Cranberry Granola

Last month I spent a wonderful morning with a couple of dear friends making granola.  As the snow fell outside we chatted and learned a new recipe.  I liked it so much that I stopped at the store on my way home so I could make a couple more batches before my kids got home from school!  I’ve made it several times since then, and it’s become a new favorite.

Cranberry Granola 6 cups old fashioned oats 1 cup sliced almonds 1 cup pecan pieces 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut 1 cup frozen cranberry concentrate (check labels to get 100% juice and find the one that has the most cranberry juice in it. I could only find blends but they’ve worked fine) 1 cup brown sugar (packed) 1 Tablespoon cinnamon 1 cup dried cranberries In a large mixing bowl combine oats, almonds, pecans and coconut.  Set aside.  In a medium saucepan combine 1 cup cranberry concentrate, brown sugar and cinnamon.  *Don’t mix the concentrate with water – just scoop it straight from the container into your pan. Heat to a simmer to fully dissolve sugar.  Pour over oats mixture and stir until evenly coated with the juice mixture.

Cover 11×17 cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Spread granola evenly over pan and bake at 350 for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and stir in cranberries.  Return to oven for 8-10 minutes or until granola begins to look golden brown.

{Your kitchen will smell heavenly while it bakes.}

Cool on cooling rack and transfer to airtight container.

My kids love to snack on it plain or eat it with milk.  My favorite way to eat it is with a scoop of plain greek yogurt and fresh berries.

Buttermilk Syrup

I had some leftover buttermilk in my refrigerator after Easter and wanted to find a new way to use it.  After poking around online I settled on buttermilk syrup.  I read a few recipes to get the general idea and then tried it out.

It’s delicious.  And pretty.  And easy.  And it gave me the chance to use my favorite miniature gravy boat.

Most of my family loved it.  Only a couple of them preferred maple syrup over this recipe.

Here’s the recipe:

Buttermilk Syrup 1 stick butter (no substitutes) 1 cup sugar 1 cup buttermilk 2 Tb. corn syrup 1/2 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. vanilla This is how I made it:

In a large saucepan combine butter, sugar, buttermilk and corn syrup.  Bring to a rolling boil and cook for 5 minutes.  Add baking soda and stir rapidly while letting it boil for another 30-45 seconds.  (This is why you need a larger pan; it will boil over if you’re not careful.)  Remove from heat and add vanilla; stir.  Let cool and use over french toast, waffles or pancakes.  I might add it would probably be really yummy over ice cream as well.

When I was reading different recipes I noticed comments about the syrup separating as it cools, which is why I chose to boil the mixture for 5 minutes before adding the baking soda.  I think it did the trick; mine stayed thick and the consistency was perfect even when cool.  The leftovers are now in our refrigerator and it hasn’t separated at all.

Have you tried anything new in the kitchen lately?
Have an awesome weekend!  (We’ll be driving all over the place for our 8 games tonight and tomorrow.)

Hopeful Homemaker

Pecan Praline French Toast

Mmmmm.  I saw this recipe in Southern Living magazine and had to try it.

You know how much I love make-ahead breakfasts.  This one was prepped in about 5 minutes.  Even better than that was my family’s response:  delicious.


1 loaf french bread 1 cup packed brown sugar 1/3 cup butter, melted 2 Tb. maple syrup 3/4 cup chopped pecans 4 large eggs 1 cup milk 2 Tb. granulated sugar 1 tsp. ground cinnamon 1 tsp. vanilla extract Put it together:

Cut ten (1 inch thick) slices of bread.  Stir together brown sugar, melted butter and maple syrup.  Pour into a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking pan.  Sprinkle pecans over brown sugar mixture.

Whisk together eggs, milk, granulated sugar, cinnamon and vanilla.  Arrange bread slices over pecans, then pour egg mixture over bread.  Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours.

Preheat oven to 350.  Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve immediately.

My kids liked to drizzle a bit of the brown sugar sauce from the bottom of the pan on top of their french toast.  You could add whipped cream to this dish as well, but we tried it as is and liked it a lot.  One of my boys commented that it was more dessert than breakfast, and that he’d eat it with ice cream.  It is very sweet, but I don’t mind occasionally serving a pan of this alongside the massive amounts of eggs I have to cook to feed my little crowd.  And because there are so many of us, we all ate just one piece.  Perfect.

The weekend is here.  This dish would be a fun surprise to greet your family with on Saturday morning.  I hope you like it as much as we did!

Hopeful Homemaker

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