Tuesday, July 30, 2013

artist's block

I'm guessing this is a fairly common problem that most creative people run into.  Something akin to writer's block but with all forms of creativity.  I hesitate to label it as being 'burnt out', at least for myself, because my desire to create is still strong, but sometimes I go through phases of having zero motivation for creativity. 

During these chunks of time life is just dull.  Its boring.  My mind isn't running through ten plus different projects and coming up with interesting ways to do things. 

I've been in one of these creative slumps for a couple of weeks now.  Despite the fact that I have plenty of projects somewhere between started and finished, I just have lost interest in working on them. 

I always manage to bounce out of these eventually, but I was just wondering if any of you out there have any clever tricks for getting out of the crafty doldrums?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sweet 16th: Chocolate Coconut No-Bake Bars

Summer baking can present a bit of a dilemma.  Sometimes there are those days where you just need to make something sweet but you really can't stand to turn on your oven. 
These no-bakes are a good solution!  The name is only slightly misleading, while you never have to bake them, you do have to heat some of the ingredients on the stove for a couple of minutes.  This will not, however, heat up the house like turning on the oven, so I'm still thinking this is a win!

Anyways, lets get to it.  For these:

You'll need:

2 1/2 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup of peanut butter (I prefer smooth)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup shredded coconut, separated
4 Tbsp. cocoa powder
2 cups of sugar (yes really)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup of milk

The first step here is to put the oatmeal, peanut butter, vanilla, and 2/3 cups of the coconut into a medium to large sized bowl

And then stir it up a bit.  It will not mix perfectly yet but you want to get the peanut butter and coconut into smaller clumps.

Next, in a saucepan, combine the cocoa powder, sugar, salt, and milk.  Stir with a whisk and bring to just a boil.

Then pour the chocolatly mix over the oatmeal and stir it in.  This will melt the peanut butter and make everything blend together more easily.

Line a casserole dish with wax or parchment paper and scoop the oat mix into the prepared dish.  Then spread it out so it is fairly even.

Now we'll finally use that last 1/3 cup of coconut. Chop the remaining coconut fairly fine

And sprinkle it all over the tops of the bars.

Cover and put in the fridge for several hours until fully chilled and firm.  Cut them up and enjoy!

You can make these as drop cookies too by spooning the mix onto parchment lined cookie sheets and chilling those in the fridge, but this casserole method takes far less time and is cleaner to boot!

Happy baking! 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Camping trip

So I've lost track of the days again and missed the 16th, but I have a recipe for you and I'll post it either tonight or tomorrow! 

In the meantime,  we took little man on his first camping trip this past weekend and he LOVED it.  Here are a few shots of him having a good time :)

playing cars in the tent.

eating by the campfire.

playing with glowing sticks.