A house update and a few recipes!

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January 16, 2013 by Carin

Hey guys!  It is mid-week and only two days left till the weekend.  We are still getting our house ready to list, so we have been busy, buys and more busy.  De-cluttering is done and the stuff we are keeping is ready to be stored in the garage…as soon as we make room and the rest is ready to be picked up for donation on Friday.  Handymen are coming next Wednesday to do a few things my husband and I don’t feel comfortable doing such as replacing a bathroom vanity, sconces and faucets.   We are thinking the kitchen needs a new coat of paint and I really need to get the carpets steamed cleaned over the weekend, luckily we have a steam cleaner!  So now that you guys know what our laundry list of home readiness looks like, I wanted to share a few recipes I have tried in the last few weeks that have tasted great, easy and convenient .

No-Bake Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Granola Bars via Two Peas and their Pod. 

These bars are really good and super easy.  I loved that I didn’t have to bake them, yet they were still firm and crunchy.  My kids loved them and they made a good afternoon snack.  I cut the bars about half the size of a store bough granola bar and that seemed to be a wonderful size.  Cut up and apple and pear and you have a perfect snack.  One addition I made to the recipe was adding some ground flax seed and next time I make them I was thinking I might also add some Chia seeds.  If you didn’t want to do peanut butter you could use any nut butter and they would be just as tasty.


1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups quick oats
1/2 cup crispy rice cereal
3/4 cup chopped pretzels
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips


1. Cut out an 8 x 8 inch square of parchment paper. Place the parchment paper in the bottom of an 8 x 8 inch baking pan.

2. In a large sauce pan, add butter, brown sugar, honey and peanut butter. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture starts to bubble. Once bubbling, cook for 2 minutes while stirring. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

3. Stir in the oats, crispy cereal, and pretzels. Stir until well coated. Pour into the prepared pan. Press the mixture evenly into the pan. Sprinkle the mini chocolate chips over the top and gently press into the granola bars with your hands.

4. Place the bars in the refrigerator and let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting. Cut into bars and serve.

Note-I store the bars in the refrigerator. I’ve kept them in the fridge for up to a week and they are still tasty!

Adapted from Rachael Ray

The second recipe I that I have tried recently is Blueberry Baked Oatmeal via So, How’s it Taste.

I doubled the recipe, but put it in the same size pan the recipe calls for. I wanted a little more volume to the recipe.  I primarily tried this recipe for my husband who loves to eat oatmeal for breakfast but doesn’t always have the time to make it.  He usually makes oatmeal with Old Fashioned Oats, but does have instant oatmeal packets at the office for those mornings he just doesn’t have time to make his usual oatmeal.  I would rather he didn’t start his day with a packaged oatmeal breakfast, but it is better than skipping breakfast.  So when I saw this recipe I thought it might be a good alternative for him.  He can quickly warm some up in the morning or put some in a container and take it with him to the office to eat.  He really liked it and the kids did to.

I am not sure if I baked it too long because the edges were more like oatmeal bread and not oatmeal.  I didn’t mind that because it tasted really good.  The middle was oatmeal consistency and was still good tasting but I think a more overall consistency might be better.  I also only used frozen blueberries because that is what I had on hand, but you could use any berry that you chose.


1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, divided
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup maple syrup (I used sugar free)
1 cup milk (I used skim)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2-3 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
1 cup blueberries or raspberries, fresh or frozen, divided


1. Preheat the oven to 375F.

2. Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish. In a medium bowl, mix the oats, half of the walnuts, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir to combine. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the syrup, milk, egg, butter, and vanilla.

3. Spread the sliced bananas in a single layer over the bottom of the baking dish. Top with half of the berries. Sprinkle the dry oat mixture over the fruit in an even layer. Pour the liquid ingredients evenly over the oats.

4. Sprinkle the remaining nuts and berries over the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top is browned and the oats have set. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

adapted by The Curvy Carrot
from Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson
via Annie’s Eats
makes 6 servings
nutritional value will vary depending on the fruit and ingredients you use

Any new recipes you have tried recently?

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