Sunday, October 7, 2012

Homemade Chewy Granola Bars

I am a granola bar addict. I love the chewy gooey ones too. But I am extremely picky as well. The Quaker bars are tasty and chewy but I can eat them in two bites. Meaning I can eat a whole box in one day and I don't have the money to buy 7 boxes of granola bars a week. The Sunbelt ones are amazing but sometimes I have a hard time finding them in the stores. Which is a shame because their size and consistency are perfect!

Then I stumbled across this recipe on Pinterest. Chewy granola bars that take five minutes to make? And I just happened to have all but one ingredient in my pantry? Hopped in the car and headed out to pick up some granola to try it out immediately! The best thing about this granola bar recipe is that it had the basic granola bar recipe and then you could add what you wanted to make it the type of granola bar you wanted. I had some chocolate chip and butterscotch chips in my pantry so my first attempt was choco-butterscotch granola bars. They are delicious! Even my three-year-old gobbled them up! Now I have a dozen homemade granola bars waiting for me for quick breakfasts this week! Awesome, right? And what is even more awesome is knowing the ingredients that are in them and being able to cut them the exact size I want for a serving. Not to mention cost effective! Can't wait to make some different variations of these!

Homemade Chewy Granola Bars 
4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter 
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar 
1/4 cup honey 
2 cups plain granola 
1 cup rice cereal (Rice Krispies, etc.) 
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips 
1/4 cup butterscotch chips

Line two 9×5 loaf pans or one 11×7 inch baking pan (see tip #4 above if you want to use 9×13) with foil or parchment. Lightly butter or spray the foil. Set aside.Combine butter, honey and brown sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the butter is melted.Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the granola and rice cereal into the saucepan and fold them into the sauce until evenly coated.Spread the mixture into the prepared pans and press firmly with a spatula to evenly fill. Sprinkle the chocolate and peanut butter chips onto the top of the granola and gently press them down with the spatula.Let sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes or until mostly cooled and set; lift out of the pan and cut into bars.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Inspired by My Daughter's Love of "Dip"

There are so many many things that I have found on Pinterest that I have thought... "Now why didn't I think of that!" So it definitely has my noggin working in overdrive these days trying to think of new and creative ways to approach things. Here is my first official thinking outside the box Pinterest inspired idea!

I absolutely LOVE creamed chipped beef. I actually love creamed chipped ham more! But this particular night my daughter and I were in need of a fast meal. So I picked up some Stouffer's Creamed Chipped Beef and went home. My daughter is going through her picky stage so I got the bright idea to serve the meal as bread cubes with "dipping sauce" instead of the typical gravy over bread approach. My daughter eats anything if there is dip involved.

It turned out cute and at first it seemed to work. Eventually I think she realized she had been duped because she ate all the bread cubes and left most of the "dip". Maybe it will work better for someone else out there so I thought I would share! Enjoy!