Some days I take advantage of this "me" time to enjoy a long uninterrupted shower. Other days I clean feverishly. The odd time, I will sit down with a fresh cup of coffee or tea and enjoy the silence and stillness. Then there are my baking days. I love time in the kitchen to create. I do enjoy sharing this time with my hubby and my girls, but on the rare occasion I take advantage of nap time to whip up something delicious. I turn on some music and get started!
Now, I do have a tip for keeping the Littlest entertained in the chance that she wakes before I am finished. When I bring her into the kitchen to be my helper, I move her seat and/or activity each time I change what I am doing. For example ... mixing - she can sit in her bouncy chair, rolling - move her into the Bumbo and give her a rattle, cleaning up - put her on her play mat. You get the point. It is an easy way to keep her busy and not get bored so that I can finish what I started while she was still asleep.
This past weekend, my husband took our toddler skiing for the morning. She is absolutely loving it and we are blown away by her progress this season! The Littlest and I stayed home to get some snacks made and meals planned for the week ahead. The best part ...she had a stellar nap while I got three different snacks baked! #momwin #thankyou
I wanted to try a new granola bar recipe but was having trouble finding exactly what I was craving. I ended up creating my own based on a few inspirations! They turned out better than I could have imagined! These bars are sweet, chocolatey, filled with good stuff, and #toddlerapproved. The best part is that they are not time consuming and your hands don't get dirty ....anyone who's baby begins to cry midway through baking might understand!
Chewy Sweet & Tart Granola Bars
- 3 cups oats
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp coconut palm sugar
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- Preheat oven to 350F and line a 9x9 inch pan with parchment.
- Add the oats to the pan and toast in oven for approximately 15 minutes. Stir at least once. Oats should come out golden brown and smelling toasty!
- While they toast, melt oil, sugar, maple syrup, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in small saucepan on stove. Stir until simmered to make sure coconut sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.
- Once oats are toasted, pour into a large mixing bowl.
- Add hot liquid mixture and stir until coated.
- Add chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and almonds.
- Stir. Yes, the chocolate should melt and smell delicious!
- Replace parchment in 9x9 pan and make sure there is over-hang - this will come in handy for two reasons.
- Scoop granola mixture into prepared pan and press firmly with a spatula into all corners.
- Using the parchment over-hang, fold over, and press down as firmly as possible in all directions to compress the bars.
- Place in freezer for 30 minutes.
- Remove from freezer and using parchment over-hang, remove bars from pan and place on cutting board.
- Cut into 16 squares (or rectangles if you prefer).
- Store in airtight container for up to one week.