Is it just me, or does anyone else find it difficult to get their kids filled up at mealtime? It seems that there’s a constant chorus of “I’m still hungry, mom!” or “Is it almost lunchtime?” (At 9:30 a.m.).

We do our best to fill up our kids with real food. But a lot of the time, that means fruits and veggies for snacks, which are great, but don’t really fill them up. That’s why I’m really excited to share this recipe with you today!

Not too long ago, I started following two amazing ladies who are gifted bloggers. Their work has multiplied into two blogs: Grounded and Surrounded, featuring Sammi, and Sarah Koontz.com, featuring Sarah. These are two beautiful ladies, inside and out. Sammi will feed your belly, and Sarah will feed your heart. If you are looking for something inspiring in your inbox or news feed, I highly recommend following both of them!

Like I said, Sammi  will feed your belly. She created this recipe for homemade granola bars , and I knew they had to be on our Silly Ninja summer menu.

Our first step was measuring out the dry ingredients.

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The recipe lists the liquid ingredients first, but since I rarely have the wherewithal to remember to take a stick a butter out of the fridge to soften, we had to improvise. Thankfully, it’s in the mid-nineties here and so it didn’t take long to get soft butter.

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Yes, that is our back patio. Worked like a charm.

This particular recipe didn’t have anything to cut (until the final product), so it wasn’t an exercise in knife skills today. But it did have a lot of ingredients, so we really tried to focus on the math of cooking… the measuring and fractions.

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“Show me the one-quarter cup, Chase!”

The ninjas really did well remembering things like “one quarter is half of one half” and “four fourths is the same as one”. Thanks to some really fun and smart mom on Pinterest (what would the rest of us do without you, fun Pinterest mom?) , I discovered a really easy way to teach kids about fractions: Legos.

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The gray Lego represents one whole, which is four dots, so the red Lego must represent half, which is two dots. Using this method they were easily able to show me what one fourth was. Genius, Pinterest Mom. Genius.

Let me stop for a minute here and share a very happy surprise that came from this recipe: The combination of liquid ingredients. If you haven’t checked out the recipe  for these yet, the liquid ingredients consist of softened butter, honey, peanut butter (I used crunchy), and vanilla.

Y’all. (Sorry, I go a little southern when it’s really, really good.) This is better than caramel sauce. I wish I could show you a picture of the look on our faces when we all had a spoon of the stuff, but the sheer euphoria we experienced caused me to momentarily forget the blog process. I want this on apples, drizzled over ice cream, and by itself with a big spoon if that’s what it takes to get in my belly.

After enjoying this for probably longer than we should have, we decided it would be good to finish the recipe and add the dry ingredients.

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I don’t usually buy the small chocolate chips, but they are a must for this recipe.

Then came the best part of all: the messy part.

The kids loved pressing the dough down into the pan, trying to get it as flat as possible on top. Note: Sammi intended for us to use an 8×8 pan for this recipe. Knowing it would be great, I doubled the recipe and used a 9×13. I wouldn’t recommend this, as the bars were a little thicker than intended. I’d use two 8×8 pans next time. 

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Gotta love the laundry in the background. This is real life, folks.

After baking, and enjoying the house smelling like an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, our creation looked like this:

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We let them cool, cut them into bars, and: Ta-Da! I like to call this “Money in the Bank.”

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The ninjas LOVED them. I’m sure with all the nutritious and hearty grains and seeds in them (not to mention some delicious chocolate chips), they won’t be asking for additional snacks!

Please remember to check out this recipe and so many other delicious options at Grounded and Surrounded!


Extra Credit!

Mark took a marathon nap this week on a day that Chase didn’t nap at all. (We’re dealing with our first year in a new city and acclimating to the allergens, which hasn’t been fun.) We decided to do an extra little cooking project, just Chase and I: Breakfast Cookies.

Mark (the older Ninja) is pretty good with a whisk, but this project gave Chase a chance to practice by himself. As you can see, an excellent tip for cooking with kids is to use a sheet pan under your work bowl.

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The tool we practiced with for this recipe was my beloved ♥ Pampered Chef cookie scoop. I use it almost every day for something, and I wish I had five more in all different sizes. It worked great for making these little cookies, which seemed to bake very slowly while they were being watched….

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These turned out great for a quick breakfast-on-the-go, or a “this will hold you over until mommy finishes her coffee” snack.

This recipe comes courtesy of 100 Days of Real Food, another one of my favorites. If you want to start your family on a path of eating Real Food (not diet food), both 100 Days of Real Food and Grounded and Surrounded are a great place to start!

 

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