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Hi.

Welcome to my blog. Front Range Fed is a blog about eating fresh, local food in and around Colorado's Front Range. Each week, I try new recipes, using as many local ingredients as possible. Join me as I discover the amazing things our local farms have to offer, and the delicious ways to enjoy them...one meal at a time. 

Chunky Monkey Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

Chunky Monkey Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

Chunky Monkey Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars Ingredients

So, it’s been about 3 weeks since I last posted anything and I’m sure you’re all wondering where I’ve been (all 6 of you reading this – Hi Mom!). Truth – I’m not very good at being a consistent blogger. (At least not yet.) I’m still learning how to keep the steady stream of posts flowing, even amidst chaos. And let me tell you, we’ve had a bit of chaos around here lately: 3 rounds of pink eye, end of school field trips, soccer, soccer and more soccer. Plus doing things like, you know, my normal paying job and keeping the house from not looking like a total disaster.

Oh, and then there was this crazy windstorm in Colorado that caused this to happen to our fence! 

fence

Like I said, it’s been nuts, but I know that’s no excuse. When I first started this blog I had every intention of keeping at it. “I’ll post 3 times a week!” “I’ll make super intricate recipes that will wow my readers!” Well, let’s just say it hasn’t happened quite like that.  I find myself often ill prepared.  I wait until the last minute to create a recipe. I don’t have the right photo props (ummmmm, or even cameras – the photos for this post were taken on my phone because I let the batteries of BOTH of my other two cameras run out and didn’t realize it until I was about to take the shot. Palm to forehead, and I’m sure a huge food blogging no-no!). I’m cooking/shooting/tasting almost until bedtime on a weeknight when my kids are begging please for their dinner already! But, I’m still here, and I’m still trying so that’s got to count for something, right? 

I’ve decided that from this moment forward, I will make a concerted effort to post at least one recipe a week.  Easy recipe or hard, lots of ingredients or just a few – I think I can manage that schedule. So please stay with me as I figure this whole blogging routine out! 

But, lest you think me totally lazy, just because I have not been posting doesn’t mean I haven’t been cooking. In fact, the recipe I’m posting today helped to get us through those crazy three weeks with just a bit more sanity (albeit, more calories).  Enter, the Chunky Monkey Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars.

Chunky Monkey Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

Yep, you heard it right. Chocolate, banana, and walnuts were not enough for us this time so we added in peanut butter to push these bars completely over the top. Rich, chewy, decedent, and completely acceptable as a dessert or for breakfast (don’t judge – they have oats and eggs in them so in my book, that counts toward the first meal of the day.)  Seriously – make these, and whatever kind of day you’re having will be insanely better. I promise.

I heard a podcast recently that featured an interview with the writer Eric Larson, author of the books The Devil In The White City, Dead Wake, and In The Garden of Beasts, just to name a few.  In the interview, he talked about how he stays motivated to write such long and intricate books. He wakes very early, gets a cup of coffee, and grabs a Double Stuff Oreo from his “secret Oreo drawer”, then sits down to write. And on days where he’s struggling? He allows himself a second Oreo. 

So you see? Treats for breakfast can be a good thing! And I think I may have also stumbled upon my motivation for my once a week posting schedule. As long as I can sub out the Oreos and replace them with these bars instead. 

Chunky Monkey Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

Chunky Monkey Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars.

 

Ingredients

Ingredients - Chunky Monkey Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars
Peanut Butter
Chocolate Chips
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 banana (semi-ripe), chopped into small pieces
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons half n half
 

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and butter an 8x8 inch rectangular pan well.
  2. Cream the butter and brown sugar together with a blender.
  3. Add eggs, vanilla, and peanut butter, one at a time, to the butter and sugar mixture.  Add the chopped banana (try your best not to mash the banana into the mixture – the goal is to preserve some banana chunks in the mix.).
  4. Mix together the flour, oats, salt and baking soda.
  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts
  7. At this point, if your bladder feels too dry, add a little half n half (up to about 2 tablespoons.
  8. Bake in the oven for around 25 - 30 minutes, or until you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean. 
  9. Let bars cool completely before slicing.
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