Archive | January 2013

Easy Granola Bars

granola bars
I am always looking for snacks the kids will like and this one fits the bill. They love it, it is easy to make, and very versatile. One drawback: it is a little sweet. Next time I make it I will definitely cut back on the brown sugar. These granola bars are easy and delicious.

Easy Granola bars

2 1/2 c. crispy rice cereal
2 c. quick cooking oats
1/2 c. raisins
1/2 c. packed brown sugar (i’m cutting to 1/4 c.)
1/2 c. honey
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract


1. In a large bowl, stir together rice cereal, oats, and raisins. Set aside.

2. Lightly grease a 9×13 pan (I use a 7×11 in.)

3. Combine brown sugar and honey in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat until just boiling, then remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla until creamy. Pour over cereal mixture and coat well.

4. Press into prepared pan (I use wet hands & it doesn’t stick). Allow to cool and cut into bars.

You can use whatever you have on hand in place of the raisins: sunflower seeds, slivered almonds, walnuts, craisins. Use you imagination!

I adapted this recipe from “Gobble Up Granola Bars” by TINAMARIES at



Weekly Supper Plan

Last week didn’t go as expected, so I borrowed a couple of meals that I didn’t use last week.

Monday: Mock Chop Suey + Corn
Tuesday: Chicken & Wild Rice Soup (in crock) & homemade bread or biscuits
Wednesday: Sloppy Joes & Oven Fries
Thursday: Crock Pot Mexican Pork Chops
Friday: Dinner on the Road after Aaron’s game
Saturday: Kids make dinner

Dehydrating Pineapple

dried pineapple rings
Over Christmas break Aldi’s had pineapple on sale. I bought two. We ate one raw and chunked the other for the dehydrator. It was ok, but the kids didn’t like it that much. Then I got a great idea from a video I saw on YouTube: dehydrating canned pineapple rings. Aldi’s had them in 100% juice for $.88! We bought six cans and put all the slices in the dehydrator. We saved the juice to make syrup for pancakes, waffles, and ice cream. It was enough for 12 half pint jars of syrup! We really got our money’s worth out of those cans of pineapple! The kids liked the dehydrated rings much better than the chunks (I don’t know why – I think they tasted the same. But the rings did look much better) Anyway, this was a success for us and we will definitely make them again!

Homemade Fruit Leather

nesco food dehydratorfruit roll ups

Yesterday for some reason, only the last part of my blog posted. I don’t know what happened to the other half. I was talking about my new food dehydrator. We have been using in almost every day for about 2 weeks. We have had successes and failures! I will be posting about our dehydrating efforts in the future.

Yesterday we started our first batch of homemade fruit leather. I decided I wanted to start simple, so we used natural applesauce (bought from the store) and strawberries (on sale this week). We got 2 trays that finished this evening. The kids were excited to taste it. They like it and will be taking some in their lunches tomorrow. I didn’t get any pics, but will take some the next time around. With very little effort on our part we made a healthy snack of the kids to take to school. This was definitely one of our successes!

Supper Plan (Jan 7-12)

Here are our supper menus for the weeks:

Monday: Chicken Pot Pie & Roasted Potatoes
Tuesday: Sausage Gravy & Biscuits + Steamed Carrots
Wednesday: Sloppy Joes & Corn
Thursday: Chicken & Wild Rice Soup in Slow Cooker + Homemade bread
Friday: Pizza after Aaron’s game
Saturday: Mini Pizzas & Green Beans

I don’t have to make dinner!

Insired by a program I heard on FLR this week, (and because I’m trying to start the year off right) I decided to make the kids more responsible around the house. Tonight I do not have to cook dinner! Every Saturday, the kids have to make dinner. They have to plan the menu and prepare the meal. I will be around to help and advise, but they will do the work. Tonight they are making spaghetti, meatballs, and glazed carrots. I make sure they have everything they need. I cannot wait!

It is time to get the kids going on chores again. Each child was given a chore they are to complete for the next month.

Aaron (9 yrds old) is to clear the table after dinner each evening. Carolyn (7 yrs old) is to set the table before dinner each evening. Rachel (also 7) is to wash dishes each evening. I chose these chores for each child for several reasons.

Aaron has the most homework. This chore will allow him to have time to work on homework until dinner time; clearing the table doesn’t take much time and it won’t be in the middle of homework time.

Carolyn often doesn’t like to help with chores, so this chore shouldn’t take much time for her either. I often have her set the table as early as 4:00, then send the girls out to play until supper time. This way, she gets to play & the table is ready when supper is done.

Rachel is the most cooperative about doing chores. She loves to “do the bubble side” when it comes to dishes(usually one washes, the other rinses & puts on drying rack), so this was a natural choice. She also loves to vacuum (guess what her chore might be next month).

I wanted to start off with some rather simple chores, so the kids would have success right away and not get discouraged. We started this when the kids went back to school on Wednesday and it has worked well so far.

There are other things we are going to do to have the kids help around the house. I will share more in future posts.