Hello readers! I can't believe it is already March (WHAT?!) this year has been flying by. Spring is on the way and the rain is even starting to lighten up a little here in Seattle. Between school, work, and trying to have a personal life (yeah right) I can barely tell where the time goes. I have, however, recently re-discovered something that helps me slow down the busyness and get my creativity going. SCRAPBOOKING. And not your grandma's scrapbook either. Feminist scrapbooking, telling your own story through journal entries, photos, and art can be radical and uplifting. For my birthday (February 2nd, mark your calendars for next year) my dear friend Rachel got me an online scrapbooking class called the Awesome Ladies Project from awesome indie scrapbook goddess RuKristen. I encourage you to check out her stuff-- the blog, the shop, the classes it's all awesome!
Here are some of my recent layouts:
If you want to keep up with my ongoing projects on Instagram!
Today's tasty project is homemade Granola Bars! They're delicious and make an awesome snack or breakfast addendum and are SO EASY to make.
1 2/3 cups quick rolled oats (if you want to make them gluten-free, be sure to use gluten-free oats!)
1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar (use more for a sweetness akin to most purchased bars; use less for a mildly sweet bar)
1/3 cup oat flour (or 1/3 cup oats, processed till finely ground in a food processor or blender)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 to 3 cups dried fruits and nuts (I used dried cranberries, strawberries, blueberries, and apricots as well as almonds and cashews; all from Trader Joe's since dried fruit & nuts are not cheap!)
1/3 cup peanut butter or another nut butter
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
2 tablespoons light corn syrup (see Note above)
1 tablespoon water
1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line an 8″ x 8″ x 2″ pan in one direction with parchment paper, allowing it to go up the opposing sides. Lightly grease the parchment paper and the exposed pan, or coat with a non-stick spray.
2. Stir together all the dry ingredients, including the fruit and nuts.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, melted butter or oil, liquid sweeteners and water.
4. Toss the wet ingredients with the dry (and peanut butter, if you’re using it) until the mixture is evenly crumbly.
5. Spread in the prepared pan, pressing them in firmly to ensure they are molded to the shape of the pan. (A piece of plastic wrap and a water glass can help with this.)
6. Bake the bars for 30 to 40 minutes, until they’re brown around the edges — don’t be afraid to get a little color on the tops too. They’ll still seem soft and almost underbaked when you press into the center of the pan but do not worry, they’ll set completely once completely cool.
7. Cool the bars in their pan completely on a cooling rack. (Alternately, after about 20 minutes you can use your parchment “sling” to lift and remove the bars, and place them in their paper on the rack to cool the rest of the way.)
8. Once cool, a serrated knife (or bench knife) to cut the bars into squares. They store really well wrapped individually in plastic, in a container in the fridge.
These are the MOST delicious granola bars ever. I assure you. There is some upfront cost to get all those dried fruits and nuts BUT it is totally worth it once you have bought the packages because A you will get lots of delicious granola bars for you money and B the packages from Trader Joe's will last you more than one batch of bars.
Hope you enjoyed this week's tasty treat! Definitely check out RuKristen's site and get inspired to journal and document! Keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming post about my recent trip to the Seattle Art Museum to see Kehinde Wiley's New Republic. In the mean time, keep up with me on social media #bettybetatester and as always, send me a note if you have something you want me to test! --xo