Monday, October 24, 2011

Stove Top Granola

I love granola, but I refuse to buy it because I can't justify spending that much money for some fancy oats. Though I've made it successfully in the past, I always run into the problem of burning it in the oven. Not good. So I've been experimenting and combining some recipes to solve this inevitable problem. I've created a granola recipe that is super quick and burn proof. With some decorative packaging, I think this would make an original and healthy treat for teachers and friends this year.

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 3-5 minutes
Yields: 12 servings (1/3 cup each)
Cost: approx. $2.00

4 1/2 cups rolled oats ($.25- from salvage store)
2 Tbsp. olive oil ($.25)
1/4 cup butter ($.25)
1/2 cup honey ($.50)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Set oven to 400 degrees. When preheated turn off.
Heat oil in skillet. Add oats and toast stirring often. When oats turn golden brown remove from heat. Melt butter. Add honey and vanilla. Cook and stir until bubbly. Add honey mixture to toasted oats and incorporate well. Spread granola onto large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Place in heated oven for one hour. When cooled add dried fruits, nuts as desired and store in an airtight container.

** For peanut butter granola, add 3 Tbsp of peanut butter to melted butter along with the honey.**

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


My first choice would be to serve a piece of fruit for desert, but sometimes the fruit just needs a little dressing up. We had a who mess of bananas that we ready go bad, so I turned them into a special treat that made them disappear in no time flat.

Chocolate Banana Boats: Cut bananas lengthwise. Insert chocolate chips. Wrap in foil and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. I think next time I'll add a few marshmallows, too.

Cinnamon Maple Roasted Bananas: Slice bananas. Toss with 1 Tbsp of melted butter. Place in baking dish. Drizzle 1/4 cup of maple syrup and sprinkle cinnamon to taste. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes stirring once.

*You can find this recipe and many others at The Grocery Cart Challenge's Friday Recipe Swap**

Monday, January 31, 2011

Review: Every Day With Rachel Ray

As promised, I've been trying some new recipes. Though I think for the most part that magazine subscriptions are a waste of money, I found myself quite excited to pick up several Rachel Ray cooking magazines at Half Priced Books for $.50 each. When it comes to cooking magazines, who cares if it is two years old? Food never goes out of style.

Probably my favorite part about this magazine was that there are hundreds of recipes and most of the ingredients I already had on my pantry shelf. There was nothing too obscure or obsolete. The advertisements were minimal and appropriate. And when I was done tearing out what interested me, the kids had plenty of great photos to cut and paste.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bacon and Canteloupe Wraps

Ah... a taste of summer is a refreshing break from the stews and soups of winter. I found this recipe in a magazine and adapted it for what we had on hand. I can't wait to make it again especially on a hot summer evening. These would also be a great addition to a brunch.

Bacon and Cantaloupe Wraps

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 6-8
Cost: Approx. $5.50

1 package of flour tortilla shells ($.99)
1/2 cantaloupe sliced into thin strips ($1.00)
1 package turkey bacon cooked until crisp ($2.00)
2 cups Romain lettuce cut into ribbons ($.50)
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp prepared mustard
2 tsp sugar

Cook bacon and warm tortillas. Mix Vinegar, mustard and sugar. Pour over lettuce and toss. Spread tortilla shells with thin layer of mayonnaise. Layer bacon, cantaloupe. Top with lettuce and wrap.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Easy Irish Oats

I love Irish Oats. They're crunchy, creamy, nutty and comforting. Beyond that they are a great source of fiber and nutrition. They provided hearty breakfast that will last through the morning. The only downside is that these take about 10 times as long to cook than regular oatmeal and actually require attention. These facts almost persuaded me from passing up a 25 pound bag for $12.50. I knew that there had to be an easy way to prepare these. With a little research, I found the answer. Enter the rice cooker. It's breakfast for pennies at our house.

Easy Irish Oats

Prep time: none
Cook time: 10-15 minutes
Serves: 4

1 cup Irish Oats
3 cups water (replace with 1/2 cup milk if desired)
1 Tbsp butter

Add all ingredients to the rice cooker. When oats are cooked top with favorite ingredients and serve. I like mine with cinnamon, maple syrup and pecans.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Waking up

One of my goals for this next year is to wake this blog of mine up. It seems that since the Elimination Diet ended last spring I stopped being creative in the kitchen. I believe this resulted from being burnt out from fixing every recipe from scratch and having to micromanage every aspect of our food. Then, from August to November we ate entirely out of the freezer. November until now? Well, I'm not quite sure.

It's clear that we are all ready for some variety around here. After completing the budget for the coming year, cutting down on our food bill is going to be of the utmost importance. I know it's doable, it's just going to require some ingenuity and planning on my part.

So here are my goals for 2011:

1) Serve at least one new recipe a week.

2) Review at least one recipe book or magazine per month.

3) Teach each of my children how to make three complete meals each.

4) Make larger dinner portions with the hopes of leftovers for lunch, thus reducing work and waste.

5) Shop only once per week.

6) Serve two vegetarian dinners per week.

7) Eat out for special occasions, not desperation.

Do you have goals for your cooking in 2011?