Wednesday, September 14, 2011

No Bake Energy Bars

Confession: After 2 years of no peanut products in our home and being so completely vigilant of label reading- now that Violet has done the unimaginable and outgrown her peanut allergy- I feel a pang of guilt every time I use peanut butter. I wonder if any other parents lucky enough to be in my situation have ever felt the same.

And with that, I give you my recipe for No Bake Energy Bars. Sure there are zillions of variations on the web for these. What I am posting is a base recipe for you to build on!

1C peanut butter
1C honey (I used Sweet Dreams Merritt Island Wild Flower Honey)
3C rolled oats (uncooked)
Here's where you can get creative by choosing 1/2- 1 C or any add in you can think of!
A few ideas to get you going:
seeds (sesame, pumpkin, flax)
dried fruit
mini chocolate chips or carob
protein powder
brewers yeast

1. Combine peanut butter and honey in a medium size pot on low heat until mixed
2. Mix in the rolled oats and any other add ins
3. The intention is not to cook your mixture, just heat it enough so that combining the ingredients is easier
4. Press into a 9x9 or 9x11 inch pan (I greased mine with coconut oil)
5. Let cook and cut into bars
6. Wrap and store in the refrigerator

*Soon available for sale through Miss Mermaid*

For the lovelies who made it this far:
If you try this recipe leave me a comment and let me know what you use for add ins! I'm always looking for new ideas to keep healthy food interesting. And speaking of comments...I've been wondering lately, who is reading this blog? I'd love to hear from you and where you are located. If you have anything you'd like to suggest for a future blog post or questions you have for me leave that in the comments too! I love to hear from you and always respond <3

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fruit Cereal Bars (without a bunch of unnecessary crap!)

I love making these bars because you can make them into just about any combination of flavors you want; so much room for imagination and creativity here! They are awesome for packing into school/work lunches (kids as well as college students looking for a healthier alternative) or just an afternoon snack at home. After they bake, I cut and wrap them individually and store in the refrigerator. Grab one for an on the go breakfast as you're walking out the door!

3/4 C coconut oil (butter can also be used)
1/2 C brown sugar, packed (I was out today so I used 1/2 C evaporated cane juice)

cream above together then add:

1 C white whole wheat flour
1 C buckwheat flour or oat bran or a mixture of whatever "flours" you like (you could just use another cup of the whole wheat flour). Today I used 3/4 C Buckwheat and 1/4 C ground flax seeds
3/4 C chopped nuts, dried fruit or seeds (Pumpkin Seeds are great in this recipe) (I omitted this today bc of 1. nut allergies and 2. my kids are pretty sick of raisins right now and that's the only dried fruit currently in the house).
3/4 C rolled oats
1 teaspoon vanilla (today I used 1/2 tea vanilla extract and 1/2 lemon extract)

Press 1/2 of the above mixture into a  greased 9x13 pan

spread about 8oz of your favorite fruit preserves/jam on top (today I used the last of the strawberry jam I canned last summer)

Sprinkle then press the other half of the crumb mixture on top, pressing gently but firmly.

Bake at 350 about 30 minutes, checking at 25 minutes.  If edges are getting brown, take it out.

Cool completely.  Cut into bars.  Eat.  Enjoy.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hi, my name is...

Helen, and I have an addiction to beautiful fabric.

There are a handful of people who would ever be allowed to see the stacks of fabric I have in my sewing room. It's a little embarassing...

When I first started out sewing, I used to buy only what I needed for each particular project. Somehow (and very quickly) I gravitated to buying a minimum of 4 yards for each print I loved...and there is a LOT of gorgeous fabric out there, people.

Recently I had the experience of shopping with Sarah at Swell Cloth and it was hands down, the best fabric shopping experience I have ever had. Sarah was on it from the beginning- within an hour of my first email she had a custom order put together and posted for me to check out. The next day, my fabric shipped and again I received an email- this time with my tracking information.
All this, in my opinion should be standard for businesses. Sarah, went above and beyond to personalize this experience for me.

Today when my Swell Cloth package arrived, I finally realized I needed to sit down and write about this. Never before has a package of fabric come to me in such a beautiful and loving way. Each print was wrapped in tissue paper and sealed with a opening a present! In that moment Sarah gained a customer for life.

The two Melody Miller prints I ordered from Swell Cloth:

What are your favorite places to buy fabric? Are there any small businesses you would recommend?

places you can find Sarah
Swell Cloth on Etsy
Download the latest episode of her podcast, Stash Resolution for free on iTunes
Stash Resolution (blog)

Friday, September 2, 2011

perfect loveliness

St. Francis and the Sow
by Galway Kinnell
 The bud
stands for all things,
even those things that don't flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
 though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing;
 as St. Francis
put his hand on the creased forehead
of the sow, and told her in words and in touch
blessings of earth on the sow, 
 and the sow
began remembering all down her thick length,
from the earthen snout all the way
through the fodder and slops to the spiritual curl of
                the tail,
 from the hard spininess spiked out from the spine
down through the great broken heart
to the blue milken dreaminess spurting and shuddering
from the fourteen teats into the fourteen mouths sucking
                and blowing beneath them:
the long, perfect loveliness of sow.
The every so lovely Kathryn of Kathryn Kaye Photography has a new etsy shop!
If someone wanted to make me a very happy Helen they would purchase this 
beautiful piece of art for my birthday <3 (oh, or this!) 
Here are Kathryn's other links:
blog (a bazillion photos so striking you won't be able to stop looking until there are no more left to see) 
facebook be the first to know when she makes a new blog post or has a promotion going on!