning the loss of my sweet friend Susy :: crying :: visiting my sweet mother :: loving :: spending fun times with my sister :: laughing :: baking :: cooking :: driving around my college boy :: trying new recipes :: knitting :: redecorating the house :: planning a new kitchen :: dealing with a wrecked car ::  more crying :: more knitting  :: planning.

Hope your May has been full of all of Lifes feels.  But more of the happy ones!  xx