Monday, July 18, 2011

Nut butter granola bars

Last year, I posted a recipe that I got from my friend Kara. She brought me a batch of her Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars after Colin was born. I blame this recipe entirely for not losing my baby weight. It's a delicious way to still be fat, by the way.

However, in the interest of wanting to fit back into my jeans before Colin turns *ahem* two years old, I have modified this recipe, gradually removing sugar from it without sacrificing the taste.

Now, I always take some of these to new mamas with the instructions to store them in the freezer, remove one before you start nursing, and then enjoy after you are done. Last week, I took a batch to Jessica (sans coconut), and I figure it's now time to post the new version of the recipe.

The changes from the original include cutting the brown sugar in half, using freshly ground almond butter instead of peanut butter with oil and sugar added to it, and using dark chocolate chips - a 1/2 cup instead of 3/4 cup. Sometimes I also use Earth's Balance sticks instead of real butter if I want to make them dairy free.

You can also include dried fruit, and I've got some candied ginger to try in my next batch. Something else I'm going to try is making it with freshly ground peanut butter made from honey roasted peanuts, then I'll cut the honey either completely out or in half. I'll never cut the molasses because I love the taste so much.

Without further ado, here is the modified version. Less sugar, still yummy.

Nut Butter Granola Bars

2/3 cup fresh ground nut butter
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups uncooked oats
1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup ground flax seed

Heat oven to 350. Beat brown sugar, butter, and peanut butter till fluffy. Add honey, molasses, and vanilla- stir well. Stir in oats, chips, coconut, raisins, and wheat germ. Press into bottom of a 9x13 baking pan. Bake fifteen minutes. Put in the freezer to chill for 45 minutes or until firm. I then cut them into bars and store them in large Ziploc in the freezer.

Friday, July 08, 2011

A night out with winners

Tonight, we took our children to Chik-fil-a, dressed as cows, in order to get free food. Why no, we have no pride, thank you for asking.

Christopher cried because he didn't want to dress up like a cow. We just told him he was Sheriff Woody instead.

Colin rather liked dressing up like a cow and was enjoying himself until he projectile vomited nuggets, fruit, and chocolate milk all over himself, the high chair, and the cup I formed out of my hands to try and contain some of the toxic spill.

I wheeled him into the bathroom, still in the high chair, caught some additional puke, and stripped him down. After trying to clean the high chair as best I could, we mooooooved on out of there as quickly as possible, letting the nice girl up front know that they had a contaminated high chair in the ladies room.

Parents of the year.

But hey, dinner was free, so I'm marking it in the "win" column.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Mama models

Look at this. How she has made herself be on the level of the children. She is looking at what has captured their attention. She is explaining the how and why of the science.

I have more pictures from the visit. Pictures of train tracks, post office tents, and fish feeding. I stood back a lot and took pictures, watching and learning from my best friend.

She is the kind of mom I want to be. A mom who finds something to teach in every activity. A mom who cuddles when cuddles are needed, but who also goes to great lengths to learn how to empower her children.

Finding the balance between security and independence for our children is so very difficult.

I'm lucky to have such great mama models in my life. I'm lucky that this one is my best friend.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

I am from

I am from peanut butter, from Nilla Wafers and powdered milk.

I am from the southern part of the South, dripping with humidity and hypocrisy, balancing redemption and restitution, forever pushing people away all while calling them to come back home.

I am from the chaise lounge in the forked branches, the climbable magnolia.

I am from Sunday dinners and slow talking, from a line of Tom's and Henry's and Suttle's without being it at all.

I am from love felt deeply, loud laughter, fiery anger, long grudges, and stubborn pride.

I am from how you get to Hell and how you get to Heaven.

I am from Presbyterians, serious and regimented. I am from the Book of Order. I am from committees, liturgy, and sacraments. From preachers and elders. From Sunday School teachers. I am from tight knit youth groups where friendships remain even after time unraveled the rest.

I am from Mississippi. I am from buttermilk biscuits and pound cake. BBQ ribs and vegetables fresh from the garden that grew in town behind my grandparents' house. From the busy road, you could catch a glimpse of country in a part of the city that had been so very developed. I am from the country stuck within the city.

I am from boxes stuffed with photographs, unordered and smudged. From CD's I won't listen to anymore. From songs I won't sing again.

I am from five sets of china and antiques battling for space within my home. I am from a wedding dress boxed up and passed down, a wedding dress worn and then forgotten, and a wedding dress still new, hanging clean in the bag, overlooked for eloping. I am from dress gloves and costume jewelry that I will never wear, but yet never let go.

I am from a pipe that stills smells a little like my grandfather. I know this because I still pull it out of the drawer and expectantly smell it every now and then. I am from cardigan sweaters that used to warm my Daddy when he stayed so very cold all of the time.

I am from joy and pain. Pride and shame. I am from all of this and so much more.


Jennifer at Playgroups Are No Place for Children was the first place I saw this. Then today, Maggie at Magpie Musings wrote one as well. They are both beautiful writers, and I hesitated to join in - but the template (from the Campbell Folk School in North Carolina) is lovely and the results all so different. Schmutzie has also done it and is making a link-up. Come join in.