Oatmeal Jam Bars

Oatmeal Jam Bars on Whisk Together

These bars remind me of Kellogg’s Nutrigrain bars.  The texture and taste are very similar though the ingredients are different.  No Red #40 , Blue #1, artificial flavor, or carrageenan.  What I love about this recipe:

1.  A few simple ingredients.
2.  Fast and easy to put together.
3.  The flavor is easy to change.
4.  I could use Greek yogurt instead of butter.  This switch yields a chewier crust instead of a crispier crust that the fat in butter gives.  If you want a chewy, nutrigrain bar-like texture, then you can use Greek yogurt.  If you want a crispier crust, use the butter.

Oatmeal Jam Bars_2 on Whisk Together

Oatmeal Jam Bars (printable)
about 12-16 bars

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 cup rolled oats/old-fashioned oats
1 tsp. lemon zest and/or 1/2 tsp. lemon extract (optional)
1/2 cup (8 Tb.)butter softened or melted OR 3 Tb. melted butter and 5 Tb. Greek yogurt
3/4 cup your favorite jam (seedless is good)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place a piece of non-stick foil or sprayed foil in a 8″x8″, 9″x9″, or 7″x11″ pan with the foil hanging off the sides.
2.  In a great big bowl, mix the brown sugar, flour, baking soda, oats and optional lemon flavor.  The lemon is great with blueberry, strawberry, or raspberry jams.  Add the butter and stir until the dough forms crumbs.
3.  Press 2 cups of the mixture into the pan.  Use the flat end of the measuring cup to press the mixture.
4.  Pour the jam onto the crust.  Sometimes the jam needs warmed up a little in the microwave.  Spread on top of the crust with an offset spatula.
5.  Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture onto the jam.  You don’t need to use all of it.  I had a little left.
6.  Bake 35-40 minutes.  Cool in the pan.  Remove using the sling created by the foil and cut into bars.  After 1 day at room temperature, I store mine in the fridge since they contain fruit.

Oatmeal Jam Bars_6 on Whisk Together

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie_on Whisk TogetherGood morning everyone!  I hope you had a wonderful and blessed Christmas!

Book Update:  I completely finished “Happy Money” and thought it was a worthwhile read.  Although the jokes were… odd… for an academic book.  It almost made me wish I had rethought Christmas presents.  One of the main points of the book was to spend more money towards experiences rather than “things”.  Why is this?  We adapt well to our “new things” that would make us think we would be happier.  Not that we have more money – but to redirect it towards shared experiences and memories.  Easier said than done when you have a limited budget, but something to keep in mind.

Our Book Club book this month is “The Book Thief” which is also a movie right now.  I started reading this book while on vacation in Punta Cana.  I stopped after several chapters…. probably because well… it isn’t exactly a beach bum book.  So, I will try reading it again and I’m sure I will enjoy much more.

Recipe Update:  These were so good!   Anyone who loves chocolate, peanut butter or oats will love these cookies.  My friend made them with coconut oil instead of butter and they were awesome, too!  They are slightly chewy, chunky with the chips, and great flavor.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
about 2-3 dozen

1/2 cup butter or coconut oil, softened
1 and 1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 egg and 1 egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla
1 and 1/4 cup AP flour
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips

1.  Let’s do the cookie method!  In a great big bowl:  Cream/beat  the butter and sugars.  Add the peanut butter.  Add the eggs.  Scrape the bowl and beat until combined.  Add the vanilla.
2.  Now, add the dry stuff:  flour, oats and baking soda.  Stir in the chocolate chips.
3.  Cover and put in the fridge for 1-2 hours – until chilled.  My dough always does better when it is cold.
4.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Bake them for 10-12 minutes – check the middle.  Some of mine took a little longer.  Cool on a wire rack.

Recipe from Averie Cooks

http://www.amazon.com/Happy-Money-Science-Smarter-Spending/dp/1451665067/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1388031659&sr=8-1&keywords=happy+money

Protein Packed Oatmeal

Protein Packed Oatmeal by Whisk Together

Book/Life Update: Today at MOPS, we discussed the mommy wars and how we compare one another.  Sigh, I dunno.  I love some food blogs out there, but I know that they are full-time bloggers who really work at this.  I spend 30 minutes at most and would love to spend more taking perfect photos with the right accent pieces, those cute mini milk jars and striped straws with ombre everything.  But, this is all I have to give for now and I’m trying.  And I’m enough.  And just happy with that.

Recipe Update: I love oatmeal and I love eggs, so I cooked them together!  Now, you have to love eggy desserts and dishes to like this breakfast.  With a little brown sugar and bananas, I thought it was really tasty!  Plus, I get my choline and more protein from the egg, too!

I’m trying out Google Docs.  Here is the recipe in printable form.

Protein Packed Oatmeal
serves 1

1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup water
1 egg
add ins:  brown sugar, bananas, maple syrup, milk, fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts, etc.

1.  Add your oats and water to a pot and bring to a boil.  Stir often so the oats don’t burn at the bottom.

2.  Cook for about 3 minutes and it will get thicker.

3.  Now, temper your egg first before putting a cold egg into a hot pot.  Or you’ll end up with scrambled eggs.  So, scramble your egg in a bowl.  Add a little of the hot oatmeal mixture into the egg and mix.  Add some more hot oatmeal mixture and mix it into the egg.  Do this a third time.

4.  Now put all that egg and oatmeal into the hot pot.  Stir and simmer for 5 minutes.

Now you can have your protein and whole grains!

Oatmeal Fudge Bars

Oatmeal Fudge Bars on Whisk Together

This is a another lightened up recipe.  Original bars were 260 calories each, 12 grams of fat and 7 grams of saturated fat.  These lightened up Oatmeal Fudge Bars are 160 calories 6 grams of fat and 3.5 grams saturated fat.  Chocolate lovers will LOVE them.  The chocolate lovers in the house ate them up before I could take a photo, so this is the one that was left.

Oatmeal Fudge Bars (Light)
16 bars

1/2 cup AP flour
1/2 cup quick oats
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
4 Tb. unsalted butter, melt and cool

Filling:
1/2 cup AP flour
1 and 1/2 tsp. instant espresso powder or coffee powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
4 oz (2 cups) mini marshmallows
1/4 cup skim milk
1 tsp vanilla

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Take your 8″ square or 9″ square pan and then pull a large piece of foil (or nonstick foil) out so that the edges hang off about 1-2″.  This will let you remove the bars and cut them nicely.  Use some cooking spray on the foil if it is regular foil.

2.  In a medium bowl:  whisk dry stuff:  flour, oats, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Add the melted butter and stir until crumbly.  Set aside 1/4 cup.   Put the rest in the 8″ pan and press down.  Bake for 20 minutes and cool.

3.  In a bowl, whisk the filling dry stuff:  flour, espresso powder and salt.

4.  In a large microwave bowl:  mix chocolate chips, marshmallows and skim milk.  Melt in the microwave and stir every 30 seconds or so.  It should take 1-3 minutes to melt.  Cool a couple minutes.  Stir in vanilla and flour mixture.

5.  Put the chocolate mallow mixture over the baked crust.  Take the 1/4 cup of reserved sprinkle and put that on top.  Bake 20 minutes.  Cool 2 hours.

Recipe from “Comfort Food Makeovers” by America’s Test Kitchen

Thick and Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

thick and chewy oatmeal raisin cookies on Whisk Together

Book Update:  I just got Bobby Deen’s new cookbook from the library called “From Mama’s Table to Mine” which has fewer calories and less fat than Paula Deen’s recipes.  I will let you know how it goes.  The shrimp and grits, red velvet cake, cornbread and BBQ pork look divine!  Normally, before I purchase or go through more recipe I test 3 of them – a mixture of baking and cooking.  If they are all awesome, I go buy the book or print more recipe.  If they are hit and miss, then I just quit.  Many books by restaurant owners have sadly been hit or miss with me.

My course in Positive Psychology this week is on “Optimal Well-Being.”  Though I am still in the middle of the lengthy chapter, the authors included two really neat quotes I wanted to share with you:

Eleanor Roosevelt advises to “do one thing every day that scares you.”

In our discussion of Maslow, the Jonah complex was introduced and followed with Marianne Williams stating:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us.  We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, talented and fabulous?’  Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.  There’s nothing enlightening about shrinking
so that other people won’t feel insecure around you…. And as we let our light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

Food for thought I guess.  🙂

Recipe:  Now onto the actual food.  I’m a sucker for oatmeal raisin cookies.  Chocolate chip, eh they are okay.  I really  love oatmeal raisin or anything with fruit in it for that matter.  Not that I haven’t tried this recipe.  Or this recipe.  But, then I found a THICK and CHEWY recipe.  So, hey, why not?  It was delicious!!  Though picky as I am sometimes (after trying and testing like 20 oatmeal raisin cookie recipe you have to be!), I have to admit that the fruit and nut oatmeal raisin cookie has more depth of flavor than this cookie.  However, this cookie is your typical oatmeal raisin, so I am sure many people here will love it.  I LOVE the chewiness and thickness, so next time I will just add 1T of vanilla, some pecans and allspice.

Thick and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
18-24 cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter, soft
1 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup plus 2 Tb. bread flour
1 cup raisins

1.  Let’s do the cookie dough method!!!  Get out your great big bowl:  cream together the brown sugar and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy- about 1-2 minutes.  Add egg and vanilla.  Mix and scrape.
2.  Get your medium bowl and mix together the oats, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.  Add to your wet ingredients and mix until combined.  Add bread flour and mix until combined.
3.  Fold in your raisins.
4.  Chill this dough in the fridge covered in plastic wrap for at least 2 hours or even overnight.
5.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Drop your cookies on a greased or lined sheet using a medium cookie scoop  – about 2 Tb. size.  Leave about 1-2″ in between because these will spread a little bit.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Check for doneness, but mine were good at 10 minutes.  Cool on the cookie sheet about 10 minutes and then cool on the cooling rack.  Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Averie Cooks

Amazing Apple Oatmeal

So I looooooove oatmeal cuz it’s good for you with protein, reducing cholesterol, whole grain fiber goodness.  This was awesome.   But that’s what I think every time I try a new baked oatmeal recipe.  Ha ha.  Perfect for Fall.  I love the creaminess and it tastes like baked oatmeal, HOWEVER, due to the addition of another egg it tastes like … get this… bread pudding.  No joke!  It really does.  Not as sweet, but oh well.  That’s okay.

I tried to speed the baking process on this recipe because most baked oatmeal takes 30-35 minutes.  This one took 50 minutes.  I’m sorry.  It really is worth it though and a cinch to throw together.   In my attempt to cook this faster I baked it at 375 degrees for 30 minutes and it was still really soupy.  So, I kicked it down to 325 degrees for another 20 minutes and it was done.

**Bake at the said temp: 325 degrees or the bottom may get brown and filmy.  Do not make this the night before!!!  I did this and it is no where near as good.  Pretty bad actually.  But made the day of had great results.

Amazing Apple Oatmeal
yield 6 servings

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 and 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup of nuts and dried fruit, optional  (I didn’t use, but would be yummy too)
2 cups milk (I used skim)
3 eggs
1/3 cup brown sugar (I used slightly less than 1/3 cup honey and a few tablespoons of brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 granny smith apples, diced (or use macintosh or something that’ll not go mushy while baking)

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease or spray a 2 and 1/2 qt. dish or 8×8 or 9×9 pan.  (I like my round corningware… no hot corners).
2.  In a great big bowl mix the dry stuff:  oats, baking powder, salt cinnamon and optional fruit and nuts.
3.  Add the wet stuff to the big bowl of dry stuff:  milk, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla.  Mix it all up.  Put it in the pan.
4.  Dump your apples on top and get them a little wet by gently stirring into the mixture.  They’ll float to the top.
5.  Bake for 50-55 minutes

Recipe adapted from Traderjoes.com

Baked Peach Blueberry Oatmeal

Before posting a recipe, I try to do it several times to see what will happen.  This experiment turned out so delicious that I decided to make it a separate post!  I think this would be great for a healthy dessert alternative as well.  Some redi-whip or homemade whipped topping with it, perhaps?   We ate this for breakfast.  I’m trying not to eat the whole pan.

I usually double this recipe.  But I have made it several times.  Feel free to follow the directions below and test it out for yourself in a smaller quantity.

*Just made this for like the 10th time.  Don’t make it with half of the egg amount.  Ewwwww.  It wasn’t pretty.

Baked Peach Blueberry Oatmeal
yield 4 servings

1-2 peaches, sliced and pealed or 1-2 cups of frozen peaches (cover the bottom of the dish)
3/4 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup Old Fashioned Oats
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/8 cup honey or maple syrup
1 Tb brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup nuts (optional), chopped

1.  If using frozen peaches, simply spray your 8×8 or 9×9 pan with cooking spray and layer the bottom of the pan.  Cover it up so it doesn’t absorb funky stuff and let it thaw in the fridge overnight.  If using fresh peaches, simply:  Preheat oven to 375 degrees if making the same day.  Spray with cooking spray a 8×8 or 9×9 dish (I usually use glass) or a 1.5 qt. dish.
2.  Put the sliced peaches on the bottom as a layer and sprinkle a little over half the blueberries on top.


3.  Mix your dry ingredients:  oats, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.  You can sprinkle this on your fruit layer and mix with the wet ingredients.  It didn’t seem to matter either way.  Sprinkle this onto the peaches/blueberry layer.

4.  Using the same bowl, mix the wet stuff:  milk, egg, sugar/honey, vanilla.  (I measured the milk first then added the honey until the measuring cup hit 1/4 cup at the bottom since honey sinks.  Then added the egg and vanilla to it and stirred.  One less dish to wash.)
5.  Pour wet stuff over the dry stuff and gently mix.  Add the rest of your blueberries on top and then your nuts (optional).   Bake about 30-35 minutes.


6.  Serve warm.  You can put warm milk on this or be bad like me and put maple syrup on instead.  Or brown sugar, whipped cream, etc.

Baked Blueberry Oatmeal

Well, it will be cool enough to bake on Sunday, so I can start posting baked things again 🙂  This could be baked in a little toaster oven on the countertop as well in a 8×8 or 9×9 pan easily.  I have posted Pumpkin Oatmeal and Simple Baked Oatmeal, but pumpkin is not really on sale anymore.

Instead we have blueberries.   Blueberries are a super food!  Plus, people have lowered their cholesterol levels simply by eating oatmeal for breakfast.  This may take a little time to bake in the morning, but you can prepare it at night and let it sit in the fridge until morning.  I made a double batch and simply reheating it made it last for 4 days.  This one is definitely a keeper.  Next time I plan on using peaches instead of bananas.

Baked Blueberry Oatmeal
yield 4 servings

1 or 2 bananas sliced (cover the bottom of the dish)
3/4 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup Old Fashioned Oats
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup or about 1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup nuts (optional), chopped

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees if making the same day.  Spray with cooking spray a 8×8 or 9×9 dish (I usually use glass) or a 1.5 qt. dish.
2.  Put the sliced bananas on the bottom as a layer and sprinkle a little over half the blueberries on top.


3.  Mix your dry ingredients:  oats, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.  You can sprinkle this on your fruit layer and mix with the wet ingredients.  It didn’t seem to matter either way.


4.  Mix the wet stuff:  milk, egg, sugar/honey, vanilla.  (I measured the milk first then added the honey until the measuring cup hit 1/4 cup at the bottom since honey sinks.  Then added the egg and vanilla to it and stirred.  One less dish to wash.)
5.  Pour wet stuff over the dry stuff.  Add the rest of your blueberries and then your nuts (optional).   Bake about 35 minutes.


6.  Serve warm.  You can put warm milk on this or be bad like me and put maple syrup on instead.  Or brown sugar, etc.

Additional notes:
–  I have doubled this recipe and it works great.  I use my 2.5 qt. pyrex casserole dish.  I’m sure anything that holds 2 cups of oats will work.
– Since I put syrup on top, I doubled everything but the sugar/honey.  I just used 1/4 cup in the doubled recipe because I was adding syrup at the end.
– I made this using fresh berries and frozen berries.  The fresh blueberry oatmeal looked prettier, but there was no noticeable taste difference between the frozen and fresh.
-When doubling you don’t necessarily need to bake it any longer.  I don’t know why, but when I double this recipe it bakes fine in 30-35 minutes.  When I let it go longer the edges get crusty and overbaked.

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal – No More Dry Packets!

Happy Leap Day!

This is a fresh, easy apple cinnamon oatmeal.  I can’t believe how easy it is.  Now, don’t get me wrong – I grew up on those packets from the smiling man and still love them especially on my Sweet Potato Casserole.   But this tastes SOOOO much better!

And much less sugar.  You control the oats (old-fashioned or steel cut) and the apple and the sweetness!  It’s fast and delicious.  After I made it I thought, duh, why didn’t I think of that?

Recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma’s book “Cooking at Home”

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
serves 1, double or quadruple according to your family

1/2 cup Old-Fashioned Oats (or you can use steel cut – just cook them per their instructions, not mine)
1 cup water (or whatever your particular oats say)
1 crisp, sweet apple (I used Jazz, but you can use any sweet apple)
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
drizzle of honey (optional)

1.  I used Quaker Old Fashioned Oats.  Again, feel free to change this to your particular oats.  But here goes for the old-fashioned variety:  Boil 1 cup water and add 1/2 cup oats.  Turn to medium heat and cook uncovered for 5 minutes (or until slightly thick).
2.   Core and remove the skin from the apple.  On a large hole grater, grate the apple directly into the hot oatmeal.  The oatmeal will stay warm if you use a room temperature apple.
3.  Once the apple is grated into the oatmeal, stir in the cinnamon as well.  Drizzle with honey to your desired sweetness.

Say bye bye instant oatmeal!!!

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