Friday, February 22, 2013

Oatmeal Strawberry Bars

My kids love Nutri Grain cereal and since we are trying to cut out processed foods, I went looking for a new recipe that would replace them. So I found these Oatmeal Blueberry Bars by accident on Disney Family's website. Since we don't really have blueberries in our house I decided to use the strawberry jam I had in the fridge. I also used half dark/half light brown sugar and wheat flour. Besides that I pretty much followed the recipe.
They were actually really easy to make. Though in my oven they didn't need to cook for the full time. I would recommend checking on them at about 30-35 mins into cooking so they don't over cook. Also the oatmeal mixture is very sticky. I put my hand inside a twist tie plastic bag so pat down the bottom.

Oatmeal Strawberrry Bars
Ingredients
-2 cups rolled oats
-1 cup whole wheat flour
-1 cup all purpose flour
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
-6 tablespoons cold butter
-3/4 cup skim milk
-1 tablespoon lemon juice
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-1 1/2 cup Strawberry Jam
Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with 2-inch sides with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together oatmeal, flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and brown sugar. Using the large holes on a box grater, grate the butter and add it to the oatmeal mixture.
Using your fingers or two knives, combine the oatmeal mixture with the butter until it forms pea-size chunks.
Pour the milk into a small bowl. Add the lemon juice to the milk and stir to combine. Add the vanilla and mix well.
Pour the milk mixture into the oatmeal mixture and stir with a fork until all the dough is evenly moistened. It will have the consistency of cookie dough.
Press just over half of the dough evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan, using a sheet of plastic wrap so it doesn't stick to your hands. Spread the blueberry preserves evenly over that, then crumble the remaining dough over the blueberry preserves. Some of the jam will be visible through the topping.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until topping is golden brown. Cool completely in the pan, and then cut into whatever size bars work for you. Wrap bars in plastic, seal in a zip-top bag and freeze for longer storage. Otherwise, eat within 2-3 days.

I dont have any pictures of them in the pan because I finished cooking them so late.

This is the size I cut my bars into and I wrapped them in plastic wrap.
Then I put them all into a freezer bag and stuck them into the freezer for when we want them. I gave some to the boys this morning for a snack and 15 seconds in the microwave thawed them out enough to eat them. The verdict is that the boys all love them. They are a little sticky and fall apart some but it seems all cereal bars do. I am planning on using these if we go somewhere and need a snack. They would thaw by the time to eat them.

Outside references: Oatmeal blueberry barsDisney Family

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Winter Storm

So I was supposed to have my OB appointment this morning but woke up to a thunder sleet storm going on outside. There is so much sleet on the ground that if you didn't know that it was sleet you would think it snowed here (which doesn't happen often in Nixa). Luckily the doctors office called all their patients and let them reschedule if they wanted.
So instead we enjoyed some family time watching some Netflix and my husband even ventured outside with the older 2 boys. They had fun until my oldest kept falling and hurting his hands on the sleet. I am enjoying my time sitting at the computer finding recipes to print out and use. Trying to figure out a meal plan when you are pregnant is not easy since what sounds good to me changes daily!
Now going to print off some recipes and get stuff for dinner ready and maybe make some coffee!
This was my yard this morning and we have gotten even more sleet since!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Homemade Bread Crumbs

So I finally got my new food processor and decided to use it to make some homemade breadcrumbs! I also had a huge loaf of bread i kinda forgot about (opps!) that i decided to use before it molded. So I used this "recipe" that I found on Make and Takes. Its not really a recipe, but a guide on how to make the bread crumbs. So this is what I did:

First I got out my new food processor.

Then I got out some ends of bread out of the freezer and the big 24 oz loaf of bread that was getting old. I preheated the oven to 200 degrees and get out a couple baking sheet.
Next I tore the bread up into pieces and tossed them into the food processor.

I processed them into fine crumbs. Then I pour the crumbs on the baking sheet and put them in the oven and bake them for an hour. About 3 times or every 20 minutes I move them around with a spatula. Mostly I do it about 2 times because I forget. :)
I used 2 baking sheets because I had alot of bread to use.
After they come out of the oven let them cool a little bit. Afterwards toss them back into the food processor to break them up is to fine crumbs.
Then pour them into a container and store them. I put mine in the freezer.
Now I have a good amount of bread crumbs. These have no seasonings in them but I figure if i want to use them as breading I can just season them however I like depending on what I am making.
If you want to see the where I found out how to make these jump over to Make and Takes.







Yesterday

Man was yesterday one of them days! For some reason my almost 15 month old still doesn't want to sleep all night! Which let me tell you makes for a grouchy mommy.
So we decided to go hang out with my SIL and let all the kids play until their daddy got home.
You see my husband was away on training for the army but because of circumstances he couldn't completely control he had to come home a few days early. We were upset he couldn't finish his training, but for me the kids had been sick and whinny and I was glad he would be back.
So I pretty much spent the day trying to clean and really got nothing done on my to-do list but we went to dinner as a family and hung out and played together :)
Now today I am going to hopefully get some things done.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins

So my boys love bananas (who doesn't). We had been using this banana bread recipe from Nick Jr and its pretty easy and very good. But recently we have been trying to eat healthier and changing us some of our recipes.

In my search for healthier recipes I came across this awesome blog called Heavenly Homemakers. She gives you so many healthy recipes that are actually good. Also its explained easily and she tells you where she buys the food and does all this on without spending an arm & leg.

So I came across this recipe for Whole Wheat Banana Bread or Muffins and decided to make muffins. I was very surprised on how good they were and how healthy they seemed. It was easy to make. All you do is throw everything in a bowl and mix it together. The hardest part for me was mashing the bananas. Since I did not feel like getting out my blender, my muffins had tiny banana pieces in them. They were still good hot right from the oven. Just don't burn your tongue :)

 Whole Wheat Banana Bread and Muffins
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup mashed over-ripe bananas (I used 3 bananas)
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup melted butter
2 eggs
Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In a separate bowl, mash bananas, or puree them in a blender.  Mix mashed bananas, honey, melted butter and eggs into flour mixture. 
For Bread:  Spread batter into a well buttered bread pan.  Bake in a 350° oven for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
For Muffins:  Spoon batter into 12 buttered or paper lined muffin tins.  Bake in a 400° oven for 20 minutes.
Here is how my muffins turned out:
(Next time i'll try and get pictures of making it all.)

If you are just as interested in eating healthy as I am you should jump over to Heavenly Homemakers and check out all her amazing information!