Homemade Granola Bars with Cranberries & Walnuts

Homemade Granola Fruit and Nut Bars

I don’t know about you, but around this time of the year, I start to scale back on my weekday cooking in order to prepare my refrigerator for all of the things I am making for Thanksgiving. This year my self imposed scale back has nothing to do with needing room for my thanksgiving dishes, instead I’m scaling back in preparation for not being home. We are joining millions of travelers this year, we are going to visit my in-laws in Nevada for Thanksgiving. Since we’ll be in the car for more than 3 hours, I decided to prepare some healthy snacks for us to munch on during the drive. This granola bar fits the bill perfectly. It has nuts, 3 kinds of fruit, and no refined sugar!

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes

3/4 cup of maple syrup
2 tablespoons coconut oil or butter plus more for oiling the baking dish
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/3 cups chopped nuts I used walnuts
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup of dried fruit, I used a mixture of sour cherries, cranberries, and raisins
1/3 cup creamy almond or peanut butter
1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup of Coconut flakes unsweetened  for topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small saucepan, heat 1/4 cup of the maple syrup and the 2 tablespoons of coconut oil over low. Cook, stirring, until the oil melts. In a large bowl, combine oats, nuts, and pinch of salt. Drizzle maple mixture over oat mixture and stir to combine. Spread mixture evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Place the oats in large bowl, add dried fruit and mix well. 

Lightly butter an 8-inch square baking dish. 

In saucepan, combine remaining 1/2 cup of maple syrup, almond butter, and honey over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a boil. Drizzle over oat mixture and stir until combined; transfer  mixture to buttered baking dish. With a spatula, firmly press granola into dish. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour, then cut into bars or squares.

What are your plans for Thanksgiving?

Since I’ll be visiting family next week, I am not sure I will have time to post. My daughter is turning 2 on Thanksgiving day, so when we return I’ll be focused on celebrating this major milestone with her. Happy cooking, and a very Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Corn Griddle Cakes with Turkey Sausage

Corn Griddle Cakes with Turkey Sausage

Do you ever have breakfast for dinner? I don’t mean a bowl of cereal, I mean one of those Sunday morning, bacon, and eggs, with a side of cinnamon french toast kind of breakfast dinners! Aren’t those the best? There is just something about eating breakfast foods at night that makes them all the more tasty! Cue these corn cakes! They have everything your love about breakfast mixed up in one fluffy delicious cake! Top them with warm maple syrup, and you get the picture!

7 ounces of breakfast sausage, I used turkey sausage, casings removed
1.5 cups of fresh or frozen, thawed, corn kernels
1 cup of yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon of maple syrup, or sweetener of your choice
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
1 1/4 cup of butter milk, (can substitute plain yogurt, or add 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to 1 1/4 cup of milk and let sit at least 10 minutes before adding it to the recipe)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup of green onions, can use brown onion as substitute.
Butter or ghee for cooking cakes.


  • Cook sausage in a skillet over medium heat, breaking up into small pieces, until browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to a small bowl. Add corn to same skillet and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until browned, 5–6 minutes. Transfer corn to bowl with sausage and let cool. Wipe skillet clean and reserve.
  • Whisk cornmeal and the rest of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk buttermilk, maple syrup and eggs together, and add to the dry ingredients, whisk until just combined. Fold in sausage, corn, and scallions.


  • Heat 1 Tbsp.  butter in a skillet; working in batches and adding butter as needed between batches, add batter to pan by tablespoonfuls. Cook until cakes are crisp and golden brown, 2–3 minutes. Turn cakes over and cook until browned, 1–2 minutes longer. Transfer cakes to paper towels to drain. Serve warm drizzled maple syrup yum!!!!

    What’s your favorite breakfast for dinner meal?

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Almond Milk–How to make Almond Milk

Raw Almond Milk

I have made a lot of nut milks, in my life, so I would be untrue to you if I didn’t share at least one of  my recipes for them with you. We don’t drink cows milk in my house, so nut milks have been a great alternative for us. I have tried my hand at making almost every milk alternative out there, from soy milk to hemp milk, I’ve tried it all. The truth is that once you make one, you can just substitute the seeds or the nuts, and you can make them all. The only exception to that rule is soy milk. For soy milk things get a bit more complicated, because it has to be heated to a certain temperature, for it to be safe for consumption. Luckily for us all someone invented the soy milk maker. I have one and I love it! The one I have also allows me to make raw nut milks. Personally I prefer to use it only for making soy milk. My blender does a better job at making the nut milks. For this recipe, you’ll need a either a nut milk bag, which you can purchase here,or at Whole Foods, or cheese cloth. I’ve used both, and they both work well, but it becomes a bit expensive if you make nut milks a lot, to keep buying cheese cloth. The nut milk bags are reusable and more user friendly for this purpose.

2 cups of raw almonds, soaked in a bowl of water overnight, then drained and rinsed
4 cups of water
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional)
sweetener of choice (maple syrup, agave, 4 dates) (optional) to your taste.

1 cheese cloth folded  into 4 layers
Blender, or food processor

Add raw almonds to a bowl and add enough water to cover them,  then refrigerate overnight.

 Drain and rinse the soaked Almonds and add them to the blender, along with the water, vanilla extract and sweetener if you’re using them.

Cover the blender and blend on high for 2-4 minutes, depending on how high powered your blender is it could take more or less time. Blend until a milk forms and the almonds resemble a fine grain paste.

 Place your nut milk bag, or  folded cheese cloth over a large bowl, and pour the blended mixture into the bag or cheese cloth to strain it, squeezing until all the liquid is out and what is left behind is fairly dry almond pulp.

Place the milk in an air tight container like a mason jar, and refrigerate for up to 5 days. You can add cocoa powder and have chocolate almond milk, or leave it plain. Whatever you choose to do, this milk is delicious. You can use the left over almond pulp too! If you spread it out on a cookie sheet and place it in the oven on 175- 200F to dry it out, what you get is homemade almond meal. You can bake muffins, make pancakes, and a number of other delicious baked goods with it.

What is your favorite milk alternative? Have you ever made it at home?

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