recipes and tips for better living

Sunday, December 19, 2010

More DIY X-Mas Ideas: Giving Granola

I'm a big proponent of homemade gifts.  Not just because they're affordable, but because they are so personal and straight from the heart, a labor of love so to speak.  Last year i blogged about making hand stamped cards (click for link), the year before I made salves from fresh herbs, oils, and beeswax.  I've been known to knit scarves, make jewelry, and craft candles or soaps as well.  I figure each year is a new gift, and gets me involved in a new project, teaching myself a new skill.  This year...i've mastered granola (click for link).

 If you read this blog regularly you may have noticed that lately i've gone on a bit of a granola bender.  Maybe it's not quite apparent from the blog, but one step in my door and you'd know.  The house always smells like carmelized sugars, it's warm and toasty from the oven running, and there are glass jars of granola lining the shelves.  Thing is, it's so good, it never lasts long.  Perhaps this is why i've blogged less about food lately;  I'm too busy being a granola factory to remember to take pics of the other foods i eat.

On a recent trip to LA, i went to one of my favorite stationary stores, Urbanic (click for webpage),  on Abbot Kinney in Venice.  I found these great little Sukie (click to order on amazon) sticker labels that i thought would look fab on containers of granola.  The light bulb went off above my crown - ahhhh, christmas gift project solved. 

Off to "Fart and Smile", my pet name for the smaller, though costco-esque supply store, Smart and Final, to purchase food containers, oats, honey, and almonds in bulk, then to my local co-op to get organic gojis, cacao nibs, coconut shreds, pumpkin seeds, dried persimmons, and good coconut oil.  All together i spent about 100 smackers, but had i used cranberry, gold raisins, dried apples, or anything other than organic gojis and cacao i would have saved about 30 bones.  The trip to the co-op is always a bit costly, but i love the quality of foods and unique options i get there.  Once i had all my bits and bobs i dove baking mits first into the kitchen for a four hour 40 container granola making experience.  40 gifts, $100 investment...we're looking at under $3 per quality and heart felt gift.  Now that's good stuff.

The only warning i will give you if you decide to bake away hours on end for holiday gifts is to skip breakfast.  I promise you, you will eat more than your fill (maybe even more than your body weight) in samples of granola throughout the baking process.  Not such a bad thing, but it could get a wee bit sickening if you started your day heartily.

I took all my pics during the baking process with my boyfriends Cannon 50D since my camera battery needs to be recharged.  Out of laziness i never took pics of the final product.  So any of the labels you see in the pics eventually have all the ingredients hand written in pencil on them.  A very nice homemade touch.

Merry Granola-Making and Happy Holidays!

PS...i can't help but post a pic of the cute elves that helped me make sure the kitchen floors stayed clean during the baking process.


1 comment

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