Sunday, May 29, 2011

Granola Bars

4 cups rolled oats
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup raw sugar or brown sugar
1/2 cup wheat germ*
1/2 cup milled flax seed*
1 TBS cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups dried fruit**
1 1/2 cups chopped nuts**
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup olive oil
1 cup honey
1 TBS real vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Grease half sheet pan.

In a large bowl mix all dry ingredients. Make a well in the center pour in eggs, oil, honey, and extract. Mix until until combined. Pat tightly into pan (this is important to avoid super crumbly bars).

Bake 30-35 minutes until edges begin to brown. Cool 5 min. Cut into bars or use cookie cutters for fun shapes.***

Store cooled bars in an airtight container.

This recipe is very forgiving. Have fun and experiment.
*Can use 1 cup wheat germ or 1 cup milled flax rather than half & half. If milling your own flax, put 1/4 cup whole flax into your blender or coffee grinder to yield 1/2 cup milled.
**This is the fun part. You can mix up your fruit and nuts as long as you are adding 3 cups total. My favorite combinations are:
~1 cup chopped almonds, 1 cup chopped dried pineapple, 1 cup coconut, +1 1/2 tsp coconut extract, no cinnamon
~1 cup chopped dried cherries, 1 cup chopped almonds, 1 cup chocolate chips (when using chocolate, I like no more than 1 cup, more feels like a candy bar)
***Cut bars while warm or they will be difficult to cut. If you use cookie cutters the leftover bits are delicious with yogurt or milk.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

a whole new world

Hello world. I've been absent for awhile. I think I'm ready to come back. I feel alive again. My mind is spinning, full of new ideas and hope for the future. I am an intuitive faithful woman. I have respect and gratitude for people who put lots of energy into researching. I am not a thorough researcher. When I have a question, I ask around, do some reading and follow my heart. I know, I know, it sounds a crazy, and I'm a little surprised to be admitting it to all the world (which really translates into about 3 people who already knew). But, I'm working really hard on letting go of my weaknesses and focusing on my strengths. There's no reason to try to be someone I'm not. I have my own offerings. I'm not sure what all of them are, but I know what a lot of them are not. As I grow, the picture is clearing up and my understanding is coming into focus.

I've felt called to change the world for as long as I can remember. I'm certain that some day I will. I'm not sure what my contribution will be or if it will leave any trail back to me. Part of me believes that God knew I needed to feel important when He planted that seed deep within my soul and that my contribution will be as simple as that of a butterfly's wings. The grandness of my actions is unimportant. What is vital is that I live my life with meaning, remembering that I have a purpose and doing all that I can to find it and fulfill it.

This year I turned 29 and will celebrate my 10 year anniversary to the man of my dreams. We have 3 little ones and a mortgage. I drive a van. I thought that I'd have life all figured out by now. Childhood is full of illusions.

My life and efforts are full of shortcomings. I learned about the 1% Principle. Basically, if you concentrate on the right thing, it will help everything. I have decided to focus my efforts on my home-keeping skills. I am a bit of a pack-rat and a hoarder by nature. (There have been far too many times to count that I avoided taking pictures of my sweet children because I didn't want anyone to see what a cluttered mess my house was.) Which is not in line with my desire to live a simple life. Right now I'm focusing on eliminating excess from my life, allowing those possessions that have been owning me and filling me with guilt to move on, to find another mother who can give them the love they deserve. And hopefully blessing some people in the process. I'm winning. I can see my floor most days and I've been able to walk into my garage for weeks. A huge burden is being lifted and I'm so grateful. Every time I look through a box and find something else to move on down the line, I feel such a strange combination of exhilaration and exhaustion. It's still so painful for me, but I guess that's what sacrifice is all about. I'm giving up something I thought I wanted for something I want more. I want my children to grow up in a house of order and love. I'm making room for that. I'm working on establishing healthy habits to help our home run like a well oiled machine, after that we can focus our energy on discovering our life missions and living them. Maslow was a pretty smart guy. I'm building the foundation for not only myself, but my children also. Watch out world, I'm winning and on my way.