Brown Sugar and Honey Granola

Learning about healthy eating can be an adventure. You make a weekly menu that looks more appetizing than pizza being delivered, and a long grocery list to go with it. You explore the aisles of the grocery store. You carry home bags of groceries.

But for beginner cooks, the adventure of learning to eat healthy often ends at the doorway of the kitchen. The reason: Their kitchens are organized for reheating packaged frozen meals, while drawers are stuffed with take-out delivery menus, condiment packages, paper plates and plastic utensils.

Don’t give up so easily. There’s a book explaining all one needs to know about a kitchen.

Kate Payne’s new book, The Hip Girl’s Guide to the Kitchen

Kate Payne’s new book, The Hip Girl’s Guide to the Kitchen, explains the art of organizing a kitchen, stocking a pantry, packing a refrigerator, and entertaining guests. Along the way, she offers encouraging recipes for new cooks intimated by their kitchens, especially if their budget is tight.

Payne says her book isn’t a cookbook. Instead, it’s meant to be a “kitchen friend.” Her recipes are written informally to guide kitchen novices toward the mindset of experienced cooks who rarely follow recipes.

Her Brown Sugar and Honey Granola (see recipe here) is a basic and delicious nutty cereal to mix in with yogurt (either buy it or make in your kitchen by using The Hip Girl’s Guide’s recipe for homemade yogurt) or sprinkle over ice cream. As Payne explains, learning to make homemade granola is the perfect food project for a beginner, and the ingredients can be altered based on what’s in an organized pantry.

The Hip Girl’s Guide isn’t just for kitchen novices. It’s a helpful reference guide for experienced cooks needing refreshing tips, such as how to hone and sharpen a knife, when to and not to buy food in bulk, why organic food is better (without the scientific jargon), and how to effectively use the refrigerator’s crisper drawer. Beginner cooks anxious about their initial foray in a kitchen can now relax and have fun creating meals while hosting guests with their “kitchen friend.”

Visit Parade.com to get the recipe for Payne’s Brown Sugar and Honey Granola.