Monday, February 8, 2010

Domestic Part I: Homemade Energy Bars

I'm a blog surfer. I read my friends blogs. Then I check out their blog roll and click on their friends' blogs. And so on. I like to call it "researching" (although my husband calls it stalking). However, I feel that if you put information on the internet, folks, it's fair game. And sometimes I walk away with ideas for my home. Or a restaurant review. The latest cheap deals in the ATL. Or just the latest happenings in the life of a friend who's moved away.

Sometimes my "research" is purely for entertainment. But sometimes I find something useful. Which is what I found when I checked out my friend (well, technically acquaintance...I mean we've only met once, but we have lots of mutual friends and we really should be friends ourselves!), Nicole Lane, and her family blog. From what I know, Nicole is a rockstar of a mom, wife, and cook. You should definitely peruse her blog for entertaining kid stories (her twins are two) and great recipes for anything from mac n' cheese to homemade deodorant. Yes, I said deodorant. I'm telling you!

Anyhow, this weekend I had grand plans of being domestic x2. But, that's where the two different parts come into play, cause I only got to one. Nicole's Energy Bars. I made the clif bar version and have shared the recipe below, including notes from Nicole (in red) and/or me (in green).

Clif Bars

1/4 cups rice krispies
1 cup quick-cooking oats
3 T ground flaxseed meal
- healthy of course, but if cost is a concern and you don't want to buy unnecessary ingredients, feel free to leave it out
1/4 cup craisins
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
- Nicole uses whole foods brand, made with 70% cacao, and has the main ingredient of chocolate liquor vs. sugar
- I don't live anywhere near a whole foods, so I just bought the Ghiradelli kind, but might not again, due to costs.
1/4 cup sliced almonds
- toasted, if possible
1/4 cup raw honey
- don't be intimidated by the fact that it says "raw" honey. You probably wouldn't be, but I was and first bought a $10 12 oz. jar of raw honey from Fresh Market. But I found a $5.99 16 oz. jar at Kroger!
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1 t vanilla extract
a few dashes of sea salt
In a large bowl, mix the rice krispies, oats, flaxseed, craisins, chocolate chips, and almonds.
In a pot, heat the honey, then add the peanut butter, vanilla, and salt, stirring constantly until melted.
Pour honey mixture over the cereal mixture and mix well.
- If you're making a large batch, it might be best to mix in two separate large bowls to make it a bit easier.
Let it sit for a few minutes until it stiffens, then press it into an 8x8 or 9x9 pan.
Cut into bars.
- Mixture is fairly crumbly, so Nicole wraps them individually in aluminum foil. She buys the individual reynolds wrappers and cuts these in half. One bar in each sheet, and form again if the bar has crumbled once wrapped.
Place in large ziploc bag and put in fridge.

Funny story? As I was reading this I realized that somehow I missed the part about pressing the mixture into a pan. No wonder mine were really, really crumbly as I was trying to form them in my hands!

I did the recipe x4, and turned out with plenty of bars to last the two of us probably two weeks.

Anyhow, mine turned out decent (and will hopefully look better when I follow all the directions next time). And they taste really yummy. Jamie and I are both breakfast people, but these will work great when we've got to take something on the road. And I plan on bringing one to work every day for my afternoon snack (I can't make it without some sort of snack between lunch and dinner!).

You can also check out Nicole's blog for a recipe for Lara Bars as well.


Edit by Lauren said...

I am relieved to know that you also refer to stalking as "blog researching!" I'm spending my snowy Saturday doing lots of such research! :)