Monday, December 3, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Find more menu plans at!

It looks like a pretty normal week ahead, and it's great to have a menu plan in place so I have one less thing to think about.  Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday--Honey Baked Chicken with Stove Top, roasted Brussels sprouts and acorn squash rings.

Monday--Chicken Pot Pie

Tuesday--I'm going to try a pizza potato casserole

Wednesday--I've been seeing a lot of butternut squash pasta recipes, so I'm going to try one

Thursday--I haven't decided yet.  Hubby won't be here to eat, so something easy for the kids and me


Saturday--Soup and bread

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I finally made roasted Brussels sprouts for the first time.  They were really easy to make, and I liked them! (Pretty basic recipe, but I followed one from

1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and yellow leaves removed
3 T. olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place trimmed Brussels sprouts, olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper in a large resealable plastic bag. Seal tightly, and shake to coat. Pour onto a baking sheet, and place on center oven rack.
  3. Roast in the preheated oven for 30 to 45 minutes, shaking pan every 5 to 7 minutes for even browning. Reduce heat when necessary to prevent burning. Brussels sprouts should be darkest brown, almost black, when done. Adjust seasoning with kosher salt, if necessary. Serve immediately.

Acorn Squash Rings

I used part of this recipe from Taste of Home.

1 large acorn squash
1 T. butter
1 T. maple syrup

Cut ends from squash.  Slice squash widthwise into four rings; remove seeds.  Place rings on a greased, foil-lines baking pan.  In a small saucepan, bring butter and maple syrup to a boil.  (I did this in the microwave.) Brush each ring with syrup mixture.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake another 10-15 minutes, basting with syrup mixture. (I didn't cover the squash, or rebaste at any time.)

Honey Baked Chicken

This recipe came in an email.

1 (3 pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces (I used a combination of boneless/skinless breasts and thighs)
1/2 cup butter, melted (I used a little less, about 6 tablespoons)
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup prepared mustard
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. curry powder
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place chicken pieces in a shallow baking pan, skin side up. Combine the melted butter or margarine, honey, mustard, salt and curry powder and pour the mixture over the chicken. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 1/4 hours (75 minutes), basting every 15 minutes with pan drippings, until the chicken is nicely browned and tender and the juices run clear. (Because I used boneless chicken, I only baked for one hour)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Lots of menu plans at!

It's a short menu this week because we're not hosting Thanksgiving, we'll be visiting instead.  I used up enough things in my freezer to have room for the turkey I bought on Saturday.  Here's what we're eating (part of) this week:

Sunday--Beef and Bean Taco Casserole
Monday--Leftovers as we're going to be going in too many different directions to eat together
Tuesday--Round steak in the crockpot, mashed potatoes, vegetable
Wednesday--Something with chicken
Thursday through Saturday--Someone else is cooking!  Well, I guess we will be home Saturday evening, but we'll keep it simple, maybe frozen pizza or stopping somewhere on our way home

Last week I had Stir Fry Chicken on the menu, but I had been eating leftovers with peppers so I wanted to try something different.  I found this Sesame Chicken that we ate instead.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Ultimate Potato Soup

1 pound bacon, chopped (I didn't use a whole pound, only about 1/2 pound)
2 stalks celery, diced
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 cups chicken stock, or enough to cover potatoes
3 T. butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream (I used half and half)
1 tsp. dried tarragon
3 tsp. chopped fresh cilantro (I did not use cilantro)
salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until done. Remove bacon from pan, and set aside. Drain off all but 1/4 cup of the bacon grease.
  2. In the bacon grease remaining in the pan, saute the celery and onion until onion begins to turn clear. Add the garlic, and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cubed potatoes, and toss to coat. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Return the bacon to the pan (I didn't add the bacon to she soup, I added on top of the soup at serving time), and add enough chicken stock to just cover the potatoes. Cover, and simmer until potatoes are tender.
  3. In a separate pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Cook stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the heavy cream, tarragon and cilantro. Bring the cream mixture to a boil, and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir the cream mixture into the potato mixture. Puree about 1/2 the soup, and return to the pan. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  4. I also sprinkled some cheddar cheese on top.

Menu Plan Monday

More menu plans at!

My mission this week is to use up items in my freezer to make room for a turkey.  We'll be going out of town for Thanksgiving, but I'm still buying a turkey because they're so cheap this time of year, and we'll make it for our own family another day.  I made brownies over the weekend and used up the pail of ice cream that was taking up a lot of room.  We'll have smoothies for snack or breakfast a couple times this week to use up some frozen fruit.  Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday--I used the sweet Italian sausage in the freezer and the spaghetti squash on the counter and also sauteed some garlic/onions/bell peppers/diced Italian tomatoes.  Added the sausage to the veggies and served it over the spaghetti squash.

Pile of peppers

Monday--Roast from the freezer, trying the new Green Giant Seasoned Steamers, and a veggie

Tuesday--Chicken stir fry with brown rice, using chicken and peppers from the freezer

Wednesday--Turkey meatloaf using ground turkey from the freezer, sweet potatoes, veggie

Thursday--Hot ham and cheese sandwiches and sweet potato fries (from the freezer, of course!) with fruit

Friday--Homemade pizza, will use pepperoni, peppers, cheese from the freezer

Saturday--Homemade vegetable soup that is in jars in the freezer, just thawed and heated in the crock pot, with homemade bread

I won't be grocery shopping until Saturday or Sunday, so I think I'll be able to make room for the turkey!

For bread last week, I made Caraway Swirl Rye Bread from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Lots of menu plans at!

I'm glad to have less things going on this week--last week was so busy!  But it was great to have a menu plan in place to give me one less thing to think about.  Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday--Roast chicken, mashed potatoes, acorn squash rings
Monday--Beef stew
Tuesday--I'm going to try Swai fish for the first time
Wednesday--Parent/Teacher conferences right around supper time, so I'll get taco fixings ready earlier in the day so it will be easy to put together when we get home
Thursday--Spaghetti made with spaghetti squash
Saturday--Soup/homemade bread

I made Olive Bread last week:

I'll be putting up recipes for Ultimate Potato Soup and the Acorn Squash Rings soon!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Find more menu plans at!

We have extra people at our house this week here and there, and a day off school for the kids.  It should be a fun week!  Here's what we're eating:
Sunday--Hotdish (as we say in Minnesota, made with penne, spaghetti sauce, ground beef and mozzarella cheese, baked in the oven)
Monday--BBQ meatballs, baked potatoes, green beans
Tuesday--Reuben chicken
Wednesday--Pork chops and sides TBD
Thursday--Chicken on a Bun and sides TBD

I haven't figured out complete menus for each day, but at least I have a starting point.

For bread this week, I made the European Peasant Bread from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.

I have added recipes for Maple Meat Loaf, Pineapple Coconut Muffins and Black Cat Cookies this week.

Black Cat Cookies

My kids helped me make these Black Cat Cookies over the weekend.  I got the recipe from a Land O' Lakes email, but there are similar recipes on many sites.

2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
3 eggs
1 T. vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp, salt
candy corn
red cinnamon candies (I didn't have any, so we used peanuts and chocolate stars)

1.  Combine sugar and butter in large bowl; beat at medium speed until well mixed.  Add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add vanilla; beat until well mixed.

2.  Combine all remaining ingredients except candies in medium bowl.  Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture to butter mixture.  Beat until well mixed.

3.  Divide dough in half.  Shape each half into a ball; flatten to 1/2 inch.  Wrap each half in plastic food wrap.  Refrigerate until firm (at least 2 hours--I did ours overnight).

4.  Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Roll out dough on lightly floured surface, one-half at a time (keeping remaining dough refrigerated), to 1/4-inch thickness.  Cut with 3-inch round cookie cutters.  Place onto ungreased cookie sheets.

5.  Using fingers, pinch up ears at top of each circle.  Place 2 pieces candy corn onto cookies for eyes and 1 red cinnamon candy for nose.  Press tines of fork on each side of cookie below eyes to form whiskers.

6.  Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are set.  Let cool 1 minutes on cookie sheet; remove to wire cooling rack.

Pineapple Coconut Muffins

The Parade magazine for October 7, 2012, "Around the Table" the table article was "Muffin Mania."  It had a basic muffin recipe for making a dozen muffins, with eight mix-in options for different varieties, including Oatmeal, Raisin, Lemon Poppy Seed and Apple Pie.  I opted to try the Pineapple Coconut version.

2 cups flour
1 T. baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray or line muffin cups with paper liners.

2.  In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.  In a large bowl, beat eggs, milk, oil and vanilla for 1 minute on medium.  Add flour mixture.  Beat just until no streaks of flour remain--do not overmix!

3.  Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until tops of muffins spring back when pressed lightly.  Transfer muffins to a rack to cool slightly.

For pineapple coconut variety:  Stir 1/2 cup shredded, sweetened coconut and 1/4 cup drained, chopped canned pineapple into batter.  Sprinkle each muffin with 1 tsp. coconut before baking.

Maple Meat Loaf

When we were at the Bayfield Apple Fest, my husband stopped by the Three Rivers Farm maple syrup booth to check out the gourmet syrups.  He picked out the bourbon maple syrup, which the owner said was great in meatloaf made with ground pork and ground ham.  We got a packet of recipes with the syrup, and wondered where someone could find ground ham.  It turns out, I was looking through the Zup's (our local grocery store) ad for the week a couple days later, and one of the meats on sale was a ground pork/ground ham mixture!  So I bought a couple pounds of the ground meat and tried this Maple Meat Loaf recipe from Three Rivers Farm.

2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup fine bread crumbs (I used panko bread crumbs)
1 pound ground ham
12 oz. ground pork
1/2 cup maple syrup (I used the bourbon maple syrup, of course)
2 T. water
2 T. cider vinegar (I used regular vinegar as it's all I had on hand)
1/2 tsp. dry mustard (I didn't have any dry mustard, so I just added a squirt of yellow mustard)
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

In a large bowl, mix eggs and milk; stir in bread crumbs.  Add ham and pork; mix well.  Lightly pat into an oblong 10 x a5 loaf shape in 11 x 7 1/2 inch baking dish.

For sauce:
In bowl, mix maple syrup, water, vinegar, mustard and cloves.  Pour half over meat, reserve remaining sauce. 

Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for one hour or until internal temperature registers 160 degrees on thermometer, basting frequently with remaingin sauce.  Remove meatloaf from oven.  Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.  Skim fat from sauce, and serve sauce with meat. 

Makes 6-8 servings.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Look through more menu plans at!

We went to Apple Fest in Bayfield, Wisconsin, this weekend, so some of the recipes this week are inspired by our experience there.  I also bought a 20 pound bag of potatoes (for only $1.99), so I need to make sure I use them up--good thing they last a long time! 

Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday--Creamy Baked Chicken Breasts, broccoli, leftover potatoes/carrots
Monday--Meatloaf made with Bourbon Maple Syrup, mashed potatoes, corn
Wednesday--Grilled cheese/tomato soup
Thursday--Clean out the "kid food" from the freezer: there are a few chicken nuggets, a couple of chicken patties, and some corn dogs
Friday--Homemade pizza
Saturday--Soup and homemade bread

I put recipes up this week for Braised Herb Chicken Thighs with Potatoes, Lasagna and Apple Bread Pudding.

Adventures in Breadmaking: White Sandwich Bread

I made a batch of the original boule dough from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and made a loaf the the White Sandwich Bread.  We ate it fresh with a meal, and didn't even get a chance to try it for sandwiches, but it was really good.

With what was left of the dough, I made the original recipe and ended up with a nice loaf that had a funny air bubble on top.

Apple Bread Pudding

We went to Apple Fest in Bayfield, Wisconsin, last weekend, and came home with some apples!  I've been thinking about making bread pudding for a couple of weeks now, so I looked for a recipe that included apples.  I adapted this recipe from the Gramma's Apple Bread Pudding on

4 cups soft bread cubes (I used some kaiser rolls that were getting dry)
1/4 cup raisins (I used 1/2 cup)
2 cups peeled and sliced apples
1 cup brown sugar
1 3/4 cups milk
1/4 butter
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 7 x 11 inch baking dish.

In a large bowl (I did this right in the pan), combine bread, raisins, and apples.  In a small saucepan over medium, combine brown sugar, milk and butter.  Cook and stir until butter is melted.  Pour over bread mixture.

In a small bowl, whisk together cinnamon, vanilla and eggs.  Pour over bread mixture in baking pan.

Bake in preheated oven 40-50 minutes, or until center is set and apples are tender.

In my opinion, bread pudding MUST be served warm with vanilla ice cream.


For the longest time, when I made lasagna it ended up as a soupy mess, even though it tasted good.  I have finally found a go-to lasagna recipe that works for our family.  It's adapted from the Easy Lasagna III from

10 oz. lasagna noodles (I use 14 Creamette lasagna noodles)
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
3 cups cottage cheese
2 eggs
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 T. dried parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
26 oz. jar of spaghetti sauce
2 cups mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add lasagna noodles and cook for 8-10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

In a skillet, brown ground beef.  Mix with spaghetti sauce.  In a separate bowl, using a fork, mix cottage cheese, eggs, garlic powder, parsley, salt and pepper.

In a 9 x 13 (I actually use my slightly bigger "lasagna pan") baking pan, layer noodles, ground beef mixture, cottage cheese mixture and 1 cup mozzarella cheese.  Two layers of each will fit.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Cover with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove tin foil the last 8 minutes of baking time. (I usually bake it for closer to 45 minutes, until the cheese is fully melted and starting to brown on top.)

Braised Herb Chicken Thighs with Potatoes

This recipe came from  This makes the house smell so good, and it's a simple, hearty meal for the chilly fall weather.

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 chicken thighs (about 2 pounds), skinned 
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups (2-inch-thick) slices carrot
  • 1 large onion, cut into 8 wedges 
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth 
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (I just added extra broth instead of the wine)
  • 1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes, quartered (I used cubed russet potatoes)
  1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken; seal bag, shaking to coat.
  2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add chicken and remaining flour mixture to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until lightly brown. Add carrot and onion; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add broth, wine, and potatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes or until chicken is done and vegetables are tender.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Find more meal plans at!

I did a great job of sticking to my menu plan last week--it's so nice to have it all planned out for the week.  The only change I made is having Chicken and Wild Rice Soup on Saturday instead of plain old chicken soup.  Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday--BBQ chicken strips with leftover sides from the fridge
Monday--Crock pot pork roast, baked potatoes, corn, homemade bread
Tuesday--Chicken enchiladas
Wednesday--Hamburger/potatoes/carrots/diced tomatoes in the crockpot
Thursday--Breakfast for supper

I added a recipe this week for Refrigerator Pickles.

Refrigerator Pickles

This is my favorite way to use up the bounty of cucumbers from my garden.  I adapted this from

  • 6 cups thinly sliced pickling cucumbers (about 2 pounds) 
  • 2 cups thinly sliced onion
  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds (instead of these spices, I used 2 tsp. of pickling spice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (I don't use garlic in my refrigerator pickles)

  1. Place 3 cups cucumber in a medium glass bowl; top with 1 cup onion. Repeat procedure with the remaining 3 cups cucumber and remaining 1 cup onion.
  2. Combine vinegar and remaining ingredients in a small saucepan; stir well. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute. Pour over cucumber mixture; let cool. Cover and chill at least 4 days.

Packed in a jar

I usually put these in jars instead of a bowl.  Depending on how tightly I pack the cucumbers, I sometimes need to make more vinegar/sugar mixture.

With vinegar and spices

Adventures in Breadmaking: Couronne and Pain d'Epi

This week I continued with Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by making Couronne and Pain d'Epi.  Couronne is a ring-shaped bread.  Pain d'Epi, or wheat stalk bread, is shaped like a stalk of wheat.  I need to work on my shaping technique still, but the Pain d'Epi was really good.  It was crunchy on the outside and light and chewy on the inside.


Pain d'Epi

Monday, September 17, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Visit for more menu plans!
The weather is looking a whole lot like fall this week, with highs expected to be in the 50's most of the week.  I spend more time in the kitchen when the weather cools off.  Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday--Roasted turkey breast, sweet potatoes, carrots
Monday--Spaghetti and garlic bread
Tuesday--Fish, pasta side, veggie
Wednesday--Parmesan Drumsticks, mashed potatoes, veggie
Thursday--Hot ham and cheese sandwiches, applesauce, raw veggies
Saturday--Chicken soup

I added a recipe for Blueberry Crumb Bars this week.

Adventures in Breadmaking: Ciabatta Bread

I got the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois for Christmas last year and have been working my way through the different recipes.  The book has a base recipe and then additions and different shapes/sizes for different types of bread.  This week I tried Ciabatta Bread.  It is oblong-shaped and rather flat.  We ate it with the chili I made.

Blueberry Crumb Bars

 From--where else?
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup shortening (I used butter)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 4 cups fresh blueberries (I used frozen)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons cornstarch
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder. Mix in salt and cinnamon, if desired. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the shortening (butter) and egg. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.
  3. In another bowl, stir together the sugar and cornstarch. Gently mix in the blueberries. Sprinkle the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares. 
We had these the first day warm with ice cream, and after that cold from the refrigerator.  They were great both ways!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

I haven't linked up with Menu Plan Monday in many months, but with the kids back in school, I'm getting back into all kinds of routines, including menu planning.  Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday--Corn dogs, mixed garden veggies, applesauce
Tuesday--Cubed steak, mashed potatoes, veggie
Wednesday--Spaghetti and garlic bread
Thursday--Grilled cheese and tomato soup
Friday--Homemade pizza
Saturday--Homemade vegetable soup

I also put up two new recipes for Stovetop Granola and Cinnamon Raisin Bread.

Stovetop Granola

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Find many more weekly menu plans at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

This is another recipe from

  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (105 degrees to 115 degrees)
  • 2 cups warm milk (110 to 115 degrees F)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 5 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups raisins
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • GLAZE:
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
 In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add milk, 1/3 cup sugar, oil, salt and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Add raisins and enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/4 hours. Punch dough down. On a lightly floured surface, divide in half. Roll each into a 15-in. x 7-in. rectangle. Combine cinnamon and remaining sugar; sprinkle over dough. Sprinkle with water. Starting with a short side, roll up tightly, jelly-roll style. Pinch seams and ends to seal. Place, seam side down, in two greased 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over loaves. 

I've made this with and without the glaze--it's great either way!  Like all homemade bread, it dries out quickly, but makes wonderful toast with honey; it also works for french toast. 

It's obviously been awhile since I updated this blog, because now I realize I already posted this recipes.  Oops! 

Stovetop Granola

I adapted this recipe from, taking some of the suggestions in the comments to cut down on the butter and brown sugar used.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup butter (I used 2 T. butter)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar (I used 2 T. butter)
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds (I had sliced almonds that I used)
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries (I didn't have cranberries on hand this time)
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oats then cook and stir until starting to brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. (I also added about 1/3 cup of coconut with the oats.) Remove from heat and spread out on a cookie sheet to cool.
  2. Melt the butter in the same pan over medium heat. Stir in the honey and brown sugar; cook, stirring constantly, until bubbly. Return the oats to the pan. Cook and stir for another 5 minutes or so. Pour out onto the cookie sheet and spread to cool.
  3. Once cool, transfer to an airtight container and stir in the almonds and dried cranberries. Any additional nuts and fruit can be stirred in at this time also. 
After I cooked it on the stove top and poured it on the cookie sheet, I baked it in a 275 degree oven for 10 minutes, then left it in the oven an additional 10 minutes with the oven door open.  It ended up nice and crispy instead of being chewy.