Monday, July 2, 2012

Sweet & Salty Granola & Wedding Showers

Hey All! Happy almost Fourth of July! I hope you have a good one. Plans?? We’re headed to my Aunt’s house for a party. I cannot wait. I wanted to share with you a couple things today: 1. A Z bar review, 2. a granola recipe, and 3. a little bit about one of my besties wedding shower this past weekend.

Z Bar review:

I recently received the new Zbar Crispy Cookies ‘N Cream bars to try out (disclaimer: I received these bars for free). I was super excited to try the new flavor, as I’m a big Zbar fan.


The bars are definitely sweet, but very delicious. They’re the perfect substitute for an oreo, cookie in general, or other sweet craving. They tasted cocoa krispie-esque to me.  I enjoyed mine after a workout:



I attended one of my best friend’s wedding shower this past weekend. All of the bridesmaids and the mom’s of the bride and groom helped make the food for the occasion. Since I was traveling to Boston from Charleston, I made something I knew wouldn’t get too smashed up on the plane ride, granola!

For one of the granolas, I used Heather’s recipe with a few modifications. The ingredient list is shown below, and the baking instructions are on Heather’s blog:


  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin & sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/3 cup dried currants
  • 1/3 cup dried apricots, diced
  • 1/3 cup dried figs, diced
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup natural cane sugar  
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg white


This granola is unreal good!


As I mentioned above, I headed to Boston this past weekend for the shower:


I hadn’t been back to Boston (where I went to high school) in a VERY long time. It was so fun to walk (and run!) around my old town.

Even more fun? My friend Kelley’s bridal shower! I cannot wait for Kelley’s wedding- it is going to be incredible.

Kelley’s sister, Future Groom, & Kelley:


Kelley’s Mom & Sister did a TON of work for the shower. Everything was just perfect. Some of the food:


The centerpieces, which included cookies and some of Kelley’s favorite candies (circus peanuts & sweet tarts- I am a HUGE circus peanut fan too):


More food:


My granolas:



Even more food:


The cake:


The favors:



The games (hilarious):


My bestie:


Bridal party (I’m the tiny tot in the back row, middle/left with the white/navy on):


Such a great weekend!

And now, I’m home with my favorite girl! It was SO hard to leave her:


What did you do this past weekend?


sarah k @ the pajama chef said...

that food spread looks awesome!

Averie Cooks said...

what a great spread of food and all the pics are just fabulous! And Kay is getting so big!

allybillhorn said...

What a fun weekend! I can honestly say I loathe cirus peanuts....but I love homemade granola!

Amanda Perry said...

Awww...I didn't know you were originally from up this way!! :)

itzyskitchen said...

haha- I think most people HATE circus peanuts.

itzyskitchen said...

Thanks! I know- crazy...she'll be 1 next month

itzyskitchen said...


Lauren said...

I was just thinking about you today and how i haven't seen a post from you in awhile. Hope all is well lady! xoxo

itzyskitchen said...

aww :) Yes! All is well

Lee said...

Looks like fun. And those crispy Z-bars are really good, though I haven't had that flavor.

purelylori said...

yay for weddings :)
all the food at the shower looks great, what a lovely spread of food too!!

Ben said...

That Granola sounds "Amazballs" i will definitely be making that soon.
Also I want to notify you that I have nominated you for "One Lovely Blog Award", as I love you blog content, your photos on Instagram and just your all-round zest for life. Please check out my latest post for details on this, and I hope you continue following my blog at . I look forward to your next blog post.

-Ben- aka: eatinglivingrunning

Twitter: @eatinglivingrunning
Instagram: @benncarrier

Erin said...

What a blast of a time Miss E! I didn't know you lived in Boston, that seems like SUCH a great place to live :) I've only visited a few times and I was super young. You are indeed a tiny tot and so smartly dressed my tan friend! This past weekend we packed and watched documentaries. Moving on Friday, holy monkey - xo

Meg23 said...

Oh my goodness you are tiny! Can you believe I have still yet to make my own granola? The shame!

itzyskitchen said...

You're so sweet! Thank you!

itzyskitchen said...

Oh my gosh- Friday? Wow! How exciting....but I'm sure hectic at the same time. Thanks girl!

itzyskitchen said...

Yes- I'm a huge 5'1" ;). You have to make your own granola! My other recipe is super simple and yummy too:

Mix together 2 tablespoons each of honey and canola oil.

Add in 2 cups old fashion oats, 1 1/2 cups coconut, 1 cup mixed nuts and seeds and mix until well coated

Preheat oven to 250. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet and pour granola on top. Bake for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, remove from oven and let cool

Jane said...

ahhh the shower looks like so much fun! Love the M&ms!

Heather said...

I've never been to Boston! And that shower looks so fantastic - I'd be in food heaven. :)
I got some sun this weekend and enjoyed a Sunday date night dinner!

auntie j! said...

i read this last night on my ipad and then realized i didn't respond this morning! Is that papaya and pineapple I see Kay munching looks freaking tasty whatever it is!

What a FUN bridal weekend! We have a few coming up this summer too :) I do love bridal showers -- for some reason I just think they're so girly & fun haha. And what a great brunch spread! I'll have to remember the granola trick for traveling -- great idea!

BOSTON IS SO CLOSE TO NEW YORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

itzyskitchen said...

It was actually watermelon and cantaloupe! Shes a fruit lover like her mama.

I knowwwwwwwwww- I was only in Boston for like 36 hours though :(

Bianca Garcia said...

I love sweet and salty granola! And anything cookies and cream. I haven't had a CLIF bar in so long but I will be on the lookout for these!

CampingGirl said...

Boston is one of my fav cities!

itzyskitchen said...

Boston is the summer ;). I can't do the cold!

Nutmeg Nanny said...

That last picture has to be my favorite! Love those little chubby baby arms :)

Yoza Anshori said...

hi Erica, thanks for the granola recipe :D
I'll create one for sure, my kids are gonna like it :)If you don't mind, can you submit your sweet salty granola photo in ?It's a food photography site full of all DIY food pictures from members around the world. submit by yourself and let me know when you did, so I can share it.

Faith said...

Awww, look at that smile!!! Seriously adorable.
Sounds like you had an amazing time in Boston -- the shower looks like it was so much fun and the food all looks great!
Hope you have a wonderful 4th of July!

Candice said...

So fun!! Love boston!! Have a great 4th!

Jenn (eating bender) said...

Great Zbar review! I'm hoping to find those in a store near me soon!

The wedding shower looked fantastic. I love the "perfect blend" favors and the bride looks so excited! :)

Glad you're home with your girl again! She is so incredibly adorable and I hope you all have a wonderful holiday today!

janetha said...

AH! K is so stinkin' cute (and big!) i cannot stand it. Cute shower favors! And the food looked fab. Heather's granola is yummy, she sent me some once. Good to see a post! Love you!

Dining.Dishing said...

So glad to see you back Erica! Looks like you've been enjoying a great time (and great food!). :)

Candice said...

Yum! those bars and granola look SO good!! Glad you had a good week!

Kerstin said...

What a fun shower! And that last pic is just so cute :) Hope you're having a fabulous weekend!

natalie@thesweetslife said...

love seeing pictures of wedding showers bc i'm deep in the throes of planning one for my sister! glad you had a good time :)

itzyskitchen said...

So fun but SOOOO stressful! I'm sure it will be amazing- you're so creative!

Maureen said...

It doesn't matter what you post about, if you've put a photo of the baby in there anywhere I can't help but smile. She's the most beautiful child!

The shower food looks amazing!

Katie said...

Ooh, love the granola! I'd never have thought to make it half saltly, but I love trail mix so I'll give ti a try!

NewWeighofLife said...

OMG I love that last picture - she is so cute!! I had a few days off after the 4th of July so my hubby and I were finally able to turn our basement into a playroom for our son!

LAURA said...

just checked in and glad to see you're back! BTW my kids love z bars, Ainsley is even gobblin' them up!

Fousee31 said...

One of my
close friends forgot to get the invites out in time and it turned into a
disaster! We got the bride a personalized 'born to be bride' hat with her pic
printed on the product. We located lots of great themes on this web site if
you're looking for ideas: