I could see some light flurries of snow through my office windows yesterday, but I didn't think they would stick. Then I headed out for a run and was surprised at how much snow there was. Finally, the first snow of the season!
I still haven't felt much better since leaving work early on Friday, but it had been days since I'd run and I needed to get outside. Of course this is the first day I didn't have gloves or a hat with me at work! I ran a somewhat slow and slippery 3 miles, my eyes stinging from the falling snowflakes, but it felt great!
The roads were pretty messy on the drive home, and it took me almost 2 hours to get up to New Hampshire. We canceled our movie date for Black Swan since the roads were so bad, and we set a snow date for next Monday instead.
It ended up working out for the best that we didn't go to the movies because I had a very important date with my kitchen. I was in the kitchen from 5pm - 10pm, and made a lot of progress on my homemade gifts.
Tuesday night (tonight) I'm having dinner with Chrissy and Callie. For their gifts, I made some nut butter and baked oatmeal snack bars, because these girls are always on the go and can use some easy healthful treats to throw in their bag!
I'm hoping they don't see this post before dinner so I can surprise them!
The Baked Oatmeal Bars recipe comes from Kath's blog. I am a crazy oatmeal fan, and Chrissy and Callie are as well! The recipe for homemade almond butter will be coming later in the week...
Baked Oatmeal Bars
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together dry ingredients. For my dried fruit, I chose apricots (chopped) and cranberries.
Mix together wet ingredients.
Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Stir to combine. Doesn't this look like a giant bowl of granola and milk?
Pour into a 9x9 inch baking dish lined with parchment paper (I bought my first roll of parchment paper a couple weeks ago and I swear its the best $5 I've ever spent).
Bake for 40-45 minutes.
After letting cool (or as long as you can wait) use a pizza cutter to slice into 9 pieces.
I strategically placed the pizza cutter so you couldn't see the corner that I sampled. I didn't want to give a gift before making sure it passed inspection! I thought these were very good, probably because they're made up of my favorite ingredients! Kath points out on her blog that these are not hard like a granola bar, but chewy like a thick muffin - I think that's a great way to describe them. This is a great recipe that can be altered to fit your mood (use different nuts, fruit, add seeds, or make it more dessert-ish with chocolate). We'll have to wait to hear the final verdict from Chrissy and Callie.
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 3/4 cup dried fruit, chopped (I used apricots and cranberries)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cups skim milk
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix wet ingredients in a medium bowl. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir to combine.
- Pour into a 9x9 inch baking dish lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes.
- When cool, cut into 9 squares.
Approximately 160 calories, 3 grams fiber, 5 grams protein per square.
To save these - put in Ziploc bag in freezer. Remove and microwave to enjoy warm, or let thaw at room temperature.
I'd say these would make a great snack on a cold, snowy night.