I Love My House!Written by Glynis Neves
I love my house after the kids have all left for school. I'm at a very interesting time of life, right now. I have a Junior in High School, an 8th grader in Middle School, two in sixth grade at the Elementary level, and a pre-school aged little one.
To say that mornings are hectic around my house would be a HUGE understatement! But, when 8:30 a.m. rolls around, my house becomes blessedly still. Each day I take a few minutes in that stillness and just allow myself to enjoy it.
It's funny, but after a couple of hours I start to miss the noise and craziness that my kids bring to my home. I begin to look forward to the sound of the front door slamming as they trickle in from school. I love to be the one that welcomes them home. I feel blessed to get to hear their stories: triumphs over a test, fights with friends, all the bits and bobs that make up their day.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that even though I love my house after the kids have gone to school, I love it even more when they come back home to me. I love to sit with them, around the kitchen table, and enjoy a snack together while they settle in to homework. It's these moments around the table when I learn more about my kids. I hear stories of great moments at school, or moments that they regret. I hear about friendships made, and friendships broken. It's at this time, that I catch glimpses of the people my children are growing up to be.
Enjoy this no-bake granola bar recipe that my kids and I love to make! It's so easy, and can be personalized with our favorite treats! They make a great after school snack for the kids as they settle in with homework.
No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars
(recipe makes a 9 X 13 pan)
Recipe by Carole Jones of My Kitchen Escapades
- 2 C. quick cooking oats (or pulse whole oats in a food processor for a bit)
- 1 C. rice crispy cereal
- 1/4 C. shredded coconut
- 1/4 C. butter
- 1/4 C. honey
- 1/2 C. brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Mix-in variations listed below.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the oats, cereal and coconut. Set a small saucepan over medium high heat and melt the butter. Add the honey, brown sugar salt and vanilla. Stir together then leave it alone as it comes to a boil. Once the boil has reached all the way around the edges of the pan, begin timing. Allow this mixture to boil for 2 minutes and 15 seconds. During this time, you may need to turn the heat down a bit so it doesn't overflow, but be sure it keeps boiling.
- Pour the mixture over the oats, using a rubber spatula to get all the sugar mixture out of the pan. Mix the ingredients together until the oats are completely coated. Add in your desired mix-in then press very firmly into a lightly greased 9 X 13" pan. If you like your bars thicker, you can use a smaller pan. If you do not press firmly enough, the bars will fall apart when you eat them. Place them in the fridge for 20 minutes then cut to size.
Add 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips to the finished mixture before pressing into the pan, allowing it to cool just a bit or you will end up with melted chips. Sprinkle on a few extra chips over the top and press firmly.
White Chocolate Cranberry:
Add 1/3 cup of white chocolate chips and 1/3 cup of Craisins to the finished mixture before pressing into the pan, allowing it to cool just a bit first or you will end up with melted chips.
Add 1/3 cup of Heath pieces, 1/3 cup of mini M&M's and 1/3 cup of chopped pretzels to the finished mixture before pressing into the pan.
Add 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter to the finished sugar mixture before pouring it over the oats. Once mixed with the oats, add 1/2 cup peanut butter chips before pressing into the pan.
Add 1/3 cup of chopped raisins and 1/3 cup of chopped pecans to the finished mixture before pressing into the pan.
Download a copy of this recipe here. Try these and let us know which is your favorite variation!
Stories have always been a big part of my life. I grew up in a very theatrical family, and learned the art of storytelling early on. I'm grateful to my parents for teaching me how to express myself through story. Now that I have 5 children of my own, I find that I use storytelling every day. I love it when my children say, "Tell me the story about..." or "Tell us about a time when..." These are the times when genuine connections occur, and in this day and age, we need all the connections we can get with our children.
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