2008-02-12

White Chocolate Cranberry Granola Bars




Recall last Friday I was all gung-ho and had grand plans for a Gung Hay Fat Choi weekend of Asian-inspired menu items. Things started off great on Friday... full of vim and vigor (no clue what "vim" is but vim-and-vigor is a catchy lil phrase so I'm goin with it). I made the awesome Sesame Chicken that worked out great. I was off to a running start!!!


On the weekends that DJ's kids aren't with us, he and I like to get up early and go for a long (sometimes very long) bike ride. Saturday was no exception although we didn't leave particularly early. We biked about a total of 21 miles. Not too shabby. In fact, I was downright proud of myself especially since I just got into biking in November and got my first "real" bike as a Christmas gift from DJ :) I love my bike I truly do!!

Now, to appreciate this you need to realize the repressed pastry chef (RPC) is downright lazy and likes to avoid exertion at all costs. My sister got me started in cycling based on two key factors.... 1) she is into it and 2) she's the younger sister so anything she can do, well, hell's bells I most certainly can do too (yeah, the RPC is a bit competitive that way). Thinking back on it, that's how she got me to do my first 5k last November and also how she got me into Weight Watchers that same month. She tells me what she's involved in, how well it's going for her and then my hell-if-DM-can-do-it-I-can-too mentality kicks in and in the words of Forrest Gump that's all I have to say about that.

But... I digress. So Saturday we rode for 21 miles and I was rather proud-o-me :) I've been considering riding the bike course for the Los Angeles Marathon on March 2nd but I wasn't sure if I could last that long on a single bike ride. Doing 21 miles on Saturday helped me think I can do that 26.2 mile marathon course next month!

After the Saturday ride I made the almond cookies, I tried my hand at making fortune cookies (that's something I won't be trying again any time soon... way too much effort!) and made a fabulous Szechuan Shrimp dish for dinner. I went to bed feelin pretty darn happy Saturday night.

Sunday morning we got up and went for another ride. This time a longer one. In fact it was much, much longer... about 50% longer. We rode for 31 miles!!! And OMG after doing 21 on Saturday, attempting 31 on Sunday was probably not the smartest decision I've ever made. But... I survived!!! I did!!! Though I have to admit about 3 miles before we got back to where we'd parked, my thighs started cramping. Okay, I'm used to some butt pain and fatigued muscles but I've never had my muscles cramp like that. It hurt to walk... it hurt to stand still... it hurt to sit... and it sure as hell hurt to pedal my bike. But I was 3 miles from the car. had to make it back somehow and the vision of me trying to crawl AND push the bike just didn't seem feasible! hahahaha So I toughed it out and made it back to the car. Key emphasis on I made it!!!
That was 52 miles in two days. The equivalent of not one but two marathon course rides. Will I be signing up for the Los Angeles Marathon bike course on March 2nd? Hell's bells yes sir-ee Ricky Bobby I will be =)

Needless to say that I was completely wiped out on Sunday afternoon... and never attempted the Pad Thai or Thai Chicken Pizza I had planned. But I did make some Sweet-n-Sour Chicken that rocked DJ's world and made me smile :) I'll try my hand at the Pad Thai another weekend... and I'm sure the Thai Chicken Pizza will happen at some point too.

On Sunday's ride I was all out of PowerBars... I had to manage 32 miles on one six ounce cup of yogurt w/granola ahead of time and 24 ounces of G2 (new Gatorade that is awesome!) during the ride. I should have taken some of these tasty treats along with me...


White Chocolate Cranberry Granola Bars

INGREDIENTS

1 cup Quaker Oats
1 1/4 cup unsweetened puffed rice
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

Combine the oats, puffed rice and cranberries in a large bowl... set aside. In a saucepan, combine corn syrup and brown sugar. Heat until boiling then remove from heat, add vanilla and stir. Pour over the oat/rice/cranberry mixture. Mix well... add white chocolate chips last so they don't melt. Press into a greased 9x11 baking dish. Let cool, cut and ENJOY :)