Deliciously Distracting: Chewy Pumpkin Granola Bars
My job hunt continues. As I work on developing some “big picture” pitches and proposals, I have been applying to a full-range of jobs to afford daycare for our 2 girls, in the interim. I never suspected returning to work after a few years of being family-focused was going to be easy but I absolutely underestimated just how drained I would quickly become from it all. Job hunting is exhausting and doing it with kids hanging off of you (literally) is making me a crazy person.
Kids seem to have a gift for sensing when you need to focus on something other than them and they use that radar to effectively time their catastrophic melt-downs just right. Last week I had an important phone interview scheduled for 1pm. I had done everything in my power to wear them down in the morning and have them napping for the call but it just didn’t work. I distracted them with TV minutes before the call and peace and quite looked promising until the phone rang and all hell broke loose. I actually ended up locking myself in the coat closet in an attempt to muffle the outside screams. If the HR rep on the other end of that call only knew that I had one hand holding a shaking door closed and the other wrapping a jacket around the phone to muffle the screams of my possessed children while answering the question, “Have you ever had a conflict with another and what did you do to resolve it?”
The job hunt process can be deflating and full of rejection but I just can’t take it too personally. While the girls are home with me, it’s my responsibility to keep a happy, calm tone to the household. So, in order to stay happy, we stay distracted. Fortunately for us, there is a beautiful bounty of fall harvest produce to bake with and many corn mazes to explore, thanks to our local farms. Pumpkin has become a favourite ingredient to play with and these Chewy Pumpkin Cranberry Chocolate Chip Granola Bars are an excellent (and easy) way to bake healthy treats together. I like that they are full of healthy, all-natural ingredients and made from scratch, the girls love the chocolate chips – whatever works
Chewy Pumpkin Cranberry Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
Another recipe courtesy of Sweet Pea’s Kitchen
Serves 10 to 12 granola bars
- 3 1/4 cups old fashioned oats
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the bottom and sides of a 8-by-8-inch baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up two sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends.
Kid A: In a large bowl, combine oats, spices, and salt together. Set aside.
Kid B: In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, pumpkin, applesauce, honey, and vanilla extract. Pour mixture over oats and stir well, until combined. Stir in chocolate chips and cranberries.
Mom: Place the mixture into the prepared pan. Using a small piece of parchment paper, press mixture evenly into pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool in dish for about 10 minutes. Lift granola square from dish with the parchment paper and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then cut into squares and serve. Enjoy. xoAdd to favorites