A Hoot and a Half

I need to preface this post by saying I’m a bad Chi Omega sister, I already know.

I made somewhat of a dramatic confession to a few of my best friends/ sorority sisters a couple months ago.

Brace yourself.

I’m not a fan of owls.

Owls are a big symbol for Chi Omega, and with their recent popularity in fashion/design, anything with an owl on it is a go-to gift for Chi Omega sisters. After I broke this news to Karla and Carrie, it has become somewhat of a contentious issue. I think they’re moving through all the stages of grief.

My feelings aside, Carrie is a good Chi Omega, and when I visited her last week, I collected some evidence. Please note, this is just the tip of the iceberg in her house.

Candle candy dish salt and pepper candle cover teapot bottle opener mugs mugs 2 candlestick nightlight welcome mat

Almond Granola Bars

I spend a lot of idle time scrolling through Pinterest or Food Gawker admiring all manner of food, but we all know it’s the desserts that really catch my eye. These days, though, I’m always curious to see the newest iteration of granola bars (or oatmeal cookies, or energy balls, what have you).

Even though there are a lot of common themes and flavor profiles, there always seems to be a new twist or formation that makes the next recipe healthier or tastier. When I visit my parents’ house, I often try a new variation that I’ve found for my family to snack on all weekend.

I try to find recipes that have some purposeful ingredients or “super foods” but are still tasty. I came across a recipe for these Almond Energy Bars on one of my favorite blogs: Carrots ‘N Cake, so I wanted to give it a try.

snack time

She was posting on behalf of an almond company so she used almond flour, but I used AP flour instead. I didn’t want to buy an ingredient that I wouldn’t use regularly. Plus she used brown rice cereal to make it gluten free, but I went traditional with normal rice cereal, because the flour choice already killed my gluten free dreams.

These bars are a little on the crumbly side (even though I did my best to pack down the batter before baking), and not too sweet. But I like the idea that I’m not snacking on too much sugar, but I’m still getting some nutrients from almonds, cranberries, chia seeds, etc.

The next time you need something to munch on between meals, give these a try!

Almond Granola Bars

Yields about 9-16 small squares, Adapted from Carrots ‘N Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice cereal (like Rice Krispies)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup AP flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs chia seeds (I added a little more)
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Method

batter up

  1. Preheat oven to 325. Line an 8×8 baking pan (or a pan with an equivalent area) with parchment paper (it’s just easier that way).
  2. Combine everything in a mixing bowl, and make sure everything is incorporated evenly.
  3. Pack the batter into the parchment lines baking pan. Press down to ensure bars hold together.
  4. Bake 25 minutes until top is lightly golden brown. Allow to cool completely before you slice.

yum

 

That Time of Year Again…

The lack of good television this (almost) summer has driven me to read. Shocking, I know!

I think this seems to happen around this time every year. I’m not sure if it’s the bad television or the need for a beach book, but I did it again. I read a book!

This happened on somewhat of a whim. I was near a Barnes and Noble, so I popped in with the intention of picking up Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? And, of course, since BNs seem to have a reduced stock these days, they didn’t have it. Instead, I browsed around and picked up two other titles that were more in the realm of business/personal development (nerd alert!).

The first one I read was How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying by Carol Leifer. It’s basically a combination of a memoir and an advice book about life lessons that will help you climb the ladder, whatever ladder that may be. I had never heard of Carol Leifer before I read the book, but I learned she’s a very well established comedienne (Seinfeld era) and screen writer.

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying by

I thought the book was pretty good. I wasn’t expecting ground breaking, and I was right, it wasn’t really ground breaking. I think it might be more valuable for college students or recent graduates who are polishing up their professional skills. It still never hurts to hear a new spin on the important lessons in the working world. And it was especially valuable (and reassuring) to learn that so many professional values are pretty universal whether you’re in a corporate office, or a film director’s living room.

She covers really basic concepts, like there is never an excuse for being late to an interview, and the importance of work ethic. Or no matter what your personal values are, there is still always a certain level of decorum that is required in a professional atmosphere, which includes showering every day. This makes the Emily Post loving, clean freak Virgo inside of me happy. This is going to make me sound like senior citizen, but I think it’s good for kids these days to learn those types of things.

As far as memoirs go, there were some funny anecdotes, but I’m sorry to say I never really laughed out loud like I might with some of Jen Lancaster’s books. It was a quick, worthwhile read, but not my “goldielocks.”