Road trip food

20 Jul

It’s that time of year again. The end of July is when we always have the annual Lipecky Family Beach Vacation at Ocean City, New Jersey. This is one of our favorite little getaways because we get to spend some quality time with the fam, while also grubbing on some awesome boardwalk food (and working on our tans).

In preparation for our long drive to the Jersey shore this year, I decided to make some road trip snacks.

I have always wanted to try making my own granola bars so I figured this would be a good time to test it out. I used sunflower seeds, dried cranberries and chocolate chips in my recipe but you can substitute it for a nut/dried fruit/sweet chip combo of your choosing. The sky is the limit! I think next time I might do almonds, apricots and butterscotch chips.

I also made pretzel snacks. They are kinda like the Snyder’s of Hanover Pretzel Pieces you see in the store. I used ranch dressing mix as the foundation of my seasoning in this recipe below but you can use a variety of different seasonings. Old Bay would be yummy!

I was super proud of how all my snacks turned out.  Especially the granola bars. Unfortunately, in all of the hussle and bussle of packing and loading up the car….I COMPLETELY FORGOT TO PACK THE GRANOLA BARS FOR THE TRIP!! I was so disappointed but at least I’ll have snacks for when I go back to work.

So here are some tips:

1. Be creative with your add-ons
2. Make these in advance so you can spend the rest of the week focused on packing
3. Don’t forget to actually bring the snacks with you *important*

Basic Granola Bars
12 bars

2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup raw honey (I used ginger flavored)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chocolate chips

20130720-102202.jpg1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Line bottom and sides of a  9-inch square pan with aluminum foil. Spray foil  with cooking spray.  Set aside.

3. Add oats, wheat germ and sunflower seeds to a small baking sheet then bake 5 minutes, stir and bake another 5 minutes until lightly toasted. Transfer to a large bowl.

4. Combine butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla extract and the salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes until the butter melts and the sugar completely dissolves.

5. Pour butter mixture in to bowl with toasted oats mixture. Mix well. Let cool about 5 minutes then add dried cranberries and chocolate chips. Stir to combine.

6. Transfer oat mixture to lined pan using a rubber spatula. Firmly press mixture into the pan. This step is important because if the mixture is too loose then the granola bars will fall apart when you cut them.

7. Cover then refrigerate at least 2 hours.

8. Remove granola mixture from foil and cut into 12 bars.

20130720-102415.jpg

Pretzel snacks
about 10 cups

1 lb. hard pretzels, broken
1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp dill weed
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne

20130720-102253.jpg

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

3. Mix oil with seasonings.

4. Put broken pretzel pieces in a large bowl.  Slowly add seasoning mixture to pretzels, stirring constantly to evenly distribute.

5. Pour pretzel mixture on to baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.

20130720-102347.jpg

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