Food + Wine

Sticks and Stones and Some Granola

My waitress last night told me that I looked like Linda Evangelista. Bless her blind heart. When you’re 8 months pregnant and your pants won’t stay up because your belly keeps growing and growing, leaving no waist or hip area for them to hold on to anymore, a compliment, (however insanely wrong it may be), like this means the world. I will never forget this girl, and even though I know she was wrong, I will keep her compliment with me in my slouchy back pocket for the rest of this pregnancy.

It’s amazing how someone, a perfect stranger, can say something that can change your mood so drastically. You could be in a horrible mood, feeling like nothing is going your way, then hear someone tell you they like your shoes, your hair, your tattoos, whatever it may be, and it can instantly change your mood for the better. The opposite is also true. You could be having such a great morning, feeling appropriately skinny in your skinny jeans, and have your grandmother tell you that you are so huge! So huge that she cannot believe you aren’t ready to have that baby any day now! In all fairness, said grandmother is in a nursing home and taking the medical equivalent to heroin on a daily basis, but still…my point is that words are like fuel. We need them to live, but the kind we choose to use can completely change the way our engine runs.

When was the last time you told a complete stranger that you liked something he or she was wearing, their smile, or the way they style their hair? That’s one thing that I pride myself in doing. I know what it feels like to get a compliment when I really need one and so I try to go out of my way to give one to a perfect stranger when necessary. I think as women, we are innately insecure around other women. Getting a compliment from one means way more than getting one from a man. Women notice details, men notice curves. So next time you’re in the grocery store and the women in the next aisle over is wearing a color that really compliments her eyes, go over there and tap her on the shoulder and tell her. You never know what kind of day she is having. And you may have just given her the fuel she needs to change her direction.
This granola recipe is a great one to make if you’re feeling down and in need of a compliment. It’s delicious, versatile, easy to prepare and contains ingredients that actually do help improve your mood. The oats are rich in soluble fiber which helps regulate your blood sugar, keeping you satisfied longer and the walnuts are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fat that helps those mood-lifting neurotransmitters in your brain to function properly…just to name a few. The best part may be that you don’t have to bake this granola, like most recipes call for. Everything is done right in your microwave.

*Abbey’s No-Bake Granola

-In a large, microwave-safe bowl, mix 1/4 cup of honey, 1 tsp of kosher salt, 1/4 cup of canola oil, 1/3 cup of brown sugar, and 1 tsp of cinnamon. Microwave this on high for 1 1/2-2 min, or until the mixture is boiling.
-Carefully remove the bowl and stir in 3 cups of rolled oats, 1 cup of shredded coconut, 3/4 cup of chopped, raw walnuts and 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract. Place this back in the microwave on high for 4 min, stirring twice throughout.
-Remove from microwave and add in 1 cup of dried cranberries, diced and dried apricots or golden raisins (or a mixture of both) and 2 TB of unsalted butter. Stir well and spread evenly on a parchment or foil-lined cookie sheet. Allow this to cool at room temperature for 1-2 hours, then transfer to an air-tight container and store in the fridge for several weeks.
-Serve on top of yogurt, with a little milk as a cereal, or on its own as a satisfying breakfast or snack.

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  • Reply Tinky January 25, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Actually, I almost ALWAYS tell people when I like what they're wearing–and I try to remember to say that it's flattering to them so it compliments them, not just the outfit.

    And I LOVE granola……

  • Reply Everyday Champagne January 25, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    That's so sweet of you, Tinky. You have made so many people happy over the years!

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