Monday, March 16, 2009

Homemade Granola Bar Recipe

Where to begin? I haven't posted for a whole week, but I've definitely been busy. I've been working out every day during the time I would usually spend blogging, trying to get in shape. I've actually started to really like working out, something I never thought would happen. I've also started to get the spring itch, it seems like every year around this time I start planning all sorts of must do projects in and around the house. I've got a list a mile long but I am slowly making a dent in it. This past week we got the closets cleaned out, the play room re-organized, I re-covered my dining room chairs and finally found a cute little cabinet/cart to use in the kitchen. My list of to dos before Easter still has me needing to make some secret pocket eggs, a new table runner, an Easter tree, new pillows, a couple of small rugs and a few pair of shorts for Bug. After that I have a huge list to get done before summer. We have Mother's Day gifts, re-doing both of the kids bedrooms, which will include painting, new curtains, pillows and some painted canvases, and then two kids birthdays in less than a month. Oh yeah and add into that getting our disaster of a yard into shape for the parties. I can only hope that it will all get done, and I'm sure that once it does I will feel a lot better and hopefully just be able to sit back and relax as much as a mom of an almost two year old and almost five year old can. For now I'm just going to share some of the things I managed to accomplish this week.

First up was granola bars for playgroup. These bars are pretty substantial and have about 220 calories a piece which may seem like a lot but they have a ton of good stuff for you and would make a good breakfast or lunch on the go, you could also half them for a low cal snack. I was really surprised by how good they turned out, I had a few people over when I made them initially and they each ate a few and commented on how much they liked them. Even bug who is almost two loved them (just make sure you only give little pieces as the nuts could pose choking hazards). So here is the recipe and I hope you enjoy.

Granola bars:

10 oz. mixed nuts -I used walnuts, pistachios and pecans
1 c. hulled sunflower seeds
3 packages instant oatmeal, brown sugar flavor
1c. dried fruit- I used a mix of cherries and blueberries
3/4 c. Splenda brown sugar
1 c. honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips

In a saucepan heat the Splenda brown sugar with the honey, vanilla and salt until sugar dissolves. If your nuts are not roasted you will need to roast them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes watching carefully. Mine were already roasted when I bought them. Place your nuts, oatmeal, sunflower seeds and berries in a bowl and mix. Pour the hot sugar mixture over the top and quickly stir to cover, mix until thoroughly combined. Add chips and stir. In a 13x9 inch pan lay a piece of parchment paper so that it overhangs the sides by a few inches. Lightly grease with spray oil pour mixture into prepred pan and evenly spread with a rubber spatula. place another piece of parchment on top and using a heavy pan press down hard a few times over the surface to evenly press the granola bar mixture. Place in a 350 degree oven and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool completely and use the parchment paper as handles to lift the cooled mixture out and onto a cutting board. Carefully remove the parchment and cut into 16 even pieces. Wrap tightly and store for up to a week.

Next is some yummy stuff that I made for a St. Patrick's Day dinner with my husband's family. I made some yummy homemade dark rye bread with a recipe found here. I also needed a good dessert so I tried to find something that would go with the theme of St. Patrick's Day but I also really wanted to add another recipe to the Cake Mix Challenge that I have going on. I had thought about making a Guinness Cake and was actually on my way to the store when I remembered the trifle dish that I got for Christmas. So in the store I put together an idea for what I like to call Shamrock Trifle and it will officially be March's entry into the challenge.

Shamrock Trifle

I box chocolate cake mix
1 c. sour cream
1 1/3 c water
5 eggs
1 box chocolate instant pudding 5.6 oz
1 box vanilla instant pudding 5.6 oz
1 package mint Oreo's
mint extract
1 c. mini chocolate chips
chocolate syrup
1 tub of cool whip
green food coloring
green sprinkles

Mix boxed cake mix with sour cream, water and eggs. Pour into two cake pans lined with parchment paper and lightly sprayed with oil. Bake at 350 degrees until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool and then cut into 1 inch pieces. In two separate bowls prepare the puddings as directed on the back of the box. Into the vanilla pudding add 1 tsp mint extract and enough green food coloring to tint it a mint green color. In the bottom of your trifle dish place one layer of chocolate cake cubes, make sure to cover the entire bottom. Drizzle with chocolate syrup and 1/2 c. of mini chocolate chips. Pour the entire bowl of chocolate pudding on top and smooth out, making sure to get to the edges. Next place the Oreo's into a large plastic zip lock bag and crush with a rolling pin, I like mine to still be nice size pieces so I just sort of break them up a little. Pour the Oreo's over the pudding. Next pour the mint flavored pudding over the Oreo's. Top with another layer of chocolate cake square, chocolate syrup and the other 1/2 c. of mini chocolate chips. Refrigerate for 4 hours and top with whipped topping and sprinkles just before serving. Serves 10-12.

I hope everyone has a very happy St. Patrick's Day and I'll leave you with this awesome picture of Sweets rocking out.



  1. Thanks for sharing your awesome granola bar recipe. I'm going to share it with the members at