DUMPLINGS

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I really don’t know if there is much I need to say about dumplings. Everyone loves them, right?? They are SUCH a good recipe to have in your “bank” because you can make a big batch and freeze them in bags. Then at any time the craving hits, they are ready to go in less than 15 mins. Now that’s the sort of food that makes me happy!!

The recipe is below, click the pic or the pdf link and enjoy my friends….

Dumpling recipe

Tag me in your pics or comment below, I love to hear!

Big love,

 

Heidi

CHICKEN SALAD 101

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Tandoori Chicken Salad

Well you asked for it, and you got it. It may be approximately 2 years since I said I would do this but hey, it’s here. Some recipes!

Given that salad season is here, and y’all are going to be seeing a heck-load of salad pics in my feed, I thought we would start the ball rolling with my chicken salad 101. It is set out to show you how with a base recipe, you can have at least 3 variations on a good ol’ chicken salad classic. Hopefully, it will also give you the basis to make multiple variations of this delicious summer staple.

If your kids are like mine (and by that I mean, apparently “don’t like salad” – but will eat it if it isn’t in “salad form”) set aside their salad elements and plate them separately rather than on top of each other. Because god-forbid it looks like a salad – how dare you!

I’m not going to bang on about it, but just get on with it. Here it is, click on the pdf link or the pic.

Chicken Salad 101

Comment below if you have questions or comments and if you post pics of your creations, tag me or hashtag with #homethejaksmade

 

Big hugs,

 

Heidi

Oh Mother’s Day catalogues

Okay so warning here, there’s a LOT of swearing in this one, sorrynotsorry. Also I wrote this post two days ago, but didn’t post it because of said swearing but showed my sister (because I know she would have a laugh) and she said post it. So here you go, one for all the mums out there. Hot topic at the moment!!

In with the junk mail today was the annual Mother’s Day catalogues. Now this issue has been bugging me for quite some time, and I have gotten angry but then just ranted to husband about it and gotten over it. This year, I don’t know why but I just felt the need to shout my anger from the rooftops!! (maybe it’s because I am 33 now.

Now before I start, I actually really love the shop that the aggravating catalogue came from, (I love pretty much all shops) and I love shopping catalogues (it’s like shopping but without getting trtouble from the husband for spending money) but their particular marketing (and that of all shops really) at Mother’s Day REALLY grinds my gears.

Let’s just first say, the shop in question hasn’t overtly named the catalogue as the Mother’s Day catalogue, however the sale goes from today until Sunday May 8 so really, we all know it is. Not to mention the fucking stock-standard Mother’s Day picture on the front of mums. In particular young mum and old mum (presumably young mum’s mother) in their pyjamas, hair and makeup immaculate, no signs of dribble from yet another crappy sleep, no hair sticking on end from perhaps a rare dead-persons-sleep because you are THAT tired, and of course nails perfectly painted not a chip in sight. Young mum and old mum are accompanied by just one, beautifully smiling little girl in her pyjamas who clearly hasn’t been fighting with her sister, pulling her hair out, red in the face from screaming about not going to bed. I don’t know about you ladies but I can’t remember a time where my mum and me just hung around happily in our pyjamas with hair and makeup done. Or for that matter managed to wear matching pyjamas, or sometimes wearing pyjamas at all.

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What actual mums do

Then I read the caption on young mum’s pyjamas, “Weekend I love you”. This is perhaps where I snapped inside. Hello big marketing team from big department store. I am a MUM, I DON’T GET A FUCKING WEEKEND. Perhaps if childcare centres were open on a weekend we would love them? But then of course society would tell us that we are selfish and not loving mothers because we want time to ourselves to recover from being a mum. Selfish bitches we are.

Okay open the page, more ladies hanging around together in their PJs. Because that’s all we females fucking do, prance around in our makeup and pyjamas. And while they have attempted to get a “balance” in female representation, there is one token “young mum”, one token “larger mum” alongside 5 beautifully groomed, playfully posed 20 somethings. Now if I was a mum, which I am, and I was forced to be in my pyjamas in a room full of 20 somethings, I WOULD NOT be happily posing for the cameras. I would either be hiding from self-doubt about how old I look (and why am I in my fucking pyjamas) or giving said 20 somethings daggers because I hate their energetic natures and their abilities to look amazing in pyjamas.

Next page. Ah slippers and knickers. BORING. You have been pedalling this crap for how many years? Get some new ideas.

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A real mum day, no pyjama prancing here

Now the next page really confuses me. Young, skinny, tanned girl in moderately sexy lingerie. Where are you going with this guys? Are you trying to make us mums out there not in shape and white from tending to babies 24/7 feel like shit? Achieved. Are you trying to alert us to the fact that we probably don’t have enough time or for that matter energy for being sexy? Achieved (but seriously we know that already). Or, are you trying to rub it in that we are not 20 something anymore, don’t look amazing in lingerie and don’t have time to get out and get a fucking spray tan? Then YES achieved guys. Fuck you!

Turn page. Oh fucking brilliant. Work out gear. Sooo what you are saying here guys is that when we aren’t lazing around the house in our pyjamas being all like happy and relaxed, the only other thing we could possibly be doing is working out? Or perhaps it’s just that after realising we look really shit in pyjamas we will be amazingly motivated to get into our home gyms and work out, or make a delicious smoothie from your suggested smoothie book.

Turn page. Ahh finally something we can relate to, clothes and shoes. I don’t have heaps to rant about this but seriously, another stunningly young model. Not a tired mum wrangling shitty children in sight.

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Real mum fashion – towels because you are fucking busy and forgot jumpers

Followed up closely by more 20 somethings. Hanging out all energy-filled and carefree. Are you trying to rub it in marketing team?? Do you actually believe that this is your target group here?

Turn page. Okay beauty products, okay great, fine with that but seriously when do I find the time?

Ah next page is my fave, foot massagers. For all those times when me and my mum friends all get together with no kids and sit around having foot massages. You know what I mean mums? NO WE DON’T. Because, kids??!!

Okay so turn page and this is about the point I realised I couldn’t keep this rant in. Titled “The Ultimate Mother’s Day Guide” which consists of a quilt cover set, cushions, sheets, a blanket and some pyjamas. I don’t know how you roll in your house but generally household items like sheets, blankets and FUCKING quilt covers, are HOUSEHOLD ITEMS. NOT FUCKING PRESENTS. Don’t buy the house a Mother’s Day present, buy ME a Mother’s Day present. Seriously, is this IT?? Is this your brilliant ideas for mums all over the country? I actually feel like I need to ring up the department store and tell them to flush their marketing budget down the toilet because your marketing team is a bunch of MONKEYS!! Just so you know guys, let me play out how this would go down Mother’s Day morning:

Kids “Here mum here’s your Mother’s Day present” which we ALL know comes from husband/partner.

Me on opening “Well wow, thanks girls”. Head turns to husband. All feeling drains out of his face. My face fixed in def-con level death stare that could sear steaks “Can you please step out of the room girls while mummy has to strangle your daddy with some sheets and shove a quilt cover up his arse”

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Just standing here pining over a kettle and a toaster guys

This amazing marketing team follows this up on the next page with toasters and fucking kettles. Because seriously, that’s what all of us mums do all day, just staring at an empty space in our kitchen pining over a beautiful kettle and toaster. No we fucking don’t. We either already have a kettle and toaster because, coffee and toast (two mother essentials marketing team, you’d be better to promote that), OR if it’s broken we buy a fucking new one. Because it’s BORING. A kettle and toaster is not a present, it’s a House. Hold. Item. Husbands and parters out there, if you have bought a toaster or kettle for the mum in your life: take it back. If she opens it and says “oh thanks what I’ve always wanted” she is a bloody good liar, or being sarcastic and you haven’t quite worked that out yet.

Recipe books and cooking stuff take up the next few pages, fine I get it, I LOVE cooking, but I also know I am in the minority. 90% of my mum friends hate cooking. Still not kicking goals here guys.

Turn over to the next page and FINALLY we are getting somewhere. Colouring sets, mandala stone kit yes, YES. Outside of the box! Fun shit. Something we can do at nights when we might actually find ourselves with an hour of peace (if we are lucky) but then…

SWEET. FUCKING. JESUS.

Next page. Vacuum Cleaners. Actual silence for the death of any slim piece of faith I had in this marketing team, and also any husband out there who DARE gives a vacuum for Mother’s Day. I pity the poor fool (husband/partner/child) who presents a mother with a vacuum cleaner on Mother’s Day. Here mum/honey have a vacuum cleaner so you can more efficiently pick up more of our shit that we leave ALL OVER YOUR HOUSE. You better duck mate because you about to get knocked the hell out when mum comes swinging with the vacuum cleaner. The ONLY way this would ever be a good present, ONLY WAY, is if it came accompanied by a water tight contract detailing that you (the present giver) now hereby declare that you will use said vacuum cleaner and do all vacuuming from here on out. If not, maybe you should run.

To finish it off the catalogue of course has pages and pages of books. Just to top off the “let’s make mums feel shit” vibe they are going for. I love books and I LOVE to read. Have I finished a book since having kids? No. I have not. Because I am a mum. And I HAVE SHIT TO DO!!!

And of course it finished off with chocolate. Because now that we all feel like utter shit, we can now get a huge chocolate craving. Thanks a bunch guys. Seriously.

So you might be thinking now well come on, what DOES make a good Mother’s Day gift? Well here you go, and said department store marketing team, you are getting this for free. Take notes. How about a wine glass that never runs out. Or just wine for that matter. Guess what, we drink. To relax and shit. It happens. Then coffee. Lots of it. Super strength coffee that keeps us going all day. How about a magical electric shocker that stops kids coming into the room when you are on the toilet? That would be nice. How about virtual reality goggles so when we are losing our shit we can put them on and be somewhere else. You could have different scenarios like yoga in Bali, or night out with the girls, or maybe just pooing in peace?!! Or do you know what, just something that makes us feel good. Nice skincare, mum directed fashion, or perhaps just some time alone.

In all honesty though, the presents don’t matter, and maybe that’s why department stores find it so hard to market to a bunch of ladies whos jobs really can’t be matched by material things. We are fucking brilliant, a toaster or sheets sets or a bloody vacuum cleaner will never be enough to appreciate our work. What does is beautiful cuddles from our kids, an I love you mum or a bright smile from our babies when we walk into the room, or just a pure a simple “your doing a fucking good job” from our partners/best friends/sisters or our own mums. Now THAT’S what it is all about.

So to all the mums out there, Happy Mother’s Day for next week, YOU FUCKING ROCK.

 

Big love,

Heidi

Flu house – the week from hell.

Flu House: aka the weekend where all hell broke loose, or shittest fecking week ever, OR a hilarious tale of how the family got really, really sick and Heidi ate her words.

I can safely say that the past week has been the hardest ever for our little family. And that includes Miss Gs surgery. The whole house came down with varying sicknesses, and it fecking kicked our arse. Really.

The week leading up to when all hell broke loose a few things happened. We were happily planning a much needed trip away for the weekend with some good friends. Husband damaged his disc (in his back not a cd) yet again, so was off work and unable to do anything. He had started complaining of a sore throat but not called a doctor so surely not that bad. I suspected at this point it was man flu, teamed with a bit of ‘done-my-back’ grump. Miss G was brewing yet ANOTHER ear infection. I swear is about infection 8 thousand. And I had a cough that was keeping me up at night but nothing crazy.

Thursday: when it all began.

On getting ready for work in the morning I realized Miss G’s face had swelled on one side. It’s happened once before (because of, you guessed it ear infection) so we weren’t concerned. I asked mum to keep me posted about how she looked. Husband was feeling shit, and telling me so. I was nodding and saying yes yes but really I was ignoring him. Man flu I thought. Off I went to work.

Walking out of work that day, called mum “how was Miss G doing”, she calls out to dad. Not too bad, a bit more swollen but shes happy at least.

Get home. Full, fecking chipmunk face on Miss G. WTF mum and dad? I was slightly worried, us going away, no close hospital if something was wrong, but she didn’t seem phased at all so we just laughed at her cute little lopsided face and got on with life. Husband on the other hand was really starting to repeat the feelings that he was feeling SHIT, and had a really sore throat, and why didn’t I care.

That night in bed, he shivered. All night. It actually shook the bed, and not in a good way. Of course because I was such a great wife I got angry at him and said if you are really this sick then you need to cancel our trip away and god almighty book yourself into the doctor, and why is it always me telling you that you have to go to the doctors. He agreed. That should have been my first hint that something wasn’t right.

Friday: the day of Heidi’s realization.

Morning broke at the usual heartbreaking time of about 6:00am. Husband was still feeling really sick. I was still diagnosing man flu, in need of a dose of harden the F up. Miss G’s face was still ridiculously lopsided and chipmunk like. Both her and husband were booked in to the doctors and we broke it to Miss 4 that we weren’t going to the shack. She was sufficiently devastated. But then got over it and asked for cookies.

By this time I was quite irate with husbands ‘lack of ability to just get up and get on with life’. An argument ensued where I suggested above mentioned dose of harden the F up, and offered amazingly helpful advice such as “it’s just a cold” and “you just have to stay positive”. He replied with loving reponses like “who even says that to someone sick” and “where did you come from”. I’d like to SIDENOTE here: I really am a shitty wife. Sometimes I actually don’t know why husband puts up with me. I’m not sympathetic AT ALL and get angry when he wants sympathy. Proper shit wife.

Okay back to the story. Miss G goes to the doctor and nothings wrong. She happily smiles and laughs when the doctor pokes and prods her, as usual.

Husband’s appointment later that day resulted in a diagnosis of “your wife’s a bitch”, or also known as he had INFLUENZA and a lung infection. I was suitable sheepish, offering multiple apologies, which lucky for me husband graciously accepted. I flicked into full 50’s wife mode with lots of “what can I get you”s and “ohh let me get a pillow for your head” etc etc. All the while husband smirking a smirk of “I was dying and you were a bitch”. And me having to just cop it on the chin because I WAS A BITCH!!

Saturday: It’s coming to get you Heidi

Husband had an awful night. And an awful day. Literally dying on the floor most of the day. Shivering. Walking around the house with blankets around him, a shell of a human. Literally death on legs. I busted my guts to make up for being such an awful human being to him.

I kept the girls busy away from daddy but by that night Miss 4 was starting to cough and I wasn’t feeling very well. Husband, the ever amazing human being he is, sincerely wished for me that I didn’t get what he got.

Saturday night: oh holy feck, shivers. So cold, can’t get warm. Damn you I’m getting it!!!

Sunday: Retribution

The universe has spoken. Karma is biting me in the arse. You were a bitch and now you must pay. I literally had waves of goosebumps all day. I lost my hunger. My ability to think. My will to live. I was scared shitless because I had seen the dead person walking all week and I didn’t want to go there. There was much sucking eggs, eating my words and generally apologising for ever uttering those words “it’s just a cold”. Not deserved, but husband was amazing. He did all the things I should have.

Progressively over that day, of course, Miss 4 got more sick. Her cough turned into bark (as usual). It reached it’s climax when she was in bed and coughed until she vomited. About 8 times. All the while I’m walking around with leggings, trackies over the top and three jumpers on, cursing that the heater (cranked at 30 degrees) wasn’t hot enough. We were falling to pieces.

Monday: Rock bottom

I woke up on Monday morning and actually whimpered to husband. My sinuses were so painful I felt like my head would explode any second. The pressure behind my eyes was so much that I could feel my eyes bulging, threatening to pop out of their sockets and clock husband smack bang in the middle of his forehead before bouncing around the lounge room. The lenses in my eyes must have curved because it felt like my vision was a fish eye camera lens. I couldn’t do anything much more than sit on the couch, stare into space, covered in blankets, mouth open and nose running down my face, not caring. The doctor diagnosed a sinus and lung infection for me too. Lucky meee!!!

It wasn’t until Wednesday that husband and I started feeling slightly better. I woke up Wednesday and could feel the shift. I wasn’t shivering, or cold, or needing to chow down on panadol. Walking from bed to the couch still puffed both of us out but we didn’t want to stab ourselves with the corner of a box of tissues.

Our days, sick together pretty much consisted of me, husband and Miss 4, moping on the couch. Dragging ourselves up only for food (which we forced down because none of us wanted to eat), or the toilet. Miss 2, impervious to actually feeling crap when sick, just danced around us, offering cuddles for anyone who needed them and generally had a great time. No family wanted to come in our doors. Thankfully parents left soup deliveries. We had dishes from 4 days piled up in the kitchen. We ate chocolate and chips and donated soup. Dad quite accurately said when dropping a delivery off “jeez you guys look like zombies”. Yes dad, don’t come in we will eat your eyeballs and pull out your healthy heart to feast on.

But we are well on the road to recovery now. Feeling like humans again. Hell we even went and swam laps today. I can honestly say though, winter and the flu, you can feck off to back where you came from. Bring on Summer. Oh yay and gastro season!!

 

Stay healthy,

 

Heidi

Pulled pork


Easily one of my ultimate favourite recipes. Its absolutely delicious, its leftovers are so amazingly versatile, it freezes well and its so bloody easy. Its a make in the morning and leave all day kind of recipe. Like seriously. You need a slow cooker, so if you don’t have one, borrow someones (but seriously you need one in your life anyway!)

Unfortunately, at one point in the cooking process your house literally smells like pig. Not like yummy porky flavour, more like a Royal Adelaide show animal barn pig smell but dead. TRUST me though, once the sugar starts to cook, it mixes with the cooked pork smell and it is something spectacular. As usual, my quantities are an estimate, but I will tell you how to check your balance as we go along.

Piggy plate - pressed and fried pulled pork, roasted pork belly and pork crackling
Piggy plate – pressed and fried pulled pork, roasted pork belly and pork crackling

Before you start, just a word of warning. This recipe isn’t healthy. Sorry not sorry. Its salty and sugary (and teamed with crackling is fatty as a heart attack victims arteries) but dear lordy is it good. Do it every now and then, but do it well.

Okay here we go…

 

Pulled Pork

Ingredients

Pork roast (I usually do it with 1.5-2kg of meat, the recipe works with sizes anywhere  around this) – doesn’t matter what type, just without a bone. I like skin on because then I have an excuse to make crackling (hells yeah)

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

A good quantity of sea salt

Maple syrup (or if you don’t have this BBQ sauce works well too) – about half a cup

About 2 tablespoons caraway seeds

Olive oil

2 cups chicken stock (homemade, no added salt or salt reduced)
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Method – I usually do this in the mid morning to lunchtime but have done it before work and come home to it before with good success.

If your pork roast has skin on it the use a sharp knife to fillet off the skin and fat underneath it in one big sheet. Put aside for sweet sweet crackling.

Grab your slow cooker and slap in your pork roast. Drizzle olive oil over it, sprinkle about two to three good pinches of salt on it and the caraway seeds and give it a good massage. Treat your piggy well, you gotta treat your piggy well!! (that’s meant to be a song).

Then, sprinkle over the sugar, give it a good drizzle of maple syrup and pour the chicken stock over the top. If you are around during the cooking process, get a large spoon and spoon the liquid over the meat every half hour to hour. If you aren’t, it will still work, it just wont be as moist inside.

Cook it in your slow cooker on low for about 6 hours, or on high for about 4 hours. The longer on the slow setting the better.

Once the cooking time is over, taste your liquid. You need to make sure the balance is right. It should be a perfect mix of sweet and salty. Too sweet and it’s sickly, too salty and it burns your tongue. So if its more than one, add the other. Too salty, add brown sugar. Too sweet, add salt. Keep stirring and leaving it for about a minute before you taste again.

Once your liquid is perfection, use a mug to pull out most of the liquid around the meat. DO NOT THROW THIS BABY AWAY, it’s liquid gold. Get out two forks and in the slow cooker pull the meat apart. Use the forks to flake the meat off.

Ready to slow cook away
Ready to slow cook away

From here you have two options, the quick one and the ‘next level shit’ one.

The quick one – Once you’ve got it all ‘pulled’ then add the liquid back, little bit by little bit. You want it to be moist but not piggy swimming in the soup. Then you are ready to go!

The ‘next level shit’ – put all your liquid in a large frying pan or a large pot with a solid base. This will take ages if you do this in a saucepan without a large area on the base. Bring it up to the boil and then reduce to a nice simmer until it thickens and starts to go syrupy. Don’t let it burn because it will turn to toffee. Pour your thickened sauce over your pulled pork and mix it in.

I usually serve pulled pork with roast potatoes, cabbage with caraway seeds and red wine vinegar and of course pork crackling. Leftovers are amazing in a Vietnamese roll, on pulled pork pizza, in a soft taco or on sliders. Amazement.

Pulled pork pizza with fresh slaw
Pulled pork pizza with fresh slaw

Hit me up with pics or comments on your pulled pork adventures. I love food pics, so bring them on….

Happy cooking!

 

Heidi

 

Banana Bread


There’s certain recipes that just get repeated in our house, and banana bread is one of them. It’s super simple to make and is perfect with a cup of tea in the afternoon. The hot tip is to toast it in a sandwich press and then slather with butter. It’s amazement in a loaf. So let’s get straight into it.

 

Banana Bread

Ingredients:

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup of buttermilk

50g melted butter

About 2-3 bananas – about 1 cup mashed

2 eggs

1/4 cup honey

1 1/2 cups plain flour

1 cup self raising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons mixed spice

About 1-2 tablespoons oats for sprinkling

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees – moderate oven.

Mix all the wet ingredients together with the sugar.

Sift the dry ingredients on top and mix gently until combined.

Pour into a tin lined with baking paper and sprayed with oil, sprinkle the oats over the top.

Bake until a skewer comes out clean, which will take about 45 mins to an hour.

Seriously, that’s it. Saaahhhhh simple! Do it now.

Happy cooking,

 

Heidi

 

Crack-nola – otherwise know as granola

Granola, yoghurt parfait
Granola, yoghurt parfait

This shit is addictive. I’m warning you, it is. Anyone within a 5km radius can’t resist this granola. Mother-in-law was babysitting one night and had to cover it in tea towels so she couldn’t see it anymore. My mum seems to magically appear at our door step everytime I’m pulling it out of the oven. And husband, literally takes it to work on the daily. So you have been warned.

But guess what? It’s also great for you! Loads of nutrients, good fats and some sneaky slower-released sugars, make it a much better snack to reach for than say, chips, or biscuits, or muesli bars. It’s got heaps of fibre in it, which keeps those bowels nice and regular (yes I’m 87 years old and care about bowels). And kids love it.

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So here it is:

Crack-nola granola.

Ingredients

In one bowl:

1.5 cups rolled oats

1 cup dessicated (not dessicrated) coconut

About 5 big handfuls of nuts, use whichever take your fancy

A handful or two of seeds, I usually use pepitas and sunflower seeds.

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1 teaspoon cinnamon

In another bowl:

Approximately 2.5 cups of dried fruit, chopped. I used dates, cranberries and sultanas this time, but apricots are also awesome in this.

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Random other ingredients:

Maple syrup, golden syrup or honey in a squeezy bottle or all three

Oil – preferably olive oil, sunflower or canola

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Method:

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius

Line two baking trays with baking paper

Spread the dry mixture across the two trays.

Drizzle with oil over the lot. Then microwave your maple syrup/honey/golden syrup for about 20 seconds so it is runny. Be super careful because it can get extremely hot. Then squirt these across the trays too. Mix it around with a spoon. You want it to be just wet, not dripping.

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Put into the oven and keep checking even 10 minutes or so, stirring it around every now and then to mix the browned bits through and bring the uncooked bits to the top. When it starts getting golden, check it sooner. When it is almost done (flat white brown) sprinkle the dried fruit across the trays and put it in for the last bit until your granola is perfectly brown. It wont be crunchy at this point so don’t be disappointed.

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Let the trays cool and once they are crunch up the granola to your liking. I like to leave some clusters there, but if you want it more separated, be my guest.

Serve your crack-nola on yoghurt, for breakfast with milk, as a snack in a bowl, over fruit salad or any other bloody way you like!

Happy Cooking,

Heidi