Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I have been trying to find a granola recipe that doesn't turn into a crumbly mess for a while now. All of the bars in the stores either contain icky ingredients or are prohibitively expensive, but I like having a quick grab-and-go snack around the house. After much frustration, I finally hit upon the magic phrase "cookie bar" & my quest took an unexpected turn for the better. Most recipes for what are called "cookie bars" don't contain any more sugar than those labelled as granola bars, but they sure hold together a lot better! This one (like many if those labelled as granola bars) is a bit heavy on the sugar, but I always like to cook a recipe exactly as it says the first time & make adjustments later. I will definitely be making this one again & I plan to try eliminating the white sugar to cut back on the total amount.

At any rate, I wrapped the squares in wax paper and have been sending them as an extra whole-grain treat in the kids' lunches. The recipe follows the picture:

Chocolate Chip "Cookie Bars"

1/2 cup canola oil
1cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips*
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut**

*After stating that I never alter a recipe the first time, I just remembered that I used a bit less chocolate chips and . . .

**I replaced the coconut with the health-foodie version of rice krispies because my daughter hates coconut :-p

It's getting cooler here in Okieville, perfect for baking, curling up in front of the wood stove (which will be installed Friday) & snuggling. Speaking of which, here is my new snuggle partner:

Not a bad little sweetie to spend a cozy evening with!

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Wood Stove Coming!

We are finally getting a wood burning stove! Our Okie winters have been brutal the past few years & it is not unusual for the layers of ice that cover everything during our infamous "ice storms" to knock out power for days. Last year, we stayed on the skoolie (which has propane heat) for the few days we were without heat. This year I'm looking forward to staying in the house during the storms as well as the local electric company getting less of my money! Wood is plentiful on our property & it feels good to finally independently provide our own heat. I'm also looking forward to lying in the firelight on cold nights.

While we were out of town, a man who works for my husband started the rock wall that will go behind the stove. Hubbie will finish it this weekend & the stove should be installed this week!

With all due respect to Buckminster Fuller, one serious drawback to living in a geodesic dome is the dilemma of where to put a wood stove. The stove pipe has to extend so far above the roof, it is difficult to put one along the parameter of the house. The center, where the ceiling is the highest, is really the only place that works. Unfortunately, it is the spot that requires the most stove pipe to vent! Added with the professional installation required to make the insurance company happy, this has been an expensive project; however, it will be one that will pay for itself in a few years.

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