Tuesday, April 29, 2014

5 minute granola bars...

Granola bars are a hot item in this house! I am constantly tossing a few in my bag, on the way out the door for snacks on the go. I have recently found it very difficult to find a chewy granola bar that isn't full of chocolate chips. Not that my kids don't eat their fair share of chocolate... it's just too messy for the car! This predicament led me to do a little research on homemade granola bars and I was amazed at how simple the recipes seem to be. Most don't even require baking!

I quickly learned that there seems to be a basic formula to making granola bars, and that you can't really go wrong with making adaptations to fit your tastes as well as what you have on hand! Andrew and I worked away with what we had in the pantry and came up with a great combination!

5 Minute Granola Bars
2 cups of rolled oats
1 cup of cereal
1/2 cup of dried cranberries
1/4 cup of sunflower seeds

1/4 cup of butter
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of honey
2 teaspoons of vanilla

Combine oats, cereal, cranberries and sunflower seeds in a large bowl. In a small sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in sugar, honey and vanilla and continue to stir until sugar has dissolved. Slowly pour the butter/sugar mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Press into a greased 8"x8" cake pan and refrigerate for a half hour. Once the bars have cooled, loosen edges with a spatula, turn out onto a cutting board and slice into desired size.

The cereal in these granola bars add a nice crunch to the chewy texture. For this recipe we used Alphabet cereal, but Cheerieos, Puffed Wheat or Rice Krispies would also be great! We've also picked up a variety of freeze dried fruit to try out some new combinations! 

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

These days...

Life has been hectic (as it always seems to be) in the Leeper House. In the month (!) since I've posted, we've had special visitors and travelled for the better part of 3 weeks! It's been a fabulous time and before I get back to sharing some projects that are in the works, I thought I would share a few photos of our adventures!

My best friend Sara and her sweet son Jake came to Baltimore to visit for a week in March. We had a lot of fun showing them our favourite spots in our new city and loved every moment of playing at home pretending that we don't live so far away! Jake and Henry are only a month apart in age and after an hour or two of testing each others limits they are the best playmates. 

We travelled to Oklahoma City for a family wedding and spent 5 days visiting with family that we don't see enough and enjoying our favourite OKC restaurants (the "barbecue" is like nothing I've had before!). We finally met a second cousin (adorable Isaac) and the boys were fast friends. Every time we leave we vow to make it back sooner, life needs to slow down!

And finally, the boys and I travelled back to Canada and spent two amazing weeks visiting with family and playing with friends... babies grow so fast when you live far away! I was lucky to have lots of help with the boys, which afforded me numerous nights out with my girlfriends and a chance to celebrate my "soon to be sister-in-law" at both her shower and bachelorette party!

It was an action packed month and I am so grateful that everyone takes so much of their time to be with us when we travel. We miss you already!