Wholesome, Delicious & Easy Homemade Granola

All natural goodness and worth the splurge!

I’ve always liked granola and tried making it homemade a number of times, but this version is the best I’ve ever had! It’s more than worth the splurge. Yet it has some healthy additions that help offset any guilt. Sometimes I do indulge in eating it in a little milk, but a little goes a long way as it’s so flavorful, crunchy, and satisfying. It’s also perfect sprinkled on top of yogurt or ice cream or as part of a parfait.

This homemade granola is super easy to make. You can vary the nut, fruit and seed options, but I strongly suggest considering all (or at least some) of the ones I use. It’s a perfect combination! I’ve been making it frequently as I have a very large supply of honey in my pantry. Beekeeping is very popular in Czech Republic, where I now live. My brother also keeps honeybees in New Jersey, in the US. It’s a good practice as the honeybee populations are crucial to maintain in the world. Plus, honey tastes marvelous!

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Czech Hopl Popl (Ham, Sauerkraut and Dumpling Mish Mash)

Hopl popl is basically the equivalent of the English words “Mish Mash” and is one of many Czech comfort food meals. Here I used potato gnocchi, but leftover Czech bread or potato dumplings (cubed) can also be used. They are combined with sauerkraut, browned onion, caraway seeds, and whatever flavorful pork product you have on hand. Some sour cream on the top is optional, but tasty. It’s definitely a low cost meal that fills you up. Though it may look quite unhealthful, remember that sauerkraut is a powerhouse of vitamins.

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To my blog followers – Changes to blog niche

During the course of the five years posting on “Bird Flight” blog, my focus has gone from mental health issues and experiences (mainly bipolar disorder) to more travel, world cultures, and culinary/recipe offerings. Indeed, I enjoy posting about all kinds of things, but believe I should pick a more specific niche for this particular spot. I’ve decided to retain this blog, but mostly for just travel and culinary-related posts. For mental health topics, and light journaling purposes, I’ve created a separate blog on WordPress, and have done an export/import of select posts, accordingly.

Other reasons for the split above?

  • I’m yearning for more anonymity in regards to my mental health-related postings. Some may have noticed this category of posts absent, lately. There is more freedom with a degree of anonymity.
  • My followers, and other visitors, may be frustrated with the previous “hodgepodge” of posts here.
  • I may be able to grow this blog (and an additional new one) further with a more focused niche. There will also be more room improvement of both blogs.

So how might that affect my blog followers?

Well, you surely have a choice to make. Maybe decide to remain a follower here (with the focus on travel and culinary stuff/recipes)? Perhaps learn more about my new mental health focused blog (that includes all past ones of the niche)? Or, unfollow this blog completely or even remain a follower here AND follow my new additional blog? Regardless of the choice, I understand.

Where is my new solely mental health-related blog?

I will not provide a link here, for obvious reasons. However, if you wish to be notified in private, I can provide that info (at my discretion) via private message. I can be contacted through the CONTACT form on the menu bar or by clicking here.

So what’s been up with me, lately?

Well, besides just baking Christmas cookies and cooking Czech dishes? LOL! I’ve also spent a full year living in a new country. About a year ago, my husband and I made a big move from the US to Europe. Yup, Czech Republic. It’s been quite a stressful and also peculiar experience, particularly since we did it during a once in a century pandemic. 

Hearty thanks to all who’ve supported me here over the years! I look forward to a continued interaction with many on one of my blogs, and of course plan to follow others’.

– updownflight

Szeged Style Sauerkraut Goulash (Segedínský guláš)

Winter is a great time to enjoy Central European goulash. Previously, I posted a recipe for a beef goulash famous in the Czech city of Znojmo (with pickles). Find it by clicking here. Below, I share a pork goulash inspired by one made famous in Szeged, Hungary (with sauerkraut). Truth is, there are many types of goulash served throughout Central Europe, including Czech Republic. Perhaps I’ll post about one of these others in the future.

Czechs love their sauerkraut, and in addition to it just tasting so good, it is full of nutrients.

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Leftover poppy seed or walnut filling muffins

What can I do with leftover poppy seed filling or nut filling? These muffins may be your answer! They are quick and easy to make and even freeze well. I had some of both of these fillings leftover after making filled Czech Christmas cookies. Other recipes that may leave such leftovers include Czech kolache (koláče), filled sweet yeast-based buns (buchty), or even strudel (závin).

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Psaníčka, Šátečky a Koláčky (Envelopes, Scarves & Koláčky Cookies)

Left to right: Koláčky, Envelopes, Scarves, & Triangles with various fillings

These filled cookies are another recipe including farmer cheese (tvaroh). The individual names only refer to the styles of folding the dough around their fillings – their shapes. The dough is the same for all. You can choose the filling(s) and mix and match between different folds/shapes. The main sweetness for the cookies comes from the traditional Czech fillings and later confectioner’s sugar dusting.

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Marzipan Stuffed Dates with Candied Fruit (Plněné datle)

Dates are popular treats at Christmas time throughout the world. It’s definitely the case in Czech Republic, where I’ve seen beautiful ones in holiday baking sections at grocery stores. Here they are stuffed with marzipan that has a bit of orange essence, and then top with candied fruit, another ingredient you see a lot of in Czech stores around the holidays. Though any candied or dried fruit works well, I particularly love to use the combination of candied orange peel and halved dried cranberries on top. If you have the marzipan ready and handy, these are quick to make.

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Marzipan Cookies with Nuts (Marcipánové cukroví s ořechy)

These no bake “cookies” have a marzipan base, simply topped with a nut and chocolate. Walnuts on top are particularly lovely and hide the small bit of chocolate used to paste it on top. However, other nuts, including whole large almonds, could be used. The marzipan itself can be further flavored, as desired, or left “as is”. The cookie shape is often like a flower, but any semi-round shape will work. The recipe below makes about 30 to 35 small cookies.

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Masarykovo Cukroví (Masaryk’s Cookies)

No, I didn’t eat all of those cookies in one sitting. LOL! Just a couple.

These simple shortbread type cookies are sort of the Czech equivalent of Pecan Sandies in the US. The main difference is the use of whole hazelnuts/filberts, instead of pecans. Hazelnuts (called “lískové oříšky” in Czech) are quite popular in Czech desserts. They also add unique circles in each cookie slice. Beyond the time it takes for the dough to chill and cookies to bake, the preparation process is quick and and very easy.

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Plněné Ořechy (Stuffed “Nut” Cookies)

Would you like a nut…cookie?

Christmas cookie making gone nuts? Well, I guess you could say, “Yes!” These Plněné Ořechy (stuffed nut-shaped cookies) are usually reserved for more ambitious Christmas cookie making, but it’s quite a pleasure when they appear on the cookie tray. They are meant to look like a nut (most often walnut) and to celebrate their wonderful flavor. A final decoration with either chocolate on the ends, or simply a dusting of confectioner’s sugar, is optional. “Stuffings” can vary according to taste or nut shape. Here I continue the nut flavor, but with a touch of rum.

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