So here’s what’s been going on in my life:

I sliced off part of my thumb on the new mandolin my husband bought me for my birthday last weekend. He had to do my birthday dinner dishes because my entire arm (thumb) was in a bandage (band aid). As I was trying to figure out how to unbutton my pants, 1 handed, to go pee, I hear my husband yell, “found your thumb.” Awesome. He found the missing chunk attached to the bottom side of the mandolin.

I’m catering a wedding this weekend. For 100 people: appetizers, dinner and dessert. Savory cheesecakes for an appetizer and cupcakes in a jar for dessert (just to name a few). Yep, the food is gonna be pretty epic. Have you ever made 100 cupcakes in a jar? Great, want to come over and help? K, thanks.

We’re going to be out of town for Thanksgiving. I have mixed emotions about this. Yeah, great, I’m not in charge of Thanksgiving dinner. Boo, lamesauce, I wanna make Thanksgiving dinner because it’s my favorite meal of the year. As long as I get my sweet potatoes, no one will get hurt.

I’m starting to ramp up my Christmas baking momentum. The whole ‘baking’ part isn’t happening yet. Gotta get through the wedding this weekend first…but I have some real good ideas floating around this thing bobbling on my shoulder (AKA, my head). So far they pretty much all involve mason jars. And giving gifts in the mason jars. Like granola, how perfect is that. Homemade CLUSTERY granola IN a mason jar. You’re welcome.

Dear friends, if you’re reading this, I just gave away your Christmas present, so act surprised when you get it, cool?

I used yet another flavor of Honey Ridge Farms honey for my granola. Wow, delicious! Listen, I’m not going to sit here and promote products I don’t REALLY love. Yes, I love honey, in general. But this creme honey, I want to bathe in it. All of the flavors are simply divine! If someone gave me a gift this year of Honey Ridge Farm honey, or any of their products for that matter, I’d be pumped.
*No, they did not tell me to say this, it’s 100% my own words and thoughts.

Honey Quinoa Flax Granola
Makes about 3 cups worth
Time: 1 hour

Ingredients
1 3/4 cups old fashioned oats
3/4 cup rice cereal (like rice krsipies)
3/4 cup cooked quinoa
2/3 cup applesauce (sweetened, unsweetened, cinnamon, whatever flavor you want)
1/4 cup cranberry creme honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp flax seeds
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or any other nut you like)
1 cup dried cranberries

Directions
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat.

Mix the applesauce, honey, vanilla, salt, and spices in a bowl. Mix the oats, rice cereal, quinoa and flax seeds in another bowl. Dump the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix until all of the dry ingredients are covered.

Dump and spread evenly onto the lined baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, then sprinkle the chopped walnuts on top of the granola. Bake for another 20 – 30 minutes.

At this point check the granola and see if the edges are turning brown. If they are, the granola is done. It will get firmer as it cools.

I like my granola REALLY crispy, so once the edges brown, I mix up the pan of granola and continue baking another 5 or 10 minutes. THEN I let it cool. It’s up to you and just HOW crunchy you like your granola.

Add the dried cranberries to the granola after you take it out of the oven and let it cool for a bit.

Store in an airtight container (mason jar, ziplock bag, whatever works) for up to 2 weeks.
*It might last longer then 2 weeks, but mine was eaten by then, so I don’t know it’s REAL expiration date.

Can you see the oats and flax seeds? It just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy and healthy on the inside, huh? Oh, I’m the only ones who gets warm fuzzy feelings from flax seeds?