I knew the last Monday of this month would arrive at a particularly busy time, when we would be barely moved into our  new home, trying to adjust to the new environment.  I didn’t want to miss the party, so I had my  contribution  to “The Secret Recipe Club” taken care as soon as I got my  assignment.  This month I was matched with the blog  “Life and Kitchen”,  hosted by Lindsay, a super-busy young mom with a full-time job and a master’s thesis under way.  In other words, she struggles with a gazillion commitments, but still finds time to keep a great blog going!   Her writing is quite refreshing, I caught myself smiling all the way through reading many of her posts.  I finally settled on a recipe I’ve always wanted to make: granola bars.  They were a major hit in the Bewitching household, as I married a former-hippie.  Hope you try and like them too!   😉

(from Life and Kitchen, originally adapted from Ina Garten)

2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup whole almonds
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8 x 12 inch baking pan with cooking spray.  Toss the oatmeal and almonds together and then toast them on a sheet pan by baking them for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When you take the toasted mixture out, reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees.  Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the toasted wheat germ.  Then add in the honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt while it is still warm and mix it all together.   Add the raisins and dried cranberries and stir well.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and press the mixture evenly into the pan.   Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours at room temperature before cutting into squares.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments:  No matter how frantic your life might be, it’s good practice to read a recipe carefully before attacking the preparation.  It’s called common sense. Otherwise, you may set yourself up for trouble, like some people.

Indeed, I started by toasting 2 cups of rolled oats instead of oatmeal.  Once everything was nicely toasted, I realized my mistake, and did the only sensible thing to do: frantically ran around the house screaming at myself  “I am SUCH an idiot”;  “I am THE QUEEN of the idiots”!   Where’s George Costanza, my long lost brother?

Crucial decisions had to be made.  I had no time to start all over, and found only about one cup of oatmeal in our pantry.  I grabbed the baking sheet and scooped the mixture with one of those handy Chinese type tools, that kept the almonds and allowed the oats to fall back in the baking sheet.  By the way, oats that fly and fall on the kitchen floor will cool enough during their journey so they won’t pose a risk to your pets. Quite the opposite, they will be happy to do the cleaning for you.  

Once I got toasted rolled oats separated from toasted almonds, I saved 1 cup for the recipe, and mixed with 1 cup of oatmeal.  Proceeded without toasting the oatmeal, as the clock was ticking, and we had tickets to go see Prometheus at the IMAX. No way we could miss that.

As a result, the bars were a bit more crumbly than they should, as oats don’t bind as well as oatmeal, for obvious reasons.  But, you know what? The crumbled pieces made FANTASTIC granola!

I ended up with enough squares to last us for a while, nicely wrapped (just make sure to let them dry well for a full day before wrapping).

Lindsay, it was great to “meet” you through this month’s Secret Recipe adventure!

And a reminder for my readers:  if you click on the crazy looking frog at the bottom of this post, you’ll see the contributions of all other members of Group D for this reveal day.  Make sure to check them out!

ONE YEAR AGO:  Awesome Broccolini

TWO YEARS AGO:  A Twist on Pesto

THREE YEARS AGO: Ciabatta: Judging a bread by its holes


  1. I do that ALL THE TIME! Good recovery, though, and your granola bars turned out spectacularly! There is something just so amazing about homemade granola bars, too, they are so good!


  2. HI Sally!!! I had your blog for this months SRC!!! I can’t tell you how excited I was to pick through so many delicious recipes and all your tastes for so many different cultures… it was amazing. I am making your blueberry almond muffins next weekend for my grandmothers birthday, they looked outrageous. I am so sorry my post went up a little late, I hit save instead of publish for this to go up at 12pm (dingbat) so my apologize, but I have to say this salad was excellent. Perfect for the season and perfect for my belly. Yummm. Thanks again 🙂


  3. Too funny.. glad to read I’m not the only one! I always forget to look ahead and end up throwing ingredients in.. in the wrong order!! I, too, am a die-hard hippie..and would love these!


  4. What a fun recipe Sally and it looks delicious. Love the photo you snuck in there of yourself. As soon as you mentioned Costanza I immediately yelled, “Serenity Now!” in my head. 😉 By the way, Miss A would love these.


    • You noticed the photo… 😉 I tried to sneak that one in… it was actually a shot from a mishap in the lab in L.A., but I thought it would work well here

      Serenity Now…. I’m just in that kind of a mood…. moving. Not. For. Sissies.


    • Prometheus was great, the IMAX experience always makes it even more interesting… there were some flaws in the plot, of course

      without disclosing important info, the idea that a biologist would act like a complete idiot when facing a new species is beyond belief. They didn’t have to go that route, an 8 year old would write a better script for that part.

      I love Noomi Rapace, she is a great actress, has such a dramatic face. There will be a second movie, they leave that open at the end.


  5. Pingback: Old Fashion Raspberry Bars – My Lovely Little Spot

  6. Hi! I had you’re blog from January’s SRC assignment. I thoroughly enjoyed looking through all of your recipes, everything sounds delicious! Can’t wait to try some of your breads. We really enjoyed these granola bars. Thanks for sharing!


  7. Hi, I noticed you said Old Fashioned Oats ….you can’t use quick cook oats ? Are these granola bars soft or hard?

    They looked great, and we love granola bars & granola…..but I think I prefer the soft granola bars…..


    • Hello there! unfortunately you need the old fashioned ones, a bit heartier. The quick cooking ones will be too soft
      but if you like soft granola bars, who knows? maybe it will work!


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