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.

12. March 2014 · Comments Off on Honey Molasses Drumsticks: The Binder Recipes · Categories: chicken, main dish, recipes · Tags: , , ,


I keep a giant 3″ 3 ring notebook in my kitchen.  It is packed with the recipes I love, and this one is definitely in The Binder. I plan to share several of my favorite recipes over the next few weeks and months!

I first found this recipe several years ago in one of my favorite cooking magazines, Cooking Light. After the first time I made it, it earned a page in The Binder, and I’ve made it more times than I can count since then. It’s a family favorite for sure!Honey Molasses Chicken Drumsticks (adapted from Cooking Light)

Take 6 or 7 chicken drumsticks and remove the skin (or don’t. Your choice.), then salt and pepper all over.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix:

1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 rounded tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon molasses
3 minced garlic cloves

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil (or coconut oil) over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken on all sides, then add the honey mixture to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium low, turn the chicken so the glaze is all over the chicken. Put the lid on the pan, and cook for about 15 minutes, turning the chicken every 5 minutes or so, so the glaze will be even and so the chicken will cook evenly. When the chicken is fully cooked, take the lid off and let the glaze reduce to a rich color, and then it’s done!

honeymolassesdrumsticksIt’s messy, but so tasty, and it’s good hot or cold. Give it a try, and let me know if your family enjoys it too!