Ice Country, Low Country

February 1, 2010



Apparently 75% of the school grounds in Rowan County are still covered in ice that is unsafe for students and staff. And we’re supposed to get freezing rain tonight. Yay for me!

Sadly I got my presentation mostly finished this afternoon and I won’t be giving it to 200 7th graders tomorrow. Oh well – at least I learned!

After finishing up, I decided to make some of Kelsey’s Muesli Granola Bars! Back when she made these I had made those Baked Oatmeal Snack Bars that so many of you have tried and loved. But I like Kelsey‘s more!

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Unfortunately I decided to half the recipe and they didn’t turn out quite as delicious as K’s version from last year, but they are still quite good. Mine are chewy with lots of embedded nuts and seeds. And the flavor is spot on vanilla goodness!


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All smooshed together

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Since I halved the recipe, I used an 8×8 pan, which was really too big for this batch. As a result they came out paper thin and not ideal. I also did not have parchment paper so I had to just spray my pan down really well.

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They didn’t stick, but like I said, they were so thin that they were not ideal. And I overpoured the milk

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25 minutes at 375* later….

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This made 8 bars.

You could definitely sub soy milk. I have no idea if you could omit the egg. I almost did to save an egg, but I decided to add it at the last minute in case they did not stick. I am not a baking expert so I don’t know how things work! Tamper at your own risk.

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Of course I had to sample one as a snack with a bit of Naturally Nutty Butter Toffee frosting

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I wrapped up the rest for on-the-go munchin’

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A little later Karen arrived for dinner!!

She brought over some special South Carolina Anson Mills grits a while ago and instructed me to put them in the crock pot 2 hours before dinnertime.

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Exactly 2 hours and 10 minutes later…

Best grits ever!!!!

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And what goes best with grits?

Schrimp + bake-in

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Sautéed with ‘shrooms, lemon and hot sawce

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While we cooked I prepared a mocktail with some pomegrante sparkling water Karen brought me as a treat!

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But we have so much trouble opening these POM bottles

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Our shrimp + grits were served with some sauteed spinach on the side

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I used my granola bars to put together a little dessert. Granola bar cookies with Nuttzo icing!

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Karen is obsessed with Nuttzo!!

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She had also made some brownies for us!!

Matt and I ended up splitting a Nuttzo Bar and splitting a brownie for a taste of each. We were all pretty full!

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Couldda eaten that whole plate!! I told Matt to confiscate it from me and I honestly don’t know where they went 😉

I would take a bubble bath but I feel pretty clean already! Might go watch a little TV. This TV watching thing is getting to be pretty fun!

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{ 81 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg February 1, 2010 at 8:47 pm

Looks like a VERY productive use of a snow day!! :-) Delicious!


2 Heather @ Side of Sneakers February 1, 2010 at 8:47 pm

Yay for more snow days!!!! They’re the best :)


3 amanda February 1, 2010 at 8:47 pm

Those bars and dinner look delicious.


4 Hannah February 1, 2010 at 8:48 pm

That dinner looks so heavenly – and is so novel for me, an Australian! I’ve never come across grits in Australia… I wonder if customs will let me bring back a bag of these good quality grits? Silly customs. They even stole a Celestial Seasonings tea from me just because it had orange peel in it. Hmph.


5 Laura February 2, 2010 at 12:02 pm

I would have thought so… in my more affluent days, I used to import some foods over from America and Australia to the U.K., and this was fine for me- but I don’t know if you have more stringent customs! Good luck!


6 Lauren @ eater not a runner February 1, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Shrimp and grits looks awesome! Also, I love nuttzo SO much :-)


7 Jessica @ How Sweet It Is February 1, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Lucky you for that snow day!!! :)


8 Food Makes Fun Fuel February 1, 2010 at 8:51 pm

I was just going to say Nuttzo would go amazing on those bars and then that’s what you put, lol. Have you ever had NuttZo on a Seed lovers dr. kracker? There is so much seed ction going on–it’s unreal!


9 Run Sarah February 1, 2010 at 8:54 pm

I’ve never had grits – I’d love to try them!


10 Sarah @ The Foodie Diaries February 1, 2010 at 8:58 pm

I feel like such a northerner saying this, but I’ve never had grits! I need to try them asap. Kind of like that bar recipe!


11 Paige@ RunningAroundNormal February 1, 2010 at 8:58 pm

So jealous you got another snow day! Lucky you 😀
I’ve never had grits before, but you make them sound really good!
I just made some bars tonight, too.


12 Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) February 1, 2010 at 9:01 pm

All of those baked goods are making me hungry! 😀


13 Estela @ Weekly Bite February 1, 2010 at 9:07 pm

YUM! Dinner looks so good!!!

I have the hardest time opening those POM bottles too!


14 Mara @ What's for Dinner? February 1, 2010 at 9:08 pm

Shrimp and grits ranks among my favorite foods…yours look great!


15 Deanna - The Unnatural Mother February 1, 2010 at 9:13 pm

Yummy!! Def going to try this!


16 Karla February 1, 2010 at 9:15 pm

Lucky you! Another snow day!!
I’ve never tried grits! I hear Southerners rave about them all the time!


17 Alison (Life's Little Lusts) February 1, 2010 at 9:21 pm

omg those homemade granola bars look amazing!!
and i’ve GOT to get me some of that naturally nutty nut butter.
sounds like some internet digging’s in store…
i love the price on your opensky store;
methinks i might partake 😉


18 Lily @ Lily's Health Pad February 1, 2010 at 9:21 pm

Yay for another snow day! I’m jealous. Too bad you can’t give your presentation though. :-(

I love your shrimp and grits. Very Charleston!


19 Teri February 1, 2010 at 9:22 pm

My work has a delayed opening because of the ice tomorrow. So excited! And those granola bars look awesome!


20 Tracey February 1, 2010 at 9:24 pm

I don’t think I’ve ever seen sparkling pomegrante water. I’m going to have to be on the look out for it!


21 Jessica February 1, 2010 at 9:25 pm

Any chance you will share your recipe for your dinner?? It looks delicious!


22 Kath February 1, 2010 at 9:27 pm

I pretty much did :(

We just sauteed bacon, then browned the shrimp, then removed them and added a pint of mushrooms until they were cooked. Added lemon, hot sauce, and creole seasoning to taste. Tossed all together. And served it over the grits and with the spinach sauteed in some canola oil with salt and pepper.


23 Kaite@ Two Lives, One Lifestyle February 1, 2010 at 9:27 pm

Have fun on another snow day! Brownies and granola bars with Nutzo would be very hard to resist.


24 Danielle (Coffee Run) February 1, 2010 at 9:30 pm

I love making my own granola bars! I’ll have to save this recipe


25 Jil February 1, 2010 at 9:31 pm

That shrimp n grits looks sooo delicious.


26 Jessie February 1, 2010 at 9:33 pm

As I vegan/sugar-avoidant, I’ve often replaced both the sugar and egg/butter from recipes with either date paste (which I make by cooking chopped dates with some water on the stove, smushing the dates until they form a thick paste) or using nut butters (or a combination of both). It makes for a sweet, chewy but cruchy bar (especially if you use cruchy nut butter).


27 Pat February 1, 2010 at 9:35 pm

Your dinner was sooooo yummy!


28 Alicia February 1, 2010 at 9:37 pm

ok, I now feel slightly less crazy for having trouble with POM bottles! I’ve actually CUT myself tring to get one open! Next time, I’ll try the bread knife 😉


29 Lisa @bakebikeblog February 1, 2010 at 9:41 pm

Wow it sounds like you have had a fun day of baking! Loving those bars :)


30 Gretchen February 1, 2010 at 9:49 pm

Dinner looks yummy… all some of my favs! My hubby and grits don’t get along (well he just doesn’t like them!), so this would be one I would have to make on a OYO night!


31 Nicole February 1, 2010 at 9:49 pm

Jealous of your snow day! Those Muesli bars look great…I book marked them!


32 Niki @ Niki's Neverending Adventure February 1, 2010 at 10:00 pm

I’ve been using 1TBSP flax plus 3TBSP water as an egg substitute for cookies and they have turned out great! Just mix it together and let sit for 2 mins then it’s ready to use as an “egg”!!


33 Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope February 1, 2010 at 10:01 pm

Such a fun dinner! Enjoy your SECOND day off tomorrow… gotta love snow days! :)


34 Heather (Heather's Dish) February 1, 2010 at 10:01 pm

oh i do love me some shrimp + grits!!! that’s a bowl of goodness right there :)

so jealous of your snow/ice days!


35 Brie (The Fit Bride) February 1, 2010 at 10:11 pm

Jealous! I wish we had more snow days around here.

Also, those granola bars look fabulous.


36 AnnQ February 1, 2010 at 10:14 pm

OMG…*I* want a snow day! (since I work from home, I’d need one hell of a reason not to be able to work 😉 )


37 Mama Pea February 1, 2010 at 10:23 pm

I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure “ingredientos” isn’t Spanish. Maybe you could take this snow day/free time to learn a new language! 😉 😉 😉


38 Kath February 2, 2010 at 8:54 am

Who said I was trying to speak Spanish!?!


39 Ameena February 1, 2010 at 10:31 pm

Lucky you with a snow day! Shrimp and grits look Amazing!!


40 lynn (The Actors Diet) February 1, 2010 at 10:32 pm

yay for another snow day! you did a good job keeping busy!


41 Kelly February 1, 2010 at 10:33 pm

That dinner looks so good. Enjoy your day off tomorrow!


42 Sarah R February 1, 2010 at 10:35 pm

Working in the schools is great when the weather is bad. We had a whole week off after Christmas break because of all the snow we had here. I’m not a southern gal, but you shrimp and grits looks I think I’ll have to stick this into our menu for next week. I ordered some Nutzo from your Open Sky store before Christmas. I wasn’t sure what to think after my first taste, but now I can’t get enough! I love the complexity of the flavors + the crunch from the seeds!


43 Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] February 1, 2010 at 10:44 pm

MMM – I would not be able to resist those brownies, but the granola bars sound like a much healthier option. Enjoy your 2nd snow day – jealous!


44 Carolyn February 1, 2010 at 10:44 pm

Oh, man! Brownies are just one of those things that I cannot have around the house. I had one for the first time @ Panera a few weeks ago and to my surprise (I usually prefer homemade baked goods) it was one of the best brownies I’ve ever had. I have yet to submit myself to finding out the nutritional information because I’m sure I’d cry.


45 Jenna February 1, 2010 at 11:00 pm

Bats look great especially with nut butter!


46 Allison February 1, 2010 at 11:07 pm

I made your original recipe for oatmeal bars tonight. But i used pureed banana instead of an egg. They held together pretty well. And, of course, banana in oatmeal is awesome.


47 Foy Update - Cook. Garden. Write. Repeat. February 1, 2010 at 11:17 pm

I just realized the polenta and grits are the same thing: coarsely ground corn cooked with butter and salt. It just sounds fancy when it’s called polenta and down home when it’s called grits. Either way I like it, especially with some good locally produced sausage.


48 Janna (Just Flourishing) February 1, 2010 at 11:43 pm

I’ve never really known what grits are, exactly. But they look good! And so does that shrimp.

I actually just got a whole bunch of POM Wonderful juice sent to me and I am having SOOOO much trouble opening the bottles! What is with that???


49 Jaya February 1, 2010 at 11:51 pm

Kath, I LOVE that vanilla. I have the Tahitian and Madagascar, and they are both incredible. I am definitely a vanilla snob, and we usually homemake ours, but every time I see someone else with a bottle of this stuff, I swoon and love them a little more. If that’s possible.


50 Kath February 2, 2010 at 8:54 am

Have you had Mexican vanilla!? It’s my favorite!


51 AM February 2, 2010 at 12:33 am

Hi there,

I was just going through your blog for the link to Matt’s blog to use his whole wheat pizza crust recipe. But the problem is that it’s down and needs to be restored :( That was a really good recipe and i really wanted pizza tonight.
Just in case he didn’t notice.


52 Kath February 2, 2010 at 8:54 am

Sadly Brew + Bake is gone :(


53 Colleen February 2, 2010 at 12:44 am

Mmmmm nothing like good southern cookin’ to heat up on a cold day! My parents are from Florida and made grits occasionally, and my favorite recipe was grits with cheddar cheese and green chiles. SO GOOD! Actually found a biscuit at Great Harvest the other day that was this in solid form. Delish.


54 Kath February 2, 2010 at 8:54 am

Jalapeno Cheddar Corn Bread!? Had it in Scuffin form yet!?


55 Kate (This American Wife) February 2, 2010 at 12:51 am

I’m TOTALLY jealous of your not one, but TWO snow days! It looks like you’re taking full advantage of them though! Enjoy Snow Day Dos!!!


56 Jaclyn February 2, 2010 at 12:52 am

Ahh, I’m jealous of all your snowdays!!
I bet the granola bars would be great with chocolate chips involved 😉
and now I want a brownie… haha


57 Jamie February 2, 2010 at 1:10 am

sorry your bars didnt turn out as planned… as a girl from the north, living in the south, i still dont understand grits! i think the texture bugs me. but i’m a huge shrimp and spinach fan though! (oh, and brownies… duhhhh haha)


58 Freya @ February 2, 2010 at 2:36 am

I think those bars look delicious! I hope no-one has already said it, but I think eggs act like glue in a recipe, so definetly don’t omit them!
That dinners looks soo comforting and tatsty :)
And lucky you with another snow day! I’m just stuck with a rain day here 😛


59 Jac February 2, 2010 at 4:10 am

the bars look nice! but i think if there was a way to make it crispy, it’d be perfect since yours turned out paper thin!


60 Jenn ( February 2, 2010 at 5:31 am

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m going to have to make my own granola bars being all the store-bought ones, even the “organic and natural” brands, contain terrible ingredients.

Your shrimp + grits looks AMAZING! I have a bag of Bob’s Red Mill polenta on standby just waiting for recipes like this. I have one recipe already, this just might be the other. :)



61 christie @ honoring health February 2, 2010 at 6:17 am

I love shrimp and grits!!


62 Jenna @ RunEatRide February 2, 2010 at 6:22 am

Wish I had a snow day! I have never had grits before..The bars look really good! :)


63 Annie @ stronghealthyfit February 2, 2010 at 7:36 am

Looks like such a delicious dinner!
Btw, I made your BBQ tofu last night for sandwiches to bring to school with me this week- it turned out great! That one’s going in my recipe box :-)


64 Kath February 2, 2010 at 8:55 am



65 Simply Life February 2, 2010 at 7:47 am

Oh that granola bars look great!


66 Kath February 2, 2010 at 8:55 am

Grits are like OAT BRAN!! Little pellets instead of big flakes.


67 Amanda @ Cakes and Ale February 2, 2010 at 10:02 am

Those bars look great, actually! I definitely wouldn’t omit the egg though… in baking, it’s not only a binder but also a riser. They may have come out really flat and crispy without it!


68 caronae February 2, 2010 at 11:00 am

That sounds like a fabulous dinner and dessert. I really need to get on the whole homemade granola bar train!


69 Beverly February 2, 2010 at 11:27 am

How do you cook grits in the crock pot? I had no idea you could do that. Do you had more or less water? Please tell me, I am so excited about this!


70 [email protected] February 2, 2010 at 11:40 am

Thanks for the tip about cooking grits in a crock pot! How easy is that?


71 Laura February 2, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Barbarians! You decapitated that poor POM bottle! Have you tried blue corn masa? Very nice! I am slightly regretting my decision when I weighed up pressure cooker vs slow cooker and the former won. Its sitting on top of my freezer because I’m too scared to use it! 😉 Also, has anyone here ever had problems after eating the uncooked overnight oats (bloating, cramping, gas) or am I just unlucky?!


72 [email protected] February 2, 2010 at 12:26 pm
73 Nicole February 2, 2010 at 1:22 pm

I LOVE grits but I have never made them. Any tips on what to buy, what to add in? Also, I live in SC, where can I get the kind you made and loved? thanks! love the blog!


74 Kath February 2, 2010 at 1:56 pm

I think they came from Clemson? Karen got them. Check the Anson Mills website :)


75 Jessica @ The Process of Healing February 2, 2010 at 1:39 pm

Oh yum. Oh YUM! Shrimp and grits is one of my favorite things on earth. Add in some brownies and that makes one of the most perfect meals in the entire world.


76 Kath February 2, 2010 at 1:55 pm

The grits recipe I followed for the crockpot with butter, salt and pepper:


77 Ana February 2, 2010 at 2:53 pm

We are snowed in with no school here in Cary too. No fun, I am tired of this thing, hopefully tomorrow things will go back to normal!
Love the looks of your granola bars, even if they are thin and all, they look amazingly good! I will try making some for myself for sure!


78 Cynthia (It All Changes) February 2, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Shrimp and Grits with and Ice Storm. Perfect for southerners :-)


79 kat February 2, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Your shrimp and grits looks AMAZING! I’m going to try it with some polenta and tomatoes as well! Thanks for the great idea!


80 Kristilyn (My 29th Year) February 2, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Oh my goodness, I could have went to town with all those goodies! My willpower is good, but not THAT good!

Those bars look really delicious. I might have to try and make them one of these days! The husband always loves taking a bar to work.

I am definitely on the mocktail train now – sparkling water, POM, and a little lime and it’s hard to miss an alcoholic beverage. The best thing is that no one can tell the difference!



81 Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) February 2, 2010 at 6:37 pm

LOL Andy and I recently had to open a gatorade bottle that way! So weird.


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