Chocolate-Chip Pumpkin-Seed Granola Bars

Natalie Buscemi-Hindman's family was always cooking. "I started working when I was 12 years old at my dad's sit-down restaurant, Mr. BoJingles, in Roseville," recalls the New Baltimore mom of two grown children, now 24 and 28. Buscemi-Hindman began washing dishes before bussing tables, greeting guests and doing every other job imaginable at the eatery. And when she graduated from high school, her party was held there too – just before it was sold.

In November, when Buscemi-Hindman's father passed away, she started pondering how to share her interests and passions with others. Her zest for cooking good food came to mind. She turned again to her blog she'd left relatively untouched since 2011 – Pers~a~Natalie – and began regularly posting family recipes.

Her advice for making homemade, healthy meals easier at home: "Keep a well-stocked pantry and freezer!" Chicken stock, canned diced tomatoes, frozen vegetables and other quick add-ins can make a simple recipe feel more gourmet without a lot of extra effort. Just like these simple granola bars.


  • Two bowls (one microwave-safe)
  • 8-by-8-inch pan
  • Foil/wax


  • 2 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 2 cups quick oats (can use gluten-free)
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup Craisins
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips


  1. Put the first four ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Place honey, peanut butter, brown sugar and cinnamon into a microwaveable bowl and cook for one minute. Stir until smooth.
  3. Add to peanut butter mixture to dry ingredients and incorporate well.
  4. Once the dry and peanut butter mixtures are combined (make sure it's not too hot or the chips will melt), add mini chocolate chips.
  5. Prepare the 8-by-8-inch pan with a piece of foil or wax paper overlapping on two sides and spray with cooking spray.
  6. Pour mixture into pan and press down to make even.
  7. Put into freezer to set for about an hour.
  8. Once done, pull two sides of foil up to remove from pan; then slice as you like!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -


Holiday Tea Experiences in Metro Detroit

Get cozy and enjoy an afternoon with your loved ones at one of these fun holiday teas in metro Detroit.

Kid-Friendly Metro Detroit Hotels to Book for Your Next Staycation

Kids love hotels — especially when there’s a pool involved. Take a mini weekend stay to break up the monotony of the winter months at one of these metro Detroit hotels.

Holiday Books to Read with Kids

Celebrate the season by reading one of these festive children's books.

Winter-Themed Books for Kids

Read these winter-themed children's books with a cup of hot cocoa!

- Advertisement -