Thursday, May 20, 2010

ALMOST Starbucks Blueberry Oat Bars

Oh look, another recipe! I loooooooove these. Thank you to Kitty for passing along the recipe. These are so so good and really easy...and oats...blueberries....I'm sure they are really good for you, right? ;) Oh come on, just make them. We all need something sweet in our lives! And I'm sure these would be fantastic with any other berry...I'm going to try blackberries. And raspberries. Or a mix of all of them!


1 3/4 cup oats, uncooked (quick or old-fashioned)
1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I use pecans)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter; melted
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Heat oven to 350 F. Grease 11x7-inch baking pan. Combine oats, flour, brown sugar, nuts, baking soda and salt. Add butter, mixing until crumbly. Reserve 3/4 cup mixture; press remaining mixture onto bottom of prepared dish. Bake 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine blueberries, granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons water in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, simmer 2 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon water, cornstarch, and lemon juice; mix well. Gradually stir into blueberry mixture; cook and stir about 30 seconds or until thickened. Spread over partially baked base to within 1/4 inch of edge; sprinkle with reserved oat mixture. Press topping down into blueberries slightly. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Cool on wire rack; cut into bars. Store tightly covered.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Fresh Fruit Bruschetta w/Orange-Honey Cream

YUM. Our Best Bites has done it again. Such a great twist on classic bruschetta! I mean, how can you go wrong - cinnamon toast, fruit and that yummy sauce. Fabulous! You must try it!

Fresh Fruit Bruschetta with Orange-Honey Cream
Recipe by Our Best Bites

1 baguette or similar-sized French bread loaf (I used a baguette)
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1-1/2 C diced strawberries (about 10 medium strawberries)
1 C finely diced mango (about 1 medium mango)
1 C finely diced kiwi (about 3 kiwi)

1/2 C sour Cream
3 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp orange zest

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice bread into 1/2 inch slices. Place in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Use a pastry brush to brush each piece with melted butter. Combine cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle evenly over bread slices. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are toasted. Set aside to cool. While bread is toasting, combine sour cream, honey, and orange zest. Stir to combine and place in the fridge. Combine strawberries, mango, and kiwi and stir gently to combine. When bread is cooled, place about 1 Tbsp. of fruit mixture on top of each toasted bread slice and drizzle with sweet sour cream mixture. If needed, thin sour cream sauce with 1/2-1 tsp orange juice. (I did add the juice for a thinner consistency) Garnish with mint leaves if desired. Serve immediately.

Creamy Corn Chowder

I know it's May and it's probably about time to move away from soups and chowders...but spring is JUST now arriving to the Pacific Northwest. We had this chowder about two weeks ago and I just remembered I need to add it to the blog. It is SO.GOOD. Found it on a favorite food blog , Our Best Bites, that I frequent and I would not change a thing about this recipe! Check out the blog, they have some great recipes - I will be adding another one I found on that site. Mmmmm. You know, I'm not a huge corn eater typically, but THIS was too good and I loved that it wasn't full of heavy cream or half & half but was very rich and creamy. My only complaint was that there were no leftovers!

Creamy Corn Chowder
Recipe by Our Best Bites

2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. water
2 regular-sized chicken bouillon cubes, 1 Knorr chicken bouillon cube, or 2 tsp. chicken base)
(instead of water & bouillon, I used a cup of chicken broth)
2 1/2 c. milk (skim or 1% work just fine and lighten it up considerably)
1/2 lb. bacon
1 small-medium onion, minced
2 red potatoes, diced into small cubes
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 C frozen fresh corn (or 1 can corn)
Salt and pepper to taste
A few dashes of hot sauce (like Tabasco or Cholula)

Fry bacon until crisp. In the meantime, melt butter over low heat in a soup pot. When melted, add flour to make a roux and whisk until it comes together in a little ball. Add water and whisk until completely combined and there are no lumps. Add milk and chicken base or bouillon and bring to a simmer. Add potatoes, onions, and garlic, and simmer (but don't boil!), stirring very frequently, for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add crumbled bacon and corn and heat through. Add a few drops of hot sauce and then salt to taste. The reason why I don't have an exact measurement is that while the soup REALLY needs salt, bacon also really differs in its saltiness, so it can be super easy to make this soup waaaaay too salty. Start with about 1/4 tsp., give it a few minutes, and then add more if you need it. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with extra bacon and/or cheese if you want. Because, you know, if there's anything a perfectly healthy bowl of soup (it's only 3 Weight Watchers points!) needs, it's some extra bacon and cheese!
**The original recipe said it serves 6-8 but my family of 4 ate the whole thing. :)

Skillet Lasagna

Add this one to yummy, easy, ONE-PAN recipes. Loved it! I found it HERE which was a modified version from Family Fun magazine. I changed it up a bit by sneaking in some veggies and using ground turkey. Actually I didn't sneak in the veggies, my kids love them, but for those of you with non-veggie loving kids, they won't even be able to taste them.

Skillet Lasagna
adapted from Skip to My Lou adapted from Family Fun

1-1/4 cups ricotta cheese (I used part-skim)
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella (I used part-skim)
1 pkg lean ground turkey
1 small zucchini, chopped finely
4 or 5 mushrooms, chopped finely
5 or 6 baby carrots, chopped finely
1 (26-ounce) jar pasta sauce
6 oven-ready (no boil) lasagna noodles

In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta, water, salt, basil, oregano, pepper, Parmesan, and 1/2 cup of the mozzarella. Set the mixture aside. Brown the turkey in a large skillet set over medium-high heat - when almost fully cooked, add chopped vegetables and continue cooking until meat is browned and no longer pink. Stir in 2 cups of the pasta sauce. Reduce heat to medium-low. Top the mixture with 2 lasagna noodles, set in the center. Break 2 more noodles each into half and fill in the edges. Spread the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Break 2 remaining noodles in half each and lay on top. Pour the rest of the sauce into the skillet and spread evenly, then sprinkle on the remaining cup of mozzarella, and additional parmesan if desired. Cover the skillet and simmer the lasagna over medium-low heat until the noodles are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and let the lasagna cool for at least 5 minutes. After about 10 minutes most of the liquid was absorbed.
**I used my Pampered Chef food chopper for the veggies, the small pieces help them cook through quicker.