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Why buy what you can make?

24 Aug

I love granola bars. Not gonna lie. I love the convenience of them. I like the tasty ones with a little bit of chocolate and almonds and fruit. But if you look at the box of some of them, you’ll cringe. Trust me.

I look at blogs with granola bar recipes and I think “I could do that.” But I don’t. I’m scared. I’m afraid it won’t be tasty or it won’t work. I’m also lazy. Yes. Lazy.

So today on my day off, I looked over some recipes and decided I could totally create my own. And by combining a variety of recipes, I did indeed do just that.

Granola Bars

6 dried prunes

6 dried apricots

1/2 cup dried “fruit” (I used a combo of dried blueberries and cranberries but you could use raisins, cherries, etc.)

1/2 cup almonds

2 cups oatmeal (not instant)

1/2 cup wheat germ

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 tbsp molasses

2 tbsp maple syrup

dash of salt

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 pack of this lovely little pack I bought at Whole Foods which contains cocoa nibs, coconut and raisins, it’s by TerrAmazon… it’s become my crack. I imagine you could use chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, cocoa nibs or just coconut. Essentially something to add some more crunch/sweetness

I mixed the oats and wheat germ on a baking sheet and toasted it in the oven on 350 degrees for about 5 minutes, just until it became nutty and fragrant. In a large bowl I then added that to my other dry ingredients (the flour, salt, cinnamon and cocoa nib mixture.

In the food processor, I processed the dried fruits just until they became kind of gummy and slightly unified. I think added the almonds and processed until they were roughly chopped and integrated. I then added my liquid ingredients to the food processor (egg, applesauce, molasses and maple syrup and finally the vanilla. I used my hands to incorporate the liquid with the dry ingredients until I got a thick, sticky “batter.” I spread this on a cookie sheet lined with tin foil. I baked them in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes until the edges became slightly crisp. Once the bars cooled, I cut them into about 18 bars.

And guess what. I liked them! They were just sweet enough from the fruit, molasses, etc. and I didn’t even have to add any actual sugar.

Yay experimental success!

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Just have a big double shot…

29 Jul

So tonight as I’m coming home from the gym, I realize, as per usual, there is no parking on my side of the building. Sigh. I love my apartment complex but that is my one complaint: not enough parking! I think it’s mostly that I come home late sometimes and mostly my complex is full of families and older couples who are going to bed as I’m, say, heading to the gym. But anyway, long story short, I had to park on the other side of the building and went in through an entrance I don’t usually use. There was a guy, looked about my age, sitting on the steps. He was lighting up a cigarette and asked me how I was doing. We engaged in some friendly chatting and when he realized I had just come from the gym, he said, “oh honey. You go in a fix yourself a nice big double shot of something and pass the hell out.” What does that mean?!?! I mean, I think after I responded “I’m good,” I may have made a comment about being exhausted now… and I guess he put together the sweaty clothes and empty water bottle and iPod in my hand… but seriously? Does anyone take shots of alcohol after working out?

Okay. Stupid question. Nevertheless, it cracked me up. He was friendly though. Maybe more friendly 20-somethings will move in around here for me to be friends with.

So after my snickerdoodle adventure with maple syrup, I’ve been trying to think of other things I could put maple syrup in… muffins… cakes… breads… more cookies… Tomorrow on my day off I’m going to do some experimenting. I’m too tired tonight, and I’m sure after that double shot of whatever, I’ll be even more exhausted 😉

And P.S. I Love You is on Lifetime. I love Gerard Butler and this movie is one of my few chick-flick guilty pleasures. Love an accent, especially Irish, and a genuine, sappy love story that does not leave me angry a la Nicholas Sparks.