Simple and Delicious.





That was the dilemma inside my head this morning. The rain declared it to be the perfect morning for a hot bowl of oats, but having nothing to jump out of bed for this morning, I blog surfed.

And I saw waffles. “My” waffles, actually – that the lovely Claire made and turned out beautifully.

Hmm…maybe I do want waffles this morning. But, after finally dragging my butt outside to feed the horses and feeling the slight nip in the air, I realized that the only thing right for the morning was a bowl of hot oats – something I’ve been neglecting lately.

I won’t lie – I have a really bad memory, and since I haven’t been writing in the morning lately, am trying to remember all that was in here, and I think I’ve got it right.

and then topped with some more frozen sweet cherries and coconut which I simmered in some almond milk and added some coconut flour to thicken a bit. More coconut, Nature Valley Cashew Cluster crumbs, and Cacao Bliss also joined the party with a little drizzle of agave.

This was my first time adding protein powder – it may have added a little bit of a weird texture, but it’s easy to get over, especially in the small amount I used. I love the bourbon vanilla Tera’s Whey, and totally forgot about this half-used sample of wolfberry. It’s really good for shakes and such, but not so much protein cakes, which I make just about every night :P

French Vanilla, I do believe!

This bowl sort of reminded me that no matter how much I may try to convince myself otherwise, I am not a fan of chocolate. Mreh, well.

This was the first morning in a long while where I had nowhere to be and nothing planned until 12:30, when I would meet my mom at the barn. I took my time going through my Google Reader with my oats and the Early Show, and by the time I was sick of that, it was still only 8:30.


Needless to say, this is how it went down:

Yep; Mae to the rescue!! (And Dee, I agreed, and had another cup)

With my new frugalness, I have mentioned that I am cutting back on buying bars, and am proud to say that I can’t remember the last time I bought one.

That being said, I’m far from running out, but think I should start perfecting a bar recipe now, no? As mentioned, I creeped Mae and found these bad boys.

I tried to follow directions. I really did! I mean, I even read so well that I immediately nixed my initial idea to swap maple syrup for Mae’s requested honey. I used my direction-following skills that I learned from preschool and tossed that thought out the window when she stated specifically not to.

Oh, well. Guess I’ll have to follow directions . I did halve the recipe. I didn’t see myself wanting 16 bars that were all the same right off the bat.

I toasted the oats and nuts just as she says, although I really don’t know if there were supposed to be nuts or not. (Mae?) They weren’t in the ingredients list and kinda just popped up out of nowhere when she said to go ahead and toast the oats “and nuts.” Whether they were supposed to be there or not, I found it to be a delightful suggestion, and threw in some chopped walnuts with the 1/2 T. peanut oil, 1/8 t. cinnamon, salt, 1/2 T. honey, and 1 c. rolled oat mixture all for toasting.

The next step is where I got a little experimental.

Mmmm! This is gonna be duhliscious!

Rather than combining honey and peanut butter, I decided to make up a bit of a date paste by blending four dried dates, ~2 T. of agave, and a bit of water. It was still thicker than honey, so I did end up adding a little bit more water later. I decided to use PB & Co’s Mighty Maple for this recipe, and combined that and the date mixture.

Microwave until blendable, and then added in 3 T. milled flax, 1/2 T. flaxseeds, and 1 T. wheat germ.

And then I kept reading the ingredients list.


I’ve been letting my dried fruit supply dwindle. What in the hay am I going to use for fruit? Why didn’t I think of that first?


Puffed grain cereal? Crap. Puffed grain cereal. What the hay am I going to use to replace that?! Crap. Mae, help! You threw me for a loop here. Puffed grains, Puffins…I could crush up Puffins. Uh, get real, Jess.

After that personal battle, I just threw in 1/4 c. kamut hot cereal, 2 T. wheat bran, some Nature Valley peanut cluster crumbs, 1 T. spelt flour, and 2 chopped dried Turkish figs.

What? The nut clusters have puffed rice…don’t give me that look.

I combined everything together and pressed down in a bar pan:

Okay, okay, so maybe it’s meant for baking mini bread loaves, but not in my mind. How perfect is it? It fit eight bars perfectly. I pressed down really firmly with my hands and then the back of a spoon before baking at 325* for 20 minutes. There were a couple that I drizzle a tiiiiny bit of honey on top before tamping, too.

I was mildly terrified that I would never get these out of the pan since Mae specified to use parchment paper, but I just made sure to liberally spray them with cooking spray and they popped right out. Next time I wouldn’t bake them for so long, though. While my mom loves the crunchiness, I would prefer them a little chewier. Of course, I also like them heated and she liked them cold. To each his own.

They really would be amazing with Puffed Amaranth, I think – I’ll have to look for that next time I’m at the co-op. My mom actually loves these, too. Total score. Can’t wait to play more. I had half as soon as I took this picture, and then this followed:

A pumpkin-cranberry bran muffin that I made and froze a while ago, with some earth balance and homemade walnut-cranberry-cinnamon butter…

And the last of my wolfberry tera’s Whey shaken with some almond milk before heading off early to the barn. I also packed a sandwich since I figured I’d be hungry by the time I drove home, and I was. By then it was 2:00, and even though my morning snacks held me over well, I was ready for this sammie by the time I drove home:

No, you're not imagining things. That's just bread. I just thought I'd remind you why I love this bread so much.

I smeared on some Mighty Maple, fig spread, and chopped wlanuts and it was, quite simply, delicious. Just like the ‘nola bars. After sampling mighty maple, oats, and figs all morning, it was sort of a given that I would have a simple PB&J sammie for lunch.

I’ve no shame.

A gala apple was also enjoyed, though I didn’t pack any other snacks because I figured I’d just enjoy them at home. I devoured the other half of my granola bar as soon as I stepped foot in the kitchen after enduring an entire ride home with a blood-thirsty hornet that got shut in my car and bombarded me as I was daydreaming about Teddie. I nearly jumped out of my nickers (hah! pun intended. Yes, I know knickers is spelled with a k. work with me.) and after that, every rain drop that landed on my arm as I drove through town in a rainstorm with my windows open was obviously another hornet out to get me.

And then worked on a cottage cheese bowl with Annie’s honey bunny grahams, pumpkin butter, cinnamon, and golden raisins…

…and a Gnu Foods Bar of the Lemon Ginger variety – the rest of it, anyways.

But that didn’t keep me happy for long, and soon worked on another granola bar…the remains from part of one mine took, and left the rest for “later.” I guess my name is Later.

I love these heated – soft, warm, peanut buttery-figgy-love.

And then I declared dinner was going to be early tonight.

I ate at 4:45. I am not kidding. And once again, I have no shame.

I once again kept it simple. Simple and delicious, mind you.

I knew right off what I wanted.


I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately…but whenever I went to make dinner wouldn’t really want it. Sounds weird, but I guess it’s just how I work.

Whole wheat penne tossed with olive oil, dried basil, chopped tomato, red pepper, sundried tomato, and chopped black bean cutlet. Topped with some toasted pine nuts and mediterranean herb feta cheese. And roasted brocc, of course.

and dessert of another granola bar – one split with le madre.


The Teddie Chronicles

See that jump? Yeah, we tackled that baby like it was nothing. Uh, just kidding...

Lookit the big guy! Doesn’t he look proud?

I didn’t really plan on riding him today, but he took the saddle so well and lunged great that I figured – why not?

He was quite good – one small spook that I’m not sure if it was an actual spooking at something he heard from behind, or if it was just a green horse moment and decided to scoot forward a couple steps. It got me a little uneasy at the time, but we went around a couple more times and he was fine, so we ended on a good note. It was really nothing, and I’d rather have a horse spook like that thank bolt off bucking. And if it wasn’t that something startled him, as my mom reminded me, if he wanted to dump me he would have done a whole heck of a lot more than a quick scoot forward. He stopped right afterwards and was quiet for the rest of the time, too – but he does hate the bit.

I’m not sure yet if it’s just a baby horse thing and he hasn’t had enough time with one in his mouth to get used to it, or if I need to explore other options. I just have an eggbutt french link, and will try an eggbutt snaffle tomorrow. He was completely, 100% relaxed on the lunge (I lunged with the saddle but not the bridle) – and he actually impressed me at how supple and giving he was, clockwise especially. His trot was quite free and “swingy,” something it hadn’t been yesterday. I could sense him getting a little tense when I walked him in-hand with the bit, though.

I’ll probably make it a point to lunge him with the bridle tomorrow, and if he doesn’t settle may try an English hackamore until he’s more comfortable undersaddle in general.

This picture was actually right before he spook/scooted, and if you look at his eye/ears, he does look a little worried about what’s going on behind him. My mom wasn’t sure if it was her fault since she took the picture and two seconds later he scooted, haha. (I’m patting him for giving me a nice halt, but I find it comical because it looks like I’m trying my hardest to get him to GO, haha)

At least he looks handsome when he’s alert, right? ;) The plan for tomorrow morning is lunge with bridle, and possibly saddle. Depends on the circumstances going on at the barn.

I’ve got some more granola bars to go eat.

Over and out.


Filed under breakfast, cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, health food, healthy living, lunch, oatmeal, recipe

31 responses to “Simple and Delicious.

  1. Michelle

    Wow girl that is quite the adventure in making bars! I’m so bad with following directions too! haha. I never have the right ingredients so I just tend to wing it.

  2. Those granola bars sound absolutely fabulous!!! And go you for improvising so much!! Mine wouldn’t have turned out quite as nicely, I imagine. Though granola bars ARE on my list of things I want to make soon. I need to kick the bar buying habit too.
    Mmm those oats look yummy! I haven’t had any in ages and ages… they stopped being appealing but I kind of miss them now.
    Your simple PB & J also sounds good.. maybe I’ll have that tomorrow?
    Love ya girl!

  3. I love your mini bread loaf “bar” pan! I’ve never seen that type of pan before, but it looks perfect for baking bars!! I’ll keep my eye out for one :-).

  4. Jess!
    You look absolutely too cute on little Teddie! He’s going to be a stunner :) I am so excited that you made so much progress today, and I can’t wait to hear how tomorrow goes.
    <3 Tat

    ps. If it makes you feel any better, oats and chocolate don't do it for me either. I always think I might like it, but I’ve tried it enough to know that I really don’t. Haha.

  5. I need one of those pans! I know it seems weird I don’t have one. What a perfect use for it! If we lived next door to each other…I would have gladly given you some wheat puffs! I have a bag here waiting to go in my granola that I never seem to get around to making! Teddie is just stunning! Your dinner looks delicious! Enjoy your evening!

  6. I’m so jealous that your recipes still work out when you tweak them. Mine have always resulted in giant failures! I really want to try making these bars though and hopefully they’ll work out if I stick to the recipe! :P

  7. Mae

    I’m glad the bars came out good anyway despite the issues… I can’t believe I don’t have nuts on the ingredients list! Eeeek… need to fix that ASAP!
    You look awesome riding Teddie by the way!

  8. Mae

    The issue with the nuts was in the metric recipe…. I think it was missing that ingredient. :-o
    I’ll have to check the printer friendly ones too!

  9. I’m so impressed, those bars look GREAT! No shame in eating at 4:45! I would too if I was home at that hour. Snacks are what get me through the day!

  10. I also just realized we had very similar blog titles tonight hahaha! We always do this and I love it!

  11. Wow I didn’t know that BAR PANS exist! The bar looks so wholesome and yummy! Send me some? :-)

  12. You are a baking genius. Those bars look amaaazing! And the fact that you used Mighty Maples makes me want them even more. I still can’t get over how beautiful Teddie is. Hope he lunges well for you tomorrow!

  13. thehungryscholar

    Just found the blog. Sounds weird, but I think you take really great food pictures. I also like the design of your blog.

    You make food look really good. :

  14. I think you made the right breakfast choice. Looks delicious!

    The bar baking pan you used is awesome! I should make homemade bars more so I won’t buy so many.

  15. I am seriously up way too late to be posting, but since I am up…I am so happy to have read this post and thanks for the shout out lady! I think I am wanting some cooked oats tomorrow for a lil comforting…and I miss them too sometimes in the warmer months.

    The mini loaf pan definitely works for the bars…I am so sick of cutting ones I make and having them break into pieces. That seems like the perfect solution.

    I had pasta tonight too because it had been too long!

    Oh, and I still am loving the Teddie chronicles, although I am still clueless in some of the terminology. The spooking incident though, is something I do understand. Maybe your mama was right, and he was freaked by the photo situation or something similar.

    Have a lovely Friday lady!

  16. I made those granola bars! Except mine didn’t come out very well :( I have no idea where I went wrong, but they just weren’t that good :( but using a mini loaf pan? Oh my. That is GENIUS!
    I love all your meals otoday; they’re always so neat looking! Mine are just like a splat :/
    Totally agree with you on the spook buck thing – I’d far rather a spooky horse [Chika] than a bucky horse [Chika]!
    Have a good day :)

  17. Great pictures of you and Teddie – he truly is a beautiful horse – glad you had a good day riding him!!
    I love how you were able to modify the recipe based on what ingredients you had – they look wonderful – i definately have to try to make my own granola bars – you should post more of your recipes – all of your meals from today look fabulous – you truly are very talented and have a knack for cooking!!!! Thanks for sharing – xoxo aimee
    ps looking forward to hearing more about your progress with the adorable Teddie!!!

  18. Those bars looks awesome. You’ve got to post the recipe when you find the mix you like the best! I just made some vegan bran muffins and spent some quality time improvising too. Disaster potential was high, but they’re actually pretty good :) Yay for successful improvisation!

  19. I can’t remember if I commented on your last post, but I’m glad you got your router back!! I have a similar pan, that is so perfect to make granola bars with, why didn’t I think of that?? Teddie really is gorgeous, it may have something to do with your amazing photography, but he really is beautiful!

  20. Making your own bars. Wow!
    The pasta looks so yummy.

  21. That loaf pan worked perfectly! I have a brownie pan I’m dying to try out. And when do you ever have an excuse to make brownies?!

  22. omg i need to get a mini loaf pan like that!!! i think ive seen some at the baking sotre in the mall!! i’ll have to check them out. mmm i love ur granola bars!!! im just thinknig of all the dif things i could make using the pans.. talk about a new way for me to enjoy muffins.. little rectangle loaf muffins maybe.. lol

  23. Katherine: What About Summer?

    Yay for no waffles! where has everyone else been getting off eating them? I wish I could try that whey so bad; the flavoring looks wonderful and the ingredients are clean.

    I love the pics of you doing something you enjoy!
    happy weekend!

  24. Hey Jess
    I have been reading for blog for like ages now but now that I have a blog I can finallyy comment and I just wanted to say that your eats are absolutely inspirational. It is amazing to see someone who is so creative and takes so much pleasure in their food and just WOW. You are amazingly talented not only with food but also your photography is absolutely stunning. I’m hoping to be taking a photography course this summer and I want to be as good as you lol!
    And Teddie looks absolutely adorable and I’m so jealous!
    Please keep up the lovely blogging because I love loveee reading every day and I hope to see some more recipes as your meals are inspiring me to be creative at the moment!
    Nicky xx

  25. Those granola bars look fantastic. Whenever I make them, they taste fantastic but don’t stay together well…yours look absolutely perfect!! Can’t go wrong with a PB&J, either. Great idea to add walnuts, I’ll bet the crunch was great! Hope you have a wonderful weekend :)

  26. Pingback: Carbs and Caffeine « Healthy Exposures

  27. oh man! hehe, I’m glad I’m not the only who needed coffee that day! ;) And I have to say another OH MAN for the food in this post. I’ve just eaten bfast and I think I may be hungry again! lol!

  28. Pingback: Newfound Knowledge « Healthy Exposures

  29. The penne really looks delicious! Totally something that I would make for dinner, and save some leftovers for work the next morning. I’m going to have to put it on my list to try soon. Today I made Low Fat Tomato Pasta Salad. I hope it’s tasty. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  30. Hi,
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    Charlene Jenkins
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  31. Pingback: Breaking News, The Sweet Summer Treat That Banishes a Bulge | Simple And Delicious Guidelines & Toolbox

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