Many years ago, I wrote a weekly column for the Food Network’s blog. It was called The Weekender and was designed to feature the kind of project cooking best tackled on a Saturday or Sunday. I cooked a whole bunch of things that were way out of my comfort zone during the three year period I had that gig and I learned a heck of a lot along the way.
I often go back and reference select elements of the dishes I made during that run (the spice rub on this chicken is brilliant and I use it all the time). Another technique that I’ve used and adapted a lot over the years is this one for granola bars.
It comes from an episode of Sunny Anderson’s show, Home Made in America, in which she searched out secrets from home cooks. The thing that sets this granola bar apart from others I’ve made is that it results in a nicely chewy, not-too-sweet, easy to eat snack.
The one thing I do differently from the recipe as written is that I don’t bake the bars. Once I press them into the pan, I just let them cool until they firm up. This makes it a good one for summer, because the time the oven is on is minimal.
Once the slab is cool, I cut them into bars, wrap them up in pieces of parchment paper (often using the same sheet that I lined the pan with) and then tuck them into a big jar.
They keep a couple weeks on the counter and even longer in the freezer. Oh, and if you need to avoid nuts because of allergies, omit the almonds, add more sunflower seeds, and proceed as directed.