Cool Stuff I Like

8

January 6, 2012

Downton
HOW’S EVERYONE DOING? I’m so relieved the holidays are over! Which is so so strange for me, I usually go into deep mourning when Christmas flies the coop.

Taking down the tree this weekend. Planning Julia’s birthday next month. Trying to ignore my own birthday coming up soon. Getting ready to watch Season 2 of ‘Downton Abbey’ – speaking of which – OMG IT’S THE GREATEST SHOW EVER! It’s all that I hoped it would be! It’s English period mixed with soap opera! I even got Andrew to watch it with me! I love it so much! And all you suckers who watched it last year have had to wait many moons for it to come back – not me! I only have to wait a week! There are times when procrastinating pays off. Sorry for rubbing that in. Really. I heartily apologize. Just a little gentle teasing THAT YOU'VE HAD TO WAIT SO LONG!


Excited to embark on the first COOL STUFF list of 2012 with you:

Barefoot Books is one of the coolest online bookshops for kids. They’re having a sale!

Julia is WAY into audio books. Next up I want to get her ‘A Bear Called Paddington’.

Doesn’t this sound lovely and cozy?

And while we’re over at Whole Living (great mag BTW), who’s gonna try this with me?

10 Slow Cooker Winter Dinners.

I collect gingerbread recipes. How does Black Sticky Gingerbread sound? (rad.)

Downton Abbey Cake!!!!!!!

Lavender, sage, lemon and vanilla bath salts sound really appealing right now.


Cool Book of the Week: ‘Mouse and Mole: A Winter Wonderland’ by Wong Herbert Yee, is a fun one we picked up at the library a few weeks ago. An Early Reader about two animal friends trying to come to an agreement about how to best enjoy winter. (Stay in or go out? I know what I’d do – STAY IN!)
Winter book 1

Have a lovely first weekend in January! No snow for us yet, I’m wondering if it will happen for us this year?? It’s been pretty mild here so far.

~Melissa





The Awesomest Cat Videos in the World

9

January 5, 2012



The Radical Rosebud Video



The Even More Radical Sally Video


In case you were lost, our kitten Rosebud loves her food JUST A LITTLE BIT.

And our other cat Sally, who has been cheerfully eating her way through our clothes, (Hey Sal! I ain’t paying for your bowel obstruction surgery!) somehow got a bag stuck on her head. Hilarity ensued.
Yep. This is how we amuse ourselves.





Winter Granola

6

January 3, 2012

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I made Andrew some homemade granola this year for Christmas because the man can eat granola like nothing I’ve ever seen before. And I had my hands on the Nov/Dec issue of Victoria magazine and it had a recipe called ‘Holiday Granola’ that looked AMAZING.
So since I didn’t get this post up during the actual holiday, I’ve renamed it ‘Winter Granola’ and you can consider this my post-holiday gift to you – it is SO DARN GOOD. It was good right when it was done. It was good for several days after as cereal in milk. And it’s STILL GOOD a week and half later as a snack, although it has softened somewhat.

Winter (or Holiday) Granola
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 C steel-cut oats
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1/3 cup wheat germ
1 cup large-flake organic coconut (I could only find medium flake.)
1 cup whole almonds (I roughly chopped them because I didn’t want any big pieces.)
1 cup sliced almonds PLUS 1 cup pistachios (I used roasted/unsalted from Trader Joe’s.)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (I forgot to put these in.)
3/4 cup agave nectar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup cane sugar (Is this regular sugar? ‘Cuz that’s what I used.)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried cherries
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine quick-cooking oats, steel-cut oats, milk powder, wheat germ, coconut, sliced almonds, whole almonds, pistachios, and sunflower seeds.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine agave nectar, cane sugar, oil, and butter. Cook over high heat until mixture comes to a boil; remove from heat.
  4. Pour agave nectar mixture over oats mixture, stirring to coat well. Spread mixture onto prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake 15 minutes; stir. Bake an additional 15 minutes. Add dried cranberries, cherries, cinnamon, and sea salt; stir. Bake additional 5-10 mins. (I wanted it crunchy so I did the additional 10 minutes.)
  6. Remove from oven and cool completely on baking sheet for at least 1 hour. (It will harden and crunch up as it cools.) Break into chunks and store in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Makes 8 cups.
If you want to feel impressed with yourself, try this out. I’m still impressed with myself!




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