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Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce.
—Michael Pollan

Feeding nine billion people in a truly sustainable way will be one of the greatest challenges our civilization has had to confront. It will require the imagination, determination and hard work of countless people from all over the world. There is no time to lose.
—Jonathan A. Foley, director of the Institute on the Environment, U of MN

The surest way to capture the flavors, colors, and textures of a culture is by using authentic products.
—Lidia Bastianich, from Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen

The most important habit you can develop is to taste as you are preparing something. Take a sample and taste it critically at different stages of the cooking, then correct the seasonings…
—Marion Cunningham, from Learning to Cook

Plant a vegetable garden if you have the space, a window box if you don’t.
—Michael Pollan

How to Make Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola: A Story of Holiday Blunders

My book club did a cookie exchange last week in celebration of the holidays.  I chose a safe, difficult to mess up cookie that I had made successfully before: Chocolate Peanut Butter No-bake Cookies, a household favorite.  There are many variations of this recipe available online; I followed the one on a website called “live well BAKE OFTEN.”

The basic gist of no-bake is you heat butter, cocoa, sugar, and milk, let boil for a minute, add your peanut butter and vanilla, then mix into your oats (I also added whole peanuts and coconut).  The mix gets dropped by the 1/4-1/2 cup on wax or parchment paper to cool. EASY PEASY!

Everything was moving along smoothly.  My mix seemed a little chunky, but the cookies were forming nicely.  However, after scooping out maybe 10 cookies, I realized I had a problem! The cookie mix was drying WAY to quickly, and I was struggling to get the drops of mix to hold together.  In a rush to salvage what I had left, I frantically pressed the mix into muffin cups in hopes they would hold.

How embarrassing!  I had 10, decent-looking, but very crumbly cookies, and I had to bring them out in public to trade with other, I’m sure, incredibly lovely cookies made by the other women in my bookgroup!  I told my husband to take one for the team and eat the ugly ones.  They still taste delicious…but each bite is crumb bomb, granola disguised as a cookie.  But hey, I LOVE granola!

My downfall?  I wanted to make 1 1/2 times the recipe.  I did 1 1/2 times everything, except the oats, which I doubled!  Oops…

My other Christmas-time blunder?  I bought SQUARE cares.  Cute and trendy, not easy to send.  I had my cards in the mail in time to arrive the week before Christmas, perfect! Until I got the mail late last week and ALL my Christmas cards, as well as a stack of some random person’s square cards, were back in my mailbox due to insufficient postage.  These trendy stupid cards need an extra $0.21.  Grrr…So I fared the lines in the post office Friday, December 22nd, to add postage to a stack of mine and some stranger’s cards.  Note to self: don’t get the cute square card!

Anyone else learn a holiday lesson the hard way?  Share in the comments below!  Let’s learn from eachother’s mistakes

Posted: 12-25-2017

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My book club did a cookie exchange last week in celebration of the holidays.  I chose a safe, difficult to mess up cookie that I had made successfully before: Chocolate Peanut Butter No-bake Cookies, a household favorite.  There are many variations of this recipe available online; I followed the one on a website called "live well BAKE OFTEN."



The basic gist of no-bake is you heat butter, cocoa, sugar, and milk, let boil for a minute, add your peanut butter and vanilla, then mix into your oats (I also added whole peanuts and coconut).  The mix gets dropped by the 1/4-1/2 cup on wax or parchment paper to cool. EASY PEASY!



Everything was moving along smoothly.  My mix seemed a little chunky, but the cookies were forming nicely.  However, after scooping out maybe 10 cookies, I realized I had a problem! The cookie mix was drying WAY to quickly, and I was struggling to get the drops of mix to hold together.  In a rush to salvage what I had left, I frantically pressed the mix into muffin cups in hopes they would hold.



How embarrassing!  I had 10, decent-looking, but very crumbly cookies, and I had to bring them out in public to trade with other, I'm sure, incredibly lovely cookies made by the other women in my bookgroup!  I told my husband to take one for the team and eat the ugly ones.  They still taste delicious...but each bite is crumb bomb, granola disguised as a cookie.  But hey, I LOVE granola!

My downfall?  I wanted to make 1 1/2 times the recipe.  I did 1 1/2 times everything, except the oats, which I doubled!  Oops...



My other Christmas-time blunder?  I bought SQUARE cares.  Cute and trendy, not easy to send.  I had my cards in the mail in time to arrive the week before Christmas, perfect! Until I got the mail late last week and ALL my Christmas cards, as well as a stack of some random person's square cards, were back in my mailbox due to insufficient postage.  These trendy stupid cards need an extra $0.21.  Grrr...So I fared the lines in the post office Friday, December 22nd, to add postage to a stack of mine and some stranger's cards.  Note to self: don't get the cute square card!



Anyone else learn a holiday lesson the hard way?  Share in the comments below!  Let's learn from eachother's mistakes"
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My book club did a cookie exchange last week in celebration of the holidays.  I chose a safe, difficult to mess up cookie that I had made successfully before: Chocolate Peanut Butter No-bake Cookies, a household favorite.  There are many variations of this recipe available online; I followed the one on a website called "live well BAKE OFTEN."



The basic gist of no-bake is you heat butter, cocoa, sugar, and milk, let boil for a minute, add your peanut butter and vanilla, then mix into your oats (I also added whole peanuts and coconut).  The mix gets dropped by the 1/4-1/2 cup on wax or parchment paper to cool. EASY PEASY!



Everything was moving along smoothly.  My mix seemed a little chunky, but the cookies were forming nicely.  However, after scooping out maybe 10 cookies, I realized I had a problem! The cookie mix was drying WAY to quickly, and I was struggling to get the drops of mix to hold together.  In a rush to salvage what I had left, I frantically pressed the mix into muffin cups in hopes they would hold.



How embarrassing!  I had 10, decent-looking, but very crumbly cookies, and I had to bring them out in public to trade with other, I'm sure, incredibly lovely cookies made by the other women in my bookgroup!  I told my husband to take one for the team and eat the ugly ones.  They still taste delicious...but each bite is crumb bomb, granola disguised as a cookie.  But hey, I LOVE granola!

My downfall?  I wanted to make 1 1/2 times the recipe.  I did 1 1/2 times everything, except the oats, which I doubled!  Oops...



My other Christmas-time blunder?  I bought SQUARE cares.  Cute and trendy, not easy to send.  I had my cards in the mail in time to arrive the week before Christmas, perfect! Until I got the mail late last week and ALL my Christmas cards, as well as a stack of some random person's square cards, were back in my mailbox due to insufficient postage.  These trendy stupid cards need an extra $0.21.  Grrr...So I fared the lines in the post office Friday, December 22nd, to add postage to a stack of mine and some stranger's cards.  Note to self: don't get the cute square card!



Anyone else learn a holiday lesson the hard way?  Share in the comments below!  Let's learn from eachother's mistakes"
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My book club did a cookie exchange last week in celebration of the holidays.  I chose a safe, difficult to mess up cookie that I had made successfully before: Chocolate Peanut Butter No-bake Cookies, a household favorite.  There are many variations of this recipe available online; I followed the one on a website called "live well BAKE OFTEN."



The basic gist of no-bake is you heat butter, cocoa, sugar, and milk, let boil for a minute, add your peanut butter and vanilla, then mix into your oats (I also added whole peanuts and coconut).  The mix gets dropped by the 1/4-1/2 cup on wax or parchment paper to cool. EASY PEASY!



Everything was moving along smoothly.  My mix seemed a little chunky, but the cookies were forming nicely.  However, after scooping out maybe 10 cookies, I realized I had a problem! The cookie mix was drying WAY to quickly, and I was struggling to get the drops of mix to hold together.  In a rush to salvage what I had left, I frantically pressed the mix into muffin cups in hopes they would hold.



How embarrassing!  I had 10, decent-looking, but very crumbly cookies, and I had to bring them out in public to trade with other, I'm sure, incredibly lovely cookies made by the other women in my bookgroup!  I told my husband to take one for the team and eat the ugly ones.  They still taste delicious...but each bite is crumb bomb, granola disguised as a cookie.  But hey, I LOVE granola!

My downfall?  I wanted to make 1 1/2 times the recipe.  I did 1 1/2 times everything, except the oats, which I doubled!  Oops...



My other Christmas-time blunder?  I bought SQUARE cares.  Cute and trendy, not easy to send.  I had my cards in the mail in time to arrive the week before Christmas, perfect! Until I got the mail late last week and ALL my Christmas cards, as well as a stack of some random person's square cards, were back in my mailbox due to insufficient postage.  These trendy stupid cards need an extra $0.21.  Grrr...So I fared the lines in the post office Friday, December 22nd, to add postage to a stack of mine and some stranger's cards.  Note to self: don't get the cute square card!



Anyone else learn a holiday lesson the hard way?  Share in the comments below!  Let's learn from eachother's mistakes"
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2 responses to “How to Make Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola: A Story of Holiday Blunders”

  1. Chris Junkins says:

    We have to keep our sense of humor when we cook, don’t we??

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