Stay and Have a Cookie

Amy's Blog

pumpkin chocolate chip cookies…with a twist


I know, it’s been like an eternity since I posted anything on here. Do me a favor, and don’t look back at the last post to see just how long it’s been. Life got crazy busy, with plenty of good things, and sadly, this is one of the things that suffered.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

What better reason to re-enter the blog world than with a pumpkin recipe in October? I came across a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe while browsing the endless pumpkin recipes on Pinterest awhile back. It claimed to be a soft but chewier cookie than most of the cake-like pumpkin cookies out there. I pinned it right away and knew it would be at the top of my fall baking to-do list.

I followed the original recipe, that you can find on Tessa’s blog, Handle the Heat, right here. I only made one little tweak along the way. I replaced all the ground cinnamon, ginger, and clove spices with doTERRA essential oils. I made a double batch of the recipe, using 1 drop of Clove Bud, 2 drops of Ginger, and 4 drops of Cinnamon Bark.

in the kitchen with doTERRA

Our family jumped into the world of essential oils a little over a year ago, as a way to cut back on some of the synthetic products we were using in our house, and they’ve quickly found their way into every nook and cranny of our lives, even what we eat. I love that these oils are so safe that we can ingest them. I can’t say the same about all brands of essential oils. Do your research first!

I highly recommend that you make these cookies and even better if you can make them with these oils! If you want to know anymore about other uses for essential oils, I’d love to share, but didn’t want to bore everyone here for a cookie recipe with that. You can find me on Instagram at @oilsallthetime or on Facebook at Oils All The Time to learn more about them or get in touch with me about how to order some of your own oils to use in your home.

love and butter,


posted under Cookies | No Comments »

slow cooker korean style short rib tacos


Ok folks, can I call you folks? makes me sound old, doesn’t it? Anyways, here it is, the long awaited short rib taco recipe. If you follow me on Instagram, or are friends with me on Facebook, you might have seen this tease about them a couple weeks ago.

short ribs in the slow cooker

I’ll tell you what, I don’t cook a lot of meat around here, especially red meat, but these? I could eat these all the time. In fact, I always make these in a big batch to ensure plenty of leftovers. My last meal of the latest go around was a bowl version of the meal and maybe even better than the taco style. Maybe.

The first time I made these tacos, I was feeding someone that was allergic to soy sauce, which the original recipe calls for. So, I found a suggestion for a “soy free soy sauce” and made the short ribs with that. It was so good, that I decided to make them that way all the time. All that to say, you’re welcome to make them whichever way works best for you. I don’t mind the extra step of making the soy sauce first. The rest of this recipe is so simple to throw together, and who doesn’t love a meal you can throw in the slow cooker and come back to several hours later?

Slow Cooker Korean Style

Short Rib Tacos

adapted from Perry’s Plate

20 cloves of Garlic
3 inches of Ginger, peeled
3 cups Soy Sauce (I make 3 batches of this “soy free soy sauce
and use all of it)
2 cups Brown Sugar
6 tablespoons Sesame Oil
6 tablespoons Sriracha
1 1/4 cups Rice Vinegar
5-6 lbs of Beef Short Ribs (I’ve made this same recipe with up to 7-8lbs, without adjusting anything else. It just depends on how much will fit in your slow cooker. Also, short ribs come either on the bone or not. There’s a lot of flavor when you cook with the bones, but that’s non-edible stuff you’re paying for also. I like to use mostly boneless, but some on the bone.)

1. If making your own “soy sauce” follow that recipe first, to allow it to cool for a bit first.

2. Once your soy sauce, homemade or not, is ready to go, add that and all other ingredients besides the short ribs to a blender or food processor.

3. Pulse or blend until you don’t have any huge pieces of garlic or ginger. Last time mine ended up being completely smooth, but that’s not necessary. I blame it on the 1 year old distraction in my house. At least he’s cute.

4. Add all your short ribs to the slow cooker, and top with your blended up marinade.

5. Cook on high for about 4-5 hours. One slow cooker I’ve used, 4 hours on high was great, and then I let it hang out on the warm setting until I was ready for it. Another slow cooker I’ve used, 4 hours on high wasn’t quite falling apart yet, so I let it go about 2 more on low and then it was perfect. If I was setting this in the morning, and wouldn’t be home all day, I would set it for 8 hours on low.

6. Once the short ribs are falling apart, you can pull them out, shred them up with a couple of forks, and resist eating it all before you get to the taco-making stage. It will be worth your patience, promise.

Now that your taco meat is ready, the topping options are endless, but here are my favorites:

thinly sliced red onions
shredded red cabbage
julienned cucumbers tossed in a spoonful of granulated sugar and some rice vinegar
fresh cilantro
freshly squeezed lime juice
and THIS CHIMICHURRI SAUCE (Seriously, even if you don’t make these tacos, make this stuff. Make a double batch of it. You can put it on ANYTHING. Except cupcakes or something stupid like that. Try eggs, meat, fish, burritos, chips, a spoon, trust me.)

Slow Cooker Korean Short Rib Tacos #stayandhaveacookie #slowcooker

Remember those friends I mentioned several months ago? The ones that were working toward moving to Sweden for two years? Well, they’re in Sweden now (you can read all about their first day in the country here if you’d like to), and as bittersweet as it is, I’m so glad I got to make a meal for them to eat around my table once more before they left the country. Spending a few hours in the kitchen, working my way through the chopping and measuring of a recipe, was some good therapy as I dealt with the impending send off. I hope you don’t have to plan a meal for friends moving far away, but if you do, I recommend this one. Otherwise, I still recommend it, for whomever you might be feeding soon. In the meantime, does anyone have a plane that can fly me to Stockholm? That would be great, thanks.

love and butter,

homemade finger paints


Ever have one of those days with your little ones at home where you just NEED something new to do. The books have all been read, the blocks have all been stacked, the trains have all made laps and laps around the tracks, and your head will explode if you hear the Jake theme song again. Enter…homemade finger paints. I wish I could say that I came up with this one all on my own, but Pinterest to the rescue, again! Not everything on Pinterest is a total fail, and this one was definitely a winner.

mason finger paints

Let me clarify, before we even get started, just because this finger paint is technically edible, doesn’t mean I would spoon feed it to my kids (mainly because of all of those lovely food dyes). I used this recipe because I wanted something my kiddos could paint with and not be worried if any ended up in their mouths. It’s a good thing, because Mason figured out really fast that it had a little sugar in it.

mason and the paints

This paint is fast to whip together, and you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry right now. I’m not sure how well it holds up, but honestly, it takes so few ingredients and so little time, I would just make a new batch each time. Next time we attempt a project like this, I might try an option with no sugar, though. Mason wasn’t too thrilled when I decided he had eaten enough of it.

no more finger paints

This kind of activity is great for a little preschool at home too. Not only can you talk about colors, individually, but you can learn about mixing them to make new colors. Liam had a little fun mixing blue & red to make….that’s right, purple!

red & blue finger paint

Homemade Finger Paints

Recipe from Easie Peasie

3 tablespoons White Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 cup Corn Starch
2 cups Water
Food Coloring

1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan.

2. Cook on medium low heat, whisking the entire time.

3. Cook until it starts to bubble a bit, keep whisking, and take off the heat as soon as it thickens (about a pudding consistency).

4. Divide into separate containers (I made 5), and add food coloring to each. Make sure it’s cool enough to touch before handing over to your littles.

homemade finger paints

edible finger paints

Enjoy a little art time with your kids.

love and butter,

corn & black bean salsa. perfect party dip.


Chip & Corn Salsa

A few years back, on a Christmas Eve, a good friend, Patty, brought this salsa to share. As soon as I tried it, I knew I was going to need the recipe. I also knew that I probably shouldn’t steal the whole bowl and eat it by myself, but that’s what I wanted to do. This salsa requires very little effort to make, lasts several days in the fridge, has a TON of flavor, and it’s all vegetables! It really doesn’t get much better than this stuff. It’s practically diet food. I always serve it with tortilla chips, but it’s good on scrambled eggs, or a bowl of chili, and just about anything else you might be eating. I don’t think I’d recommend it on oatmeal though.

The original recipe is called Black Bean Salad and it came from a cookbook called Seaport Savories. It was actually published & sold as a fundraiser for a hospital in Alexandria, VA. According to Patty, the recipe was submitted by Katie Couric. I can’t vouch for anything else in the cookbook, but this one is a winner. I think it’s a perfect dip to serve at a New Year’s Eve party.

Corn & Black Bean Salsa

makes about 12 cups of salsa (I know, it’s a LOT, but trust me, this stuff goes fast, and you could always make a half batch if you don’t believe me.)

2 cans Black Beans
2 cans Corn (I like to get the no salt added variety)
2 cans Artichoke Hearts (not the marinated kind)
1 10.5 oz container of Cherry/Grape Tomatoes (You could use any other kind of tomato you have on hand, I just like the flavor of these. Once chopped, it equals about 1.5-1.75 cups of tomatoes.)
1 Red Onion
2 bunches of Cilantro
2-3 Lemons
1 cup of Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Drain & rinse black beans, drain corn, dump both into a large bowl.

2. Drain artichoke hearts, chop into small pieces, and add to the large bowl. I try to get everything that’s going into the salsa into similar sized pieces. It makes for even distribution while you eat it.

3. Chop tomatoes into small pieces, and add to the salsa. When I use the small, cherry/grape tomatoes, I cut them into 8th’s.


chopped tomato

4. Dice red onion into small pieces. This one is especially important. Most people don’t want to bite down on a giant piece of raw onion. A couple of things I do to cut down on the onion-chopping tears…chill the onion in the freezer for a few minutes, prior to chopping, and sharpen my knife right before I cut the onion. Also worth noting, the older the onion, the stronger the gases that will make you cry.

5. Roughly chop 2 bunches of cilantro, and add them to the bowl. Yes, it’s a lot of cilantro, Cindi. I won’t tell anyone if you decide to skip it, but you’ll be missing out.


6. Juice 2-3 lemons and add to the salsa. This is a preference thing, for sure. I tend to like more lemon juice in my salsa. Start with 1-2 lemons and add more if it needs more. It also depends on how juicy your lemons are. Using something like this citrus reamer will help you get the most out of your lemons. I measured last time I made this and I ended up using 4-5 tablespoons.

7. Add the olive oil, salt & pepper, and stir until it’s combined. Salt & pepper amounts are up to your taste also. I used about a tablespoon of salt and quite a few turns of the pepper grinder.

Corn & Black Bean Salsa

If it lasts, I’ve eaten this salsa after it’s been in my fridge for about a week, and it was still good. I really do adore this stuff. I’d be lying if I said I’ve never eaten it straight out of the bowl, with a spoon. So good. Make some this week. You won’t be sorry. Oh and Happy New Year!

love and butter,

posted under snacks | 5 Comments »

salted dark chocolate toffee. aka christmas crack


Ok, remember when I said you should make these gingerbread cookies for your Christmas parties? You still should, but you should also make this toffee. It’s so simple (only 4 ingredients) and so yummy. AND you don’t even need a candy thermometer.

I started making my 4th or 5th batch this morning (in the last week), and realized I knew the recipe without looking at it. That’s when I decided that I needed to share, not only the toffee I had made, but also the recipe. I can’t take credit for this recipe though. It’s actually from Shauna Niequist’s latest book, Bread & Wine. I can’t recommend this book enough. I can’t recommend this toffee enough either. Seriously. Buy the book. Make the toffee.

salted dark chocolate toffee

1 cup (2 sticks) Salted Butter
2 cups Granulated Sugar
1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine butter & sugar over medium heat. Stir often, to prevent burning, especially as the butter is melting.

butter & sugar

3. Continue to cook & stir over medium heat. It will be this light champagne color for awhile.

light boiling sugar

4. As soon as it turns this amber color, take it off of the heat.

amber boiling sugar

5. Pour the hot butter & sugar mixture onto your parchment lined baking sheet. I like to spread mine out a bit, otherwise it can be a little too thick in the very center.

naked toffee

6. Allow to cool on the counter for a few minutes on the counter, and then stick in the fridge until it’s cool to touch.

7. Melt your chocolate chips, spread the melted chocolate evenly across the cooled toffee, sprinkle with salt, and stick back in the fridge to set up.


8. Once your toffee is completely cooled and the chocolate has hardened, break into uneven pieces and try not to eat it all in one sitting. I don’t think that’s dentist approved.

salted dark chocolate toffee

This is a perfect treat for delivering to neighbors, for melting in your morning coffee, or for eating while your kids are napping. I think you need a batch, or 4.

love and butter,

posted under candy, dessert | 2 Comments »

barbara’s gingerbread cookies


Gingerbread Cookies

One of my first Christmas seasons as part of the Gunther family, I was introduced to a very sweet tradition. They have a long time neighbor, Barbara, that bakes up a bunch of DELICIOUS gingerbread men. They are adorable, and simple, and everyone gets one. Got that? ONE cookie, each year. I’m pretty sure the first year Tim somewhat reluctantly (and I don’t blame him at all) shared his cookie with me. Now, I usually get my own and let me tell you what, I’ve looked forward to that cookie every year since the first.

A couple of years ago, dear Barbara shared her cookie recipe with us, and now I’m sharing my version with you. I have to say, Barbara makes her cookies in little gingerbread men shapes, with multiple colors of icing, lots of details, and they’re just adorable. Something you’ll come to learn about me, is that, while I do love for the food I make to look good, I don’t usually have the patience and attention to detail required to really decorate sweets well. So, these are my simpler version, with a much more forgiving decor. I actually made some snowmen, along with the trees and candy canes, but I had such trouble decorating them, that they will not be making an internet debut anytime soon. Now for the cookies…

Gingerbread Cookies

2 3/4 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
3 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Ground Cloves
1 Egg
2/3 cup Molasses
2.5 oz Brown Sugar (about 1/3 cup, packed)
1/2 cup (1 stick) Melted Butter (I always use salted)

1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon, & cloves, in a medium bowl. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl, combine Molasses, Brown Sugar, and Melted Butter. Mix on medium for about 30 seconds to a minute. You just want it to be thoroughly combined.

     Gingerbread progress

3. Add the egg and mix just until thoroughly combined.

4. Add the dry ingredients, about 1/3 at a time, mixing between additions.

Gingerbread Cookie Dough

5. Cover the dough, and stick in the fridge to cool for about an hour.

6. While the dough is chilling, line your cookie sheets with parchment paper, and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

7. Roll out the dough, to about 1/3 of an inch thick, depending on how thick you like your cookies. You can roll them out using a little flour to keep it from sticking everywhere, but I like to roll it out between 2 sheets of parchment paper. Then I don’t have to worry about adding too much extra flour to the cookies.

8. Cut with cookie cutters, and transfer to parchment lined cookie sheets.

Gingerbread Tree Dough

9. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until set. These are one of those cookies that’s a little trickier to know when it’s done. They don’t brown until they’re over-baked. You can lightly touch the top of the cookie, and make sure it’s solid, and not doughy any longer.

10. Allow to cool completely, then decorate to your heart’s desire. Here’s the frosting recipe I used, except I only used vanilla extract (1 teaspoon), instead of the almond extract. I put my frosting into a disposable piping bag like these ones, with a tip in the bottom like this one.

Gingerbread Tree

Gingerbread Candy Cane

11. Let the cookies sit for several hours before attempting to stack them. This is a softer frosting, and while it does setup some, it’s never super hard. I prefer the taste of a buttercream like this on my cookies, but it doesn’t make for the easiest cookies to stack or send in the mail. I think it’s worth it.

How about making some yummy gingerbread cookies for a Christmas party this year? You’ll be the hit of the party.

love and butter,

cardamom cookies


A little over a month ago, I came across the website for a food blogger cookie swap and I thought to myself, bake a few dozen cookies to send to other food bloggers and get a few dozen cookies in the mail from other food bloggers? Yes, yes I think I can get on board with that. So, I signed up, got a list of bloggers to send cookies to, and started on my mission of a good cookie to mail. I wanted something Christmasy, something yummy, and something that would ship well. I didn’t want cookies showing up broken into pieces.


My first plan was to make some gingerbread cookies, iced with buttercream frosting. I actually made them (and will blog about them soon, promise!) and they were delicious. The only problem? The icing didn’t set up as much as I wanted it to, for shipping across the country. I didn’t want to use a royal icing, because I prefer the flavor of a buttercream. So, I had to come up with another cookie.

I thought back to a cookie I had made several months ago, these cardamom cookies. They were yummy, but I wanted to tweak them a little bit. I made them with whole wheat pastry flour, bumped up the cardamom (which I made sure was freshly ground), and skipped the lemon peel & sprinkling of sugar. When I made the first test batch, they were yummy, but the dough was so sticky and hard to roll out and get onto the trays. That was even after chilling the dough for a long time.

Second time around, instead of rolling out the dough, I scooped it with my favorite cookie scoop and flattened it with the bottom of a mason jar. Much less mess, which is always good, and the cookies tasted just as good. They have a good, strong cardamom flavor, which I love. You could always cut back on the cardamom if it isn’t your favorite.

Cardamom Cookies

2 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1 cup Granulated Sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Freshly Ground Cardamom (Freshly ground makes a HUGE difference. If you can’t make it happen, I would at least double the amount you use.)
1/4 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 cup Ground Almonds (I used almond meal)
1 cup (2 sticks) of Butter (I always use salted)
2 Eggs (room temperature)
4 teaspoons Milk (I used whole milk)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. If you’re using whole cardamom, grind it up in a coffee or spice grinder. I use my magic bullet.

whole cardamom_small

ground cardamom_small

3. Whisk together flour, sugar, cardamom, cinnamon, and ground almonds.

3_dry ingredients

4. Cut butter into small cubes, add to the dry ingredients, and cut in with a pastry cutter or with your fingers. I usually choose to use my fingers and work the butter in that way. Just squish it between your fingers until it’s almost completely incorporated into the dry ingredients. It’s a little messy, but that’s half the fun of baking, isn’t it? I guess that’s only true if someone else is doing the clean up.

5_butter incorporated

5. Whisk together the eggs & milk, until they’re completely combined.


6. Add the milk & eggs to the rest of the cookie dough, and mix until thoroughly combined.

7_cookie dough

7. Scoop the cookie dough out onto your prepared cookie sheets.

8_cookie scooped

8. Flatten with a small mason jar.

9_Mason Jar

9. Bake for 6-8 minutes, until just barely golden along the edges.

11_Cardamom Cookies

I don’t know about you, but I love giving away cookies at Christmas time. Maybe it won’t be these cookies, but bake something up to give away this year. If you’re looking for a good gingerbread cookie recipe, come back soon. I’ll be posting my favorite in the next week!

love and butter,

all things turkey day, except the turkey



Ok people, thanksgiving is only 4 days away. If you don’t know what you’re taking to your family thanksgiving shin-dig, it’s crunch time. You do NOT want to be that person wandering the grocery store at 8pm on Wednesday night.

Trust me, I’ve done it.

It’s terrible.

So, I’m here to help. I haven’t created any new any creative thanksgiving day recipes myself yet, BUT I have cooked several dishes that I would be happy to recommend. There are also a few new things I’m thinking about trying this year.

tried and true

  • These creamy mashed potatoes from the Pioneer Woman are decadent. Don’t tell anyone how much butter & cream cheese is in them. You might not be invited back., but they are worth it.
  • As much as I love dessert like sweet potatoes with a pecan-butter-sugar goodness on top, I adore a savory sweet potato dish and these domino roasted sweet potatoes with garlic and thyme are superb. You could do a lot of prep ahead of time for these too.
  • This pear, prosciutto, and hazelnut stuffing? yum.
  • Here is a great, simple roasted brussels sprouts recipe.
  • There’s no reason to buy cranberry sauce in a can (unless of course you really like that odd jelly stuff with the can lines in it). Here’s a super easy recipe for cranberry sauce with only 4 ingredients.
  • One of my go-to bread recipes, for anytime of the year, is this rosemary focaccia bread. There’s just something about making bread that makes me feel extra domestically accomplished.
  • I know for some people it’s all about the pumpkin pie, and believe me, I LOVE me some pumpkin, but honestly, the pie is not usually my favorite. For a classic dessert I do like, this pecan pie recipe has been great every time I’ve made it.

something new

  • In keeping with a not sickeningly-sweet sweet potato dish, I think I’m going to make these chipotle smashed sweet potatoes from Alton Brown, this year.
  • I do have to admit that this recipe for whipped bourbon bacon sweet potatoes has been haunting me and tempting me since I first laid eyes on it.
  • Have you ever had pretzel bread? It’s a weakness of mine. Trader Joe’s has these personal sized mini loaves of it. It would be better for my waistline if I didn’t know they existed. Anywho, they would be perfect to try out this pretzel bread quinoa stuffing with garlic butter mushrooms. I don’t even like mushrooms all that much, but I’d be willing to set that to the side for this one.
  • I LOVE roasting brussels sprouts, and I think I might try out something like this maple-mustard glazed version this week.
  • And some sage butter biscuits? Enough said.
  • For dessert this year, I’m considering this maple buttermilk custard pie to switch things up a bit.

what are your favorite turkey day recipes? any new dishes you’re thinking of making this year?

love and butter,

posted under dessert, savory, sides | 1 Comment »

homemade christmas gift guide


I’ve spent some time recently reading & thinking about Christmas, and all of the gifts, and all of the stuff, and all of the money. (You can read for yourself here, here, here, and here.) And I don’t know about you, but I think things are a little unbalanced these days. I’ll be honest, I love opening lots of presents, and I love giving lots of presents. Now, I’m certainly not going to do anything too crazy like no presents at all, but I think it’s time to take a step back and remember what this season is about. Let’s consider what the best ways to celebrate the birth of Jesus might be. Because I’m not sure it looks like mountains of presents with a side of credit card debt.

For the presents that you do decide to give, what about making something instead of just buying it from a store? Gift giving is about showing someone how much you care about them, not how much money you can spend on them. I’d venture to say that giving your grandma, who loves to bake, a bottle of homemade vanilla extract will mean more to her than a new pair of slippers. And maybe your neighbors that bbq something on the grill anytime the weather is nice would appreciate a jar of spice rub mixed up just by you.
We’ve given some homemade gifts for a couple of years now, with great success. I thought I’d share a few of my favorite recipes, and if you’re looking for something else, there are oodles of options on Pinterest and the rest of the internet.

Vanilla Extract

This is so simple, it hardly needs a recipe, but here’s a good place to start, from Joy the Baker. Make sure you get good vanilla beans, not the shriveled up ones that most markets sell. A good source is Beanilla. Also note, it takes at least 6 weeks for the vanilla to be ready. So, if you’re making it for this Christmas, you’re already short on time. You can include a note that says something like “Don’t use until ____.” with the date it will be ready.

Vanilla Extract

Taco Seasoning

This is so easy to make a big batch of and give away in little mason jars. It tastes so much like the stuff that comes in the little packets from the market, but better and without all the weird preservatives and stuff. This is the one that I’ve used and loved.

Taco Seasoning

Chili Seasoning

One of my favorite slow cooker recipes is this one for chili. The recipe is instructions for cooking it on the stove, but I always throw it all in the crockpot (after browning the meat) and let it cook on low for 8 hours. One time, I got smart and instead of just measuring out enough spices for one batch, I measured out enough for several batches and stored it in a mason jar. I figured out how much was enough for one batch (6 tablespoons) and then I could just scoop out what I needed when I made chili. A couple of other notes on the chili recipe….instead of 46 ounces of tomato juice, I use 2 28oz cans of diced tomatoes. I also usually use more beans, but it usually depends on what’s in my pantry.

Chili Seasoning

All Purpose Seasoning Salt

I love this season salt recipe, although looking back at it, I realize that there isn’t even salt listed in the recipe. I wish I could tell you how much I used, but it was a year ago now and let’s be honest, sometimes I can’t remember what happened yesterday. I’m going to blame it on the kids. I swear that whole pregnancy brain thing came but never left. I do know that I used Kosher Salt, as I always do, and probably just added some and tasted, then adjust as necessary. I also remember that I didn’t use the full amount of red pepper flakes that’s listed. I wanted it to be kid-friendly.

Season Salt


To round it all off, how about some homemade granola in a mason jar?


I hope that this gives you a few ideas of how to share a little love with friends and family this Christmas season.

love and butter,






posted under pantry | 4 Comments »

empty the pantry granola


empty the pantry granola

If you’ve been following along with this new little adventure of a blog, you might have noticed that I have a thing for breakfast foods. and cookies. and most things pumpkin. I say most because honestly, I’m not a huge fan of the pie version. Anyways, I really do love breakfast food. I would likely eat it for multiple meals a day, if my husband and children wouldn’t revolt at that kind of madness. So we’ve already talked about the overnight crock pot steel cut oatmeal. And then there are the overnight oats, both chocolate-peanut butter and pumpkin pie. And how could I forget about the breakfast cookies?!?! Where two of my favorite food groups collide into one! Today, I’d like to introduce you to homemade granola.


One thing you might have picked up on with me, is that I love getting to make things that are most often bought off the shelf at your local market (like the homemade marshmallows).  Until a few years ago, granola was something I always bought. It hadn’t even crossed my mind to make it myself. Well, leave it to Tyler Florence to change all of that with this recipe. I’ve tried a couple different recipes since this one, but I keep coming back to this starting point. The great thing about making your own granola, is that you can really make it your own. It’s so simple, and you can make it custom for anyone with different preferences in your house. If you looked at Tyler’s recipe, you’ll notice he uses dried fruit, of which I am not a fan, at least not in granola. So, no dried fruit in my version. Allergic to almonds? Skip them for something else. Any nuts and seeds are fair game. If you do want the dried fruit, you can mix it in after you’ve baked the oats. You could also mix up the spices if you want a different flavor. Let’s get to the recipe.

Homemade Granola

6 cups Rolled Oats
1 cup Sliced Almonds
1 cup Pecans (I often buy pecan halves, but break them up into smaller pieces for this.)
1/2 cup Pistachios (I use roasted, unsalted ones from Trader Joe’s)
1/2 cup Slivered Almonds
1/2 cup Raw Pepitas
1/3 cup Flax Seeds
1/3 cup Chia Seeds
1/2 cup Uncooked Quinoa (Make sure it’s the pre-rinsed kind. I get a big bag of an organic, pre-rinsed quinoa at Costco)
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/2 cup Honey
1/2 cup Maple Syrup
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with foil, for easier cleanup. You’ll want to make sure to use cookie sheets with an edge, if you have them. That way you won’t lose any granola to the bottom of your oven.

2. In a small saucepan, warm the honey, maple syrup, and olive oil on low heat.

3. In a large bowl, combine all other ingredients, except the vanilla extract. (oh and if you’re one of those strange lovely people that likes dried fruit in their granola, keep that out still, too. It goes in at the very, very end.)


4. Once the sryup, honey, and oil are warm, whisk in the vanilla extract, and pour mixture over the bowl of oats, nuts, seeds, etc.

5. Gently mix everything together, just until it’s all coated.


6. Spread onto the 2 cookie sheets, and bake for 40 minutes, stirring the mixture once, about 20 minutes in.


7. Allow to cool, break up any big clumps, and store in an airtight container. Dried fruit can be mixed in anytime after it has cooled.


This is so simple to whip up and so easy to make just how you like your granola. I hope you’ll give it a try. Oh and if you know anyone that’s had a baby recently, this & a container of yogurt would be a great option to drop off for easy breakfast options for the new mama.

love and butter,



posted under breakfast | 2 Comments »
« Older Entries