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granola and crackers

a couple of weeks ago, i decided it was fine time to organize my pantry.  i have an amazing pantry, but it was always so hard to find what i needed. i realized that i was experiencing food clutter! i didn’t take before pictures, but if you remember what my electronic storage before picture looked like…imagine that in the form of baking supplies, dry goods, canned goods, and a host of miscellaneous items~big problem. i devoured blogs on the subject and wanted to buy pretty clear glass storage containers, label makers, shelf liners, and new mason jars, but my budget won’t allow for it.  so i spent an hour scrubbing off labels from store bought glass jars that i had on hand, masking tape will do the trick for labels, and in the spring i’ll paint the shelves.  i still have to find containers for my flours, sugars, and pastas and work out where to store the camping coolers, wine making supplies, and reusable grocery bags but here’s what it looks like now.   
PANTRY AFTER (can you believe this is the improvement:) 

after organizing the pantry i was inspired to use up some of my bulk dry goods. also, i hit my grocery store budget befoer i got to put multi-grain cheerios in the cart.
my cousin-in-law (she’s my husband’s first cousin’s wife) lindsay over at mountain mama made some of soulemama‘s granola (from ‘cooking with whole foods’ by cynthia layer) the last time we visited, and i’d been meaning to try the recipe ever since.

like i always say…get out everything you need first.  this picture is of the dry ingredients. the porridge mix already has flax seed added. the recipe calls for almonds and sesame seeds, but i used pistachios and flax because i had them on hand.

now for the wet ingredients. the recipe also calls for almond extract, but dan has a nut allergy so i left it out. (did you know pistachios are the single-seeded stone fruit of the pistachio tree?)  i’m not really following the recipe am i? i used oil, maple syrup and apple juice too…all from the original recipe.

 add the wet to the dry…
 mix
 spread out on baking sheet
 and voila! homemade granola
 mmmm…yum!

 the other thing i didn’t have room in my grocery budget for was crackers. my boys love ritz crackers. lately i’ve been worried about the amount of packaging that leaves my home. i’m pretty conscious about it, but still, i bring two grocery bags a week to the recycling bin. part of making my own granola and crackers, is reducing my household waste. who really knows what gets recycled or what goes to the landfill anyways? so back to the ritz crackers. i found stef over at cupcake project
who did all the trial and error for me, and so i tried her recipe i only made one change. her recipe called for 2/3 c. water, but i only used 1/3.  the beauty of this recipe is that the whole thing is made in your food processor! my little helper winston loves kitchen appliances!

 i didn’t have fancy scalloped cracker size cookie cutters, so i used my shot glass…courtesy of my cousins colin and candice’s wedding. best wedding favour ever!

not the prettiest crackers, but they sure taste good!