Thursday, April 9, 2020

Easy Delicious Homemade Granola for The Homemaking Party

Good Morning!

After two days of record high temperatures, it's finally cooled off here in NW Arkansas! I'm taking advantage of these lower temps to do some baking today! I've got several things on the plan: zucchini bread, apple muffins, lemon bread, Monster Cookies, Rice Krispies Treats, meatloaf, and more. But first, granola!

Homemade granola is super easy to make and will save you a TON in cost, as well as unhealthy additives and sugars. You can add anything you like to it and it is very forgiving.

I always begin by greasing a large pan and dumping in lots of oats and barley. Then I sprinkle on coconut, sunflower seeds, and raisins. Sometimes I add other nuts and dried fruits. I plan to add chopped dates to their bowls once I serve them, but I keep our dates in the refrigerator so I'll wait to do that until breakfast time. After I've added all my dry mix-ins, I stir it all up. Then I pour on a generous amount of honey. Finally, I sprinkle on the tiny stuff like cinnamon, cloves, and flax seed. I do these after the honey to help them stick to the larger bits without getting lost at the bottom of the pan. Then I stir everything up again good and start baking it, uncovered, at 350 degrees.

I'm not actually baking anything, but rather toasting it. I stir the mixture up every 20 minutes or so until it's all toasted the way we like. This usually takes 2 hours or so for a big batch, so it's a great thing to start in the morning and work on for awhile if you're making a lot. Once it's done, I take the pan out and let it cool 15 minutes or so, stir, cool another 15 minutes, and repeat that process until it's all cooled. I store our granola in large clear plastic containers with plastic snap-on lids. The kids usually gobble it up within a couple weeks but I think it could easily store a month or so in that air-tight container. Yum yum!

What are you working on this week? Let me know in the comments. Have a happy week!

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Thursday, April 2, 2020

Potato and Sausage Bake for The Homemaking Party

Here's a frugal home-cooked meal for you during these cozy times at home: Potato and Sausage Bake. It's one of our favorites---inexpensive, makes a lot, and super filling. It was the first meal our teens learned to put it together so they're usually the ones I delegate to cook each time we have it.

I love meals that are simple and filling. We usually have this with some kind of canned fruit: peaches or mandarin oranges. It's comfort food at it's most frugal. Enjoy!

Potato & Sausage Bake (serves 10-12)

5 lb. potatoes

2 TB oil

salt & pepper

beef smoked sausage (1-2 or more, depending on preference)

8 oz. cheddar cheese

Wash potatoes and cut into bite-size pieces, placing them in a large bowl. Add 2 TB oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Slice sausages once lengthwise, then slice, widthwise, into bite-size pieces. Stir into the potatoes then pour the mixture into a large greased baking pan. I use a roasting pan. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour at 350ยบ. Remove from oven and sprinkle grated cheese on top. Serve when cheese has melted.

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