Saturday, January 17, 2009

Staying Warm on a Cold Day

Good Morning blog friends!!
Are you all managing to stay warm? It seems like much of the country is in the deep freeze right now. Even down here in the south we are experiencing some record breaking cold temps. Yesterday was just such a day. In the morning I had to run several errands. By the time I got home I was quite content to put on another sweater and stay indoors.

Last week when my husband was out of town he came home with one of my favorite food items from my home state.

Recently I came across a recipe in a "healthy" magazine for Cherry Granola. I love granola, but I find the ones from the grocery store to be too sweet for my tastes. So, let's give it a try.
Cherry Granola
4 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups dried cherries (or 1 cup cherries & 1 cup cranberries)
In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients; set aside. In a small saucepan, combine the orange juice, honey & oil. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Pour over oat mixture & mix well.
Transfer to a cookie sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown, stirring every 10 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. Stir in dried fruits. Store in an airtight container.

Yield: 7-1/2 cups

Once you put it in the oven you won't want to stray too far from the kitchen as it is important to stir it every 10 minutes so it won't burn. I think this would be a perfect time to try that hot chocolate recipe I mentioned in my last post.

Oh my. . . rich & creamy. Now, what else should we do as we indulge in this sweet treat? Well, we could watch the birds who have been flocking to the feeders all day. I filled them this morning and it's going fast. I have been seeing a lot of red birds - cardinals, house finches, woodpeckers. Let's see if we can find any of them. We can make a theme for today. Red cherry granola ~ red birds. Maybe we can get in the spirit for Valentine's Day a little early :-)

I spy a female cardinal on top of the shepherd hook and a red house finch on the feeder looking in at us.

Let's step outside to snag a picture of this male cardinal. On second thought, let's not. Too cold!!

Okay, that's better. A male cardinal posing for his picture. We can continue sipping our hot chocolate and snap his picture from the warmth of the kitchen table.

What a sweet birdie ~ he even invited his friend to be part of the photo shoot. One for you and one for me. Ding!! There goes the timer. Time to quit birdwatching and tend to the granola.

Stay warm & healthy.


  1. The granola looks great and I love dried cherries...however - girlfriend, I must be really tired this morning. I could not find that cocoa recipe. I would love one, because mine is almost gone and I need a new recipe. Could you tell me when you posted it? thanks

  2. Your morning looks like much like mine. Coffee and bird watching. Your granola looks yummy. :)

  3. Kim,

    Amazing pictures!

    Thank you for sharing. I really enjoy visiting your blog.

  4. Your photos are cookbook worthy and the red color of Mr. Cardinal is breathtaking ........ stay warm.

  5. My favorite kind of birdwatching - from inside! Sounds pretty warm to me down there, but it's all in what you're used to. (And I am not used to this single-digit stuff!) Barbara

  6. I thought we had things in common when I first saw your I'm convinced! I LOVE dried cherries! I buy them at Fresh Market and put them in my hot oatmeal in the morning! They are expensive but are SO worth it! I'll try your granola recipe! It's cold here, too and I took pics of Junkos (snow birds) this morning! Wonder if we'll get snow!

  7. the bird pictures are amazing! The granola looks delicious too!

  8. Hi Kim,

    What a beautiful post! Oh those birds are so sweet and my favorite color too :) I love home made granola, so I will have to try that recipe! Thanks for sharing! I love your kitchen vignette too, I feel like I'm right there for coffee :) I adore the rooster and milk bottle, right up my alley for pretties!

    Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

    Hugs, Cynthia

  9. Wish I could mix up a batch of the cherry granola right this minute!!

    I love birdwatching. We've got a "herd" of cardinals, chickadees, house, gold, and purple finches around right now. The chickadees are my favorites - they're fun to watch.

    Thanks for sharing your cherry granola event. Makes me hungry!!

  10. The granola looks delicious and I may have to try it sometime soon. It looks healthy, also.
    Try to stay warm.

  11. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe! I know it has to be good. You always take such great pictures of your recipes. Twyla

  12. Hi Kim ~ yummmm...that granola looks fantastic. I'm so jealous that you get so many birds by matter how much food is in the the winter, there are no birds!

    Thanks for the recipe!


  13. Hi Kim,
    Your granola sounds wonderful! That would be good with a cup of coffee.

    Your bird photos are great. Love the cardinals.

    Enjoy your day!

  14. Your granola looks wonderful and absolutely delicious! How can anyone go wrong with all these yummy ingredients?! Thanks for sharing. :)

  15. Do you have any of that granola left? Can we heat milk to put over it? It's cold and snowy here! Thanks for entering my giveaway. It's nice to see a few familiar names! BYE!

  16. Hi Kim
    Our snow has already melted a lot. Don't you just love the birds this time of year? Within a five minute period I saw cardinals, sparrows, house finches, 2 kinds of woodpeckers, wrens, goldfinches, titmouse, bluebirds, nuthatches, chickadees, and I'm sure I've missed some. They were having a great time at our feeders.
    Hope you're having a good day.
    Hugs, Rhondi

  17. You are so blessed to have so many gorgeous birds around your home! I need to put out some bird seed to attract them. It's been so cold here too. I just got back from my morning walk and it was 26 degrees.....brrr! The granola looks really good. I'm glad you are staying warm and cozy in your home!

    Hugs, Sharon

  18. Your post sounded so full of warmth and coziness. It almost makes you forget the cold temps.


  19. Dried cherries...yummy! I have never seen them available on the retail shelf...but buy them packaged together with a salad. The granola looks fantastic!
    Enjoy the birds.

  20. Hi Kim,
    I am new to your blog, but I saw this picture of this rooster on someone elses blog and it lead me here. I think I have that same rooster. I use it in my header on my blog. I have two home one; and my studio one;

  21. I am so thankful that you discovered my blog, because that means that I got to discover YOURS!! And, when I find a few extra minutes in my day...I WILL BE BACK, because I really liked what I saw initially.

  22. Kim,

    I've been really behind on reading blogs so it took me a while to catch up on yours.

    I love the little changes you've made around your house. The Spring colors and flowers in your living room just made my day brighter.


  23. The granola looks delicous and the recipe sounds fairly easy to make. Thanks for so graciously sharing it.


Your comments are welcome and appreciated.
I will do my best to answer any questions here in the comments section.