December 6, 2014

Honey-Almond Granola Clusters | Torn Apart


I have two problems: I just ate 1.5 jars full of granola. And I keep waking up & falling asleep to the very very very same thoughts.

Let's start off with the thoughts because honestly, the granola stuff isn't my fault. It's just naturally delicious:

I wake up and fall asleep to the same thoughts. The very same thoughts. Over and over and over again. And it's a struggle. These thoughts are: the highlights of my day and my mental struggle with preparing myself for Early Decision notifications. 

I know this past week was the first week back from Thanksgiving break, and although we all felt like we were dragging ourselves through the week, I just felt like I was dragging myself more so than others. More lonely days at lunch, more distance between people. And it's not like I don't have anyone to talk to; I definitely feel like although I've grown farther apart from some people this year, I've also grown a whole lot closer to others and I've met a lot of new people too. But it's not the same when some of your closest friends from the past no longer really have your back. It's not the same when some of your closest friends from the past no longer want to be around each other, and you're left as a straggler between the two. So that part hasn't been easy. Despite the new friends and new people, it's not the same. They have their closest friends together, and I'm not going to be the one to interrupt, especially since it's senior year and I'm not really gonna see any of these people again. Yeah, not the right mentality...but it's a reality that I know is gonna come. So I know I just have to fly solo and just go with the days as they come. My way to get through these days, is to focus on the highlights. These days, the highlights have been the same. Same. A good highlight, but the same nonetheless. Lifeguarding and talking to my freshman year gym teacher, the nicest, kindest, and one of the funniest, people I know. I feel like I'm actually heard through all of our conversations: from cooking, joking about my brother, veterinary school, the Knicks, Grey's Anatomy....So that has been my highlight of the day...or highlight of all of the days. And I'm very appreciative of it, it's just that I wish it were applicable to all of my other friendships. The only other person I have to talk to, who will really really truly truly listen,  is my brother. So after lifeguarding is done, in just six days, the same number of days until my ED notifications come out, I feel like I have only one person to tell everything to, because he has the time (as much time as it takes from us to drive home from school) and patience to listen. It may seem like an exaggeration, but it sure sounds like reality from where I am right now. (Course, that sounds naive too, but we'll reflect upon this in the future when the time comes). I'm just missing having a Christina Yang...my person...cause I don't think my brother wants to really listen to everything I have to say some days, because I'm a lot to take (really, I am). I have Izzie Stevens' and George O'Malleys in my life some days, but I need a Christina Yang. 

And with my countdown of those six days, comes the countdown of the days until my ED notifications. My biggest dream. The thing that (in my mind) will "justify" all of the work that I've been doing for the last four years. All of it. And yes, I know that "it doesn't matter where you go, you make the best out of what you have and you can go really far that way". I know. But I've been the lesser one, the underdog, the longshot for way too long. I'm constantly underestimated, and I've been wishing for something to validate myself, to make others see me in a new light, to be proud of myself. I need some new motivation, because lately, my motivation (aka myself) isn't doing so great without a Christina Yang. 

And sometimes, that motivation comes in the form of granola...........
                                           ..........granola motivates me to work out............





Not that this granola is unhealthy. Because it's not. But it's addicting. And one of my favorite foods is granola, so....
....so most of the granola I made last night is gone ;) 

......ooooooooopsies.....




Recipe: Honey-Almond Granola Clusters
By: Hannah Claudia
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1/4 cup of coconut oil
1/8-1/4 cup of honey or maple syrup

3 cups of rolled oats
1/2 cup of quinoa, rinsed 3 times
3 tablespoons of chia seeds
1-2 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 cup of sunflower seeds (i didn't have any sliced almonds)
1/4 cup of coconut chips
1 tsp almond extract

dried cherries (optional, looking back now, I wouldn't add it again)

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1. Preheat the oven to 325*F.
2. Melt the coconut oil and honey/maple syrup in a small saucepan (don't let it boil)
3. Toss all of the ingredients (except for the dried cherries) in a large bowl and mix in the melted coconut oil & honey/maple syrup gradually. Only add enough of the liquid mixture to achieve a wet granola mixture.
4. Pour the wet mixture and spread it out evenly on a baking sheet.
5. Bake for 25 minutes (the edges will be golden brown).
**If you want granola clusters, it's really not a good idea to mix the granola all that much. I didn't mix it at all, but if you want evenly coloring on all sides, just flip the granola once in the middle.





xoxo, hannah

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