Homemade: Gingerbread Waffles and Granola

OH how I, Kate, LOVE to cook/bake/create in my kitchen...as small and awkward as it is, I love spending time there.  My parents have taught me many techniques, however, the best one is to love and enjoy the process. I still can remember every time (which is at LEAST every Sunday of almost my whole 28 years) my father created bread from scratch and just seeing him take in the smell of rising yeasty bread and passing it around for us all to take a full scent...mmmmmm the memories!  Anyway as I ramble through my thoughts, I wanted to share with you today two yummy recipes from a book I received from a dear friend, Little Jane, for my wedding last year.  It is called: Better Homes and Gardens, Anyone Can Cook.

Gingerbread Waffles
2 cups flour
1 T baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup cooking oil or butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 T molasses (I used real maple syrup)

1. Stir dry ingredients and make a well in the center of the mixture...set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, beat eggs lightly, stir in milk, oil, vanilla, molasses.  Add egg mixture all at once to the flour mixture.  Stir just until moistened (batter should be slightly lumpy)
3. Add batter to a preheated, lightly greased waffle baker.  Close lid quickly and do not open until done.

Makes 12-16, 4 inch waffles or 6, 7 inch waffles

NOTE TO SELF: waffles are done when steam stops escaping from the sides of the baker (or if the indicator light comes on)
Now I had leftovers, so I bagged them and placed in fridge.  For breakfast, I toasted them...delicious....

4 cups regular rolled oats
1 cup desired nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, cashews....)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cooking oil
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup (I used real maple syrup...truly amazing)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup desired dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, mango, apples, etc)
1/2 cup other desired ingredient (flaked coconut, semisweet chocolate pieces, butterscotch-flavored pieces, peanut butter flavored pieces, roasted pumpkin seed...YUM)

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  In a 15x10x1 inch baking sheet combine oats and desired nuts; set aside.  In a 1 to 1 1/2 quart saucepan combine, brown sugar, oil, honey, salt, and cinnamon.  Heat and stir over medium heat until mixture is combined and smooth; stir in vanilla.  Pour sugar mixture over oats mixture, stirring until well coated.
2.Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 min. or until mixture is golden brown, stirring carefully every 10 min.  Stir in dried fruit.  Spread granola onto buttered foil; cool completely. Stir in other desired ingredients.

-store granola in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week (if it lasts that long...) OR freeze for up to 3 months.  Makes 15 (1/2 cup) servings...250 calories per serving!

Enjoy...I'll attach photo's once I upload them! I just wanted to pass on the love of food as quickly as possible...
Let Little Off North see what you have created in your kitchen!

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