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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cherry Granola Bars

It's Tuesday again and we're making our way through another summer week.  Where did you weekend go?  I know exactly where mine went.  I spent one half of it shopping for cars, which I have decided is way more fun if you are the one buying said car.  Or you actually bring said new car home when you finish buying.  Boyfriends new car is currently spending some quality time with the dealer, while he is away on a business trip in Florida.

The other half of my weekend was spent watching the new Batman movie.  Seriously, it's that long.

Okay, so the Dark Knight Rises isn't really 24 hours long.  It's three hours long.  It is long enough, that it can go from being sunny, to down pouring and back to sunny and dry, over the course of the movie.  I know this because boyfriend and I have discovered a new found love of biking around our area. 

We live in Montclair, NJ, which according to the signs posted in the town, is "Where the city meets the suburbs."  It's a cute little town with a main street full of shops and restaurants.  There's a Whole foods and a weekend farmers market.  If you're into antiquing, there are at least four antique stores right downtown.  There is an indie movie theater and a Red Mango, right next to a cupcake shop and just down the street from a gelato shop.

A coal oven pizza place just opened up that serves the most amazing thin crust pizza.  You can go to Tosca and have their amazing corn salad, full of roasted corn, goat cheese and walnuts.  You can head to Raymond's (lovingly referred to as Raymondo's around our house.  I have no idea why.) and fill up on a plate of eggs Benedict, if you can get a table.  Or you can just get an espresso and macaron from Le Petit Paris and people watch.

It's a great little place to live and conveniently located on the train line.  But since this is New Jersey, we are only a few miles away from several other fun towns.  This Sunday we rode three miles, all uphill, to Upper Montclair (hence why it was all uphill).  While Montclair boasts our little Indie movie theater, Upper Montclair has an equally small movie theater playing the newest releases.

The clouds started to clear around two o'clock this Sunday, so we hopped on our bikes and rode up the hill to Upper Montclair.  (Much faster than our first attempt a few weeks ago I might add!)  We stopped and got sandwiches and smuggled them into the movie theater where we enjoyed three hours of Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway.  We came outside and it smelled like rain, but it was also intensely sunny and warm.  The only trace of the rain was a few puddles here and there and a wet bike lock.

One final random question here.  How much does it cost for a movie ticket at your local theater?  I felt like I was getting a deal the other day only having to spend $11 per ticket on our movie.  This is after buying two IMAX 3D tickets a few weeks ago for $18 each!

One Year Ago: Turkey Burgers and Cucumber Salad  (And a tribute to the best dog in the world)

Cherry Granola Bars
Adapted from Fat Witch Brownies

12 tbsp butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup dried cherries
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Coat an 8x8-inch square pan with cooking spray.  Add some flour and coat the bottom and edges, tap out the excess flour.

Place butter in a small saucepan over low heat.  Leave on heat until the butter melts.  Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.  Add vanilla and swirl to combine.

In a large bowl, combine oats, flours, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon.  Stir with a wooden spoon to mix.  Pour butter over the dry ingredients and stir until all of the dry ingredients are moistened.  Add dried cherries and walnuts and stir to distribute evenly.

Pour oatmeal mixture into the prepared pan and press down with your hands.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 1 hour in the pan, on a wire rack.  Remove from the pan and cut into 12 pieces.  Enjoy through the week as a nice midday snack.
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