No Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars

No Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars

I’ve been thinking a lot about blogging lately.  I thought it would be a lot different than it is.  I thought it would come easier.  Not easy perhaps, but easier.  The whole if you build it, they will come thing.  Well, I built it, but they (whomever they happen to be) haven’t come.  It does come easy to some and the fact that it hasn’t for me and I can’t figure out why drives me crazy.

I had a lot to learn in the beginning but now my pictures are better, I leave comments on tons of other blogs constantly, I pin with reckless abandon, and I use hashtags.  But it hasn’t helped.

I put everything I have into this blog and it takes up most of my time.  From baking to photographing to posting to submitting to Foodgawker and the like to social media to supporting other blogs, the work never ends.  Not a single day goes by when I don’t work on the blog in some capacity.  I keep at it and I hope, and slowly it’s become less and less fun.

No Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars

And over time, I’ve grown tired.  Tired of crying over traffic numbers and social media followings.  Tired of leaving blog comments for people who never return the favor (one of the cardinal rules of blogging based on anything and everything you read on the topic).  Tired of days passing without working on my writing.  Tired of hoping.

I’ve learned blogging isn’t my passion, writing is.  That’s what I want to be.  A writer.  Five years, no, one year from now, I see my writing having taken off.  I’m currently working on a novel, a screenplay, and a teleplay, and I feel like I’m doing my best writing ever.  It needs to be my priority.  I want it to be my priority.  Of course, blogging would probably be more fun if I felt like it was successful.

No Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars

No Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars

So from now on, I will only be posting two times a week.  This will take some of the pressure off of me and allow me to focus on things other than my blog.  I am still so thankful to those of you who read my blog.  You are the best!  I will still be posting amazing recipes, restaurant, bakery, and product reviews, and my fashion favorites.  The posts will just be a little less frequent.  I also have some fantastic guest posts coming up and a giveaway you do not want to miss.  I’ve been thinking about this change for awhile and I hope you understand and continue to read my blog.

I have another great recipe for you today.  Quaker Chewy granola bars were what I survived on through high school, so I was excited to try a homemade version.  They are so much better than the store bought and I so wish I would have lived on these instead of those processed ones.  Plus, these are crazy easy to make, gluten free, and vegan!  I have given them to friends a couple of times and gotten rave reviews.  Feel free to use whatever mix-ins you like, but I love the crunch of the almonds and the sweetness of the raisins.  Thanks again for reading!

 No Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars

No Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 7 minutes

12 bars

Ingredients

2/3 cup light corn syrup

½ cup creamy peanut butter

¼ cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 cups quick cooking oats (gluten free if you like)

2 cups Rice Krispies (gluten free if you like)

½ cup raisins

½ cup coarsely chopped almonds

Instructions

Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment, leaving overhang for easy removal later.

In a large microwave safe bowl, combine corn syrup, peanut butter, and brown sugar. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir the mixture, then microwave on high for an additional minute.

Add vanilla and cinnamon to the syrup mixture and stir. Stir in the oats and Rice Krispies until fully coated. Add the raisins and almonds and stir until they are evenly distributed. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, smooth into an even layer, and pack down firmly with your hands. Refrigerate for at least two hours to firm up before cutting into bars. They are quite difficult to cut, and I find a serrated knife and a bit of muscle does the best job.

Bars may be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week, or frozen, wrapped individually in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to three months. Thaw at room temperature for about an hour.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Averie Cooks

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Comments

  1. Nicole says:

    Laura-
    I’m sorry you are feeling this way about blogging, we all go through it at times. There is nothing wrong with taking a little time off from it. You say above that blogging isn’t your passion and it isn’t fun for you, sounds like you need a little time to evaluate things. I’ve had those moments for sure, but then after a couple of weeks I get to missing it. When I first started blogging I beat myself up if I didn’t post every day and just like you it became not very fun. After a while I realized, like you that I didn’t really want to be a food blogger in the professional sense. Giveaways and sponsored posts made me feel strange and I always felt pressured when I did them. I sat down and made a list of all the reasons I liked blogging in one column and the things I didn’t like in the other. Now I focus on the first column and it works for me. I really love the photography part of it, so I concentrate on that. After five years of blogging I have come to the realization that I will never be a PRO -blogger and I’m ok with that. What I didn’t realize was how many doors my site would open for me and in unexpected places.
    If you really want to be a writer, concentrate on the writing part of this site, then later you can use it as a portfolio of sorts or an example of your work.
    I hope you don’t find my unsolicited advice too forward. Just wanted to say that I have been there and I’m sorry you are struggling right now.
    Best of luck to you.
    -Nicole

    • Laura says:

      Hi Nicole! I really appreciate your advice. I definitely feel like my blog is writing focused, because that’s what I love. I just need to figure out what will make blogging fun for me, and hopefully I’m on the way to doing that.

  2. Thanks for trying my granola bar recipe. It’s always a hit people and I am glad you liked it too!

    Sounds like you’re going to be making some changes with your posting and going down to 2 posts a week and whatever else you feel like doing that you think will make things easier overall for yourself, do it! Try to keep it fun and as low-stress as you can. Easier said than done but doing what you can to ease things up, go for it!

    • Laura says:

      Thanks, Averie! Blogging should be fun, and it hasn’t been for me, so hopefully that will change now. Thanks for your support and for leaving comments :)

  3. miss messy says:

    EEEEKKKK. I love no bake. I love cinnamon. I love almonds and oats and raisins. Hello breakfasts for this week.

    I’m glad you’re not giving up :D I know how you feel. I want food and blogging to be my life eventually, and it was going really well, but it’s slowed. I look at people’s blogs who don’t seem to be doing anything much different to me and they have 100′s of comments per post.. :( I become pretty horrible with jealousy and I don’t like it. It hasn’t become easy but i’m still hoping. Maybe now you are posting less you will get more joy out of it!

    Good luck with the writing, it’s all so exciting!

    • Laura says:

      I relate to everything you said. I get jealous looking at other people’s blogs, seeing the same things mine has, and they have a way bigger audience. It’s definitely been hard for me to cope with. I feel a little better since I’ve realized it’s not what I want to do with my life. I love your blog and know it will take off :)

  4. I can identify so much with so much of what you say here – ultimately I had to decide to do it for me, to enjoy the creative process of cooking, baking, and writing, and to write whatever I want, not what will help my Google ranking. I love blogging more the less I care about how others are doing – the beast of social media makes it very hard sometimes though to ignore how others are doing, doesn’t it? Thanks so much for visiting my blog – these granola bars are literally the best looking no-bake granola bars I have ever seen, I have to try them!

  5. Sorry to hear about your frustrations – it does take time to build traffic for a blog. Anyway, lovely recipe. I really like the idea of this – thanks so much.

  6. I think this is a great idea, and I hope you get to focus more on your big passions!

  7. Loving these granola bars, can’t get enough of those crunchy treats!

    Also I want to say that I personally look forward to your posts and recipes and hope you continue them! I feel totally overwhelmed sometimes too, lately I’ve been trying to take a day off to get refreshed in some capacity. Sending you hugs!

  8. Sara says:

    I think craisins and chocolate chips would be delicious in it! :) Oh man, I’m making myself hungry. :)

    I completely understand how you feel. I’ve experienced the same thing with my own blog, and it is frustrating. Like you, I’ve decided to keep it as a hobby, and that seems to make it a bit more fun. I hope that you will be less stressed now, too. Having only recently discovered your blog (last week), I already know that you are a fantastic writer and baker. :D Stay positive!!

    • Laura says:

      I really would love if my blog could be part of my profession, but that hasn’t happened yet, so it wasn’t practical to pour all my time into like it was my profession while making very little money. Thanks for the sweet comment, Sara :)

  9. Laura – I know how you feel!! The amount of time and effort and money we put into our blogs is a LOT and when it doesn’t feel like it’s paying off, it’s so frustrating and discouraging. I will miss your posts but glad you aren’t giving up completely and are still going to post a couple times a week :) It will happen for you…it just takes time (which I hate hearing, but it’s really true). I still don’t know the secret to success and going “viral” yet…

    • Laura says:

      It is so discouraging to be giving blogging my all and feel like I’m getting nothing in return, but hopefully in time I’ll feel differently. Thanks, Ashley!

  10. Deb says:

    I’m not one to give advise on increasing blog traffic or any other type of blogging wisdom. But I know for myself that posting once a week is “enough” for me. I want time to enjoy life and pursue other creative endeavors. Your loyal readers will be happy to enjoy your posts, however spaced apart they may be! :-)

  11. Laura, I know EXACTLY how you feel! That’s how I felt too at the beginning. Now I post 2 times a week, sometimes once, sometimes a third post. It depends on how my week was and the last thing I want is to feel is stressed when my whole purpose of starting a blog was to relieve stress by blogging LOL. Anyway, I love your blog, you’re so creative with your recipes and well… please don’t stop blogging! :)

  12. You have to like what you do and then you have to own it. Sounds like you like some of it but not all of it. I’ve heard it said that becoming an overnight success takes a very long time. Do what you love and make it work. And keep eating lots of granola! Some of us are still searching for whatever it is that will make us happy. I think the key is to never quit searching!

  13. Fran says:

    From a selfish standpoint, I am so glad that you are not giving up your blog because I really enjoy your recipes! And I am soooo envious of your photography skills. I can understand your frustration, however, and your decision to devote more time to the things that really make you happy is a wise one. :) –Fran

    • Laura says:

      Thanks for your sweet comment, Fran! I think my photography skills are really lacking, so that you like them totally made my day :D

  14. Such a great idea, love this recipe!

  15. Joanne says:

    It’s definitely hard not to get stressed out over these things, but honestly so much of it is time and luck and and just…time. A lot of time. When I started blogging five years ago, there was a lot less competition so it was a lot easier to get your foot in the door…but it still took me years to grow any kind of following! You’ll get there, just try to make it still fun for yourself otherwise why bother doing it?

  16. Hey girl, I’m going to share one of your recipes on my Wishes and Dishes Facebook page today or tomorrow. Maybe that will help you out just a little :) I’ll let you know when I do it.

  17. sorry to hear that.
    I’ve been blogging for years, and you really have to do it just for you.
    If you do it for numbers or comments or social media it will drive you cray cray.
    Just blog for you and do the best you can do to just enjoy it, then it will be fun.
    You know?
    Don’t let all that social media crap, the bloggin cliques, the lack of comments get you down–so not worth it!

  18. It’s great honestly to hear that you will focusing on what you love the most!! Your writing is amazing and if you can put that number one, in a year or so you will see the product of that. Blogging is so draining and I don’t have as much experience as you do but I’ve been withdrawing lately as well. Too much is needed to ‘be successful’ and since it’s a hobby and second priority for me I am trying not to focus on all the social media drama, blogging cliques or bffs (even though it’s so hard to say than do). I’m sticking to the fun part of it…baking and making friends! I’m so glad you are not giving up because I love your recipes and fashion finds (shopping junkie!). I’ll always be a reader and follower even if it’s once a week you post! Love these granola. Power snack heaven!!

    • Laura says:

      Thank you so much, Zainab! I was trying to be a successful blogger and putting my all into it, and for some reason, that I cannot figure out no matter how hard I try, I couldn’t make it work. Hopefully now I’ll just get some enjoyment out of it, if nothing else.

  19. I’m so glad I’m not the only one! I’ve had to do what Ruby does. Totally depends on my day…and week. I’m a stay at home momma and all my kids are in school during the day. But they come home for lunch (because they’re spoiled) and I make a hot lunch for them every single day. I love to have a break during the afternoon with them. But, with the whole blogging thing…I feel like I don’t even have the spare time to do the things I really want to do… like paint my walls in every room, crafts, sewing and many more. Then you throw in a field trip with the class for the whole day…and oh my! Then I feel even more behind.
    Thank you for sharing with us… even this amazing recipe!

    • Laura says:

      So nice that your kids come home for lunch and you get to spend time with them! Blogging does take away time from doing the extra important things, and I’m realizing that’s not okay with me. I still want to blog, but not if it means missing out on life. Thanks, Gloria!

  20. I can totally relate! I do everything you mention and sometimes I don’t feel like the work pays off. Sometimes I go to blogs where she has 80 plus comments…what does she do that I don’t?
    My blog is my hobby, not my profession. I have to remind myself to do something because I want to, not because I have to.
    I’m glad to see you found your way. I always enjoy seeing your pics and recipes. And I do love reading everything you say, so it only makes sense that you love writing. :)
    Oh and I love making granola bars so these look like a fabulous addition to my recipe book. :)

    • Laura says:

      Thanks, Tina! I tried to make blogging my profession, but it just won’t happen. It’s very frustrating and upsetting, but I hope something else will click.

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