Sunday, June 24, 2012

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The oatmeal dilema

I consider it one of my motherly duties to help my kids eat a wide variety of foods.  This is no small feat considering that we have a couple of kids who instinctively throw up when a new taste or texture is encountered...(Austin...)

So last week we had a red letter day.  Half way through dinner I noticed that all SIX kids (Jackson will eat anything but potatoes) ate fish with no complaining or sneaky half portions.


The secret?--a good  layer of Panko bread crumbs, salt and pepper, and a healthy coating of cooking spray in a nonstick pan to get a good crispy yummy fish.

Time to move on to another food challenge. Breakfast.

I want my kids to eat oatmeal.  Unfortunately they think cold cereal is a punishment breakfast. Actually anything that can't be covered with peanut butter or syrup is pretty low on the breakfast totem pole.  These spoiled rotten kids actually memorized the recipe to make pancakes from scratch (their mean mother refuses to buy pancake mix...) just in case there isn't a sufficient supply of hot chocolate and toast (the second favorite breakfast around here). 

Oatmeal? Am I kidding myself?

What was the response from Landon (and everyone) when I announced that our family was going to eat oatmeal once a week?  "If I was starving in the woods and all I had to eat was oatmeal I would use it as bait to catch a squirrel."

Not much hope there.

So I found a chewy granola bar recipe from Rachel Ray and I adjusted it a little bit.

Chewy granola bars

3 1/2 cups rolled old fashioned oats
2 cups rice crispies

melt together and boil for two minutes:
1 stick butter
1/2 cup honey or karo syrup
1 cup brown sugar loosely packed
1/2 cup peanut butter (if you want...)

Line a baking pan with wax paper and tightly press the mixture into the pan.  The more you press the better the bars stick together.

Trust me.  Use the wax paper.

And don't get impatient--stick the bars in the fridge to cool. The bars won't stay together until they are completely cool.  The longer they sit the better they stick together.

Just so you are warned--if you have the need to be a bit more--uh--'regular'--eat five of these babies in one day...

Of course we sprinkled chocolate chips on top.  And added a scoop of peanut butter to one of the batches which was delicious.

Everyone loves these babies.  I figure they are getting a good half cup of oatmeal per bar.  Not bad.

*This is one of the rare recipes that has to be measured correctly --the original recipe calls for 4 cups of granola but if I'm going to buy granola I will just buy granola bars.  I have a million years supply (at our current rate...) of rolled oats so I use those.  I tried 4 cups first but 3 1/2 sticks together better. And boil it for two minutes.*

So there it is.  My oatmeal requirement is met.  Next up--salad. Or maybe tuna fish...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The irises are in bloom, the strawberries are ripe and the kids are out of school.  
It's officially summer.

Our first day home we made a wish list.  Here goes:

Swim at Dierkes Lake.
Go to the Drops in Shoshone.
Have a croquet and badminton party with homemade ice cream (try that salted caramel recipe!).
Float the Bear river.
Hike from Willow flat to Bloomington Lake.
Visit/play with our cousins.
Go to the Drive-in with friends and take our own treats.

And of course I have a million plans to clean, organize and repaint the whole house.  
But I didn't tell the kids that yet...
* Tomorrow is our 17th anniversary! I'm planning to make this for dinner and then take
Rustin out to this to have him all to myself!*