peanut butter sesame no bake bars

Last week Hunter and I joined our friends Megan and Mabel for a trip to the Oregon zoo.  It was such a gorgeous day for it.  Hunter had a blast seeing all the animals and stomping around the zoo with his bestie Mabel.


It was actually his first time going to the zoo.  Zoe’s too, but she slept through pretty much the whole thing.


I made a big batch of no bake oatmeal bars to take along.  We didn’t end up eating them while at the zoo, instead we had them as a snack on the drive home.  Food is always a good trick for keeping the kid awake when it’s getting close to nap time and we’re in the car.


We both loved these bars.  The little crunch from the sesame seeds is a great addition.  I have to admit, there may have been more than one time where I stood in front of the fridge eating ‘just one more bite’.  They’re quite addictive!

The recipe came from my Secret Recipe Club pick Mostly Food and Crafts, a fun little blog written by Danielle a SAHM to two girls.  She has such an extensive list of crafts that I can’t wait to search through!  I modified the recipe just a bit based on the ingredients I had on hand.  They are best straight out of the fridge, since they soften up when warm.


Peanut Butter Sesame No Bake Bars

adapted from here


  • 2 1/2 cups of rolled oats
  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt


  1. Mix the oats, raisins and sesame seeds together in a large bowl.  Next, whisk together the peanut butter, honey, coconut oil and salt in a small pan over medium heat.  Once warmed and combined, pour into the oat mixture and stir to combine (use a spoon or hands).
  2. Press this mixture into a shallow baking dish (lined with plastic wrap), muffin tins or roll into balls.  Refrigerate for about 4 hours.  Cut into shapes if needed and keep in the fridge.

What’s your favorite zoo animal to see?  I love watching the gorillas.  Sadly, there were none around for us to see during this trip.  Maybe next time.

Have an awesome day!


PS: Love no bakes?  Check out these peanut butter coconut no bake oat bars!



how to make thick greek yogurt

I’m continuing to go strong with my at-home yogurt making.  It’s seriously so easy you guys!  Crockpot yogurt making is where it’s at.  From my yogurt making post I’ve received questions about the thickness of the yogurt.  While it isn’t super thick (like greek yogurt) straight out of the crockpot, with just one simple step you can make that happen.


First, follow the steps on how to make yogurt in your crockpot.


Next, grab a large bowl, strainer and a cheese cloth.  Put the cheese cloth (folded up a couple times) over the strainer (with excess hanging over), then the strainer in the bowl.  Pour the yogurt into the cheese cloth-strainer and allow it to sit in the fridge overnight, or at least for 3-4 hours.  You’ll notice the liquid (whey) filling up the bowl, leaving you with super thick yogurt.


Scrape the greek yogurt out of the cheese cloth into another bowl and whisk it to smoothen it out (I skipped this step but recommend it).  Put into desired containers and enjoy!


The one downside is that the amount of yogurt you are left with is basically halved.  A big plus – it’s MUCH less messy when your toddler feeds it to himself.

I want to use the left over whey somehow to lessen the waste.  Any suggestions?

How thick do you like your yogurt to be?



peanut butter, raisin and bean snacker cookies

We all have rough days. Hunter recently had one (lots of tears throughout the day + waking up really sad from his nap). I find that there’s normally a reason for these rougher days: poor night sleep or nap, not eating well or a tooth bothering him are the usual culprits.


On that particular day, after his sad wake up from his nap, we baked cookies. The boy loves being in the kitchen helping and sampling, then having cookies at the end – well that just made it even better.


I’m calling these cookies snacker  cookies because they’re actually quite healthy and would totally work as an anytime snack. Instead of the chocolate chips in the original cookie, which are much more a dessert cookie, I subbed in raisins. Really I did this because we had no chocolate chips on hand, but it totally worked! I love how it’s such an easy way for Hunter to snack on beans too.


peanut butter, raisin and bean snacker cookies

adapted from peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough bites

Makes about 12 cookies, depending on the size


  • 1¼ cups canned chickpeas, well-rinsed and patted dry with a paper towel
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter, SunButter Natural or almond butter – room temperature
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of sea salt if your peanut butter doesn’t have salt in it
  • ½ cup raisins


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Combine all the ingredients, except for the raisins, in a food processor and process until very smooth. Make sure to scrape the sides and the top to get the little chunks of chickpeas and process again until they’re combined.
  2. Put in the raisins and pulse it once or twice. The mixture will be very thick and sticky.
  3. With wet hands, form into 1½” balls. Place onto a Silpat or a piece of parchment paper. If you want them to look more like normal cookies, press down slightly on the balls. They don’t do much rising.  {You can also refrigerate the dough for a little bit which will make it easier to handle.}
  4. Bake for about 10 minutes for the fresh batter (closer to 14-16 straight out of the freezer). The dough balls will still be very soft when you take them out of the oven. They will not set like normal cookies.
  5. Best eaten right away when still warm!

After we baked and snacked on these cookies, everything was better. Sometimes you just need a cookie to cheer up your mood a bit.


I’m linking these up to Brittany’s munchkin meals today. Click over to see what other mamas are making for their kiddos.

What’s your cure for a rough day?  Cookies?