Thursday, April 16, 2009

Oat Fig Bars

I was looking for a regular fig bar recipe when I found this and it looked easy and it was already healthy so I thought I'd try it. Frankly, I don't trust recipes that purport to be healthy and I don't know if I even gave it a try in its original form, but this is the version I've settled on - pretty much.

Oat and Fig Squares

1 + cup dried figs, cut into pieces
2/3 cup water
1 1/2 Tablespoons honey
3 Tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon molasses
1/4 cup milk

1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon orange zest

1. Preheat oven to 350⁰F . Put figs in a medium saucepan, combine figs, water, honey and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer 5 to 10 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally; cool.

2. Grease a 9X9-inch baking pan. In a small bowl, combine flour, rolled oats, baking soda, salt and orange zest. In a medium bowl combine, butter, honey, molasses, and milk. Stir in dry ingredients and mix well. Dough will be sticky. Chill to make handling easier.

3. Place a little more than half of the oat mixture in the prepared pan and spread evenly across the bottom. Spread figs evenly on top. Add remaining oat mixture on top of fig layer, allowing some of the figs to show through. Pat lightly to flatten. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack. When cool, cut into 16 squares.

These really are very good. I should go try the recipe again, just to make sure it still works.

Chocolate Nests

A few years ago I discovered Cadbury Chocolate Mini Eggs and they have become a spring tradition. I never did Easter egg hunts as a child, but now my siblings and I do; we go all over town hunting the best prices on Cadbury's mini eggs!

I made these nests for Easter, but I don't hold them exclusively to the holiday and think they are appropriate anytime during the spring.

Incredibly simple to make they call for four ingredients: Chocolate chips, shortening, Chinese Noodles and Cadbury Mini Eggs. Next time I might skip the shortening and see if the chocolate holds up a little better. They seemed to melt rather fast and I wondered if it might have something to do with the shortening. Or maybe I just didn't let them set up long enough.

The eggs come in multiple colors but I like to use only one color per nest, it makes it a tiny bit less cutesy and a little bit more sophisticated.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Vintage Dress Pattern

My sisters have collections of vintage patterns but this is the first one I've actually bought for myself, adding it to the few I've been given by my sister Retro Girl Creative. I'm going to have to make myself a dress using this pattern one of these days. I might even have the perfect fabric already. With snow still falling these last few days, I'm not feeling in any hurry to start on spring and summer clothes though.