Bloggaversary and my first Giveaway

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU!

So, it’s been quite the YEAR. 

I can’t believe I’ve made it through a year of blogging. Woot to that!

So a recap: It’s been a year of:

  • Spell checks (which probably led to more spell checks)
  • Writing and re-writing..then re-writing the re-write
  • Deleting. Usually that was permanent. But the good old Macbook gives me the command Z option when one screws it up.
  • Wondering whether or not to hit PUBLISH on that post you thought might send others straight away from the blog. Then hitting Publish and having an immediate panic attack. Take me as I am, or leave me, that’s my new motto.
  • Questioning goals, life, etc. (I think that’s pretty normal).
  • Pondering whether or not to keep blogging. I went through a blog “break-down” at some point, I think it was when I was posting more then 3 up to 5 times a week.( Now wonder I was going to throw my spatula out the window!)
THEN, after all of that, why do I still blog? Well, because of all of YOU and because I love it. The moments that my mind goes blank, or I think I lack ideas, I somehow find inspiration whether it be through a comment left, or one of my favorite food bloggers and their encouragement.

Or because all of YOU my dear lovelies, you keep me going.

p.s. not that you can shut my trap up anytime soon. Ha.

THANK YOU for making me feel loved, allowing me to obsess over food, health, more food, now yoga…and laughing with me or even at me (after all, it’s best to be able to laugh at one self, especially when it’s a snort laugh).

So, what’s up for grabs here? Well, if you caught a glimpse of the Granola Globes (I can’t stop saying that) then you’ll know there was an ingredient that I love. SPELT FLAKES. I’ve used them a few times here, and they’re a great grain (yup,I really typed that). I might even toss in another bonus to the winner, not sure yet.

I’m cool like that.

Here’s the details and what you should get a move on doing. I will be using the Random Generator to choose the winner. 

So how do you enter? Select one or more of the entry options below. Leave a separate comment for each entry. A winner will be selected at random next Wednesday, November 2nd by 12 pm EST.

  1. Entry method: Fill out the form below so that I have a way of contacting you. (p.s. this is private information and your personal email will not be shared with others).

THEN, Just leave me a comment below. Yes, it’s that simple! Perhaps you’ll answer this,”What has been the most memorable moment this past year? (whether you’re a blogger or just have something to share). Or just a friendly comment, why you love me (kidding?!), why you want to win, or just a Howdy!

2. Like my facebook page Help me go beyond 500 on Facebook. Why? Why not really? There’s a pretty cool bunch of folks hanging out over there.
3. Share about this contest on Twitter and follow me, Facebook, your blog, etc. Make sure you leave a comment here with a link to your post. Each time you leave a comment, you gain an additional chance to win.
4. Well, I hope you already subscribe, but if you don’t, that’s okay. No strings attached. But if you decide to, you should leave a comment for an additional chance to win. ;-)

NOTE: This giveaway is a personal undertaking. Why? Cause I want you to try Spelt. Ha. Well, really it’s just fun. Nobody but my lonesome is involved, sponsors, affiliates, or the Eden brand. (I should let them know though eh?). 

SO, I hope you have enjoyed a year of blogging, my free love, lots of food chat, and other stuff that has hopefully had you salivating over a beet, starting an exercise routine, or simply inspired you in some way. 

Good Luck!

JEN

Peanut Butter & Pumpkin Pie Granola Globes

There are 3 things that happen once the temperature in the air hits below 65 degrees. 

1) There is more time spent outdoors at a) farms, b) orchards, or c) trails, where we all hike, bike, walk or run. (looking for a trail? Did you see my “find a trail guide?”). Glorious!

2) Suddenly, you pause when ordering your usual humongo iced coffee, chai or green tea and you decide….”I think I”ll have that HOT.”

3) Words such as: Bake, Roast, Stew, Chili, Cider, Crisps, Butter, Pumpkin and Soup take over the food world. But I’m okay with that, perhaps it’s one of the reasons I love Fall so much. I miss the berries, but embrace the squash. 

Today, Baking won me over.

You’ll find an immediate cozzyness (that so needs a spell check) in your home just from the warmth of the stove and the aroma of melting peanut butter and cinnamon that lingers all day.

Better then Cinnabun if I don’t say so myself.

Doesn’t get cozier then that, unless you’re wrapped up in a snuggie, onesie or snow suit.

I started with the idea of making a granola bar. But the first batch turned out more like granola/meusli and the second batch (cause we ate the first one within a weekend) was a bit more sticky and chunky cause I played around with the measurements.

Hence, you can either make granola or get your hands dirty and make a globe. Yes, I have now dorked out and coined the term “granola globe.”

INGREDIENT HIGHLIGHT:

Turkish Apricots: (bottom right corner in above pic) Once the velvety, juicy, fresh apricot season comes to an end, we’re left with the dark brown dried version. But guess what, they are a small package of potassium, beta carotene, vitamin C and fiber. Good for your heart, eyes and the gut.

Buying: Go for organic, that way you don’t have to worry about sulfites. Read more if you’d like. Source: WHfoods.com.

Storage: Dried apricots can be stored for a few months, or up to 1 year if left in your freezer.

Other uses: Add the apricots to your oats, pancake batter, trail mix, eat em alone (portable snack), add to a stew, soup or toss over a salad for a hint of sweetness.

RECIPE

“Peanut Butter & Pumpkin Pie Granola Globes”

Adapted from: Eden Organics Spelt Flakes

Makes: 3-4 Cups (not sure how many globes, 16+)

Equipment:

  • cookie sheet (we all have one of those right?)
  • 9 x 13 baking dish

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of spelt flakes (alternatives can be used)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter (I used at least 4)
  • 1-2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (I like the spice)
  • 1/2 cup or more pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup chopped turkish apricots, chopped
  • Coconut Oil (optional)-just a smear to grease the bottom of the glass dish

Methods:

  • Preheat Oven to 325 degrees. Place spelt flakes on the cookie sheet and bake for approximately 20 minutes, tossing the flakes here and there every 5 minutes or so.

Don't forget to toss.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, I mean on the stovetop:

  • Heat a small saucepan on medium heat and add maple syrup, honey, peanut butter and spices. 
  • Bring to a boil, then let simmer about 10 minutes or until it thickens and bubbles. Do not burn!
  • Take a moment to enjoy the scent.

Peanut butter doesn't need a pal, but Oh my.

  • Remove the spelt flakes from the stove and let cool.
  • Take a 9 x13 glass baking dish and coat with a little coconut oil (optional-gives a nice moistness and flavor to the granola). Mix all ingredients together in the baking dish, tossing to cover all the flakes.  Add the papitas and chopped apricots and keep mixing until some nice lookin chunks form and you’ve got your granola.
  • NOW: you can either press the mixture into the dish, let it cool and cut it into bars. OR you can let it cool a bit, then grab wadds and make your globes.

NOTE: you might want to add more nut butter to make the globes stickier, you must press them together tightly when forming. Get aggressive here.

Pack em up in a Halloween Goody Bag! Trick or Treat, no Twix!

Play with your food tips:

  • Try using Kamut flakes (click on link for Kamut and Apple compote) or Oats. The first round I made last week I used 1 cup oats (not instant) mixed with the spelt flakes. That’s where it turned out more like a muesli.
  • Add different dried fruits. I was going to try dried cherries and blueberries. Oh that sounds good!
  • Mess around: I found the second batch a bit sweet, you can always try 1/2 rice syrup (like I did in this cinnamon glazed pear recipe) with the honey or maple syrup. I used 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) peanut butter, 4 cups spelt flakes, added another 1-2 tablespoons more maple syrup and honey. (not necessary).
Other recipes you’ll want to get your hands dirty for:
Roasted Butternut Squash and Farro Salad (Bonus, what is spelt vs. farro?)
Kamut and Apple Compote Breakfast (also substitute Spelt flakes)
Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal (also substitute Spelt flakes)

HAVE YOU MADE YOUR OWN GRANOLA? DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE MIX-IN?

p.s. There is going to be a FIRST giveaway coming up this Thursday that you won’t want to miss out on and it will include an ingredient, (maybe two) from this recipe!

p.p.s Make your life easier by subscribing now for email updates (no spam people, I hate it in a can or otherwise) to receive the update and not worry about it.