Names have been changed to protect the innocent...and my husband...and me...but not the dog. His name is Dexter.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Favorite-Ogden Nature Center's Earth Day Celebration

A couple years ago was our very first time going to the Ogden Nature Center's Earth Day Celebration and we had the best time!  My girls didn't stop talking about it for months and have started talking about it again the last few weeks since it's coming up soon!  Tomorrow in fact!
We have the best time and at only $2 per person its affordable AND the money goes to a great cause!

Saturday, April 19, 12 noon - 4 pm
The Nature Center's outdoor glen will be filled with tons of earth-friendly ideas, a native plant sale, product booths, workshops and fun activities!  All of Utah's green gurus will be on hand with topics ranging from bee keeping, composting, and invastive weeds, to Llama cart rides and a climbing wall for kiddos!  Children always love the US Forest Service water trailer while adults enjoy taking home green ideas for their homes and gardens.  Read more for all the details.
Cost: $2 per person
The are so many activities.....face painting, wreath making, bubbles, workshops and presentations.  My particular favorites are the wool spinning and getting to feed the alpacas.  I'm not sure if the alpacas will be there this year but I sure hope so!

Side may or may not know that one day I want to live on an alpaca ranch and have chickens and spin wool and do all sorts of things like that.  Surprising, I know.

So!  If you're wondering what you and/or your family can do tomorrow that doesn't involve a gigantic bunny costume or bringing home tons of candy you don't need (trust don't need it) now you have a fun day planned for you and all you have to do is show up!

For more details on the activities go here.  And then I will see you there!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tip Tuesday-Easter Egg Decorating Tips for the Lazy

Last year was the first year that we decorated our Easter eggs with Sharpie markers and I'm pretty sure we may never go back. 

The girls get full access to all my colored Sharpie markers (which is a dream come true for them) and I don't have to worry about egg dye getting on everything but the eggs. 

Plus they get to create the exact designs they won't without the frustration of the limits of egg dye.  I'm not a fan of the egg dye.  Just say no.
And then pull those Sharpies out and actually enjoy decorating eggs with your kids!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Recipe Swap Wednesday-Gluten Free Granola

This is one of our favorite things for breakfast.  Everyone loves it so much I haven't even been able to get a picture of it.  It's great on its' own, with milk, sprinkled over yogurt, or any other granola ideas you might have.  I just recently started making again and it has not lasted longer than 48 hours.  It's that good.

Gluten Free Granola

3 cups gluten free oats
1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 cup (or more) coarsely chopped nuts and/or dried fruit
1 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter
1/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  You can use a tradition oven setting or a convection oven setting to make the cooking time shorter.

In a large mixing bowl combine the oats, coconut and nuts/fruit.  In a saucepan combine brown sugar, butter, water, salt, vanilla and cinnamon over a medium heat until the mixture is melted and bubbly.  Pour this over the oat mixture and stir well.  Let stand for 10 minutes.

Spread granola mixture evenly on a large baking sheet with space to allow for air circulation.  Place on the center rack in the oven.  The cooking time will vary depending on oven and setting.

For traditional oven baking setting:
Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and stir.  Place the baking sheet back in the oven to bake for another 15 minutes.  Continue this cycle until the granola is golden brown and completely dry.  It usually takes about three cycles.

For convection setting:
Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and stir.  Place the baking sheet back in the oven to bake for another 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and stir.  Place the baking sheet back in oven for just five more minutes (more if needed), until the granola is golden brown and completely dry.

And then enjoy for the next 48 hours because it disappears fast!

Helpful Hints
You can also add 1/4 flax seed to improve the nutritional quality
If you add dried fruit it gets pretty dried out during the baking progress.  I tend to use only nuts in the recipe and then add fresh or dried fruit when serving.
It's tempting to leave the granola in a great big clump for the first round of baking in order to make little granola clumps.  It's doesn't work.  Don't do it.

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