How to Make Chocolate Granola

Homemade Chocolate Granola, a crunchy delightful treat with 3 kinds of chocolate, almonds and oh.. did I mention chocolate covered dried cranberries?  Trust me , this might be a game changer! 


Chocolate Granola Recipe
This chocolate granola recipe has perfect for little gifts for the holidays, but also a great treat for breakfast, or to sprinkle into some Vanilla Yogurt, or ice cream. Your family and friends will go crazy over it, and you will find yourself hiding batches of it, to save some just for you!

I  make granola all the time with my easy "ratio" recipe full of all sorts of options, but recently had a store bought box of chocolate granola, and liked it, but knew homemade would be better!  Feel free to play around a bit with it yourself and  find what you like.

Jan's Tips: 

  • Feel free to swap out melted coconut oil if you prefer over a vegetable oil. it works great and my daugher and daughter in law both prefer coconut oil.
  • I picked up an 8 oz. container of dark chocolate covered dried cranberries from the "bulk" section near produce at my local Krogers, but Dark Chocolate covered raisins (such as the Raisinets brand found in an 8 oz bag in the candy aisle)  is what my son loves! you can't go wrong with either choice. also add in's such as shredded coconut, sunflower or my fav: pumpkin seeds (pepitas)  work fantastic too. 
  • Maple Syrup or corn syrup or even agave  instead of honey works just fine too, just don't use molasses in my opinion. 

Let's get baking!

Printable Copy

Chocolate Almond Granola


3 cups rolled oats

1 1/2 cups (6 oz bag) slivered almonds

1 1/2 teaspoons ground flax seed

1 1/2 teaspoons wheat germ

1/4 cup vegetable oil (such as canola) 

1/2 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened) 

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

2/3 cup honey (can cut in half if want it less sweet and a bit drier to bake it) 

1/2 cup chocolate chips

8 oz. dark chocolate covered dried cranberries or raisins.

Other optional add ins: seeds (sunflower , pumpkin kernals) or substiture other chopped nuts, shredded coconut works well here too.


  • Preheat over to 350° , line a cookie sheet with silicone mat (or parchment paper) and set aside.
  • in large bowl place oats, and slivered almonds, ground flax seeds, and wheat germ, mix together, set aside. 
  • In separate bowl, mix together : oil, cocoa powder, brown sugar and honey till well blended. 
  • Pour wet mixture over oat mixture and stir till oats are well blended and all ingredients are moistened. 
  • Spread mixture in even layer onto prepared baking sheet. 
  • Bake for 30 minutes. stopping at 15 minutes to stir/ turn over mixture. 
  • Remove from oven, sprinkle chocolate chips while granola is still warm, stirring to blend. This will create little larger clumps/ clusters of granola. 
  • Let cool completely, break up lightly as needed.
  • Sprinkle evenly the chocolate covered dried cranberries or raisins along with any additional add ins. Mix well, ,and store in air tight container or bag. 


How to Roast a Pork Roast in Ninja XL Foodie Air Fryer

 Roasting a Pork Roast in a air fryer is not only fast and easy, it is crispy outside, juicy inside perfection!

Air Fryer Pork Roast

My husband got a Ninja Foodie XL air fryer from Mrs. Claus for the holidays, we have slowly been playing with it, learning how to use all it's features. 

 We are not a paid sponsor and are not receiving anything for this post, I am just sharing the name of the air fryer with you, if it helps you in working with your own air fryer at home. 

This weekend we are having a historic ice storm here in Virginia, so to hunker down, I put on a pot of homemade Ham , Potato and Bean  soup for today , that can be reheated on the grill if we lose power. Dear  hubby, roasted a pork roast in the Ninja for a meal tomorrow, that also can be sliced, and heated in a skillet on the grill outside along side some cauliflower rice and  veggie stuffing. Here's hoping we keep our power!

I cannot express enough how juicy and moist this pork is! I know pork has a tendency to dry out, but this is crispy outside just enough and boy did it seal in the juicy flavor! 

Printable Recipe

Jan’s Tips: 

We used my homemade onion soup mix to sprinkle on top of the roast for flavor.     

There is an endless way to season or sauce it is available!

We chose to roast it at 290 ° and Medium Well setting. A bit of a low and slow method.             Choose the temp and doneness that works for you. Ours took less than 30 minutes total.


  1. Season or Sauce pork Roast as desired, set aside. 

  2. Turn on Ninja 

  3. Choose Roast function

  4. Choose if want to use the preset 350 ° temp setting, or lower or raise it. adust as desired.

  5. Choose "Preset" button 

  6. use arrows on right hand side to choose Pork

  7. use arrows on left hand side to choose level of doneness. (rare, medium, Medium well, well ) 

  8. Hit start button

  9. once add food indicator goes off, insert temperature probe into meat and place in air fryer basket 

  10. close lid , cooking will begin.

  11. Time is decided by your choices of temperature and doneness level.

  12. Turn off your ninja when done, and let it sit for 15 minutes or so before slicing.


Christmas Apricot Kolache Cookies


Apricot Kolache Cookies are a must make on your holiday baking list! These lightly sweet , pillowy soft cookies are filled with a lovely Apricot jam. The simplicity will have even a scrooge coming back for more!

I am on a journey this year to make cookie recipes I round tucked away in my Stepmoms recipe box. I was honored to be on the receiveing end of her recipe box as she and my dad decided to fit their lives into an RV last year and spend some dream years on the road traveling. Her treasure trove of wonderful cookie recipes, now has me on a baking discovery!

I am secretly in love with short bread cookies, sugar cookies and the like, so these vanilla, super buttery soft only lightly sweet cookies filled with a fruity apricot jam were a must try! I have to say.. I will be forever adding these to my baking list. perfect to take to a neighbor or coworker. 

Jan's Tips:

  •  Make Ahead Dough: This dought must be cold! It is perfect to make ahead months in advance and store in the freezer. then pull out overnight to your refrigerator to thaw but remain cold. This will make baking day so much easier! 
  • Make Sugar Free: if you have a diabetic, you can substitute a sugar substitute that measures like sugar in the dough and use an all fruit apricot jam. This will reduce the carb's and sugar alot making it a treat they can enjoy a bit of!

Let's get baking!

Printable Copy 

Apricot Kolache Cookies

24 cookies


  • 1 ¼ cups flour + more for counter surface (rolling dough)

  • ¼ cup sugar or sugar substitute

  • ¼ tsp.salt ( or eliminate this if using salted butter)

  • ½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut up into small pieces

  • ¼ cup sour cream

  • 1 large egg yolk (discard egg white or save for another use)

  • ¼ cup apricot jam


  1. In mixing bowl, mix together flour , sugar and salt.

  2. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbles

  3. Mix in sour cream and egg yolk till well blended.

  4. Lightly flour counter and put dough onto surface, kneading it 1-3 minutes

  5. Till dough is smooth.
    Divide dough into 2 even balls, and flattren into discs approx ¾ inch thick.

  6. Wrap discs in plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.

  7. Preheat over to 375 degrees. Line baking tray with parchment paper or silicone mat

  8. Lightly flour counter, and roll out one disc to approx. ⅛ inch thick..

  9. Cut out 2 inch x 2 inch squares from the dough. Keeping and chilling and rerolling extra dough.

  10. Place ½ teaspoon apricot jam (do not use more than ½ teaspoon) diagonally across each square.

  11. Moisten the two opposite corners of dough with water and press together to seal.

  12. Place cookieson baking sheets..

  13. Bake 10-12 minutes turning sheet half way thru for even baking. Till edges are light golden brown.

  14. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack.


Big Mac Salad with Healthier Special Sauce Dressing

 A Big Mac Salad is a salad based off the famous burger. It it is a healthier version of the burger. With a homemade dressing, and loads of salad options, you can really put a healthier spin on this delicious favorite!

We are trying to eat healthier. More salads and less fast food are a must. But we can still enjoy the taste of our favorite fast food, if we find ways to make it healthier. This Big Mac Salad is the perfect thing. We make it often and play around with the salad indredients, from a traditional iceberg based salad, to leafy spring mixes with shredded brussell sprouts and shredded broccoli mixed in. From lean beef burger, to turkey burger or even Soy burger substitute (TVP) there are so many options to lighten up the fat from the meat. and making the dressing below will lighten up the special sauce dressing.

Let's get cooking:


Big Mac Salad:

Makes 1 Salad



  • A head of iceberg lettuce (or substitute lettuce mix of your choice)

  • 1 cup seasoned ground beef (I use garlic, salt,pepper, & dry minced onion to season) 

  • 5-10 dill pickle chips

  • ½ cup grated cheddar cheese

  • ⅛ red onion (optional)

  • ½ cup special sauce

Special Sauce dressing: 

  • 1 cup Mayonnaise (Olive Oil Mayo preferred)

  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt 

  • ½ cup chopped dill pickle or dill pickle relish

  • 3 Tablespoons yellow mustard

  • 2 teaspoons apple cide vinegar (can substitute any other type vinegar)

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

  • ½ teaspoon onion powder 

  • Sweeten to taste if desired with stevia or honey. 


Cut Iceberg lettuce into wedges or chop into small pieces. (Or mix together lettuce mix chopped as needed)

Pour desired amount into bowl.

Top with cooked ground beef, pickles, cheese, and onion 

Top with special sauce.


Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Pecans and Cranberries

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash with Pecans and Cranberries, with a Maple Glaze just screams fall. It also just screams Holiday Side Dish! Perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas!
Thanksgiving Side Dish recipes

It can be a challenge to find something new and exciting to serve that everyone loves and you feel good about serving. This dish is one of those dishes that is not only pretty to serve, with it's vibrant colors of green, orange and red, it also has a lovely fresh taste.

Thanksgiving Side dish Ideas

This is one of my favorite dishes. I first discovered it the recipe here, and knew instantly that I would be making this and loving it. I was right. the roasted veggies lightly tossed in a maple glaze, and mixed with a the crunch of toasted Pecans, and the sweetness of dried cranberries. It's just the perfect blend!
Thanksgiving Side Dish Ideas

Let's get cooking!

Yield: 6

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Pecans and Cranberrries

prep time: 20 minscook time: 20 minstotal time: 40 mins
Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash with Pecans and Cranberries, with a Maple Glaze just screams fall. It also just screams Holiday Side Dish! Perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas!


Roasted Brussels Sprouts:
  • 3 cups Brussels sprouts ends trimmed, yellow leaves removed
  • 1 1/2 lb butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cubed into 1-inch cubes (Yields about 4 cups of uncooked cubed butternut squash)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
Other Ingredients:
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2-4 tablespoons maple syrup optional


  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly grease the foil-lined baking sheet with 1 tablespoon 
  2. In a medium bowl, combine cubed butternut squash (peeled and seeded) and Brussels sprouts ,2 tablespoon of olive oil, maple syrup, and toss to mix.
  3. Spread mixture onto baking sheet into single layer. Bake 20-25 minutes till tender, turning once halfway thru. 
  4. In a large bowl, combine roasted Brussels sprouts, roasted butternut squash, pecans, and cranberries.  mix to combine. 
  5. If you'd like more sweetness, add 2 or 4 tablespoons of maple syrup, if desired – a tablespoon at a time to desired taste, mixing as you add add it. 
  6. Serve warm
Created using The Recipes Generator

Take a look at all the fabulous Holiday Dish Recipes:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...