Category Archives: Cooking

Trail Mix (G.O.R.P)

We are headed to Beaver Creek, CO in a few days and it got me thinking about trail mix.  This delightful little snack has an unbelievable amount of real estate in my pantry.  I love it because there are so many creative things you can do with it.  It travels anywhere.  It keeps for a long time.  It’s healthy– usually– but it doesn’t have to be.  It can be given as a gift for just about any occasion: new house, new baby, Christmas, Thanksgiving, hospital visits, school lunches and party treats.  You can almost always have the ingredients on hand to make some.  It’s so quick, it’s so yummy and it’s so personalizeable.  (My college age cousin loves to raid our pantry and use whatever we can find to whip up a batch to take back to school with him.)  Plus, there are adorable ways to wrap it- put it in a clear treat bag, tie with cute ribbon, add a love tag and viola– fabulous homemade gift.  I love the endlessness of possibilities.  Ahhhhhhh……

It is quite the topic of conversation in our house too.  For some reason we have had lots of experiences in our married life that relate back to trail mix and some seriously funny inside stories to go with it.  One of the funniest ones Big A and I love to talk about is this and I am not embellishing it.

Several years ago we were at Disney Worlds’ Magic Kingdom.  (some of the most fun we’ve ever had is watching other families who have traveled from everywhere “Do Disney”).  So we are sitting and waiting in a little cove waiting for Belle’s Story Time to begin and this mom and dad beside us whip out what we now call “Disney Trail Mix.”  Please believe this.  Disney Trail Mix consists of:  mini snickers bars, chocolate chip teddy grahams, peanut m&m’s, and fruit loops.  I am dead serious. All mixed together in a tupperware.   Some of you are saying, “Ya? So?”

Some people call trail mix G.O.R.P.  Is that only in the East?  Growing up in Texas, I never heard G.O.R.P. in my life.  But I found out it stands for Good Ole Raisins and Peanuts.  Just a little but of trivia for those of you who never knew and/or never cared to know that.  I’m probably the only one who didn’t know it though.

Here are some ingredients you can keep stocked in your pantry for making trail mix anytime:

Any kind of nut you like:  cashew, almond, walnut, peanut, pistachio, macadamia

Sunflower seeds or roasted pumpkin seeds

Any dried fruit you like:  raisins, cranberries, cherries, apricots, apples.  The grocery store is full of great options now.

Pretzels

Chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, cinnamon chips, white chocolate chips

Goldfish

Cereals

Mini Fig Newtons, marshmallows, corn nuts, potato stix, popcorn, mini vanilla wafers, graham sticks….

Pretty much any ingredient that is bite size.

This is my favorite combo.  Took it with us to the hospital everytime.  Salted cashews, sunflower seeds, semi sweet choco chips, dried cranberries.  Yum!

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Blueberry Crisp

One of the things we are looking forward to about being back in Florida is the berry picking (ok so they have that here too).  There were local farms everywhere that let you come and pick buckets of berries for pennies.  We were always trying to figure out creative ways to use the blueberries and one of my girlfriends introduced me to the Blueberry Crisp.  Now I am not a “hot fruit” person- no cobblers and that sort of thing but this recipe is beyond delicious.  It is incredibly simple and has a crunchy cinnamony topping and ooey gooey inside.  Mouth watering delightfulness.  I’ve tried it with other fruits as well (apples) and you can’t go wrong– the crisp part is ridiculous all by itself right out of the bowl.  You can also do individual servings in little ramekins.  Adorable.  Who doesn’t love to eat out of their own little ramekin?  I am going to do a whole post on ramekins come to think of it….

Blueberry Crisp

Place 4 cups of blueberries in the bottom of 13/9 inch pan. Sprinkle with sugar.

Combine:

2 C flour

2 C rolled oats

2 C brown sugar

2 tbsp. cinnamon

Melt 2 1/2 sticks of butter and add to flour mixture.  Mixture will be crumbly.

Spread over blueberries making sure to seal the edges.

Bake @ 350 for 50 minutes.

Serve with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, plain, warm, room temp, cold, leftover…..yum!

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Pancakes, Pancakes

Are you ready for your life to be forever changed?  Here is the most delectable Saturday morning (any morning or night) recipe.  I stumbled on it while trying to use up some leftovers in the fridge– so clearly it isn’t gourmet.  But nothing I make is, because for some reason I am always going for speed of preparation– in time maybe this will change–maybe it will not.  Big A always says, “30 minute meals is a joke compared to your 5 minute meals”.  Ya, hers probably taste a tad better.   But this one yall- this one is a crowd pleaser.  It is requested nightly around here.  But alas it cannot be had every day.  And you’ll see why in a minute.

Part one:  The pancakes.  Take a box of bisquick and make the recipe for pancakes on the back.  I one and a halfed the recipe because that feeds six perfectly (two adults/four kids).  So try to adjust accordingly.  Add about 1/2 -3/4 cup vanilla yogurt and the juice of half a lemon.  Stir batter together to incorporate.  Make the pancakes however you usually do.

Part two:  Now for the piese de resistance.  This invention (for which I cannot take credit–my mother-in-law had it at a breakfast place in NYC) is the part that will henceforth change the way you eat anything that is normally drizzled in syrup and butter.  Melt butter and add the syrup to the melted butter, then stir together.  Drizzle/dump this heavenly concoction over pancakes while still warm.  Are y’all getting this?  It is unbelieveable!  There really is no science to it- no exact measurements.  If you like it more buttery, add butter.  If you like it more syrupy, add syrup.  Go anywhere you want with it.  It’s yours now because I can’t keep it a secret anymore.

In our house we sometimes read this book to go with it: (and  yes, finally figured out how to make it link to the actual website, again I get no credit.  Big A — as usual.)

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Double Dog Dare

I double dog dare you to pack your kids lunch, make dinner for one, bring a dish for a girls get together, take food to your neighbor, basically anything having to do with food without using one drop of HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP– yuck!!  You can’t.  I double dog dare you.  Here is how this started.  My 1st grade daughter went on an incredibly cool field trip to a local theatre where they did a presentation (that’s putting it mildly since it was completely 3-D, virtual, interactive greatness) on eating healthy, nutritional foods, and the explanation of calories and exercise.   There was a whole scene on high fructose corn syrup and how it is the most terrible horrible no good very bad ingredient for you.  So, in light of my daughter’s discovery, I did what any decent mother would do, went to the grocery store and tried not to buy things with HFCS in them.  Y’all it couldn’t be done.  Salad dressings, whole wheat bread, you name it.  Consider this a challenge and I want to hear what you can find.  (Of course I know you can shop the perimeter of the grocery store and make trail mix and serve salad blah blah blah, which I do, but you can only ask your kids to eat wheat germ infused granola and raw veggies so much.)  Below is a blurry picture from the field trip.

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