My Favorite Non-Dinner Dinner

Last Thursday, I fed my kids kettle corn for dinner.

It was an unprecedented move in the Love Well household. Normally, dinner is the one time each day when we all sit down together and eat a balanced meal. (As opposed to the leftover PB&J crusts and half-eaten carrots and bruised halves of the apple some of us eat for lunch.)

But last Thursday, we arrived home from an afternoon at the beach around 5:00 PM, blissfully exhausted. Kieran, who didn't enjoy the sunshine, heat and humidity as much as the rest of us, promptly fell into a sound sleep. The other kids begged for an hour of DVR'd "Phineas and Ferb." And I was tracking a swath of severe thunderstorms that were headed straight for the tiny town where we used to live.

(For the record, the storm did end up dropping monster tornadoes on our old stomping grounds. The last count I saw said eight confirmed tornadoes touched down in that county. One of them was a Kansas-style EF-4, a half-mile-wide twister with wind speeds around 170 miles an hour. It was an astounding evening that had me glued to my radar. Even more amazing? One of my best friends from tiny town, who is a fellow weather geek, kept me up-to-date on what she was seeing and hearing via Facebook chat. I love technology.)

Anyway. I was preoccupied, the kids were exhausted, and kettle corn is addictive. If you will forgive me, it was the perfect food storm.

And I'm sure it won't be the last. As much as I love summer produce, I hate to sacrifice my precious summer daylight in order to cook dinner. I wrote about that over at 5 Minutes for Parenting today.

And if you need a suggestion for a blow-off dinner that doesn't entail kettle corn, may I suggest BooMama's Granola? Megan at Fried Okra tipped me off to its fabulousness a few months ago. Up to that point, I had never found my granola prince, despite kissing many frogs. But this granola is easy to make, has basic, I-know-everything-in-it ingredients and is OHMYGRANNY delicious. I seriously have a bowl every day. (Maybe that's why I still have 20 baby pounds to lose? Oy.)

I tinkered ever so slightly with BooMama's version. I use raw pecans and almonds, roughly chopped, instead of the sliced almond variety. I also add in more nuts. And I always ALWAYS make a double-batch (which is what you see in the recipe below). The first time I made it, I ate the whole thing in about one sitting. That's not good for the ego. Now I just make more, and I feel better when there are leftovers.

BooMama's Quick Oatmeal Granola (with a few Love Well Modifications)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the following in a small bowl (I use a measuring cup):
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup melted butter
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Then, in a big bowl, combine:
3 cups uncooked regular oats (not instant or quick oats, mind you; the real deal oats)
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup chopped raw almonds
1/3 cup chopped raw pecans
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt

Pour the butter/honey mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well.

Spread onto a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.

Eat a bowl of granola and milk before bed each night. Or serve for dinner if the sunshine beckons. Enjoy!


  1. That granola recipe made my mouth water. And I just got up from the dinner table!

  2. I forgot to mention that I eat popcorn for dinner most Sunday nights! (Our big meal is after church and everyone fends for themselves for supper.)

    Oh, and I loved the "dinner will wait" post! That first paragraph was astounding - so descriptive.

    Except I don't think we have "the back side of warm" in Texas. We have Hot, Hotter, and Scorching.

  3. Popcorn was a Sunday night staple growing up, a big free-for-all bowl of the stove top popped stuff (this well before the wonder that is the microwave).

    The granola looks awesome.

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  5. DOH! I had almost put that stinkin' delicious granola recipe out of my heart and out of my head and along you go rekindling the fire! Now I'm gonna be dreamin' about granola until I make some, and then I'll be dreamin' about it AND eatin' it until it's gone, and THEN I'll have to go through the many horrific stages of BooMama's Granola Withdrawal again. Please, for the love of my thighs, do not blog about this again in a fortnight, okay? PS They sell oatmeal in packages that would just about fill the back of my 4Runner at Costco. Imagine how many batches you could make with that. There's something for both of us to dream about! YUM.

  6. Oh man, I love kettle corn. And if Nick's not home I never eat a normal dinner. Too much work, too little time. I say, you go girl!

  7. I can't eat popcorn, but I do love me some homemade granola! I may just have to try that one. Mmmmm.

  8. Oh, oh, oh...I was that friend..I was that freind!! It was a blast 'chatting' with you through all of that. (My kids thought I was crazy!) And by the way...they ate cold, dried out chicken nuggets that night! Sure wish you were here to see all of the damage from those tornadoes....heart-wrenching and unbelievable. By the way, I TOTALLY agree with the feeling of cooking in the summer! Who wants to come in out of the beautiful weather..(if we'd ever get some), and COOK????