August 20, 2015

cranberry almond granola + a magazine feature

I had the wonderful opportunity of being featured in our state's largest home & lifestyle magazine talking all about how I love to host people in my home! It was a big BIG treat to be asked by At Home in Arkansas, not only because it was so nice of them, but also because I could talk about feeding people all day long!

At Home and I really wanted to show y'all easy "entertaining" and how to create a welcome home for your guests. And part of what I wanted to share were some beautiful, delicious recipes that are perfect for weekend breakfast or brunch on Saturday or Sunday mornings when you and your company are having coffee and getting your day started together! So many of the recipes can be made ahead! (YAY for that!) And the recipes also are easily reheated or served at room temperature which is another big YAY! I don't know about your company, but mine all roll in at different times and wake up at different times and are hungry at different times. So the brunch menu that is featured in At Home can be made altogether for one big spread OR the dishes can be made individually whenever and however. It really is an easy put-it-together-to-meet-your-entertaining-needs list of daytime recipes! 

Over the course of the next couple of weeks, I'll be sharing some of my favorite (featured) weekend company brunch recipes here! And to kick it off I'm starting with this homemade cranberry almond granola that I eat like crazy! I even made it last weekend for the central-Arkansas Hannons who stayed at our house! Spoon it over vanilla greek yogurt and toss in a few fresh blueberries AND OH MY GOODNESS. The honey, vanilla and cinnamon are so warm. The dried cherries are chewy and tart! And I could run away with slivered almonds. So good.  


3 cups rolled oats (not quick-cook)
3 Tbls. dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 to 1 cup dried fruit (I use dried cherries or cranberries)
3/4 cup slivered almonds

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt; mix well.
In a small microwaveable bowl, combine honey, oil, and vanilla. 
Heat for 30 seconds or just enough to melt the honey mixture for pouring.
Drizzle the warm mixture over the oats, then stir in the dried fruit and almonds. 
Stir it all up really well!
Spread in an even layer on an aluminum sheet pan, and bake for 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven, stir gently, and return to the oven for another 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven, stir gently, and turn the oven temperature up to 375 degrees.
Return the pan to the oven for a final 5-8 minutes to add a little crisp to the granola. 
Watch (and smell) for the granola making sure it doesn't burn!
It should be a little bit crisp and still a little bit chewy. Yum, y'all!
Pour granola out onto the counter lined with parchment paper sheets and let it cool.
Store in an airtight container. Shake or stir to loosen when you're ready to eat it!