My husband and I used to find the time to go on dates pretty regularly. Whether dinner and a movie or a night out on the town for drinks and live tunes, spending time just the two of us was easy and effortless. Fast forward a decade and two kids, it’s harder to find the time to go out. Like most parents of young kids, we’re tired at the end of the day and leaving the house when it’s dark out somehow seems like too much effort. Lame perhaps but just keeping it honest. Besides, I totally turn into a pumpkin at 9 pm.
After a long weekend away last fall to celebrate our 10th anniversary, my husband and I realized how much we missed spending time as a couple. Our kids had taken over our world, rightfully so, but we really missed and craved that time together alone. We decided on that trip to recommit to one another and start “dating” again. I can tell you 6 months later, it was the right thing to do. We’re totally digging each other again.
I wasn’t joking when I said we don’t really go out at night much. It just doesn’t work of us. Day dating, however, is totally our thing. It’s easier for us to find the time when the kids are in school and preschool respectively. My husband coined the term “day date” one day in early December when we were riding the lift at Canyons Resort sans the kiddos.
Making a snowboard date is natural for us. It’s an activity we both love to do and it’s on the mountain that we spent so much of our time together when we first started dating. So once or twice a week, after dropping the kids at school, we carve out time to hit the mountain together. Dating my man, getting fresh air and exercise all at the same time? It makes my multi-tasking mama heart go pitter patter.
I always have some sort of homemade snack or treat in my pocket- it’s how I roll on the mountain- and I’m happy to share with whomever is sitting next to me. Lately I’ve been digging homemade granola bars. I’ve tried multiple recipes and umpteen variations until finally settling on this as my favorite. The granola bars are chewy and hold up well in my pocket after a morning of skiing. The combination of dark chocolate, sliced almonds and dried cherries is a major win and perfect for Valentines next week.
I think a snowboard date with my man is in order for next Friday and these granola bars will make it that much sweeter.
1 2/3 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Butter a 9×9 baking pan and line it with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Place the mixture onto the prepared baking pan and pat down firmly.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before cutting.
I cut bars into squares (resulting in 12 bars) and wrap them individually in plastic wrap and store them in either the fridge or freezer. Let bars come to room temperature before eating.