06. February 2015 · Comments Off on Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars: The Binder Recipes · Categories: cravings, kids, recipes · Tags: , , , , ,

lunchladypeanutbutterbars (2)School lunches aren’t what they used to be. My kids don’t buy school lunches because the food is gross, and the servings are too small for their “growing boy” appetites. I loved having peanut butter bars with my school lunches. They were such a special treat, and they were delicious.

 

They weren’t just a school lunchroom treat. My mom made peanut butter bars for us at home, too. The lunchroom version was thinner, and peanuttier. Mom’s was thicker, chewier, and with more frosting.  Both were tasty.  This recipe is a merger between the two.  Enjoy!

 

Thinner, crisper version

Thinner, crisper version

Thicker, chewier version

Thicker, chewier version

Printable recipe here: Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars

 

Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars

2 sticks butter

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup peanut butter

2 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

Cream the butter and sugars until light in color. Add the eggs and vanilla, then the peanut butter. Mix until it’s all incorporated and then scrape down the bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add to the wet stuff and mix just until combined.

If you want thin bars (and more servings!) spread the mixture into a 18×13” sheet pan, and bake for 15-18 minutes at 350 degrees.

If you want thicker, chewier bars, and you don’t want as many servings, spread the mixture into a 13×9” cake pan, and then bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees.

The bars are done when they are slightly browned and the center is set. While the bars are still hot, spoon 1 ½ cups of peanut butter onto the surface. Do this in small dollops across the surface of the bars, and then wait a minute until the heat of the bars melts the peanut butter. Then spread to cover the whole surface evenly.

This is the hardest part: wait for the bars to cool. (I put my pan in the freezer to speed this part along. I’m so impatient.)

Once the bars have cooled and the peanut butter has lost some of its shine, top with chocolate frosting.

Quick Chocolate Frosting

1 stick butter

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

¼ cup milk

3 cups powdered sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla

With the whisk attachment on the mixer, blend the cocoa with the softened butter, then add the milk, vanilla and powdered sugar (1 cup at a time). Done.

11. April 2014 · Comments Off on Breakfast. The non-morning person version · Categories: breakfast, cravings, kids · Tags: , , , , ,

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I am NOT a morning person. I never have been. I doubt I ever will be. I don’t function well before 10am. These are just the facts.

My kids have different ideas about mornings, ideas they certainly didn’t inherit from me. My oldest once bragged that he “slept in” until 7:30am. My kids are morning people.

I’ll admit that we probably eat more bread/pasta/rice than we should. But some days, toast is the easiest thing to make for breakfast. My oldest is perfectly content to eat cereal for breakfast every. single. day. My middle child won’t eat breakfast without some coercion, and the little guy is easy to please.  He usually eats cereal with the oldest and then has a second breakfast with me.

On the days that I make toast, all three kids get excited, even if they have already helped themselves to cereal. It’s a great second breakfast. :)

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I turn on the broiler and then lay slices of regular sandwich bread (we use Nature’s Own Honey Wheat bread, mostly) on a sheet pan.  Half of the slices get butter and a shake of cinnamon and sugar. The other half gets a generous handful of grated cheese and a sprinkle of cracked black pepper. I don’t know how long I broil it, but usually by the time I get everything put away and get plates out, the bread is toasted.

Honestly, I usually have one kid, at least, that insists on standing sentinel at the stove. I turn on the oven light, and he watches the cheese and butter start to bubble… I wish these kids were always so easily entertained!

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Serve with fruit. Today I had strawberries and mangoes. Sometimes these just get piled on a plate, and everyone grabs a banana, and we eat in the car on the way to school. I’ll never understand why my kids get up so stinkin’ early, but can’t get ready for school until the very last minute!

But today, I got to actually sit down and eat breakfast. It was nice. And it was delicious.

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What is breakfast like at your house?