Time Flies

IMG_1917 (2)Once again time has literally flown by and I did not post my blog this morning. Last week I was primarily at our mountain retreat on Elk Ridge mountain (You will remember I got a blog posted because I had a sleepless night. Thankfully I didn’t have any more of those). We flew home on Friday in time to have a reunion at our house in Minnesota on Saturday with a friend of my daughter’s from our days in Rome, Rachel Silver. It was a reunion that only took 2 decades and the girls have grown in to young women with husbands and children. I have to say, they have both done very well at growing up and the time together was really lovely.

Bright and early on Sunday morning I hopped in my Jetta, without my SU and poodles, and drove to Bayfield, Wisconsin for a family reunion/birthday party. I was hoping for connectivity at the hotel last night but alas I didn’t have the password, so instead I read and tried to sleep. I think three different beds in one week was at least one too many beds and I managed to sleep until 4 a.m. and then I was up with some very happy, chatty birds. I had time to post a blog entry at 4:00 a.m. but with only my iPad and no connectivity it didn’t happen. Instead I got up and made a cup of coffee thinking I would read.

Minutes later (at 5 a.m.) I got a text from my daughter who was one floor down and many rooms over. My two-year-old grandson was awake, “would I like to come and get him”? Are you kidding me? Of course I want to come and get him. I threw a sweatshirt over my pajamas, ran down and whisked him away to my room. We were looking at boats midst the fog on Lake Superior when a knock came on my door. “Mommy” and my 6-month-old grandson, Arthur were on the other side, so I let them in and before I knew my time was up, I needed to head for Stillwater and those who awaited me (poodles and SU).

That was an extremely verbose way of saying, there isn’t a blog this week. However, I do have a recipe to share that was Odin approved. It seems to travel well because these bars also went to Idaho in a checked bag and came home in said bag only to go to Bayfield in a suitcase and still got rave reviews. Just store them in a bag you can shut securely or a cookie tin.

No Bake Granola Bars

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sucanat
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups gluten-free rolled oats or soaked and dried oats
  • 1 cup chopped nuts or nuts and seeds
  • 1 cup add-ins (see list at bottom)

Method

Cook the sucanat, honey and butter in a small pot over low to medium low heat until slowly bubbling, stirring often. I used less sugar than called for but not much less. I also used molasses and honey as I had no sucanat. Leave on the heat for at least 10 minutes after boil.

In a large  bowl, mix the oats, nuts, and any add-ins (leave chocolate chips out until the end to try to avoid melting).

When the liquid is finished on the stove, removed from heat and add vanilla and peanut butter, if using. Stir until melted and thoroughly combined.

Mix the ingredients in the pot into the oat mixture. If using chocolate chips add them afterward once things have cooled slightly.

Press into a 9×13 pan (or any container, even plastic) lined with wax paper. Freeze 30 minutes (or refrigerate a few hours) and cut into bars. These can be stored at room temperature but holds together best when cold (they do fall apart when not frozen, at least mine did but do note I didn’t follow directions explicitly).

Variations

You can use 1/2 cup natural peanut butter and 1/4 cup butter. (I actually used the called for butter and added the peanut butter which may be why they were gooey.)

Alternative Sweeteners can be used. (I used molasses and honey) You could use maple syrup and you can use less but be careful as they will not hold together. If you’d like to avoid the granulated sweeteners but have them hold together better you can use 1 cup of honey. If you use only honey then making them “Crispier Bars”  will make them back pack worthy (or suitcase and back pack).

Crispier Bars variation

After refrigerating or freezing, cut bars apart and place them spread apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 325º. Watch them closely for overbrowning. When you take them out they will look softer but don’t touch them. Let them cool completely on the cookie sheet and they will be perfect for your next hike. (I did not do this step and if nothing else I figured we could break pieces off and roll them in to a ball which we did several times.)

Add-in options

  • mini chocolate chips (I added a few semi-sweet chocolate chips, not minis)
  • chopped nuts
  • dried fruit (I thought chopped apricots would be nice but didn’t try it)
  • shredded coconut (I added some of my baked and salted coconut chips)
  • sunflower or pumpkin seeds (I added these and no chopped nuts)

Note: This recipe was found in a book titled “The Family Camping Handbook“.  I found within my Kindle edition a multitude of interesting recipes for camping or, as in my case, when you are at your mountain retreat.

See you next week.

Santé,

Kris

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