Sunday, September 22, 2013
I came up with a recipe for a healthy snack bar which includes hazelnut meal flour and muesli cereal. It is a moist and chewy bar which I enjoy as a afternoon snack or as a quick healthy breakfast. This recipe yields 24 bars at approximately 214 calories each.
Hazelnut Muesli Snack Bars
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup peanut butter
2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup peeled and chopped apples
3 cups Muesli of choice - I used Muesli Fusion Athlete Fuel
1/2 cup chopped peanuts or choice of nuts
1 cup Hazelnut Meal Flour
3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup natural applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray 13 X 9 pan with nonstick spray. Peel and chop apples.
Add honey, peanut butter, butter and apples to a saucepan and heat over very low heat until softened. Remove from heat.
Add to large bowl or in saucepan combine with muesli, peanuts, hazelnut meal flour, coconut, raisins, applesauce, vanilla, and cinnamon. Stir until mixed through.
Spread in the 13 X 9 pan and place in oven. Heat for approximately 10 minutes. Remove from oven.
Cut into 24 bars. I prefer to eat these bars chilled and store them in the refrigerator.
This is a very healthy and nutritious snack, enjoy!
Friday, September 6, 2013
My daughter is an avid American Girl Doll collector. For each of the past 5 years, she usually wanted an American Girl doll either for a Birthday or Christmas gift, and following our visit, she now has a total of 5 dolls. She was excited when she heard about the new store opening in Columbus, Ohio. We decided that as an early birthday gift I would make the 5 hour drive from Buffalo, NY to visit the store. She had not previously been to any of the other American Girl Doll stores.
We stayed overnight at the Hampton Inn Columbus-Easton Area location. This hotel offered an American Girl package for guests planning a visit to the American Girl store. The staff did a wonderful job. Our stay included an American Girl doll sized travel bed that my daughter could take home, an American Girl movie which we watched in the evening in our hotel room, and a selection of American Girl books that my daughter could "borrow" during our stay. Pictured below is my daughter's American Girl doll look-a-like enjoying the complimentary breakfast.
The hotel is literally a hop, skip and jump away from the Easton Town Center in Columbus and with the help of my GPS, was very easy to find. When we first arrived at the store, we waited in line to make an "appointment" at the Doll Hair Salon which I would recommend doing promptly because the "salon" gets very busy. Our time slot was 2 hours after we scheduled the appointment. My daughter selected the Birthday "updo" which included a tiara.
She worked hard to earn some extra spending money, which believe me, disappears fairly quickly with the purchase of just a few items from this store! My daughter was thrilled with how pretty her doll's hair looked when the "stylist" was finished.
It was a wonderful way to enjoy the last weekend of the summer and to spend some quality time with my daughter before the start of school.
Mid afternoon she was in the mood for a snack. We wandered next door to Le Chocoholique in the Easton Town Center. I was craving some Café Latte as I was exhausted after the long drive. My daughter tried a piece of the "Decadent" chocolate cake and told me it was the most delicious cake she had ever tasted.
I did my best not to be tempted by the selection of exquisite chocolates and delectable treats. The Caffe Latte hit the spot and was just the pick-me-up I was craving. Something I often struggle with is how to encourage my children to develop healthy eating habits without being so restrictive that they feel deprived. Finding the middle ground can mean the difference between a child who develops into a "sugar addict" or one who has mastered the skill of moderation. It is most definitely a matter for debate. This being a once a year celebration for her birthday, she had been looking forward to enjoying some treats.
For dinner, we had reservations at the American Girl Bistro (Restaurant). The restaurant was smaller than I had anticipated, and if you are planning a visit to the American Girl store, reservations are a must. Our dinner began with the choice of an appetizer. I selected the Artichoke Spinach Dip with pita triangles. It was tasty but I mentioned to my daughter that it tasted like a bit of an indulgence. She suggested that I should try to make a "healthier" spinach dip recipe for my blog, what a wonderful idea!
The table included a seat for my daughter's American Girl Doll. She used some of the coffee creamer to pour milk into her doll's cup and then worried that the waitress might get a little upset!
I was relieved that I had the option of ordering something other than hamburgers or fries as an entrée from the menu. I tried the grilled chicken salad as my main course.
My favorite part of the meal was when the waitresses sang "Happy Birthday" to my daughter and brought out the birthday cake.
The "Birthday" package also included a take home goody bag of "treats" for her American Girl doll.
This was a wonderful trip with my daughter that I will not soon forget.