Strawberry Walnut Crunch

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I have a small family… Just the three of us. So it isn’t cost effective for us to have a Costco membership… All the food ends up going to waste. Often recipes are too large for the three of us, which is why I look forward to having family over to eat with us. I get to make large quantities lots of food and it doesn’t go to waste. Or there are some dishes that are my favorite but the work that is required for three people outweighs the “Yummy in my tummy” feeling I would get once I was able to sit down to eat.

Aside from spending time in the kitchen, I love spending time in the living room watching Food Network. While watching the Pioneer Woman she made these delicious appearing Strawberry Oat Bars. But the quantities would be far too much for the three of us, so the recipe below is halved… Also I added walnuts because I wanted to make sure it had a crunchy texture.

Recipe adapted from Pioneer Woman

1 stick butter plus 6 tbsp., cut into pieces
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cups oats
1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
4 oz. strawberry preserves (My daughter went a little crazy with the preserves and it still turned out great!)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray your baking dish with non stick spray.

2. In a large bowl add the the butter, flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. I gave my daughter the 1/4 measuring cup and put those math skills to the test.

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3. Then have your little chef use a pastry cutter, mix all the ingredients so that it now resembles a crumble. Mixed in the chopped walnuts with a spoon or fork.

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4. Put half of the mixture into the bottom of your baking dish and press with the backside of the spoon. Now spoon and spread the preserves across the bottom layer. Put the remaining crumble mix on the top and gently press down.

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5. Put it in the oven for 35-40 minutes.

6. Enjoy! This is intended for breakfast but my husband and daughter could not wait until the morning and dug in after dinner.

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Mine may look different then what you make because I used Earth Balance which is a dairy free butter.

Raisin Persimmon Cookies

Holy Moly! Holidays are done and boy were we busy. A house full a family, lots of cooking and baking, but I would not have it any other way. My daughter and I were able to spend lots of quality time in the kitchen but since I was basically running an assembly line for treats, there were very few pictures.

I mentioned before that we give baked goods for gifts at the holidays and this year we tried something new. Persimmon cookies! I made the most unbelievable mistake a few years ago when trying persimmons… I tried it raw. Yuck, Yuck, Yuck! Recently a co-worker brought them to work, from their tree, and told me I should try making them with my daughter. I began quizzing them about persimmons and told them about my horrid experience. The secret is baking soda! After the persimmons have been pulped put some baking soda in and mix that up let it sit for several minutes, the baking soda will neutralize the acidity in the persimmon pulp.

Excellence ensued once I got this recipe into my kitchen. And what type of work did I have my daughter do while I was running around like a crazy person? I had her pulp the persimmons! She is a country girl at heart who loves to get dirty, so giving her persimmons to pulp was right up her alley. She just squeezed until the inside till it plopped out, she wanted to be thorough so she also scooped any remaining pulp out. Below is the recipe we used which was really a combination of several recipes that I received from my co-workers and a picture of my daughter “pulping” the persimmons.

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1 1/4 cup persimmon pulp
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 stick, unsalted butter (room temp)
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 slightly beaten egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 cup raisins (California… Of course!)
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

1. Mix the persimmon pulp with the baking soda, and let that sit for about 10 minutes before incorporating into the rest of the batter. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Beat together the butter and sugars. Once they are well combined add in the salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking powder, egg, and vanilla.

3. Slowly beat in the flour… Adding a little at a time until each addition is fully incorporated.

4. Fold in the raisins and walnuts in until evenly mixed in. You can add more raisins and walnuts, which is what most of the recipes I received suggested, but my husband perfers his cookies not to be too crunchy.

5. Portion onto a lined cookie sheet and cook for 12 minutes. These cookies are very moist.

6. Enjoy!

I hope everyone had an amazing holiday and wish you all a very Happy New Year! I am focusing on making time for myself and my family. I will be competing in my first half marathon at Disneyland in a few days. I say competing very loosely as my goal is just to finish, I am not much of an athlete. So here is to a New Year and a new me!