Our boys are currently going through a stage called eating everything all of the time.
I’m not sure what’s going on, but it’s testing both my creative cooking abilities and our budget.
So it may not surprise you that I’m a sight to behold at Costco.
You can’t miss me: I’m the one with groceries piled high and spilling over the edges of my wagon. (I know most of America calls them “shopping carts” but here in Hawaii they are “wagons.”) I’ve never been gifted with organizational skills, so that adds to the half-hazard-overflowing-wagon-scene. The other problem is I don’t get to Costco as often as I ought to, so by the time I go, I need it all: Meat, cereal, paper towels (which alone would take up the whole wagon), shampoo, dog food, some Christmas candy (it’s not too soon, right?) and everything else.
As I push my wagon to the checkout line, (hardly able to see over the top) people stare at me, curiosity in their eyes. Or is it sympathy? Or maybe admiration (I must appear very strong?) And there’s always some well-meaning older Uncle that will remark “You must be really hungry, hehe…” or “You feeding an army there sister?” I just smile, trying not to run
smarty-pants the funny Uncle over…
Then in the parking lot, as I try to make my way to the car, it never fails something falls off the front of the wagon, giving me one last chance to make a scene. I stop traffic, run around to scoop up the laundry detergent, or case of water bottles or the big box of tampons while trying to figure out a place to shove them for the last twenty feet until I make it to my car. Most often in my self-conscious-rushed state I can’t find anywhere to put the item, and decide to just carry it in one arm while pushing with the other, which ends up an even worse scene than before.
Yeah…I’m sorta a mess at Costco.
By the time I get into my car I am sweaty and exhausted and feel kinda like I ought to be greeted with a gold medal and a cold beverage.
But instead I just have to load all of the stuff into the car and drive home. (Thank goodness for hungry boys at home to help unload.)
I don’t know why I just painted that humbling picture of my Costco-self, but I guess I’m just thinking about how much my boys eat and the fact that I’m always looking for:
ONE. MORE. HEARTY SNACK RECIPE.
I have two teenagers in the house currently, and Luke will be a teen in a few short months.
I know people warned me about this stuff, but it’s no joke: Teenage boys can eat. And surfing for hours at a time only adds to the pure starvation.
So in this house it’s all about meals, followed by meals, followed by a bowl of cereal, and then “do you have any snacks, Mom?”
But then there are days where I just want to make something the boys love, but skip the chopping, grinding, blending and fussing. Days where I can’t take the time to get all involved in the kitchen, but I know the boys need something yummy and filling.
AND THAT, my friends, is where these four-ingredient peanut butter oatmeal bars are just PERFECTION.
You can literally whip these up in five minutes flat. And…you very likely have all of the ingredients to make them in your pantry right NOW.
There is no baking, blending, or even heating.
You just stir ’em up, put them in a pan, and refrigerate for an hour (or skip the fridge and let kids dive in with a spoon already.)
My boys absolutely love these bars.
I hope you make them and your kids love them too.
My original inspiration for this recipe came from this post at 100 Days of Real Food. I’ve played around with a variety of cereals in them, and really you cannot go wrong. In this batch I used the Special K with dark chocolate chunks which I happened to think was delicious. (Last week I made them with Cheerios and they were excellent too.)
Here’s the printable recipe:
- 1½ cup peanut butter (or nut butter of choice)
- ¼ cup real maple syrup
- 1½ cups uncooked oats
- 1½ cup cereal of choice
- Combine all ingredients and spread in an 8X8 (or 9X9) inch pan (lined with parchment or wax paper for easier cleanup.)
- Press down and refrigerate for one hour.
- Cut into squares and ENJOY!
Let me know how you like them. And if you ever happen to see me at Costco, feel free to offer a hug. (though I’ll totally understand you if you pretend you don’t know me. )