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Monday, February 19, 2024

Menu Plan for Presidents' Week and My Recipe for Peanut Butter Granola

Most of last week went according to the menu plan. I had some leftovers from Valentine's Day that needed using for Thursday's dinner (fresh strawberries instead of the planned creamed spinach) and some rapidly ripening avocados and Roma tomatoes that I ended up using for Friday's dinner instead of the steamed broccoli. And of course, we had lots of waffles and scones left from Wednesday brunch to add to breakfasts, lunches and snacks for the remaining day of the week. We're back on track now with all of the leftovers gobbled up.

This week, I have another 1950s dinner menu planned. The main course is something I made for my family many years ago. It was well-received then and I expect it will be enjoyed again this week. I'm still pinning down the side dish and dessert. I'll let you know all about it later in the week.

One daughter is dog-sitting for a few days, so again, no twinner-cooking this week. 

Here's what I've got planned for our meals.

Monday (one daughter)

Curried lentils with carrots, celery, onions,  frozen garden greens, homemade chutney and brown rice

Apple wedges


Stir-fried beef  with cabbage, broccoli, carrots, green onions, Swiss chard, and homegrown mushrooms over rice

Blackberry crisp


Another rockin' 50s dinner from my mother's 1953 cookbook

Thursday (other daughter)


Mashed potatoes and gravy

Roasted broccoli


Pepperoni pizza

Creamed garden greens

Spiced fig-applesauce

Weekend dinners -- one night of miscellaneous leftovers from both fridge and freezer. The other night baked beans with ham, Cole slaw, honey-mustard carrots

Breakfasts -- peanut butter granola, Cream of Wheat, toast, eggs, peanut butter, apples, bananas, milk

Lunches -- egg salad sandwiches, peanut butter sandwiches, toasted open-face cheese sandwiches, homemade tomato-basil soup, carrot sticks, apples, raisins, cabbage, cookies, various leftovers

Peanut butter granola is something I've made for my family for many years. The recipe is my own. I came up with it as a way to boost the protein content of quick breakfasts and as a way to use up lingering jars of peanut butter in the pantry. Since I've mentioned this as a breakfast food in our house in previous weeks' menu plans, I thought I'd share the recipe today. If you're a fan of peanut butter cookies, this granola may just be your new favorite breakfast cereal. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Granola

large jelly roll pan (baking sheet with 4 raised edges)

microwaveable mixing bowl and large spoon

Butter the baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

1/2 to 2/3 cup peanut butter

6 tablespoons of brown sugar (or granulated sugar plus molasses)

1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, butter, or coconut oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 to 2 teaspoons vanilla flavoring/extract

2 tablespoons water

3 cups rolled oats

Dump all ingredients except oats into large microwaveable bowl. Stir together. (Don't worry about lumps of butter or coconut oil, if using either as your fat.) Microwave for 30 to 40 seconds. 

Finish combining these ingredients. 

Stir in the oats. (Taste a small amount for sweetness at this point.  Add additional brown sugar if desired.) 


Spread in the prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes. Check. Stir the edges into the center and spread out again. Return to oven for 9 to 10 additional minutes, until the granola looks golden. 

fully baked

Turn off oven, open the oven door a crack, stir the granola again and allow to cool in the warm oven. When completely cooled, the granola should "feel" dry when stirred. 

I bake granola on an insulated sheet (double-layered). If baked on a single-layered baking sheet, the bottom may brown faster than mine. You may want to adjust the time slightly, for example, reduce the first baking period from 20 minutes to about 18 minutes, and the second baking period from 9-10 minutes to about 8 or 9 minutes. Also, stirring the granola more frequently should prevent over-browning of the granola.


  1. Your granola sounds yummy, as do your planned meals.

    A friend of mine and I do monthly activities with the young adults in our church. This past Saturday, we had a brunch and made DIY pop tarts as an activity. We had lots of fun, but several people didn't show up, so I had a LOT of leftover breakfast casserole--so guess what we had for lunch yesterday? And for dinner tonight? I'm also taking it to work for my lunch tomorrow. Good thing my family isn't picky about leftovers. :)

    1. Hi Kris,
      Making homemade pop tarts sounds like a really fun activity. And leftover breakfast casserole sounds like a nice bonus. It's too bad there isn't a way for some of us to get together to swap some of our leftovers, like a leftover potluck.

  2. I've never had peanut butter granola, but I think I would like it. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      I can tell you this granola will reminds me a lot of peanut butter cookies. So, if you enjoy peanut butter cookies, then this granola might also be something you would enjoy. The whole house smells like peanut butter cookies when the granola is baking.

  3. Your dinner menu plan sounds scrumptious and healthy!! Thank you for your granola recipe. Granola and cereals are so expensive these days, I'm eager to try making granola myself. My husband who is the cook these days will probably insist on store bought as he does with salsa, which is easy to make, yet thinks it should be commercially ready made in a jar like ketchup. We recently bought a new stove after loosing our old one to ant infestation. Ants are finally gone from the house although we still see those ants in our property. We're aggressive applying ant repellents the minute we see them, hoping they'll give up. Fortunately we got an excellent deal at Lowe's on a Maytag stove that was half off, including a three year protection plan after one year manufacturer's warranty. According to the sales guy, the customer who ordered the stove didn't accept it at delivery because there was a small scratch and dent on the side of the stove. We don't care about that since it would be hidden between two cabinets in our kitchen. How nice it is not to have ants, and a new stove with more bells and whistles than our old stove.

    Have a great day,

    1. Hi Laura,
      I'm so glad you've gotten rid of the ant infestation. What an ordeal for you! In one house we lived in when I was growing up, we had an ant problem for several years. And it had nothing to do with how clean my mother kept the house, as she was so fastidious about cleanliness, tidiness, and allowing any food to be left out. Ants indoors can be a huge problem. What a wonderful deal you got on the new stove!

      Your husband's idea about salsa and ketchup is similar to my family's thoughts about ketchup. I've made some pretty good ketchup, but since it isn't commercial, my family seems to think it isn't quite right.

      If you do try to make the granola, I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Granola is easy to make, I think, and can be custom-tailored to likes/dislikes, allergies, and amount of sweetness desired.

      Enjoy the rest of your day, Laura!


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