Thursday, December 10, 2009

Blizzard Busy!

Sam and Farmboy

With bitterly cold weather and a blizzard warning in effect, we went to chop down our tree yesterday.

It was cold!
But they got 'er done!

Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto

At 5pm I finally had a chance to think about supper.
I knew beef was on the menu as we had found a couple of cheap center cut chuck steaks and had them marinating for a couple of hours.
I had bought a butternut squash with the intentions of making a squash risotto I saw on Barefoot Contessa, so even tho I had a late start, I got to work peeling and dicing the squash.
It was worth every second.
I'm a big fan of rice of any kind and a risotto is so creamy and tender and yummy and...
I think I have a new favorite risotto.
Don't be afraid of trying it.
It is time consuming, but easy-peasy!

Here's Ollie (aka Chunky Monkey) just lookin' so darn handsome!

Cranberry Orange Walnut/Almond Granola

1st thing this morning I made a double batch of Amazing Grace soap.
Smells divine and I can't wait to cut into it tomorrow!

Then I made a pot full of hot oatmeal and brought a big pan of it out to the chickens.
They will truly be "cooped up" for the next couple days as temps are too low to open their itty bitty door.
And I felt sorry for them.
Who wouldn't like a steamy bowl of hot cereal for breakfast???
(I had leftover risotto!)

Then....this afternoon I went into baking mode.

For gift giving I had thought I would make a double batch of granola and package it in those little cellophane bags you can get at the dollar store.
This recipe is SO easy and so very adaptable to anything you might want to add or subtract.

I would LOVE receiving a bag of this, wouldn't you?
That's what I thought!

Double batch Granola

8 cups old fashioned oats
4 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
4 cups chopped nuts, your choice ( I used walnuts and sliced almonds)
3 cups dried fruit (I used cranberries, tomorrow I will try dates and apricots)
1 cup oil (I used a combination of coconut oil I melted in the microwave, and sunflower oil)
3/4 cup honey
juice of 1 orange
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teas. cardamom ( my choice as I love the smell of it!)
zest of 2 oranges

Preheat oven to 325F

Toss the oats and nuts together in a large bowl.
Combine oil with honey and juice of the orange and pour over the oat/nut mixture.
Add the spices and stir with a wooden spoon until all the mixture is coated.
Pour onto 2 sheet pans or large roasting pan.
Bake, stirring every 10 min. or so, until mixture turns a light golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes.
At this point I add the coconut and the orange zest and bake another 8 min.
When I take it out of the oven I add the dried fruit. (if added during the bake time the fruit has a tendency to dry out or burn)
Let cool and package in individual cellophane bags or a large ziploc.

Till next time....

Keepin' Christ in CHRISTmas,

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Anonymous said...

I was wondering how you were doing. Glad you got your tree in. That's a lot of snow. We just have bitter cold and a little snow. The granola recipe sounds delicious.

A Big Bowl Of Cherries said...

Looks yummy. Poor chickens. It's bitter out there!

Anonymous said...

I enjoy visiting your blog and today would like to Thank You for the Granola recipe it sounds easy ~peasy to make and MMM ~
Good to eat!

Janie B said...

Mmmm...that risotto sounds great! So does the granola. Love the new picture, too.

christschild said...

I love your posts...Hope you have a great weekend...stay warm.
Blessings in Christ,

Camille said...

I was thinking about you today's cold here (not normal for here) and that got me thinking how it's colder there! :) Glad to see all is well.

Your granola looks amazing...I would love to be gifted something like that!! Your gift recipients are very fortunate people...hopefully they know it!


Maria said...

Hi Cindy!
First of all ... I LOVE your Christmas background and TITLE PHOTO!!! You're so cute up there ;o)
Next... I would LOVE to have the recipe for Amazing Grace Soup. The name alone makes me need some!

Thanks for the great granola recipe and idea for giving.

You're just amazing yourself!
also think Ollie is sweet looking~
Merry Christmas to you and all ~ Maria

Renata said...

What a great idea for a gift! And that risotto sounds delicious! I cannot imagine how cold it is to give your chickens a cooked breaky! Mine are stuck with leftovers! Which reminds me I'd better go & feed them as it's time for them to go to bed!
Have a lovely day (& keep warm!)
Renata :)

Anonymous said...

I have a Sony Energy Star 48 inch tv that I surf the web on and when your blog popped up I thought you were in my living room with your new picture at top of blog. Can you imagine it? I kinda freaked me out.....LOL...smiling....BTW I love the music on your blog.

goatmilker said...

That Risotto looks great. How nice on such a cold night. Boy you were busy yesterday. It feels so good at the end of the day when you get so much accomplished.Have a great day Rebekah.

Six divided by two..... said...

I'm on my way for some Risotto!! Looks yummy!!!

Melodie said...

That cat is beautiful! I have been wanting to try and make some homemade granola, now I have a recipe!

Donna said...

Yum! those recipes sound great! I love Barefoot Contessa recipes and love to watch Ina's show. Thanks for sharing!

Jayme, The Coop Keeper said...

Cynthia....what an incredible post. I felt like I just had a visit at your house! I like it there!!! lol....

I just gave my chickens hot oatmeal for an afternoon snack. How funny.

You have a lovely life.

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

I love the idea of giving granola as a gift. Never thought of that before. I make granola weekly for our family, so it would be no biggie to make more. Thanks again for the idea and for the sweet comment you left on my blog!

God Bless,

Thistle Cove Farm said...

The granola looks amazing. Like you, I love rice, hot granola...anything that's warm and comforting.
If I get time, I'm making nut brittle for Christmas this year.
Merry Christmas!