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The Easiest & Tastiest Granola Bars

I LOVE making these granola bars.  They are so simple, so easy, just throw all the ingredients in the mixer and voilĂ  it's basically done!



Another fun, and even easier way, is to put all the ingredients in a large bowl and let the kids mix them with their hands!

Okay, here are the ingredients that I use, but really you can pick and choose, add, take away any ingredient, it's really that easy!

Ingredients:
  • 3 Cups oats (you can use quick-cooking oats or for a healthier version whole grain rolled oats)
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened organic condensed milk
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup flaked coconut 
  • 1 cup of almonds (I like to break mine up with a mallet first, or you can just used sliced almonds)

  • 1 cup (or so) of white chocolate chip (or semi sweet.  I prefer the white in this recipe) 
  • 1/2 cup cranberries (I've used both sweetened and unsweetened - whatever I have on hand) 
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).  Grease a 9x13 inch pan (or whatever you have on hand :) 
  • In large bowl, mix together the oats sweetened condensed milk, butter, coconut, almonds, chocolate chips, and cranberries. 
  • Once mixed, press into the prepared pan.  I like to line my pan with parchment paper for easier cleanup.  
  • Bake for about 20 minutes.  If you like a softer granola bar bake for about 20 - 22 minutes - when it is lightly brown around the edges.  If you want a crunchier granola bar leave for an additional 3 - 5 minutes.  Let cool for only 5 minutes and then cut into bars.  If you allow them to cool longer they will be harder to cut.  Allow to cool completely and then serve.  If you are like us, you may just eat them hot - yup, we have scalded our tongues, but they are oh so good! 

I usually make extra and I like to wrap them in Saran Wrap.  The kids can then take them for a school snack.  When I get the ingredients on sale, I can literally make 18 bars for under $2.00.  The only thing that I use up is the condensed milk.  Everything else, I have left overs to make more batches or to use in other baked goods. 


Yummy Blueberry Muffins!

I found a recipe on Allrecipes that I have tweaked and kinda have made my own.

Now that my  Bebita is allergic to eggs, I have to tweak recipes, so that they are not only eggless, but tasty for the entire family.  Really, this one taste better than the original recipe!


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 mashed (small / medium) banana
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • For Topping
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1 Tablespoon cold butter


  • Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
    2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the mashed banana and enough milk to fill the cup (to top). Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
    3. To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1 1/2 TBS flour, and 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon. Cut butter in until a crumbly mixture forms.  If you overwork and it turns into a ball instead of crumbs, add a little more flour. Sprinkle over muffins before baking.
    4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

Enjoy! 


Simple Blessing

Today is a rainy, breezy day; the leaves are falling from the trees and puddles are forming on the ground.  To most, this would be a dreary day, but to me, it is not.  It makes me nostalgic, remembering a time when my older children were little - before school took over our days, and sports took over are evenings.  A simple time, when jumping puddles and cuddling while reading silly books were how we spent days, just like this one.  Once my children became older, days like today made me sad, made me ache to have that time back.  Today, however, I get to enjoy it, with my little toddler, with this beautiful little girl who asked me to sit with her on the porch.  As I sat on the steps, I marveled at her innocence.  At how the simple act of climbing up and down the steps, brought a smile to her face.  How feeling the rain drops on our feet made us giggle.  This beautiful child has fulfilled a need in me that I didn't even know I had, a need to mother someone who the world has not yet touched, who is still mine, still untainted.  My heart aches that one day I will look back and miss this time, but for right now, I am full, I am happy, I praise God, and I hug tight this tiny person who looks up at me with so much curiosity and with so much love. Today, I am content. 

What is being "sprayed" into our atmosphere?

Best Buttermilk Pancakes (Eggless Version Too)

Okay, so I've been trying to find the best from scratch pancakes for awhile now.  I've tried recipes from blogs, the Food Network, and from Allrecipes, and although I found some good ones, they were all lacking something, so I decided to just take what I liked and make my own.  After some tweaking, I came up with this:

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup organic all purpose flour *
  • 1 cup organic whole wheat flour *
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/4 cups buttermilk *
  • 1/4 cup butter melted
Directions:
  1. Preheat and lightly grease a large skillet or electric griddle (I set my griddle between 325 - 350 degrees)
  2. Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together in a bowl.  Add the egg, buttermilk, and butter, stir together LIGHTLY.  Keep some LUMPS.  LUMPS ARE GOOD!  The batter should look thick, spongy, and puffy.
  3. Drop about 1/3 cup of the batter onto cooking surface.  I use a large ice cream scoop to do this.  It helps keep all the pancakes the same size.  Spread lightly with the bottom of the scoop and cook until lightly browned on each side.  About 1-2 minutes per side.

Notes:
*You do not have to use organic.  
*You do not have to use whole wheat.  You can simply do 2 cups of all purpose flour. 
*You can add a little more buttermilk if you like your pancakes thinner.  I tried one batch with just whole milk and it was good, but not great.  

Enjoy!  

For the eggless version, do the exact same thing, but substitute the egg for one smashed medium sized banana.  It actually comes out almost the same.  My family can rarely taste the difference.  Now if you really want to taste the banana then add two medium sized banana instead of one - you can also drop some blueberries in the batter.  YUM! 



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