Farmhouse Apple Pie Granola

One of my favourite things to have around the house is granola. A bit of fruit and some milk or yogurt and there’s something wonderful ready to eat.
Store bought granola can contain unknown ingredients, and cost way more than is reasonable for a really good organic brand. I use all organic ingredients in mine, and still get more for my buck.

This way, I get to pick what goes in and I like the way that, that sounds! I include nutritious nuts and i like to do a surprise mixture of oat, kamut and spelt flakes but you can stick with just oat flakes too if you prefer, or if that’s what you have around the house!
I’m big on “make do with what you got” so often times with any of my recipes, I will substitute similar items for ones that I have instead. Don’t have sunflower seeds? Why not try almond slivers? …You get the picture, I’m sure.

For this granola, I dry my own apple cubes to use. You can of course opt them out or swap fruits, but I really believe this to be worth it! I use the apples in our backyard, so it’s free too!

IMG_3583

I have made many versions of this recipe but this is my favourite way to do it. There’s something magical in the combination of apples, oats and spices.
The smell of you making this is sure to have your family come running to find out what delicious goodies you’re making!

Farmhouse Apple Pie Granola

In a large bowl combine:

3 cups flaked oats
1 cup puffed rice
1 cup puffed millet
1 .5 cups lightly toasted pumpkin seeds
1 cup lightly toasted sunflower seeds
3 tbsp. whole flax seeds

In a medium saucepan over medium heat:

1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. each, allspice and salt

Combine and heat until a smooth mixture, then add into the large bowl with the dry ingredients. Coat the oat and nut mix thoroughly.
Spread onto parchment lined sheets, bake at 325F., stirring twice for 30-35 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack on pans.
Layer with homemade dried apple cubes, dried unsweetened cranberries and dried currants.

Enjoy!

 

Refinishing hardwood floors in the nursery.

Well, after having the garden well set up and the chicken coop built with the chickens in, we decided it was time to keep working on the nursery. Before we know it, Nathan is going to be needing his own room. For now, sharing one is ok.

Since we’ve insulated and re-drywalled the room we’ve also primed it ready for painting (still can’t decide on a colour…guilty!) Next we decided we would refinish the hardwood after all. We hummed and haw’d about it, but decided in the end it just makes sense to do it while the opportunity is there. When Nathan is older, it’ll just get harder to be able to do. Or so were assuming.

Here’s the progress from before and after, gotta say, we are VERY pleased with the results! Tim is one talented guy. My talented guy, making me a very lucky gal. (I already knew that though 😉 )

VXNT9388

before & after

IMG_3371

after

Farmhouse Blueberry Jam

Blueberry season is upon us, and one of my favourite past times is going blueberry picking every year with my mom. This year is a bit different, as Tim and I now have a little baby boy so we’ll see. I’m not sure how simple it’ll be with a 4 month old strapped in the carrier while I attempt to wrestle blueberries from huge bushes in the sun. Not ideal for him I don’t think. So unless a day is wonderfully cloudy and the blueberry farm is open (and I have the time) were gonna have to wait and see if it actually happens or not.

Anyway, on another note, one of my favourite jams to eat is (you guessed it)  blueberry! So, today I am sharing my recipe for making it. Really it’s almost more of a blueberry citrus but no one needs to know that little secret. They’ll just taste the jam and say “Mmmm, how wonderful!” 😉

I had found some local blueberries (pre-picked) at an affordable price, so I decided to get some for jam in case I never made it out blueberry picking. This way, no matter what I will get my jam!

Farmhouse Blueberry Jam

4lbs. 4oz Fresh Blueberries
2lbs. 3oz. White or Organic Sugar
2 Lemons, Zest and Juice
Good Pinch of Salt

In a Large Saucepan (8t. pot at least) heat all ingredients to a boil, boiling for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cover with a towel and let sit at room temperature for 8-12 hours.

Return to heat and bring to a boil, boiling and stirring frequently until jelling occurs. Ladle into hot jars, seal, and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Let sit 12 hours undisturbed.

Enjoy!

 

IMG_1989IMG_1991

Remember, it’s ok to take me time too.

img_4924

Something I have to remember… it’s ok to need a little ‘me’ time.
With Nathan being a young baby at 4 months old and exclusively breastfeeding, it’s hard for me to accept that, and also remember to do it. Every night he goes to sleep by 8pm at the latest (7pm is bedtime…not always asleep yet though) and that is when I try to get the remaining things I wanted to do that day, done.

Sometimes though, you just gotta stop and slow down and take care of yourself a little bit. Like, have a lovely bath with some tea and a biscotti. Unwind and recharge.

Maran X chickens and their pretty eggs

Well, as you know, we purchased some baby chicks this year to replace our older hens as they are no longer laying consistently for us (although they have had a revamp since meeting the younger ones…coincidence I think not!)

IMG_3186

These little chicks were all Black Copper Maran X’s as the rooster himself was a Black Copper Maran, though the hen mothers were unknown (there were quite a few in his flock of varying kinds). It was so neat to see them grow up, something we missed out on with our rescue birds though we love them just the same, even when it becomes time for the stew pot.

Well, the little chicks are certainly not so little anymore, and the pullet hens are even starting to lay their pretty eggs! Being cross birds, it was unsure what colour of eggs they would lay. We certainly were hoping for at least one or two of them to lay the dark almost burgundy eggs that the Maran’s can be known for. We were not disappointed!

Amber, our most BCM looking girl, is definitely living up to her heritage. Looks and all! She is laying some pretty beautiful dark shelled eggs, I get excited flutters every time I lay my eyes on one.

IMG_3153 IMG_3272 IMG_3143

Some of the girls, like Maggie May and Lynx have started laying some double yolks, making them seem like normal large to extra large egg sized. Regardless of how big their eggs are or how little, they are delicious!