I have been living one state over from one of my cousins for the past six years and yet, I have only seen her once or twice during this time. In a month she is moving to the west coast. It was decided that we had to get together before she moves. We are only a year apart in age and as with most cousins, I feel that we have a connection that is stronger than even friendship.
When I was nine years old, I had the privilege of traveling to Yellowstone National Park with her and my uncle and aunt. The trip of course was amazing and unforgettable, but more than seeing the incredible wildlife and the mind-boggling geothermal features, getting to be a part of such a loving and devoted family for that short amount of time was what stuck with me through the years.
I recently sent a letter to my aunt sincerely thanking her for including me; it opened my eyes to the wonders of the world and helped to make me who I am today. I only wish I had come to this realization years earlier. My uncle, whom everyone in our family greatly admired and looked up to, was taken from us far too early. Nine years ago he lost the battle with brain cancer.
In honor of him, my cousin and I, plus my husband and my boy will be walking a 5K to raise money for the National Brain Tumor Society this Saturday. As of today, the one day event has already raised $416,069 for research funding.
In addition to visiting with my cousin before she leaves, we will be paying tribute to my uncle, her Dad. I like to think that he would be very proud of the women that we have become.
Since we will be leaving the house by 5am the morning of the event, I figured I should make something easy for us to eat in the car. I thought about making the Peanut Energy Bars but I wanted something with fresh fruit. I found a recipe for Strawberry Breakfast Bars. The original recipe can be found here.
Strawberry Breakfast Bars
(Adapted from mommiecooks.com)
3/4 cups crushed up cereal (I had Honey Bunches of Oats on hand)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 stick of unsalted butter, cubed
2 cups strawberries
1/4 cup water
2 Tbs flour + 1 Tbs cold water
Place the strawberries in a pan with water and honey. Bring to a bowl. Puree in a blender. Return to pot and add the flour mixture. Let boil for a minute or two until it thickens. Remove from heat and refridgerate until cool.
Combine all the dry ingredients and mix. Add vanilla and cut in the butter until crumbly. Press half of this mixture into a greased 8×8 baking pan. Pour the cooled strawberry mixture over top. Add the remainder of the crumb mixture and press down slightly.
Bake at 350F for 45 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting into bars.