On a completely random note...I just read THE COOLEST thing. On Kirk Cameron's blog, a lady described her family thus, "OUR family is my hubby of 31 years and my 4 kids, my son-in love and our 3 grand kids (and my 88 year old dad who lives with us)" (emphasis mine). AWESOME! I loved it! My first thought was, "How would that change our attitudes towards our extended family members if we called them '-in loves' instead of '-in laws?'" We are no longer under the law, but under a new covenant--of pure love. We are not bound to those who come into our family by the law, but by love. I have some awesome sisters- and brothers-in love, a father-in love, a step-mother-in love, AND a wonderful mom-in love. They were given to me by God, in love. Thank you, Lord, for using this woman to remind me of that.
And now for less important matters...
I'm on a mission to find good home-made breakfast/granola bar recipes. I have been buying Clif Bars lately, and to be honest...YUCK! I eat them because of all the breakfast bars on the market that are good for us, no not good, but at least a better option, these are the best of the worst. If that makes sense.
And the girls will eat them. And they are packed with vitamins and fiber and protein so I figure they are at least as good as giving the girls a Disney vitamin. And they fill them up too. Double whammy. But, I'd rather do something a little more wholesome, even if it's not packed with vitamins. Something that hasn't been processed to death. Literally, dead. Deadness going into our bodies. I want live, real things. I want whole grains, and unprocessed sugars, and fruits, and nuts, and...yeah, yeah, yeah, you get it.
So, the start of my mission started with a pretty good recipe that is LOADED with sugar. Not really what I was looking for. It was okay, but WAY too sweet. And I didn't use all the sweetness it called for. Here it is:
Five Ingredient Granola Bars
(Mine was more like 7, but oh well.)
2 cups quick-cooking oats (I used 3 cups old-fashioned oats.)
1/2 c. brown sugar (I used less.)
1/2 c. honey (I used less.)
1/2 c. peanut butter OR 1 stick butter, softened (Yep, I used butter since I have an irrational fear of eating peanuts, but no time to explain that now...)
3/4 cup raisins, dried cherries or cranberries, M&Ms, mini chocolate chips, sunflower sees, sliced almonds, or anything you like (Yes, the recipe really says that, and for some reason I find that funny. I used prob 1/2 cup of semi-sweet mini choc chips, 1/2 c of pecan pieces, and had intended to use 1/2 c of craisins, but--weirdness--I was out.)
Mix and spread in a buttered 9x13 pan. (That was WAY too big in my opinion). Bake at 350 for 18 mins. (Too long.) Cool five mins. (Longer). Cut into squares or rectangles and cool completely before serving. (Yes, COMPLETELY. Like maybe stick in the frig to get them hard or they crumble into pieces.)
They were a hit with all who tried them, but they didn't stick together very well. AND, as I said before...WAY too sweet, even with cutting back on the sugar and honey. AND, let's face it, this is more like eating a cookie for breakfast. Good, but not so good FOR YOU.
So, I found this recipe on Jami Nato's blog. Thought I would give this a try next. Not lovin' all the sugar and condensed milk, but I'm not really finding a lot that's better out there. Copying and pasting from her blog:
Chocolate Revel Bars
2 sticks butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups rolled oats(i don't use the quick kind, but any will work)
1 14-ounce can (1-1/4 cups) sweetened condensed milk
1 and 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips(dark chocolate is fab!)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1.Set aside 2 tablespoons of the butter. In a large mixing bowl beat the remaining butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar; beat until well mixed. add in eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla until well incorporated. In another large bowl stir together flour and baking soda and oats. Gradually mix dry mixture into beaten mixture. Set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan combine the reserved 2 tbsp butter, the sweetened condensed milk, and chocolate chips. Cook over low heat until chocolate melts, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla.
3. Press two-thirds (about 3-1/3 cups) of the oat mixture into the bottom of a grease 9X13 glass pan. pour chocolate mixture over the oat mixture. Using your fingers, dot(drop chunks over) remaining oat mixture over the chocolate.
4, Bake in a 350 degree F oven about 25 minutes or until top is lightly browned (chocolate mixture will still look moist). Cool on a wire rack. Cut into 2x1-inch bars and devour like a wild monkey.
Those were Jami's directions. She cracks me up.
So, if any of you have any bar recipes that create pure breakfast ecstasy, please let me know. I will not stop until I find a semi-healthy-yet-yummy cure for my breakfast-on-the-fly-kind-of-mornings.