Today, these Raspberry Rice Krispie Treats seem just the right recipe to share. They are sweet and sour, which in my mind, defines the emotional spectrum that many of us experience this time of year. Not to mention that my Caramel Kamut Krispie Treats continue to be one of my most popular posts, and are overdue for a follow-up companion recipe!
My husband and I occasionally celebrate Valentine's Day, but more often we agree that it is too gimicky for our taste, putting a lot of strain on even the best relationships. Though my husband does have the quirky habit of buying me candy the day after the holiday, so that he can get the 50% markdown. Which I find absolutely hilarious and impossibly annoying at that same time. But this year, we are neck-deep in a labor of love that is both joyful and very stressful. There is not much left to spare on discounted candy for the moment.
Right now, we are in the midst of trying to flip a house. Which in theory should not be terribly hard with my background in real estate and my husband's in construction. I refer to it as our "Radical Side Hustle House," because for me it is a step on a path to possible early retirement and something that I work on in between training clients and trying to build this blog. But for my husband it is a new full-time business venture. It is also why, more recently, my posts here are less frequent. In my limited, less experienced way, I am trying to contribute what I can to help complete this project.
For this to happen, we sold our beautiful home, put most of our things into storage, moving with our 2 dogs and 1 cat into a relative's house where we try to co-exist peacefully with one bathroom and a semi-functional kitchen. The arrangement is awkward, and after more than a year of this set-up, let's just say it's getting a bit stale for everyone!
We have also cut way back on everyday joys, like shopping, eating out and going to the movies to ensure that we're not mindlessly overspending. I even cancelled a 40th birthday trip to NYC and asked my husband not to buy me anything. He did anyway, ironically bringing home all the just released full-price Valentine's stuff (my birthday was weeks ago), which made me laugh.
Do we have to go to this extreme? Maybe not. I tend to be ultra conservative. More so when I feel unsettled with so many unknowns in our future. It's a mindset. I grew up feeling very poor, even though I had plenty of food and things to entertain myself. But my discipline and frugality coupled with my husband's amazing work ethic will likely see us through this and into a better position than when we began.
Currently we are in the last quarter of the renovation stage. I'm in charge of the budget - paying the bills, organizing and recording the receipts for labor/materials, trying not to stress my husband out with my stress about the budget, house demolition work (complete), co-designing the house itself plus various painting and clean-up projects. My husband is the general contractor, completing many of the renovations himself or with the help of other contractors, as the budget allows. Our plan is to have the property on the market by spring, move into it until it sells, then acquire a smaller inexpensive home while we continue on this new path. The ultimate goal being to flip a few houses until we build up enough to afford a multitude of rental properties.
Also in the pipeline are two e-books that I have started to write - one on planning a manageable, affordable first-time trip to Scotland. The second is a vegan cookbook, the specifics of which I am withholding until closer to completion.
In the meantime, if you tend to crave fruity things like sour gummy candies or twizzlers, give these Raspberry Rice Krispie Treats a try. They are incredibly simple and quick to make. I prefer them just as pictured, or occasionally dipped in chocolate for extra sweetness.
1/2 cup freeze dried raspberries, plus 1/2 cup reserved
1/3 cup solid coconut oil
2/3 cup brown rice syrup
1 tablespoon pure vanilla paste or 1 teaspoon extract
4 cups brown Rice Krispie cereal
Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.
In a blender, grind the first 1/2 cup of the raspberries into a powder. Using a large non-stick saucepan, melt the oil and syrup over medium-high heat. Stir in the vanilla and ground raspberries. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Fold in the cereal and reserved whole raspberries until completely coated. Firmly and evenly press the mixture into the lined pan using a rubber spatula. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Use the parchment paper to lift from the pan. With a chef's knife, carefully cut into 8 squares. Store at room temperature.
Yield: 8 bars