Fun Things From the Weekend

I seem to be randomly sharing my weekends lately. It’s kinda fun, so I’m going to keep doing it. I love reading these blog posts and I am finding it fun to share them, as well.

Thursday:

My weekend started Thursday night when I picked up Jenn from the airport at 11:55pm. She came to town for a minute for a friend’s bridal shower. I brought Millie to grab her from the airport. Millie was VERY excited to see her Auntie Jenn.

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We got home around 12:45am and it was bed time for all of us (once Millie calmed down from the Auntie Jenn excitement).

Friday:

Friday I woke up early (shocking I know), went to barre, and made buckwheat and oatmeal waffles. Because waffles. I had mine with sunflower seed butter + bananas + other fruit.

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Jenn and I went downtown so she could visit her friend who has a newborn and a toddler. I would post pics, but I feel weird posting pics of a baby that isn’t mine without asking. I should ask. Anyways, he was super cute!! Also, god bless all mothers everywhere. Motherhood seems incredibly stressful and exhausting. I’m good with just fur babies for the foreseeable future.

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Then we went to Anodyne Coffee (the best coffee in MKE IMO) and walked around the lake front for a while. Milwaukee is so underrated. #hiddengem

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After that, it was back home. Jenn left shortly after to meet some friends for lunch. I was feeling anxious about getting some stuff done so I opted to stay home and #werk. Millie sat outside with me and modeled an awesome new sticker I got from Made Wild.

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She also modeled her new Civil Liberties Watchdog tee from ACLU 🙂

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Around 4:30, Jenn came and picked me up and we headed to TJs to buy some stuff for a cake she was making for a bridal shower.

We came back and got crackin’ on the cake. We made two layers vanilla and two layers banana. While cakes were baking, I made us some dinner with random things we had around the house. Going out seemed stressful because we were pretty tied to the cakes.

I made us a build-a-bowl sort of thing with my favorite marinated tempeh, black rice, cauliflower rice, baby kale, avocado, cilantro, green onions, roasted Japanese sweet potatoes, cashews, pineapple, and a spicy peanut sauce. We ate around 8:15pm with my mom and the meal turned out to be really yummy and totally hit the spot.

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Have you had Oriental/Japanese sweet potatoes before btw? They are AMAZING. They’re purple on the outside and white on the inside. They taste like chestnuts and I’m pretty sure they are what the potato emoji is representing. I like to bake them whole and gobble them up. For the bowls I sliced and tossed them in turmeric, cumin, and cayenne and roasted them up. YUM.

After dinner, we set the cakes out to cool, and started getting ready for bed (we were tired) and it was lights out by 10:00pm. #partyanimals

Saturday:

Saturday I got up at 5:30am (classic me) and got Jenn up at 7:00am (per her request) to finish the cakes. We whipped up some cream cheese frosting and nutella buttercream. Millie got caught in a powdered sugar shower and ate a bunch of the floor. Then we assembled the cake.

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Jenn decorated it all fancy to make it look like a birch tree, which was the theme of the shower.

Around 9:30am she left for the shower and then I ran a bunch of errands, ate bowl leftovers for lunch, and laid down (I wasn’t feeling too well) for several hours.

That night, we headed to a bonfire/BBQ at a friends house for a birthday celebration of sorts. It was a good old time with warm weather, lots of laughs, and lovely people.

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Around 12:30am we headed home (eep) and it was straight to bed!

Sunday:

Just a few short hours later at 4:00am, it was time to leave for the airport. I dropped Jenn off and was back home by around 5:30am. I napped for another two hours (until around 7:30am) and then took Millie to the park. I snapped this photo as she happened to turn around and sniff her butt. My dog is the weirdest. Like does anyone else’s dog do this? Anyways, eventually I went to a barre class to finish out the morning.

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After lunch, I did some work. Then, I headed out to Panera with my mom. It was quite an event. A tire blew when we were getting gas before dinner and we ended up walking to Panera.

Panera literally messes up my order every single time. I double checked to make sure they had my order right and went up the the prep counter like a frickin’ crazy person to verbally verify they were going to give me a salad without chicken.

Then, my salad came with chicken. Like it does every time. In fact, a girl working said something like, “I feel like every time I’ve seen you here they mess up your order.” And I was like “yeah.”

And then I’m in this awkward position where my order is covered with chicken and it’s all mixed in and they have to make me a new one and I feel like a whiny bitch. But like also, I don’t eat chicken and don’t like chicken shreds touching every inch of my salad.

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They then always give you the option to take home the salad or have them throw it away. Let’s just say my dog has eaten a lot of chicken salads this summer. Oh, Panera. I love you but get your sh*t together. Thanks so much.

Then we Uber’d home since the car was not going to make it. By that point, it was somehow like 8:30pm, so I enjoyed some ice cream and an early bed time.

And in case you care…

I’m happy to report the car is now all better with shiny new tires.

Also! I’m exciting to announce I’ll be starting a content internship with The Global Foodbanking Network this summer and continuing it for the rest of the calendar year :). Stay tuned.

Fun week ahead! I have 2 recipe posts planned, and a trip to Chicago in the works!

That Time I Made Rosa Park’s Pancake Recipe (Vegan Style)

If you follow me on Instagram, you may recall these pancakes I posted a few weeks ago. Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 9.26.56 AM

So what’s so special about a damn picture of pancakes with awkward irregular shaped edges and a few walnuts and banana slices on top as a despite attempt on food styling? Oh, that’s right. They’re Rosa Park’s pancakes.

Well, not Rosa Park’s pancakes per se; I didn’t go back in time, steal them from her table, freeze and then defrost them decades later for the sake of an Instagram photo. No, I merely made them from a recipe she had written on the back of an envelope, a photo of which was featured in this article for NPR (side note: I ❤ NPR).

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They’re endearingly called “Featherlighte Pancakes,” and the recipe is written in handwriting that looks charmingly like my Oma’s. As soon as I set my eyes on the recipe, I knew I had to make them.

And you know what? They were darn delicious. I was hesitant to add a full two tablespoons of baking powder, but then decided since Rosa Parks was right about so many things, she was probably right about this too. I put my trust in her and was not let down. The pancakes truly were, featherlight.

The pancakes were fluffy and delicate, yet substantial and hearty, with a bold peanut butter flavor that could stand on its own, and also tasted great with maple syrup. Just a few would fill you up, which according to the article, means the pancakes achieved their purpose of offering a form of delicious, extended substance from inexpensive ingredients. They were delicious, and I do plan to make them again.

And while I was eating them, yes, I did think of Rosa Parks. How humbling is it to remind ourselves that we all must eat? No matter the time period, our religion, our views of the world, our level of education, or our environments. All humans eat, and it is something that connects us and equalizes at a primal level. IMG_4116

I slightly adapted the recipe to make it plant-based, but the original recipe can be found here.

Recipe adapted from Rosa Parks.

Rosa Park’s Featherlight Pancake Recipe (Veganized)

Prep Time:  5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: about 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour (I subbed 1/2 whole wheat flour)
  • 2 “T” baking powder
  • 1/2 “t” salt
  • 2 “T” sugar
  • 1 flax or chia egg (1 tablespoon chia/flax + 3 tablespoons water) –> original recipe calls for 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk –> original recipe calls for milk
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon oil

Method:

  1. Combine flax or chia and water in a small dish and allow to thicken, at least 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine all ingredients in a bowl. Add flax/chia egg. Mix until just combined.
  3. Cook on a griddle at 275F (I cooked each side roughly 3 minutes before flipping)

The HAES/Anti-Diet Movement, and What It’s Missing

Hello fam. How ya doing? I hope you’re doing well and enjoying a day filled with delicious foods and internal sunshine.

With the weather warming up and a mini-toe surgery leaving me unable to do much else in terms of movement, I’ve recently taken to going to long walks with my dog and listening to podcasts. After blowing through a couple series in their entirety, I started listening to Food PsychFood Psych per recommendation of a few others.

Overall, I really enjoy listening to the podcast. It’s thought-provoking, delivers important messages so many need to hear, and is entertaining enough to hold my attention. That said, I do not agree with every message delivered in its entirety (and am a firm believer you should not only watch/listen to things you completely agree with, because that’s called living in an echo chamber, and it’s important to understand other POVs, IMO), and I seriously believe that the podcast is missing an important part of body acceptance.

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I can totally get behind the anti-diet movement (for those unfamiliar, it basically points out how society has normalized diet culture, and now it’s more abnormal than not to not be constantly dieting); I’ve felt that way about diet-culture for a very long time and have recently become an advocate of intuitive eating. I am learning to be better at letting go of external cues and just eating what works for me when I want to and I’m all about that life.

But the entire podcast focuses mainly on accepting bigger bodies, “thin privilege,” and how thin people don’t feel the pressure to change their bodies. And I can say, first-handed, this isn’t true. I have felt enormous shame for being the scrawny kid growing up, and even to this day, everyone from strangers to doctors to potential employers feel entitled to comment on my size, make pointed assumptions on how I got to be my size, how I should change, and what my physical or professional capabilities are based on my body type.

I must be weak, emotionally vulnerable, mentally ill, and childish, right? And no one would ever find a woman who looks like a 12-year-old boy to be desirable…or at least that’s what I’ve been told. And heaven forbid I order a salad somewhere, even if that’s what my body is craving, because obviously, you know, that means I have a problem.

I have honestly been asked in job interviews how old I am, and been told that “no one should look like that, it’s not natural or healthy,” regarding my shape and size. Uh, okay, cool.

The sad part is, I’m not even that abnormally sized.  And in fact, in my 6 years living in NYC, my body never came up as an issue. But after living in the Midwest this year, I gotta say, I feel the heat very regularly. It reminds me of being in middle and high school again, where people would tease me for my size and I was on the “itty bitty titty committee.” Moreover, eating disorders are SERIOUS disease, and not something to take lightly or assume or wish upon anyone.

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Not to minimize any pain any others feel about shame they receive for their body shaming, but I argue thin privilege is not the privilege it’s made out to be in this Podcast series. Thin people get shamed all the time, and damn it, our feelings get hurt too.

Bodies change and fluctuate throughout the lifespan. Maybe in a few years I’ll look different. Maybe not. But this is my body today, and I’m tired to being made to feel shameful of it just as much as anyone else.

I’ve written about this before in this viral piece for Spoon, and years later, I still feel the same.

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I will continue to listen to the Food Psych series, and truly DO enjoy it. However, I wish they would feature thin shaming at least just once. They constantly bring up “health at every size,” yet seem to not acknowledge the fact that smaller people may also just be that way and may be healthy.

In fact, at times, I feel as if they almost demonize being small. In a society that is so thin-obsessed, the acceptance of eating what’s right for your body and not fighting your body’s natural size is so so important. But I wish they would acknowledge both ends of this spectrum. People know what they look like, and size isn’t, in my opinion, anything to be commented on.

Anyways, those are my thoughts. Wishing everyone a day of body acceptance and self-compassion!

Easy Homemade Pico

Got another one for ya. Something to pair with those chipsIMG_5497

I’m pumping out some adapted recipes I’ve shared on Spoon on the blog while I’m working on some other content projects I’m SUPER excited to share over here and on another platform/medium that I’ve been wanting to try for so very long!IMG_5481

I’m excited and nervous and finally ready to explore a new medium of creativity, and really give it a shot. Any guesses what format? 🙂 IMG_5478

Other life updates: So about 10 years ago at poms camp someone stepped on my big toe and ripped off the big toe nail completely. It’s never been the same. It’s cracked off a few times since then, and has always been kind of discolored and funky.  Last week my toe really started to swell and get painful. Like,all around the nail it was like elevated and puffy and it hurt to put on shoes or walk.IMG_5503

Cue me going to a walk-in clinic feeling like a hypochondriac. Turns out I wasn’t a hypochondriac. Next thing I know, I’m in podiatry getting my big toenail removed and nail bed dug out (there was a lot of scar tissue and pus down there). IMG_5487

I opted to watch the mini surgery. I regret watching the mini surgery. Anyways, they put me a giant dose of antibiotics and I’m pretty sure my gut flora is not pleased. I honestly JUST got off antibiotics for a throat infection 4 days prior to this experience, and I’m kinda worried I will have no good flora left by the end of this course (in like….another week and a half -__-). At least it’s an excuse to buy ALL the booch? 🙂HomemadeBakedTortilalChips_KatherineBaker

Anyways back to pico. Because I bet that story DEFIANTLY made you hungry. For some fresh tomato-y pico. Tehehe #sorryiovershareeverythingIMG_5494

Other notes/truth time: the herb in these photos is not actually cilantro. It’s parsley. Don’t tell anyone. It’s what I had on hand. That’s also the case for this entire series, and somehow thankfully, no one has ever noticed and come for me after it. Which means I don’t think anyone noticed. Since people on the internet are very quick to be mean.

Without further adieu, here is modified pico from my post for Spoon University:

Easy Homemade Pico De Gallo

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Servings: 2-5 ? Eat what feels good to you

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh diced tomatoes (about 2 medium or 1 small container cherry tomatoes)
  • 1 small red or yellow onion, or 1 shallot
  • 1/3-1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped finely
  • 1-2 fresh jalapeño peppers (optional)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Sriracha (optional)

Method:

  1. Dice tomatoes and onions into small pieces. If you like bigger tomato chunks (I do) feel free to leave ’em a little bigger
  2. If you’re fancy, chiffonade the cilantro. If you’re not fancy, just chop it up into really small pieces. Add to bowl.
  3. Remove stems and if you’re sensitive to heat, remove seeds from jalapeños.Dice jalapeños and add to bowl.
  4. Juice one lime and add to bowl. Add a generous amount of salt. Mix well.
  5. If you’re like me and a spiciness fanatic, feel free to add a squeeze of Sriracha to up the spice game.
  6. Enjoy. Maybe with these chips.

 

Copycat Vegan Cinnamon Crunch Panera Bagels

I JUMPED on a chance to make these babies for a project for Spoon University (where I sometimes write, lol). VerticalKatherineBaker_Bagels_Cinnamon_Crunch_Panera

So I’m also sharing the recipe here.

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Cinnamon Crunch bagels at Panera contain dairy, and are therefore not vegan. And technically you don’t have to make this recipe vegan if you don’t want to (swap non-diary butter for butter). Do what works for you. I’m not here to tell you how to live your bagel life.

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While you’re checking out that post, check out my two smoothie recipes I also did for Spoon this week: Copycat Panera Green Goddess, and Strawberry Smoothie. nom

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Speaking of fruit and smoothies, can we talk about a recent food trend for a hot second? The fruit-is-bad-for-you-and-messes-with-your-hormones garbage has GOT to go.

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What is with these Instagram influencers who have *zero* nutrition or science education background giving health and diet advice and info with nothing to back it up? Makes my skin boil.

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Guess what ladies? Eating bananas will not ruin your hormonal cycle. And I’m so sorry people with hundreds of thousands of followers are telling you so. Eat bananas and be happy, y’all.

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Anyways, rant over. Here are the bagels.

*KatherineBaker_Bagels_Cinnamon_Crunch_Panera

Also published on Spoon University.

Copycat Panera Cinnamon Crunch Bagels

Prep Time: 10 hrs
Cook Time: 0 mins
Total Time: 10 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 6 bagels

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar or honey – divided
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt – divided
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter or non-dairy butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, combine warm water, yeast, 1 tablespoon sugar or honey, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Allow yeast to bloom for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add flour and mix with an electric mixer and a dough hook for 3 minutes, or by hand for about 5 minutes. The dough should be tacky and fully moistened, but not wet. If the dough is dry, add a bit more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  3. Allow dough to rest for 10 minutes. Then, knead with an electric mixer and dough hook or by hand for an additional 4 minutes.
  4. Transfer dough to a clean, oiled bowl and allow to rest at room temperature for at least an hour. Bagels will rise better if rested overnight or for at least 4 hours. If resting overnight, move to the refrigerator.
  5. If chilling dough, allow dough to come to room temperature for about an hour before shaping.
  6. When dough is at room temperature, shape bagels. You can shape bagels by rolling dough into 8-inch logs about 1 inch thick in diameter and then pressing the dough together to form a loop. Or you can roll out the dough to be about 1 inch thick and use a large circular cutter to cut a large ring, and then cut a small ring in the middle with a sharp knife or small circular cookie cutter.
  7. Allow shaped bagels to undergo a second proof on an oiled sheet pan for an additional 60-90 minutes.
  8. After second proofing, preheat the oven to 500°F and prepare poaching liquid by combining 8-12 cups water to a boil.
  9. While waiting for water to boil and oven to preheat, prepare topping by combining sugars and cinnamon in a small bowl and melting butter in a small microwave-safe dish. Set aside.
  10. Once water is boiling, add 1 tablespoon baking soda, the additional 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar or honey, the additional 1 teaspoon salt, and stir gently.
  11. Grab a slotted spoon, wooden spoon, or spatula. Gently lower bagels into simmering pot, 1-2 at a time (the bagels should float). After 1 minute of boiling, flip bagels, and boil for an additional 30-60 seconds before removing and transferring back to the oiled tray, domed side up.
  12. Brush the tops of the bagels with melted butter or non-dairy butter, and sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top of the melted butter. Drizzle any remaining butter over the tops of the bagels.
  13. Once all bagels have been poached in water, lower the heat of the oven to 450°F and place the bagels into the oven.
  14. Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning the tray halfway through to ensure even browning.
  15. Allow bagels to cool and enjoy.

Peanut Butter & Sriracha Veggie Sandwich

Hello and welcome to a recipe post that probably sounds very strange at first. But bare with me. Let me walk you through my logic.

Vegan Peanut Butter and Sriracha Veggie Sandwich

Behold the PB&S. PB&S? Can we make that a thing? Okay great. Because it’s surprisingly delicious. Sure, the combination sounds weird and perhaps even a bit icky at first, but think about it: do you like pad thai? Of course you do. Pad Thai is delicious. Pad Thai also has a peanut butter-based sauce. And is spicy and has veggies in it and is paired with carby noodles.

So why not pair peanut butter and Sriracha (or not if you don’t care for spicy) with some crunchy veggies on bread, add some cilantro, and call it lunch?

So here we are. A savory veggie-packed peanut butter sandwich. This is a highly satisfying combination, and makes for a fun way to switch up your lunch time game. I suggest pairing it with a nice crunchy apple with additional peanut butter for dipping.

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And then eat something sweet for dessert. Maybe a cookie. Or maybe a marshmallow fondant covered spotted dick. Have you been watching Great British Bake Off on Netflix?

I can’t stop. I binged the entire three seasons available on Netflix in 4 days. And now I’m rewatching it. If you haven’t seen it yet, you simply must. It makes every other food show feel inferior. I don’t think I’ll ever look at the Food Network again.

Vegan Peanut Butter and Sriracha Veggie Sandwich

There’s just something about how compassionate the contestants are towards one another that is simply beautiful. Also, the hosts are hilarious.

Would anyone reading this be interested in me diversifying my content? Because that’s what it’s about to happen. I realized I like blogs that share things like daily life info and eats so I’m going to try and experiment with that soon, instead of just recipe post after recipe post.

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Also, I apolotize that pictures look blurry on WordPress lately. All of them look crystal clear on my computer, but WordPress keeps distorting them. So I’m working on figuring out how to fix that since it’s been stopping me from uploading content. So for now just deal with my blurry pics plz.

Anywho, happy spring. And on your mark, get set, MAKE (a sandwich) !

Peanut Butter Sriracha Sandwich

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: ~5 minutes
Servings: 1 sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of bread, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • Sriracha (as much or as little as you please)
  • 3/4 cup chopped vegetables of choice  (I used carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, and lettuce, because that’s what I had in my fridge, but any of your favorite crunchy veggies would do)
  • small handful of cilantro (optional)

Method:

  1. Toast bread.
  2. Spread peanut butter on both pieces of bread.
  3. Chop vegetables and cilantro and add to bread.
  4. Drizzle with Sriracha.
  5. Assemble sandwich and enjoy.

3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheerio Bars

Hello! It me. I bring to you another dessert recipe from Wisconsin since my flight to NYC was canceled this morning due to the wind! Blah. I suppose this means even more time to experiment with dessert recipes since I will no longer have the opportunity to stuff myself with Van Leeuwen vegan ice cream this weekend (my absolute fav).easy-vegan-3-ingredient-peanut-butter-chocolate-cheerio-bars

Now I will preface this recipe by acknowledging that I’m aware I did not break any culinary boundaries in creating these. And that’s fine. But these bars are beauties because they’re super duper easy and super duper delicious. They’re also vegan and gluten-free, if you’re into that kinda thing.

They’re also highly addictive. My mom ate like 3/4th of the tray in one sitting. We are definitely related. Chocolate is a food group, according to us. vegan-3-ingredient-peanut-butter-chocolate-cheerio-bars

So a lil history on these bars: they came about because as a constantly-on-a-budget TJs fanatic, I am always looking up ways to create cheap after-dinner sweet snacks. In grad school I starting buying bags of chocolate chips for $1.99 (yup, TJ’s chocolate chips are vegan) and boxes of TJ’s Joe’s O’s (which are the Trader Joe’s equivalent of Cheerios) also for $1.99. I would mix chocolate chips and Joe’s Os in a wee little bowl and nibble on the mixture while studying.

The mix is a bit sweet, a bit carby, chocolatey, and crunchy. It’s highly satisfying, easy-to-prepare, and cheap as can be! It really stretches out a bag of chocolate chips, and has the added bonus that Joe’s O’s are decently not-too-shabby-for-you, making it a snack that’s easy to eat every night without feeling icky.

Then one day last month, I  was making puppy chow for my sister when she was in town, and I ventured to the grocery store to get a box of Chex. And then I got home and saw my Cheerios and I was like…I wonder if….!

And so this month, I tried it. I basically used the puppy chow idea (melted chocolate + pb) with Cheerios in place of Chex, but pressed them into a pan instead of coating them with powdered sugar.vegan-gluten-free-3-ingredient-peanut-butter-chocolate-cheerio-bars

The result is a crunchy, easy peasy snack that satisfies any crunchy chocolate peanut butter craving. They’re just damn good and damn delicious.

Anyways, without further audieu, I present to you…

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