I’m in awe of how much has changed since my last post for Secret Recipe Club. In early April, I limped around the kitchen with a belly so big that I could barely reach the counters, wondering all the time about the two small people having a party in there. Today is the girls’ six week birthday and it feels weird and wonderful that they have been around this long. Last night I was lying in bed, listening to their squeaks and squawks (and willing them to fall back asleep) and feeling so blessed that they are here.
Cooking and eating are still challenging undertakings, although increasingly Frank and I get to sit down and have a real meal. Most of the time though, we need food that can be made or ordered in 10 minutes and that, preferably, can be eaten with one hand. These granola bars on Lisa’s long-standing blog Cook Lisa Cook are the exact sort of thing we need more of at the moment. Lisa’s blog is full of great ideas, especially for foods that are suitable for her sweet daughter Maisie, who has a few food allergies. Her granola bars with their toasty cashews, chewy oats, and an extra dark chocolate are the exact sort of grab-and-go snack that I get really excited about.
We had a great weekend, enjoying our last couple days with Frank’s sister in town and venturing out a few times with the girls in tow. Sunday morning, holding Clara in a sling, with Molly supervising from the sidelines, we mixed up a batch of these granola bars. We danced to Counting Crows, thanks to a 90s throwback phase that Frank is in, and dropped chocolate on the girls’ heads while we nibbled on crumbs.
- 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 and ½ cup puffed rice cereal (like Rice Krispies)
- ⅓ cup roughly chopped toasted cashews
- 150 grams dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup light brown sugar (see note)
- ⅓ cup honey
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt (omit if using salted cashews)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 inch pan and line with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, rice cereal, cashews, and dark chocolate. Melt the butter in the microwave or in a small pan over medium heat. When melted, immediately stir in the brown sugar, honey, vanilla, and salt. Pour the liquids over the dry ingredients and stir until evenly combined. Firmly press the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake until golden brown on the top, 18-20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and slice into bars.
- Wrap the bars individually in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.
It’s certainly a different scene in our kitchen these days, but one that is infinitely more fun.