Saturday, May 28, 2011


This past week, I had the privilege to guide groups of high school students in the Pisgah National Forest.  Every year, the rising seniors go on a five day backpacking trip in the forest. This year, I was able to be in charge of one of the sites in which they climbed.  Over the course of four days, we had groups in the morning and afternoon.  Every group that we were able to work with was great. I loved being able to see these kids challenge themselves and do things beyond their comfort levels.  Many of them when they would reach the top of climbs would just be in awe of the sheer beauty of the surrounding wilderness.  Here are a few pics from the week.

Even though it was a lot of work bringing all the gear in, hiking up there twice a day, and sometimes having to wait for the groups; I loved every minute of it.  Nothing beats being able to share something you love with other people so that they can experience it, if only for a few hours.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Granola Bar Recipe

Many people have asked me for the recipe for my granola bars.  I have decided to just post it on here so that the world could see it. Here it is.

  • 2 Cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds (optional)
  • 1 Cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 Cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 Cup honey
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1-ounce unsalted butter, plus extra for pan
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • chopped dried fruit , any combination of apricots, cherries or blueberries
  • Spices
Butter a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread the oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, and wheat germ onto a half-sheet pan. Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In the meantime, combine the honey, brown sugar, butter, extract and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.
Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. Immediately add the oat mixture to the liquid mixture, add the dried fruit, and stir to combine. Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.
I like to use dates and carob powder.  You could use a regular cocoa powder instead of the carob.  Make sure the wheat germ, sunflowers, and almonds are untoasted.  If they are already toasted don’t toast them again.  I also add cinnamon and nutmeg sometimes for added flavor. 

Tips: Make sure you press it really well into the pan or else it falls apart too easily.