Thursday, April 19, 2012

peanut butter cookies 'n' cream granola bars

Is it Christmas already?

It must be...
Because why would there be a ribbon, a box, and even a note addressed to me?

Santa is real, guys.

He's got to be! Then how else would this Kitchenaid appear out of nowhere?

For me, Christmas really did come early.
A few days ago, I was went to one of my favorite restaurants (Molly's) and it was chaos. The line was long to get food, the place was packed, and there was excitement in the air.
What in the world was going on?
My friend Rachel was working and she told me that it was Molly's birthday. To celebrate they were giving out a prizes, giftbags, gift cards, and even a Kitchenaid Mixer. Just at the sound of those words: "Kitchenaid Mixer", my heart began to race. Oh if only I were lucky enough to win that.
"You want to put your name into the drawing?" Rachel asked Devin and I.
"Sure," was our reply.
We put in our names and thought little of it.
A few hours later, I received a phone call. "Is this Sarah Hinckley?" the voice said. "Yes..." I replied slowly. "You won the Kitchenaid." the voice chimed. I couldn't believe my ears. All I remember thinking was: no way, no way, no way...
There was just no way that I was that lucky.
But I was.
I blame it on fate.
Fate wanted me to win that Kitchenaid.
It's not like I have been trying to win one from every blog giveaway for months now.
Ha. Never.
Molly's wanted me to go to their restaurant so they could get a picture.
This posed a problem, since I don't own a car. Thankfully, my friend Lauren saved me.

Let's just say that this week has been amazing.
So many great things have been happening.
I will list just a few:
  1. I won a Kitchenaid, duh!
  2. I was asked to do makeup for a photoshoot this Saturday.
  3. I am modeling in a photoshoot this Saturday...(not sure if this is a good thing or not yet).
  4. Finals week is over. Bring on summer!
  5. My bestest friend Katie came back from Canada for graduation and I get to see her. Yay!
  6. I made peanut butter cookies 'n' cream granola bars. NOM NOM NOM.

And now I get to tell you all about these delicious granola bars...
I am so excited :D

Step 1: Buy Hershey's Cookies 'n' Creme and Milk Chocolate bars.

Step 2: Open the chocolate bars.

Step 3: Lay them on a cutting board.
Wait a sec...who ate my chocolate?!!
I swear, people these days.

Step 4: Chop up the chocolate.

Step 5: Make some peanut butter goolash.

Step 6: Stir it real good.

I mean it, real good.

Step 7: Prepare your dry stuff.

Step 8: Stir in the peanut butter goolash.

Step 9: Add in the chocolate! Woo! Party!

Step 10: Press into a pan and put in the freezer.

Granola bars in 10 simple steps. Whoever thought it could be so easy?

Peanut Butter Cookies 'n' Cream Granola Bars
  • 2 1/2 cups chocolate crispy rice cereal
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 cookies 'n' creme chocolate bar (1.5 oz)
  • 1 milk chocolate bar (1.5 oz)
  • 2/3 cup honey, melted
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the rice cereal and oats. Set aside. Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with oil.
  2. Chop your chocolate bars. Set aside.
  3. In a medium size bowl, mix together the honey and peanut butter. Heat this peanut butter mixture in the microwave for 30 seconds to one minute (just until bubbling), then remove from microwave and stir in vanilla, salt, and cinnamon. Pour over the cereal and oat mixture. Mix well.
  4. Stir in the chopped chocolate.
  5. Press into the prepared pan (really hard). Stick the pan into the freezer for one hour (this step is vital to how your granola bars turn out). 
  6. Remove from the freezer and cut into bars.
  7. Store granola bars in a gallon-size ziploc bag.

This recipe make a pretty big batch of granola bars. About 24.

So get them while you can...they won't last long.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

chocolate chip cookie dough freezer fudge

Once upon a time there was an amazing blogger. Her name was Princess Angela, and she made delicious vegan food. One day Angela decided that she wanted to make healthy cookie dough fudge. That was the day that my life changed.

Just look at it.
Seriously, who can deny the deliciousness of cookie dough?

I know I can't.

Swap butter, sugar, and milk for coconut oil, sucanat, banana, and almond milk...and voila! A caramel syrup that you can feel good about eating.

Then pulse oats with some almonds, and you got flour with character!

Mix it all together...

Add some chocolate chips, of course.

Press it all down into a pan.

Cool, cut, and serve!

Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

I am telling you, this fudge is one of the most delicious things you will ever taste. The almond and oats gives the dough a rich and buttery flavor, all while keeping it healthy. If you like cookie dough, you will LOVE this.
P.S. It is called freezer fudge because it needs to be kept in the freezer to stay firm.

Cookie Dough Freezer Fudge
Vegan and gluten-free

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup Sucanat (or brown sugar--just don’t pack it)
  • 2 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1/3 cup mashed banana (I prefer to sub-in applesauce because I don't like my cookie dough tasting like banana bread--but if you do, go ahead and use banana)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups oats, ground into flour (use certified gluten-free oats to make it gluten-free)
  • 1 cup raw whole almonds, ground into flour (or use 1 1/2 cups almond flour)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips 

  1. In a medium-sized pot, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Stir in the milk and sugar and bring to a low boil. Immediately, reduce heat to low and stir for a couple minutes until sugar is dissolved. Stir in the mashed banana. Turn off heat and stir in the salt and vanilla. Set aside.
  2. In a high speed blender, blend the oats until a flour forms. Add to a large bowl. Repeat process for the almonds, being sure not to over-process them as you don’t want the oils to release. Add to bowl and gently break apart any almond flour clumps with your fingers. Stir in the cinnamon.
  3. Pour wet mixture over the dry mixture and stir well until no flour remains. Place bowl in the freezer for 30 minutes (this is so the chocolate chips don't melt). Remove and stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper. Scoop the cookie dough into the pan. Dip a spoon in water and spread it out until smooth. This dough will be very hard to spread, but don’t worry. Place in the freezer for 1 hour and then cut into squares and enjoy straight from the freezer. Store in the freezer in a ziploc bag or an air-tight container.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

eat at Molly's

This is Molly...

...and she makes delicious food.
Well, her restaurant does anyway.

Molly was the quintessential 50s mom who always had a hot meal ready for her family. Everyday she packed a lunch (like a meatloaf sandwich on homemade bread and a slice of pie or cake) for her husband when he went to work in the coal mine, often packing an extra one for any man who didn't have lunch. Even when her sons would come home, she would have a meal waiting for them on the nightstand, no matter what hour it was. And most of all, she made her food with the most important ingredient--love.

I seriously believe that her restaurant continues to do the same today. 
Devin and I had heard such great things about this place and were dying to go, but we had to really schedule our time tight because it is only open for lunch (11 AM to 2 PM).
But boy oh boy, were we glad we made time for it.
When you walk in, you are taken back by the peculiarity of the ambiance. It's small and simple, but really cozy. To my surprise, they served up the food buffet-style. But don't let that scare you, they are constantly replacing the containers with fresh food. It's the sort of place where you would want to sit and talk to your friends for a few hours (if only it were open longer).

The menu offers home-style choices like beef brisket, pulled pork, french chicken, and pot roast. Each entree comes with 2 sides and a choice of bread for only $8.95.
Dev got pulled pork (Carolina-style) with mashed potatoes & gravy and a cheddar biscuit, and I got french chicken with mashed taters, spinach salad, and white artisan bread. 
Everything was amazing.

Devin's pulled pork. I can honestly say that this was the best pulled pork I have ever tasted in my life. I had to refrain myself from eating his entire plate. Sorry Dev :)

French Chicken: really tasty, yet a tad dry. However, I was comparing the chicken to the pork entree, so my opinion was a bit biased.

I found out that my friend Rachel works for them. So she hooked us up with some cookies...booyah.

Oh, and PS...they cater!
Their catering company is called Marvellous Catering, and it looks fantastic. I am definitely going to keep them in mind for the future.

Just please promise me that you will go and eat at this amazing restaurant. You won't regret it, trust me.
If you don't believe me, just read the reviews at C. Jane's blog and UrbanSpoon.

Tuesday through Friday
11 AM to 2 PM
753 W Columbia Ln
Provo, Utah
Molly's on Urbanspoon
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