Stovetop Granola (and normal eating during transitions)

Recipe from NOLS Cookery, 6th Edition.

Makes 6 cups, serves 4

5 Tbsp. butter
3 cups uncooked oatmeal flakes (I used old-fashioned rolled oats, but not the instant kind)
1/3 to 1/2 c. brown sugar or honey (depending on sweetness of fruit)
1/2 tsp. salt (if nuts used are unsalted
1 c. dried fruit
1 c. nuts and seeds

Chop fruit and put into a bowl, add water to cover.  Melt butter in a frying pan.  Add uncooked oatmeal and salt, stirring to coat with butter.  Sprinkle brown sugar over the top; add drained fruit and nuts.  Keep stirring until oatmeal is fried to a golden brown.  Can be served hot as is or with milk, or cold.

Friends, we are moving across town!  And we are so excited.  But it is hard work to move.  It's also hard to think about maintaining our food routines while we're in transition - which I'm realizing is important when there are young kids involved in a move.  One or two things out of whack is enough.  No need to throw in crazy digestion.

SO ... I usually make my favorite granola in big batches and keep it in the pantry ... but, I packed up most of my bowls and pans a while ago.  What I DO have available is a cast iron skillet.  I came across this recipe in a NOLS cookbook the Mister gave me for Christmas (intended for our family camping adventures, but suitable in this instance too!).  I've made it a few times in the last week - one batch is perfect for a breakfast (and gives me a bit of leftovers to snack on later).  I LOVE that we get to eat homemade granola without waiting for the baking and cooling processes.  Within 10 minutes of thinking, "This would be a great morning for granola!", it's on the table.  Seriously.

Some of the other breakfasts we've got on our minds during the move: 
-scrambled eggs with cheese and salsa verde on toast (remember, I kept out the skillet)
-smoothies (I have a handheld immersion blender that's about as valuable to me as the aforementioned pan) 
-these whole wheat oatmeal muffins (I made a double batch and stashed them in the freezer, but they're easy to whip up in just one bowl, and could be made into a "coffee cake" and baked in a cast iron pan if muffin tins are already in boxes).

Whether or not your summer plans involve a change of address, I'd encourage you to try out this recipe!  Hope you love it like we do.


Before and After: Thrifty Lamp Re-do

You probably remember how much I love finding things for free, especially finding them on the side of the road for free - something about that just feels so awesome.  I'm pretty sure it was last summer that I picked up this lamp from a heap of stuff in my neighborhood: functional lamp, but definitely not my style.  Talk about unfortunate.
Lamp re-do: BEFORE
Fast-forward many, many months.  We decided to move out of our current house into another house across town, and I told myself I wouldn't take any half-finished projects with me.  It was either toss this into my own roadside pile for the next lucky scavenger, or get cracking.  As you might guess, I decided to just jump right in.  So glad I did!

I'm squeaking this baby in just under the wire!  11 days until our move, and now, the lamp is finished!
Lamp re-do: AFTER
I hot glued sisal rope around the lamp base, coiling it around and around.  It's a little shaggy looking, and very rustic - much better than a yellow porcelain dandelion.  And here's my little "untutorial" on how to do a lampshade: check out this post by Young House Love.  All you need is a lonely and/or desperate looking lampshade, some hot glue, and some fabric.  And ... go!

Total project cost: less than $10!  It did take a lot of hot glue, but this was a seriously thrifty project!

The move, the push to finish projects, and general summerness is accounting for my lack of frequent posts these days.  I'll try to squeeze in a few more project finishes if I can, and at least another recipe or two during our transition!


Improv Modern Baby Quilt (a quilt for Nibbler)

We've enjoyed lots of special visits with dear family and friends recently - a precious wedding, celebrating a new house, a potluck reunion on a lawn with old friends, walks and playdates and water adventures and more - all kicking our summer off to a most lovely start.

There's another big family event coming soon - "Nibbler," my little neice or nephew, is due in July - and we are all beside ourselves with excitement.  I knew I wanted to make a special little quilt for the newest family member, and dreamed up this idea while I was teaching an improv class earlier this spring.  

I went with a giant stitch-and-flip project, with each white block measuring 9 inches. The final quilt measures about 33" square.  

I love that it looks like just one quilt square!  I've seen a few other quilts that have taken traditional patterns and enlarged them, but this is my first time trying.  It won't be my last.  I am thrilled with how it turned out!

The back is a VERY light green-polka-dot-on-white (that barely shows up unless you're looking for it).

And the quilting - well, I tried something new.  It certainly came together quickly - just up and down loops across each block, with the opposite direction in each colored triangle.  This was a fun one!

Alright, Nibbler - we can't wait to meet you!