Tag Archives: cats

Smitten Bars – aka a Healthy, Homemade, Delicious Granola Bar

I call these sinfully delicious bars “Smitten Bars,” 1) because I’m absolutely smitten with them, and 2) because I adapted them a smidge from the Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for Chocolate Chunk Granola Bars.  They are so delicious (especially after being on Whole30 for a month) that you feel like you’re cheating… on something!  These would be perfect to make for your kids… or yourself.  They’re gluten-free, they can be nut-free (to take to schools with rules about nut allergies), and you can amend them to suit your own personal tastes and diets.  It’s basically the perfect recipe.

Smitten Kitchen's Chocolate Chunk Healthy Granola Bars, Cat Tea Towel from Maiden South - oysters and pearls

You have cat to be kitten me right meow.  These snacks are healthy?  Tea towel from Maiden South.  #shamelessplug #catsonbikes

Smitten Bars - Healthy Delicious Chocolate Granola Bars - oysters and pearls

Smitten Bars - Healthy Delicious Chocolate Granola Bars adapted from Smitten Kitchen - oysters and pearls

Smitten Bars - Healthy Delicious Chocolate Granola Bars adapted from Smitten Kitchen - oysters and pearls

Let’s get down to recipe business, shall we?

Smitten Bars
recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s chocolate chunk granola bar recipe
yields 16-ish 2×2 granola bars

ingredients

– 1 1/2 heaping cups (100 grams) gluten-free rolled oats
– 1/4 cup (20 grams) rolled oats, finely ground, or 1/4 cup oat flour
– 3/4 cup (60 grams) dried unsweetened shredded coconut
– 1 tablespoon ground flax
– 1 tablespoon chia seeds
– 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
– 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
– 1 cup (about 140 grams) chopped dried fruit (I used unsweetened, unsulphured dried cherries from Trader Joe’s)
– 1 cup (170 grams) chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips
– 1/4 cup (65 grams) almond butter (use sunflower seed butter to be nut-free)
– 1/4 cup coconut oil, warmed until liquefied (may sub olive oil)
– 1/4 cup (about 85 grams) maple raw local honey (may sub maple/cane syrup)

other supplies

– 8×8 inch square casserole dish or baking pan
– parchment paper

instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line casserole dish or baking pan with two sheets of parchment paper, cross-ways and extending up the sides, in order to form a non-stick “sling” for your bars to make them easy to remove from the pan.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients (oats, oat flour, coconut, cherries/dried fruit, chocolate, salt, cinnamon).  In a smaller, separate bowl, whisk together the “wet” ingredients (almond butter, coconut oil, and honey).  Pour wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir until combined.

Transfer the mixture into the prepared pan, spreading it out until flat, then using another square of parchment paper to protect your hand, use the heel of your palm to press the mixture as firmly as you can until you cannot press it any further.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees, until the tops are golden and the edges are light brown.  Let the bars cool COMPLETELY before cutting into them.  I recommend letting them cool to close to room temperature, then finish them off for a couple of hours in the fridge.  Then use the parchment paper “sling” to transfer the bars to a cutting board.  Using a sharp, serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion, carefully cut the bars into desired sizes.

According to Smitten Kitchen, these bars will keep for about a week in an air-tight container at room temperature… but I highly doubt they’ll last that long that way because you’ll eat them all.  So, I stick them a couple at a time in a snack-size freezer bag and pop them into the freezer.  That way, I can pull them out two at a time so Wheat and I don’t overindulge.  They only take about 30 minutes to an hour to fully defrost at room temperature, or overnight in the fridge. Perfect for packing in lunch boxes – for kids or working grown-ups. :)

Smitten Bars - Healthy Delicious Chocolate Granola Bars adapted from Smitten Kitchen - oysters and pearls

What’s your favorite healthy snack?  This has quickly moved to the top of my list, but I’m always on the look for more options!

Until Next Time

Lately

I haven’t posted many posts about the random stuff going on in my life lately.  I usually save Mondays for those types of posts, as they are usually iPhone pictures from the weekend… but I’ve been completely slacking in that department.  So, I thought I would throw some together to update y’all on the random stuff that’s been going on.  Warning: if you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably already seen all of this.  Or at least, a lot of it.

As suspected, we cannot get enough of little Miss June.  I mean, can you?

June the French Brittany | Oysters & Pearls Sleepy June, French Brittany Pup | Oysters & Pearls Wallace June: Best Friends | Oysters & Pearls

I just die.  Wallace is such a great big brother.  He is constantly playing with her, tolerating her, and giving her kisses.  Harold is still mostly ignoring his new sibling.

I will spare all of you the selfies I took of my swollen-shut eye.  Our very aggressive hive of bees kind of got really mad at us a couple weekends ago, and I ended up getting stung approximately five times on my left eye… not to mention the plethora of stings I got in my hair, on the rest of my face, and the rest of my body.  I ended up breaking out in some serious hives, but nothing emergency-inducing.  No pain, no gain, I suppose.  We are going to re-queen that hive and see if a nicer queen makes nicer bees.  The good news is, they make lots of honey.  And uncapped honey held up in the sun reminds me of my other favorite hobby: stained glass.

Honey Bees and Honey | Oysters & PearlsWe went to a wedding this past Saturday (Congratulations Logan and Clay!) and the neat lodge they had it at outside of Thomasville (Owl & Moon in Dixie, Georgia) had the most beautiful stained glass panels in it.  I was obsessed.

Snowy Egret Stained Glass Panel | Oysters & Pearls

Speaking of stained glass, I made my mom this hummingbird fan-pull.  It turned out really well, and she really loved it.  We love our hummers!

Stained Glass Hummingbird Fan Pull by Oysters & Pearls

I also made this little hanging wall vase, and I’ve been enjoying these succulent flowers over my nightstand all week.

Stained Glass Wall Vase | Oysters & Pearls

My sweet friend Lauren Dunston of LGDunston sent me one of her practice gyotaku fish prints last week, and I can’t get over how awesome it is to have a gyotaku print that I watched her make.

Shrimp Gyotaku Print fron LGDunston | Oysters & Pearls

Speaking of awesome friends, check out this unreal tobacco slat skateboard that Marc of Southern Restoration Furniture made!

Marc Ventry's Southern Restoration Furniture Tobacco Slat Skateboard | Oysters & PearlsThey aren’t currently for sale yet, but you could always email Marc and say pretty, pretty please

And my friend Will of Heartwood Forge is making me a knife… with my initials in it.  I am already so excited and cannot wait to start using it in my kitchen!

Heartwood Forge Custom Utility Knife for Oysters & Pearls Heartwood Forge Custom Utility Knife with Stamped Initials | Oysters & Pearls

I’m constantly amazed at the skill and talent of so many of the people I’m fortunate enough to call my friends, so many of which are completely due to writing this little ole blog.  I’m grateful every day!

We took June and Harold home to my parents to have supper with my dad last Sunday while my mom was at the beach.  June went for her first swim in the pond behind my parents’ house.  She loved it!

Bristol Pond | Oysters & Pearls June the French Brittany's First Swim | Oysters & Pearls June the French Brittany's First Swim | Oysters & Pearls

And for your ultimate viewing pleasure:

All kinds of things are always blooming in my parents’ yard.  This is a native plum azalea that I noticed blooming.  My dad said it was the first time it had!

Native Plum Azalea Bloom | Oysters & Pearls

 His night blooming cereus was about to bloom, too, but unfortunately we didn’t spend the night to watch the evening show.

Night Blooming Cereus Bloom | Oysters & Pearls

I can’t wait for ours to bloom so Wheat can see it!

A few evenings ago, Wallace brought us a juvenile banded water snake, which was 1) weird because we don’t exactly live in a swamp, and 2) they are really aggressive normally, so it was odd that he didn’t try to bite Wallace!  Don’t worry, their bites are supposed to hurt, but they are not venomous.  They’re often killed because of their resemblance to a Cotton Mouth, though.

Juvenile Banded Water Snake | Oysters & Pearls

Catch and release in heels before work. ;)

Speaking of work, Maiden South’s location is coming along.  Or at least it’s a bit cleaner and prettier!  Exposed brick makes us swoon.

Maiden South Renovation | Oysters & Pearls

 I stopped by a sweet gal’s house after work Wednesday to meet her chickens and learn a bit about them.  We chatted birds and bees and swapped pumpkin for eggs.

Chickens in Bainbridge | Oysters & PearlsDon’t you fret.  I’ve got coop plans in the works!  I’m sure you’re all shocked.
Any recommendations, tips, coop plans, etc. for me?

And to end on a flowery note, sweet Wheat sent me a beautiful orchid this week at work.  It is gorgeous!

Orchid from Singletary's in Thomasville, Georgia | Oysters & Pearls

Happy weekend, y’all!

Shop this post:
custom forged knife: Heartwood Forge Knives
gulf shrimp print: LGDunston Gyotaku
tobacco slat skateboard: Southern Restoration Furniture
native plum azalea: Native Nurseries

orchid: Singletary’s Flowers

 You may also enjoy:
Southern Makers: Heartwood Forge Knives

Southern Makers: LGDunston Gyotaku
Southern Makers: Southern Restoration Furniture
Meet June

Meet Wallace
Maiden South

Until Next Time

Friday and Avocado Toast

Happy Friday!! TGIF, for realz, y’all.   It’s been a long week.

Drink Up

Precisely.

Today’s post is going to be sort of random (clearly – you read the title), so bear with me.

ALERT!  Sunday is Mother’s Day!  In case you’re buying for someone special (I’m a mom to two fur babies, right Wheat?), I thought I’d share this PSA:

Christina Jervey Jewelry Mother's Day Sale | Oysters & Pearls

I’m in love with my bangle from Christina Jervey, and I hope to add many more of her classic pieces to my collection in the coming years.  I especially adore that they’re handmade by Christina in Charleston, South Carolina!  (PS: this isn’t sponsored, but I’m completely open to any sponsorships or promotions Christina wants to shoot my way… just sayin’.)

Our Bainbridge bees were super ornery yesterday.  :(  Wheat and I both got stung for no apparent reason.  But that didn’t stop me from watching them drink from the bird bath.  They will always fascinate me.

Honey Bee Drinking from Bird Bath | Oysters & Pearls

Next to the bird bath, I finally pulled the trigger and ordered a Garden Flag Stand on Amazon.  Totally necessary for this precious garden flag.

Garden Flag, Benefits the Bainbridge Humane Society | Oysters & PearlsHere’s the story on the flag: local animal-lover Jordan Harris passed away last year in a tragic car accident, along with two of her friends.  It’s been pretty rough on the entire town, but her family has asked that in lieu of flowers, family and friends donate to the Bainbridge Humane Society.  Even a year later,  her family had this painting that Jordan did in high school turned into garden flags and donated those to the Humane Society for us to sell and raise money.  I’m so proud to finally have it hanging in our yard.  If you’d like a garden flag in honor of Jordan and to benefit the Bainbridge-Decatur County Humane Society, please visit our website.

Wednesday afternoon I spent some time with the lovely and sweet Marina at Anhaica Bagworks headquarters down in Tallahassee.  Look for her waxed canvas badassery (my favorite made-up word) on the blog here soon, and in the mean time pop over to her website, shop, read her blog, and do some  general ogle-ing.

Anhaica Bagworks, Handmade in Tallahassee, Florida | Oysters & Pearls

Finally, I’m going to share my absolute favorite breakfast/snack/light supper with y’all.  I’m hooked on avocado toast.

Avocado Toast | Oysters & Pearls

Avocado Toast Recipe
serves 1

ingredients

– 1 piece of bread
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1/2 ripe avocado
– 2 teaspoons or so (a splash) of lemon juice, or to taste
– Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
– red pepper flakes, to taste

instructions

Preheat over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Drizzle bread with olive oil and toast until crunchy.  In the mean time, smash half an avocado with lemon juice, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl with a fork.  When toast is toasted to desired toastiness, schmear it with the avocado mixture and top with red pepper flakes.

Enjoy.  So good, and so good for ya.

Avocado Toast with Heartwood Forge Knife and Southern Restoration Furniture Cutting Board | Oysters & Pearls

I happen to think it looks particular awesome on my Southern Restoration tobacco slat cutting board next to my Heartwood Forge knife

And finally, because you can never have enough kitty pictures in one post, I give you lazy Wallace.

Wallace Lounging | Oysters & Pearls

Wallace, Close Up | Oysters & Pearls

And one last thought that gets me through some hard days, plus one of my favorite verses:

Preach a Sermon with your Life | Oysters & Pearls

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven. Matthew 5:16

Until Next Time