I was laid off last year (I’ll tell you more about that another time) and have been lucky to be a stay at home mom (AKA UNEMPLOYED) for the past 13 months. The time I’ve gotten to spend with my husband and boys has been great, and I won’t lie, the naps I frequently take with my 2-year old aren’t too shabby either. I’ve been really lucky in that respect.
For a couple of reasons, namely that finding a job as a full-time writer is really difficult, and that I have a science background and love the medical field, I’m changing careers. To do this, I’m starting graduate school to get a masters of medical science as a physician assistant. I’m starting PA school next week!!! This has been an arduous process – completing prerequisites, taking the GRE, applying to the super competitive programs, preparing my family for me being gone full-time again, figuring out how to pay for it, etc. But, I was accepted to a great program right here in town, and I’m really excited to get started.
One of the big changes for me and my family is that, since I’m not going to be home that much, I’m going to have to get back into the habit of planning out meals a little better. Now, don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll still be last-minute most of the time, but I don’t want to resort to a mess of prepackaged snacks for meals on the go. When I was working full time I was pretty good about packing a healthy breakfast and lunch with two snacks every day. But, I’ve really gotten out of the habit of planning to-go meals for myself since I’ve been home. In a way it’s good, because I’ve been making lunch at home for me and my husband, who normally forgets to eat or will eat pickles out of the jar with rolled up deli ham – every day. So, he’s had some steady meals. He’ll probably go in to shock once I’m back in school.
Thinking about all of this, I started experimenting with some recipes that could work as snacks or breakfast or something in between. I’m not sure this recipe really qualifies as “healthy” since one of the main ingredients is marshmallows, but it has plain Cheerios, which I think is healthy enough to counteract them, don’t you?
Gabriel and I loved these. Grayson said they were “too chocolatey” which isn’t really possible, is it? There’s a distinct possibility that he isn’t actually related to me.
9 Jumbo marshmallows or 36 regular marshmallows (There’s 40 in the whole bag, you could probably use all of them if you wanted to.)
6 Tbls butter or margarine
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 cups plain Cheerios
1 cup dried cranberries (Craisins)
Grease a 6×9 baking dish with butter or spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
Melt the butter and marshmallows in a pot over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. When they’re melted, add the chocolate chips and stir until the chocolate is melted and it’s all mixed well. Remove from heat and stir in the cereal and dried cranberries, mixing well to coat everything and make sure the fruit is distributed throughout the mixture.
Scoop the mixture into the greased baking dish and spread out. Press it down firmly with a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap to avoid getting your hands super messy. The wrapper from the butter stick works well for this.
Let it cool, then cut into squares and store in an air-tight container.