Homemade Chocolate Chip Granola Bars – I saw it on Pinterest

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I’ve been wanting to make these for a while now and finally mustered up the courage to try it.  I got this idea from Pinterest.  If you haven’t tried Pinterest, please do-it’s brilliant!  I have my own personal pile of recipes I want to try.  You can find me on Pinterest here.  I got this recipe from Fifteen Spatulas via her You tube video.  Of course I didn’t have all of the same ingredients she used, so I think mine turned out a little different (different isn’t bad).  Here is what I used:

4 Cups of Old Fashioned Oats

1/4 Cup of Whole Wheat Flour

1/2 Cup of Toasted, Shredded, Unsweetened Coconut

1/3 Cup Brown Sugar

1 Cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips

1/2 tsp Salt (she added Kosher salt – I didn’t have any)

1/2 Cup Sunflower Seed Oil (she used grape seed oil – I didn’t have any)

1/2 Cup Honey

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Directions:

Toss all the dry ingredients around until mixed.

Mix Oil, Honey and Vanilla to combine.

Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix together until combined.

Put onto pan with parchment paper (I had to use tin foil) and press with a flat spatula until it is about an inch thick.  Use the back of the spatula to square off the edges to make a rectangle (or something close).

Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.

Let cool completely before you cut them into bars with a sharp knife.

I put them in little snack bags for the kids to take to school.  One of the reasons I made these granola bars is because my kids go to a nut free school. I had to find a recipe without peanut butter in it.  I’m petrified of sending my kids to school with anything that might have peanut butter in it, so I will make my own peanut butter bars soon, but they will have to be out of reach so that the kids don’t end up sneaking one to school without my knowing.

This is the dry mixture.

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And the wet and dry mixed together.

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The finished product!

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And you might think they turned out perfect without this last picture (but then I’d be lying).  They were delicious, but we had a problem!  I may have cut them before they fully cooled (because I was way too excited), and I may have left them in a few minutes longer than I should have.  They were more crunchy than they should have been and they got stuck to the tin foil a bit.  I had to use tin foil because I didn’t have any parchment paper (no, I was not formerly a baker).  I am so proud of myself for trying this, even though they weren’t perfect.  My kids LOVED them and I didn’t waste a bit.  I actually saved all of the loose pieces and put them in some french vanilla yogurt – delicous!

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So there you have it….my very first attempt at granola bars.  Stayed tuned.  I AM going to be trying this until it works!

An organized kitchen – Step 2 – Kids Drawer

Last week I organized underneath my sink.  It has made such a difference.  I love being able to see exactly what is in there.  I am proud to say it still looks like my after picture.

This week I have been working on a few different areas of my kitchen.  It’s hard for me to just work on one when I have to move things from one cabinet to another to make room and organize.  I was focusing on the kid’s cabinet.  I wanted it to be a place the kids could go to be more independent and not have to grab a stool to *try to reach a cup or bowl.   My daughter is 6 1/2, my older son is 5 and my youngest son is almost 2.  They all love to be independent and they are really loving their new drawer.  Even the baby goes and gets me the top to his cup after he’s asked for milk.  So cute to see them all growing up (although I’ve shed a few tears over this as well).

I had a container in my pull-out drawer that kept all of my lids in place.  This is what the drawer looked like before:

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I know, not horrible, but the space wasn’t being used like I envisioned it.  The lids were really just sitting there collecting dust.  I took out all of the regular Tupperware and their lids out.

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I don’t use lids very often when I am cooking and when I do it’s usually on about 3 of them.  I decided to move the lids to one of my Lazy Susan to make room for more kid stuff.  I used that bin to keep cups and lids for my kid’s cups.  Now they can get their own drink of water without my help.  Yay!  The other bin is for bowls, plates, and Tupperware lids.  Also in this drawer are lunch containers.   My plan is for this to be the “lunch prep” drawer.  Everything you need to get that lunch packed.

This is what my new drawer looks like now:

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Then underneath this drawer is another pull-out drawer.  I kept this the same for now.  It’s where I keep my pots and pans.  I use most of them daily.  I may move the less used ones to another spot.

I used this organizing time to clean too.  I wiped down the bins and the bottom of the drawers for a fresh start.  It feels good to be clean and organized.  Now I have to get everyone on the same page as to where everything goes.  My husband has already been caught putting the kid’s cups back in the high “adult” cabinet when unloading the dishwasher.  Labeling might help…….

I am feeling more ready to school every day!