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4th of July was AWESOME!

I hope that you all had an absolutely wonderful Independence Day Weekend.  I know that our family did.  We had the pleasure of hosting my sister, Lisa, and my niece's, Abby and Maggie.  Oh, and I can't forget our furry little guest, Riley.

When I was planning the menu, I wanted something that could be easily made ahead and easily served.  I think my plans worked out just great.  Everyone had plenty to eat, with lots of flexibility and great taste.

Here's a shot of my bread while it was rising.

I mixed up several different salads: chicken salad; balsamic, feta pasta salad; marinated cucumber and tomato salad; and broccoli and raisin salad.  On Saturday, after everyone arrived, I baked a loaf of fresh bread and put all the salads out.  It was great and so simple.  Then on Sunday, we nibbled on left-over salads until dinner when we grilled out burgers and brats.

For dessert on Saturday, I had my super simple Chocolate Mousse.  For dessert on Sunday, I had Cheesecake Mousse Dessert Shots.  You can find that recipe here.

Glori's Super Easy Chocolate Mousse

6 cups mini marshmallows
1 stick butter, softened
18 oz semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup hot water
1 large container Cool Whip
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Put the marshmallows, butter, chocolate and water in a heavy-based saucepan.  Put the saucepan on the stove, over heat, though keep it fairly gentle, to melt, stirring every now and again.  Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.  Let cool.

Fold the Cool Whip into the cooled chocolate mixture and gently mix until you have a smooth, cohesive mixture.

Pour or scoop into dessert glasses or small dishes and chill until you want to eat.

For breakfast, I wanted something that I could sit out and folks could just grab when they were hungry.  So, I made Whole Wheat Cinnamon Muffins, Whole Wheat Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins, and Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins; Homemade Granola; Homemade Vanilla Honey Yogurt; Fresh Cut Fruit and a big basket of Keurig Coffees to choose from.  My little coffee bar did look cute.  I have a "Glori's Goodies" Jar that held the muffins.  I used my Cricut Expression to cut out red vinyl for that jar.  I picked up a bunch of oil bottles to store my Sugar Free Coffee Syrups and used my Cricut to cut out the names of each syrup.  They turned out great.

Muffins fit perfectly into my Goodies Jar

Here are all of my syrup bottles lined up

The Coffee Bar with the Kuerig my two wonderful children gave me for Mother's Day/Birthday

Here is the Homemade Granola Recipe.  It is Yummy!

Glorified Granola

3/4 cup butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup agave
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
10 cups rolled oats, like Old Fashioned not Instant
1/2 cup sucant, which is natural, unrefined sugar, optional
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tb cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 cup millet
1/2 cup amaranth
1/2 cup unsweetened, finely grated coconut

In a large bowl, mix the oats, millet, amaranth, sucant and coconut.  Set aside.

In a medium sauce pan mix the butter, coconut oil, salt, cinnamon, honey, agave, and brown rice syrup.  Heat over medium high heat until boiling.  Boil 1 minute.  Remove from heat and add the vanilla and almond extracts.

Pour the syrup over the oat mixture and mix well.

Pour into a greased slow cooker with the lid slightly ajar and cook on low for 3-4 hours, stirring every 20 minutes or so.  I use a wooden spoon to keep the lid open so that the steam can escape and the granola can dry out.

Store in a cute container, just to make eating it that much more fun!

Be Blessed,

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