Monday, June 27, 2011

Make Your Own Granola Bars

If you are anything like our house, we spend a lot of  money on granola bars.  It's the perfect go-to travel snack (well, except the crumb factor in the car with some).  But, a lot of store bought granola bars are really high in sugar.  I originally found this recipe on All Recipes -  Playgroup Granola Bars.  I tweaked it a little for my kids to make them a little healthier. 


  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar  (you can substitute applesauce, or just reduce the amount of brown sugar - I reduced it to about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup raisins or dried blueberries / cherries / cranberries / chocolate chips / walnut pieces/ slivered almonds, etc (optional)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil  (or canola oil)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  •  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Generously grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.  
  • In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, raisins (or whatever fruit/chocolate chips you choose) and salt.  

  • Make a well in the center, and pour in the honey, egg, oil and vanilla (and applesauce if you're using it)

  • Here is the fun part - or the part you can make your kids do if you don't like getting your hands in squishy things.  Mix well using your hands. 
  •  Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Leave about an inch or two at one end of the pan - the mixture won't spread while it's baking but by doing this the bars will be chewy.

  • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm. Do not allow the bars to cool completely before cutting, or they will be too hard to cut. 

 And that's it!  So easy and fun to make with your kids.  I put mine in a ziploc bag and they stay fresh for oh...a day or two (that's about how long it takes us to eat a batch :)  )

Monday, June 20, 2011

Hidden Tunnel Angel Food Cake

I made this cake a few months ago as a 'light' dessert.  Really, when you look at the ingredients there really isn't anything evil in it - WOOHOOO!  

 (1) Angel Food cake (either pre-prepared or baked by you)
(1) 4 oz envelope of sugar free Strawberry Gelatin  (or flavor of your choice)
(1) cup approx sliced strawberries (or fruit of your choice)
(1) container of fat free Cool Whip (or other whipped topping).

First, cut your cake in 1/2.  You can use dental floss - wrap the floss all the way around the cake, cross over and pull - personally, this just does not work for me, use a knife and an accurate eye, or my favorite is purchasing a $3 cake leveler.
Then the fun part - make a "tunnel" in your cake on the bottom 1/2.   With a small knife (or your fingers), cut 1-inch wide and 1-inch deep tunnel around center of the interior of cake; be very careful not to cut through bottom of cake or your jello solution will leak out. Remove cake cutout - I added the additional cake to my fruit/Jello but not sure I would do that again.

Stir boiling water into 1 pkg. (4-serving size) Strawberry Gelatin in medium bowl  for 2 minutes until it's completely dissolved. Add enough cold water to 1/2 cup ice cubes to measure 3/4 cup; stir into gelatin until ice is completely melted.

Refrigerate the gelatin for 5-10 min, until it begins to thicken.  Next, cut up your strawberries and add them to your gelatin mixture. 

 Then, you fill your "tunnel" with your Jello/fruit mixture:

Hang in there, you're almost done!

Put the top of your cake back on, I then spooned the remaining Jello / Fruit into the center,  and then "frost" with the whipped topping.  Be sure to be generous, remember this is the fat free (almost) guilt free whipped topping, it looks prettier if you sort of "glob" it on:

You're done!  Be sure to stick this beautiful creation in the fridge to allow the Jello to finish setting up, until you are ready to devour it

The best part:  It's only approx 150 cal per serving! 
(I admit, when looking at the photos it does sort of resemble something that Hannibal Lecter would eat with fava beans, but hey, it tastes really good!  I promise!)

Going in a new direction

I've been contemplating taking this blog in a totally new direction, and dang it, I'm going to do it! ;)  I keep finding all of these neat kid friendly recipes and crafts, so I'm going to start posting them.  I know a lot of people like to do this kind of thing and hey, it will be an easy place for me to find all of my "finds". 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Here goes a new idea!

Well, a blog.  Somewhere to put my ideas to show "the world".  Well, hopefully.  This will be the place I'll post my giveaways, new ideas that I have found that I love, cool things that other people are sharing.  Every day in this house it's a new adventure.  Today we experience the "super moon", and as a result I'm brainstorming new fun ideas to share.

In a few days I'll start my first contest give away.  I'm not sure what the prize will be yet - hair bows?  Beanies? Interchangeable jewelry?  Hmmmmm, where to start, where to start?