Sunset after a rainy day

Once again I have been absent from the blog world, and I have no valid excuses this time. I’ve been busy with the usual things that fill any normal persons life. Work would be the main culprit, last week I was quite busy planning and organizing a spring sale in our optical boutique. It was a lot of work, but it was also a great way for me to flex my creative muscle and I got to go shopping with someone else’s money (always fun!). By Friday night I was exhausted and felt like hiding in my blanket fort all weekend. Sometimes it’s nice to avoid adulthood and just stay in your pjs all day and have a Lord of the Rings marathon.

I plan on writing a little conclusion about my meal plan adventures in my next post, along with some wedding planning tips (I know I promised those last time, oops!). So stay tuned!!! But for now please enjoy this lovely picture of the sunset on the river I took this evening. The sky was beautiful and the water was calm, it made for a beautiful shot even if I only had my iPhone handy.

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I also took this one of just the clouds in the sky, again the colors were just too pretty, I had to take a picture!

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Now it’s time for my new favorite recipe, homemade granola bars! These are so good, and a lot healthier than the ones you buy at the grocery store. It’s a very customizable recipe, you can add whatever you like, so I will start by giving you the basics.

– 1/3 cup brown sugar
– 1/4 cup butter
– 1/4 cup honey
– 2 cups large oats

Combine, brown sugar, butter and honey in a small sauce pan, melt ingredients over medium heat. Let mixture come to a light boil and cook for about 3-5 minutes. This lets the mixture thicken slightly and will help keep the granola bars together and will be less crumbly.

While the sauce is cooking on the stove, poor the oats into a large bowl. Now here is the fun part, you can add in all kinds of things! The original recipe called for 1 cup of Rice Krispies, I don’t usually have these on hand so I skipped this step. Instead I put 1/2 cup of unsalted peanuts and 1/2 cup almonds in my food processor and chopped them up coarsely (we like larger pieces).

I then added a cup of raisins, last night I made a batch with dried cranberries, yum! Poor all of your dry ingredients into the large bowl with the oats and mix them up. By now your sauce should be ready, while its still nice and hot pour into your dry ingredients, before I mix it all together I throw in 2 tbsp of smooth peanut butter. The sauce will help the peanut butter melt and it will blend in very easy.

Mix everything thoroughly and transfers to a glass dish, the size of the dish is up to you, a smaller one will produce thicker bars. Use a spoon or spatula to spread the mix evenly, make sure to do this before everything has a chance to cool off.

The last step is to add chocolate chips! If you mix them in right from the start they will melt and you will end up with a delicious chocolatey mess (I learned this the hard way) so it’s best to add them at the very end, I pour some over the mix and press them down with my spoon. You can also use white chocolate chips, dark chocolate or even peanut butter or butterscotch chips. It’s fun the play with different combinations! Let the mix cool for a few hours on the counter or pop them into the fridge for at least 30 minutes before you try to cut them into bars.

And there you have it, homemade granola bars. I know they are not the healthiest since there is butter and sugar involved, but they are delicious and very filling. I’ve tried several recipes and this is my favorite because the sauce helps keep everything together nicely and you can actually cut them into bars without them turning into a crumbly mess. Here is the link to the original recipe I found on Pinterest http://www.laurenslatest.com/no-bake-chocolate-chip-granola-bars-easy-healthy/. As always you can also find this recipe on my Pinned and Made board. Enjoy!

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