Chances are if your kids haven’t started back to school yet they will be in the next few weeks. If you are like us then your every waking minute is consumed with the search for school supplies, uniforms, and homemade lunch plans. Can anyone tell me why black uniform pants are so stinking hard to find? This year is a milestone for our sweet little Eliza Lou, as she is entering middle school! Can anyone tell me when she grew up so fast? I feel like I missed part of it although I am sure I have been here for every second of it. Among all of the planning and purchasing for back to school I have been developing easy grab-n-go recipes for breakfast for Eliza too. By far, these peanut butter jelly bars are her favorite of all of the recipes I have come up with so we thought we should share them here with all of you.
Eliza is so excited to be back here in Long Beach and to be entering this new phase of her life with all of her friends from kindergarten. We have had a summer filled with reunions and lots of giddy little pre-teen girls coming in and out of our house as if no time has passed at all while we were living in Georgia. Todd and I are so proud of her and all of her accomplishments so far and are eager to see what the next year has in store for her. Along with all of the excitement about being back there is a definite sense of nervous anxiety about entering middle school. I have had more conversations with her than I can count about when I first entered middle school and how I can remember being nervous and a little scared too. This year will be a real adjustment for all of us, I am going to have to force myself to take a step back from her and let her experience life and start making decisions for herself and she is going to have to learn how to navigate the social aspects of middle school without me there to guide her every step of the way. I worry about the same group of things that I am sure other parents are concerned with; boys, mean girls, being stretched to thin with school work and extra-curricular activities, and boys. Did I already say that one?
Although school doesn’t officially start back here until after Labor Day we will be celebrating summer coming to an end with Eliza and a group of her girlfriends at the One Direction concert this Saturday. How on earth did Todd and I get ourselves into this one? I will be back on Monday with a new recipe for you and Beard and Bonnet’s first giveaway to celebrate 1 year of blogging here on this space. See you next week!
- 1 cup gluten-free oats
- 1 cup dry roasted, salted peanuts
- 1/4 cup raw pecans, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup flax seeds
- 2 Tbsp. organic natural peanut butter
- 4 Tbsp. butter or Earth Balance
- 2/3 cup organic brown sugar
- 1/3 cup local, raw honey
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 cups puffed brown rice cereal, I use Erewhon's
- 1/2 cup dried strawberries, roughly chopped, I use Nuts.com
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the oats, peanuts, pecans, and flax seeds on the sheet and bake about 8 minutes or until fragrant. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- In a saucepan, bring the peanut butter, sugar, honey, butter or Earth Balance, and salt to a boil over medium heat. Simmer until the sugar dissolves and a light brown caramel forms, about 5 minutes.
- Pour the caramel over the nut and oat mixture. Stir in the brown rice cereal and the strawberries until evenly coated.
- Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, extend the paper over the sides of the pan to use as a handle later. Pour the cereal mixture into the baking dish and spread out into an even layer. Cover the pan with a second piece of parchment and press down to compress the bars. Let the mixture stand for about 2 hours until firm.
- Discard the top piece of parchment and use the “handles” from the second piece of parchment to gently remove the cereal square from the pan then cut the squares into 12 equal size bars and serve.