Chocolate coconut breakfast squares made with Quaker® Simply Granola

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Quaker. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias #LoveMyCereal #QuakerUp

Quaker Simply Granola Chocolate Coconut Granola Squares - #Cbias #LoveMyCereal #QuakerUp #Spon

Isn’t it amazing how life changes us? If you would have asked me 12 years ago who was the person I worried about taking care of in the morning,  I would have replied -”me – and only me!”

Today “me” is the person I worry about the least, especially in the morning. That’s because mornings are all about making sure JP is up, fed and dressed by 7am with his lunch and schoolbag ready along with a hearty lunch for husband to take to work. By the time all that is taken care of, it’s time to run out the door to bring JP to school for the ungodly hour of 7:30am.

So yeah.. There’s no such thing as “me” time in the morning, I’m lucky to get the chance to put on makeup sometimes! I might try to be a supermom, but at some point we supermoms need to eat or we’re not super at anything. I can wake up starving some mornings, so I’ve  taken to eating my chocolate-coconut granola squares to satisfy the hunger. I like to use Quaker® Oats for my breakfast baking because they make the perfect filler. There’s also Quaker® Real Medleys®, Quaker® Oatmeal Squares, Quaker® Life and last but not least, Quaker® Simply Granola

Made from Quaker® Simply Granola (I used the kind with the almonds and raisins) these are decadent, filling  and will keep you going with the energy you need to pull you through the morning. I love them because they’re easy to eat in the car on the way to work with a hot cup of coffee or cold orange juice. I’m so thrilled that I thought to use them, because there’s both raisins and sliced almonds among all the granola clusters, making it a hearty ingredient for my recipe.

I found mine in the cereal section at Walmart.

Quaker Simply Granola Chocolate Coconut Granola Squares - #Cbias #LoveMyCereal #QuakerUp #Spon

When I got home, I got all my ingredients together:

  • 1 1/4 cup of flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup of butter or margarine
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • 2 cups of Quaker® Simply Granola
  • 1 cup of Quaker® Rolled Oats
  • 1 bag of chocolate chips
  • 1 bag of shredded coconut

Quaker Simply Granola Chocolate Coconut Granola Squares - #Cbias #LoveMyCereal #QuakerUp #Spon

First, I creamed the butter with the sugars until it was light & fluffy, then added an egg one at a time and continued beating on low. Then, while that beats slowly in the mixer, I mixed together the flour, salt, cinnamon &  baking soda in a separate bowl.

Slowly add the flour mixture to the fluffy wet mixture while it mixes. Once the flour is all mixed in, stir in the granola and rolled oats. Bake in a greased pan for 35 minutes at 350F. I let it cool completely when it came out of the oven before applying the chocolate & coconut.

After the squares have cooled, It’s time to make the the chocolate part. In a double boiler, I melted the chocolate chips until it was smooth and thick. I layered it on top of the cooked bars and smoothed it out with a large spatula before I dusted it off with some shredded coconut.

Quaker Simply Granola Chocolate Coconut Granola Squares - #Cbias #LoveMyCereal #QuakerUp #Spon

Chill in the fridge for a few hours before cutting them into squares, and store them in an airtight container. Enjoy!!!

Quaker Simply Granola Chocolate Coconut Granola Squares - #Cbias #LoveMyCereal #QuakerUp #Spon

What are some of YOUR favorite breakfast recipes? I’d love to hear about them!

Follow Quaker® on Pinterest and Facebook for great ideas and special announcements.

 

 

 

 

Western Union helps families stay close to loved ones when they are so far away

As most of you know, I am not from Texas or the United States. I grew up in Canada until I decided to come to school here and study at the Art Institute. To make a long story short, Not long after I started I met my husband and we’ve been together ever since. I graduated in 2006 and we wed in 2007 and had our firstborn son by 2009.

That sounds all sweet and nice, but there’s another side to it. When I watched this video put out by western union, it touched my heart. As an ex-pat, I knew how every single one of these people in the video felt. I got kinda weepy watching the very last lady from Brazil – take a look for yourself and see what I mean…

Similar to the people in the video, we do a lot of skype to maintain close ties, and JP talks to his nana and nonno as often as possible. Here he is showing my dad all about his video games!

Besides family, there’s plenty of other things that I miss from Canada, and that’s some of the local foods that are only available over there. Because it’s in North America, you can expect to find the same type of things you normally find over here – with a few minor differences.

Canada (specifically Montreal) isn’t really known for a “national” cuisine, and that’s probably because there’s so many different ethnicities all crammed into 1 tiny city. As far as native food is concerned, one of the things I miss the most is poutine.

behindthestudio-5

I know, I know – it’s 100% junk food, but it’s delicious and I miss it! You may have heard of it, because it’s popularity has been spreading in the US, but it’s still pretty difficult to find here in Dallas. It’s basically French fries, cheese curds topped with a savory brown gravy. MmmMmmMmm!

That being said, when I get a craving I must take matters into my own hands, and make it myself. The trouble is, finding the right gravy and the right cheese can be difficult. Luckily for me, I’ve found a local grocery store that sells cheese curds and my mother keeps me in a good supply of poutine sauce mix every time she sends me a care package from home.

behindthestudio-4

So this is what I do – I order a large french fry from any local fast food chain, go home and make the sauce then top with yummy cheese curds and dig in. It’s a small slice of heaven when I’m missing home!

behindthestudio-1-2

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Lowest priced unlimited plans are some of the best Christmas gifts ever

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HolidaysAreCalling #CollectiveBias

Lowest priced unilimited plans with Walmart Family Mobile makes GREAT christmas presents! - #HolidaysAreCalling #Cbias #ad

I’ve talked before about my family that lives far away and how we look for the best opportunities to stay in touch. In the winter months, my parents migrate from Canada to Florida to escape the cold winters, and my sister stays behind over there while I live in Dallas. For the better part of a year, we are all scattered from each other which is why I’m always looking for rates on the lowest priced unlimited plans out there.

Walmart Family Mobile fits the bill pretty well and as a current customer, I couldn’t be more pleased with my service. This is what propelled my gift buying decision towards an LG L90 mobile for my parents Christmas present this year. Since they are temporary residents in Florida each year, they do not wish to get involved in any lengthy contracts, so they rely on old-school pay-as-you-go phones. While these phones are great and do the job, they lack all the current smartphone features that everyone loves to have access to.

Lowest priced unilimited plans with Walmart Family Mobile makes GREAT christmas presents! - #HolidaysAreCalling #Cbias #ad

When I noticed that the LG L90 was on rollback from $179 to $119, so I definitely had to jump on that before I lost my opportunity to cash in on a great value. I also picked up a starter kit because I wanted to make sure the service was already signed up before I gave it to them, and of course have the battery with a good charge on it. Plus that kinda takes the hassle part out, leaving you to ‘gift’ the fun part!

So after charging the phone battery, I used the card within the starter kit to begin the process of activation. It’s so simple, and all the instructions are on the inside of the starter kit which you purchase for 25$ in addition to the phone.

Lowest priced unilimited plans with Walmart Family Mobile makes GREAT christmas presents! - #HolidaysAreCalling #Cbias #ad

Then, you slip it in the slot on the phone behind the battery…

Lowest priced unilimited plans with Walmart Family Mobile makes GREAT christmas presents! - #HolidaysAreCalling #Cbias #ad

Now the last thing I need to do is make sure this gift looks awesome! I decided to minimize the packaging as much as possible, and gift the important parts – The phone! I put the user guide inside a red envelope which will be used to help the whole ‘wrapped’ look anyway.

Lowest priced unilimited plans with Walmart Family Mobile makes GREAT christmas presents! - #HolidaysAreCalling #Cbias #ad

Finally, after tying some raffia around it, and making a pretty bow, it was ready to give! I love small gifts – good things always come in small packages!!

Lowest priced unilimited plans with Walmart Family Mobile makes GREAT christmas presents! - #HolidaysAreCalling #Cbias #ad

The cost of the monthly plan for Walmart Family Mobile is lower than any other out there at $34.88 per month – and that includes unlimited talk, text and web! You can add a second line to the account for $29.88 and comes with an additional 5GB of 3G data.

If you decide this gift might be great for a loved one this Christmas, be sure to look at some of the other rollbacks on other great phones too!

  • Alcatel One Touch Evolve 2 – $49.88 (was $59.88)
  • ZTE ZMAX – $179.00 (was $199.88)
  • Nokia Lumia 635 – $99.88 (was $129.88)
  • Samsung Galaxy Exhibit – $79.88 (was $99.88)
  • Nokia Lumia 530 – $49.88 (was $69.88)

Did you know that you can claim a $40 Walmart Gift Card with the purchase of the Samsung Galaxy Avant until 12/31/14? With that kind of rebate, it makes the $199 cost of the phone much more attractive!

What are you buying for your loved one this year?

 

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