"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing..." -Helen Keller
Back in the day, a whole two years ago, when Austin and I were still dating, a good portion of our dates consisted of cooking things. Here in our home, we don't have heat or AC in our family room/dining room, bathroom, or kitchen, which scares us away from cooking "just for fun" about 8 out of 12 months in the year. Fortunately, though it's a little cold, now is not one of those months. So we decided to whip up some granola bars as part of our afternoon together.

First, we put the following ingredients on a baking sheet and toasted them for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees:
-2 cups oats
-1/3 cup wheat germ
-1/2 cup sunflower seeds
-3/4 cup crushed peanuts
-1/4 cup chopped almonds
Here's Austin, ever the happy camper, removing the toasted goods from the oven. (Yes, the thing behind him that looks like a toaster is our oven... Gotta love baking batches of cookies one at a time!)

While they were toasting, we combined 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup of honey, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a saucepan and brought it to a simmer, stirring often to prevent burning. (This sugar was reduced quite a lot from other recipes we saw, but after tasting the bars, I'd say it could safely be reduced even more and still taste good.)

We stirred the oat-nut-seed-wheat germ mixture into the sweet mixture and made sure it was well distributed.
At this point, it would have been useful to have some wax paper for a happy, no-stick guarantee, but the corner store has never heard of such a thing, so we lightly oiled the tray and then spread a layer of oat flour on it (food-processored oats, fairly course but good for adding to recipes for a bit of extra fiber.)

Then we spread the goodness onto the tray.
We pressed the mixture down really well. At first, I tried to use the back of a spatula, but it was sticking quite a lot, and I found that my hands could better do the job. I pressed them in really well to help keep them from crumbling later.
After pressing them in well, we sprinkled m&ms on one half (they were deceptively sold in a mini-m&m container, but they were actually regularly sized), and raisins on the other half and pressed those in as well. At first, it didn't seem they'd stick very well, but they actually did after the bars hardened.
We set them on the counter for two hours or so to cool and harden before attempting to cut them. When we cut them, they mostly adhered to one another, but admittedly, they did not necessary slice neatly with the knife; there was some breakage. Still really good, very edible, still in pieces that were good for a few bites each, but a bit crumbly. Wax paper could have helped with the removal from the pan. Also, we think next time we might add a teaspoon or so of water to keep the bars more chewy and easier to cut rather than more on the crunchy side, as they were this time.

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