When I worked full-time in an office, I both looked forward to and dreaded the weeks leading up to the holidays. The excitement came from knowing that soon I’d be on vacation, spending time with my family, far away from the office. The dread came from the fact that, soon, the break room would feature an ever-replenishing array of candies, cookies and treats from co-workers and vendors.
As a girl with an insatiable sweet tooth, this end-of-year extravaganza of sugary morsels was deadly for my long-standing goal to eat reasonably. Every time I walked into the room to fill my water bottle or make a cup of tea, I’d take a cookie or two back to my desk with me. While I never obeyed this solution unfalteringly, I did find that if I kept some better snacking options in my desk drawer, I’d have more success at avoiding the minefield of treats in the kitchen.
If you’re faced with regular access to an equally tempting holiday treat table, here’s my advice: make granola bars. Homemade granola bars are far better than the ones you buy at the store because you know exactly what’s in them, you can customize them to your liking, and you get a heck of a lot more bang for your buck.
Before you start toasting your oats, read these tips
I come from a family with hippie tendencies, particularly when it comes to food. During my childhood, the only bread in our fridge was the kind that had at least eight different kinds of grains. I didn’t know that rice could be anything other than brown for my first decade. And for years, I assumed that everyone made granola on a weekly basis.
Every Sunday afternoon, my mom would pull out her rimmed cookie sheets, a big jar of oats and jug of honey to make that week’s batch. Her recipe came from a friend who, for a time, had a granola business. It was of the kitchen-sink variety and included flaked coconut, wheat germ and sesame seeds. While it was quite delicious, it was built for nutrition more than to appeal to my six-year-old taste buds.
As it turns out, this apple hasn’t fallen very far from her tree. Once I got out on my own, it wasn’t long before I fell into the same Sunday afternoon granola habit that I grew up with. My kitchen feels quite naked without a jar of granola on the counter. I eat it with a bit of milk for breakfast, munch on a handful when the late-afternoon munchies strike and dash a few clusters over Greek yogurt for that late-evening something sweet.
Before you start toasting your oats, read these tips »
A blizzard may have hit the east coast, but it was all showers here at FN — baby showers. There are five (count them) FIVE women expecting here. To celebrate the imminent increasing of the FN family, pink and blue balloons, cuddly baby blankets and rubber duckies decorated our conference room. Of course, the stork-themed desserts stole this tablecloth’s show. Fun stuff.
We may have not had Ina’s full course meal or or Giada’s spring time shower fare but we did have an assortment of sugary treats, like home made cupcakes, courtesy of one multi talented production coordinator. Let me tell you these mommies-to-be may not perform in front of the camera, but they all have the culinary skills to do so. Take our Director of Product Management, Tracy Rubine, for example. Her cooking days are waning and energy is fading, but she did whip up this pork chop recipe the other night.
Tracy advises, “be careful not to overcook the pork” Got ya, Ms. Rubine. Another mama, Narisa Wild, our Director Website Product and Industry Development has been indulging lately in this yogurt and granola concoction from Tyler. Apparently, she has been leaning toward lighter and sweeter fare in the evening (digestion has been proving difficult due to her full tummy). Narisa also mentioned that you can do variations on this little delight – alternate fruits, dried fruits and even nuts to mix it up a bit, and says that “the yogurt can also be substituted for frozen yogurt or ice cream.” Yummy!
Well, the way I ate today, it looks as if I might be expecting. Perhaps, that will warrant a party?