Monthly Archives: January 2012

Homemade Granola Bars

I’ve got granola bars in the oven to send with Matt on his 65 mile hike this weekend.  I am pretty sure by the end of the three days, he will loathe the sight of “snack foods,” but I hope during the hike, he will be reminded of the sweetness of home when he has these granola bars for breakfast.  We don’t spend many days apart.  We are each others’ favorite thing.  I would honestly rather be doing nothing with him than doing something with someone else.  Like eating granola bars.

This recipe is easy and wonderfully adaptable.  Take a gander:

Chewy Granola Bars

Makes: 16ish bars, depending on the cut

Ingredients:

4 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup AP flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
12 tbs butter (1.5 sticks – melted.  It’s a lot of dry ingredients, don’t panic)
3/4 cup honey (I warm it up in the microwave slightly to be easily mixed)
2 cups of mix-ins.  Whatever you prefer.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325

Mix all the dry ingredients together.   Add the vanilla, melted butter and honey and mix well.  This part takes some dedication – I think the best thing to use is a wooden spoon.  It’s just a lot of dry ingredients and it needs to be mixed pretty thoroughly.  After well incorporated and no super sandy oats are left at the bottom of the bowl (they lurk – dig for them), mix in whatever you love the most.  I typically use dried fruits.  For this batch, I used dried prunes, apricots, blueberries, cherries and cranberries (all dry – I think fresh berries would be too wet.)  Two cups’ worth.  I dump the fruit in and mix it all up with my hands.  I like touching my food.  However, you could substitute one of the cups of mix-ins with a cup of dark chocolate chips or cashews or toasted coconut – the options are really endless.

Press mixture into a greased, 9×13″ pan.  I press it down pretty firmly so I can have more solid bars.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown on top.  Let cool COMPLETELY before cutting, or they will crumble apart.  I  dumped a bunch of dark chocolate chips on top of the bars as soon as they came out of the oven and once the chips melted, I spread it around to make a smooth topping.  The chocolate firms up when cooled and you have an awesome chocolately top layer on your granola bars and at least two or three more people who like you better than before you let them try one.

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2012

Things I want to accomplish in 2012:

  1. Learn how to roller blade.  I don’t know how to do any kind of activity that involves making my feet go faster than they should.  This includes skiing of all terrains (snow, water),  skating – ice or roller, and running.  Running had a short but glorious stint that started and ended in kindergarten.  It lasted long enough for me to come in first in the 50 yard dash.
  2. Keep up guitar.  I’m really enjoying it and far too many new moms give the mom excuse for quitting things they used to love doing.
  3. Read at least 5 books – real books, not baby or self-help or cookbooks.  5 might seem low to you, but I’m a VERY easily distracted reader, although I do love reading.  And with a new baby needing my services every few hours, I will have even more distractions.  But I want to keep reading so that I can keep participating in the outside world.
  4. Drop baby weight plus 20 more.  This will take me back down to where I was before 2011 began and I stayed pregnant all year.  Of course I need to lose more, but I want to keep realistic goals.
  5. Have a baby that is happy and sleeps through the night by 3 months.  Oh, it CAN be done.  I’ve read Baby Wise.  Feel free to not comment on this one, especially if you’re a mom ; )  I don’t like my dreams beat down right away.
  6. Book 6 more weddings.  I already have 6 in the books for 2012, but I’d like 12 .  Seems like a good number for me for a year with a new baby.  I also want to focus more on doing just weddings and get better at them.
  7. I want to stick to my resolution to take one day at a time.  I get so caught up in worrying about the future that I find myself fretting for hours at a time about things I have absolutely no control over!  I see the potential, if not addressed, for this habit to really wreak havoc on my new family.  No one wants or needs a mom who worries about every little thing and from what I’ve heard, babies can feel anxiety whether you state your worries out loud or not!   This resolution should just be called: Be More Like Matt

I think 7 is enough.  If I kept going for making it to 10’s sake, I’d just start putting things like, “make my bed every day!” So I stop here.  Hold me to these!  What are your goals for this year?

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Filed under General Hoo-Ha