Winner, winner, winner! This morning we picked a winner for my dark chocolate, brownie pan, cinnamon chips giveaway. We did it the way we always do here at our house. Each of the four boys and Kevin pick a name from the pot (bowl), then I blindly pick one of those five to be the big winner! It's fun to get everyone involved, except that I was going to have a fun picture of each of the boys holding their piece of paper out for the camera, but alas, one certain young boy wouldn't participate. Sigh. We won't mention any names, but I decided to just post THIS revealing the winner.
CONGRATULATIONS, Pamela at Cookies With Boys! Not that it matters, but Sam picked your name. Pamela has a great blog and as soon as I found it a year ago or so, I quickly gained that "never met you, but think you're great" feeling for her. Check out her great blog and look at her yummy food and cute boys! I love giving away stuff and also wanted to take a moment to thank ya'll for visiting my blog. I don't always get to visit as many as I'd like--I want to see them ALL!! But I love having you come by here and love the comments you leave. So, thanks!
Now, on to some amazing energy bars and a recipe---
These Energy Bars are delicious! I love snacks like this. Healthy and full of flavor and goodness. I found these bars on Jennie's blog, Losing Myself & Loving It. I recently posted some other homemade granola bars that are also SO good. I am so excited to have found these recipes and will be making both of these time and time again and can't wait to "play" with the ingredients and make all different flavors! Go see Jennie's post about these bars and read her blog. She has recently started blogging again after some time off and posts some pretty great stuff, not to mention, her posts are fun to read!
High Octane Energy Bars, adapted by me from Jennie at Losing Myself & Loving It
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup crunchy grain cereal, crushed (I used 3/4 cup Multi-Grain Cheerios & 1/4 cup Wheaties, as that is what I had) Any healthy grain cereal would work.
1/2 cup slivered almonds (I chopped them a bit)
3/4 cup dried cranberries (use a different variety of dried fruits, Jennie's recipe has 2 1/2 cups of fruit in it!)
1/2 cup wheat germ (Jennie used wheat bran)
1/2 cup protein powder (I used soy)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (or butter)
1/2 cup honey (see * below)
1/4 cup agave nectar (*you can use 3/4 cup of maple syrup or brown rice syrup, I want to try it with all agave next!)
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (I used Naturally More)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I omitted this)
Toast the oats, crushed cereal and almonds in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Place these ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the wheat germ and protein powder. Mix together.
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the oil, honey (syrup, agave, etc.) and stir until bubbly. Stir in the peanut butter (and cinnamon) until combined. Mix constantly. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract. Pour over dry ingredients, and stir together. Stir in dried fruit and combine. Press mixture into a 9 inch pan lined with foil and sprayed lightly with cookie spray. (Jennie's recipe uses a 9x13 inch pan, which I couldn't spread the mixture over without it being really thin, so I just spread it to a thickness I liked and measured it--it was 9 inches! Maybe it's because I didn't use as much dried fruit in mine.) Pat the mixture evenly using wax paper so it doesn't stick to your hands.
Refrigerate for a good four hours. Remove from pan using foil edges and cut into bars on a cutting board. (I cut the 9 inch pan of bars into 20 bars.)
Be careful not to eat too many all at once. I might have been having issues with that. They're really good! Thanks, Jennie.