Best Granola Bars I’ve Ever Had/Made

Puffed Rice Bars

Well, I’m sure almost anyone who has googled “energy bar recipe” like I did has seen this bar, since it comes from the first hit, but it’s time for me to publish how much I like them! After making them the first time, I went to the store the next morning to buy all the ingredients to make them again, in case my kids finished them off after school. They are so good, I’m a little embarrassed I’ve ever purchased a granola bar. And though I’m sure I’ll buy granola bars again, I will always wish I had taken time to make these instead. Soooo good. So Good. This recipe comes from beardandbonnet.com, but I’ve altered it a bit for our taste.

Sweet Pine Nut and Puffed Rice Bars

  • 1 c. pecans, chopped
  • 1 c. oats
  • ⅓ c. pine nuts
  • ¼ c. flax seeds
  • ⅔ c. light brown sugar
  • ½ c. honey
  • 4 T. unsalted butter
  • ½ t. salt
  • 2 t. vanilla extract
  • 4 c. puffed brown rice cereal (also could mix in puffed Kamut or Millet)
  • 1/4 c. water
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the pecans, oats, pine nuts, and flax seeds on the sheet and bake about 8 minutes or until fragrant. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a saucepan, bring the sugar, honey, butter, water, and salt to a boil over medium heat, making sure that the sugar dissolves before the mixture boils. Simmer until a light brown caramel forms, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
  3. Pour the caramel over the nut and oat mixture. Stir in the brown rice cereal until evenly coated.
  4. Line an 11×17 inch 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.
  5. 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 into bars and serve.

Spaghetti alla Primavera

Spaghetti PrimaveraI turned to this recipe because I had several vegetables on hand and wanted to get dinner on the table rather quickly, and not only was it quick, but so delicious. A great way to use many summer veggies. I also tried it with substituting different vegetables than it called for, and had fun just cutting up and using what we had. Sauteing the garlic and the tomatoes and basil together was a great finishing touch. Delicious! Taken from Saveur

Spaghetti alla Primavera

6 T. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 oz. button mushrooms, quartered
1 c. asparagus tips, blanched
1 c. small broccoli florets, blanched
½ c. frozen peas, blanched
1 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise, cut to 1″ lengths, blanched
1 lb. spaghetti, cooked al dente
1 c. heavy cream
⅔ c. grated Parmesan
2 T. unsalted butter
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
1 c. grape tomatoes, halved
2 T. thinly shredded basil
½ c. lightly toasted pine nuts

1. Heat 5 T. oil in a 12″ skillet over medium heat. Add ⅔ of the garlic; cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Add asparagus, broccoli, peas, and zucchini; cook 3 minutes. Add pasta, cream, Parmesan, and butter, season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine; transfer to a platter.
2. Bring remaining oil and garlic, tomatoes, and basil to a simmer over medium heat; pour over pasta; garnish with nuts.