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Over the last week, my family and I (along with half our neighborhood) made the trek from Kansas City to Steamboat, Colorado for spring break.  We left at about 3 o’clock on Friday afternoon and the plan was to stay in a hotel about halfway through the 12 hour drive.   As we are driving, it became apparent via the Weather Channel app that the plans were going to change.  (Enter MAJOR winter storm).  The app informed us that 14-18 inches of snow were going to be dumped on Denver starting at 2am and if you have ever driven through western Kansas you know that is the last place you want to be trapped by snow. (I am from Kansas and proud of it, but even I will say that western Kansas is like the end of the earth!)  What were we to do?  I immediately started texting a friend who had skied for the University of Colorado and asked her advice.  Her advice—Drive through or they will close the Eisenhower tunnel.  Alrighty then, we are now in for the long haul.  We drove through and eventually made it to Steamboat around 3 am to sleep in a rather shady motel because everything else was booked.  However, we made it there safely and didn’t get stuck in western Kansas, because they did close I-70 and some of our friends’ friends got stuck there for 2 days until they opened up I-70 again!

Whenever a long car trip is involved, driving to Colorado or driving to the beach in North Carolina, I always make granola.  Why?  I guess I think it is a healthier alternative and since I am a boredom eater, I feel better about eating granola versus cookies.  The great thing about granola is it keeps well, so you can have it for the trip out and the trip back.  The bad thing about granola, is it is kind of messy, I have oatmeal all over my car.  Whether it be for a car trip or just a snack at home, this granola is worthy of a try!

Cranberry, Almond and Cinnamon Granola

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4 cups old-fashioned oats

2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

2 cups slivered almonds (sliced can be used also)

1 1/2 cups dried cranberries

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup honey

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Toss the oats, coconut, almonds and cranberries together in a large bowl.  Pour the oil and honey over the mixture.  Add the cinnamon, and stir with a wooden spoon until the oats and nuts are covered with the liquids.  Bake, stirring occasionally with a spatula, until the mixture turns an even brown, about 25 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool  Store in an air tight container.

Adapted from Ina Garten’s Cherry, Almond and Cinnamon granola.

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