Homemade Granola

I haven’t made this in ages. I used to make it every week for my husband’s breakfast, but since COVID the poor man has been mostly stuck with store bought cereal. Time to make another batch.

Granola:

First mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

6 cups oats (I prefer regular, not quick-cooking) Note: If you have an oat allergy, substitute spelt flakes for the oats.
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped nuts (You can use any nut you like or have on hand. I usually use walnuts but almonds or pecans even work.)
1 tbls. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. salt

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (optional)

Stir the dry ingredients until mixed well. Then mix in following.

1 cup mild- tasting oil (whatever you’ve got – coconut (melted), canola, light olive oil, etc.)
1 cup honey
2 tsp. vanilla

Stir well until all the oats are coated. Put in a baking pan with sides and bake on 350 for 20 minutes removing at the 10 minute mark to stir. When you stir be sure that you are careful to pull it away from the sides as the honey burns easily along the edges otherwise. When it has cooled off, stir in 2 cups of raisins. Makes a yummy breakfast or snack.

Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

This is NOT your canned chicken soup. I cringe when I think of the difference in taste of canned soup when compared to this hearty, soothing, comfort food. This is a recipe that falls into our regular meal rotation. It’s a must have whenever anyone is sick, and it’s easy enough, that I can ask the kids to make it if needed.

This recipe is works best if you have leftover chicken meat that is already cooked. I’m also partial to it when used with my homemade chicken bullion cubes. These bullion cubes are still one of my favorite things to make, and dissolve so well in the Instant Pot. But, fresh or canned homemade broth or in a pinch store broth works too.

This recipe is written for an 8 quart Instant Pot. For a six quart, reduce all the ingredients slightly. For example, rather than four carrots, use three, rather than three celery ribs, use two, etc, etc.

Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup:

Chop the following vegetables….

1 medium onion

3 ribs of celery

4 large carrots, peeled

4 cloves of garlic

3 medium potatoes, peeled

Turn the IP setting to Saute on the Medium setting. Add 1 tbls of oil and saute the onions, celery, and carrots for about 5 minutes until the onions are translucent and aromatic. Add the garlic and stir. Saute for 1 minute. Don’t let it burn. Turn off the Saute setting and add the potatoes.

Add 1 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, a dash of cayenne, and 5-6 homemade chicken bullion cubes (if using). Stir.

Next add 1 package of egg noodles. Do not stir to mix. This is important. It’s better to leave the layer of veggies on the bottom so that the noodles don’t stick and activate the Burn setting.

Now, add 10-12 cups of water (if using the homemade bullion cubes), or 10-12 cups of chicken broth. You want the level of the liquid to be just below (about 1 inch) the level of the noodles or about how to the 2/3 line. Again, don’t stir.

Lock the lid on the pot, set the valve to the Sealing position, and set the IP on High Pressure for 4 minutes. Keep Warm button should be off. Quick Release when done.

Stir in your shredded or chopped cooked chicken, serve with some biscuits or homemade sourdough bread, and dinner is done!

If you want a creamy sauce add 1/2 cup of heavy cream when you add your chicken. You can also add other vegetables at this point if you choose, chopped kale is a good choice, as is frozen green beans, corn, or peas.

Lemon Blueberry Sourdough Batter Bread

Add this to brighten your day. Tasty, chewy, and sweet, with just a bit of lemony tang.

Lemon Blueberry Batter Bread:

3 cups sourdough starter

1 tsp salt

1 cup water

1 cup honey (or 3/4 cup brown sugar)

1/3 cup oil

1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix these ingredients together. Add the following….

1 cup all purpose flour

2 tsp baking soda

1 – 6oz container of blueberries

Zest of 1 lemon

Any whole grain flour of your choice 1/2 cup at a time until the dough is the texture of a soft cream cheese or buttercream frosting.

Pour into two greased loaf pans (or you can use liners and make muffins instead). Cover with a damp towel and let it rise until the dough reaches the top of the pan.

If you use honey, bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 to avoid them browning too quickly like the loaves below. If you use sugar, bake at 375 degrees for 35-45 minutes. Check for doneness using a cake tester. It should come out clean, or the interior temperature should register 200 degrees on an instant read thermometer.

Slather with butter and enjoy!

Lemon Cranberry Honey

Are you ready for the easiest recipe you’ll make this week?

I’ve become addicted to this lemon cranberry honey. It’s sooooo good!

Here’s what you need:

1 package whole fresh cranberries

1/2 chopped lemon peel

Honey

Simply chop the cranberries in your food processor (or leave them whole if you want), cut up your lemon peel into little pieces or chunks, put in a jar, and cover with honey to 1” above the fruit level. That’s it!

You’ve now made fermented cranberry lemon honey. Just swirl the cranberries around 2-3 times per day or whenever you pass by the jar to keep them well coated as submerged. After a couple of days you’ll notice that the honey becomes more liquid as the fruit release their juices into it. You can begin eating it at any point, but the flavor is best after a week or more of fermentation time.

So, what’s actually happening here? The anti-microbial properties of the honey are acting as a preservative for the fruit long enough for the liquid to be released into the honey which then allows the honey to ferment. After fully fermented, which takes about 2 weeks (more like 4 weeks if you use whole cranberries) the this will last indefinitely in the fridge. If kept at room temperature it will continue to ferment and eventually turn to alcohol if left out long enough. I keep mine out on the counter, but it never lasts long enough to bother putting it in the fridge. We eat it up.

And feel free to play with flavors. I’ve also tried adding orange and cinnamon, but the lemon is my favorite.

This recipe makes a great jam substitute if you are trying to avoid sugar. I also use it in baking to make flavored biscotti or scones, or even as a flavoring or sweetener in my morning tea.

Apple Cinnamon Granola Cookies

1/3 cup mild tasting oil

1/2 cup honey

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg (or 3 yolks)

3/4 tsp salt

Cream the above ingredients together.

Then add…

3/4 cup finely chopped, peeled apples

Mix apples into the oil/honey/egg mixture.

Now add…

1 cup all purpose flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 cups oats (or spelt flakes)

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes.

Makes about 16-20 cookies.

Cool and enjoy!

Allergy Friendly Pumpkin Butter – dairy, soy, gluten, nut, and egg free!

Pumpkin Butter on homemade spelt biscuits

This is one of my go-to Fall recipes. It’s a great option for people with lots of food restrictions. And it’s delicious! Scroll down on my Allergy-Friendly page for the recipe.

Pumpkin Spice Quinoa Porridge – allergy friendly and the perfect Fall breakfast!

This hot pumpkin quinoa cereal is the perfect fall breakfast! And even better, it’s allergy friendly, and you can make it ahead in the Instant Pot! Perfect for Thanksgiving morning when you need to have an easy make ahead breakfast. Get the recipe here!

It’s Pumpkin Bread Season!

It’s Fall! Time for all things pumpkin. Pumpkin Bread is one of our all time favorites. We’ve been making these loaves for as long as this blog has been around – 10 years and counting.

You can try my regular version on the Family Favorites page.

For the gluten-free version, visit my Allergy Friendly Recipes.

It’s the best!

Allergy Friendly Pumpkin Muffins – dairy, soy, sugar, egg free

Pumpkin Banana Muffins:

2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups whole wheat, spelt, flour of choice

1 tsp salt 

2 tbls baking powder

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

Stir together. Then add…

3 eggs (or 5 yolks)

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup mild flavored oil

3 very ripe bananas mashed

1 1/2 cups pumpkin purée (or my favorite – roasted butternut squash purée)

2 cups liquid (mix of milk, water, or milk substitute)

Mix until dry ingredients are just incorporated.

Allergy Notes:

If you can have sugar consider adding some mini-chocolate chips to these. Mmm.

And if you need to avoid eggs altogether, consider adding 1 cup sourdough starter to your batter to improve the texture.

Spoon into muffin cups and bake at 400 degrees for 20-24 minutes.

Makes about 3 dozen muffins.

Cool completely and then store in the refrigerator. Best stored in the freezer if not eaten within 3 days.

Easy Homemade Salsa

This homemade salsa is so easy and delicious. It takes 5 minutes to dump it all in the food processor or blender and whip it up. Give it a try.

2 – 16 oz can (or 1 – 32 oz) diced tomatoes (crushes or whole tomatoes work as well)

1 tsp sea salt (1/2 tsp table salt)

1 lime, juiced

1 tbls chili powder

2 tbls garlic powder

1 tbls cumin

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1/4 cup fresh cilantro

Dump it all in and blend it up. Your salsa is done! I have to give credit for this recipe to my mom. She taught me well. This is just too good. I refuse to eat store salsa. There’s no going back after you taste this!

Mexican Skillet – Still a Family Favorite

Mexican Skillett

I first posted this recipe on the Family Favorites page 10 years ago and it stands the rest of time. I made it again last week. It’s still a family favorite. 😊

It’s still pretty basic. I fry potatoes, and add some cooked beans and meat to the mix and dinner is done!

I change the ingredients sometimes. Sometimes I do chicken, or ground beef, leftover roast….. I’ll replace the black beans with pinto if that’s what I have. It’s a very flexible recipe.

Sometimes I grate the potatoes and make hash brown patties, rather than the fried potatoes in the original recipe and top them with the bean and meat mixture.

And topped with chopped onions, cilantro and homemade cilantro, it’s especially delicious. ❤️

Blueberry, Banana, Carrot Muffins – dairy, sugar, egg free!

On my quest to come up with yummy snacks and desserts that fit our current diet, I came up with these and they are yummy!

All my kids, blueberry loves and haters alike enjoyed them and asked for more.

Blueberry, Banana, Carrot Muffins:

2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups whole wheat, spelt, flour of choice

1 tsp salt

2 tbls baking powder

1 tsp stevia or 1 tbls monk fruit (optional if you want it a tad sweeter)

Stir together. Then add…

1/2 cup mild flavored oil

3 very ripe bananas mashed

1 cup finely grated carrot

1 cup blueberries

1 3/4 cups liquid (mix of milk, water, or milk substitute)

Mix until dry ingredients are just incorporated.

Spoon into muffin cups and bake at 400 degrees for 20-24 minutes.

Makes about 2 dozen muffins.

Cool completely and then store in the refrigerator. Best stored in the freezer if not eaten within 3 days.

Enjoy!