It's a perfect morning here in Wisconsin. It's the kind of day we dream about in January when it's too cold to go outside and your eyelashes feel like they're going to freeze.
Not this morning. The birds are chirping, the breeze in perfect and I got to enjoy fresh strawberries with yogurt and granola on my deck with a steaming cup of coffee.
I have a few favorite things I'd like to tell you about. I'll keep it short but they're very fun and may make your life easier.
First is our planter watering system. Last summer we were traveling and stopped by a City Farmer Shop, in Ephraim, WI. They were selling terra cotta planter spikes. The spikes go into the dirt in your planter, then a filled wine bottle (with water!) goes upside-down into the spike. It's self-watering and takes the worry out of whether we remember to water every day. Ta-da! If you're not near Door County, you can find them online I'm sure. Every planter in our yard has a spike in it. It's a tough job having to empty the wine bottles, but someone has to do it!
Second is the cutest set of weights that clip on to the corners of out tablecloth. I'm not sure where I found them, but they keep the tablecloth from blowing off on breezing days.
The strawberries were grown about 1/2 mile away at The Berry Farmer. It's on Hoot Owl Road. It's a single lane, twisty road that has portions closed during the winter. This time of year, it's a freeway to berry heaven. I added yogurt and some of my Cooking School Granola making a very tasty parfait.
Here's the recipe. Click here to PRINT
Cooking School Granola
You can easily double the recipe for a larger batch.
Makes about 6 cups or 8 generous servings
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup (or a mixture)
1 TBSP molasses
1 cup sliced almonds, or a mixture of chopped walnuts and almonds
1/2 cup shredded coconut (sweetened)
2 1/2 cups rolled oats (old-fashioned style)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup chopped dates or dried plums
Other optional add-ins: chopped dried pineapple, dried apricots, banana chips, additional nuts
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl, by hand or with a spatula/spoon. Be careful not to crush or break up the mixture too much. Spread the granola on to a baking sheet or into a baking pan. Bake about 20 minutes, then stir to bring the less browned granola to the top. Return to the oven and bake until golden brown. Stir about every 10 to 15 minutes. Total baking time is about 40-50 minutes.
When the granola is golden brown, remove the pan from the oven and cool on a baking rack. When cool, stir and break up any large pieces. Add dried fruits and other add-ins. Store in a airtight container or freezer bag.
Here's the pretty view from our front deck. Green, green & more green. Enjoy you day. Peace, Love & Dessert, Susan
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