Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Indoor S'mores Bars

Now that I'm a mom - it's opens a whole new world of food and food prep for me.  When looking to make something Munchkin can help me with, there are different things to think about - what can she help me make that won't make her sick if she eats a little before it's done?  What can we make that can have some margin of error for the amount that will end up on the floor?  What doesn't need a lot of knife work, heat or patience (on both our parts)?

Now, Munchkin is just turning ONE this month (OMG!!).  She isn't really helping me yet, but I came across this recipe as something to make as a give away for her birthday party.  It's a beautiful layered jar mix.  As I was testing it for yummy-ness (as not all jar mixes are as awesome in taste and they are in look in the jar) I found it was the perfect kid recipe!  Simple ingredients - check!  Nothing raw - check!  Easy for little hands - check (she can even use her hands to mix when she is dexterous enough)!  Nothing really hot (except a little time in the oven) and no real knife work - check check!!

...AND it's super yummy to boot!

I made 4 batches of this in one night for an event at work (I got 60+ bars) and hardly broke a sweat.  Even better - you probably already have everything in your pantry.

Indoor S'mores Bars

1½ cups graham crackers cut into 1" pieces (I used teddy grahams to look festive and avoid chopping)
1½ cups mini marshmallows
¾ cup chocolate chips
½ cup plain granola (I've used vanilla bean and honey so far)
½ cup packed light brown sugar
8 Tbsp butter - melted and cooled a little
Preheat oven to 350-degrees. 
Mix all ingredients with a bowl until all pieces are gleaming with buttery goodness.  Spread in an 8x8 baking pan, making sure to pat down the graham crackers that are sticking up a bit.  Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Cool completely before cutting.
One batch makes 16 bars.

To make as a give away - layer all ingredients except butter in order listed (graham cracker on bottom and brown sugar on top) into a quart size mason jar.  Print directions and attach to jar.
Almost all packaged for party goodies -
just need to add tags and directions!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

A lot of LIFE was happening all at once

So... 2014 was busy year. It was full of extremes to say the least. Let me start at the beginning.

I got the best news of my life in August of 2013 - my husband and I were expecting!! We had been trying for a while and had finally been blessed with this new life and truly starting a family.
This amazing news was followed by the worst news of my life just that December - my father was diagnosed with stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer.

2014 then started bitter sweet. We had found out during the holidays that we were having a girl. So much to plan and so much unknown to just let happen.

In January, the chemo started and the wills were updated. We didn't know what lie ahead but Mom and Dad wanted to be prepared when what ever was going to happen happened.

In February, my sister was blessed also with not just one, but two babies due just a few months after our new baby girl.

March was full of shower celebrations for me and my husband. Family and friends came from near and far to celebrate my shower and St Patrick's Day with us.

April was hectic with preparation both at home and at work. My father was also trying a new chemotherapy regimen and it was working and letting him grow back his beautiful white hair. It may seem insignificant but it was always his favorite feature.

May, well, it was the longest month of my life and the most important month of my life. Our beautiful baby girl was born (2 1/2 weeks late). Erin now was the center of our world.

June and July were a blur - we actually got sleep but it just flew by. There were a lot of firsts. First smile, first doctors visit, first time meeting family, first trip out of the house, first BBQ. It was a beautiful summer and we tried to make sure we didn't keep ourselves away.

In August, my sister and her husband were blessed with beautiful twins - a boy and a girl. They were tiny and needed a little extra care, but were perfect in every way.

September was my first full month back to work. Catching up and trying a figure out my new life balance. (Still working on that!).

As October came around, we wanted to make sure to include my dad (who at this time was going on 10 months since his diagnosis and was still pretty active) in as many first as we could do. We went to the pumpkin patch, picked apples and ticketed off as many fall bucket list items as we could.

November was full of plans. I wanted to have the best Holiday season ever - for Erin and for my dad. We had close family fiends come up for Thanksgiving. There were 4 babies in the house for the whole weekend and my dad said he'd never felt better. So many family memories.

December was again bitter sweet. It was fast and hectic like most are. Christmas was full of toys and baby clothes and lots of firsts again, but this time it was first tooth, first movement crawling, first semi words.

Just as the New Year was ringing in a tired voice from my dad let us know that he was not...

In January 2015, my father lost his battle with cancer, surrounded by his wife and daughters.

Why am I sharing this, you ask? Because I need to. It's not a recipe and it has nothing to do with food, but the events of 2014 have changed my life more than any other year in my whole life. I think it was said best to my sister that "a lot of LIFE was happening all at once."

I am now someone different than I was in 2013 (even if just a little) and this blog is a reflection of me - my likes and interests. I'm not sure how I have changed and hope you will continue to follow me in that journey.

Snowman Pancakes - Simple and Fun!

photo: Non-Foodie Foodie Over the summer we traveled the Ohio River Valley visiting family. One of our stops was to visit my Aunt Cathy...