I bought a big Costco size container of coconut oil, and have been looking up different recipes to use it. Coconut oil offers so many health benefits, and it is so versatile. This past summer I made shrimp tacos and fried the shrimp in coconut oil – it was so good!
I have been wanting to try making my own granola bars, and finally bought all the ingredients to make it happen. Well, they turned out awesome, and I will never buy store bought granola bars again. I got some inspiration from Iowa Girl Eats and made a few changes of my own.
Homemade Granola Bars with Coconut Oil Inspiration from Iowa Girl Eats
1 cup whole almonds
1 cup walnuts (can use pecan or other nut)
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup dried craisins
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
3 Tablespoons of Chia Seeds
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons honey
4 Tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
dash of cinnamon
**Optional chocolate chips – made with and without, both good.
- Add 1/2 cup each of almonds,walnut, and old fashioned oats into a food processor. Process until fine (not too long or it will start to turn into nut butter!) then pour into a large bowl. Roughly chop the remaining walnuts and almonds, then add the bowl. Add remaining old fashioned oats, cherries, and sesame seeds, then mix well and set aside.
- Combine honey, coconut oil, salt, vanilla & almond extracts, and cinnamon in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the mixture melts, then foams, then cook for 15 seconds longer. Pour over nut mixture and mix thoroughly to coat all the ingredients. May find you need to add more of the wet ingredients. The dry ingredients should be evenly coated.
- Line a half sheet pan or 8×8 pan with enough saran wrap or parchment paper to let it hang far over the sides, then pour in granola. Press very, very firmly with your hands or something with a flat bottom (may need to spray it with non-stick spray.) Wrap the overhanging saran wrap or parchment paper up over the sides and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours.
- Using a sharp knife, cut chilled granola into bars. Wrap individually in saran wrap and store in the fridge or freezer. The bars fall apart easily once they are taken out of the fridge. Which is fine by me – you never know what is holding your store bought bar together.
The coffee enthusiast is probably the easiest person to shop for during the holiday season. There are always new flavors/types of coffees being introduced – and who can say no to a cute new mug!? Here are some items that cover all of the above.
:French press | mean mug | caffine:
The abundance of holiday gatherings is a great excuse to pick up some festive ensembles. For me black and gold is the perfect combination. Simple, chic, and endless possibilities. My inspiration comes from this lovely Anthroplogie number – isn’t it gorgeous!? It would also be a great dress for that upcoming winter wedding.
Here are some of my favorite black and gold picks!
I absolutely love this time of year in NYC, it is so magical and everything is covered in holiday lights. It seems everyone is busy dashing off to holiday parties, wearing an excessive amount of sequins (no judgment). One thing I have noticed as of late are signature cocktails for parties. I am a huge fan of this concept; it helps everyone to get more in the holiday spirit with spirits! Here are some holiday themed cocktails which caught my eye. (Psst, I have had the apple cider margarita-it didn’t disappoint).
1. Apple Cider Margarita
1 ounce Grand Marnier
1 ounce gold tequila
5-6 ounces sweet apple cider
orange segments and apple slices
cinnamon + cane sugar + coarse sugar for glass rimming
cinnamon sticks for garnish
*note this is for a single serving*
Add a few spoonfuls of cane sugar, coarse sugar and cinnamon to a plate. Run an orange segment around the edge of the glass, then press into the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat the rim. Add a few orange slices in the bottom of the glass, fill with ice, then add the Grand Marnier, tequila and apple cider and stir to mix. Garnish with apple slices and cinnamon sticks.
2. Pomegranate and Rosemary White Sangria
1 bottle of dry white wine
3/4 cup pomegranate arils
4 springs of fresh rosemary
1/4 cup simple syrup
the juice of 1 lemon
the juice of 1 orange
1/3 cup Triple Sec
In a large pitcher add everything together.
Refrigerate for 24 hours.
Serve over ice.
3. White Chocolate Peppermint Martini
4 parts Godiva white chocolate liquor (4 ounces)
2 ½ parts vanilla vodka (2 ½ ounces)
1 ½ parts peppermint schnapps (1 ½ ounces)
Red sugar sprinkles for garnishing the glass rim (optional)
Chocolate syrup for garnishing the inside of the glass (optional)
Small peppermint stick for garnish (optional)
Fill a cocktail shaker half-way full with crushed ice.
Pour in all of the liquor ingredients and shake until well mixed.
Spread red sugar sprinkles evenly onto a large plate.
Wet the rim of a martini glass with water, then tip the martini glass rim into the sprinkles and spin the glass to coat the rim.
Drizzle a small amount of chocolate syrup in a spiral design inside the glass.
Pour contents of shaker into the martini glass.
Place a small peppermint candy cane along the edge of the glass.
4. Rosemary Infused Spritzer
Rosemary Simple Syrup
Cranberry Grape Juice
In a shaker add 1 oz vodka, 4 oz grape juice, 1 teaspoon simple syrup & shake.
Pour into champagne coupe & top with prosecco.
Garnish with rosemary sprig.
* To make rosemary simple syrup- In a quart pan add 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar & 2 sprigs of rosemary. Simmer until sugar is completely dissolved & strain into glass jar.
Happy Holiday sipping!
To help make your holiday shopping a little easier, we have decided to give you affordable options for that special person on your shopping list. Instead of giving you millions of options that can leave you even more indecisive, we will give a few really good options so it’s easier to choose. Today we are honoring your accessory loving friend. Always on trend, and will appreciate a few new pieces to add to her ever evolving collection.
Stay tuned, we will have something new every week day!
//CHANDELIER PLATE ERRING//TEAL FLOWER CABOCHON NECKLACE//
Lately, I have needed to remind myself of this a lot, so I wanted to share.
I love leftovers, especially Thanksgiving leftovers. We were lucky to celebrate several Thanksgivings over the holiday weekend, and brought home lots of goodies. My dad let me keep the turkey carcass so I could make soup. It was so delicious and a perfect dinner after eating ridiculous amounts. I did go a little overboard with the orzo, so next time I will use half. What do you make with your leftovers?
Turkey and Orzo Soup Recipe by Melissa Parrish
-salt and pepper to taste
1) Make homemade stock with turkey carcass by putting bones in a pot cover with water. Add carrots, onions, garlic, and celery (all cut into bite size pieces). Simmer for an hour.
2) Remove bones. Skim off fat from top.
3) Bring to boil and add half box of orzo. Add kale, chopped up turkey, and parsley.
4) cook 9 minutes and season to taste.