May 21, 2014

peanut butter rice krispy treats

Summer is officially here!  Well, it's kind of here.  Students are done and grades are in.  That's a win, right?

How do you define "summer"?  My colleagues and I spent last week (the week after finals) in a windowless room learning how to administer and rate oral proficiency exams.  Ever since, I've been judging random conversations, both in English and Spanish--awww, bless her heart, she's never going to get out of the advanced low range.  I guess I shouldn't judge because sometimes it looks like I can't even write in complete sentences.  And paragraphs?  Hah.  Anyways, hubs had graduation one weekend and freshman orientation the next.  And, he may have left home at 5 am yesterday morning for a training seminar 2 hours away.  Luckily we both work in departments that constantly keep us their own special ways.  So, is this really "summer"?  I know they've always said that you shouldn't go into academia to get summers off.  Perhaps we should have listened more closely.

But, on the home front there's a lot of good things going on.  Our house painting job is done!  Our beautiful (yes, it is no longer the ugliest house on the block!) home is now grey-blue with white trim and a red door (I wanted grey, hubs wanted blue...I'm sure he'd say it's blue-grey, but it's definitely grey-blue, right?).  Neighbors have told us tales of mealtime debates over the color of our home.  They've also called the new look "coastal".  That's not exactly what we were aiming for, but that means something in a neighborhood that is reminiscent of a campground filled with dark brown, beige, and forest green cedar-sided cabins.  "Coastal" is not the word I would use to describe any other house in our wooded little park of a neighborhood, so at least it's unique.

We've finally reached a point in home ownership that we hadn't yet experienced, a point of peace.  We've been working pretty manically for the past year and a half to get a comfortable space.  Having peeled wallpaper from 3 spaces, painted 9, replaced flooring in 8, replaced 11 light fixtures and all of our light switches and door knobs, changed out 3 major appliances, ripped out countless tree stumps, made a garden, and completed some major landscaping, I think we can confidently say that we've achieved that goal.  Yes, we're crazy and generally highly caffeinated.  We're not 100% done, nor will we ever be, but we're at a point of relaxation.  Upon reaching the end of the immediate house jobs, I asked hubs, "Now what?"  He replied, "We clean the bathrooms."  Yes, that would be lovely.

Fresh Fork starts in a couple of short weeks and this year we're going with the small vegan share.  We decided that the cheese/egg/yogurt tradeoff for tons of extra fresh produce was well worth it.  We shall see, I suppose.  We shall see.

In the mean time, we enjoy consume the end of the winter fare.  We are officially sick and tired of  soups, chili, and pasta.  We are happily, excitedly moving on.  After all, I've heard summer is on the way.

Peanut Butter Rice Krispy Treats
Recipe modified from Eat Good 4 Life
Makes a 9x9 square

  • 1/4 c agave syrup (you can go for 1/2 c agave and leave out the honey if you want a vegan treat, but I prefer the combo)
  • 1/4 c honey (you can go for 1/2 c honey and leave out the agave if you want a less processed treat, but I prefer the combo)
  • 1/2 c creamy peanut butter
  • 3 c crisped rice cereal (I've used the name brand as well as a natural brown rice cereal and both turned out great)
  • 1 c dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
Prepare a 9x9 square baking pan by lining it with aluminum foil.   In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine the agave, honey, and peanut butter.  Stir the peanut butter mixture until it is uniform and melty (yes, melty).  Remove from the heat and add the cereal.  Mix it in until all of the cereal is coated evenly.  Pour the cereal mixture into the prepared pan, patting the cereal in tightly (I used some parchment paper between my hands and the sticky mess to make cleanup easier).

Melt the chocolate chips over a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring often.  Once they are melted, add the vanilla.  Pour the chocolate over the peanut butter treats.  Allow the treats to cool to room temperature, stick them in the fridge to firm up, and cut them into pieces.  Store leftovers in the fridge if it's warm out, as the chocolate will melt easily.

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