a snowy day

We have snow literally coming out of our ears, here in New England!

 

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Sent home early.  No critical homework due. 

There’s but one thing for a girl to do in such a situation.

 

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First I made a steaming hot cup of licorice tea…

 

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…and then I had myself a date with Mr. Quaker.

 

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These are my stand by, true blue, you’ve never let me down, fool-proof recipe for granola bars.  What I love most about these chunky little bars, is that the combination of flavors is limitless.  Honey?  Molasses?  Agave?  Chocolate chips?  Peanut butter chips?  Raisins?

Absolutely limitless!

Today’s combination of flavors included pecans, dark chocolate chips, flax…

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…and a deep, intoxicatingly rich swirl of blackstrap molasses. 

 

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Honey would have given these bars more of a golden hue vs. the deep chocolate color.  But I absolutely love the flavor that molasses imparts.

And, really now, who doesn’t like the color of chocolate?

 

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You want to know something?  When Mr. Quaker is around, a little bit of extra snow around the place doesn’t look so bad after all.

 

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Granola Bars with chocolate chips and pecans

These bars can be made with any mixture of your favorite ingredients—peanut butter chips, dates and coconut come to mind!  Enjoy them for breakfast, as a snack or even as a dessert with a cup of tea.  They also keep very well, and can be packed as a fun addition with your lunch-to-go.

ENJOY! 😀

  • 1 T. olive oil + pam for spraying pan
  • 1-1/4 c. old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 c. dark or semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 c. ground flaxseeds
  • 1/4 c. chopped pecans
  • 1/4 c. blackstrap molasses
  • 1/4 c. natural, chunky, salted peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Spray an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Line bottom and two sides with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on each side.  Spray again with cooking spray. In a bowl, combine oats, chocolate chips, flaxseeds, and pecans; set aside.
  2. In a small/medium saucepan, combine molasses, peanut butter, oil, and vanilla. Cook over medium until melted. Add dry ingredients to pan, turn off heat and stir to combine. Transfer mixture to prepared pan; smooth top. Bake until golden and edges pull away from sides of pan, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool completely in pan. Using paper overhang, lift bars out of pan. On a cutting board, gently cut into 8 pieces using a serrated knife. Store in an airtight container, separating pieces with wax or parchment paper, for one week.  ENJOY!

Question: What is your favorite activity on a snow day?

snow to be expected

Here in New England, we’re experiencing a bit of calm before a storm.  The news stations are claiming that 12-24 inches are expected by tomorrow.  Time to take out the snowshoes!

I figured it would be a good idea to get as much fresh air as possible today before the storm came, and went out for a nice, long walk.

And then I came home to bake a batch of breakfast muffins. 

Excuse?  The upcoming storm.  It’s not such a bad idea, you know, to prepare for any potential electric outages. 😉

Breakfast Muffins—as seen in Moosewood Restaurant’s “Cooking for Health” cookbook, with some tweaking.

I love muffins.  So when I find a muffin recipe that sounds both delicious and healthy, I throw on my apron and I bake a batch. 

These are perfect for breakfast, as they’re not overly sweet and give you plenty of fiber and nutrients to keep you going throughout the morning.  Simply pair with a glass of milk, a dish of yogurt, some fresh fruit and/or a handful of walnuts.

  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 T. molasses
  • 3/4 c. dried cranberries
  • 1 c. oat bran
  • 2 c. finely chopped apples
  • 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 c. rolled oats
  • 2 T. ground flax
  • 1/2 c. chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat oven 5o 375 degrees.  Spray 12-cup muffin tins with cooking spray.
  2. In a mixing bowl, stir together the yogurt, eggs, vanilla, and molasses.  Stir in craberries, oat bran, and apples. 
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, stirring in the oats, walnuts (if desered) and flaxseeds.  Fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture, just until combined.
  4. Spoon batter into the prepared muffin tin; fill to the brims. 
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.  ENJOY! 😀

Question: Are you expecting snow where you live?