Chia and Hemp Heart Granola

mmmm... very tasty and good for you :)

mmmm… very tasty and good for you ūüôā

Ah, granola, or hippie crack if you prefer. So much better home made and easy to modify to your tastes. I had made granola before but this time I wanted granola that was somewhat loose but also had clusters, which are better for snacking on. As with most things culinary I started off with some Alton Brown recon and ended up combining his granola¬†and granola bars¬†recipes as a base for my own. The result is a nutritional powerhouse that will make your house smell like hippie crack heaven. ¬†I stored mine in jars and after about a week the bit that was left wasn’t as crisp – easy to fix this by putting your granola back in the oven (on a cookie sheet) for 15 minutes or so at 325. ¬†Keep an eye on the fruit ( i sometimes remove the fruit for re-baking) as it will burn WAY before the oats/nuts do. When I make granola I like to give some away but also have enough for breakfast for my husband and I for at least a week so I don’t muck around. This is a decent sized batch and will make about 1-1.5 cereal boxes worth. Kids LOVE this and you will feel good givin’ it to em.

And hey, when your house smells like hippy crack heaven and you go to take this out of the oven (for the first time of many I’m guessing), don’t worry that it hasn’t crisped up. As it cools it sure will!

UPDATE: New easier method! See below for details. Also if you are ever out of oats but have a bland box of oat and nut/fruit cereal around just substitute 4 – 4.5 cups of a muesli type cereal for all the oats, nuts, and fruit.

Chia and Hemp Heart Granola

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup sliced almonds
3/4 cup of shredded coconut
1 cup of  roughly chopped raw or roasted almonds
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup hemp seed hearts
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup honey or real maple syrup (just eyeball it or oil your measuring cup to avoid a sticky mess)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter or grapeseed/ vegetable oil
2 tablespoons molasses
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons sea salt
1.5 cups large dried fruit, any combination of apricots cherries, raisins, etc. (Currants are too small. Roughly chop apricots.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread the oats, sunflower seeds, nuts, and coconut onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, combine the honey or maple syrup, molasses, brown sugar, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture begins to froth up. Add vanilla and stir.

Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F.

Sprinkle spices, chia, and hemp hearts over oat mixture and stir to combine.

Pour the warm sticky mix over the oat mixture, stir well, and pat down into your largest parchment lined cookie sheet.

granola before baking

Bake for 30 minutes or until an even brown, no need to stir. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before storing in jars, ziplock bags, or tupperware.



Baked Brie in Puff Pastry

In this sugar free gluten free wheat free world of ours it is important to dip into the world of high carb high fat high taste goodness every once in a while. As my father would say “butter is one of the good things in life”, and this¬†recipe¬†is chock full of good things. Easy yet impressive, it is a must at any gathering. People will fight over the scraps of this, the true mark of crowd pleaser.

1 round of Brie

1 package of puff pastry, thawed (or if you have home made, good for you!)

1 cup raspberries

1.5 tablespoons of raspberry jam or compote

1  egg, beaten with 2 teaspoons water for egg wash

On floured surface work 1 square of pastry into a rough circle, then place brie in center. Top with raspberries and then jam (you can use any fruit, or make it a savory dish instead with caramelized onions and roasted garlic). Set on a baking sheet or dish. On your floured surface use your hands to make a circle the same thickness as the last one. Cut the circle to the same size as the brie (or a little larger). Place small circle on top of the jam/fruit mix and then bring sides of pastry up and attach to the top using egg wash. Paint top with egg wash (NOT sides though). Use remaining dough to make a flower, grapes (like I did as you can see in my photo), a maple leaf, mistletoe, a heart, or whatever and attach to top. Brush your little top piece with egg wash and bake at 400f  for 20-25 min, until nicely browned.

Serve with little toasted baguette pieces, crackers, or my favourite, ACE bakery crisps.

Secret Ingredient Pulled Pork

Just like adding beer to your beef pot roast, root beer (A&W is my favourite) does the trick here as it has:
1. Carbonation to tenderize.        2. Sugar to caramelize.           3. A rich taste to flavourize.

Some of you may scoff at the suggestion of adding pop to your lovely cut of piggy- but I guarantee trying something new will pay off.
I always hear the argument “well we have always done it this way”, and although our roots are important, we cannot become slaves to tradition. Long ago the precedent was eating your meat raw. Then, as we saw in the psedo momentary film ‘quest for fire’ which scarred me in grade 10 history class- they found they could cook shit, as well as do it missionary style.

SUPER EASY VERSION: Use store bought sauce such as Diana’s Chicken & Rib Sauce.


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 lbs boneless pork roast
  • (butt or shoulder best)
  • 1 med. onion, chopped
  • 1 cl garlic, crushed
  • 2 – 3 cans root beer
  • Crushed black pepper
  • Coarse Sea Salt or Kosher Salt


  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tb brown sugar
  • 1 tb dry mustard
  • 2 ts course salt
  • 1 tb jerk spice
  • 2tsp of dried chili flakes

Mix together spice rub ingredients and rub into roast and marinade 1 -8hrs. brown pork then sauté onion and garlic. Cover pork with root beer and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 6 hours at 300 (lid off for last hour).

Barbecue Sauce

  • ¬Ĺ tablespoon butter
  • 1 med. onion, sliced
  • 1 cups cider vinegar
  • 2 tbs yellow or brown mustard
  • 2 tsp. mustard powder
  • 3 tbs Worcestershire
  • ¬ľ cup ¬†bourbon or¬†whiskey
  • 1.5 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. hot sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tb paprika

Cook onion in butter, combine all ingredients with onion in pan. Simmer gently, stirring, for 10 -25 min until slightly thickened.

Remove the pork roast from the oven and transfer to a large platter. Allow the meat to rest for about 5 minutes. While still warm, take 2 forks and “pull” the meat to form shreds. Put the shredded pork in a bowl. Pour 1/2 of the sauce on the shredded pork and mix well to coat. Serve on buttered, toasted buns.