Saturday, June 15, 2013

Oldie but a goodie....

In honor of Father's Day, I'm sharing a couple of my favorite "dad" posts! Here and here.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

13 down, lots more to go.....

June 4th, 2000 I married my best friend. I know that when I met him online just after I turned 17 (1996) and he was 21 no one thought we'd actually make it this far. But we have and it keeps getting better and better. I love you, Shaine, and I'm so glad we found each other! Thirteen years down, lots more to go.....

And for a blooper.... After noticing Shaine wasn't looking at the camera in our picture, I pointed to the little camera at the top of my laptop and said, "Look at the camera right here." This was the next picture I took. We laughed so, so hard at this! What is especially funny is that Shaine said his eyes don't even open that wide. And they don't. He can't wear contacts because he can't open his eyes wide enough to put them in. You wouldn't know that from this picture. :)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Granola bars!

I have tried several recipes trying to find an alternative to the boxed chewy granola bar at the store. "Oatmeal guys", as Lucas likes to call them. I rarely follow a recipe, so I have tweaked a few to my liking. I think I've made enough changes that it now qualifies as my own recipe. LOL! Logan doesn't typically like granola bars, but I let him try these tonight and he liked them, even asking if he can have one for breakfast. Here is the one that I mostly based mine on.

 I think next time I will double this recipe to get a full pan. Eventually I would like to order some Sun Drops to use in place of the M&Ms.

No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/3 cup sucanat
1 1/4 cups quick cooking oats (not rolled oats)
1 1/2 cup Rice Krispies type cereal (I use Erewhon brown rice cereal)
1/4 cup hemp hearts
1 T milled chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 - 1/3 cup mini M&Ms
* see notes below for substitutions

In a large bowl, stir oats, rice cereal, hemp hearts, and milled chia seeds together. Set aside. In a small pot, melt butter, agave nectar and sucanat together over medium high heat until it comes to a bubble. Reduce the heat and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in vanilla and stir. Pour over dry ingredients and mix well until all ingredients are moistened. After mixing well, gently fold in M&Ms. If you aren't careful you will smash them open as they get warm, so stir carefully. Pour into lightly greased small jelly roll pan and press out to be about 3/4 inch in thickness. You can press them to one side if needed. Cool on countertop for two hours or until set before cutting into bars. Wrap in plastic wrap and store at room temperature.

Notes: You can substitute honey for the agave nectar, I just don't care for the honey flavor it gives them. I guess you can likely use light Karo syrup, but I was trying to avoid it. For the sucanant, replace with equal parts brown sugar. If you leave out the hemp hearts, just increase the quick cooking oats to 1 1/2 cups (instead of the 1 1/4 cups that I used). You can leave out the milled chia seeds, too. If you want to do chocolate chips instead of the M&Ms, use about 2 Tablespoons mini chocolate chips. You press them into the top of the bars once the bars are pressed out into the jelly roll pan. I must say, they may be closer to a rice crispy treat since I upped the amount of the rice cereal. If you want them to be more oatmealy, reduce the rice cereal by 1/2 cup and add an extra 1/2 cup of oatmeal.
Update August 8: Today I doubled the recipe and learned that it is best to not take up the whole pan. You really need to be able to press from the side and top at the same time to really compress them to get them to stick and set up. I just went in to cut one to check it and it wasn't as firm as I like them to be. I removed a piece from the end and pressed from each side and the top to kind of squeeze them towards the middle of the pan to pack them down better. So, next time I will either stick to a half recipe that only fills half this pan or use a bigger pan. Just a little FYI.