Archive | December, 2012

Treats for Santa

21 Dec

Gorgeous photo credited: Desserts for Breakfast

Nothing is more delightful then to take a walk down memory lane. Christmas memories are some of the most vivid to me. I remember how I could not go to sleep before setting out a wide array of treats for Santa. We always spent Christmas eve at my grandparents so those treats included all the Christmas candies and cookies my grandma had made. Santa always left some wonderful presents in return. Below are some links to some fave Christmas treats sure to please dear Ole Saint Nick.

Peanut Butter Buckeye Bark
Espresso Toffee Chocolate Clusters
Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies
Homemade Oreos
Old Fashioned Potato Candy
Cranberry Bliss Cookies

Cinnamon Granola + Free Printable

17 Dec

granola

It’s so hard this time of year to think of the perfect gift for everyone. I usually result to baking some goodies up for gifts, especially when I have a large group to cover. But what do you do with that person who is a health nut? Easy…granola. Granola is healthy, easy to control the ingredients (to avoid allergies and tastes), and pretty cheap to make considering it’s pricy store bought companion. Below is a recipe I put together based off a recipe I found by David Lebovitz. They make adorable gifts. Just fill up a mason jar and tie on a cute tag. Download tag here.

Cinnamon Granola
(makes about  5 cups)

– 2 1/2 cups organic old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
– 1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
– 1/4 cup brown sugar or cane sugar
– 2 teaspoons cinnamon
– 1 teaspoon dried ginger
– 1 teaspoon sea salt
– golden raisins or other dried fruit

– 1/4 cup unsweetned applesauce or other fruit puree (I used homemade triple berry jam)
– 1/2 cup of honey
– 1 tablespoons grapeseed oil

Preheat oven to 300F

1. In a large bowl mix together all the dry ingredients.
2. In a saucepan, warm the rest of the ingredients.
3. Mix the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, then divide and spread the mixture evenly on two baking sheets. You want this to be a flat even layer so that it can cook evenly.
4. Bake for about 45 minutes, stirring every 10 mins, until granola is deep golden brown.
5. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Store in airtight container.

FlySoloDesign//The 5 Principles of Greatness

7 Dec

I came across a wonderful website this week called Fly Solo Design. Created by Patrick Moore as part of his MFA thesis, Fly Solo is a resource to help designers through the design process and developmental process. It’s really beautifully done, you should check it out. As I was weaving through I came across this article. I  think we all desire to evolve into a better person. Unfortunately that process often takes change (cringe…yes I know) and painful examination of who we are. That’s by no mean any excuse though to quit striving. The Change Your Pattern segment really stood out to me.

The 5 Principles Of Greatness

By Greg Jackson for Men’sHealth

MOTIVATION TO BETTER YOURSELF.

“You have to care to be a better man. That’s what makes a winner,” says Jackson. “You have to wake up and say, ‘I have a fire in me to be better than I am right now.’ That’s your base.”

DRIVE TO LEARN.

“Once you’re inspired, you’ve got to learn. You need to learn everything, be hungry for everything, be curious about everything. Curiosity is what kills fear. Methodology is what makes good great,” says Jackson. “By methodology, I mean ‘ubiquitous principles’ – things that are true across the spectrum, regardless of what art you practice. What Bach does structurally in music, we do structurally in combat. There is rhythm and rest, beats and reversals. It’s all in Warrior, all that Beethoven stuff. If you want to fight like no one else, then fight like Beethoven wrote a symphony. If you want to be a better man, then don’t be like other men.”

CHANGE YOUR PATTERN.

“Human beings have a craving for pattern. That’s what causality is: the only reason we think things are going to happen is because they’ve happened before. Look at the sunrise or the sunset, for example,” he says. “You can do the same thing as a fighter, or with anything that you do in your life. You find the patterns in your life, the rhythms, the types of people, the expectations in your life, and figure out how to play them with surprise and greatness. You don’t have to stay on the same couch in the same position your entire life. Its okay to up-end causality; it’s what makes room for greatness. Change it up.”

EMBRACE SUFFERING.

 “You have to get comfortable being uncomfortable,” he says. “What we do to become great fighters is we train so hard every day that we can barely talk, so that when we get our 15 minutes in the cage, we don’t panic, we don’t break down, we can take whatever hits as they come, and still make the winning choice. If you’re expecting to suffer and problems happen, which they do, you’re going to fold. When you fold, you don’t grow. We’re here to grow, no matter what we’re doing. So be willing to suffer.”

BE OPEN TO GREATNESS.

 “Whenever you start on a project of self-improvement and it’s done positively, that’s not ever going to be a bad choice, ever,” Jackson says. “Anyone can walk into my gym, or get up wherever they are in the morning, and begin being better exactly where they are. Get your tools. Get in shape. Suffer well. Learn how your mind and body are connected. You’ll find confidence, and in that, your greatness.”

 He has it designed so pretty here.