Sunday, July 24, 2011
Sweetie says that since this is ostensibly a "food blog," I should blog more about food. I do so rarely that random visitors apparently get the impression that this is a professional blog, or a travel blog, or your standard confused coming-of-age blog. So look! Chocolate! There.
Sweetie and I have been eating nothing but cereal for breakfast lately. I normally don't like cereal because it's not very filling and I get hungry for snacks in an hour. But with the deadly heat wave, pancakes, oatmeal, etc. do not sound appetizing at all. Sweetie never ate much cereal other than Cocoa Pebbles and Frosted Flakes, but the sugarsugarsugar has an even worse effect on the male blood glucose than it does on the female. He wanted to branch out, but doesn't know other brands and expected me to just pick things off the shelf that he would like. So I have been, with a relatively high success rate. He liked the Cinnamon Life, the Honey Bunches of Oats (which I mix into my bran flakes for flavor), and the Honey Nut Cheerios.
But it isn't a 100% success, because he refuses to touch the Kellog's Corn Flakes. He may not like the taste, or he may just be huffy because I commented that there's so little in them it's like eating air. Either way, I have a box of corn flakes that is not being eaten. They taste bland and salty to me, so I'm not going to dilute my bowls with them. The universal solution: chocolate and peanut butter.
I've made two variants of cereal bars in the past week, experimenting to find my preferred recipe. The first I cobbled together from various recipes on the Interwebs:
PB Cereal Treats
-pat of butter
-1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
-1 cup miniature marshmallows
-3 cups corn flakes
-dark chocolate chips
I melted the butter and stirred in the peanut butter before adding in the marshmallows and stirring until I made a big sticky mess. Then I used my full upper body strength to crush in the corn flakes and spread the mixture into a greased 8x8 pan. I dotted the top with the chocolate chips, and when they melted from the heat I used a spatula to spread them around for a bittersweet coating. After refrigerating, the result was only slightly crumbly, but nicely sweet and slightly addictive.
The second recipe came from Mama Pea. I made some modifications because I'm poorer than Mama Pea and I was baking Shake 'n Bake drumsticks for Sweetie's dinner simultaneously, so the temperature was all wrong.
Chocolate Cherry-Nut Cereal Bars
-2 tbsp milled flax seed
-1/2 cup maple syrup
-1/2 cup salted peanuts
-1/2 cup cashew halves
-1/2 cup corn flakes
-1/2 cup dried cherries (or raisins, if you can't stomach the 70¢ per ounce, which I couldn't have if I wasn't hungry and impulsive at the time)
-dark chocolate chips
Mix the flax into the maple syrup and set aside. Combine the nuts, cereal, and cherries in a bigger bowl. Pour the maple syrup over the mixture and toss to coat. Bake in a parchment-lined 8x8 pan for 10 minutes at 375°, or for 20 at 325-350° like you're supposed to. Dot the top with chocolate chips and swirl when melted like the first recipe.
Unfortunately, this second one from Mama Pea wasn't as successful as the first. Healthier and more interesting, to be sure, but because I was messing with times and had cheap fake maple-flavored syrup instead of the real stuff, it didn't set properly. The liquid all settled to the bottom and I had to flip them over after cutting to dry out in the fridge overnight. They held together slightly better after that, but I'm not sneaking into the pan like I was for the other bars.
Now back to the non-food content. Today Sweetie is reorganizing all the furniture in the bedroom to get his desk in front of the vent. He moved mine to the air conditioner in the living room while I was sleeping so he could play happily with his dwarves without overheating in the leather chair. Before, we had his set up so that we could sit on the bed to use it. Once it's moved, we'll have to go to Staples and pick out a new chair. Sweetie is very picky about his chairs, and I don't mind spending the money on it because a bad back would be much more expensive. However, we will have to find a way to keep this away from it:
At least if she's up there, like she is at this very moment, she's not scratching the heck out of the arms and kneading her claws into the seat. I don't like this chair anyway. It's made for someone five inches taller and fifty pounds heavier, and in order to get my knees over the edge I have to sit away from the back, which negates the whole point. The next time I get one for me, we'll have to find one designed for Asian people.
Posted by Tamara Marnell at 7/24/2011