Penn Station, Poughkeepsie, Richmond Main Street, Union Station, New Carrollton, Wilmington, Wilmette, Lake Forest, 14th Street, Times Sq., 72nd Street, Dupont, Metro Center.

I feel like I am always on a train, in-between two homes, two people I love, two versions of myself. I look forward to it. I prepare. Penn Station is a Hunger Games Arena of transportation hubs. Kill or be killed, get a seat alone or endure a stranger’s B.O for the next 3 hours – it’s a hustle.

Over the years I have refined my approach; but, there is one train station tradition that never changes – the granola bar. Yes, the humble, fiber rich treat you think is good for you but maybe isn’t, granola bar. It isn’t the who-knows-how-old lunchbox they serve on the train. It isn’t a regret-me-not TGIFridays BBQ Chicken Quesadilla you find in the station. It is portable, it is essentially guilt-free, and wicked yummy.

After nestling into my seat on the train, whatever train it may be, I text my dad, “window seat to myself,” I put in the headphones, and open that little Hudson News bought granola bar. I am immediately comforted knowing I’m heading somewhere, toward something. As gorgeous landscapes or rat-filled but familiar gutters whiz by, I munch my granola bar, happy to be in-between, happy to have a moment’s pause, and a simple pleasure.

Maybe it is a stretch to say I have an emotional attachment to the granola bar. But every time I take that first bite, the crunchy snap reminds me of where I’ve been and that I’ve got places to go.

I hope this take along treat will serve as a moment of calm and of comfort during your busy day.

Here’s my recipe!

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Place peanuts and oats on a sheet tray and toast in a 350° F oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until fragrant.

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Combine honey and peanut butter in a sauce pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until combined.

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Set aside to cool slightly.

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Pour honey/peanut butter mixture over the toasted nuts and oats.

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Mix it together.

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Press into a square. It should be a 1/4 of an inch in thickness. Place in the fridge and cool for about an hour until firm.

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Slice in to bars or whatever size you want – this is granola – there are no rules here!

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Wanna make them extra special? Drizzle ’em with dark chocolate.

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Eat them  IMMEDIATELY or be reasonable and let the chocolate set, about 10 minutes.

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Is your purse as crazy as mine? Purse, bag, pants pocket, suitcase, rucksack, whatever you carry, make sure you’ve got a few of these with you!

Always In-Between Bars

  • Servings: 8 bars
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups of oats
1/2 cup of unsalted peanuts
1/2 cup of honey
1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter
salt, to taste
4 oz dark chocolate

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350° F.

Place the oats and peanuts on a sheet tray and toast in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes.

Place the honey and peanut butter in a small sauce pan and cook while stirring until smooth.

Remove the sauce pan from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

Place the oats and peanuts in a bowl. Sprinkle with a little salt. Add peanut butter and honey mixture and toss until oats and peanuts are evenly coated.

Press into a pan and shape the granola into a rectangle that is 1/4 inch thick.

Place in the refrigerator to cool for about an hour.

Remove the bars from the refrigerator and cut into 8 even rectangles.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a double-boiler. Using a spoon drizzle the chocolate over the granola bars. Let the chocolate set, about 10 minutes.

Granola bars will stay good up to a week if kept in an air tight container.