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Monday
Mar142011

Cereal and Milk Bars

cereal and milk bars

My sister loved these Brown Butter Rice Krispie Bars so much I made them twice in one weekend. Each time the batch didn't last more than 18 hours sitting on my kitchen counter. Either no one in my family has any self-restraint or these actually are addictive, delicious, little bars.

I'm going to go with the latter.

cereal and milk bars

After so much success with those browned butter bars, I thought I would try my hand with something along a similar vein—cereal and milk bars. I've seen this idea in the stores but I can't quite bring myself to buy them (mainly because they are stuffed with preservatives and still taste stale). I figured making these myself couldn't be too hard (after all, they are very similar to rice krispie bars), so I decided to give them a try.

I chose to use multi-grain cheerios because these are a favorite in my household. I figured I'm adding enough sugar with the marshmallows so using a healthier cereal would keep these bars from popping my shirt buttons. Though, I imagine a brightly colored cereal would make these look irresistible.

cereal and milk bars

This recipe is so diverse because you can honestly use any cereal of your choosing. The bars have a chewy and crunchy texture. The browned butter gives them a subtle nutty flavor with a greater depth of flavor. The milk glaze gives them more of a "bowl full of cereal" quality to them. If you like rice krispie bars, these are for you.

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Friday
Mar112011

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

peanut butter chocolate chip cookies

Three and a half years ago, living in my first apartment in college, I thought having a pet fish was the greatest idea ever. And it was, for a year or so. I had my very own fishy friend and he had a surprisingly interesting little personality that kept me entertained. I bought him a few friends and they had a swimmingly time together.

Three years later, having pet fish suddenly doesn't seem like the greatest idea ever. That very same fish tank now sits in my bedroom and begs to be cleaned more often then I remember.

I haven't always been the best fish mother. Sometimes I forget to feed them. Sometimes I don't clean the tank for a month. Yet, my fish preserver. They are survivors. I don't understand how people struggle to keep fish alive. I'm beginning to believe mine are incapable of dying.

peanut butter chocolate chip cookies
peanut butter chocolate chip cookies

Lately, my fish tank has been making strange noises in the night. The filter (or fish?) perfectly mimics the sound of someone breathing. Long intake of breath. Short exhale. Repeat. The pattern never strays from the steady beat. The sound is subtle. In the hustle and bustle of the day, you couldn't hear it if you really, really tried.

But late at night, when the house is dark and quiet, it's there. Sometimes it takes me offguard and for a split second, I think someone is in my room with me, quietly breathing behind me, lying in wait. Soon enough (and a heart attack later), I realize it's just the fish.

I really ought to get that checked out before I actually have a heart attack.

peanut butter chocolate chip cookies

First and foremost, if you are going to make these cookies, make a double batch. I didn't and immediately after tasting one, I sorely regretted it. These peanut butter chocolate chip cookies are everything you want in a cookie. The outside is crisp while the inside stays soft and tender. They are perfect for dunking or eating plain (though you will want a glass of milk). I used chunky peanut butter to give my cookies more of a crunch though I have no reason to believe creamy peanut butter wouldn't be just as great. If you are a cookie lover, I recommend you give these a shot.

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Wednesday
Mar092011

Italian Breadstick Popcorn

Italian Breadstick Popcorn

Did you know that popcorn has more protein than any other cereal grain, more iron than spinach, more phosphorous than pretzels, and almost as much fiber as bran flakes? Yeah, me neither. I already knew that popcorn was a healthy snack choice to make because it so low in calories, but wow! With impressive credentials like that, I am beginning to think I should eat popcorn more often.

Like, every single day.

Italian Breadstick Popcorn

I recently starting making my own popcorn on the stove top and it has made quite the difference. The popcorn tastes so much fresher (and I never have old maids left over). I can adjust the salt and oil content myself, which gives me the power to control my popcorn's destiny.

If you haven't tried cooking stove top popcorn, I suggest you give it a shot. I use the Whirley Pop which hasn't made me a bad batch yet. I recommend it if you are in the market for a popcorn popper (and no, I'm not be bribed to say this). It works well for me; I have no reason to believe it won't work well for you.

Italian Breadstick Popcorn

This popcorn is incredibly addictive. Popcorn on its own can be addictive but these seasonings take it to a new level. The basil brings out the Italian flavor and the garlic salt makes the popcorn reminiscent of a good breadstick. Each kernel manages to pack a punch of flavor without adding extra calories from butter, caramel, or other toppings. If you are looking for a way to spice up your popcorn, you should give this a shot. You won't be disappointed.

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