Distractions

I was looking for a distraction from some other obligations, like completing my continuing education credits for my OT license.  Eeek!  I decided that this project would do nicely.  

Also looking for some color in my life, other than the white, white snow that I feel I have been looking at for months on end. Seriously, its the first day of Spring and it was only 6 degrees this morning, with a wind chill of 6 below zero.

Lastly, I need something to do with all the leftovers of Mal Worsted I have accumulated.

On second thought, maybe I should have called this project “Addiction” instead of “Distraction” since I am now thoroughly hooked on watching the colors unfold. So. Much. Fun.  Check out my project page, "Distraction," on ravelry for details, colorways, and progress.  The pattern is Simple Sprinkle, by Veera Välimäki.

I'd also like to share something a little off-topic for a knitting blog - a recipe I have recently fallen in love with.  I have adapted it quite a bit from the original blog post, here: http://www.hungryhungryhippie.com/quinoa-granola/ 

I've been on a bit of a mission to get to the bottom of the cause of my migraines.  I've had them for years and years, but more recently, they started to get more regular and interfere with daily life a lot more.  After lots of tracking, a couple different meds, and a general quest for improved health, I decided to try cutting wheat out of my diet.  Low and behold (knock on wood), I have been migraine free since taking the plunge.  It's honestly been easier than I had anticipated and I have discovered some really amazing recipes in the process.  Recipes that the whole family enjoys!

keenwah chocolate sea salt clusters

keenwah chocolate sea salt clusters

I found these wonderful little treats to satisfy that afternoon sweet craving quite well, but they are not exactly an inexpensive snack.  There had to be some way to make something similar at home...thus began my quest!

my version

my version

Quinoa Granola Bars with Chocolate and Sea Salt

- 1 cup whole rolled oats (gluten free)

- 1 cup buckwheat (uncooked hot cereal mix)

- 1/3 cup quinoa (red or regular or a combo of both)

- 2 T chia seeds

- 1/2 cup almonds, coarsely chopped, toasted if desired

- 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped, toasted if desired

- 1/4 cup shredded coconut, toasted if desired

- 2 tsp cinnamon

- 1/2 cup maple syrup (can also use honey)

- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

- 1 t. of vanilla extract

- sea salt, a pinch for sprinkling

- dark or milk chocolate for drizzling over bars (not sure exactly how much I used, but a small handfull of chips or pieces is fine)

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Melt coconut oil until clear.

Melt coconut oil until clear.

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liquid ingredients

liquid ingredients

Combine liquid ingredients and add to dry mixture, stirring until evenly distributed.  

Texture should be grainy, like sand.  If it seems too dry, add a little syrup.  If it seems to wet, add some oats or other dry ingredients.  

Press mixture into a lightly greased or parchment lined baking pan.  Bake at 225 for 45-55 minutes, or until lightly browned and toasted around the edges.  Immediately sprinkle with sea salt.  Cool in pan.  

Press mixture into a lightly greased or parchment lined baking pan.  Bake at 225 for 45-55 minutes, or until lightly browned and toasted around the edges.  Immediately sprinkle with sea salt.  Cool in pan.  

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Melt chocolate with a small amount of additional coconut oil (about 1/2 a tsp) and drizzle over cooled bars.  Pop them into the fridge for about 10 minutes, until chocolate is set, then cut or break into pieces and enjoy....with coffee, for breakfast, as a snack in the afternoon, crumbled into yogurt, any way you like.