If a grocery list includes powdered sugar, chocolate, butter, oatmeal – plus fairy dust, ribbons, Sharpies, and craft sticks – I know it’s going to be the start of a very good day indeed. This weekend, the kitchen at CasaRock is getting everything packed and ready for the 4th annual Camp NomNom, a project that began innocently enough as a response to not being able to go to Honduras on a mission trip because of a political uprising in that country. Rather than be sad about not being able to serve, our little team found ways to care for others locally. And of course, food is always a fun way to care. There’s truly something magical about fixing wonderful things to eat – and then giving them all away.
And that’s what happens at Camp NomNom. This week, more than 30 teens and adults will gather in the kitchen of our church to bake treats for folks who need a little brightening in their day. We’ll box all those treats up, write notes of encouragement and hope, and then deliver them all over town – to gated communities and trailer parks and maybe even a business or two. It’s honestly one of my very favorite (and most beautifully messy) days of kitchen therapy.
For three years now, Peanut Oatmeal Bars have been a Camp NomNom staple. They’re somewhere between granola and a cookie, they make the kitchen smell heavenly as they bake, and they are perfect for an afternoon snack or packed in a picnic lunch. And they are a great little something to share with someone who’s having a tough day.
Maybe this week, you can have a little Camp NomNom in your kitchen. It’s easy to do. Just bake. And serve. And watch what happens.
Peanut Oatmeal Bars
Makes 1 large pan. You decide how many servings.
2/3 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups quick-cooking oats
Almond Bark (vanilla or chocolate)
In a bowl, combine the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and vanilla; gradually add the oats. Press into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Cut into bar shapes and place bars on cooling rack with waxed paper or paper towel underneath rack. Drizzle melted almond bark on bars and allow to cool. Serve to others with a smile.
Note: If you can’t do peanut butter, these are just as good with other butters too – sunflower seed, almond, and soy!