Artisan Energy Bars — Say What? Plus Winners of the Food Gal Contest

A breakfast bar you'll actually enjoy eating.

Remember those energy bars of yesteryear?

You know, the ones you ate because they were compact and handy on those sweaty, strenuous hikes — not because they tasted any good.

Newark, Calif.-based FullBloom Baking Company will erase those unappetizing memories once and for all.

Company founder Karen Trilevsky has created an individually wrapped Toasted Oatmeal Bar that’s made with 12 organic whole grains, plus tart cherries and raisins. It’s a palate-awakening alternative to other breakfast or energy bars on the market.

It’s almost cookie-like in texture, but more crumbly. The oat flavor and texture really come through in this crunchy, buttery bar. It tastes very much home-made rather than mass-produced.

Each 2.5-ounce bar has 350 calories, 18 grams of fat (8 grams of which are saturated fat), 44 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of protein, 210 milligrams of sodium, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, and 44 grams of total carbohydrates.

The Toasted Oatmeal Bar joins the 12-Grain Bar released earlier this year. FullBloom will add two more flavors before the end of the year: Cranberry Almond Bar, and Bacon Cornflake (Oh my!).

The bars retail for about $1.49 each. They are available at Whole Foods, Berkeley Bowl, Cosentino’s, and Peet’s Coffee & Tea.

In addition to her baking endeavors, Trilevsky also started a “Smart Cookes Scholarship” to pay for the college education of promising Hispanic youth in the Bay Area. So far, she’s help pay for 57 kids to attend college.

Her baking facility also is in the process of securing LEED platinum certification for adhering to best environmental practices.

Sahale Snacks nut mix.

And now, without further adieu, I’m happy to announce the winners of the latest Food Gal contest, in which I invited all of you to tell me what your nuttiest cooking experience was.

I say, “winners,” because there were so many good ones once again that I decided to award second- and third-place prizes, too. Those winners will receive a cookbook from my vast collection. The grand prize winner will get four bags (2-ounce each) of Sahale Snacks nut blends, three (4-ounce) glazed nuts packages, and a Sahale Snacks apron.

Here are the winners:

Third place: Deb Haseltine, who wrote, “I was 13 and making my first coffee cake (the cinnamon/pecan one we all have made). My mother was busy on the phone and just kept telling me to follow the recipe…(You can read can’t you?). So I did. I got it in the oven and was cleaning up my mess. I asked her what to do with the left over coca cola that was in the bottle. “Drink it”, she told me. I told her I did not want it because it was hot….she asked why I opened it in the first place….(you guessed it)…I added 1 teaspoon coke…instead of BAKING soda!!!!! I was afraid my mother was going to choke she laughed so hard…..sheesh…”

Second place: Alex, who wrote, “What makes this sad is that it happened not too long ago…me and my friends were in high school. One day, we decide to bake brownies (from the box because we suck that much). My friend popped the batter into the oven and set the timer. 30 minutes later, we take the brownie out for frosting. I plopped a glob of frosting (from the can…don’t judge us) onto the brownie…and it just sunk. So, my friend, being the genius that she is, didn’t turn on the oven. Just for the heck of it, we threw a couple of pancakes in the brownie batter and baked it right up…well actually, it didn’t set up with all the added frosting, so we froze it, THE END.”

First place: Carolyn, who wrote, “My Lucy Ricardo moment: I was a newlywed who loved to try to cook everything for my new husband’s willing palate. We had some leftover crab and I decided to make crab enchiladas. I got home early from work and fired up the oil to lightly fry the tortillas. Right after I turned on the oil the buzzer from our dryer downstairs went off and I ran downstairs to retreive our laundry. You guessed it…

By the time I brought up the laundry the smoke alarm was shrieking and the pan was engulfed in flames which were licking the ceiling. And our cat was crying. I put the lid on it but it just got bigger. I grabbed the fire extinguisher (handy things) and put it out in two spurts. I threw the pan in the yard and opened up all the windows and doors. There was a black layer of smoke and soot all over our house and I was now crying along with the cat.

I thought I could clean it up before my husband got home but when I tried to wipe the walls it just spread the soot everywhere. That’s when I heard the garage door open. I braced myself and went to greet him before he could see the wreckage.

We had just recently put a sliding glass door in the kitchen and had been trying to find out from the former owners what the paint color was so we could match the new area around the door.

I must have had soot on my face because he immediately asked what happened. I told him I had good news and I had bad news. The good news is that we didn’t need to find out the paint color anymore, the bad news was that we had to repaint the whole kitchen now! Needless to say, he wasn’t amused. The best part of the whole thing is that I actually made crab enchiladas that night and they were awesome. Never give up! (And never leave anything on the stove unattended!)”

To claim your prize: Send me an email (you can use the link on the right-hand rail of the homepage) with your full name and mailing address, as well as the words, “Food Gal Contest Winner” in the guide.

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