Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Nigella's Breakfast Bars

I received the Nigella Express book for Christmas. I love Nigella and this book looks good, as are her other books. I haven't had tons of time to go through it yet, but the concept is quick recipes that are yummy too. She says anything she makes has to stand up to a test: she has to like it at least as well as a soft boiled egg on toast. Otherwise, what's the point? I can totally relate to that one--soft boiled eggs are my new obsession, now that I've moved on from poached.

I made these breakfast bars not to replace my beloved morning egg, but to supplement the kids' lunches and perhaps even my own. This is a super easy recipe which Dieter helped with (in his new Learning Tower!) and it did not disappoint. The recipe can be found here.
Basically these are oats with seeds and cranberries bound together with the condensed milk and baked. I omitted the nuts, but they might be good and would certainly make for an even heartier bar. Even though these are baked in the oven they have a real "raw" taste about them. I wondered if they'd be too chewy for Dieter, but there haven't been any problems. I stuck with the smaller seeds, though, (sesame, sunflower) and skipped the pumpkin seeds partly for Dieter's sake. Anyway, the real test is are they being eaten by the family? and yes, they are, even by Faith! And these make a way healthier after-school snack than a traditional cookie.
The season's table in winter.

In other news, in two weeks I'm going to go to a school nurses' convention in San Diego for four days. I'm looking forward to it because I really need the continuing education (I've neglected that over the last several years due to my pregnancies and maternity leaves) and it's required that I have professional development hours, both for my nursing license and my credential. So this is a great opportunity. But I'm a little worried about the babies. Dieter will be totally fine, but Rainer is still nursing, especially at night. Any suggestions on making this easier for him? I'm not concerned that he'll wean--I think he'll pick up right where he left off when I get back, but I'm wondering how to best deal with his night waking and the general separation. He's a real Daddy's boy (they both are) so he should be fine. Actually, I'm more worried about Ken. I wonder what I should do to make it easier on him?! Any little suggestions would be appreciated. Oh, and one last thing. I really need a book that is going to capture my attention and completely enthrall me (for the train and for the nights in the hotel). Nothing that is hard to get into. Any thoughts? Thanks bloggy friends!

12 comments:

Carrie said...

I think Ken would enjoy little care packages. Or late night notes in with the diaper stack. I wonder, could you Sharpie "Miss you lots!" or other words of encouragement directly on to the diapers without disturbing the diaper integrity? Then again, would Ken be too tired to notice?

Hope you have a great time in San Diego though!

Amy said...

I love most any book by James Patterson. His chapters are 2-3 pages long which makes it easy to pick up and read for ten mintues or two hours. Did I mention I always love his books...

Erin said...

HI- my name is Erin. I found your blog a few weeks ago and really love it. I'm reading Water for Elephants right now and it's really fun and light.

Florence said...

I loved The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice and also I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith - they both have a similar feel to them actually.

Whenever my husband or I go away we try to leave little notes all over the house - in the fridge, in shoes, on the coat hooks, in drawers...it's always so nice finding one, particularly if the day is not going so smoothly!

Have fun! How soon do you go?

Polly said...

I've just finished Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, but I also LOVE Pride and Prejudice, if you want something enthralling and involved, but not difficult to pick up or put down. I also love The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, the chapters are bite-sized for bedtime. Polly x x x

Melissa said...

For some reason, I just love the art work on that can of sweetened condensed milk. I've never seen that one before ;o)

Lina said...

These look yummy Mary Beth. I wish I could offer advice about leaving your little ones. I've only ever done about 24 hours without either child, and only one of those times was when breastfeeding. I think if you can prepare and freeze family meals and do as much as possible in advance for Ken, that would be a good starting point - letting him concentrate on the absolute essentials. If you'd like an easyish and absorbing read, I'd recommend any thing by Jodi Picoult.

Amy Turn Sharp said...

I am so making those this week too...I also got the book! I say get Julie and Julia by Julie Powell
It was great.

Susan said...

I am hoping you are feeling better. The honey and lemon photo looked so good it made me want to make a cup of tea (and I did). I got a cold/flu-type/achy feeling today and I had to still be "alive" for my 2 little boys. I'm a sahm and who takes care of me when I'm sick? Anyway, my 4 1/2 yr old and I made the Nigella breakfast bars today and they turned out great. I didn't have peanuts but had dried blueberries from Whole Foods and they were delicious. Thanks for the inspiration to make them.

Melissa said...

Okay, I just have to say that the can of condensed milk has the coolest label ever! How I would love to have one of those labels on my inspiration wall.

Sarah said...

I Looove the breakfast bars, Mary beth! I'm sort of a bar addict, but have been trying to cut down and eat more "whole foods" rather than processed. These are the perfect compromise. Easy to make, easy to transport. Leigh had a conference this week and liked taking them with him too. I actually looked for that extra cute condensed milk label at our grocery store.,but no luck. I guess you can only find that kind of thing in extra cute Ojai!

Deirdre said...

Love the label on that can:-)

To support your love while away, I'd rent a flick of his taste not yours, and maybe bake a favorite of his for him to enjoy once the kiddos are down.

I'm sure he'll be aware that your little one will probably just need extra cuddle time while missing you.

And I loved "The Namesake" which has trains running through the whole novel.