Remember how I told you I like to scarf down granola bars in the middle of the night but since I haven”t been able to find any here yet I”ve been eating spoonfuls of peanut butter instead? Well, it was just too much for me to bear so I decided to create my own. I may have a problem. Not that I mind because these granola bars are even better then the ones at the store and they are so simple to make. Simple is key these days.
Life has been hectic here lately and I”m starting to realize that my once quick and simple recipes aren”t so quick and simple when you have a baby on the breast and a toddler clinging to your leg. (These two things do happen simultaneously but not while I”m cooking. I am no wonder mommy!) For the next couple of months my time in the kitchen is going to have to simplify even more. That”s when I”m thankful for recipes like this.
These No-Bake Granola Bars are fast and easy enough that I can have a half decent snack lying around without getting stressed out in the process. I know this phase will go by quickly and in no time Alli will be having proper naps and I”ll better be able to plan my time. But for now, I”ll stick to the simple things and enjoy the little people while I have them.
The fact that these are no bake makes them perfect to make with kids because it eliminates any guess work. Most homemade granola bars I”ve had end up dry and crumbly. With these you don”t need to wonder whether they”re under or over baked. You just put them in the fridge for half and hour and then slice and serve. They”re also great for kids with short attention spans since they”re whipped up in jiffy. :)
If you have a teenager in the house they could even tackle this recipe on there own. It would be a great “first” recipe to try.
stir toasting nuts
toss mixture together
line pan with plastic wrap
press mixture into pan
wrap individual bars
They”re packed full of toasted oats, nuts, coconut and raisins and have a nice chewy texture. The cinnamon and molasses add a great depth of flavour and make them very addicting. Don”t say I didn”t warn you!
Toast oats, nuts and coconut in a large skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant, stirring often. Remove to a large bowl and toss with raisins.
Place butter, sugar, cinnamon, honey and molasses in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stir into oat mixture until evenly coated. Let sit just until cool enough to handle.
In the meantime, line a 7×11 inch pan with plastic wrap. Spoon mixture into pan, pressing down to compact. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up. Remove from pan, peel away plastic wrap and slice into 16 bars (half lengthwise and then into 8). Wrap individually in plastic wrap or parchment paper, if desired. Store covered at room temperature.
Makes: 16 servings
* If making gluten free make sure that the oats are gluten free
On another note I am honored to say that I”ve been included in Babble”s Top 100 Mom Food Bloggers. Ranking #8 for Best Recipes. I”m tickled pink and hope that I can live up to the “title”. If you have time time I”d appreciate a click through and a like on facebook or a tweet on flickr. You can see my profile here. Thanks guys. Your the best! :)
I think it was about this time last year that I shared with you my dire need to find healthier snacks. Well, I”m at it again except this time I”m serious! ;) Especially at Christmas time, I found myself reaching all too often for the sweets sitting on the counter when my stomach (or my son) started grumbling. This week a bunch of us are sharing our food resolutions on Smithfield and I knew that I had to bring this one to the forefront again.
“Snacks have got to be one of the hardest meals to keep healthy. You get the urge to have a quick nibble in the middle of the day and usually it”s so last minute your willing to grab whatever”s in front of you. I”d love to blame my need for midday snacks on my eight month pregnant body, or my two year old son who eats all day long, but the fact is I”ve always needed lot”s of snacks and I don”t think that”s going to change any time soon.”
Christmas is almost here. Ahh! I can”t believe it. Why does it seem to sneak up so fast? I”ve been putting off my Christmas “chores” thinking I”ve got tons of time and am just now realizing that I have to get it all done in less then a week. Overload! My procrastination has gotten the better of me.
When we were little it took forever for Christmas to come and now it feels like you just start getting into the holiday spirit and it”s over already. I guess the saying”s true, “time flies when you”re having fun”. Or when you”re stressed out. But, hopefully it”s because you”re having fun. :) I”m trying to put it at the forefront of my mind to enjoy the holiday and not worry about everything being perfect. Simple recipes like this one definitely help.
Peanut butter. Popcorn. Chocolate cover peanuts. Pretzels. All four drool worthy on there own, but when combined they make one deliciously fast and easy snack or last minute food gift. I like to think that this is a little healthier then caramel popcorn since it has some protein in the peanuts and peanut butter. That always makes things healthier right? ;)
All the aspects are here for a perfectly balanced and addicting snack. Sweet and salty, crunchy and contains chocolate. Perfect for curling up on the couch in your pj”s and munching away while you watch your favourite holiday flick. Hmm… I think I”m going to go take my own advice right now.
I”m not much for Halloween. I love the idea of little kids dressing up and the sense of community when going door to door for candy. But, I just can”t handle the creepy stuff. I find it too… creepy. I always dreaded having to listen to all the scary stories that the teachers told at Halloween. I just couldn”t handle it and not much has changed since then. You definitely won”t catch this girl watching any horror movies. I wouldn”t be able to sleep for a year! I believe my parents would chalk it up to an over-active imagination. :)
That being said I think there”s plenty to be done without things going over the top with scariness. Today on Smithfield.com I”m sharing some simple ways to add Halloween touches, including this delicious Pumpkin-Spiced Hot Chocolate. I don”t know if I will ever be able to go back to regular old hot chocolate.
“After coming in from the cold this Pumpkin-Spiced Hot Chocolate is the perfect way to warm up, while the kids sort their candy. You can make it extra festive by tinting the whipped cream orange and maybe add some black or chocolate sprinkles. The flavour is mostly hot chocolate with just a hint of pumpkin and spice making it a great beverage for adults and children alike.”
Update: The post is no longer active on Smithfield. But, I don’t want you to miss out so here’s the recipe!
Pumpkin-Spiced Hot Chocolate
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup very hot water
3.5 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
whipped cream tinted orange, for serving
Mix together cocoa powder, sugar and salt in a medium sized saucepan. Stir in water. Heat over medium heat until it comes to a simmer. Stirring constantly (so it does not scorch) allow to simmer two minutes.
Pour in remaining ingredients and cook until heated through, stirring occasionally. Do not boil. Ladle into 4 mugs and top with whipped cream.
*You may use 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice in place of spices.
*Strain through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth if you don”t want the spices building up at the bottom of the mug.
I know that technically it”s still summer but it”s really beginning to feel a lot like fall here and I”m more then ready. Over the last week I have begun to feel a lot better and the cold crisp air is breathing new life into me. I”m ready for a new season and a new start in this pregnancy. Bring on the cravings! :)
Doughnuts are something that my family loves. My mother-in-law makes one mean glazed doughnut and I love it! My problem is finding time to make the dough, roll it out, cut it out and deep fry it. They”re definitely worth the effort but I”m hard pressed to find the time with an antsy two year old.
That”s why these jam filled fritters make me a happy woman. You simply whip up a tasty muffin batter, drop it into hot oil, pipe it full of strawberry jam and dust it in icing sugar. Bliss. I”m already thinking of different ways to fry up this spice infused batter. I think some chopped apples would turn these into some pretty fine apple fritters.
These would be a great way to end the first week of school. You can have the fritters all ready for when the kids come home, then they can help fill them with jam and dust them in icing sugar. I”m sure they won”t complain and few will probably disappear on their way to the serving tray.
Make batter: Mix together milk, vanilla, sugar, oil and eggs. Set aside. In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking powder, nutmeg, salt and cinnamon. Stir into milk mixture.
To Fry: Heat oil to 350ºF or until water spits when a small drop is added to the oil. Drop the batter by tablespoon amounts into the hot oil and fry until golden and cooked through, flipping halfway through cooking time. Remove from pot and drain on paper towels.
To Fill: Using a skewer or toothpick poke a hole in the side of a fritter and twirl it around inside to create some space in the centre. Place jam in an icing bag with a small round tip. Insert tip into hole and fill fritters with jam.
To serve: Toss fritters in icing sugar and serve immediately. Best served four hours after being made or re-heated from frozen.
Makes: 2.5-3 dozen fritters
*This makes quite a large batch so I froze them before dusting in icing sugar. That way when we”re in the mood for some doughnuts we just have to zap them in the microwave and toss them in icing sugar.
This time of year has always inspired me. There’s an excitement in the air, almost tangible in the crisp weather that’s making it’s appearance when the sun goes down.
When I was younger I looked forward to going back to school because it meant I got to see my friends every day. Plus I was a little bit of a nerd and enjoyed learning, for the most part.
At 2, I don’t need to start thinking about school time for my son just yet, but I still get that feeling of excitement as others gear up for the year ahead. Planning school lunches is a big part of that preparation and I’m hoping to help relieve some stress with these Guacamole Turkey Wraps.
“School lunches can feel like a chore for both the parent that makes them and the child that feels like they’re eating the same thing day in and day out. Coming up with new and exciting things to put in your child’s lunchbox can get a little stressful. Especially when your trying to work out the best way to pack in nutrition while guaranteeing that your child won’t just trade it for something else.
Wraps are a great way to break out of the normal sandwich routine so that your children feel they’re getting a special treat. Meanwhile, you can be happy knowing they’re getting the same nutrition, sometimes more…”
Update: The post is no longer active on Smithfield. But, I don’t want you to miss out so here’s the recipe!
Guacamole Turkey Wraps
Some good add-ins: green onions, sliced black olives, chopped canned jalepenos, bell peppers, cheese, salsa, shredded carrots
1, 8 inch flour tortilla
1/4 cup guacamole*
4 slices sliced deli turkey
1/2 cup chopped lettuce
Spread guacamole onto half of tortilla. Layer on turkey and lettuce. Fold in top and bottom. Roll up starting at the filled side. Wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper for the lunchbox.
2 ripe avocados
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 medium sized ripe tomato, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Peel and mash avocados. Stir in remaining ingredients. Put into a sealable container. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole so that there is no air in between (this helps to keep it from browning). Seal container closed. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes to blend flavors. Season with additional salt, pepper and lime juice if necessary.