Homemade Pumpkin Granola Bars {Guest Post}

Today I’m participating in the Ultimate Blog Swap. You’ll find me posting over at Whole Foods on a Budget, telling some of my story about entering the “whole foods” (not the food store chain) lifestyle. It wasn’t a graceful (or entirely willing) transition…

At the same time, I’m pleased to welcome the talented Danielle from Mostly Food and Crafts to Serendipity ScrapNook. I’m excited about this recipe because it’s a chance to make a recognizable snack safely gluten free (Be sure to start with GF ingredients to end up with a GF product.  In this recipe the only thing you need to be careful of is the oats. All other ingredients are naturally GF.)

My Name is Danielle and I blog at Mostly Food and Crafts I blog about cooking and crafting with and for my two kids. We love finding recipes and projects that we can do together. Today I am going to share a quick recipe that my kids really enjoyed.  The recipe is for Pumpkin Granola Bars, I chose to share this recipe because I wanted to show you how easy is can be to make healthy treats for your kids.  And not only are these healthier than the bars you find in the stores but they taste better too.  They are so easy to make and you can customize them to your or your kids taste preferences.  

 I participate in a fun group called the Secret Recipe Club – and this is how I discovered this tasty treat. My kids actually asked me to double the recipe next time I make them – I guess that’s better than a two thumbs up – right?  Enjoy!!


What you need:

2 1/4 cup oats
1 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of allspice
1/4 tsp of ground cloves
1/4 tsp of salt
3/4 cup of light brown sugar
3/4 cup of pumpkin puree
1/4 cup of honey
1 tsp of vanilla extract
What you do:
Preheat oven to 350.
Spray 8×8 or 9×9 pan with cooking spray.

While the oven preheats, combine the oats, spices and salt together in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, pumpkin, honey and vanilla til smooth. Mix your wet and dry ingredients together until all of the oats are moist.

Evenly press the mixture in to the pan and bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.
Let them cool before cutting them with a sharp knife.

(Click through for a “bonus” craft project from Danielle: Clay Pot Critters.)

Leftovers Belong!

You know the other thing I never see on food blogs?

Left-over meals.

As in, What do I do with this leftover tomato-turkey soup that no one will touch?

Well, I re-purposed it in a tex-mex chili, using up the last of the turkey I had to cook because the freezer died.

And the chili was great.

But I haven’t figured out how to post that recipe:

Saute one large chopped onion. Add grated garlic, and finish sauteing.

Stir in one quart chopped turkey, along with 1T cocoa powder, 1T cumin and 1T Chili powder. and a 7oz. can of green chilies.

Stir a bit to toast and highlight the flavors.

Add 2 quarts leftover savory tomato soup (?!), a few ladles of diced tomatoes in juice (eyeball your favorite ratio) and salt to taste.

Simmer 30 minutes, then add cooked (e.g. canned. In my case, again, leftover) beans and simmer till warm and/or folks is ready to eat.

One reasonable question is how I made the savory tomato soup in the first place. (I remember using Garam Masala seasoning). But that is a bit of a moot question, since no one liked it. (Even Jay didn’t take seconds, so it had to have had issues.)

But the chili tasted great, and I canned the leftovers for quick meals in the future.

Only trouble (and I can live with it) is the recipe’s not exactly what you can call “reproduceable.”

And it seems (from my brief acquaintance) that’s the goal of food blogs.

Well, maybe I’ll start a new trend.

Early May 2012

So we’re barely out of April, but still loads going on.

(I hope really soon to start back up with the menu-building posts– because it could mean *I’m* back on a menu.)

We decided to sell Cream. It was really hard for Natasha and me.

The one consolation we could offer her is that she now has her very own rabbit. It is the last silver fox (cross) we have, and Natasha named her Black Beauty. We’ve given Natasha full ownership (along with care) and Natasha will be able to keep BB as long as she lives, if that’s her desire. She just has to maintain the present level of care.

We sold all of the non-Orpington chickens (and the extra rooster) last week, and I’ve sold a total of 14 meat rabbits so far, for breeding stock.  I expect to sell one more trio this week, along with the angora buck (and I’d let the mama-A go to, if I could find an interested buyer).

I have a few small baskets of angora from what I’ve collected over the last year, so I think one will do fine to keep me as busy as I want to be with wool.

It was a relief to find critters leaving (nearly) as fast as we wanted, and then this week I went out to feed the chickens and found a slaughterhouse.

A marten had gotten in and torn out the throats of every bird in the place.

Thankfully for me, three of the hens broke out; they were the only ones to survive (but they mean I still have home grown eggs so I can still eat eggs). I stayed up till after 3a.m. Thursday morning, trying to work through salvaging all the meat. Continue reading


We’re currently fighting a serious bug going through our house.

Melody’s fever seems to have finally stayed away (after four days of persistence), and everybody’s been pretty listless on both ends of the fever (N and E have had symptoms as well.  And it’s been interesting to observe how feeling yucky really does make you act yucky. It’s a backwards sort of nice that I can say, Woah, this is really out of character!)

Melody went through an entire square box of tissues Saturday. Elisha and Natasha picked up her cough by Sunday evening, and until yesterday (Tuesday) Elisha’s the only one who could hang on to energy.

Sunday I stayed home with the younger two. Elisha was a great helper, and Melody got dressed, which was an accomplishment compared to Saturday.

Monday both girls held their low fevers and needed lots of holding by Mama. Which was fine, accept when people want to eat, too.

Conveniently, when they’re feeling this crummy, they don’t seem to care as much about food.