The Life of Bon: June 2017

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Golden Graham No Bake Salted Caramel Bars

This post is sponsored by Golden Grahams but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Father's Day is a week from tomorrow.  I always kind of start to brace myself for Father's Day.  Since my dad died, it has traditionally been the hardest day of the year for me.  Even harder than his birthday or the anniversary of his death. (Well, this year my dad's birthday is on Father's Day so the doubling up like that doesn't help either.)  

I will always miss my dad on Father's Day.  I have accepted that.  But since seeing Greg become a dad, my Father's Days have gotten much easier.  Instead of missing my own dad so much, I can celebrate the father that my daughter has.

Greg is so good to June.  He is attentive and silly and loving.  He adores her.  Doesn't every girl need a dad who adores her?

Greg always makes an effort to do activities with his kids.  The other day he called me at work to tell me that he and June were "catching mermaids" that day.  We've all been on a mermaid catching kick ever since.  Tonight we went over to "Farm Country".  The place was all but deserted and June got to ride the pony to her heart's content.  It is so rewarding to watch my husband and kids interact.  Is there any thing greater in this world than watching two people you love so much bond?  (Side note:  Greg is also a very good dad to Hugh, but Hugh is still in boring baby stage so there's not a ton to say about him...  But believe you me, Greg has put in his time rocking, bouncing, soothing that crazy baby.)

For snacks we brought some Golden Graham Salted Caramel bars.  Greg told me that he never ate Golden Grahams as a child so I knew I had to show him how great they are.

This picture is not staged at all.  
It was June and Greg doing "cheers" with their Golden Graham treats.

In the interest of full full disclosure, I will tell you that I have tried and made several recipes for this blog.  But THIS golden graham salted caramel bar recipe is the best one I have ever tried.  It will become a family staple that we will eat for the rest of our lives because it is that good and we absolutely gobbled it up.  It is such a unique treat with the salt, caramel, and almonds added in.  All you have to do is look up the ingredient list and you know it is going to be amazing  And it is super quick to make (About 20 minutes to prepare) and requires zero baking.

A couple of adjustments I made when making this treat:

-  I used 16 ounces of marshmallows, not 10 ounces.  This was by accident, but of course it made it even better.  It's so gooey and yummy and I love that the cereal and almonds are covered in the marshmallow/caramel mix.  Next time I won't do as many marshmallows, but I do think I'll do a bit more than the recipe calls for.

- I did not microwave the marshmallow, butter, caramel mixture.  Instead, I cooked it on the stove.  The microwave seemed like a bad idea and I feel like everything cooks better on the stove.  The trick to making sure the bars aren't hard is to not overcook this mixture- that will make sure it stays gooey and soft.  I cooked on low and stirred constantly.  Don't let it boil!

-  I did milk chocolate instead of semisweet chocolate.  I believe milk chocolate to be the most superior of chocolate, so of course I used that.

- I did probably double the chocolate the recipe calls for.  Once the chocolate was melted I just put it in a plastic bag and drizzled it over the bars.  So good and only a little messy.  LOLZ.

Hugh got in on the action too.

The finished product can not be beat.  Greg and June both devoured these.  They are that good, I promise.  The crunchy and gooey mix + the salty and sweet mix really makes this such a unique and yummy treat.

This post is brought to you by Hugh D. Larsen who slept long enough for me to write this post tonight.  Way to go, Hugh!

Some other Golden Graham recipes that look very interesting to me:
(Click for Recipe)

Golden Grahams™ S’mores Candy Bark Recipe

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Thirteen minutes

I just put cookies in the oven and in thirteen minutes the timer will go off and I will eat those cookies.  So thirteen minutes is how long I have to write.

I feel this need to get back to blogging.  To get back to writing.  But the days pass and I don't make it a priority.  I could say I'm busy.  Because I am.  But the truth is that if I really really wanted to find time to blog I would.  So maybe I haven't wanted to.

It is 7:56 pm and today was my last day of work.  I am on summer vacation.  It is needed.  I don't know if I could have survived another day.  I mean, of course I could have.  I'm being dramatic.  But I really don't know if I could have.

Right now, at this very moment, my students are graduating.  I am supposed to be there.  I emailed my boss and asked if I could miss it.  A 14 hour work day with a four month old babe at home didn't sound that fun.  And do they really need all 100 teachers to sit in black robes around the stadium and sit through graduation year after year? In any case, I think my principal sensed that I'm at my work/home life breaking point.  So he said go ahead and stay home.  I'm grateful for that.  He has been a wonderful boss to me the past four years.  He is leaving now.  Being transferred to another school and I feel sad and nostalgic.  He has been so good to my family.  He hired me and then a year later hired Greg.  When Greg suddenly quit (literally went home on a Thursday and never went back) my/our boss was so understanding.  To Greg's email he responded, "Life is messy.  Put your family first."  That was in September.  That Christmas he gave our family $300.

I will miss my boss.  But my new boss used to be my vice principal and she is absolutely fantastic.  A smart and fiery redhead who gets things does.  I'm excited for the changes.

It is summer now.  The days are suddenly long and hot.  How did summer get here so quickly?  What took it so long?

People ask me "do you have plans for summer?"  No.  No plans.  Catch my breath.  Plan more than one day ahead.  Remember what it's like to be me in between endless feedings and rockings and bedtimes and grading papers and 7 am haggling with students over five extra credit points.  You don't really make summer plans when you're so busy just getting to the next day.  January- May is a total blur to me.  Last thing I remember I was teaching an ACT prep in the middle of January.  I woke up and it's June.  A regular old Rip Van Winkle.

I suspect I was/am dealing with some postpartum depression.  It feels mostly better.  Except for on days when it doesn't.  So I put one foot in front of the other.  I go to bed early and feel better in the mornings.  I drink a lot of coke and eat at least one cookie a day.  This isn't really a time to be mean to my body or to expect my love handles to quickly disappear.  It isn't a time to force myself into a size 4 swimsuit or demand that my pre pregnancy jeans fit by August.  It's a time to be nice to my body and to my mind.  We've been through a lot.

Hugh is getting easier.  And then sometimes he is hard again.  But the trend is toward easier.  On Sunday night I rocked him, held him, bounced him for two hours trying to get him to go to sleep.  Then Greg tried for an hour.  Finally after three hours of fierce cajoling, Hugh slept.  We were exhausted.  Mad.  Flabbergasted.  Tonight he started nursing and fell asleep in five minutes.  He's been asleep ever since.  There is no science to babies.  Just chaos.

As I write this, June is self soothing on her bedroom floor.  She flew through naptime but still is refusing to go to sleep tonight.  She's exhausted but refuses sleep.  So she's crying through the door.  A futile hope that Greg or I will come to her rescue and tell her she does not, in fact, have to go to bed, but can instead stay up all night eating popcorn and watching Sofia.  A toddler's wildest dream.

The timer is beeping and the cookies are done.  I'll see you tomorrow?