Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Recipe: Blueberry Oat Bars

I just took photos of these beauties and now I'm eatin' them for breakfast.  Oh boy, are these a perfect healthy snack for anytime of day.  I made these for a "Bus Stop Tea Party" and they were an easy after school snack to prepare.  Blueberries are in season and this is a nice way to use them up.  I'm sure these would freeze nicely, and are perfect to pack in luches too.

from Grin and Bake It

3 cups fresh or frozen berries
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch

Crumble and Crust
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (quick-cooking or regular)
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened and cut into 7-9 large chunks
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Filling: In a medium saucepan, stir together berries and lemon juice and cook medium heat until fruit is tender, about 8-15 minutes, depending on type of berries being used.

In a small bowl, whisk together sugar and cornstarch, then stir into fruit mixture. Continue cooking until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 1-2 minutes, until thick. Scrape berry filling into a medium bowl and set aside.

Crust: Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a 9×13 baking pan.  I also lined the pan with parchment paper with about 1" hanging over on each side.

In a food processor (or large mixing bowl), combine flour, oats, brown sugar, butter, baking soda , salt and vanilla extract. Pulse until mixture is thoroughly blended and resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of this mixture in a medium bowl.

Pour remaining crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish, spread evenly and pat down. Place filling in dollops over crust and carefully spread to cover entire surface. Squeeze reserved crumb mixture into large clumps with your fingers and sprinkle evenly over the top of the fruit filling.

Bake until golden brown, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

Cut into 20 bars to serve.

Printable Recipe

Similar recipes you may like ~
Applesauce Oatmeal Bars
Martha Stewart's Jam Crumble Bars


from the book "The Golden Book of Poetry"
Edited by Jane Werner
Illustrated by Gertrude Elliott
1949, Golden Press

I purchased this book from a local thrift shop.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Back-to-School "Boo Hoo Brunch"

Bob's Bean Salad Recipe from Allrecipes.com

Each year our MOMS Club, along with my friends and I, get together just after back-to-school for a "Boo Hoo Brunch".  It's a great way to connect with the mothers who have little ones going to school for the first time, or who suddenly find themselves alone all day while everyone's at school.  As a stay-at-home mother, this can be a difficult time when your home is all too quiet, and the reality of no children under foot can create a sense of loneliness and purpose.

Our "Boo Hoo Brunch" was full of laughs, friendship, support and great food.  It's so uplifting to be around all the girls discussing what's next in our lives... and did I mention the great food?

Happily submitted to Family Friendly Friday's over at Mommie Cooks!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Recipe: White Bean and Tuna Salad

I've been busy making lunches lately as my husband takes lunch to work each day, and our daughter is back-to-school.  My goal is to pack a waste-free-lunch so no uneccessary garbage is thrown away at work or school, therefore, you won't find any Lunchables here, eh?

Bean salads are a good choice for lunches because they last for days in the fridge, and are packed with flavour and nutrition.  This White Bean and Tuna Salad I found over at Simply Recipes - such a  lovely site.  It has red onions, zesty lemon, tuna, white beans, parsely, and Tabasco.  This zippy salad is perfect served on crackers and is a change from the everyday tuna salad sandwich.

from Simply Recipes

1 cup of chopped red onions
The zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 five to six ounce cans of tuna packed in olive oil
2 15-ounce cans of Great Northern white beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup of chopped parsley
A few splashes of Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Salt and olive oil to taste

Sprinkle some of the lemon juice over the chopped onions while you prepare the other ingredients. This will take some of the oniony edge off the onions.

Drain the oil from the tuna and put the tuna into a large bowl. Add the beans to the tuna and gently stir to combine. Add the onions, herbs, black pepper, lemon zest and lemon juice and mix to combine. Add Tabasco or chile to taste. If the salad needs more acid, add a little more lemon juice. If the salad seems a little dry, add a little bit of olive oil. Add salt to taste.

Chill before serving. This salad will last several days in the fridge, tightly covered.  Serves 4.

Printable Recipe

Some other lunch box favourites you may enjoy:
Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
Turkey Pumpkin Chili
Cowboy Caviar (bean salad)
Ham and Cheddar in a Loaf
Tomatoe Basil Soup

from the book "Richard Scarry's Best Story Book Ever"
pictures by Richard Scarry
1968, Golden Press

I bought this book from a local thrift shop.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Recipe: Martha Stewart's Jam Crumb Bars

Have you ever smelled a recipe while you were putting all the ingredients together and knew how wonderful it was going to be?  I could've eaten the dough on these bars raw because the scent was so delicious and tempting with the mix of butter and ground almonds.

These beautiful bars have a shortbread bottom, oooey gooey jam centre, and a lovely crumb topping.  They were quick and easy to prepare but not inexpensive.  A bag of whole almonds isn't cheap and the entire jar of jam wasn't either.  Oh, but it was worth every penny for this treat. 

The Jam Crumb Bars were made for a MOMS Club event and everyone loved them. There was enough for some to take home too, which they all did!


3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces, plus more for pan
2 1/4 cups (11 ounces) blanched almonds, very finely ground
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups raspberry, apricot or strawberry jam

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a 15 x 10" rimmed baking sheet.  Line with parchment paper, leaving a 1" overhang on the long sides.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together ground almonds, flour, sugar, and salt.  Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Using your fingers, squeeze the mixture together to create pea-sized crumbs witha  few larger crumbs (smells good, eh?).
Transfer half of crumb mixture (about 4 1/2 cups) to prepared baking sheet; set aside remining mixture.  Cover with a sheet of parchment paper.  Using the bak of a large spoon, press dough evenly into pan, lifting the parchment occasionally to ensure it doesn't stick.  With a wine bottle or small rolling pin, roll along the length of the pan to smooth dough.  Dough should be firmly packed, with no holes or cracks.  Bake, roating the pan halfway through, until lightly golden all over, 15 to 20 minutes.  Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely (I had to skip this step and it was okay). 

Evenly spread jam over cooled crust.  Scatter with remaining crumb mixture, squeezing some of the mixture so that large clumps are visible and evenly distributed over the top of the jam.  Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until the topping begins to turn light golden brown (the hame should not be too dark), 20 to 22 minutes.  Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen; using two wide spatulas, transfer to a cutting board and cut into 3 x 2" bars.  Bars can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Printable Recipe

Here are some other bars you may enjoy.  Perfect to pack in lunches!
Toffee Bars
Homemade Granola Bars
Applesauce and Oatmeal Bars
Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
Chocolate Chip & Pretzle Cookie Bars
Lemon Bars


Peoples by Celia Green and Don Cornelius

I purchased this book from a Thrift Store.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Recipe: Calzone with Home Made Turkey Sausage

For a picnic lunch on the boat I made a traditional Italian sandwich.  It was full of savory flavours from the cheese, oregano, white wine, fresh basil, and a plethora of spices from the home made turkey sausage.  The kids loved it (I told them it was a pizza sandwich).

It's heartwarming to serve a sandwich like this knowing everything that's in it.  No "mystery meats" or added sodium.  The basil came from our garden and I made a quick pesto with it prior to adding it into the sauce.

For easy serving on the boat, I wrapped individual sandwiches in foil.

1 cup fresh basil leaves
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp parmesan cheese, shredded

Blend together with a food processor.  Add more oil if needed.

from Heavenly Homemakers
1 lb ground turkey
3 Tbsp. minced onion
¼ tsp. cumin
¼ tsp. marjoram
¼ tsp. ground pepper
¼ tsp. oregano
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. dried basil
½ tsp. thyme
½ tsp. sage
2 tsp. sea salt
1 egg

Mix all ingredients. Chill for about an hour. (If you forget to chill this ahead of time…it cooks up okay anyway!) Form into patties. Saute in butter.

from Southern Living 30 Years of Our Best Recipes
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
Combine yeast and warm water in a 1 cup liquid measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes.  Combine yeast mixture, salt, oil, and 1 cup flour in a large bowl; beat a medium speed with an electric mixer until blended.  Gradually stir in enough remaining flour to made a soft dough.
Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes).  This is where I added much of the extra flour.  Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top.  Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.  Punch dough down; roll into a 14 x 10" rectangle.
1/2 pound ground pork sausage (or home made turkey sausage - I had this already in the freezer)
1 6-ounce can tomatoe paste
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil (or home made pesto)
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon seasame seeds
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Freshly ground pepper
Brown sausage in a large skillet 5 minutes, stirring until it crumbles.  (I added in my already cooked home made turkey sausage patties and broke them up).  Drain well; return to skillet.  Add tomatoe paste and wine; simmer 5 to 6 minutes.  Remove from heat; stir in basil, 1 Table spoon fresh oregano, and 1 cup cheese.
Spread mixture in a 12 x 14" strip lengthwise down center of dough.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese. 
Fold long sides of dough over filling, overlapping edges.  Pinch ends together to seal.  Place on a lightly greased baking sheet, seam side down.  Cover and let rise in a warm place.
Score top of loaf to allow steam to escape.  Combine egg and milk; beat with a wire whisk.  Brush loaf with egg mixture.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds, dried oregano, and pepper.  Bake at 400 for 25 minutes or until golden.
Printable Recipes

from the book "The Children's Story Hour - Best Loved Poems"
1953 Spencer Press, Inc.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Recipe: Curried Tomatoe Bouillabaisse

Serve this over saffron or brown rice.

Pow!  This soup was very spicey, indeed.  It was so delicious, though, that I ate the entire bowl.  I don't normally enjoy food that's so spicey you have to gulp water after every bite, but this was so good.  Next time I'm going to decrease the amount of crushed red pepper to tone down the spice.

from Martha Stewart's Healthy Quick Cook Book

1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds (I used powder)
2 whole cloves
1 1-inch stick cinnamon
1 whole dried red pepper or 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
2 Tablespoons curry powder
1 lemongrass stalk, cut into 1-inch pieces (I didn't have any of this)
1 pound assorted firm white fish (I used cod but you could also use monk, halibut, black, tile), cut into 2-inch chunks
Kosher salt
1/4 cup coarsley chopped parsley leaves

In a large stockpot, combine the tomatoes, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, red pepper, curry poder, and lemongrass with 6 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer 20 minutes.  Strain the broth.  Add the fish to the broth and poach until opaque, about 10 minutes.  Season with salt.  Ladle into shallow soup bowls and garnish with the parsley.

Printable Recipe


1944, by Harcourt Brace & Company

This is a beautiful story with gorgeous illustrations. 
I highly recommend you read it to your daughters. 
We found this at our local library.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Recipe: Oatmeal-Flax Choc Chip Cookies with Pine Nuts

Mmmm.. cookies for breakfast!  Why not?  These lovelies are filled with goodness from oatmeal, ground flax, dark chocolate and pine nuts.  I'm sure they must be better than some sugar-filled cereal, eh?

These cookies are chewy with subtle crunch from the chocolate chips and nuts.  I've spiced them with Saigon Cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice for extra kick.  They're very filling and perfect for a quick bite before you get your day started.

from the kitchen of Mum In Bloom

2 eggs
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla
6 Tbsp. ground flax

1 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. hot water

2 cups rolled oats (not quick cooking)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. Saigon Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 package dark chocolate chips

Beat eggs in mixing bowl until frothy.  Beat in both sugars.  Add cooking oil, vanilla and flax.

Dissolve baking soda in hot water.  Stir into egg mixture.

Add oats, flours, salt, spices and still well.  Gently mix in pine nuts and chocolate chips.

Drop by spoonfuls (not too big) onto greased baking sheet (I use my Silpat).  Bake in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.  Let cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes prior to transferring them to a cooling rack.  Cool completely, store in an airtight container.

Printable Recipe


1969, Coward-McCaan Inc.
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