Thursday, February 24, 2011

can you believe it

The daffodils have started blooming.  Take that, February.  We noticed the first blooms on the 21st, making them a full month early for spring.  So far there are two full blooms...

...and one that is still thinking it over.  If you remember, we planted 140 daffodil bulbs last fall.  I absolutely can not WAIT until 100 of them are blooming at the same time.  How will I get anything done?  Who will make dinner while I'm in the yard, staring at the beautiful flowers? 

Only time will tell. 

We also planted 15 hyacinth bulbs for some color variety.  I can see three of them pushing their way out of the ground already. 

Nobody planted all these weeds in the yard, but at least they have the decency to flower.  This is a good life rule: if you show up uninvited, be sure you look pretty. 

The pear trees are also precariously close to blooming.  Feel free to skip on back to last year if you want to know how I feel about the pear trees

Other than checking out the yard and making a million phone calls, I've also been making granola.  I think that a big batch of granola baking in the oven smells even better than cookies.  The pleasant aroma has even overridden the paint fumes, which is a welcome reprive.  I'll share the recipe so that you can enjoy some too-

Golden Honey Granola

Preheat oven to 350.  In a large bowl, toss together 6 cups old fashioned oats, 8 oz. sliced almonds, 1 cup each dried cranberries and chopped dried apricots, 1 cup light brown sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp. salt.  In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 1/2 sticks butter.  Stir in 1/2 cup honey.  Pour over oat mixture and toss to distribute.  Spread granola onto a parchment-lined baking pan and bake, stirring occasionally, until oats are toasted and sugar begins to caramelize, 35 to 40 minutes.  Cool completely on pan. 

An alternative to "cool completely on pan" would be "stir into yogurt for a delicious lunch when it is still so hot that you burn your mouth a little bit".  Not that anyone would do that. 

This granola is great with yogurt (see above), over ice cream (it practically turns it into health food), or as a cereal.  You can also just eat it dry as a snack.  One Christmas, I made several batches and gave them as gifts.  I love to give non-junk food around the holidays. 

Today I'm finishing up my new bag, so I'll meet you back here tomorrow with some pictures.  Anyone else excited about The Office tonight?  I sure am.  I love Thursdays. 

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