Tag Archives: picnic

Sweet Tooth Sunday

9 Jun

You guys.

SRBarsFinal1

I have been staring at the farmer’s market rhubarb in my crisper drawer all week, pining away for some kind of baked good.  I had planned to make rhubarb brownies, but I am not in a chocolate mood.  Yesterday when I made a trip to the grocery store, I snagged some strawberries on sale.  Naturally, I thought of a strawberry-rhubarb crisp so I took to Pinterest!  I found a nice little recipe, but was missing a few ingredients so I improvised.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars (Source: The Tart Tart)

For the crumble/crust:

  • 3/4 cup oat flour (or ground oats, in my case)
  • 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 t. baking powder
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter (I used salted butter and omitted the salt), cubed
  • 1 large egg

Like I said before, I don’t happen to have any oat flour laying around the house.  So, I grabbed my trusty mortar and pestle and ground some old-fashioned oats. Yes, as in Quaker Old Fashioned Oats.

SRBars1

Holler. At. Me.

Once my dry ingredients were assembled, I stirred in one lightly beaten egg and the lemon juice with a wooden spoon.

SRBars2

Here’s the thing about making a crisp or a crumble or a pie crust: use cold butter.  You have to.  Trust me. I mean it.  And don’t mix it with your hands because that will warm the butter.  If you have a pastry cutter, good for you.  I am not that shmancy. I used two knives and cut the butter into the flour mixture, like a good little Yankee who was raised by a southern lady.

Once you get the mixture to a consistency where its chunky, press 2/3 of the mixture into a 9″ pan that you’ve buttered and floured.  (You are going to reserve the 1/3 for the top, so feel free to save a little more if you want.  I like a strong base so that they are easier to cut into bars.)  In fact, I encourage you to press the crust in firmly.

SRBars3

Then, mix together the filling  & spoon it over top of the crust:

  • 2 cups rhubarb, sliced in 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 cups strawberries, sliced
  • juice of half lemon
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 4 T. corn starch

SRBars4

Sprinkle on the rest of the topping and bake at 375F for 50 minutes.

SRBars5

When these came out, I let them cool for a few hours before I cut into them.  They were still warm in the middle and seemed like they wanted to fall apart, but thought better of it.  I didn’t really give mine much time to think about it.

SRBarsLastBite

I mean, how could you not want to bring these to a cookout or  picnic?

SRBarsFinal1

Advertisements

The ONLY Time of Year I Suggest Visiting New Castle

16 Jul

For those of you fortunate enough to have never visited New Castle, Pennsylvania (where my parents live), you might not know its the “Fireworks Capital of America.”  No, really.  New Castle boasts two of the largest fireworks manufacturing companies in the U.S., so every year we get shafted on the 4th of July.  No fireworks.  Really.

Instead, what happens is that two weeks after the 4th, one of the fireworks companies puts on an amazing show during the Fireworks Festival.  Its usually a really long, fabulous fireworks display because the fireworks companies alternate each year.  They pull out rare and new fireworks and we get to see them in little old New Castle: Ahhhh, the benefits of living amongst one of small town Pennsylvania’s most historic pissing contests.

No complaints here, people!  My family is nutty for 4th of July and for fireworks.  Its the one and only time of year my dad doesn’t turn into some kind of holiday-chameleon-grinch, miserable for each and every major holiday.  But no, not the 4th.  On the 4th he turns into a teenager with a monster supply of bottle rockets, which he inflicts upon the neighborhood for hours.

Last year:

We weren’t able to make the drive on the 4th of July this year, but we made it for the Fireworks Festival this past Saturday.

It’s pretty much an all day event.

The kids run around the neighborhood and the grown-ups play rummy for hours:

Or Scrabble:

And when its time for dinner, we don’t have to go far…

Then, we watch the most amazing fireworks display you’ve probably never seen.  (Unless you know about the secret!)

Happy 4th of July…finally!!

%d bloggers like this: