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Bars & Squares

Happy New Year! + {No Bake} Granola Bars

January 4, 2012

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you all had a relaxing holiday season and a splendid New Years Eve.

{Stanley Park Christmas Train for our Anniversary Tradition 12/23} (also note the colour difference between this and my ‘about me’ picture. Summer vs. Winter. *sigh*)

Our Christmas was busy, between my family and Adams, we had 5 events between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day that we attended. Christmas eve, I did the Italian thing with my Dad’s side of the family, as mentioned here. My Zia made a delicious Cioppino, an Italian fish soup/stew.

We enjoyed it along with anchovy + olive oil pasta, and a third course of Italian cabbage, baccala, and salad. On Christmas eve, we spent the night at Adam’s parents, so I drove over there after my dinner, and woke up with them to do the present thing. Something I had never really done before last year, when we first spent Christmas together.

When my brother Nick and I were little, and we were the only grand-kids for a good while on my father’s side as we are the oldest, we would have to stay up until Midnight on Christmas Eve before we could open presents. We would literally be falling asleep on the couches at my Nonna and Nonno’s, full from a huge seafood feast, waiting until my Nonno or Zio would dress up in a Santa suit. So, Christmas morning I really never had that ‘wake up santa’s been here!’ deal. But, we had the advantage to wake up and play with our toys immediately. So, when Adam and I spent our first christmas together last year, I got to experience ‘waking up on Christmas morning to open presents’ for the first time. I’m 23. Last year however, we woke up while it was still dark outside to open presents, I think we were all a little excited. But, this year, we woke up at a reasonable time of 9 am. Next year will be even better, as the first grandchild of the family will be born in just under two months! Adam’s sister is expecting their first, and Christmas will definitely be even more exciting with a little one around!

After Christmas morning with Adam’s family, we came home, got changed, and headed to my moms for more present opening and turkey dinner. The dinner was so good, and we both got spoiled this year. After dinner and visiting with everyone, we headed back over to Adam’s aunt’s house for some more dessert and drinks, and ended the night chatting with his cousins. It was a very busy Christmas, but we are both so thankful we have a large family who love us.

A few of the many gifts..

{Pasta hanger from Adam’s Parents! No more using clothes hangers for me!}

{From Adam. He understands my obsession with Seinfeld, and is constantly adding to my collection :)}

{My own ‘A’ mug from Anthropologie! Gifted by Adam’s mom :) You may remember my lamenting about it here ;)}

{Some delicious sea salts! Cannot wait to use these}

New Years Eve, however, did not go so smoothly. We decided to head to the States for a few days, shopping in Seattle on the 30th and staying with his parents at their little vacation place just over the border. It was cold, but nice to get away. Certainly not as cold as last year, when it was -10.

{We hit up West Elm and Z Gallerie! One happy girl. PS West Elm may be heading ot Vancouver..}

On New Years Eve I woke up feeling not so great, and thus, the idea of going out and celebrating was less than appealing to me. I slept til about 1:30, showered and got dressed enough to go to Trader Joe’s and a hardware store Adam had been dying to visit.

{I pretended I knew what things were, and Lainey and I waited patiently. Apparently little dogs are a big hit in hardware stores. She was quite popular.}

{One happy guy}

We were going to meet up with my friend who also happened to be in the States for New Years, and just 10 minutes away. But, I still wasn’t feeling it, so we stayed in and made ourselves a nice steak dinner.

{Lainey, my dog who you’ve probably seen before here, herehere, here, here & here, and Chubby, Adam’s parents wiener dog}

We celebrated at midnight with these two, who did not make it to watch the ball drop.

Wow, this post is getting long! My apologies, but one last thing. 2012. This year is going to bring some exciting things for me! This will by my last semester as an undergrad, and I will be officially graduating with my Bachelor’s Degree, Major in English, Minor in History, in June!! And I am planning on going travelling to Europe this summer, before returning in the Fall to hopefully begin my PDP to become an Elementary School Teacher! Adam is also going back to school this year, as he is finishing up his Electrical Apprenticeship! It’s his second degree, and second career. So, we’ll both be students! And both be graduating this summer!

I couldn’t help myself, and had to make a ‘back-to-school’ recipe. We were shopping and granola bars weren’t on sale, and I said I could make some. Adam was not about to argue. I wanted something simple, and these no-bake bars are perfect.

I even set some of the dry granola aside before adding the honey-sugar mixture, to sprinkle over top of my yogurt. You can add in whatever you like, or whatever is on hand. This is actually so easy, and I love that the ingredients are simple and requires no baking. I would definitely make these again, maybe once a month and keep them in the fridge/freezer. They will warm up by lunch time.

No-Bake Granola Bars

Recipe from Kitchen Simplicity found here

  • 2 .5 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cups nuts (I used leftover Pistachio’s from Christmas Bark)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  1. Toast oats, nuts and coconut in a large skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant, stirring often. Remove to a large bowl and toss with raisins.
  2. Place butter, sugar, cinnamon, and honey in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stir into oat mixture until evenly coated. Let sit just until cool enough to handle.
  3. Spoon mixture into 8 1/2 x 11 pan, pressing down to compact. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up. Remove from pan, peel away plastic wrap and slice into 16 bars (half lengthwise and then into 8). Wrap individually in plastic wrap or parchment paper, if desired. Store covered at room temperature.

Makes: 16 servings