(My roommate took this photo. I was the only student there with 35 mm! Everyone else had digital!)
Here is a story for you. I was 24 when I finally went to Franciscan University. I completed my Associates' Degree at the community college here in MD. With my associate's completed, I needed 2 more years of school for a bachelor's degree. I didn't care if I had to tack on 12 more years though - I was only concerned with how soon I could get on that plane and get to Austria! Maybe my motives weren't the best, but hey! I have my degree now!
I arrived at Franciscan University and they gave me a map to my dorm...clear across town...in an abandoned wing of the underused hospital??? No joke. If you parked your car in the garage, you had to walk past the morgue to get to our wing. We didn't park there often... (I would like to add that Franciscan has expanded the campus since.)
I found out that the Trinity East dorm was for the "non-traditional" students - all the old people!! Lucky for us ladies, it was a co-ed dorm *wink wink*
A few days into school, I was smitten. This guy played the djembe, was not concerned with his clothes (dickies and a T-shirt everyday) AND he could bowl?!?! I wasn't sure, but I thought with a little effort, I could land him. He was kind of clueless about the sea of girls around him and didn't pay any attention to us! One of my favorite activities was to grab a bag of popcorn and watch his younger classmates try to get his attention. I was really just researching what worked and what didn't. This guy was tough to figure out...
With a little effort (some make-up, a few witty comments and an air horn) I finally got his attention.
Just when he and I were starting to hang out frequently, I had to make a quick decision. The sign-up for Austria Spring Semester was approaching. So far, I hadn't met anyone who wanted to go. If I wanted to graduate with the least debt, I only had one chance to go: Spring 2005. My love interest was thinking of possibly going in Fall 2005. That meant I wouldn't see him for a full year and things would definitely fizzle until he completely forgot about me.
And since I know you are all DYING to see me in a dirdl...
So, after many years of talking about our favorite breakfast, Jason finally asked if I would just make it for him. Here is the recipe we compiled:
4 cups rolled oats1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup coconut sap sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon dried ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup raw honey or little bit more
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Directions: Preheat the oven to 250. Mix together the oats, almonds, coconut, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt and flax seed.
In a separate bowl, mix together the oil, honey and vanilla extract.
Mix all the ingredients together
Take a brief photo-op break with Leo: Photographer Extraordinaire...
Spread your granola out on parchment paper in a thin layer over two large pans
If you don't have parchment paper...I recommend either wax paper or not opting for something else. Just buy some.
Bake your granola for 7 minutes at 250, stir it around and bake it for another 7 minutes
(We did ours for 10 minutes and then another 10 and some bites taste burnt. 7 should be perfect. The temperature and timing depend on how thick you spread out the granola so please check it often so it doesn't burn!!)
Either mix the granola with some milk or yogurt and ENJOY!
UPDATED: April 2011 - My good friend Jennie at Pure Homemaking tweaked this homemade granola recipe to make it healthier and even more flavorful. Her steps are a little more in-depth and oh-so-good-for-you!! Check out her blogpost on The Best Granola. EVER. and give it a whirl! Also, check out all of her awesome recipes. She has been my inspiration for healthy and pure foods and homemade cooking!