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Rockport and granola

Those two words sum up my weekend. On Saturday, we took the leap of faith that all parents with two kids must do to get everyone out of the house and in the car for an hour-long journey. You say to yourself, “This will be fun. This will be fun. This will be fun!” Fortunately for us, our trip to Rockport was fun!

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Playing with cheetah and zebra
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Boredom sets in…

It doesn’t hurt that we were able to listen to some of our favorite Saturday programming on NPR…Car Talk, This American Life, Radiolab…and stopped for burgers from Five Guys along the way. “What, no seafood?,” you might be thinking, but when you’re all starving, and you have a chance to stop and get something not too giant-chain fast-foodie, tell me what you’d do. Well, if you’re this woman, you’d pack healthy organic snacks. But we can’t all be Mom-of-the-Year, now can we? Anyhow, the gamble must have paid off because after we all stuffed our faces with greasy burgers and fries, we were a much more agreeable bunch. When we arrived to Rockport, it was off for a long stroll on the rocky coast to enjoy the ocean breeze and give our stomachs some recovery…image
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…before stuffing our faces again on a town favorite, ice cream.
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Rockport reminds me of the classic New England coastal town I’d never visited but always held a picture of in my mind. It’s a charming mix of yuppy vacationers, townies, and lobstermen, at times joyfully jumbled together, but somehow still with that Massachusetts edge to them. I sort of think of them as relaxed Yankees. If you cut in line or bring up your opinion on sports, you might also want to consider bringing your fist with you, but otherwise, they are not so easily ruffled as New Yorkers.image
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On Sunday we had a pleasantly uneventful day full of cleaning the house and making granola. I love homemade granola with yogurt. For several years there wasn’t a time in our house where we didn’t have it on hand, but the addition of kids has thrown my cooking habits upside down, so I am very gradually getting back into the swing of it. I use an Ina Garten recipe, as usual. You can get it online or with my slight changes below:image

granola

4 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking/instant)
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
3/4 cup oil (I use 1/2 c. coconut oil and 1/4 c. sunflower oil)
1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
3 cups dried fruit (I use chopped apricots, cranberries, pre-made tropical mix, & raisins)

Preheat oven to 350 degF. Toss oats, nuts, and coconut in a large bowl. Whisk oil and honey in a small bowl and pour over oats mix; stir until well coated. Spread on 2 cookie sheets and put in oven. Stir every 5 minutes with spatula until golden brown, about 25-35 min.  Pour granola onto parchment paper to cool. I store mine in a plastic cereal container or in a vacuum-sealed bag in the freezer. I keep the dried fruit in separate container until serving.

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