Homemade Turtle Bay Granola


J fell in love with the granola at Turtle Bay when we visited Hawaii. A recent note from the general manager reminded me to try to get the recipe because while travelling to Honolulu every time J wants the granola sounds lovely, that is absolutely not going to happen. Luckily for me, Danna is super nice and got me in touch with Ceci in the Food and Beverage Department. Ceci sent the ingredients and from there I was able to cobble together the recipe below.

Ingredients:
3 cup oats (we used Quaker)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup sesame seeds (we went with the ones from the bulk food section)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
about 3 cups tropical fruit trail mix (We used HyVee brand with papaya, pineapple, coconut, raisins and bananas, but left out the bananas)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the oats and nuts. In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, and honey. Combine both mixtures and pour onto a sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color and keep the mixture from sticking to the bottom (you may want to consider spraying the pan with your favorite cooking spray, just in case).

Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add fruit and mix until evenly distributed.

My Opinion:
Somehow I was more obsessed with the fresh fruit in Hawaii and missed this granola completely, but it is amazing. Good with milk as a cereal, good on yogurt, ice cream and just out of the container.

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C’s Texas Sheet Cake

I’ve mentioned before, my sister, C, has a knack for perfecting baked goods. She did it again with this super delicious, never dry (even after three days!) recipe. It’s a combination of Joy of Cooking and our Mom’s family recipe.

 

Ingredients and Directions:
Have all ingredients at room temperature, about 70 degrees f. Pre-heat the over to 375 degrees f. Grease a 13×9 pan. if you don’t have the pan, you can use 2 round pans for an 8×11 pan and a loaf pan (the pan isn’t the most important part).

Whisk together in a large bowl until well blended:
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Combine in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly:
1 cup strong, black coffee (apparently, this is Mom’s secret ingredient)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 unsweetened cocoa powder

Pour the hot mixture over dry ingredients and stir together just until smooth. Let cool slightly (about 3-5 minutes), then work in:
2 large eggs
1/2 buttermilk (regular milk works, too)
1 tsp vanilla

Scrape the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for about 3-5 minutes (until the cake is just warm) and spread on the icing.

Mom’s Icing:
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup milk
3 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Mix together and spread over warm sheet cake.

My opinion:
I might like this better than regular chocolate cake. Hard to believe, I know, but it is so good. I can’t wait for the next time C has a reason to make it!