This weekend, our small group is heading to Lake Bruin for a retreat style getaway and these Mason Jar Berry Breakfast Parfaits with homemade Maple Cinnamon Granola are topping my individual menu contribution list. Of course, Tropical Storm Cindy is doing her darnedest to ruin our plans so we are playing things by ear…..which means Brian and I may have parfaits coming out our ears instead.
If you’re unfamiliar with church “small groups”, it’s simply when a group, small in size, gets together intentionally for the purpose of seeking God’s mission. Our group is relatively new and was built upon recognizing a need within the church for a gathering of women of similar ages and interests. Earlier in the year, three of us were at lunch, chatting about the bible journaling/doodling/adult coloring trend and had the a-ha moment to create a small group around those elements…..and God, of course.
We seriously doodle and color our prayer lists for each other every week. The simple act of setting aside an hour or so for intentional and purposeful praying has been a huge blessing. In my opinion, it’s the best small group. Equal parts creative and biblical, and there is always, always food involved in our monthly gatherings.
We rotate homes so that one person isn’t hosting every month, and this month, because one of our ladies lives outside of Baton Rouge, offered up her lake home as an option for a weekend getaway. Along with our swimsuits, we are required to pack up our colored pencils and journals and head north. Can you think of anything more fun than doodling on the dock?
We’ve divided up the weekend meals so that we’re not eating out all the time, and I’m handling these Mason Jar Berry Breakfast Parfaits to go along with the casseroles. And because there were no desserts on the list, I had to remedy that with plans for an Ice Cream Brownie Sundae Bar. I’ll probably make these Toasted Marshmallow Brownies or these Dulce de Leche Brownies. Or maybe I’ll try something new, I’m still not sure.
What I am sure about is the magic of the Mason Jar Berry Breakfast Parfaits. Combining the yogurt with a bit of whipped cream cheese makes the yogurt nearly cheesecake like! And the cinnamon maple crunch of the granola? Oh my, my. The homemade granola recipe is as easy as it is delicious and while it’s perfect for the parfaits, it’ll also be nice to snack on during the long drive.
When I make the granola for us at home, I use dried cranberries rather than raisins (husband hates them), but because I love them I’ll probably switch it up for this weekend.
- 4 ounces each, fruit of choice- chopped
- 1 quart plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
- 6 tablespoons whipped cream cheese (look for it near the bricks of cream cheese)
- 1 1/2 cups granola
- For the granola:
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup chopped salted almonds
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. In a small saucepan, stir the maple syrup, brown sugar and orange juice over medium high heat until sugar dissolves completely. Remove from heat. In a medium sized bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Pour the maple mixture over the oats and stir until combined. Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the baking sheet and toss the granola. Return to the oven for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until the mixture begins to brown. Cool completely. Granola not used for the parfaits can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.
Mix the yogurt and whipped cream cheese in a medium sized bowl until well combined.
Add approximately 2 tablespoons of granola to each 8 ounce mason jar, layer the yogurt, and top with fresh fruit.
Layer and top those bad boys with fresh fruit, and I’m already anticipating breakfast at the lake! And speaking of fruit, it’s fun to create a variety of fresh fruit toppings if you aren’t sure what everyone likes. I plan on having a variety of berries, peaches, bananas, etc and allowing everyone to assemble their own.
I hope your weekend is equally relaxing, and that you are able to carve out a few moments to doodle or color yourself. Trust me, it’s worth it.