Aside from Pastor Alaska and our three kids, we have another character in our family known as Pastor Alaska’s Red Truck. This isn’t just any red truck. This truck has an epic Alaska story, as evidenced by the severely dented in front right fender and hood, the headlight that is duct-taped on, the third door that gets jammed more often than it opens, and the fact that a stranger gave it to us for free. It’s probably the most easily recognized vehicle in town. When Pastor Alaska drives up, people do a double-take at the damage and often stop us to ask whether it was a moose or a tree that we hit (a mystery we will never solve, since it was wrecked before we got it, but it’s fun to guess and imagine what might have happened).


Yesterday, Pastor Alaska’s Red Truck broke down between Soldotna and Kenai. We were going about 55mph and all the power on the truck went out. We coasted to a safe place to park and tried to restart the truck, but it was dead. Dead dead. Oh, and we were in the middle of a snowstorm in March, which just adds to the humor of the whole thing. We were deeply grateful for our mechanic friend who came and rescued us and helped us get back on the road. Until the next Red Truck adventure…

IMG_5443This is my favorite granola recipe I’ve made so far. It’s a nod to the Ginger Cashew Granola that we always used to enjoy from Trader Joes when we lived in the Lower 48. It packs a ginger punch with dried ginger roasted into the granola and crystallized ginger added in at the end. This is also, I’ve discovered, my favorite way to eat quinoa. It adds a great nutty little crunch to every bite and takes on the toasty sweetness of the granola, too. Plus, the quinoa adds more protein and nutritional value. Oh and did I mention there’s coconut in this granola, too? Layers upon layers of deliciousness, I tell you.

Ginger Cashew Granola


A fantastic Ginger Cashew Granola made with quinoa, coconut oil, and maple syrup.

Yields: About 4 cups

  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup raw quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup cashews, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup crystallized ginger, diced

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray the foil with non-stick spray.

In a bowl, stir together the oats, drained quinoa, cashews, coconut, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, and salt until well combined.

In another smaller bowl, combine the melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and toss to coat well.

Spread the mixture out onto the baking sheet. Bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring the granola every 10 minutes, until golden brown, fragrant, and beginning to crisp (the granola crisps up further as it cools). Remove from oven and sprinkle the crystallized ginger over top. Cool completely and store the granola in airtight containers.



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