When guests come to visit, I try and load my bases. Full freezer, full fridge, full cupboards, full tank of gas, empty schedule.
A recent kitchen marathon found me with 2 loaves of bread, 8 cups of granola, 8 cups of fresh yogurt, and 5 cups of pureed pumpkin. Somehow I imagine that if I feed my guests really well, they'll never notice that anything is amiss in the rest of the house. (Just today I found finger marks in the butter where my one-year-old was grabbing handfuls, a pile of wood shavings in my bathroom where my four-year-old was peeling the veneer off the door, bite marks in the soap bar, and a pile of grout chunks where my four-year-old had been peeling the grout. Basically, if it's loose, she WILL peel it. Her bedroom window has no caulk left along the bottom edge.)
Anyway. Good food = partial blindness to the rest of the house. Cooking = marvelous and practical way to burn off my nervous energy. (There's a reason I blog, rather than talking to real people. Like, face to face. Just thinking about it... no, we won't think about that.) Let's just say that houseguests, no matter how beloved, make me real nervous.
So. If you have a little energy to burn (this won't burn much, though) and maybe a helper to do the dumping and stirring, this isn't a bad way to go. You can make up a huge batch and store the extras in the freezer.
There are endless variations- one batch today had honey, pecans, and orange extract as well as vanilla. The other had maple syrup, pecans, extra cinnamon, and dried cherries. I love the roasted taste the pecans get in the oven.
4 cups oats
1 1/2 cups nuts (I love pecans)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup honey (or other liquid- maple syrup is nice, too)
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups dried fruit, coconut, etc.
Stir together the dry ingredients, then mix together oil and honey and microwave or heat on the stove. Stir in vanilla to the wet ingredients, then stir wet ingredients into the dry.
Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 40 minutes, stirring every ten minutes. (You don't have to do this part, I often don't. Just make sure the edges aren't toasting too darkly.)
Let cool, stir in dried fruit, and store.