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.

Pancake cupcakes

imageToday is a day we have been looking forward to for a while… The Hobbit came out last week And we were able to see it today. We are lovers of all thing associated with geeks, nerds, dorks, and any other word that would be found next to those in a thesaurus. There was a time when I would of been ashamed to declare my love for Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, etc. But now I fly my geek flag high. My daughter dresses up when these types of films come out, it has been something I look forward to planning for and she looks forward to dressing up.

I would be a bad fan if I hadn’t been thoroughly anticipating December 14th for several months. While doing a marathon of the initial three films I realized what the perfect meal to make for this movie was… Breakfast, but not just any breakfast… Second breakfast. So we made pancake cupcakes!!!! Unlike those in the shire we would be unable to consume two full meals. So a bite size meal was fitting.

Recipe
2 cups boxed pancake mix
1 1/2 cups milk
Bacon bits

Frosting
2 sticks butter, room temperature
2 tbsp maple syrup
3 cups powder sugar

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine boxed pancake mix and milk, whisk thoroughly, it will be THICK.
3. Portion off into greased cupcake liners. I filled slightly less then half way full, as these will rise considerably during baking.
4. Pop in oven for 15 minutes.
5. Allow to cool.
6. Beat butter until fluffy. Add in maple syrup and powder sugar.
7. Frost cupcakes and sprinkle with bacon.
8. Enjoy!

This is something we serve for Christmas Breakfast and guys/men/boys go insane for them. I make them the night before, make the frosting, and it is ready in the morning.