The Blizzard

Wow. Winter has come to Iowa with a bang. It started snowing yesterday at 5 p.m. and finally has stopped at noon today. Bad thing is, there is 50 mph gusts of wind and crazy blowing snow. I have scooped my driveway and sidewalks twice and I know there is another session in my future.

I am home today from work (I usually have a 30 minute drive that turns into 60 or 90 minute drive in inclement weather), so working from home today will be a nice break for the week. I also will get a ton of busy work done because of absolutely no distractions.

Today, even with the blizzard madness, I am thankful for my little but mighty snowblower, the new tires and breaks on my car, and being safely tucked in at home, even if I must work.

Tomorrow, I will be on KCCI, Channel 8 for the morning show at 6:10 and 6:40 (weather pending).  We are talking about holiday brunch ideas. Here one of the delish recipes I will feature.

Hy-Vee’s Cranberry Almond Granola

All you need

· 2/3 cup frozen unsweetened apple juice concentrate, thawed · 1/2 cup maple syrup · 1/3 cup almond oil or canola oil · 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar · 1 tbsp ground cinnamon · 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste · 5 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking) · 1 cup toasted wheat germ · 1 cup whole almonds, coarsely chopped (4-1/2 ounces) · 1/2 cup sunflower seeds (2 ounces) · 1 cup dried cranberries, divided

All you do

1. Position racks in top and bottom of oven; preheat to 325 degrees. Coat 2 rimmed baking sheets with cooking spray.

2. Whisk apple juice concentrate, syrup, oil and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in cinnamon and salt. Mix oats, wheat germ, almonds and sunflower seeds in a large bowl. Stir in the juice mixture; toss to coat. Spread on the prepared baking sheets.

3. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring once or twice. Reverse sheets top to bottom and back to front. Bake, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes more. Transfer to wire racks; stir in dried cranberries. Let cool completely.

To make ahead: Store airtight for up to 2 months.

Nutrition facts per serving: 263 calories; 11g fat (1g sat, 6g mono); 0mg cholesterol; 37g carbohydrate; 12g added sugars; 6g protein; 5g fiber; 66mg sodium; 223mg potassium.

Source: adapted from Eating Well, Inc.

Serves 19 (1/2 cup each)