Granola bar recipe # 3!
I first posted THIS gluten-free granola bar recipe back in December 2013, then just this past October I shared THIS recipe for my gluten-free, nut free, & refined sugar free granola bars. The reason I even made the second version was because I wanted a more clean ingredient bar to send with my kids to school, and it was good....for a time....
I mentioned in the post for the second granola bar recipe that my eldest son hates raisins, or any dried fruit at all. That recipe calls for dried fruit puree, and if I didn't get every single little lump of dried fruit pulverized, my autistic son's eagle eyes picked it out! Geez! So then I have this big batch of granola bars, and the girls will eat them and take them to school, but Caleb would not!
Then one day I was prepping a butternut squash for dinner, and was cutting out the seeds to wash and roast. When they came out of the oven, Caleb descended on the salty, roasted seeds like an un-welcomed seagull and ate them all!!! I was like "whaaaaaa?" because I had no idea he liked roasted squash seeds!
Well, since he clearly liked roasted butternut squash seeds, I thought I would offer him a handful of raw pumpkin seeds to see what he thought. He ate them and his only comment was, "these will not be very salty?" (the kid loves salty snacks and was a little bummed at the lack of saltiness in the raw seeds-but he still ate them!). Then I offered him raw sunflower seeds and he ate those up too, without any comments whatsoever!
So, with this new knowledge I thought, "why the heck am I not adding more super-heathy seeds to my kids granola bars?!?"
Well, I set out again to make a new granola bar for my kids to take to school, one with more seeds, no pureed fruit, still no nuts (nut-free school), no refined sugar, but still super tasty obviously or else my kids wouldn't eat them!
More Granola Bars!
Nut-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free & dairy free
Adapted from Keeper Of The Home
***Store these bars in the fridge or freezer***
Because of the sunflower seed butter, and the pumpkin and sunflower seeds, these bars need to stay refrigerated or frozen
I am an affiliate marketer for Vitacost which is where I buy these products (which I use to make these bars!).
What that means is that if you buy anything from Vitacost through my blog here, I make a small percentage at no extra cost to you at all!
I know there are some other great online food companies out there, but Vitacost doesn't take an annual fee (like some other discount food companies do), and if you're in Canada it's the BEST place to get a ton of healthy, organic & whole foods at super-duper prices, and for a low flat fee shipping rate. Trust me, I spent a lot of time trying to find a good health food & product store online that would ship to Canada!
Vitacost rant over!!! I just really love them, otherwise I wouldn't go on and on about it! : )
So, these granola bars turn out soft and chewy, just sweet enough, and with nice flavour and crunch from the sunflower butter and seeds. Yumm-o. And they last for quite a while in an airtight container in the freezer, which is great!
So, let's move on from granola bars, shall we....? I'm working on choreography for The Belleville Theatre Guild's "The Music Man" right now, and I'm listening to that music a lot because I like to be extremely familiar with the music in a show I'm in or working on. However, I have been distracted and listening to another musical sound track lately because I am obsessed with the musical "Matilda"!
Remember the book by Roald Dahl? They made it into a movie in 1996, but in 2010 it opened as a musical in England, then opened on Broadway April 2013.....and it's amaaaaaaa-zing! I mean, you've got this cast of freakin' talented people, mostly children, and it makes me go, "golly"! (actually more like, "gaaaaau-lee!"-see the difference?) : )
Because my random blog here is about whatever seems to pop into my head, I wanted to share a video clip from the 2013 Tony Awards where the Broadway cast of "Matilda The Musical" performed a medley from the show!
Can I just say that these amazing kids perform this show 8 times a week, and then do performances like this, or on David Letterman and other late night shows, as well as the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, I mean, geepers x 1000! At the end of the clip you see 4 Matilda's and that's because there are 4 girls who share the role (2 shows per week, and being a stand-by 2 days a week). Why do I know so much about this show? I already told you, I'm obsessed!!! I have always loved performing, but I was pretty bad at it as a child! I still did it here and there, but I wasn't any good. Then there's these kids! Hokey dina!
How many more strange expletives can I use here?!? Golly, geepers, hokey dina, golly gee, gee willikers, hot-dog, oh boy, heavens to Betsy, jumpin' jahosaphat K, I'm done.
The good news is that "Matilda The Musical" is having it's Canadian premiere in July, so I will get to see it! Two thumbs up!
I'm signing off now dear readers! Leave a comment if you'd like about these granola bars, granola bars in general, or your favourite musical! : ) FYI, "Matilda" isn't my favourite musical, "Into The Woods" is, and has been since I was probably 8 or 9 years old! I listened to the cassette tape of the original Broadway cast recording a LOT! Anywho...I digress....
For today's brief motivation I give you something clever, something inspiring and something funny. Spoiler alert-I'm the funny thing! Seriously, the last photo is of me and how I look every morning (at least in the winter!) when I'm doing the chores. People who meet me in this state and then see me in other seasons are surprised I'm not 100lbs heavier because of how puffy my winter appearance is (I do wear about 5 layers!), and I was even once mistaken for a man dressed in my winter chore gear! That's a confidence builder!
I am sharing that terrible photo because on my Health & Fitness page I share my thoughts and tips about working out while injured. And last week while walking out to do the chores I had a nasty fall and found myself needing to workout while avoiding certain strained muscles!
Anyway, here we go!
It's all there, folks. Me in all my winter farming glory! : ) When I get in from doing chores I am usually soaked in sweat because I am an excessively sweaty person normally, but then you add all the layers, then add the physical work going into the chores (lugging logs to fill our outdoor wood boiler, hauling water, throwing hay and shovelling sh-.....uh, poop), and I get back inside just soaked. Then, because our house tends to be on the cooler side, if I don't get changed out of said sweaty clothes quickly, I freeze! So, I usually run inside and get dressed into dry clothes a.s.a.p. then make myself some coffee, and all is well! It's part of my routine, part of my life, gets me out and moving first thing in the day, and I enjoy it!
Have a great Mon-day! : )
So, I happened upon a photo of what looked like a delicious pie called a "chess pie". I looked at the recipe and thought it seemed interesting, so then I do what most people do and Googled "what is a chess pie"....or is it only homeschoolers who want to know everything about everything? N-E-Who.....
The all knowing Wikipedia told me that chess pie originated in England (think of all the custard pies they make!), but is known as a Southern U.S. pie. The chess pie is a little different than a regular custard pie though in that it also includes cornmeal. Not sure why exactly, but that seems to be the ticket to make a chess pie a true chess pie! Vinegar seems to be a thing that isn't as standard, but it seemed interesting to have it in a pie, so I wanted mine to include it.
And the filling of a true (cornmeal) chess pie is naturally gluten-free, which seemed like a good starting point to making the whole thing gluten-free! I have a lovely gluten-free pie crust that I make, and making the pie filling was simply a matter of taking a few recipes and smooshing them together so that it suited me! And I had seen regular chess pies, and chocolate chess pies, so of course I wanted a chocolate pie, duh. : )
Gluten-Free Chocolate Chess Pie
For the pie crust
For the pie filling:
My gluten-free Caleb ate 2 pieces of pie for dessert, then at bedtime asked for another piece (I said no), and when he saw it at breakfast he asked for it again (...I said no again...)! So, it's safe to say he liked this pie! I made it for guests one evening and they all liked it too (none of them are gluten-free eaters regularly). So, it is a well-received gluten-free pie!
The way this pie turns out is like a custard, but without so much jiggle. That doesn't make as much sense as I had hoped it would....but, I'm sticking with that description! You can see that it has a dense, moist, fudgy consistency, and the gluten-free crust has just a subtle taste to it that goes splendidly with the chocolate-y filling. You could also make this pie in a gluten-free pastry crust, or if you're not gluten-free you could make it in a regular pastry crust!
Oh, and the name "chess pie" is still a mystery! There are a few ideas as to where this pie found it's name, but no-one seems to know for sure, so I shan't be able to help you there! I feel like it bothers me more than it would others that I can't find a reason for the name though...? Yes? I know there's got to be people out there like me who want to know the "why" behind meaningless things like the origin of a pie name!!!
Ok, well, this weekend is the callbacks for The Music Man (The Belleville Theatre Guilds spring 2016 production), and I am looking forward to it! I'm not trying out for the show this year, I'm just the choreographer! Haha, "just"! It's hard work doing choreography! Anywho, I love callbacks because you get to see everyone together that you've narrowed down from multiple auditions and there's singing and dancing and script reading, and everyone is so nervous that it's just so exciting!
Have a great weekend whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever you're doing (....I feel like I'm about to start singing a Backstreet Boys song.....yes? Anyone...?)
Ahhhh! It's Tuesday now!!!
I'm sorry, I apparently suck at Motivational Monday's because they keep ending before I've done any motivating! Whomp whomp. I had a busy day yesterday, and then after I had gotten home in the evening I just ate a snack and went to bed and forgot to post anything! Oops. Please do forgive me!
Let's move on, shall we?
For today's (random) Motivational Monday, (or any random day I see fit) I present a man who never fails to crack me up! His name is Zach Anner!
He is "an award-winning comedian, show host, and public speaker. In 2011, he won his own travel show on the Oprah Winfrey Network, Rollin' With Zach. He also hosted the shows Have A Little Faith for Rainn Wilson's media company SoulPancake, and Riding Shotgun and Workout Wednesdays on his own YouTube channel, which has over 10 million hits. Zach lives in Buffalo, NY and Austin, TX, and spends most of his spare time in his underwear, thinking about how he can change the world" (I yanked this little bio from Zach's website for his book, "If At Birth You Don't Succeed". Great name for a book, eh?!)
Please watch the video! Just do it! It's only 3 1/2 minutes out of your life, and you'll laugh, and feel happier, and that will motivate you to do whatever it is you need to do! : )
And, once you've watched it, and done your pull-ups, head over to my Health & Fitness page to read about Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss. There is a difference ya know!
Well, short and sweet today! See you later you world wide webbers! : )
Today I've got a lovely and simple recipe for you! I first made it for my middle daughter's birthday, because her theme was "teal" (yes, just the colour teal!), and I wanted to have something besides just the cake for her and her friends. I was also aware of the fact that the cake I had made was not gluten-free, and therefore my Caleb couldn't have any. Mind you. he's 11 years old and "technically" wouldn't have been invited to the party if it weren't for the fact that he is the birthday girls' brother! But, he's 11 with autism, so, that does change things. And besides, I want to let him have a special treat at a birthday too!
So, as per what often happens to me, I thought I had a brilliant idea.....only to Google it and realize someone else had already done it! I think that still counts as my idea though because I thought it up not knowing it had already been done! : )
Ok, well, at one of the grocery stores I go to, they had Duncan Hines flavour packs on clearance for $0.10! Woot woot! I love when things are on clearance! I grabbed a bunch, not having an exact plan for them, but knowing I would be using them (they are great to add to homemade buttercream icing, btw!)
Anywhoooo, these tasty little bites of sweetness are delightful, pretty simple to make, and BONUS, last for quite a while in an airtight container! After my initial batch for the birthday I made a double batch (using the less pretty colour, but delicious flavour of caramel), and crushed some to put with buttercream into the middle layer of a chocolate cake I had made. Yummm-o x 10000! Anyway, I had too many and just had the extras in an airtight container for, oh, I dunno, a month, with the kids and I just having one here and there. They tasted just as nice at the end as they did in the beginning, so, that's just a little FYI.
So, let's get on with it, shall we!?!
From Duncan Hines
I loooves me some good clearance!
So, what do you think? Cute, right?! And although this recipe involves beating egg whites, slowly adding sugar, piping and a long bake time, everything is simple, right? Does that make sense? Maybe it's not simple and I'm delusional? Please do let me know if I am delusional and you think this recipe is the worst! Be nice about it though. : )
Wanna see Abby's enormous teal cake I made for this birthday?
It was a triple layer cake with a simple (though moderately time consuming) swirly/flowery buttercream frosting. Abby said it looked like a hat......and I was inclined to agree. : ) It was clearly not a thing worth sharing about in a post (poor hat cake), well, unless I was sharing about not-so-great piping skills! Seriously, I'm not that great at piping. But it was delicious, and that's important!
Well, today we have another birthday party, only for our youngest! She couldn't decide on a theme (she literally changed her mind everyday!!!), so we finally landed on cupcakes as a theme! The common thread in all her birthday ideas was decorating food (it made sense since coming off Christmas where they were decorating gingerbread houses & gingerbread people, and gingerbread trees, yadda yadda). So, her friends are decorating their own cupcakes! I'll make one special one for her to have a candle on to blow out, but other than that, I haven't anything else to fuss over! I love making and decorating cakes, but I am also more than happy to not to! : ) So, I've got decorations to put up while the kids are at school, veggie tray to put together, cupcakes to pull out of the freezer, buttercream to make, and a ridiculous amount of candy to have ready for cupcake decorating! Seriously, I bought waaaay too much candy! Wait, is "way too much candy" even a real thing? Silly me.
Happy weekend to all!
It's finally gotten to be really wintery in Ontario!!! It was so warm and spring-ish through our Christmas holidays in Brantford, but as we drive home the skies were getting grey and blustery and the temperature began to drop. We got home, got the van un-packed, and it started to snow!
The snow makes me want to (and need to in our old house!) wear 2 sweaters, cozy socks and slippers and eat warm, comforting food!
In the past I was never a huge pasta eater. I enjoyed it once in a while, but it was never a food crutch for me (I had many others!). But as the fall settled in, I was feeling the need to change up our "usual" dinners, and comfort foods came to mind. COMFORT FOODS!!! I'm not 100% sure why I did that, but I said it out loud while typing it....I also said it like Cookie Monster....oh boy, I'm the captain of the crazy team today!
Back to warm and cosy foods.....soups and stews, casseroles and pasta, all warm, made mostly in one pan or dish, and with leftovers for packing into lunches. However, my kids (except the youngest) hate soup, they'll eat stew, but usually with some complaining and suspicious looks at what might be hiding in the dish. They enjoy casseroles, but they're not my husbands favourite.....so, that leaves me with pasta as a good family-approved comfort meal! Side note, I know it sounds like my kids are fussy (and they sure can be!), but they mostly don't like those foods because we hardly ever have them and new foods can be scary (apparently!)! Hahaha, bunch of brats...my husband included! : )
Anyway, this recipe was approved by all (with a tiny modification for the kids--I'll give that to you in the method), and was so, so soooo good! It's creamy, a little spicy, and totally satisfying! I've made this using butternut squash noodles, sweet potato noodles, and spaghetti squash, but zucchini noodles could also be used. Oh, and if you're not paleo, feel free to use gluten-free pasta, or regular pasta!
Paleo Creamy Buffalo Chicken "Pasta"
Adapted from Brittany Angell
***I prefer to use roasted butternut squash noodles (using THIS spiralizer--it' will spiralize butternut squash without it needing too be soften at all first!), but you can also use sweet potato, or zucchini noodles. If you don't own a spiralizer you can just use roasted spaghetti squash. The amount you need depends on who's eating! I can eat an entire large spiralized butternut squash to myself! Opt for too much than too little though. Leftovers are better than not having enough. For the different cooking methods, see the instructions below!***
***Start by prepping your noodle***See below the sauce recipe for the how-to!
Butternut Squash- Preheat oven to 400- Cut the bulbous end of the squash off and set aside (you can scoop the seeds out to roast and snack on, and you can also roast that little portion to use in other recipes), then cut the top off the squash, and peel (see how to do this here) I use Blade D with my Inspiralizer for spaghetti noodles. Then I place them as evenly as possible onto 2 baking sheets and drizzle with olive oil. When you're almost done making the sauce, place baking sheets into hot oven to roast for 5 minutes, then take out, toss very slightly and gently, and place pans back into oven for 5 more minutes, switching which level the pan was on for the first 5 minutes.
Sweet Potato- Spiralize into spaghetti noodles, and warm a large skillet over medium heat. Drizzle olive oil into the pan and place noodles into pan, and cook/saute until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Don't over cook them!
Zucchini- Same instructions as for the sweet potato noodles, only cook on a lower temperature, and for up to 15 minutes. They are already soft, but just need to be warmed up and have some of the water evaporate. Don't overcook them!
Spaghetti Squash- Preheat oven to 400- The typical way to roast a spaghetti squash is to cut it in half lengthwise and roast. But that's a difficult way to cut a thick and strong spaghetti squash! The easiest way to roast a spaghetti squash is THIS way. Cut the squash into rings, place onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and roast for 40 minutes, flipping them over halfway through cooking. You'll end up with nice, long strands of squash noodles, it's a lot easier to get the noodles out, and they aren't as wet as spaghetti squash noodles that are roasted when simple cut in half.
Making the sauce is so simple! Two thumbs up! : )
So many photos today!!!! : )
This meal is so tasty though, I needed to (apparently) include every photo I took! Haha, sorry! Well, ok, I really took about 40 more photos than this, so it could have been worse!
I hope everyone had a good week! We did at the Van Londersele house! It was my youngest daughters birthday yesterday, and Adam brought a bouquet of flowers home for her and you would have thought she won an Emmy, a Grammy, and a Tony award all at once!! She was so thrilled she could hardly contain it! What a dear. This week also saw temperatures so low that made my nostril hairs freeze (yum), as well as the horses nostril hairs, and the dog had an icicle beard when she got inside! It also required me to fill our outdoor wood boiler 4 times a day! Sheesh! I wore a lot of layers this week, a lot of layers indeed! But, it's all part of the Canadian home that I love, so I take it in stride, knowing that we have 4 seasons that are beautiful and terrible each in their own way!
So, this weekend we have the first round of auditions for the new musical "The Music Man" with The Belleville Theatre Guild. I'm pretty excited to get started on this new project!
Have a lovely weekend all you good people! Oh, and share with me some of your favourite comfort foods, please and thank-you! : )
I know it's Wednesday, but this is still my Motivational Monday! So, just pretend it isn't Wednesday, just for now.
I had a different post ready for the new year, but then I changed my mind about it because the pastor at our church spoke about zeal, and it got me thinking.
How many things do we do in a day with little to no effort, no passion whatsoever, no zeal at all.
Zeal is defined as great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective. I like this definition too: "fervour for a person, cause, or object; eager desire or endeavour; enthusiastic diligence; ardor"
I am not one for new years resolutions, mostly because they are unrealistic. I've talked about having hope for a new year, and last year I shared some thoughts on just generally aiming to become a better person, but now I desire to have some zeal!
What does zeal look like? For one, it looks like the 2 beautiful woman in the photo below.
Those lovely ladies are my sisters, Andrea & Sharon, and they are zealous about helping refugees. The Brantford Expositor ran a story about the Brantford Cares-Refugee Response Team and their extremely zealous efforts to support a family that is displaced because of the wars in the Middle East (here's another article they ran about it too).
A portion of the article says, "Contributors to the effort have already bested an online fundraising goal of $32,000. And now the group is aiming higher with a new goal of $52,000 to enable sponsorship of a second Syrian family to Brantford, Richardson said".
You don't raise that much money without a real passion and drive!
Deciding to sponsor a family requires a great deal of time, research, and commitment though, but as Sharon said in the article, "The weight of that responsibility doesn't escape me, but the weight of doing nothing is greater".
My wonderful friend Kelly has a heart for the homeless in Belleville and is raising money to open a shelter, Grace Inn, that focuses on "community, mentorship and dignity". There are many road blocks ahead for my friend, but I am confident that her zeal for the homeless will see her dreams become a reality. To support Kelly's effort, check out Hope for the Homeless in Belleville gofundme page.
What can you be zealous about this year? You can have zeal in giving, sharing & being forgiving. Be a peace keeper, or a peace maker. be zealously joyful and pass it around!
Zeal doesn't have to be a big thing, its a matter of your will and a drive in your heart. Galatians 4:18 says that "it is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good"-so set out with purpose to do good, and to do it with fervour!
The thing that really (really!) stuck with me about what our pastor said was that I need to have zeal in my own life to fight for what matters most to me and what God has given me! My family, my body and health, my home, my resources, and for anything else I know God has for me!
I don't know what this year holds for me yet, I have some ideas, but there is a lot unknown. So, I want to journey though this year with intention, with drive and with zeal.
Oh, and on my Health & Fitness page I talk about zeal in health & fitness, so check that out!
Can you think of something you could be zealous about this year? Share with me! Share zealously! :)
Happy New Year!!!
Hi, I'm Amy-Lyn!
I am the lady behind this here blog! I live in the sticks with my animals, my super handsome husband, and my
3 amazing kids!
Here you'll find things from recipes (gluten-free, paleo, and strait up junk food!), DIY ideas, thoughts on raising a son with autism, and whatever else pops into my brain! : )
Read more about me by clicking here!
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