mixed nut bars on the run…

Fall is in the air…leaves are turning crimson, mustard and golden…smoke fills the morning air and being outside to enjoy it all is a necessity.

And so is snacking. Healthy snacking.

I always have snacks. Ask anyone that knows me and they’ll confirm, I always have food and beverages on hand…one never knows when hunger will strike, right?

That little tummy grumble is inevitable (especially with busy little ones), so why not be prepared with a tasty treat?

Especially one which will not only satisfy any budget, but will also appeal to the desires of both sweet and savory lovers…everyone wins…

Plus, it’s easy and only requires the most basic of ingredients and a few minutes of your time.

You’ll need one sauce pan and one baking dish.

Simply melt and mix ingredients in sauce pan…

Spoon into baking dish and bake.

That’s it!

Easy clean-up too (no one ever seems to mention the clean-up part of cooking and baking)…

These little nuggets are way better than any store bought protein bar, you know all the ingredients (and most likely have them on hand), plus, you’ll save money baking these beauties at home, so why not whip up a batch for your favorite people?

Enjoy.

Mixed Nut Bars*

Print this!

ingredients

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup butter

1 beaten egg

1/2 reaspoon vanilla

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup mixed nuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, or peanuts, coarsely chopped

Grease an 8X8 inch baking pan; set aside.

butter and sugar

In medium saucepan heat brown sugar and butter over medium heat until sugar dissolves, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.Cool slightly

melted butter:sugar

Stir in egg and vanilla. Stir in flour and baking powder until just combined. Stir in nuts. Spread battter in the prepared pan.

nuts added

in pan

Bake in 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool slightly in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars while warm; cool completely in pan.

baked

served

Want a little extra love in your nut bar? Sprinkle with grated chocolate or mini chocolate chips for the last few minutes of baking…

Everyone will thank you.

Enjoy.

*Better Homes and Garden’ New baking book 1998

scrumptiously delicious

popcorn – yes, popcorn. Not the microwavable, chemical laden type served up in its own special packaging -no, I’m talking about fresh, made in minutes, popcorn…popcorn from scratch.

The whirley pop popcorn makerThe Original Whirley Pop™ Stovetop Popcorn Popper makes the best homemade popcorn ever!

I was introduced to this simple yet very efficient piece of equipment while house sitting for some friends on the island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands…I often enjoyed popcorn back in the states, but for some reason hadn’t thought to make it while in the islands. So, when our friend showed us around the house and pointed out their fabulous (and well used) popcorn maker I decided then and there that popcorn was going to be enjoyed at some point during our stay. Why not enjoy a cocktail, on the balmy veranda overlooking the Caribbean Sea while snacking on some delicious popcorn? And we did, often…

Though once back in our caribbean shack I didn’t want to use my ‘stateside’ method of popping corn – a large heavy bottom pot, covered with lid,  constantly shaking over flame, waiting for all the popcorn to pop – no, I wanted the ease of the whirley pop….and the whirley pop is not available on this tiny caribbean island, I had to wait…

We returned to the states for hurricane season and just in time for the large annual Damariscotta Hospital Yard Sale. It’s a huge yard sale held every year on a local farmers field in Damariscotta Maine. Items are donated throughout the year and categorized – proceeds support the local hospital – children’s clothes, tools, furniture, housewares, antiques, etc. are just a few of the items typically available. Can you imagine how happy I was when I spotted the new Whirley Pop in the kitchen section for only $3.00? Serendipity I say…

So, the next time you have a hankering for some snack and your not quite sure what it is, give the old fashioned idea of freshly popped popcorn a try and let your taste buds swoon…

It is so easy to use. Place enough oil (sunflower works well) to coat the bottom of the pan and pour in organic corn kernels – enough to cover the bottom of pan…place over heat and when you hear popping starting (within a few seconds) start turning the crank and within a few minutes you will have delicious fresh popcorn. Sprinkle with your favorite topping or simply a pinch or two of kosher or sea salt and enjoy!