Everything But The Kitchen Sink

I’m leaving on a jet plane…don’t know when I’ll be back again…

Well, ok, that’s a slight exaggeration – I’ll be back on Friday. I’m heading to California tomorrow morning for a short business trip, which is pretty exciting.  I’m going to be in a conference from 9am – 10pm on Thursday with 2000 of my closest friends, so I want to take something that I can stash in my purse for the flight and in case the lunch-time line-ups are horrendous. Something delicious and portable that I can also share with my coworkers. The solution? Granola bars. Not just any high-fructose corn syrup laden granola bars though; the good kind – full of dried fruit, nuts, and seeds. And, who am I kidding, maybe some chocolate for good measure.  Don’t you find it frustrating when the store-bought kinds make you choose between mix-in’s? Why should I have to decide if I want nuts OR chocolate OR fruit? Um, hello, all of the above! I hate having to play favourites. Since it quickly became obvious that (a) I’d never be able to find what I wanted in a shiny silver package, and (b) I could teach Quaker a thing or two, I just decided to make my own.

I found a recipe that looked perfect, picked up what I needed, and got cooking!

In bowl #1: old-fashioned rolled oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and cinnamon:

Give it a good toss and then throw in the good stuff: Coarsely chopped walnuts, dried cranberries, chopped dried apricots, chocolate chips, pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, and ground flax.  Doesn’t this look great already?!?!

Stir up some canola oil, honey, and vanilla…

…and mix it in with the granola mixture until its well blended.  Now, at this stage it is absolutely crucial that you take one for the team and do a little quality control sampling. It would be cruel and unusual punishment to feed these to your loved ones without ensuring that they are up to par, so please do not proceed until it has your approval.

Press the mixture into a 9 x 13″ pan that’s been lined with parchment, and bake for about 30 minutes.  Make good use of this time by checking emails and writing blog posts doing productive things like packing and cleaning your kitchen. Before you know it, they’ll be done!

Take a look at these beauties – aren’t they lovely? Now,if these bars don’t help me Make Friends and Influence People, I’m not sure what will.  If only deciding what to take were as easy as what to make, I’d be set!

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3 responses to “Everything But The Kitchen Sink

  1. I’m loving your blog. Excellent photography, and the food ain’t bad either! Have a great time in San Jose; I’m sure those granola bars will come in handy.

  2. I don’t think testing them on yourself is good enough to judge if they are tasty or not. You really need to bring them in to work and let your co-workers test them out for you! They look great! Would love the recipe. Have a great business trip!

  3. Hey Jackie. Cool blog, welcome to the world! Those look awesome, when I make these I usually use walnut oil instead of canola oil for a different taste. It’s more expensive, but whatever! Also, be careful of using dried apricots that are yellow in colour, since they’re yellow because of sulfates (preservatives) added to them. Get organic ones that are more of a brown colour. Also, as far as taking photos, I did this before for a cooking blog I had, and I found that you could buy a $1 tripod at the dollar store (yeah, seriously), and then I’d set it stationary on the counter, then press the timer so I could have more control over angles and it was easier and less messy than having to pick up the camera and wipe my hands every time.

    Good luck, cool blog!

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