Bicycle Bars

 

Bicycle.bar.title

This Recipe comes to you from my mother, Sally Hobbs, cookbook.  As a child my mother made these delicious bars which were gobbled up with breakneck speed.  This is a very quick and tasty energy bar to make, made with simple ingredients.  This tasty treat has wonderful texture and a bonus – healthy to eat!

Bicycle Bars

1 package (6 oz.) of semi sweet chocolate chips

2 Tablespoons of smooth or chunky peanut butter (add more if you would like)

3/4 cup of wheat germ

3/4 cup quick or old-fashioned oats (uncooked)

1/2  cup flaked coconut

1/2 cup finely chopped dates

           Bicycle.bar.ingredients

In a large saucepan, over low heat, melt together chocolate pieces and peanut butter.

Stir in wheat germ, oats, coconut and dates, mixing well.

Shape quickly with buttered hands into 8 bars, each about 3″ long. Wrap each bar in plastic and refrigerate until firm.

Makes 8 bars.

Bicycle.bar.closeupI took these bars on a recent hike with a friend and they were a big hit!

Let me know what you think of this bicycle bar recipe when you make them!

Happy, healthy eating! – Beth

 

Groovin’ Granola

Granola.yogurt.bowl

When I think of granola it reminds of the natural, whole food Hippie craze that erupted during the 1960’s.

Actually, granola was first created as a health food breakfast cereal by a Dr. John Henry Kellogg, for his patients at the Battle Creek Sanitarium. It was thought that through healthy eating it would lead to wellness and healing.  Dr. Kellogg was on to something big in the late 1800’s.

Kellogg never successfully marketed granola as a cereal but later went on to create corn flakes.  It was not until 1972 that the Pet Milk company developed the first commercial granola called Heartland.  Other companies soon followed.

But why buy granola when you can make your own, exactly the way you like it.  Pair it with Geekin’ Greek Yogurt and you got yourself a winner of a snack!!!

Groovin’ Granola Recipe

4 cups Whole Grain – Old Fashion Oats

1/2 cup Honey or Agave

1/3 cup Vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon Salt

1 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla

3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

1/2  cup each, coarsely chopped – Almonds, Cashews, Pecans

3/4 cup of dried cranberries

Exercise your creativity:

Be creative and add and subtract what sounds inspiring to you.  Here are a few ingredients to get you thinking: Walnuts, peanuts, sun flower seeds, pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds), pistachios,  hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, brazil nuts and shelled sunflower seeds.

Add in after your Granola has cooled:

Chocolate chips, coconut chips, Peanut butter chips, Blue berries, raisins, dried banana chips, dried strawberries, dried apples, dried mango, dried pineapple or dried pear.

Granola.ingredient.wheel

In a bowl add your oats, nuts and salt and toss together.

In a pan mix over a medium heat your honey, brown sugar, oil and cinnamon until warm and the sugar has dissolved and ingredients are incorporated.

Stir in vanilla to the sugar mixture.

Add sugar mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix well. Pour mixture onto a cookie sheet.

Granola.process.3images

Pop your cookie sheet of uncooked granola in an oven at 300° for 20-25 minutes.  Stir every 5 minutes. Granola should turn a golden brown and be very crunchy, not chewy when baked completely.

Granola.berries.closeup

Let cool, then add your berries or other ingredients that could be effected by the heat.

Take your granola along on a hike in a small container or baggy.  Bring it out when you are hiking and eat it by itself or add it to yogurt. Enjoy!

Look out for next weeks edition.  I will be sharing how to make beef jerky!

Beth.Kaidy.happytrails

It’s Not Just A Place, It’s An Experience

Starting off on our Big Adventure!

Starting off on our Big Adventure!

Treasures come in all shapes and sizes but the treasure experienced within the heart has no limits as to the wealth that it provides.

It was less than a week prior to leaving on our backpacking trip to Isle Royale when my teenage daughter declared that she was not interested in going on the trip with me.  Dumbfounded by her response I looked at her plainly and said, “OK, then I am going by myself”.  I do believe my response surprised her even more than her response startled me.  A couple of days later, either out of pity or concern, my daughter changed her mind to join me on the trip, unknowingly, changing her life forever as a result of her choice.

After months of preparation and planning my daughter and I ventured off on our first backpacking trip into the wilderness alone. With only each other to depend on, while carrying minimal supplies, we soon began to experience the world like we had never done so before.

We hiked for miles along the Greenstone Ridge and surrounding forest, among the wolves and the moose. We laughed all the while making mistakes and learning lessons along the way. Finally, sharing the pathway with hundreds of miniature toads, we found our limit of pain, fatigue, hunger and irritability. Stopping was not an option. We dug in our heels and discovered new levels of perseverance we never knew existed.

I never promised my daughter this would be a fun trip but I did promise her it would be a memorable one. And a memorable trip it was. Afterward, I asked her how she liked our National Parks adventure; she gave it a score off the charts.  It was the most loved and memorable trip we both had ever been on.

In the weeks that followed I noticed a change in my daughter that I had never seen before. This young woman had transformed in confidence and courage all in a matter of days, discovering new levels of self-awareness that will grow within her for a lifetime.

Being among the wilderness of Isle Royale National Park we did not find ourselves lost rather we found parts of ourselves that we did not know existed and that is a treasure you can’t put a price on.

The National Park Conservation Association has started a movement to remind our leaders why our National Parks are so important.  We are in and age of decreasing government spending and the National Parks are not exempt from these cutbacks.  Adequate funding for the National Parks are crucial to maintain their preservation and impact. The National Park Conservation Association has created a website where you can submit your National Parks Story.

myparkstory.org.

They want you to share  how the National Parks have impacted you.

Here is my story…

http://www.myparkstory.org/story/316a18f02d1c423893d3a98401e6dfa2

…what’s yours?

The Tiger Talisman

20130909-144523.jpgJust when we were getting settled into our evening routine an unusual shape caught our eye. Amazed by its presence we realized there was a tiger that decided to join us. Startled and excited we sat and watched and wondered how could we be so lucky to be in the presence of such a creature.

Each camping event has its own experiences and tales to share. This outing, to Holland State Park, was no exception.  Joined with me on this trip were my trusted, well-seasoned daughter and my college roommate and her son who had only camped a couple times prior to this outing.

The tiger, which was a small fury plastic toy, was left behind by a previous camper and found by my crew as we readied our site for the evening.

The tiger perched upon the ledge of our campfire became our watchdog and more importantly our camping talisman. The tiger brought magic to the evening as only tigers can do. Laughter, bonding, sharing of stories of years past, followed by a lifting of spirits. Then a sigh, a sense of peace and the thought that life could not get any better than this moment.

Camping and being in the outdoors is an amazing and rewarding activity giving participants the opportunity to connect with themselves and with others in a way that cannot be achieved in everyday life. But to find a tiger, to remind us of this moment and bringing magic to our evening, well that is very special.

A talisman is an object that is supposed to possess special powers or even a charm that can exercise powerful influence on the human spirit. The tiger had magic powers. The tiger had become our talisman.  Was it the talisman that brought magic to our time together? Or was it being outside and unplugged that made it so special, giving us the opportunity to connect with one another?  Or perhaps it was a little of both.

My college roommate, as I found out, is a natural at camping. With her golden tan and athletic build, just shy a day of her 48th birthday, you would have thought this woman had been and outdoorsman all her life. What a birthday gift to discover a new passion. My roommate exclaimed with exuberance that camping had not seen the last of her and that she was going to get out and camp more with her family and with me.

As we parted, my roommate picked up the tiger and packed it in her tent bag. “I am taking this with me”, she said “and we are doing this again next year!”  With a smile I said, “Of course, as long as the Tiger comes too”.

On my backpacking trip in the backcountry of Isle Royal National Park, in the middle of Lake Superior, I found dimes, feathers and an infinity bracelet that became my talisman, my magic and my reminder to an unforgettable trip I took with my daughter. As I wear the bracelet around my wrist it became a reminder not only of what I experienced while I journeyed five quiet days in the wilderness, it too became a reminder of something bigger than myself watching over me and leading me forward along my journey.

How about you…do you have a talisman that brings magic and a reminder to your time in the outdoors?

Wishes Alone Can’t Make My Garden Grow!

Garden fairy

“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

I have participated in the ritual of preparing and planting a vegtable garden for 25 years.  Each year I am met with many challenges while gardening, leaving me with minimal results. I ask myself, “Why do I continue to put so much time, energy and money into gardening”? My father always had a successful and productive garden and his parents had one too. I want to be a part of this legacy as well.  Perhaps that is why I persevere, to attain the green thumb that seems to run freely through my family which I have yet to achieve. This year I have decided to take a new approach to my gardening by identifying what prevents me from finding success, then tackling those challenges one by one.

Virginia, where I live, is not blessed with the best soil for growing crops, unless it happens to be Tobacco. Yes, those school text books were right.  The red clay soil is everywhere and a challenge to work with. How on earth the settlers lived on this land is a real mystery to me.

Challenge number one:

#1 Dirt

How to create a rich soil environment to produce the best possible results.

When I have managed to grow anything in my garden, more often than not, it has been enjoyed by wild animals and not my family.

Challenge number two:

 #2 Fox

How to keep the fruits of my labor for myself.

The dog days of summer can reach well past the 100 degree mark in Virginia, making it a problem to keep the soil evenly moist.

The heat stirs up my third challenge:

#3 Flower

How to keep my garden evenly watered, even when I am not around.

I live in the suburbs on a quarter acre lot covered with shade. I am limited by space and the amount of sun my land receives.

My fourth and final challenge:

#4 House

How to create a garden with limited space and  a lack of solar energy.

As I review my challenges I realize that I need to make an adequate plan to create a viable and productive garden. Making plans are important but sticking to them are optional.  Flexibility is always key. Learning is essential.

I have spent much of my life hoping or wishing for things, like a beautiful and productive garden.  Wishing and hoping is only a small thought that moves me forward toward my goals. Bridging the gap of a wish or a dream, to see the fruits of ones labor, takes planning and perseverance even not knowing if the outcome will reflect what we are hoping for. To choose to journey forward toward our dream we must take time to ponder and plan and then implement our thoughts and ideas.

Boots

What in your life  have been dreaming about?  Is it time to take that wish or dream and make it a reality?  Give yourself time to hear what your heart is trying to say to you. Write down the steps it will take to bridge that dream and make it a reality.  Remember there is no right or wrong answers. Listen. Your heart won’t quiet until you hear what it is trying to say.  You will never know if the outcome will reflect that of your vision if you don’t get started. It does not matter if it does not match your vision perfectly. Be flexible.  By moving forward guided by your intuition each step you take becomes part of your journey down a path to a place you are suppose to be.

Is this where I am suppose to be…or am I just lost?

Setting off on a journey.

Setting off on a journey.

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.” – Anon


Journeys are comprised of experiences that are gathered as we travel in life from one destination to another. Our passage may take a week or perhaps a life time. The routes in which we travel are not always clearly marked and at times we may find ourselves wandering in the world with no point of orientation. Are we lost? Or is being lost where we are suppose to be and this disorientation all part of our personal journey?

Since I was a child I have always had a love of being in the outdoors. From spending time camping with my family to playing in piles of dirt that was to be used in my father’s garden, being in nature is – for me – like being plugged into an energy source that inspires and rejuvenates at the same time, clearing my soul. Nothing is better than being in the natural world.

The path of my life became more unmarked as I set out to discover my life’s purpose in my early 20’s. I felt lost as I traveled to New York City to intern with professional artists: I found myself trapped in a world of concrete, with little green. It was suffocating.

After that, I took a job with the US Government. I saw ahead of me echoing images of long days in an office with no windows, sitting at a desk. And this was true for the next 18 years of my life. Was this my destination, I asked?

I left the office job and have spent the last several years raising children. As the years passed, I quietly listened to a restlessness rise up within me, the call of the outdoors growing louder in my spirit. I have finally begun to heed that call and venture forth, back into nature.

I am a novice at both writing and everything having to do with “the outdoors”; I do not claim to be an expert at either. This blog is my journey to quench my curiosity and meet the challenges of both self-expression and personal fulfillment. I hope to learn things I have always been curious to discover, uncovering new skills and tools for life along the way. I am excited about this adventure. I hope you are too.

Come along and see the messes I make, what I am most curious about and what lessons I discover as I travel in any direction that the current pulls me. Maybe through my wanderings I may not find myself lost after all, but actually end up right where I am suppose to be.

About Me

Beth

Beth

Full of spirit and imagination, I am setting off on a journey to explore and discover the great outdoors. As a mother of two, I have spent many years nurturing my children’s exploration of the world, it is now my turn to quench my curiosities that call to me and lead me forward. Living in a metropolitan area all of my life has made it difficult to truly nurture this desire. I have decided bringing more of natural world into my everyday life a goal of mine. With limited time and natural resources it will take work to put this Mother back in Nature, but I am looking forward to the challenge!

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