Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Peanut Butter Cranberry Go-Bars

These are delicious.  Need I say more?  My kids can't get enough!   You have to try these.  They couldn't be easier.  The best part is they are good for you too.  No preservative crap that you get in store bought bars.  Enjoy!    (Did I mention these were really good?)
cooking oil spray
1 cup regular rolled oats
1/3 cup oat bran
3 Tbsp flax seed
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp each, baking powder & salt
1/2 cup chopped roasted salted peanuts
1/2 dried cranberries
1/2 cup finely chopped dried mission figs (can substitute raisins instead)
3/4 cup natural chunky peanut butter
1/4 cup low-fat milk
1 large egg
1/2 cup honey
finely shredded zest from 1 lemon
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1. Line a 9 x 13″ pan with plastic wrap, leaving an overhang on the 9″ sides, and coat with cooking oil spray.  In a large mixing bowl, stir together oats, oat bran, flax seeds, flour, baking powder, salt , peanuts, cranberries, and figs until well blended.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together peanut butter, milk, egg, honey, lemon zest, and lemon juice until well blended.

3. Add flour mixture to peanut butter mixture and beat until completely blended.  Scrape dough into lined pan and with wet fingers or a rubber spatula, pat to fill pan completely and even.  Chill dough until firm, about 30 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Invert pan onto a work surface, lift off pan, and peel off plastic.  Using a knife, cut straight down lengthwise through middle, then crosswise to make 16  bars, each 1 1/2″ wide.  Place bars about 1″ apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment or greased baking sheet.

5. Bake bars until lightly browned and somewhat firm to touch, about 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool completely.

If you make this ahead, it can be stored for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.

Warm Summer Day

It's freezing cold outside today (I am always cold) and a friend just emailed pictures they took of us wake boarding for the first time last summer.   Oh I long for some AZ heat and a few more freckles.
My hubby caught on right away and landed a few jumps.  I got up - but didn't quite get the "jumping the wake" thing down.  Maybe next time (hint hint Ryan and Lena).
The kids just enjoyed the ride!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Present Cake

For Allison's birthday we wrapped it up pretty with a bow on top!
Happy Birthday Allison!  Love you!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Cute Cone Cupcakes

My daughters birthday is tomorrow and she wanted to take cupcakes to school.  She insisted they be in a cone.   I dreaded making those because they are so difficult to transport.
Yeah for handy hubby's who carve out holes in boxes to make the cone cakes fit.  I think they turned out pretty darn cute.  We topped them with fresh buttercream, (ice cream style)  sprinkles, and a red fondant ball on top.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Good Days

Mini tea party sets, baby carrots, a door mat, a willing little brother, and a dog on clean up duty - what more could you ask for?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Cake for Natalie

I barely finished this cute zebra print cake right before the party.   It had three tiers consisting of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.  Yum!   This ten year old will be eating cake for the next week.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cheddar Biscuits

I've had this Martha Stewart recipe tucked away for awhile.  I made them the other night with dinner and remembered that I REALLY liked these.  Warning - Bisquick biscuits will never satisfy once you've made these from scratch.

Makes 12 to 16
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2/3 cup milk
1. Heat oven to 425*.  In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, cream of tartar, sugar, and cayenne.  (If you don't like to much kick add 1/8 to 1/4 tsp pepper).
2. Cut butter into pieces and work it in with your fingers until course and crumbly.  Stir in cheese.
3. Make a well in the center of flour mixture, pour in milk, and stir with a fork just until dough comes together.  DO NOT overmix.  Turn onto a lightly floured counter and knead gently 10 to 12 times.  Count out loud and resist temptation to knead more.
4. Pat dough into a circle about 1/2 thick.  Cut out biscuits with a 2 inch round cutter. (If you don't have one, be creative.  I have used the lid off the Pam before but a smaller one works better).  Transfer biscuit to a lightly buttered baking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown on top.  Serve HOT!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Birthday Business!

I always get a little nervous a couple days after Christmas because we celebrate my daughters birthday.  It's hard to come up with good stuff when Christmas morning is still fresh in everyone's memory.

I think I did okay this year though - SHWEW!!

After the opening of presents and a birthday brunch - we decided the best way to celebrate a birthday was to go treasure hunting with our pals around the corner.  (Geocaching) 

We were surprised to discover the treasure right under a natural arch.  Bonus!

Eventually we were done hunting and decided to dive into some chocolatey goodness - cupcakes made by the birthday girl herself.

They were a hit!

Then we piled in the car - out of the cold - and headed home.

Hope you had a happy one Sam!

Thursday, January 8, 2009


This kid just landed a part ...
... in this play at her school.
She called me this morning to tell me the news.   I have been smiling for hours.
Way to go Sam!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Rusty's Christmas Casualties

This past season of sweets we actually faired pretty good against the counter surfing hound dog.
The list of casualties is as follows:
  • One bagel off the counter when 7 year old wasn't looking
  • Half a box of hazelnut chocolates
  • A few licks of Christmas cookies but I got there in time to stop him from eating them - but I still had to chuck them because he slobbered on them
  • One stick of butter
He was on the naughty list and got nothing for Christmas.  In the meantime, my daughter decided to have a photo shoot with Rusty.  Wallah!

PS.  Did I mention that someone gave a live hamster as a white elephant gift?  Yup!  You guessed it... I am now the proud owner of a hamster.  Why not one more pet in this zoo!