Sunday, August 2, 2009

I want to be Ina for a day and her Homemade Granola Bars

I want to be Ina Garten. Just for one day, I want to be The Barefoot Contessa. I want to live in a huge house in The Hamptons, have a brand new barn built as my new kitchen, I want to flit around town and go the the coolest food stores, where everyone knows my name. I want all my food to always look and taste as fabulous as hers does. I want to have fab friends who are always having parties and need my help to make it perfect. I want her collection of white dishes. It also wouldn't be bad to have a husband who works in another state during the week and only comes home on weekends. Oh, what a perfect wife I would be then. (just kidding, honey!!) I want her collection of pots and pans and her beautiful herbs that are waiting so patiently on her counter for her to use. I love Ina and how idyllic her life seems, but I would only trade it for one day, because I would miss my own disorganized, chaotic and kid filled life too much. A girl is allowed to dream. Now that I got that off my chest, I can move on to her Homemade Granola Bars, the original recipe can be found here. I saw her make these last week on TV and had to make them immediately. They were easy and so good and the ingredients can be interchangeable, I think, so if you don't like something, change it to something else. A Barefoot Contessa recipe has never let me down, and this one is no different.



Homemade Granola Bars


2 cups old fashioned oatmeal
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
1/2 cup wheat germ ( I did not use, because I didn't have any)
3 tbsp unsalted butter
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped,pitted dates
1/2 cup chopped, dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Butter an 8x12 inch baking dish and line it with parchmant. I used a 9x13 and it was perfect. Do not skip on the parchmant paper, it will help you remove these later.


Toss oatmeal,coconut and almonds together on a sheet pan and bake 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.

Transfer to a large bowland stir in wheat germ. Reduce oven to 300.

Place butter,honey,brownsugar, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.


Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over oatmeal mixture. Add the dates, apricots and cranberries.



Stir very well.


Pour the mixture into prepared pan, please use the parchmant paper. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into pan.



Looks good, no? Bake 25-30 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool at least 2-3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.




The parchmant paper made this so much easier for the whole thing to come out when I flipped it over.






These were so good and my coworkers inhaled them. I was really impressed. They were so easy to make and they made alot and I think for the upcoming school year they would make a great snack or quick breakfast. I think you could substitute any dried fruit or nuts you like to make it work for you, but definately try them. They are a keeper.








As you can tell by my picture, I did not let them sit for 2-3 hours, so they drooped a little for this shot. Ina would have never done that, she would have known better. Oh well.



31 comments:

  1. Denise- I love this post! Id love to be on George Clooney's arm for one day. He'd never let me go..kidding. Not really..

    I love Ina too, she has never let me down either. Your granola bars look picture perfect. Ive never made my own, I should. They look fantastic!

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  2. LMAO!!! Ah, the dreams we all hold inside....tee hee. These granola bars look amazing :)

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  3. All I can say is YUM! They look delicious! I don't know if I would want to be Ina but I will take her house anytime. I love the Hamptons and miss the beach....

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  4. I love watching Ina! Wouldn't it be fun to entertain like she does? I love the look of these granola bars. They will be great for my grandsons.
    You have a really nice blog with some great recipes!

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  5. Granola bars look GREAT!! This is the same post I could write almost word for word...isn't it funny!!!!

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  6. Yeah...we can dream, can't we? Actually, I'd love to be Ina for a day or two, too. In fact, maybe longer...:)

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  7. The granola bars look fantastic. Just to keep things in perspective, Ina worked like a beaver to get where she is, and she's still working like a beaver. It didn't fall in her lap. And it's so sweet that she stayed married to her hubby of so many years. They must have something going on, they certainly look happy.

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  8. these are perfect! consider them inhaled!

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  9. Wow, these look and sound wonderful. I'll bet they'd made a terrific breakfast for those mornings you're grabbing something on the way out the door :) Thanks for sharing it.

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  10. Those turned out so darn awesome. I have been looking for a tried and true recipe. Now i have one. Thanks

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  11. These look awesome! I love how Ina is just so calm, cool and put together!

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  12. I love homemade granola because you can put whatever you want in it. These look tasty.

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  13. I love granolas..and your homemade granola bars looks really delicious.

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  14. Your post made me laugh. When you are going to Ina's amazing home let me know so I can come too. I am looking around my kitchen now and I could use Ina's cleaning lady today since my little grandson came in here like a tornado. I bet she does not have FP toys on her counters:) These granola bars look wonderful and I need to make some for the family. Thanks for the review and I will visit your blog again.
    Joyce

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  15. Darn the way you described her life I want be her too. LOL, but I know what you mean about missing our own hectic crazy lives. :)
    ~ingrid

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  16. Oh, me too my friend. But I'd settle for her garden and beautiful hydrangeas. I already have my own "jeffrey" :-)

    I've been wanting to make granola for a while now and these just gave me a little push- they look fantastic.

    Donna is so funny!

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  17. Ina's life does sound pretty awesome. But you're right - I wouldn't want to be her forever! I love that you included dried fruit in these, adds a little more character and oomph.

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  18. These are awesome! I'll have to remember them for the school year too.

    A kitchen in a barn would be so fun! :0)

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  19. I wouldn't mind to be Ina for a day either - what a life she has. These granola bars look amazing - my kids would love them. Bookmarked!

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  20. Wow those look fantastic, I have never thought of making my own granola bars, great idea!

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  21. I really like homemade granola bars; these look delish.

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  22. I saw her making these too. They look so yummy! So much healthier than the store bought ones.

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  23. Oh yum!! I LOVE granola bars!

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  24. i want to be invited to her house for dinner! these granola bars look lovely!

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  25. I make my own granola bars all the time, but I've never tried this recipe. They look delicious! I can't wait to try them!

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  26. These homemade granola bars look excellent - I love the coconuts and almonds here.

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  27. I love it - I agree 100% that being Ina would be fantastic, she's a pretty interesting lady. If I remember correctly she worked in government during the Carter Administration - both an accomplished career lady and a good cook, quite a skill set!

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  28. I don't know if I want to BE her, but I certainly want to have breakfast, lunch and dinner with her! :)

    These granola bars look excellent. My husband would love these as a treat.

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  29. Beautiful! They look scrumptious.

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I'd be so happy to hear your thoughts, answer questions, or exchange ideas.