We went to North Carolina over the weekend to celebrate my husband’s birthday with family. By the way, I’ve decided to call my husband “R” on the blog. So, like I was saying… NC for R’s birthday. Monty and I road tripped it up there and R flew in to meet us. Along the way, we stopped to gas up and let Monty stretch his legs and let me grab a bag of Cape Cod bbq chips. There’s something about road trips that makes my body crave potato chips like no other. I think its because we were allowed to pick out our own snacks when we were on the road as kids (bbq chips being my fave) and now its just in my road trip DNA. I normally try to pack my own healthyish snacks for the road to avoid this problem but didn’t have time to last week. Cape Cod chips it is!
Once we arrived at our final destination, we finally got to meet our new nephew aka Sonny the goldendoodle – So cute!!!
On Saturday morning, I took Monty on a quick morning run. Or rather, he took me on one…
My mother-in-law had stocked the house with lots of vegan goodies. Among them, this chocolate chip scone that I had along with mixed fruit & blueberry coconut milk yogurt and green tea. Yum!
I got to spend time with my parents and my (human) nephew and niece too! On Saturday, we took the babies to the Natural Science Center. Love getting to see them!
We had dinner with my parents and R’s family on Saturday night. And then of course, the birthday boy got his cake and ate it too!
Two nights later just the two of us did a birthday dinner in Atlanta at Bone’s. They were so accomodating – there was birthday confetti on the table and pretty much every employee in the place wished R a happy birthday. He had the filet mignon for dinner and said it was the best steak he’s ever had! They fixed me a plate of vegan veggies (asparagus, mushrooms, and spinach) and they were pretty good too. Then R got his second cake… and ate that one too!
Although we did a lot of fun things over the weekend, one thing I would have done differently is that I would have packed some snacks to bring with me. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to prep snacks last week and I was dashing out the door on Friday. The ideal road trip snack isn’t temperature sensitive, is easy to transport, and doesn’t require utencils. I often will make a trail mix of sorts – I’ll mix together whatever nuts I have on hand with dried fruit and dark chocolate chips. Bars are another good way to go. These Chocolate Pecan Oat & Sea Salt Bars would have been a good option, although note that they do need to be stored in a cool, shaded area as the chocolate can melt. These bars are sweet & salty and the sea salt brings out the salty butteriness of the pecans. Texture wise, these bars live on the border of crunchy and chewy land. I know the title is long, but all of the titled ingredients are prominent in the flavor and texture of the bars and were therefore title worthy. I’ve made them several times but they don’t last for long!
- 1.25 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup carob chips or dairy free chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 t vanilla
- 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/4 cup brown rice syrup
- 1/3 cup melted peanut butter (I used creamy storebought and melted in microwave)
- 1 t sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a 9×9 inch brownie pan with parchment paper.
2. Combine dry ingredients in one mixing bowl and dry ingredients in a second.
3. Add wet to dry and combine.
4. Pour batter into pan and bake 20 minutes.
5. If you are able to do so without breaking up the bars, remove the bars from the pan by lifting up the parchment paper and transfer the parchment paper + bars to a cooling rack.
6. Allow to cool completely – if you don’t they will be too crumbly. Enjoy for breakfast, a snack, dessert, and on your next road trip!