Friday, May 30, 2014

Fun Food Friday- Celebrating the big 2-0 with M&M Bars

No, I'm not turning 20, that would be something. :)  Although it is something I think is almost as exciting.  A few months ago I was reading the blog of a girl I know from RYS stuff and she was talking about doing a 6 week health and habits challenged where you really work on your self-control of what you put in your body and she talked about different things she did during that challenge.  I was at a point where I knew that I needed to lose weight.  For one, I had gestational diabetes with both pregnancy and my doctor told me that 50% of women who have gestational diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes in the next 10 years and it all depends on if you maintain/gain weight after your pregnancies.  Well, I definitely had put on weight after the twins which brings me to secondly, I was to a point where my clothes didn't really fit very well so it was either lose weight or go buy bigger clothes. :)  When I was pregnant with GD it was easy to eat super healthy because it was for the health for my baby(ies).  I decided I needed to look at it the same now, that for not only my sake but also the sake of my little guys that I needed to get control of my life and be healthy because they need their mommy at her best to take care of them.  Now you would think that chasing after 3 little boys all day every day would be enough to keep you in shape, but the problem was I would sit down once they were all down for their naps and congratulate myself for making it to that point with a Diet Coke and snack that usually consisted of chocolate in some way.  And then after they went to bed at night I'd do the same (without the Diet Coke, I can no longer drink caffeine right before bed and sleep :)).  So as I read my friend's blog and thought of the different things she was doing, like cutting out sugar, not eating after 8:00pm, drinking a lot of water, getting plenty of fruits and vegetables, I decided it was time for me to change the way I ate, so I did.  So that is why the healthier recipes lately. :)  And I'm very happy to say that as of this morning I have lost 20 pounds (well, actually 22 pounds to be exact :))!  Hence, the big 2-0! :)  I think that one of the reasons that I have been able to do this is because #1 I don't feel like I'm on a diet, this is just how I eat now (I don't even count calories, I just make sure what I'm eating is healthy- which means a lot of salad :)) and #2, I allow myself one cheat a week. :)  So I usually save it for something good, nothing store bought, but a good homemade dessert. :)  One of those cheats has been these M&M Bars.  And actually I messed up and only put in 1/2 the butter so it was healthier than planned (although way more crumbly).  I had these bars at my in-laws once and they were so good so I got the recipe from my MIL.  All my boys love something sweet and M&Ms are definitely a hit around here, so these bars fit the bill. So if you're looking for something a little sweet, try these out.  And thanks for letting me share my life with you. :)  I figured if my friends was brave enough to share her journey to be healthy, I could too. :) 
Ingredients: Quick Oats, Flour, Brown Sugar, Baking Soda, Salt, Butter, Sweetened Condensed Milk, M&Ms

To a big mixing bowl add 2 cups of oats...
1 1/2 cups of flour...

1 cup brown sugar...

1 tsp baking soda

and 3/4 tsp salt.  Stir together.

Melt 1 cup of butter (I messed up the recipe and only did 1/2 cup of butter which I guess made it a little better for us, but it was pretty crumbly)

Add the butter to the dry ingredients...

And mix together until it resembles coarse crumbs

Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the mixture...

And press the rest into a greased 9x13 pan.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes

In the meantime melt 2 TBS butter in a small saucepan

Add 1 cup M&Ms

Use the back of a spoon to crush the M&Ms

Remove from heat and add a can of sweetened condensed milk

Stir until smooth
Pour on top of the crust...

And smooth over
add 1/2 cup of M&Ms to the remaining crumble...

And sprinkle on top of the chocolate layer

Press down into the chocolate

Return to the oven and bake for 15 more minutes

Until it's lightly golden.  The chocolate won't be completely set, it will do that as the bars cool

Once cooled (for at least an hour), have at them

They bring a smile to this boy's face

And this boy's

This one is too busy concentrating on enjoy the deliciousness to smile :)

M&M Bars 
2 cups quick oats
1-1/2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup + 2 TBS butter
1 1/2 cups M&M's
14oz sweetened condensed milk
Combine oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt.  Melt 1 cup butter and add.   Mix until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, set aside 1-1/2 cups.  Press remaining crumbs into greased 9x13pan.  Bake at 375 for 10 min.  Melt 2 Tb butter over low heat.  Add 1 cup M&M's and break them up with the back of a spoon.  Remove from heat and stir in condensed milk; spread over crust.  Combine reserved crumbs and 1/2 cup M&M's.  Sprinkle over chocolate mixture and press lightly  Bake 15 minutes until golden brown. 

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