The past month has been a blur! We came back from vacation, and all of a sudden, I realized it was the last week of preschool for BB! I had wanted to make some nice teacher appreciation gifts, but it’s hard to do when you realize THE DAY BEFORE that school is almost over. I had to make something with what we had in the house, and it had to be quick! When I was a teacher I liked food gifts (this led me to make chocolate covered pretzels at Christmas time for BB’s teachers…that was a fiasco I did not want to repeat!), and I thought I would do something a little more original than cookies, so I made granola. BB helped me make it, using our regular recipe with a few tweaks. Because he is my little monkey, I called it “Little monkey Granola”, and included banana chips and other tropical things.
Little Monkey Granola
- 4 cups rolled oats
- up to 3 cups nuts and other mix-ins
- 1/3 cup oil
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
Mix together oats and nuts (I used about 1 cup sunflower seeds and 1 cup cashews). Then, mix the liquids: oil, honey, extracts, and cinnamon. Spread in a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes at 300 F. Take out and stir to keep the edges from getting overcooked—try to spread the middle stuff to the edges and the edge stuff to the middle. After another 5 minutes, I pulled it out and added 1 cup of chopped banana chips and 1/2 cup coconut. Put back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes. That’s it! If you smoosh it down with a spoon before it cools, you will get some bigger clumps.
My next dilemma… how to package it? I was going to make bags out of the cellophane I had from Christmas (from the pretzel debacle), but when I brought it out from storage it had DEAD SPIDERS in it! Eeeeeeewwwwww! So I raided my stash of canning jars, figuring that if I can barely get dinner on the table these days I will not be doing much canning this year. Here’s the final result:
The tags were a simple watercolor resist, so that was a fun project with BB also. I wrote “thanks!” on watercolor paper, over and over, because he has lots of teachers, in white crayon, then invited him to paint away with watercolors. It was not the best gift anyone ever made, but it was do-able in the VERY short amount of time I had! To top it off, I made a little label for the top so they would hopefully understand the banana granola a little better:
Then we’ve been sick since school let out. Fun! I try to work on some projects, but it has been slow going. I think we are all on the mend and hopefully have some more crafts to post in the not-too-too-distant future!