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Easy-Peasy...No, Make that Cranberry/Clementine Chaos

With March comes the desire to cooking all things spring-ish...spring-y?...well, spring related.  I want to have crisp salads, and fruity concoctions.  I want foods that taste lighter and robust.  Only...well, the garden is not yet up to the challenge.

Plus, I know there is still a glut of wintery type items in my kitchen (nuts, dates, and a plethora of dried fruits) that I really do need to use up in order to make room for all of the lighter spring fare that will soon be in abundance.  I have become more and more aware of how much food is wasted, and I am endeavoring to contribute less to this waste whenever possible.

A quick check of the pantry reveals pecans and dried fruit left over from my decidedly over-ambitious fruitcake intentions; perhaps I can do something with those.  Something slightly sweet, yet healthy enough that I can pat myself on the back for not sending the kids to school with some prepackaged snack that only feeds sugar addiction rather than the mind.  (If I can catch a "win" here, it might offset some of my "working mom" guilt.)

So, I whirl up a batch of my latest brainstorm…cranberry/clementine/pecan bars (gluten free, of course) that were first dreamed up to satisfy my Pure Bar addiction (I love, love, love their bars, but my bank account cannot keep up with my appetite!  Though, truly, they ARE worth every penny!).  My first batch was an attempt at the apple/cinnamon flavor, but this time I decided to try a cranberry/clementine/pecan...mostly because that is what I have in abundance at the moment.  (Fair warning, I also have an abundance of chocolate chips at the moment, thanks to my mother-in-law, so expect something chocolaty soon!)

Ok, so “whirl up” may not exactly be an accurate description about how these bars came into being this morning when I finally attempted them.  It started with me waking up feeling all ambitious.  I think, “Eh, how long can it take, really?  I will mix them up while the kids are eating breakfast, pop the bars in the oven, take a shower and get the kiddos ready, and then remove my fabulous creation from the oven, let them cool, and tuck one in each child’s backpack.  Easy Peasy.”  Um…no.

It all started off just fine.  Whipped them up—check.  Popped in oven—check.  Showered—check.  Got kids ready—check.  Got dressed for work—um, this is where things start to run off track.  My middle child wanders in, “Hey, mom.  Why does it smell like something is burning?” 

“Crap!”  Well, dear, that would be because something IS burning.  I dash to the kitchen and wrench out the pan.  The edges are a tad bit…darkish.  Not quite burnt.  No, really.  So I cut around that part and put the rest on a plate to cool. 

My son wandered in and tried to console me, “Oh, Mommy!  You tried your best, Mommy, I am still proud of you…have you seen my iPod?”

Then back to getting ready.

You would think that I would have learned a lesson from this, right?  Nope.  I get dressed, run back to pack the kids’ lunches, realize the bars won’t be cool enough to send yet (and I really probably should taste them before I inflict them on my children); so I pack each child a prepackaged snack (but it was gluten free and organic, so there is that) in their backpacks. 

Then my husband wanders in and says he wished he had time to eat before he had to head out.  “No worries, dear husband, I will concoct you a healthy juice in my handy-dandy juicer!” I proclaim.  Er, or words to that effect.  Then my daughter wants one.  Heck, I do, too.  So I juice everyone some carrot/apple/ginger juice, add a scoop of protein powder to his, and a tablespoon of milled flax to mine, and scurry to tidy up before I dash off to work…

So, it is nearly lunch time (actually it IS lunchtime—thanks for waiting for me, Angela!) and I am finally going to taste the bar.  I hope it was worth it.  If all goes well, I will retest the recipe (this time with a bit less cooking time) and post it tomorrow.  Wish me luck!

Life with my Aspie  – (March 2, 2011 at 5:19 PM)  

Sounds delish! I hope they taste great. Speaking of nuts and oranges, have you ever tried the Sahale Valdosta Pecan snack they sell that has pecans, cranberries, black pepper, and orange zest? Oh so yummy, but expensive. If you can figure out a homemade recipe for that I would be forever in your debt.

Terri and Angela  – (March 2, 2011 at 8:15 PM)  

No, I haven't tried them yet (but now I will have to!). If I can reproduce them, I will definitely share!

These actually turned out good. I want to proof the recipe again before I post it, though, and I am out of dates...so it will be next payday before I can give it a second whirl.

I did make some veggie/egg "muffins" tonight, though, and will post that recipe in the next day or two.
Right now, though, I promised the kiddos I would make some "pumpkin juice"...can you say Harry Potter fans!? I wanted to try something new with the canned pumpkin that I still had around from Thanksgiving!

Crap. I think this comment just turned into another post!

Devouring the Seasons  – (March 3, 2011 at 12:41 PM)  

Terri says that like it's the *kids* who're Potter fans! ;)

~ Angela

Devouring the Seasons  – (March 3, 2011 at 12:44 PM)  

In my defense, I am really just a big kid at heart! :)

Life with my Aspie  – (March 3, 2011 at 10:25 PM)  

LOL You ladies crack me up, and I definitely needed a good laugh. I have never had pumpkin juice. I would be open to tasting it though. Keep that in mind as a future posting--how to make drinkable pumpkin juice.

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