Tuesday, October 14, 2014

fall hiking in colorado + farmhand's choice granola

Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Camp out among the grasses and gentians of glacial meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of nature's darlings.
Climb the mountains and get their good tidings, Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.  

Fresh beauty opens one's eyes wherever it is really seen, but the very abundance and completeness of the common beauty that besets our steps prevents its being absorbed and appreciated. It is a good thing, therefore, to make short excursions now and then to the bottom of the sea among dulse and coral, or up among the clouds on mountain-tops, or in balloons, or even to creep like worms into dark holes and caverns underground, not only to learn something of what is going on in those out-of-the-way places, but to see better what the sun sees on our return to common everyday beauty.
- John Muir

My mother always told me to, “try try again” and more often than not those words would be accompanied by the story of the “Little Engine That Could.” I don’t believe in perfection, but I do believe in improvement, determination and getting back up. 
Though our most recent trip to Aspen didn’t go according to plan, I wasn’t going to let one failed vacation deter us from attempting another adventure. So last weekend we loaded up the car and drove west, and then north, in pursuit of mountains, roaring rivers and bugling elk. We found them all…
Enjoy your autumn adventures wherever they make take you. And if at first you don't succeed, try try again. 

Rocky Mountain National Park  (Bear Lake trailhead to Nymph Lake/Dream Lake/Emerald Lake.  The Kawuneeche Valley. Trail Ridge Road.)
Guanella Pass 
Trails near Georgetown, Colorado
* * *
A few months ago our friends Ori + Jenn came to visit us in Denver. In addition to bringing their two young daughters - Olive (3) and Sophie (5 months)- they also brought treats. 
By treats I mean really good treats like  Stumptown coffee and chocolate babka from Russ and Daughters, a NYC landmark known for its appetizing spreads and babka- which might very well be the best in the world. They also brought a giant bag of homemade granola that I couldn't stop eating. Below is the recipe for that granola…(perfect for fall hikes or most any other time). 

Farmhand's Choice Granola (Courtesy of  Brooklyn's Early Bird Foods Nekisia Davis via Martha Stewart)
Yield: Makes about 7 cups 
                3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
                1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, hulled
                1 cup raw sunflower seeds, hulled
                1 cup coconut chips
                1 1/4 cup raw pecans, coarsely chopped
                3/4 cup pure maple syrup, preferably Grade A
                1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
                1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar (you can also use coconut sugar)
                Coarse salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Place oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, pecans, syrup, olive oil, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl and mix until well combined. Spread granola mixture in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Transfer to oven and bake, stirring every 10 minutes, until granola is toasted, about 45 minutes.

Remove granola from oven and season with salt. Let cool completely before serving or storing in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

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  1. I love love love all your photos. You do such a great job at capturing how beautiful Colorado is!!

    1. Thank you, Sarah! That means a lot. I can't wait to get back into those mountains…just 5 more short months! Hope motherhood x 2 is going well. And yes, let's meet the next time you're in Denver. xo