What makes a home? Is it where your stuff is? Is it where you sleep? Is it where the person you love is?  Where you baked birthday cakes, hosted dinner parties, cried into your pillow, yelled at each other, hugged each  other, watched too many episodes of yet another TV show, had secret dance parties? We’re preparing to move into a house of our very own, the most exciting adventure we’ve ever undertaken. And yet, I can’t shake this subtle feeling of mourning for this small one-bedroom apartment in which we’ve lived for 4 years. It was always a little too-cramped, had very loud squeaking doors to the bedroom, terrible flooding problems, occasionally loud Air BnB guests above us, and a crummy oven, but it was home. Home is the memories you make in a space. Here’s to making new ones. Nothing makes you feel more at home than the enticing smells of a tray of homemade granola emanating from your (great, or crummy) oven  – happy holidays friends!

Maple, almond and pecan granola

Adapted from Laura’s recipe .  My favourite  way to eat granola is with yogurt and fresh fruit although it’s a great topping for your favourite cereal and milk, or smoothie bowl (if you’re into those). It’s also amazing on top of poached or roasted winter fruit with a little whipped cream/coconut cream.

Cooking soundtrack: Leonard Cohen

  • 4 cups of rolled/old fashioned oats (gluten free if necessary, never quick cooking)
  • 1/2 cup of almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup of pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla
  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of maple syrup
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.To avoid dirtying too many dishes I use the same Pyrex liquid measuring cup for almost everything (this doesn’t have to be precise). Measure out the oats and pour onto the parchment paper and shake until well distributed. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until you can smell a light toasty smell and they are starting to get slightly brown around the edges of the pan.
  3. Using the same measuring cup, measure out the nuts, then pour them into a large mixing bowl.  Add salt and cinnamon to the bowl.
  4. With the same measuring cup (yes, again!) measure out the coconut oil, and microwave until liquid (about 30 sec -1 min). Top with maple syrup until it hits the 1 cup mark. Add the vanilla and mix the liquids together within the cup.
  5. Once oats are toasted, remove and turn the oven down to 325 degrees. Pour the oats directly into the large mixing bowl. Stir until the nuts and oats are thoroughly coated in cinnamon and salt. Then pour the liquid mixture in the measuring cup into the bowl, stir well until combined.
  6. Pour the mixture back onto the baking sheet (you can use the same parchment) and flatten with the back of a spatula until its a uniform thickness.
  7. Bake until granola is golden brown, approximately 30 minutes, stopping once in the middle to stir the oats to avoid burning, but making sure to ‘re-pack’ them into the pan(this allows for nice clumps).
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before breaking into clumps. Store in a jar for 2-3 weeks.