aspen & pine

a journey in creativity and mindful living

Month: August, 2013

blueberry apricot granola

apricot blueberry granola

I love to have granola on hand for breakfast, and it is super easy to make yourself. It’s also way cheaper than purchasing at the store, and you can personalize it to your taste by adding different dried fruits, nuts, and flavorings. I like to try a different combination every time. Today we had some blueberries on hand that were given to us in a gift basket.

apricot blueberry granola


Makes: 16 servings

2/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp vanilla
3 1/2 cups regular rolled oats
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup flax seed meal
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup snipped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried blueberries

      Preheat oven to 225 degrees F. Bring maple syrup and olive oil to a simmer in a small saucepan over high heat. Remove mixture from heat and add vanilla.  Mix together oats, coconut, almonds, flax seed meal, and sesame seeds in a large bowl. Add syrup mixture to dry ingredients and stir to combine. Pour granola onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, stirring twice during baking time. Granola should be lightly toasted. When done stir in dried fruit, cool completely, and store in an airtight container.

apricot blueberry granola

Eat over a plain cereal like cornflakes or just by itself with milk.



new curtain


We are currently living in a very small apartment that does not have kitchen cabinets or doors on our two closets. I have been saying that I was going to make curtains for these doors, and to put under the kitchen counter since we got married and moved in here two years ago. I’ve even had the fabric to make them with over a year. Well, I finally am getting around to it!

Last week we house-sat for my husband’s parents to take care of their two dogs and water their plants. I needed to bring something to do while we were there, so I took my fabric, a needle, and thread.

Sewing the hem

I have already finished sewing the under-counter kitchen curtains, but have not figured out a way to hang them yet. I will do a post to show them later on, but I sewed them using a sewing machine. It was much faster, but there was something relaxing and extra satisfying about doing these by hand. I thought about the time when people had to sew everything they needed by hand. All that sewing would have taken a lot of dedication and time, but I imagine that each piece of clothing, bedding or curtain was valuable to them. Mother’s must have felt pride in clothing their families. Compare that to today, where clothes are so replaceable in our consumer society. I don’t think I would want, or have the ability to make 100% of my own clothes, but it definitely makes me think about how I could make them last longer. Buying better quality, longer lasting clothes in styles that last would definitely be the first step. That’s hard when you’re trying to save money, but would be worth it in the end I think.

I hung my curtain with a tension rod, and now I finally have a way of keeping dust out of the pantry. It looks a lot nicer too, especially since our living and dining rooms, office space, kitchen, and this closet are all in one room!