Today someone asked me if I do anything besides cooking and baking. I said yes but I don’t think she believed me so here are somethings I enjoy besides cooking.
1. Spending time with my pets. Although I don’t say much about them here, by far my favorite way to spend my time out of the kitchen is with my pets. I currently have 3 cockatiels, Squeak, Beau and Ella, 6 parakeets, Manny, Milo, Katie, Pepper, Eli, and Skyler, 2 finches, Tucker and Pearl and one rat, Missy. We train, hang out, and play together. They are a major part of my self care. I couldn’t imagine life without them.
2. I love to watch TV and movies, especially since Covid started. Of course, I love cooking shows like Chopped, The Chef Show, and Somebody Feed Phil. I am also obsessed with the show River Monsters. In October all the best and worst, horror movies hit the streaming services and I am here for all of them. So far the worst horror movie I watched is Silent Hill. For a movie based on an absolutely terrifying game, the movie is oddly devoid of any scares or any tension of any kind. Its very boring.
3. I am currently spending a lot of time crocheting. I am crocheting dish clothes and dish scrubbies for my kitchen. When I am done with that I am going to start on project of making as many things out of these two books as I can as a Christmas present for a friend’s children. I am also going to make a bunch of these as magnets for my fridge because there aren’t many things cuter then tiny crocheted foods.
4. I play Trivial Pursuit with my friend, Steph. My family quit playing trivia with me years ago because the think I cheat. I don’t and never have. My “problem” is I have a tremendous memory for trivia. I can’t remember my name most days but I can remember the names of a minor character in a movie I saw once when I was 10. Its not my fault. Until I started playing with Steph I never met anyone who could keep up with me at trivia. We have so much fun playing.
So you can see that I do do other things other than cook and bake.
I made this recipe without toasting the grains and it still tasted amazing. Press the granola firmly into the pan because this is what keeps the bars from crumbling. pay special attention to the corners and very middle.
Cocoa Cranberry Granola Bars
Adapted From Sunbutter.com
1 1/2 tsp coconut oil
1 1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
2 TBS unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
2 TBS butter, cut into pieces
2 1 /2 TBS honey
2 TBS Sunbutter
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp kosher salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover the bottom and sides of of a 4 cup baking dish with foil or parchment paper, use the coconut oil to grease the foil or paper, set aside. Spread the oats and sunflower seeds over a sheet pan and toast for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In a medium bowl, combine the toasted oats and sunflower seeds,scoconut, cranberries and cocoa. Stir to combine.
In a small sauce pan, combine butter, honey, Sunbutter, vanilla and salt. Cook on low heat until the butter melts, stirring constantly. Pour the butter mixture of the grain and seed mixture, mix well.
Transfer the mixture to the foil lined pan and use a spatula to spread the mix into the corners and to the sides. Firmly press the mixture into the pan, paying close attention to the corners and the middle. Pressing the granola mixture firmly into the pan is what keeps the bars from crumbling so spend a minute making sure it is press into the pan all over.