Saturday, February 13, 2021

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Q & A

My favorite granola recipe is below!

We are getting ready for even colder temperatures and one "big snow" after the other.  The last few weeks have been brutal as far as the weather and I am so ready for Spring to arrive!  Our gravel lane has had ice on it since the beginning of the month.

I got out briefly yesterday to the grocery store to purchase some necessary food items before the next big snow arrives later today.  The only items I purchased for the pantry this week were Carnation individual 17 oz. containers of milk.  They were not only in stock for the first time in ages but they were on sale $1.00 off so I bought three to put on pantry shelves.  For me, this is a true pantry food to use when I need milk for a recipe.

So, for the questions...

Are Florentine and Mouse two different cats?

Yes, they are!  Florentine is the kitty we adopted a few weeks after Victoria died suddenly.  She had been abused and was offered for adoption by a kitty rescue service.  She has gone from hiding under the bed the first couple of weeks to being quite demanding, especially when it comes to her food.

Mouse was a stray that one of our neighbors paid to have "fixed" and eventually adopted us and our front porch as her own.  This is our third winter providing shelter for her and this year I found an enclosed pet bed that has a "roof" in the shape of a triangle.  It is easy to drape a towel and now an additional blanket over the top for extra warmth.

I also keep a folded towel in the bottom of the kitty bed for warmth and a folded towel next to the bed for when she wants to sit on the bench in winter.  She gets fed the same kibble as Florentine but she does not get any wet cat food.  These past couple of weeks, I have had to give her unfrozen water at least a few times a day.

Since it has been so cold, she has stayed mostly on the porch but once it gets warm again, the world is her domain and she shows up when her tummy tells her it is time for kibble.  She has a regular pet bed in warm weather that sits on the bench where she naps once in awhile and often spends the night.  What a life.

What kind of potatoes did I say I cooked with to keep down blood sugar?

It isn't as much the type of potato but the size that helps keep my blood sugar more stable.  I use the smaller sizes of Yukon Gold because I like the taste of the Yukon Gold better and smaller sizes let me either keep them whole with the skin on or I just have to cut them in half.  They work well even in beef or chicken vegetable soup.

I have used the very small sizes of red potatoes, too, since I can keep the skin on them.  I find I can keep the skin on roasted sweet potatoes if they are smaller and while they are better for diabetics, we still need to be careful about how large they are.  I sometimes purchase a small container of Amish Potato Salad at Meijers to enjoy but only as a treat. 

Mashed potatoes can really spike blood sugar so I keep the small packets of Idahoan instant potatoes on hand for those rare times we have mashed potatoes and gravy with just the two of us having dinner. They are surprisingly good and the packets last a long time in the pantry so I can stock up when they are on sale. They provide just one good serving for each of us.

I buy the large russet potatoes to make mashed potatoes from scratch when I know there will be more people eating dinner. One never wants to run out of mashed potatoes with this family!

I promised my granola recipe on an Instagram comment.  Here it is!

 Simple Granola

  • 4 - 6 Cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 Cup or more nuts, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 Cup dried fruit or more to taste*
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon* (optional)
  • 1/2 Cup honey or maple syrup (or more if you prefer it sweeter)
  • 1/3 Cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon* vanilla (optional if using maple syrup)
Oven temperature at 350 degrees
Mix oats, nuts, and cinnamon* (optional) in a large bowl.  Pour honey (or maple syrup) and oil in a small saucepan and warm it up.  Take it off the heat and add vanilla if you are using it. Pour the liquid mixture over the dried mixture and mix well.
Line a large baking pan with foil or parchment paper and oil it well... or plan on scrubbing the baking pan!  I use a half sheet cake baking pan.  Pour the granola mixture onto the prepared pan and spread out evenly.
Bake for 18 - 20 minutes, checking a couple of times and gently stirring to keep it evenly browning.  I find a spatula works best for this.  As you get closer to 17 minutes, check until it is finished.  It should be toasted, not burned... and it burns quickly.
Take pan out of oven and sprinkle your dried fruit* on the hot mixture.  I have found this helps soften them nicely. Let it cool completely before taking off of pan. The original recipe called for dried apples but I almost always have dried cranberries on hand so I use them.  Dried cherries or dried blueberries would be great, as would chopped dried apricots, etc.

Carefully pour into an airtight container.  To use as a
Holiday gift, pour into a cute container or Mason jar.
* I sometimes make this without nuts and without cinnamon. However, these days I am more likely to make it with nuts and leave out dried fruit.
* When I add nuts, I usually add pecans but walnuts are great, too.  I have added sunflower seeds.
* The original recipe calls for adding a cup of coconut to the dry mixture before adding the liquid.  This would be baked with the granola.  To make it even more tropical, dried pineapple or mangoes could be added after taking the granola out of the oven.
A permanent link to the granola recipe that you can bookmark is... here.

I hope you have a good week!


Vee said...

That granola with the raisins looks so yummy. I have only made granola once. This is making me wonder if I would enjoy it again. I sprinkled it on yogurt.

Mouse's home on the porch sounds so cozy. It is wonderful that you take such good care of her.

Hunker down, stay cozy.

Sherry said...

reading through your granola recipe it's very similar to my own which reminds me - i need to make more! i love the kitty tales and how you care for mouse the outside kitty.

Mandy said...

I can't wait to try this! I love granola and it's hard to find good granola I like. This sounds delicious, though.

Nancy said...

I love how you care for Mouse!

Deanna Rabe said...

I made granola yesterday to have here at home, but also to send to my daughter who is away at school. My recipe is very similar to yours but I don't use cinnamon. I also add items like sunflower seeds, if I have them, and sometimes I put protein powder in mine in the form of collagen. This time I added flax meal.

Stay warm! We've been cold but today we are supposed to be very mild! I'll take it even for one day! I think it will end up foggy though, as all the moisture gets pulled out of the ground!