I will admit up-front that when it comes to the "half-full or half-empty" philosophy of life, I'm the one stomping her foot and saying "Which one of you dillweeds drank half my Mojito?" Guilty.
When things hit the skids, I hit the bottle. And the complaining. And the wallowing. And the Cheetos. I'm really quite the treat in times of trouble.
Strangely, I grew up with a Mama who refused to let anything get her down for more than a minute. The Matron of Let's-Make-Lemonade, if you will. Sometimes her optimism annoyed me so much that I wanted to pull my teeth out; still, I had a lot to learn from Mama.
Mama is a self-proclaimed "tough old bird." She's almost impossible to rattle and I've seen her cry maybe a handful of times, and she would never be so undignified as to wallow.
This season, I'm channeling my inner Mama. Because old KitchyWitchy needs to toughen up, Uma Thurman style. Although rather than kill Bill, I just need to kill the cranky.
Without going into the minutiae, just know that there's some Karmic Assholery afoot at Chez T.
So I've allowed myself to suck my thumb in the fetal position for a couple of days, but now it's time to squint for that silver lining. So come on out, wouldja?
Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
Well, damn. I guess I'm going to make my own silver lining.
Money suddenly gotten a leeeeeeetle tight this holiday season? Check. Probably is true for most of us right now in this great nation. But when the going gets tough, the tough make homemade gifts.
I've talked before about Awesome Stepkid R. and our holiday salsa project. It's a wonderful tradition, but this year Awesome Stepkid R. is incredibly busy and hasn't been around much. And to make salsa *without* my handy little henchman would make the Wicked Stepmonster even crankier.
So this year, I'm making Homemade Granola. Because it's easy, delicious, fairly inexpensive to make (if you buy the fruits and nuts in bulk) and this recipe makes a huge batch, which is a good thing!
Also, you can customize it any way you like, really, as long as you keep the fruit/nut/grain ratio the same. I didn't put raisins or dates in mine, because a lot of people in my life don't fancy them.
Bake up a big pile of healthy granola, slap it in some festive packaging, share it with people you love, and look forward to the Good Life in 2010. No wimps allowed.
based on the Four Seasons recipe in Bon Appetit (12/2009)
makes about 11 cups
4 cups toasted whole grain cereal (such as Mueslix)
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup sliced almonds
3/4 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup dried blueberries
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup golden raisins (I used chopped dried apricots)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 275. Mix whole grain cereal, oats, walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts in large bowl. Bring honey and oil just to boil in a small saucepan; drizzle over cereal mixture and toss to coat evenly. Spread mixture onto a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and dry, stirring every 15 minutes, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Scatter dried fruit over. Sprinkle cinnamon over and toss to incorporate evenly. Cool granola completely in pan on rack, stirring occasionally to prevent clumping.
Can be made 2 weeks ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.