Light and Easy Granola and more…

img_2477You know all of those goals I had to eat healthier? More whole grains, nuts, fruits and fiber? Granola topping fruit and yogurt is one of my favorites. That was fine for a while, yet somehow the granola started tasting too heavy and sort of like sawdust. I know, I should have been a stalwart. Still. I know myself well enough that if I’m getting tired of something, I won’t stick to my goals. So! Last year, I fiddled around and came up with this light and easy granola! And, the best part is, I still  love it! Here’s how you make –

 Camellia’s Light and Easy Granola

  • 1 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats – 6 minute type
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine first 5 ingredients – tossing lightly. Pour melted butter over all. Spread mixture on parchment lined baking sheet, evenly and as thin as possible. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-22 minutes or until crisp and golden. Break up granola. Cool. Store in airtight container. Wonderful topping for fruit and yogurt or as an ice cream topping drizzled with caramel.

*note: Almond flour is a good substitute. Add coconut as part of the overall quantity of nuts as a nice addition. Use light and easy granola as the base for Trail Mix, adding dried fruit, seeds even bits of chocolate. And… this Light and Easy Granola as a topping on frozen yogurt with hot caramel sauce is amazing!img_3262

I truly do love eating healthy, yet occasionally my southern sweet tooth flares up! And- while a cake mix might not be quite as healthy as homemade, I do think a homemade frosting with really good ingredients like butter, pure extracts and quality cream cheese is important! Especially if you need an easy special occasion dessert. If you make a sheet cake, cut it in smallish squares ( ice the whole cake first, chill and cut- then place each square in paper cupcake liners!) Well, you’re set!img_3293

And, if your Johnny Jump Ups are in bloom, they’re an adorable addition. Top each square with beautiful and edible violas! Then, maybe pour a cup of coffee and hold your little pinkie just so… I’ll bet you won’t make a fool of yourself by eating more than one or two! Especially, if you’re in polite company! Or hosting a sweetheart party, bridal tea or baby shower. Here’s how you make an easy and really good cream cheese frosting!

Camellia’s Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 pound Cream Cheese – softened, I prefer Philadelphia Cream Cheese®
  • 3 Sticks of Butter (softened)
  • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Pure Almond Extract
  • 3 cups Powdered Sugar- sifted

Blend Cream Cheese and Butter until very smooth and mixed well. Add extracts, mix well. Add 1/2 of sifted powdered sugar, blending well. Then add the rest of sifted powdered sugar- mix until smooth. (This should be a firm frosting, if needed add a tablespoon of powdered sugar at a time, being very careful not to make frosting too stiff). This frosting recipe makes enough to generously frost a 9×13 cake.

img_3260

Now, if there’s no time at all and you need a really impressive dessert, fast and easy too! Maybe one fabulous enough for your Valentine? All you need are –

    Frosted Vanilla Cupcakes- store bought is fine!  Microwave Popcorn (I love the Movie Butter Style)  A good brand of Caramel Sauce with a pinch of Sea Salt

Pop popcorn according to directions. Warm Caramel Sauce to pouring consistency. Set Vanilla Cupcake on a plate, top with Popcorn (spill a bit over!), then top with warm Caramel Sauce, be generous! Really, isn’t that pretty? Delicious and easy too!

There you go! A healthy snack or breakfast, if you’re caught short of time for a special event desserts or if you’re like me and your sweet tooth is crying out for attention! You ready now with a few easy recipes! Spring is a busy time, and the truth is we all need a few reliable recipes from time to time! There’s absolutely no shame in taking shortcuts or using store bought, then embellishing!

Love y’all, Camellia

*All photographs are obviously mine. And, if you just want to encourage yourself to drink extra water you need – those sweet little Johnny Jump Up’s will do the job beautifully!

7 thoughts on “Light and Easy Granola and more…

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