Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Well, Christmas is winding down at our house. The trees and decorations are down and (almost) all packed up and put away. I have left out some of my snowmen because they are cute and I still like to look at them (kind of like our kids, but I won't be packing them in boxes and putting them under our basement steps. Probably not anyway, there are days...)

I didn't do alot of baking for Christmas (ok, I did no baking whatsoever for Christmas) but I did make the most awesome home-made granola bars recently, which are all but gone (why do people say "all but" when they mean "almost"? Don't know. I just looked it up and they both mean the same thing. Just thought I'd share.)

Anyway, here is the recipe that I used to make home-made granola bars. It was originally given to me by my friend Jenni at church (thanks again Jenni!), and I modified it some. The original recipe was from and was called "easy granola bars" but I like to call mine "themostawesomestgranolabarsever"!

Measure out: 3 cups quick-cooking oats

1 cup miniature chocolate chips. I know, I know...they aren't Ghiradelli. Don't worry, I am not cheating on Ghiradelli. He is still my first love, he just doesn't make a mini chocolate chip. At least not that I've ever seen. So I had to settle with Hersheys as my stand-in chocolate boyfriend.

Add 2 cups any combination of nuts, seeds, or whatever else you like. I used cashews, sunflower seeds, soy nuts, and some chopped almonds (I always buy them raw and toast them myself because they have so much more flavor than canned ones.)

Add 1/2 cup dried fruit, like raisins or craisins or whatever you find amazin's (hahaha! I crack myself up!)

Make sure that you photograph the raisins with your husband's beloved red-handled measuring cups in the background. I totally didn't even pose those. That's just how cool we are around here...things just lay around naturally in awesome photographical poses all the time.

Mix everything together and pour in 1 can sweetened condensed milk and 2 tbsp. melted butter. Hint: run hot water over the can of milk to soften it before pouring.

Mix everything together with your hands in a large bowl. Make your husband stop whatever he is doing and photograph your hands in an oooey gooey mess...

grease a 9x13 pan with butter

pour the mixture into the pan and spread around

With a piece of wax paper, press everything down really snug so the bars don't fall apart later. Call your husband over, again stopping whatever he is currently doing to photograph you. Oh, and try to make your hand look thinner while doing this. But it won't work.

Bake bars at 350 for about 20-25 minutes (I do them for 25 min. so they just start to brown around the edges. They are still moist and chewy). While they are still warm, cut them into whatever size bars you want. You can even cut them crooked style like I did if you want to.

Let them cool completely and then hide a stash of them for yourself because if you don't, baby they'll be gone.


  1. Oh those do sound tasty. Great pics!

  2. they look so yummy!! I love bar cookies. :) thanks for the great pics and the recipe!

  3. Lisa, seriously, we need to get you out of the house more often. Or, you need to start a career as a food photographer.

  4. YUM. So tell me how you took those with our awesome camera!

  5. Hey Lisa!

    So glad you like the recipe! Everyone I've shared it with has loved them. I find it so fun that it's such a flexible recipe to fit your family's likes. We have stuck to the basics and use coconut, almond slivers, chocolate chips (regular sized), and dried cranberries! Actually we LOVE coconut so much that we have started doing 2 1/2 c. oatmeal and 1 1/2 c. coconut to really give it more coconut flavor!

    I have also found that I don't really need the melted butter. It doesn't really change the recipe if you leave it out...for what we have put in them anyway :)! Mary H. made a dbl. batch last weekend for her son's Cross Country ski team and the whole team loved them too! Roasting my own almonds sounds fun! I will have to try that some time!

    Great post and awesome pictures! It reminds me of The Pioneer Woman's blog!


  6. Hey Jenni,
    I just realized I called you "Julie" in my post. What in the world??? I'll change that, sorry!

    We have tried the bars with coconut, but I only used a half cup or so, and you really didn't taste it. I should try it with more. And I'll omit the butter next time, I wondered about that too. Thanks again for the yummy recipe!

  7. ...and thanks for telling me about the pioneer woman's blog! Sooo cool. I'm going to totally make her Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes now!

  8. Hey Lisa!
    No worries accidentally calling me 'Julie'! That's my cousin's name and she passed away from cancer 2 1/2 yrs. ago so I consider it an honor :)! She was a very special lady.

    I agree re: The Pioneer Woman! I want her cookbook that she just came out with! YUMMY!!! I haven't seen her Roasted Garlic Mashed potato recipe but I have made my very own roasted garlic! It's so easy and we (o.k. more me than Bruce) are garlic-aholics in our house! Everything that I cook has garlic in it...except desserts of course! LOL!!!

    I also attempted crepes for the first time last night! They were very good and a LOT easier than I thought they would be! So fun to try new recipes! I hope you have a BLESSED weekend and maybe I'll see you on Sunday :)!