Friday, May 22, 2015

my granola recipe.......

Here it is Scott, my take on granola. I started making my own because I didn't like the offerings in the stores. I like the trail mixes but they are light on the oats (which I like) and heavy on the fruit and nuts. After I made my first batch many moons ago I haven't bought from the store since. It takes about an hour total before you're munching on it's crunchy goodness.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees
Put a sheet pan in the oven on the middle rack  and while the oven is preheating....

Dry Ingredients
3 cups of rolled or old fashion oats - this is one thing you can't substitute
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp of kosher salt
3 tbsp of light brown sugar
1/4 cup of shredded coconut - if you use roasted coconut skip adding it here and add it with the fruit and nuts at the end. I like to bake/roast my coconut because I like the flavor/crunch of it over it being uncooked. This is optional.

Mix this together in a big bowl and set aside - you'll be adding the wet to this so make sure it's big enough for that and for the mixing to come.

Wet Ingredients

1/4 cup of canola or veggie oil (corn oil would probably work too but I haven't tried that yet - I also want to try peanut oil and a flavored oil like walnut but they are expensive)
1/3 cup of honey
1 tsp of vanilla
1 tbsp of Grand Marnier (orange flavored liqueur) this is optional and there other liqueur flavors too

whisk these ingredients together until the honey and oil combine

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until the oats are evenly coated
Spread the mixture out on the sheet pan in a thin even layer
Cook for 15 minutes turning the the sheet pan at the half way mark

After 15 minutes take the pan out of the oven and turn/mix the granola and lay it out evenly and put it back into the oven for another 15-20 minutes. I cook it until it gets to the brownness I like which is closer to 20 minutes with my oven. It will continue to brown after you take it out so it may take a bit of experimenting with your oven to get it to the level you like. Browner = crunchier

After you take it out of the oven let it cool for about 20-30 minutes. I found that if I start mixing it up after about 5 minutes and do that a couple of more times that the granola doesn't stick as much to the sheet pan as it cools. The honey will stick to the pan like glue to wood if you wait till the very end to mix it.

After it is cool to the touch add the fruit and nuts of your choice. The original recipe I got this from called for a 1/2 cup each of nuts/seeds and fruit. Not enough for me and I go nutso here.
I like raisins - I don't measure this I just eyeball it
Dried cranberries - I use the ocean spray ones as I think they are the best. They are moist, chewy, and packed with flavor. I throw in a boatload.
Walnuts - I like these and I add a lot of them. I also like pecans and mix these two sometimes. Peanuts are another nut I like alone or mixed.
Roasted unsalted sunflower seeds. I don't like the salted ones as they tend to make the granola too salty for my taste.
You can also add other fruits, seeds, or nuts of your liking.

I usually end up with about 2 cups (eyeball measurement) of fruits and nuts. I mix this in with the granola on the pan and then add it to a air tight container. I am not sure how long this keeps as the longest it has ever lasted for me has been 4 days. This will make about 4-5 cups.

Enjoy and you'll find that it's cheaper to make and better tasting than the stuff you buy in the stores.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What year did Disneyland open?
answer - 1955

day 2 of slow work.......

I felt much better this morning but I still had some residual aches here and there. I definitely won't be pushing the envelope again tonight. I think I have enough to do with busy work that I can wait on the bread boarding of the table top.

I have decided that I am going to do my bread boarding like Will Myers did on this table here.  I could do this with a corded router but I want to try and do this by hand. I think if I take my time and leave myself a generous oops factor I'll be ok.

attaching the drawer fronts
The first step for me was to find the center of the drawer opening and the drawer front. I marked these on blue painters tape.

one use jig
To make sure that both drawer fronts are set down from the top rail the same distance I made a simple jig. It is two pieces of scrap pine I glued and nailed together at 90 degrees. The front piece sets the height of the drawer on the apron. It ended up being roughly centered. I didn't go into anal mode trying to get it to be exact. This will be under the overhang of the table top and not readily seen. I just wanted to make sure that the drawer front covered the opening on all four edges.

cheap ^%!$#*(;@^#) 8-32 screws
I couldn't get the handle to screw on. At first I thought I had drilled the holes wrong but I knew that wasn't true. I had tested and did a dry run already which came out ok. Then I thought I got some saw dust or wood chips in the hole. That wasn't it neither. These cheap, crappy screws bent on me.

I had drilled the hole in the drawer box to be a snug fit for the screw. It bent from me tapping it home with my mallet. I could bend these screws with just finger pressure. Total pieces of crappola. I tossed both sets of these and replaced them with 8-32 screws from my stash.  Those didn't bend.

rethinking the handles
These handles really blend into the drawer fronts. Maybe I should swap them out for something lighter that would be more visible?

been thinking of this most of the day
Wednesday night after dinner I went back to the shop to check this. That was about 2 hours after I had applied the first application and this time it felt hard to the touch. Before dinner it had felt a bit soft and I was concerned about the ebony dye interfering with the epoxy setting up. That didn't happen and I applied a second helping so I could do the leveling it tonight.

it worked
I found a few things written about using epoxy to fill voids, knots, splits, etc on the WWW. What was missing was how to flush up the epoxy.  There wasn't a lot of step by step verbiage on the matter anywhere. I thought of sanding and scraping this first but I opted for the small block plane. This will be it's first use after sharpening the iron.

I wasn't sure what to expect here. I had built up the epoxy so that it was proud of the surface. I did that because I didn't want any craters. The block plane did a great job of shaving the epoxy flush. I couldn't tell a difference between planing this or wood. The feed back from the plane felt the same to me.

planed and scraped
I didn't get a before pic of this but it came out perfect to my eye. This looks like all the other small black gum pockets that cherry has.

two divots
The one in front of the plane was a divot caused by scraping glue. The small one to the right was caused by Mr Clamp.

planed and scraped the second set of epoxy fills
These two sets of epoxy fills were the small ones. The next 3 are the knot holes that all went clear through the table top.

the before shot of the two biggest ones
the biggest one flushed
Planed just like a piece of wood with the added bonus of not having to read and plane with the grain. This is mostly black but you can see several flecks of the cherry shavings in it also. I like how this turned out.

#2 big knot hole done
I am so happy with how this epoxy fill came out I could wet myself. They don't look out of place and blend right into the top. The base being black isn't working against me on this neither. One big potential headache over and done with in my favor.

making a practice dowel
I want to get a visual on the dowels for the bread board. That starts with knocking the edges off and making a point on one end. Then beat it through the holes until you get a dowel.

5/16" on the left and 1/4" on the right

The board is the same thickness as the bread boards I'll be using. I like the look of both of them but I think I'll be using the 5/16" ones. This isn't carved in stone yet so it may change.

gluing on a stiffener
I already proved that this gluing riser made out of 1/2" plywood is every bit as good as my old 3/4" thick ones. However, I am getting a warm and fuzzy feeling having these stiffeners glued on. I'll do the other one tomorrow. Then I'll have to find some scrap to use on the other one.

my drool book finally got here
I could do a few other things tonight but I have to start reading this now. I may actually start the bread boarding tomorrow. Of course I'll take an Alleve before I do that because I'll have to move the table top off the base and onto the workbench.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What are the most frequently landed on properties in the game of Monopoly?
answer - the four railroads