day two started off well: oatmeal with raisins and brown sugar, coffee, bananas…it’s interesting…it’s not the meals that are the hardest, it’s the snack times when i would usually grab for the proverbial “snack drawer” – full of fruit roll-ups and crackers and goldfish. it’s amazing to me how much packaged food we were eating during non-meal times as well…and how much i relied upon packaged foods for my sons’ lunches…i’m really having to think about what i’ll put into their lunchboxes tomorrow..i have two thermoses so that will take care of the no-juice-box rule, and i made homemade granola bars (so yummy) – again from barefoot contessa
Homemade Granola Bars
2008, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, All Rights Reserved
- 12 to 16 bars
- 2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
- 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- I DIDN”T USE THESE: 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
- I DIDN”T USE THESE EITHER: 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 12-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.
Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.
Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dates, apricots, and cranberries and stir well.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.
really yummy – and good and portable for lunchboxes…
there were a few mistakes along the way…gum, for instance. my son had purchased a huge bag of dubble bubble with his allowance and when he asked if he could have a piece, of course i said yes. homemade? no. ok? yep.
and i’m definitely abiding by my ingredient rule – that if something is an ingredient, then it can be storebought, like i’m going to make homemade tortilla chips for us later this week, so i bought corn tortillas that i can bake in the oven. i think that counts. and i have a recipe for homemade cinnamon buns that calls for puff pastry dough, which i bought…i’m definitely learning as i go, but already i’m feeling energized and excited about the fact that i’m cooking more, the boys are more involved in the cooking and we’re at least being mindful of eating better and eating things we make together.