Apricot, Almond and Pecan Granola (3 Step Granola)

I am ill with a cold, but luckily haven’t had any time off work ill since the end of February. I’ll take small victories where I can.

I generally have stomach issues, colds I get about once a year, so hopefully this is all I will have to put up with in 2018.

I have had trouble sleeping because The Boy has been away on a stag do and as soppy and as silly as it sounds I can’t get to sleep easily without him there. And being ill with a cold always gives me insomnia, so when I woke up at 4:50am this morning I knew attempting to get back to sleep would be futile, so I got up, watched some of the Commonwealth Games, and made Granola.

 

INGREDIENTS

350g Oats

70g Flaked Almonds

70g Pecans, chopped into small pieces

2 tsp Cinnamon

140g Dried Apricots, chopped into small pieces

250ml Honey

60ml Rapeseed Oil

METHOD

Add all the dry ingredients to a bowl and then add the honey and oil.

Mix together and spread out across two baking trays as thinly as you can.

Bake in an oven at Gas Mark 4 for about 30 minutes, mixing half way through (I also like to swap the trays around the shelves)

I think this is my best granola recipe yet.

 

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Food Shelfie’s: What is revealed when you do a Food Inventory

I always try and do a full food inventory at least once a month, most usually after the online delivery and main shops have been done, but this month I have been slacking.

I get a bit obsessive over it. I have a notebook that is now the household notebook, where anything relevant to the home gets recorded within its pages. I also bring out the electronic kitchen scales and weigh the odd half opened packets so I can get an accurate idea of how much I have left.

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I’m having to do a bit of emergency cupboard re-arranging, as we are entering Winter. My kitchen is an extension tacked onto the house and as a result has 3 external walls. This means in Summer it is sweltering hot and in Winter it is freezing and damp.

Damp is a major issue in our house, one we are having an ongoing argument with our landlord’s over. As a result I have to have interior dehumidifiers in most of the cupboards that contain foods and I’ve had to move certain things out of the cupboards and on to the work surface to prevent mould building up. This week I had to throw away a few things that were no longer usable due to the damp conditions affecting them, and others I had to use up quickly and I know I won’t replace until the next season.

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As I love baking and am also a food hoarder I tend to buy anything and everything on the basis that I might need it one day. This is why I have 6 different dried fruits, 5 different nuts, 2 different types of  seeds and several types of sugar/sugar extracts.

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You may have heard me earlier this year refer to my ‘tin collection’, well the good news is I have mostly got that under control and only have 4 tins each of chopped tomatoes and chickpeas.

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The boy has the top drawer of the freezer, this is the meat drawer (I don’t eat meat).

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I have the next drawer down – the vegetarian food stuffs drawer. I also did it this way as when I was growing up my Dad would arrange our dinner plates in order of descending ages, so I do the same in this house with things.

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The third drawer down is the frozen vegetable drawer, and any miscellaneous items that didn’t fit in the bottom drawer.

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The bottom freezer drawer is the miscellaneous drawer, it currently has 7 slices of bread, 3 salmon fillets, a tiny bit of ice cream and about 9 individually frozen bananas. It is where the odds and sods go.

I do a food inventory each month as it helps remind me of what I actually need, and what I definitely don’t (fruit and nuts by the looks of things). I often try and set myself a challenge of using up a certain amount of things before the next food shop.

My items to use up before the next food shop are the potato waffles, the ice cream, the bananas and the salmon fillets.

 

Store Cupboard Veggie Cottage Pie

I batch cooked a load of cottage pie for tea and lunches this week. I used up A LOT of ingredients from the stores.

Things banished from the cupboards include:

100g dried soya mince (a bit of a faff to prepare but so cheap)

1 x 400g tin Haricot Beans

1 x 400g tin cut green beans

1 x 400g tin green lentils

1 x 400g carton of pasatta

Frozen peppers, onion and sweetcorn

2 ginormous sweet potatoes

2 tiny jacket potatoes

Cheese

Last of the BBQ sauce (adds a kick)

all but 2 of my carrots

Stock

Tomato Puree

Herbs

You see the picture? That is the overflow cottage pie, I have another dish twice the size of that cooling down in the kitchen.

What’s the difference between a cottage pie and a shepherd’s pie? Apparently Cottage Pie traditionally uses Beef mince, and Shepherd’s Pie traditionally uses Lamb.

I used neither, but soya mince more resembles beef mince than it does lamb, that is why this is a veggie cottage pie.

 

Store Cupboard Hummus

Although my tin collection is going down I still have plenty of tins on long term lease in the cupboards. 2 were banished today.

STORE CUPBOARD HUMMUS

INGREDIENTS

1 X 300g tin of Broad Beans

1 x 400g tin of Chickpeas

Garlic

Lemon Juice

Tahini Paste

Paprika

Olive Oil

METHOD

There’s not much to it. Empty the tinned beans and rinse them. Boil them for about 10 minutes to soften them up. Pour into a food processor (if you have a small one like me you may need to do it in batches) and add lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, tahini paste and paprika to taste.

I didn’t really keep track but I estimate I used roughly 6 tsp of tahini, 5 tbsp of olive oil, 3 tbsp of lemon juice and lots of paprika and garlic as you can never have too much.