Thursday, February 17, 2011

From the cupboard

I just love that word....cupboard. It sounds so old fashioned, so homey, so full of good things to eat. It's like comfort.

Ok...I digress before I even get started. Yesterday I rummaged around in my pantry cupboard to really see what was there. I'm always amazed at how we can say "there's nothing to eat" when the cupboard isn't nearly empty. So I decided to see just how many meals I could make with what was in that darn cupboard.

I discovered I had all the ingredients to make homemade granola, which I love. I received this recipe when Nolan was in his very first preschool class. He was three. He's now thirteen. I only used this recipe for the first time last year! Can you believe I held on to a recipe for ten years before trying it? Well, I must have known it was a good one. It is. I'm sharing it with you today while mine is baking in the oven (yummy smells are filling the air...).

This photo is from last summer. I do love eating out of this bowl, though.


5 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 1/2 cup coconut 
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup molasses
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup raisins 

Combine the oats, wheat germ, coconut, sesame seeds and nuts in large pan (I use a sheet pan). Heat the brown sugar, water, oil, honey, molasses, salt and cinnamon in a sauce pan just until the sugar dissolves. DO NOT BOIL. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry and mix well. Bake at 300 degrees F. for 45 minutes stirring often. Add the raisins (if you like...I don't) when cool. Store in an airtight container. This freezes well.

I like to eat this with plain yogurt. I also am very free with the ingredients. I happened to find 1/2 cup bags of pre-chopped pecans at our local Sharp Shopper months ago two for $1. I bought a bunch and froze them. I just saw pecans at our local farmers market for $12 a pound. Talk about savings! 

But, really, I add what I have. Sometimes I don't add nuts at all but add in sesame seeds or sunflower seeds. I've used oat bran instead of wheat germ as well. Really, it's hard to go wrong with granola. I have some dried cranberries that I may add to a bowl today. 

So here are some other meals I found "hovering" in my cupboard:  Lasagne, spaghetti alfredo, tacos, and hamburgers. Not the healthiest meals but meals none the less. I also have a bag of lentils that I need to ponder. I tend to use them when I'm making bean bag animals but I've also used them in soup. Who knows?

What's in YOUR pantry that you should use????

1 comment:

Ellen said...

Did you know that raiding your pantry and coming up with a decent meal with whatever ingredients you find is called "Frankendinner?" :)

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